by Michael SanMiguel
Building Tamiya’s Tiger II Porsche- turreted Heavy Tank
The Tiger II tank, a masterpiece of machinery, was the premier German heavy tank of World War II. The version equipped with the Porsche turret (shown in this article) was rarely used, as the variant produced with the more box-like Henshel turret was less expensive and easier to produce.
The model displayed in this article is the Tamiya kit; their products are of fine quality though they don’t make too many exotic models. The Zimmerit that was used is the Cavalier resin; you will get the same effect as with the paste but with less mess. Be careful while assembling the model because some Zimmerit pieces interlock with the kit parts.
The tracks supplied with the kit are easy to use making them ideal for less experienced modelers. On the other hand, they are poorly detailed and I recommend replacing them with the Friulmodel metal tracks. Also, as the stock barrel needs a lot of filling, it is easier just to replace it with a spun aluminum barrel.
To complete the model, it was first sprayed with a base color. For this model the best choice for the base color is Tamiya’s dark yellow as it is the best representation of the original color and is easy to use being acrylic. After spraying the base coat, the model was washed with Model Master’s acrylic grau. Then the spare tracks that are mounted on the turret were painted with Gunze Sangyo’s burnt iron. Finally, the model was then weathered with various colors, such as rust and black, resulting in the finished product.
I found the kit of high quality except for the tracks and barrel. Now that I am older than eleven, which is when I made this model, I would do a few things differently, such as replacing the wash color with white. This kit is a wonderful representation of the Tiger II equipped with the Porsche turret; it is very easy to build and has fairly accurate details. I also recommend using Winsor & Newton water based oil paints and train set foliage to weather the model. Finally, if you use Friulmodel metal After-market tracks I recommend using track weathering solution and washes of black and brown oil paints to further weather the tracks.
Photos by Phil Novak