All the front armour is in, that’s three lots. Everything fits though I’m redoing the inner section of the HL ball mount exterior armoured cover to make it fit flush with the ball. The armour glued in place gives the hull parts upper and lower a perfect fit.
Terry wrote: Every time I look at this topic my mind boggles at the shear breadth and depth of work going on. You're a dedicated man Tony! The Pak 43 barrel is very bling, but necessary I imagine? It's so long it would probably deflect or sag if it were plastic?!
Yes the metal barrel helps, but also creates weight problems so needs to be balanced or will tip the turret forward. The plastic works fine, but the seams are always a pain.
I’m now working on the forward crew hatches/ transmission access cover for each of the Tigers. As mentioned previously the HL one being a rebuild following the removal of the crew hatches. The kit hatch openers are okayish, but not perfect so I’ve done a few adjustments, and the HL ones are from scratch. I’m at the point where I will polish up the underneath of the HL hatch so that I can attach the openers in the proper spots. I also need to add slots and wedges to each cover forward and rear. This will make sense with photos. Trumpeter is not even close with these, it is a straight forward if not fiddly fix. The crew heater hole on each also needs to be filled to make it smaller. Lots of interesting stuff to do here actually.
Working on the armoured heater cover for the HL Tiger. The pin running through the lot has lined everything up nicely and will be trimmed off. The cover is set at open as the vehicle will not be in battle.
Next bits complete. These are the newly constructed forward crew heater ducts which replace the ones molded to the kit radio stacks. Not one of Trumpeter’s finest hours. The frame at the opening was for items never sorted during the production run. Next up I will sort out the shims forward and rear of the covers that hold them in place on the hull roof. The front and rear of the covers have a triangular strip cut out that correspond to triangular strip blocks on the hull. As said before photos will make sense of it.
The notching is now done on the three covers. You can’t see the triangular strip on the HL because the flange which bolts to the hull roof and cover is already in place. You can see the strips on the Trumpeter Tiger. All three done so on to the details on each flange now.
Progress. The hatch lifters have been added. The bolt detail has been added to the HL cover mounting plate and holes drilled everywhere. The braces have also been added to the three plates. The plate latches seen in the rear two corners are also under construction. They were moulded to the two Trumpeter cover plates, but I removed them and copied one to make the six. These open interior latches. Again all will be revealed in updates.
And the various components beginning to appear that will make up the crew hatch interiors. So far the mounting plates are roughed out and the head protection pads too. Next I’ll make the triple arm locking mechanisms for each hatch. All straight and not complicated, time consuming in organisation.
Here is the HL cover almost done. I need to attach the crew heater ducts to each and the hatch lifter arms then they’re done.
Just some trimming and cleaning up to do and these are ready to paint. The arms should have slight bends in them, but they are covered by the head pads so I’ve not bothered. A fairly simple, but clever triple locking mechanism.
And now with base paint on. Interestingly all the pads now fit on the base plates, but don’t yet fit through the hatches. The mounting points will need to be shaped to fit. Almost there. I added some spare colour to the scratched hatch cover lifting units to check they look okay.
So, the hatch interiors are finished and ready for weathering along with the whole interior of each Tiger when the time comes to close the hulls. The Tigers will be first as the JagdTiger doesn’t have a separate turret so the upper interior will come together either the lower one for the grand close up.
Today I’ve attached various items and individually fired the six hatch covers filing and touching up paint as required. I’ve also constructed the tool box that sits above the radio operator x 3. I’ve also constructed the Bosch head lamp stowage holder that sits above the driver’s head. These are drying and will eventually have two mounting holes in each. The photo below gives a rough indication of where both these items are attached. Next up it’s back the the rear hatch locking arms for each cover and their internals. Then the covers are all but done.
Boxes and Bosch lamp holders
And the covers now waiting with the second great parts build up ready for the final interiors assembly.
The covers are done bar the rear latches I’m about to do. And the rear upper ammunition bag/ demolition charge racks are also done for the two Tigers. They need trimming and painting, but are sorted. I will remove three bolt heads from the Trumpeter so attach it’s rack. There is no detail on the HL so it will go straight on and hide a multitude of sins. Neither hull roof will come off so you can’t see anyway.
Small update. The internal locking arms and springs have been added to the hatch plates. These need trimming and shaping, but are much of the way there. I’ve also begun the process of gluing the rear ammo and detonator rack to each of the Tigers. One mounting point at a time. There will be a little bit of spring tension still in the rack plastic so each point has to be strong then flying will be easy. I’ve added some turret ring fastening detail to the HL hull ceiling. You can actually see something is there though the roof won’t be coming off. I’m now up to the AFV Modeler driver’s periscopes so these need to be constructed and fitted. I’d hate to have to scratch them. So hats off to David Parker for creating them.
Rear pouch racks with central mounting points glued and drying overnight
The three forward covers with inner latch details partly done. These are set in the open position as you’ll only ever see them with the hatch removed.
HL turret ring attachment point details. Essentially the bolt heads.
And driver’s periscopes awaiting construction
So nice to have more aftermarket bits finally coming out of the box.
The rear MG ammunition racks are fitted and I’ve constructed the three AFV Modeler driver periscopes. These are a godsend. Thank you again David Parker, for the amazing work you did on the original. There is some adjusting of the cutout in the forward armour required, but all good. The Trumpeter Tiger came with two periscope outer hull cover plates so I removed the slightly too small HL moulding and slotted the second cover in. I now need to make a new armour cover to go over the periscope as the old one is too narrow.
Resting in place
I’m now away from the bench for 8 days, but will keep checking in.
Finally an update. The crew hatch covers for each Tiger are finished. This includes the welds. First for these builds. The hull roof interiors are also finished on the Tigers minus the aerial cable and spring mount for the MGs. The JagdTiger Tiger has a slightly different layout so just a little more to do.
I can now paint the upper interiors and return to the lower hull. Still lots to do, but we’re almost ready to seal the Tiger hulls. The JagdTiger hull includes the turret work so a ways to go there yet.
The mounting rods for the hatches for the Trumpeters no longer sit in the holes provided. The hatch internals lift the hatches the correct height above the outside details ( lifting hooks etc). The rods can easily be extended.
Repeat shot showing how it looks all in place.