Quick update. The hull MGs are in with more painting to do. The MG ammunition bags are also in. The demolition charges are also now affixed to the forward bulkheads of the Tigers and the ammunition cases and first aid boxes are in both Tigers. The drivers also now have somewhere to sit. So now it is time to finish painting various items like the radios and add decals etc and start weathering. Really nice to get to this point after so long.
Radios coming along. The Archer decals work well, but the large white dial one is post war. Tough. The wire plugs are rough, but tough again. They are looking far better than I thought they would. I won’t have all the crew wires attached, but I’ll keep the operator headphones plugged in. Too complicated otherwise and no one will see them with the roof on. More decals tomorrow then these can be attached. Then hull decals and weathering.
Plugs and then leads
Dashboards and two reversed
In the JagdTiger just sitting
In the Trumpeter Tiger as a test. This sits slightly forward of the JagdTiger stack to allow for the crew heater vent
Getting to the moment where the two Tigers hulls can be closed up. The weathering of the Ardennes Tiger will be mud and minor chipping. Anneliese was quite a long liver so it will need to be grubby and worn. The main work will take place in the JagdTiger as the top comes off and the gun is in your face as it were, but as a very late vehicle it will just be lightly chipped, but chipped enough to show how quickly paint will rub off really heavy interior items. Fun ahead.
Roof with vents now covered.
Stowage in. I went back and thinned our the ammunition box lids as per the real thing and all three now fit in.
A morning with some victories. I’ve dremelled the welds of the upper hull of the JagdTiger and fitted the hull together. The gun has been weathered and enough of the upper hull and put it together. Everything fits as expected with a few gaps here and there, and it works. The forward crew hatch plate just goes under the stub of the gun, the gun and mantlet slide on and off as required. Nothing is now fouling the upper hull and nothing broke. I won’t glue it in place just yet just in case, but a huge relief.
Now too big to photograph
Natural gaps along the wall seams to clamp as one glues
Quick update. The hulls and JagdTiger superstructure are now firmly together and yes the turrets continue to fit as they should. This means I’m now working on the exterior details, starting with the most complicated part first. The engine deck needs a fair bit of work mainly relating to missing detail. Lots of holes to fill (still), rear inspection hatches detail, the armour covers for the snorkel opening forward of the inspection hatches (still need to make these), and a host of other things, all with lots of welds. I can’t fudge on the welds now as you can see them if they’re not there. The biggest part of the deal is the seal details around the engine hatch and the details under the two air duct domes. Thankfully these are all now sorted. Not hard, but boring. Look good though and show how much Trumpeter missed.
The two Trumpeter rear engine decks
Engine Inspection hatches
Note the flatter red oxide one to fit under the turret without drama
Well, most of the exterior bits are in place on the three Tigers. The two Trumpeters have a little sanding left to do, but are otherwise ready for the next step. The HL still needs the track cable attached, the tools brackets and wing nuts mud guard mounts etc attached, scratched and attached actually and then it too will be ready. Ready for what you ask? The welds. I have next week off for holidays so, one vehicle at a time on will go the welds. Boring yet satisfying at the same time. It’s got to be done and will make or break them. Once that is sorted the last thing will be to set the Trumpeter swing arms in at rest position and we are ready to paint.
The last question to answer with the builds regards fenders for 204. The Tiger when abandoned had some of its fenders still attached. I’ve seen a beautiful rendition with no fenders. Was there ever battle time when it went fenderless. Probably not. I’m still undecided. No issue with the others, though Anneliese has lost a front fender to bring it closer to reality. We shall see.
Setting the torsion bars on the Tiger. I’ll do the JagdTiger the same way. Eventually the plastic bars would sag under the weight so much easier to set them. The torsion bars at rest without weight are 35 degrees from horizontal. Model kits always set them under weight so the sit just below the hull. 1.5mm scales up to 3.2mm which is what the square rod is. The HL suspension sits at roughly 4mm so these rest nicely at around 3.2 and a bit.