Tamiya 1/35 Tiger I Ausf E

Kit Number: 35056

Price: $15.00 (in 1987)

Decals: several nice Tigers

Date of Review: 11 February 1998

Review and Photos by: Scott Van Aken

Since I know very little about armor, all I can say is that the Tiger tank was probably one of the better tanks operated by the Germans during WWII.  I believe that this tank has the famous 88mm gun that was so effective as an anti-aircraft gun, field artillery and as used in armor. Those who are more up on armor; any input would be gratefully accepted as for a short history.

This is one of Tamiya's earlier kits and sold in the US by MRC. There were attachments in the hull for motorizing and as such, there was no interior detail to speak of. The kit was molded in a light tan color (obviously to help painting) and all the detail was crisp and clear. There were a number of accessories molded right on the hull like cables and other tools used to dig out the tank or replace tread.  Naturally, I painted right over these things without bothering to pick them out with paint or washes.

Assembly was quite straightforward and the pieces seemed to fit well, although I did have some trouble getting the top part to fit well on the hull. Something was probably a bit warped.  The hatches could be positioned open so that the finely molded crew could be placed in them, but since I didn't use the crew, the hatches were glued shut. One of the more daunting jobs was the running gear. This kit has a single soft rubber track that fits quite tightly over the idler gears and wheels.  This causes a lot of stress on the for and aft gears, so naturally one of mine broke free. The rest of the kit was very much trouble free.

One interesting point is that they supply some rubber hoses for the back of the tank.  What they are for is a mystery to me, but they do not accept enamel paint at all well. Even a year after painting, the paint was still tacky on these hoses.  I painted the kit using Humbrol flat colors and they worked quite well, indeed.  The Tamiya decals were very good and fit well.  I got no silvering even though I did not gloss coat the kit before decal application.

And there you have it.  A very nice tank model that can be recommended to all but the beginner. I'm sure it has a number of inaccuracies as several newer and more expensive Tigers have been released by Tamiya.  But it looks good to me and as long as I am ignorant of the errors, I'm happy.

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