Tamiya 1/48 Tiger I (late production)

KIT #: 32575
PRICE: 2000 yen SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2013 release


The Tiger I , a German heavy tank of World War II, operated from 1942 in Africa and Europe, usually in independent heavy tank battalions. Its late war designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E. The early war variant was designated Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. H1. Often times, people refer to both of the variants as Tiger. The Tiger I gave the German Army its first armoured fighting vehicle that mounted the 8.8 cm KwK 36 gun (derived from the 8.8 cm Flak 36). 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944.After August 1944, production of the Tiger I was phased out in favour of the Tiger II.

While the Tiger I has been called an outstanding design for its time. it has also been called over-engineered, using expensive materials and labour-intensive production methods. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and breakdowns, and was limited in range by its high fuel consumption. It was expensive to maintain, but generally mechanically reliable. It was difficult to transport, and vulnerable to immobilisation when mud, ice, and snow froze between its overlapping and interleaved Schachtellaufwerk-pattern road wheels, often jamming them solid. This was a problem on the Eastern Front in the muddy rasputitsa season and during periods of extreme cold.


Tamiya produced the early version of the Tiger I as one of its very early releases in this series. This is the later variant which includes many of the modifications made to the Tiger. The most visible of those is of the area around the exhaust. Couple of things of note. Like many of the larger kits in this series, Tamiya has included some chassis weights. These are some fairly large rods that fit into the chassis. Though the box art shows zimmerit, a common application to late Tigers, the kit does not have this feature.

It would be desirable to prepaint a lot on this kit as getting to some of the running gear components after assembly will be difficult. The initial construction sequences are specifically for the lower hull and running gear. The kit includes link and length plastic tracks, which are a good choice for this scale. The instructions provide an attachment sequence for these items and is is recommended that you actually follow it.

The next sequence is for building up the upper hull and that includes the exhaust system and the various pioneer tools that were so common on these vehicles. The final area is the turret. This is your standard fare for the scale with the gun having nothing inside the turret. The barrel is molded into two halves and those of you who prefer aluminum barrels will find them easily in aftermarket. Tamiya provides you with a half figure if you wish to have a crewman sticking out of the hatch.

Instructions are standard fare with Tamiya-only paint references. The markings sheet provides information on how you can apply zimmerit to this tank and offers Tamiya tool information for doing this. The two tanks are for one on the eastern front as shown on the box art. The other is at Normandy in 1944 with a more thin, squiggly, paint scheme. The small decal sheet is nicely printed.


This is a nice addition to their growing line of 1/48 military subjects and well worth picking up.



April 2020

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