This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Tank Craft series and on this occasion looks at the Tiger I German Army Heavy Tank, Southern Front, North Africa, Sicily and Italy 1942 - 1945. This book as with all of the titles in this series are I feel an attempt to offer the modeller a combination package covering both reference on the vehicles and a look at the models available to replicate the Tiger I Tank as a scale model.
This offering from Pen and Sword is authored by Dennis Oliver, who is an author that has written a number of books in the Tank craft series and I have begun to look forward to his work. This is a soft backed book with a good card cover protecting 64 pages of semi gloss paper. The contents of this title are laid out as follows:
The Tunisian Bridgehead
The Defence of Sicily
The Italian Campaign
Camouflage and Markings
The Tiger Units
Technical Details and Modifications
Product Contact Detail
The text in this title begins with a short history on the birth of the Tiger I. The T-34 is often given credence when it comes to German tank design but the need for a tank such as the Tiger I can be found as far back as the late 1930's armour needs. We are then provided with a breakdown of events from 2nd November 1942 all the way through to 1st May 1945. I am unsure how this data will prove of use to the modeller as it does not directly relate to the Tiger I, but events in which the Tiger I was used are covered in the timeline. I do think you will find the black and white period photographs of use due to the very good captions that are provided and the high quality of the images.
A section providing prints cover a fair number of Tiger I Tanks is next up. All of the vehicles are shown from the left or right side, but also covers close ups of various sections where it is felt needed in order to clearly show details present. The prints provide a number of camouflage patterns used and the units that used them which is a great inclusion, of particular interest is some early finishes with grey and yellow being an interesting combination.
The modelling section starts with a showcase of finished models that are a nice mix of models displayed as standalone models, and a list of these can be seen after this paragraph. The text covering these models is limited and I feel it would have been useful if details on what exactly had been added to the base kits. The section covering the kits available is a reasonable section for the modeller who wants to see where to aim his or her pennies at, but beware what is available changes rapidly. Models in 1/72nd, 1/48th, 1/35th, 1/16th and even 1/56th scale are looked at and covers injection moulded plastic offerings from a number of companies mentioned here. The Tiger I is possibly the most produced model subject available and I was a little surprised at how few aftermarket items was covered.
Tiger I, 3. Kompanie Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 504, Italy 1944 by Ralph Riese in 1/48th scale. I will say that is good to see 1/48th scale models finished to such a high standard.
Tiger I, 8. Kompanie Panzer Regiment 7, North Africa 1943, by Lim Kian Guan in 1/35th scale. A very nice offering of a North African Tiger I.
Tiger I, 7. Kompanie Panzer Regiment 7, North Africa 1943. By John Tham in 1/35th scale. I have a soft spot for armour in North Africa and this one looks very nice. It is impressive how some modellers manage to get such an impressive finish on a single colour finish.
Tiger I, 3.Kompanie Schwere Panzer Abteilung 508, Italy 1944, by Andrea Maselli in 1/35th scale. The zimmerit has been applied very well and the paint finsh looks very natural. I do like seeing figures with vehicles as it adds a sense of scale.
Borgward BIV, 3.Kompanie Schwere Panzer Abteilung 508, Italy 1944, by Andrea Maselli in 1/35th scale. I don't know if I really agree with this addition.
The details on the units equipped with the Tiger I is a great reference inclusion due to the aid it provides the modeller looking to place a tank in a certain setting. The data provided varies in depth, but on many occasions it lays out the where and when of the unit and also covers what other vehicles came into the units which will allow for some accurate vehicle mixes.
Dennis Oliver has garnered a place with me as a firm favourite due to his writing style and how information is presented to the reader. The Tiger I being such a popular vehicle it does deserve to get some dedicated attention rather than with the King Tiger in tow. The details presented are a pleasing mix even though I question the benefit of the timeline in this release. The camouflage shown on some of the Tiger I's in the prints section such as a yellow and grey finish is an interesting combination.
Darren Baker takes a look at one of the Tank Craft series of books covering the Tiger I German Army Heavy Tank, Southern Front, North Africa, Sicily and Italy 1942 - 1945 from Pen and Sword.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...