by: Matthew Quiroz [ ]
Too little too late; that seems to be the story of the Sturmtiger. Only eighteen of these beasts were built before the war ended, and as such they weren’t able to contribute much to the overall effort. The Sturmtiger was an assault gun built on the Tiger I chassis and armed with a large 38 cm Raketen-Werfer RW61 L/5.4 rocket launcher. Its purpose was to provide heavy fire support for the infantry fighting in built-up urban areas. Of the eighteen vehicles produced, some fought in the Warsaw Uprising, the Battle of the Reichswald, and the Battle of the Bulge around Bastogne.
AFV Club’s offering in 1/48 scale is a nicely-done kit that shares some of the same sprues as their Tiger I in the same scale. Parts are flash-free and molded in an olive colored plastic consisting of approximately 217 parts on 4 sprues. Zimmerit detail is molded on the lower and rear hull plates. A PE Zimmerit tool is provided to add this anti-magnetic mine coating to the remaining areas where required. A set of PE screens is also included, along with a unique way of attaching the road wheels: instead of gluing them on, the inner road wheels are slid on first, and the outer wheels mounted using small screws. The screw heads are then covered by separate hubs. Sprockets and idlers are mounted using screws, too.
Dry-fitting the upper and lower hull pieces together revealed a good fit with no gaps or misalignment. The one piece glue-able vinyl tracks are very pliable and feature excellent detail, but also show a few nasty pin marks on the inner surfaces that will have to be dealt with. As stated above, this kit shares several of the same pieces from their Tiger I release, and should be good for the spares box. Construction is carried out over 12 steps and is easy to follow. A parts diagram is listed on the inside of the instructions, as is a separate small addendum showing the placement of the Zimmerit. A brief history of the vehicle is provided in the instructions, but it gives a little insight into this monster.
Painting & Decals
Paint call-outs are given for Hobby Color, Mr. Color, Mr. Color Spray, Humbrol, Revell, and Lifecolor, so the builder has numerous options as far as selection. A nice full-size color print of the vehicle is included and could aide in painting. Only two painting options are given:
• PzStuMrKp 1001, Western Front, 1945: Soft edged pattern of red brown, dark yellow and dark green.
• “Unknown” unit: Hard-edged three tone ambush pattern of red brown, dark yellow and dark green.
There are no decals provided so the builder will have to use the spares box or source them from Tiger options.
Overall this looks to be another fine offering from AFV Club that should build into a nice representation of this WWII beast.