Friday, October 24, 2008

15mm WWII - German Tiger Tank

Time for the first of the "Big Dogs!"

This is my first Tiger tank for my 15mm WWII German Flames of War collection!

Now... what military guy could resist a Tiger tank or two? These behemoths, while produced in small numbers,
were absolute masters of the battlefield (assuming they didn't get stuck in the mud or were unable to cross a bridge) with a massive 88 as its gun and thick, thick front armor. Cost and intricate design (which led to mechanical problems) eventually brought the Tiger down... along with a TIDE of cheap-o Shermans... but the Tiger tank will ALWAYS have a place in any military historians heart as one of the meanest, ugliest, and most dangerous damned tanks to ever exist.

Mine has a radio antena fashioned out of a thin piece of screen wire. The commander is a top half of a guy cut and glued in. The front tarp is made of rolled and painted green stuff.

Model courtesy of Battle Front!


Scott MacPhee said...

That's a nice paint job, which makes this painful for me to say, but . . .

Your tank is the wrong color. Anything with zimmerit should definitely be dark yellow rather than grey.

Author said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean said... do you explain this one?

I have seen at least 3 examples of original Tigers in grey. One at the military museum in Bremen. While its true most were in the yellow color or camo scheme, there were Tigers with zimmerit in grey. Always and never are 2 terms to avoid with historical research. Others mileage will vary.

Scott MacPhee said...

It's awfully tough to tell any colors from that photo. The olive drab US truck looks grey too. That Tiger may very well have three tone camo over a dunkelgelb base. Or it may have burned.

Very early Tigers would have been painted grey at the factory. By 1943, the factories were painting dunkelgelb. Starting in August '43, the factories also applied Zimmerit to tanks. Paint shortages at the very end of the war might have resulted in some off color vehicles, but by then the zimmerit wasn't being applied either.

I'd be cautious about basing colors of tanks on museum examples. Unless the museum has preserved the original paint scheme (which is highly unlikely, since without new paint every so often, the vehicles would rust by now), what you're seeing is whatever the museum curator (or his flunkies) decided to slap on.

I've seen German tanks in the states painted with the ubiquitous "US Army white" that gets applied to so many barracks, fences, and anything else doesn't move.

Unless you can find a good color photograph that conclusively shows an unburned zimmerited Tiger in gray, or you can find a diary entry from Obergefreiter Snuffy stating that his unit painted their Tigers grey, you're better off sticking to documented colors.

It's possible that some Tiger crew got their factory painted Tiger and slapped some grey paint on it. It's also possible that some soldiers wore non-regulation pink ball gowns into action. In the absence of any proof, stick with the regs.

Echoes Of Glory said...

Glad to see you agree that the color schemes are all based on the production year and theater. It seemed as though you were advocating blanket statements when it comes to what's correct.

Scott MacPhee said...

Well, I was making a blanket statement. Anything with zimmerit should be dark yellow. The factories that applied the zimmerit also painted the tanks in solid dunkelgelb.

zookeeper said...

Ah that is sad to see since they are not correct. Blanket statements erode the entire foundation of historical research. To each his own I suppose. Jeep... this is incorrect, leave it as is and dont worry about the color :)

Sean said...

Here are the facts...would a grey tiger with zimmerit be gray. Well, it wouldnt be P.E.C., or N.U.G. what ever flavor of the month tag you want to apply? No, did they exist? Yes.

Because they served on many fronts, attached to a variety of other units, and in large multi-unit formations, Tiger battalions used more distinctive tactical markings, and carried a greater variety of these markings than most other German tank units.

The first Tigers issued to front line units during mid-1942 were delivered in overall Dark Grey (RAL 7027). In the Winter of 1942-43, washable White paint was used as camouflage in snow-covered areas.

The Tigers of sPzAbt.501 , which deployed to Africa during late 1942, were camouflaged in Desert Brown (RAL 8020) and while Dark Gray was authorized to be used as a second color in a disruptive camouflage pattern, there is no evidence that sPzAbt.501 ever painted their vehicles in this manner.

In the more temperate climate of coastal Tunisia, many of the tanks of sPzAbt.501 were oversprayed with Olive Green (RAL 7008) to enhance their camouflage.
Tigers of sPzAbt.504 were camouflaged in overall Brown (RAL 8020) oversprayed with Olive Green (RAL 7008).

It is not known if any Tigers went to North Africa painted in Dark Yellow (also known as Wehrmacht Olive), which was specified for use as an overall basecoat on all combat and front line support vehicles during 1943.

The camouflage colors used to paint vehicles, with a wide variety of disruptive patterns, were Olive Green (RAL 7008 - the light-green color first ordered for use in North Africa in 1941) and Red Brown (RAL 8017) - which was more of a brown than a red). Tigers used all these colors in a wide variety of schemes and applications.

During August of 1944, to reflect the needs of a changing war situation, the Germans added new camouflage colors which were intended to be used in place of the older shades. A new Olive Green (RAL 6003) was introduced, along with a new Red Brown (RAL 8012). The new Red Brown was more red than the older Red Brown, while the new Olive Green was somewhat darker than RAL 7008, and was often used as a primer color on many vehicles in November of 1944.

In the last months of the war, Dark Gray was also used on a number of vehicles, both as a primer and as a camouflage color. It should be noted that older paints were almost always used until supplies were exhausted, so many older vehicles carried new paint colors while newer vehicles often appeared in older colors. It should be noted that many German manufacturers used Red Oxide primers extensively, and some of these primer paints appeared on new vehicles.

The markings used on Tigers were perhaps more varied than those of any other German combat vehicle. As the Tiger battalions moved from engagement to engagement, from one command structure to another, they came under the command of many different formations. This led, in many cases, to the Tiger units adopting different markings and even marking systems, especially in the tank identification numbers. Most Tiger units used the standard Wehrmacht three-digit system of vehicle identification, the first digit denoting the company, the second denoted the platoon, and the third digit denoted the individual vehicle within the platoon. In some Tiger battalions, only the company number was used to identify the vehicle, in others, only the platoon and individual vehicle number, while other units used only the vehicle number.

Lastly, they are toys and they are your, paint them pink if you want, even add the commander in a pink ball gown to appease the sarcastic! ;)

Author said...

My entire damn French Napoleonic army, which took about two years longer to paint than this tank, hasn't gotten this many comments:) Damn you people!

The tiger may indeed be the generally wrong color, but honestly my 15mm WWII German collection is very much on the back burner, so I don't think I'll have the time in the near future to repaint anything. Thanks tho guys!

TIGERtanker said...

Flame me if you want.

It is a late production Tiger 1e (the flat roadwheels). It has Zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste. Zimmerit was discontinued in late '44, placing the "proper" scheme as "three color" (olive and red-brown over dark yellow base) for east & west fronts, or commonly dark-yellow for the Italian front.

With that said, it is your model, you go with what you like, however, panzer-geeks like me will let you know it is anachronistic.

Great technique though. very pleasing to the eye abnd I bet it looks wonderful on the table.