Step by Step - King Tiger

by Raffa aka Picster

posted by Raffa, Picster, Capuchin

Hey everyone,

this time i build something unusual...
The reason was Romans birthday, i didn't want to paint a mini as a gift as i know how he loves Company of Heroes and how interested he is in the World War 2 theme in general.
He's a walking encyclopedia when it comes to the theme and i'm always impressed of his knowledge :)

So i thought one of the most famous and feared tanks of the second world war would be a good gift to him, the German Sd. Kfz. 182 King Tiger in 1/72 scale.

The kit i used is from trumpeter and was pretty nice, i didn't expect very much in 1/72 but it was really nice.... the kit has 101 parts and 2 rubber tracks.

Here's some historical information about the tank:

The Pz.kpfw VI Tiger II Ausf. B "KingTiger" VK4503(H) was the most powerful combat tank of
World War II. Up to the end of the war, the Allies did not introduce anything that could effectively
counter it. The Tiger II combined a powerful and effective gun with armor that was virtually
impervious to any Allied tank or anti-tank gun.


Planning for the Tiger II started as early as May 1941, a year before the Tiger I entered production.
By the fall of 1942/January 1943, designers started work on a new heavy tank that would eventually replace the Tiger I. In January 1943, Hitler ordered the new Tiger to be armed with a long 88mm gun and have 150mm frontal armor and 80mm side armor.


You can get more information on wikipedia


Ok, enough history lesson ;)

Let's get started:

I began with glueing road wheels and stuff together, this is annoying work as you have to clean every wheel from excess flash and molding burr.


Some wheels assembled


And glued to the lower hull


I glued the tracks to the wheels, i used super glue for this as it's pretty hard to glue it with normal plastic glue..


Assembled and glued the upper hull.


The almost finished turret mounted to the tank


Finished assembly in all it's glory. Finished the assembly i had a problem:
I don't know too much about the camo schemes that were used in ww2 on Tiger 2s... so i googled a lot and found a scheme i like. As i didn't have the "exact" colors i tried to match the colors as close as i could......


I started painting without basecoating.
I airbrushed a nice even coat of unthinned Vallejo Model Air "Tank Green".


Following that i airbrushed camo patches with Vallejo Model Air "Camo Green".


And finally with Vallejo Model Air "Tank Brown", all Model Air colors were used unthinned in my airbrush (Harder & Steenbeck Evolution Two in One Silverline... very nice airbrush :-) )


I redefined the edges of the camo pattern again using the "Tank Green" color.


The Camo Pattern i found had little spots of color in the bright spaces to break up the shape of the tank. This is by the way the goal of all camo patterns: To break up the shape of the object, to achieve this contrasting colors are used which blend into the surroundings.


I used Andrea Color "Flat black" to paint the black parts black again.
This black tone is pretty flat, much more than Chaos Black from Games Workshop.
But unlike Chaos Black it's not perfectly black, more a dark grey. But that's the sacrifice you have to make with black. The flatter, the greyer it looks. Glossy black looks much deeper than flat black.


I sprayed a coat of Future Floor Polish over the whole tank as a preparation / protection for the oil color.


Before starting with the oil i added the waterslides.
Waterslides look much better when added to a glossy surface, you can also use this effect when for example putting waterslides on space marine pauldrons. First use for example Vallejo Model Air Gloss Varnish on the pauldron before adding the waterslide, you'll see it works much better.
To soften the decal i use Mr. MARK SOFTER.
It wasn't neccesarily needed here but i used it anyway ;)


After i added the waterslides i made a wash with oil color.
I mixed odourless turpentine with a bit of Burnt Umber oilcolor.


This mix flows very well into all crevices of the model.


When the oil was dry the next day i sprayed a coat of Vallejo Model Air "Matt Varnish" to get rid of the shiny look. As i was searching for a base i found this old bowl from a bonsai tree...


i glued some cork on the bowl to build up a base layer.


i added some flower earth with super glue and some bricks and wire (wrapped around a pen to achieve the barbed wire look)


I used some mix of dry earth pigments with lot of water and splotched this all over the tank in a random pattern, when it was dry i used a damp brush to move the pigments around... sorry, i forgot to take a picture here....

After this i used some kind of wet in wet technique to add some Vallejo Game Color "Sepia Ink" to some places to bring some depth into the model. Also i painted the metal parts with Vallejo Model Color "Oily Steel" and the wooden handles of the tools with some wood looking color i don't remember ^^ ( i think it was "english uniform")

Oh and if you look closely you'll notice i brought out some tiny details with some lighter color and i painted some of the edges in the lighter color.


Here i added the tank to the base for some test fit.


I ripped a part of a blister sponge and used a mix of Scorched Brown and Flat Black to put some scratches and battle damage on the tank.


That's the tank in the almost final stage.


I airbrushed a mix of different colors to the base... some turquise mixed with the Tank Green...


I added some Sepia Ink with the airbrush and drybrushed lightly over the base with Bleached Bone.


Painted the bricks with a thinned layer of scab red... damn i forgot to damage the bricks....
The barbed wire got drybrushed with Oily Steel.
You can also notice i added some rusty colors to the exhaust pipes.


The tank was glued to the base and i added my mud mixture to the tank and base.



Here's my mud mixture....


It was mixed with Plaster, Model Color Gloss Varnish, MIG Pigments Graveyard Dirt, MIG Acrylic Resin and some static grass.


When the mud was dry i added some Mini Natur Grass and a mix of different dry pigments applied with a stiff brush. Some of the pigments were also added to the tank.
I also mixed some pigments with water and just "splattered" this mix on the tank in a flipping motion simulating dirt.
Some fine tuning was then added like adding black pigments to the main gun (although i know normaly the residue left is silver) and to some exhaust parts.

After i was "finished" i sprayed 4-5 coats of Future Floor Polish to the muddy parts of the base and tank again to bring out the wet look.


Here's the finished piece in my cabinet, shot without special light...

I'm pretty happy with the result and i think Roman is happy too... while writing this step by step i noticed i forgot the add my signature to the base :D

I hope you like the Step by Step, even if it not a mini, maybe you can see one or two techniques you can use in your next project :)

Cheers,
Raffa

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