Alfredo Campanini's Tiger Tank

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The following article was kindly submitted by Alfredo Campanini and describes the construction of his excellent Tiger Tank.

You can see a complete album of photos of Alfredo's Tiger here

When I received the first kits, I thought that I would only do a little additional work because my aim was to see the tank run.  First of all, I fitted more prototypical nuts and bolts - these have a smaller head and are much more like the real thing. The head of an M3 bolt included in the kit is 5.5 mm while a model bolt is 4 mm - a big difference, I think.

I made minor improvement to things such as headlights, various tools and wire clamps, following the information supplied by various books on the Tiger. Then I made new tension bolt and cup with a spherical joint because those included in the kit seemed to be too much coarse.

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In summer 2001 after the Winson disaster and while waiting for the new ModelWorks kits, I assembled the very fine 1/16 scale Tiger kit made by Tamiya and I had the idea (and time) to reproduced several details for the 1/8 Tiger.  I started with the rear of the top plate which I completely remade. I re-used only the ventilator grates and the hatch buttons; all is now bolted from the interior. At the front, the two hatch lids are modified, adding the periscope. On the four track covers I have reproduced a dummy hinge, by soldering bits of 2mm brass tube onto pieces of 1mm wire.

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The back has several modifications too: the exhaust blocks are bolted from the interior, the exhaust covers and caps are new, following the original. The exhaust pipes are longer, to match the correct dimensions.  I have added the tool case (wood), the lifting jack, the hitch and filled the remaining holes.

The was a large amount of work on the turret:
- New Smoke tubes and brackets as I estimated that the provided tubes and the brackets varied too much from the original.
- Between the filler bar of the mantle frame and the mantle itself there was a huge gap which is wrong - I filled this with a further brass bar which grouts all the upper side of the mantle frame. It looks much better.

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- The lower part of the turret side plate doesn't cover the front of the turret ring and the step is noticeable. After fixing the side plate to the turret ring, I filled it with a bent steel band, applied to the turret ring, which completes the lower external circumference of the side plate.
- I made the rear tool box round with new lids, hinges and clasps.
- The hinge of escape hatch is modified to be like the original.
- The barrel ring is modified and the bolts are cone-shaped.  The same for the pistol port.
- The loader hatch is fixed with 4 countersunk bolts, invisible after painting and the interior of the cover is completed with this enclosure system.  The same for the cupola lid.
- Also the fan cover is new and I chose an unusual type from the book "Germany's Tiger Tank".

Finally, during the mounting of the very fine tracks, I saw that the front track covers were bent down and they hit the tracks.  This bending is wrong because it doesn't appear in any picture or drawing of the Tiger.  Therefore, I un-bent the front covers and at the same time I made the front and rear movable - they looked very good.

The primer I have used is a bi-component type while the other painting is in acrylic colours. My Tiger is a model of one placed on the Eastern Front in the winter of 1942-43 and is Tiger 121 belonging of the s.Pz.Abteilung 503 " Feldherrnhalle".  After a glorious life it was lost on 15 March 1944 in the Skalat sector.  I hope that the pictures are better than my explanations.

Alfredo Campanini
October 2002