Müncheberg Tiger I's in the Battle of Berlin

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Müncheberg Tiger I's in the Battle of Berlin

Joined: September 27th, 2006, 1:11 pm

June 17th, 2012, 6:42 pm #1

I'd like to build the Altonaerstrasse-Tiger and the Tiergarten Tiger of Panzerabteilung Müncheberg.

http://www.tiif.de/thread.php?threadid= ... 1058d741fa

As I understand it these Tigers were of a final batch, the unit received five of the last Tiger Is to be issued in February 1945. However, they also absorbed Tiger Is from other units so I am uncertain if the two on these pictures were final ones.

Can anyone direct me on which kits to use? I'm open to kit-bashing, buying aftermarket detail sets and so on to get correct versions.

/Daniel
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Joined: September 22nd, 2009, 4:03 pm

June 18th, 2012, 1:45 pm #2

I see a mix of early and late features in those photos, which is consistent with a unit created ad hoc from repaired/rebuilt vehicles. "Tigers In Combat II" suggests that most of their Tiger I's came from a maintenance depot.

I think the photos show at least three different vehicles. The most famous is 323, pictured by the Brandenburg Gate, which has early road wheels and no zimmerit. The turret has the early style cupola, no fittings for spare tracks, and a pistol port at the left rear; this is consistent with an early turret, although it does have the reinforcing bar over the gunsight area in the mantlet. I can't be sure if a turret escape hatch is present on the right rear, but only the very earliest turrets lacked this.

This vehicle presents a bit of a puzzle for 1/72 kits. Because of the early cupola, the best fit for the turret is probably Dragon's "Gruppe Fehrmann" kit, 7357 (I think that their Porsche Tiger kit, 7209, has the same turret, but it wouldn't offer many useful pieces below the turret). Revell's "Tiger H" kit , 3108, isn't too bad, but its cupola is too short, you'd have to fill the spare track holes, and add the bar on the manlet. For either kit, be sure to omit the loader's periscope.

Below the turret, the Gruppe Fehrmann kit won't work, because it has late roadwheels. You could keep the hull and source some wheels from Revell's "Tiger E" kit, 03116, or from Dragon's Mid-Production, 7251, (or any of a half-dozen Dragon kits with early wheels). It may depend on whether you'd like DS or link-and-length tracks. Dragon's nicest hulls with early wheels are in the two Initial-production kits, 7370 & 7376, but these hulls would be unsuitable in other details, and the wheels are molded together in a way that probably won't fit their earlier kits.

I can't speak to after-market options, but as far as the wheels go, buying an older Dragon or Revell kit is probably cheaper than any aftermarket set. Unless you want to super-detail things, adding early wheels to the Gruppe Fehrmann kit probable gets most of the major features. Then again, one of the resident Tiger experts may be along momentarily to tell us that the tool placement on that kit is all wrong for Müncheberg Tiger 323.

I hope that's something to start with. I only got into Tiger 323, but we can talk about the vehicle(s) on the Altonaer Straße if you want.
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Joined: September 27th, 2006, 1:11 pm

June 18th, 2012, 9:23 pm #3

Thanks for the reply Drew! I'm thankful for your thoughts and it would be interesting to hear more.

Indeed there are three Tigers, although one only has the road wheels of the tank showing.

So, how about this? At the moment I'm leaning towards getting two Trumpeter early Tiger Is. To be quite honest I have not seen those kits before though and I only rely on some brief reviews on the net for that choice. The Trumpeter kits should allow me to have the wheel configurations and it appears that Trumpeter made better Tiger Is than Dragon in some respects. I'm a bit sceptical about using the Dragon turret since I've read that it has the wrong shape. Is this true? What other options do I have?

For the third Tiger, I'm thinking about the Dragon Fehrmann Tiger coupled with PARTs Tiger 1E Zimmerit version 2. It's aimed towards the Revell Tiger though but it should work I think.

For all three replacement barrels seems suitable (atleast for the Dragon one), late versions I presume?

/Daniel



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Joined: September 22nd, 2009, 4:03 pm

June 19th, 2012, 4:26 am #4

I personally feel that the "correct turret shape" issue with Tigers is a bit overblown, especially in our scale, but here's the deal. Viewed from above, the Tiger I's turret was not a symmetrical "horsehoe" shape. Using the gun as the centerline, the left-hand wall angled less sharply inwards towards the front than did the right, to allow more room for the gunner and his sight. It's a very subtle effect, to the degree that folks can differ about whether a given kit does or does not capture it. To my understanding, though, the first generation of Dragon Tiger kits (all in the 7200's) have symmetrical turrets, as do the Revell and the Trumpeter kits. Dragon then made a new, asymmetrical early-style turret that was used in their Porsche Tiger kit (7209), and later in the Gruppe Fehrmann kit, 7357 (let's call this generation 1.5, because it's a mix of old and new parts). Dragon's second-generation kits, 7370 and 7376, have all-new parts including asymmetrical turrets, but are specifically intial-production machines with various details only suitable to these.

Anyhow, that's a point in favor of the Gruppe Fehrmann kit if you want a good early-style turret, but for mid/late turrets, you prettymuch have to deal with symmetry, I think. I also don't think you need to be concerned with whether the PART zimmerit (PE - how cool is that?!) fits the Dragon kit, because Tiger 323 seems to be without zimmerit. Unless you have some cupola surgery in mind for the Altonaer Straße Tiger...

Moving to the Altonaer Straße Tiger (I'm finally starting to see how those six pictures are all of the same vehicle), it's hard for me to say in the pictures if I see zimmerit, but the other features point to a machine that would have it. The cupola is the mid/late type, it has track hangers on the turret (with the missing link on the left side being a good identifier), and it has a pistol port on the left rear. The roadwheels are the rubber-rimmed type. So, assuming that the turret and hull belong together (and nothing suggests otherwise), it would be a mid-production vehicle all-around.

This is handy if you want to use Dragon's mid-production kit with zimmerit molded in (7251). Some folks find this molding a bit heavy-handed, but I think its flaws (like the blobs for turret vision ports) seem no worse than the inevitable complications from aftermarket zimmerit sets. Unfortunately, it has some very hard-to-correct errors in places like the loader's hatch. If you haven't found your way to them already, these are great reading:
http://www.onthewaymodels.com/reviews/D ... on7357.htm
http://www.missing-lynx.com/reviews/sma ... nsb_1.html

I was getting ready to steer you away from the Trumpeter Tigers based on the totally lukewarm reception they received here:
http://www.network54.com/Forum/47210/th ... Comparison
I haven't built any, but what I see in the dreadful box photos has always made me leave them on the store shelf.
But then I realized that there is an elephant in the room with these Müncheberg Tigers. They are each missing some outer roadwheels. Both are missing the front outer roadwheel, which was common practice, but 323 also has several additional wheels removed. Because of the way Dragon helpfully molds the wheels together, I don't think their kits can do this. The Revell "H" kit can (it includes just two hub extensions, though). Trumpeter, like Revell, molds their wheels separately - and assembling these really makes one appreciate what a dreadful task maintenance on interleaved wheels must have been - but I'm not clear if they have the appropriate hub/axle detail to leave wheels off. You can squint at these sprue photos and guess:
http://henk.fox3000.com/trumpeter.htm

Sorry if I am making your task seem harder instead of easier. It is a daring undertaking, no doubt. I'll try to come up with some other mix-and-match ideas. I'm very keen on frugality with kits; hopefully someone with more experience in the cost-no-issue after-market approach will chime in.
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Joined: September 27th, 2006, 1:11 pm

June 19th, 2012, 4:30 pm #5

Drew, if you look more carefully at the link in my first post you'll see that they are in fact showing three different Tigers.


Tiergarten Tiger.


Altonaer Strasse Tiger.


Unknown location.


I also suspect that is not the Altonaer Strasse Tiger but as a matter of fact a fourth Tiger.

I've now revised my ideas. How about this?

*Tiergarten Tiger. Dragon Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger for the turret, Revell Tiger Ausf. H for hull. RB Model replacement 8,8cm KwK36 L/56 - Tiger l late barrel. Eureka XXL towing cables for Panzer VI TIGER tank.

*Altonaer Strasse Tiger. Dragon Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger for the turret with added details from Revell Tiger Ausf. E turret, Revell Tiger Ausf. E for hull and wheels from Revell Tiger Ausf. H. RB Model replacement 8,8cm KwK36 L/56 - Tiger l late barrel. Eureka XXL towing cables for Panzer VI TIGER tank.

*As for the Tiger of the unknown location. My idea for kit: Dragon Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger with PARTs Tiger 1E Zimmerit version 2. RB Model replacement 8,8cm KwK36 L/56 - Tiger l late barrel. Eureka XXL towing cables for Panzer VI TIGER tank.

I would also like to receive a suggestion for a PE set for things like fenders and the brackets at the rear to make what can be seen here.



Regards
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Joined: September 22nd, 2009, 4:03 pm

June 19th, 2012, 5:59 pm #6

Oh, I realize that the loose close-up shot is a 3rd vehicle, because neither the Brandenburg nor the Altonaer Straße vehicle has steel-rimmed wheels like that. I'm just not clear why it was included in the original shots (the caption isn't exactly helpful). I was discounting that one; it would be tough (or perhaps liberating) to base a build around a picture showing just some late roadwheels and loose 88mm shells.

When I said that I had become convinced that the six shots showed one vehicle, I mean that I think the vehicle shown without wheels is probably the same one as in the other Altonaer Straße pictures. Numbering the shots in the original thread 1-3 top row and 4-6 bottom row, #1 seems to show the vehicle completely intact and up against some sort of log palisade. Shot #2 shows the same scene from the rear, while shots #4 and #6 seems to show the Tiger in the same position, but the palisade has come partly down. The palisade itself is a good marker in these pictures, as is the very distinctive building straight in front of the Tiger. On the vehicle itself, the arrangement of spare links on the left side of the turret, the road wheels, cupola type, and overall position of the vehicle and turret is consistent in these shots.

Then we get to shots 3 and 5, where every removable item on the Tiger has been stripped, including the road wheels. All of our nice identifiers are gone (except the cupola), and the vehicle looks like it has been pushed or dragged into a rubble pile. There isn't much here to say this is the same Tiger as the other four shots, although nothing is clearly inconsistent. But what's the marking on the hull side? That looks to me like the same poorly-applied swastika clearly visible in shot #1. The placement matches exactly. A swastika is a strange marking for a tank, but this was a last-ditch desperate defense , probably calling on every means possible of raising morale. Check out the very different swastika on the turret of 323 that is a hot topic in the original thread.

What about the balkenkreuz painted ahead of the swastika in shot #5? I think this actually does appear in shot #1, but it is mostly hidden by the head of the person on the ground. Unfortunately, I haven't found a better version of that image to be sure.

Sure, two vehicles in the same group could carry the same markings, but the swastika looks like it was applied roughly. We already know that 323 carried a very different one. So what are the chances that such ad hoc markings would match? My guess on these shots - and it really is just that - is that they show the same vehicle before and after it was pushed aside and stripped following the action.

I talked so much that I didn't put anything in about models! I'll come back.
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Joined: September 27th, 2006, 1:11 pm

June 20th, 2012, 5:41 pm #7

I'd say it will be liberating to build something with less known data surrounding it.

Either way, I'm looking forward on feedback on my kit suggestions.

/Daniel
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Joined: September 22nd, 2009, 4:03 pm

June 21st, 2012, 10:11 pm #8

Drew, if you look more carefully at the link in my first post you'll see that they are in fact showing three different Tigers.


Tiergarten Tiger.


Altonaer Strasse Tiger.


Unknown location.


I also suspect that is not the Altonaer Strasse Tiger but as a matter of fact a fourth Tiger.

I've now revised my ideas. How about this?

*Tiergarten Tiger. Dragon Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger for the turret, Revell Tiger Ausf. H for hull. RB Model replacement 8,8cm KwK36 L/56 - Tiger l late barrel. Eureka XXL towing cables for Panzer VI TIGER tank.

*Altonaer Strasse Tiger. Dragon Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger for the turret with added details from Revell Tiger Ausf. E turret, Revell Tiger Ausf. E for hull and wheels from Revell Tiger Ausf. H. RB Model replacement 8,8cm KwK36 L/56 - Tiger l late barrel. Eureka XXL towing cables for Panzer VI TIGER tank.

*As for the Tiger of the unknown location. My idea for kit: Dragon Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger with PARTs Tiger 1E Zimmerit version 2. RB Model replacement 8,8cm KwK36 L/56 - Tiger l late barrel. Eureka XXL towing cables for Panzer VI TIGER tank.

I would also like to receive a suggestion for a PE set for things like fenders and the brackets at the rear to make what can be seen here.



Regards
It sounds like you are gearing up for a masterpiece build. I took some time to look through the kits I have have on hand, to see if I could spot any pitfalls. Where I didn't have a given kit, I relied on the On The Way and Henk of Holland sites were able to fill in the details. Here's what I think:

For the Tiergarten Tiger, The Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger is a great choice. Build the turret as per the directions, but leave off the spare tracks on the sides (do the pictures show the hangers?) and the loader's periscope. You may want to add a weld line on the turret roof about a foot behind the mantlet; this is a feature of very early turrets, but the kit lacks it. I don't have a reference to say when the roof switched to a single bent plate. Your guess is as good as any on what's going on around the gunner's scope - it looks like a sun/rain guard was added? Also, have fun building that wrecked stowage box!

I think that the hull of the Fehrmann kit is a better choice for this vehicle than the Revell hull, because the Revell hull puts the tools in late-production positions. The Dragon hull also has better details. You will need to build the tool box for the left rear hull in either case. You basically just need the Revell kit for its running gear (luckily, it's a cheap kit).

Adding aftermarket towing cables is up to you, but the Dragon kit does include wire and plastic eyes for the ends. It is pretty sweet that the Eureka kit also includes the track-pulling cable, but this has been stripped from the Tiergarten Tiger in the shots above. The RB Model replacement barrel looks like a big improvement over the plastic part, but don't get the "late" version. The Tiergarten Tiger appears to have the "heavy" muzzle brake (consistent with its other early features), so use RB model 72B06 1/72 Tiger I 88mm KwK 36 L/56 Barrel.

Moving over to the Altonaer Strasse Tiger, I think you're looking at a lot of work making the Gruppe Fehrmann turret into a late version. I wish I could suggest a better alternative to this work, but Revell's Tiger E and Dragon's late/mid kits also have issues, particularly with the loader's hatch. What you want it to look like is this:http://tiger1.info/EN/Hachette-loaders-hatch.html You'll need to thicken the roof, so that the loader's hatch sits more flush, and add a joint where the roof angle changes (on thin early/mid roofs, this appears to be a bend, but on late thick roofs two separate panels are used). My suggestion is something I have done with one of Dragon's earlier turrets (which had a ridiculously raised loader's hatch): add some thin plastic-card sheet to the roof in two pieces, with a cut-out for the hatch. Then attach the roof details (loader's scope, ventilator cover, and Nahverteidigungswaffe) on top of this sheet. The loader's hatch itself can probably be made by modifying the early hatch in the Gruppe Fehrmann kit. A late cupola can come from the Revell Tiger E kit. If only there were a good late-style turret on the market!

I think on the Altonaer Strasse Tiger, the Revell hull is fine, and you know it will work with the aftermarket zimmerit. You might try dry-fitting the zimmerit to the Fehrmann hull to see if you prefer it; the tools on that kit can be placed where you like to fit any version (with some hole-filling required). Either way, Revell Tiger H wheels for this one. The Eureka cables can all be used on this vehicle (including the track-pulling cable), and the RB Models late barrel is appropriate.

What can I say about the third vehicle? As long as it has late roadwheels, it's 100% accurate to the picture!
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Joined: September 27th, 2006, 1:11 pm

June 24th, 2012, 4:54 pm #9

Hi Drew, thanks for the excellent help! It has been very nice to receive your tips. I'll contact you via email if I come across further questions. Hope that's okay with you. Thanks again, now I'm off to Ebay to get some kits.

/Daniel
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Joined: March 24th, 2011, 8:17 pm

June 29th, 2012, 1:12 pm #10

I'd like to build the Altonaerstrasse-Tiger and the Tiergarten Tiger of Panzerabteilung Müncheberg.

http://www.tiif.de/thread.php?threadid= ... 1058d741fa

As I understand it these Tigers were of a final batch, the unit received five of the last Tiger Is to be issued in February 1945. However, they also absorbed Tiger Is from other units so I am uncertain if the two on these pictures were final ones.

Can anyone direct me on which kits to use? I'm open to kit-bashing, buying aftermarket detail sets and so on to get correct versions.

/Daniel
Hello Daniel,
That's a really interesting thread about a unit I was only slightly aware of in written accounts. It is fascinating to see them in picture form. The one suggestion I have is for you to look up Hilary Doyle and Thomas Jentz's list of modifications made during production of the Tiger I. It is on ML athttp://www.missing-lynx.com/panzer_facts/pftiger.htm Hilary Doyles definative drawings of the Tiger are also really useful though I'm not sure what the best source for them is nowerdays.

Though set up for the 1/35 market, it would help to establish which features are likely to be on a Tiger based on the bits you can see. This will confirm the comments previously made to your questions about the Tigers being mainly workshop replacements, which makes sense as production of new Tiger Is stopped in July 1944.

I look forward to seeing the results of your kit bashing.

Regards

Dan
Dan Taylor Modelworks

"My life is like my room - I'm sure it was tidy two days ago" Alphonse Tram in the film 'Buffet Froid' 1979
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