Approaching “done” status on the model itself – for the time being I’m going to leave the base very plain, but I’ll probably revisit it at some point to add some terrain and give the weathering on the tank a little more character relative to that basing.
Now, I’ve glued the gun into position (turret is left rotating), all the decals are in place, a matte coat has been applied, and I’ve used a couple of pigments for dusting and smoke effects (mostly around the mudguards and engine grilles, respectively). While this finishes drying completely and I put on the final matte coat, I wanted to call your attention to a few details that you should be very careful of when doing your own version of this model.
Namely, the fragile stuff:
First off is the engine crank – it’s the long bar that mounts under the exhaust on the rear right of the hull, it’s a very thin piece whose end hangs down beneath the tow hitch. I recommend not attaching this until you are almost done, as it extends down into space that your thumbs and fingers naturally want to travel while grasping the model. Recipe for breakage. I almost snapped it a few times myself.
Top machine gun – I’m 50/50 on whether to save it for the end. I managed without any real close calls, but if you’re as clumsy as I can be sometimes, it might be worth saving for later.
Tracks – the two forward sections that mate the drive wheel with the top and bottom long pieces are particularly fragile and susceptible to pressure in the wrong places. I broke them a couple times while manipulating the model. Nothing fatal, they glue back fine, but better to be careful.
Headlamps – these are mounted on skinny little posts and are very easily snapped (I did snap one, and although they glue back pretty easy, I thought it looked better with one snapped off, added to the “used” look of the tank).
Hatch handles – there are two that I’m specifically thinking of, both on top of the turret. Verrrry easily broken if you put your thumb in the wrong spot.
By the way – in the pic above the hatches on the turret are half-open. This was intentional on my part, I wanted originally to make this model in the process of “blowing up” (which is probably the most accurate depiction of a Tiger 1 in WoT), but the model just came out too pretty for me to do it. So later on I readjusted them and glued them down. I’d recommend you choose one way and not change your mind, as it was a bit of a pain to get them mounted correctly afterwards.
Turret-locking flanges – on the bottom of the turret, there are two flanges that key into the lower hull through slots, and enable the turret to rotate while remaining securely level with the hull. These are really too thin to be reliable, and getting the turret into the hull ends up requiring an alarming amount of pressure once you’ve finished painting. Generally as a rule I feel that if you have to apply serious pressure to something, either you’ve done something wrong or the model casting isn’t quite right.
Next, a couple pointers if you’re going to try to do a completely accurate WoT version:
The following items were included in the instructions, but produce an inaccurate representation of the in-game model (however, they end up looking a little more cool, in my opinion).
Turret machinegun – leave it off. Keep the mounting ring, but slice off the mount for the machinegun and don’t bother installing the gun itself.
Headlamps – in-game, the WoT Tiger has only one, mounted centrally, on a hanging mount that extends from the top front plate.
Turret side-hatches – there are two of these on the model in the instructions, both attach just forward of the rear cargo box. In-game there’s only one, on the right side. The model kit includes this hatch on the “D” sprue, but it’s covered with zimmerit, so you’d have to do some sort of putty filler to smooth it out.
Exhaust cowlings – in-game the model has rounded cowlings (on the “D-with-zimmerit” sprue), kit instructions lead you to the angular ones. I personally really liked the angular ones, so went with those.
Long crow-bar – this is the really long bar that mounts just ahead of the turret ring. Doesn’t exist in-game.
Bolt-cutters – just to the right side of the forward turret ring. Don’t exist in-game.
That’s all I could spot. Hope it helps, but like I said, I think it looks better the way the instructions said, but your mileage may vary.