|Mein kommandant, ahead lies the path to priming ... Ja, I too have spotted the Tamiya Fine Surface Primer|
First two of the final three steps of assembly involved putting together the main gun and hatches before attaching them to the turret. The machine gun was excluded from this build because Tank 124 of Pz.Abt. 505 was missing its machine gun, at least based on the historical photos I viewed. The final step involved the assembly of the tank crew figurines. Once done, they were posed in the open hatches of the turret, which was subsequently attached to the main body of the King Tiger.
|Step 33 and 34: Assembly of the main hatches and main gun barrel (machine gun excluded for this build)|
|Step 35: Assembly of the figures and attachment of the turret|
Details-wise the MENG King Tiger looks excellent for a scale model kit assembled right out of the box sans any external parts ave for for its zimmerit decals. For a kit to look this detailed, usually a lot of external third party parts would have to be added, for example specialized photo-etch parts, metal tracks, etc. In fact, you could even ratchet up the (already good) level of detail by using Meng Model's specialized parts for the King Tiger, namely workable tracks with a form of suspension as well as an interior set. I'm forgoing these extra detailed parts for this particular build.
|Assembly of the MENG King Tiger tank and its crew is now complete|
|Fully assembled, the German Heavy Tank Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger cuts an impressive figure|
|Parts such as spare tracks, pioneer tools and tow cables all add to the tank's impressive detail|
Having red oxide as the molded color was, to me at least, a cool move on Meng Model's part. In instances where the paint is accidentally stripped all the way down to the molded plastic, the red oxide color will ensure things look natural. This might not be too clear now but with my track record of messing up a kit's paintwork, it's only a matter of time before the usefulness of a red oxide part is laid bare, pun intended of course. Incidentally, the situation is the same for the zimmerit decals as damaged zimmerit coating tends to show up as a whitish gray color.
|Zimmerit decals were the only external parts used to complement the straight out of the box build|
|Inward tilt of the tracks is even more obvious when viewed from the back|
|Grilles located towards the rear form the tank's prominent photo-etch parts|
Only thing that bugs me about this build is the inward tilt of the King Tiger tracks. The fact this has also happened to other modellers means either the problem is a byproduct of bad kit design or due to the assembly of the swing arms, wheels and tracks being a tricky process to get right. Either way, I'm trying to figure a way to make it right. In reality, (nearly) 70 tonnes of the tank would weigh down on its tracks thus ensuring no inward tilt. In other words, this tilt looks unnatural. There have been cases where the tilt became less obvious after painting/weathering. Let's hope it'll be the same for me.
|Square shaped zimmerit-less section on the turret will house the 'charging knight' emblem|
|Perched halfway on the open turret hatches, the tank crew figurines add scale to the overall piece|
|Overhead view of the fully assembled Meng Model King Tiger|
So the assembly process is finally over, leaving the King Tiger ready for the next step, i.e. application of a primer coat. At 1/35 scale, there is a lot of tank surface to prime so it will be a time consuming process. Only once the tank has been primed will any form of painting begin. And slowly but surely, the German Heavy Tank will start to take its chosen form namely Tank 124 of Pz.Abt. 505 in Poland during September 1944. That's it for this week. May you be well and happy until the next!