Friday, 19 July 2019

German Heavy Tank Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger (Henschel Turret); a MENG Model 1/35 scale model kit [Completed]

Slightly over a year after work began on a scale model recreation of Tank 124 of Pz.Abt. 505 circa September 1944 in Poland, the journey is now complete. In this recreation, a 1/35 scale plastic model kit with zimmerit decal as well as photo-etch metal accessory parts by Meng Model was used. 

Meng Model German Heavy Tank Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger (Henschel Turret)

To paint and weather the King Tiger, I had to use a wide variety of materials. These consisted of lacquer, acrylic and oil paints as well as pastels, enamels and pigment weathering products. At the very least, by working on an armored fighting vehicle (AFV) project one will expose oneself to many different hobby techniques. Techniques that will certainly come in handy in the future.  

Tank crew of the German Heavy Tank Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger
Black uniform of the tank crew required subtle contrasting to stand out
'Charging Knight' symbol adorns the side of the King Tiger's turret

Prior to final assembly, I touched up the face one of the tank crews (figurine that is pointing to the distance). My aim was to lighten the shadow near the bridge of his nose as well as improve the eyes. I succeeded in fixing his left eye which was the most problematic but totally forgot to fix his right eye whereby some of the whites of his pupil had leaked onto the eye lining below. But because this imperfection isn't really visible to the naked eye, I've decided to leave it as it is for the moment.  

Oops, looks like I missed a spot when touching up the crewman's eyes
Shiny blue metallic paint mixed with silver made for an interesting lens effect
Look Herr Commander ... enemy tank at our 2 o'clock
Scheiße! It's two T-34s trying to flank us
It's okay Herr Commander, if I point at them long enough they'll go away

A Meng Model scale model kit is arguably best attempted by a modeller with an intermediate to advanced skill set. But this particular King Tiger is one of Meng Model's easier kits, with a lower than usual part count compared to their other kits. So although the King Tiger is only my second AFV project, the aforementioned fact plus my previous experiences with Bandai Star Wars kits meant that the journey I took with this AFV scale model kit wasn't as painful as it could've been. 

Technically, Tank 124 still had half of its front left fender attached (based on historical tank wreck photos) ...  
but I hated the asymmetrical look so I decided to remove that together with the side skirts and other fenders
Overall weathering was restricted to show minimal to moderate dust and dirt accumulation
Inward bending tracks were also noted by other modelers signifying a possible shortcoming of the kit
Tank numbers '124' and 'charging knight' symbols are both water decals ...
... as is the zimmerit layer coating the turret and upper hull
Dust and dirt weathering was applied on the tank tracks and road wheels
Front view accentuates the sloped armor of the King Tiger, which made it difficult to penetrate

Painting little details comprising the tank's pioneer tools and other tiny parts on the hull provided a sense of comforting familiarity for me as I was more used to working with miniature figurines and their accessories. In that respect, the same went for both the tank crew. Unsurprisingly these were the bits that I completed quickly versus the significantly slower pace for the rest of the tank.  

Wood grain on the hammer (and axe, see below) handle was etched out using a sharp hobby knife
Wood grains on both instrument handles were made clearer by treating them with a dark wash  
Spare tracks have paint chip effects while tow cables display weathered metal effects 
Water decals were weathered to better blend in with the hull's zimmerit coated hull
Rear exhaust pipes display soot, burned metal and rust effects
'Charging knight' decal was also weathered as to better blend into the hull
Level of weathering on the tank tracks was just enough to show moderate dust and dirt accumulation

Below are shots of the King Tiger (Henschel Turret) sans her crew from an isometric viewpoint. It gives a better view of the tank tracks, upper hull and turret top.

Isometric view of the King Tiger (Henschel Turret) sans her crew
Without her crew, the King Tiger then had its turret hatches closed
Isometric shots afford observers with a better view of the tracks and turret top
Rear turret hatch actually opens up but because the inner section is unpainted, it remains closed
Color scheme seems dull but this makes sense as dull colors generally provide better camouflage
Even at 1/35 scale this kit is a huge beast, measuring roughly 28 cm (11") in length from gun barrel to rear exhaust
After receiving a coat of primer and paint, the spare tracks fit tightly/securely onto the hooks on the turret
Recreation of Tank 124 of Pz.Abt. 505, albeit with some creative license applied in parts

After the trails and tribulations of a moderately difficult scale model kit, I believe my next AFV project should revert to a simpler and quicker build. However, this'll be balanced by a more difficult painting process that involves learning a new airbrushing technique i.e. color modulation. All I know at this stage is that I would like to work on a German AFV that saw action on the Eastern Front during World War II. Something much smaller than a heavy tank. Until the reveal, I would like to thank my dear readers for having patiently followed the progress of this lengthy project. Thank you!


  1. Absolutely stunning, what an awesome build!

    1. Thank you very much for the kind words Michael.

  2. Truly superb, so many details to enjoy (the 'Charging knight' deca is my favorite, stunning and nice touch...), well done my friend!

  3. Awesome work ! Masterclass paint-job !
    I have to agree with Phil , the charging knight is my favorite detail on the tank !

  4. Bloody brilliant! I absolutely LOVE all the small details you packed into this one. It certainly was well worth the time you spent on it.

    1. Much appreciated sir ^_^ Your detail work on AFVs are certainly an inspiration to me, for this build.

  5. Excellent as predicted :)
    You may have to reconsider and take some outddor pics :D :D

    1. Ha ha ... maybe one day Suber :) Or being a cleanliness freak I suppose I could one day make a diorama for it XD

  6. You've blown me away, a stunning piece!


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