On looking finally at the overall finish, I was aware that the finish had toned down as I wanted it to, but possibly, a little too much in places, some of the contrast in the zimmerit had gone. I carefully dry brushed a little white paint over some high areas of zimmerit on the turret, and when dry, put a slight brown wash into it to give back the contrast.
I had noticed an illustration recently, of the Tiger that I was modelling, it was in the book, “Elements in combat 3, Tiger I and variants”. I had been given this excellent book only recently, and had not noticed the picture.
The Tiger was of Pz.Abt.501, of the staff of 1.Kompanie, based in Witebsk in 1943, and the main characteristic of this tank was that it had barbed wire wrapped around the hull to stop Russian infantry climbing onto it.
It didn’t look as dishevelled as mine, and the 101 on the turret retained some of the desert yellow within the numbers 101, but I was happy that it could be ‘my’ model, maybe a little earlier than I had depicted it.
I was happy to leave the kit there, finished, but seeing the barbed wire as a characteristic of this tank, I asked around as to where I could get some in 1:16. I didn’t have to look very far to realise that if I wanted to do this I would have to try and make some! So I did.
Quite easy really, get a length of 22swg. solder, a hand drill, electric preferred, but not essential, a bench vice, and some small side cutters.
Simply cut off a length of solder, about 600mm to practice, fold it in two, put the folded end into the drill chuck, and the two ends into the bench vice, and slowly run the drill, until the solder has a quite tight twist, judge it yourself as you do it.
Remove the solder from vice and drill, and cut off some small pieces of solder, about 15-20mm long. Just tightly wrap these pieces around the long length of twisted solder at intervals, until it looks right, and there you are, barbed wire, you even have to be careful how you handle it as it will bite!
This was wrapped around the hull following the pattern in the illustration as closely as I could, and then painted, rusted and pushed into place. To be honest, it’s a little over scale, but it’s not too bad. It looks more realistic now, and is certainly unusual.
And that is it, completed!