Vision scope and block
In the same area, we had discussed at the club whether a mid-production chassis could possibly still have the driver’s direct vision scope holes over the vision blocks, and came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t, …more work!
At the same time, it was decided to open up the unusually closed vision block, as it seemed an odd position to model it. I decided to ‘hit’ that straight away thinking that it was going to be a pig of a job.
It turned out not to be really. A razor saw was used to cut out the block, and then to cut it in two, and after cleaning up, a piece of plasticard was added to the width to make up for the material lost in cuts.
The bottom piece was refitted onto the front, and allowed to set, and while this was happening, a piece of thick clear acrylic was found to make the clear block.
I decided to ‘dark-out’ the hole where it was to be fitted by facing it with black plasticard as there would be nothing to see through the acrylic.
The acrylic block was then superglued carefully into place, and when set, the top piece of the block refitted.
A couple of bits of D-section plastic rod were used to fill the direct vision holes, and the job was done.
The jacking block replacement was something I had done previously on a Tamiya 1:25 scale Tiger I. I cut down some mahogany to the correct size, (and a few others for anyone in the club who were contemplating the same build), then, using aluminium blind material once more, constructed the frames and handle carrier, the handle made from wire. When cyano’d in place, the block was drilled, and ‘riveted’ using copper wire. When it comes to fitting it to the tank, more corner pieces and straps will have to be made but this is fine for now.
It was then the time to zimmerit the area, and as stated before, the Taigon sheets do not fit this Tiger that well, but as it was to be a bit ‘scarred’, a bit of creative chopping took place again.
There was method in the cutting up of the zimmerit though. I had decided that the right hand side was to be damaged around the missing track guard, also as a result of small arms fire around the rear upper edges, whereas the left side had had a much tougher time. The front two track guards had been carefully cut off, to be replaced with items damaged by a mine, made from aluminium window blinds, The primer painted replacement wheel in that area, is a result of the damage.
Where the track guards are missing, blocks for the fastening bolts were made from square strip to be glued to the side armour, then drilled.