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Book Review
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Model Laboratory Tiger I
Model Laboratory Pz. Kpfw. VI Tiger I
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Accion Press has recently released number 3 in their Model Laboratory series. The focus of this issue is the Tiger I from the 505th Heavy Panzer Battalion. Each of the Model Laboratory series monographs focuses on the build of one and only one model. Clearly this provides for Accion Press an opportunity to show step by step an incredibly detailed and top notch build by some of the world’s best.

Review

The Tiger in this issue is ‘313’ in 1/35 using a Tamiya Tiger, reference #35216. ‘Michel’ Perez Blasco not only does a superb job as the builder he also receives credit as the photographer throughout. The photographs are all clear, well lit, and make the ‘action’ easy to follow as well. Of course you would not expect this to be a simple out of the box build and Blasco does not disappoint. He dressed up the base model with a set of Fruil tracks, a Voyager update set, and an RB turned aluminum gun barrel.

The first third of the 32 page A-4 format monograph is focused on the actual build; Blasco does a nice job highlighting the modifications and shell impacts that he featured in the build. The majority of the issue is taken up with the painting, fading, and weathering of the model which is probably the highlight of the monograph. We get well over fifty photographs that cover the progression from the base coat all the way up to the finished kit. In addition one full page is devoted to the painting and weathering steps through which the tracks were taken, something that I found particularly useful.

Finally the issue closes with 6 color profiles of other Fruhe (early) Tiger I’s and a two page section on available Tiger I kits, tracks, detail and update sets, and replacement barrels.

Conclusion

The monograph approach seems like a great idea; the chance to focus this closely on just one top notch build should be helpful to many modelers. If, in addition, you are building a Tiger I this could really help elevate your build to a higher level.
SUMMARY
Highs: A highly focused look at one superb build from beginning to end.
Lows: Some modelers may not like that it is limited to only one model.
Verdict: Recommended, particularly if you plan a Tiger I early anytime soon.
Percentage Rating
92%
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: No. 3
  Suggested Retail: 6 Euros ~$10.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 20, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.70%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.41%

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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright ©2017 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

I can't see the text in this preview, so I don't know what was the intent of this book. But I rate it poorly for accuracy. The title names a very specific Tiger and usually that implies a faithful reproduction of the named vehicle. But we don't have adequate photographic coverage of "313" to make a superdetailed model, and in any case, it seems the author wasn't trying to build it accurately. The researchers at TIIF.DE have found enough photos of "313" that we can date it approximately. The features of this model are wrong for "313". It depicts a mixed bag of details from March and April 1943; the real tank was built in May. The markings are also wrong. The real digits were small, typical of the 505 battalion. The digits shown in the book are in the size and style of a different unit, s.Pz.Abt. 507. This "507" style is very well-known and it's hard to see how they could be used by mistake. On the model, the smoke launchers sit over them, making them hard to read. This was not a problem for s.Pz.Abt. 507 as they never owned an Early Tiger! David
SEP 20, 2013 - 03:39 AM
I'm not too sure that the colour plates are good either. I can see "S33" of Pr.2, and the book (from what I can see) seems to tell us that the base colour was Dunkelgrau and the tank fought at Kursk in those markings. In fact it was built in March/April, making the grey colour unlikely, and wore LSSAH markings at Kursk. The plate for 823 of Das Reich shows the final turret bin and loader's periscope, which the real tank didn't have. David
SEP 20, 2013 - 06:03 AM
Thank you very much David, We have checked the information showed and we are agree with you. The tank published on Model Lavoratory is correct but "313" arrived late for operation "Zitadel". But the features of this model are right for "313".The markings and the smoke launchers has been documented on picture attached. Rodrigo
OCT 18, 2013 - 02:21 PM
Photo on Tigers in Combat I. Wolfgang Schneider
OCT 18, 2013 - 02:25 PM
I can't find any photos of "313"/505 in "Tigers in Combat 1" that show me the front of the turret. I have the hardback edition of the book; perhaps you have a different edition? But there is a list of all known photos of "313" at TIIF.DE and they show a tank without smoke launchers, and with light-coloured digits positioned low down on the turret. Here are the best examples; David
OCT 18, 2013 - 05:24 PM
Hello David, I apologize for the delay in sending you the picture.  photo TIGRELABORATORY_zps4479ad45.jpg LINK
OCT 19, 2013 - 05:24 PM
I realize this is a linguistic typo, but humerous none the less.
OCT 20, 2013 - 09:16 AM
Rodrigo; Thank you. I have never seen this photo in full size before. This is the same hull as the other photos, but it's a different turret. It seems that "313" got a new turret but it kept the same number. The style of painting the number was different. Now, about this new turret; I don't interpret the photo the same as you did. On the right side of the turret, you see an impact and a vertical streak of rust. But I think that's the edge of a large repair plate. I see the front edge of the plate at [A]. As for the smoke launchers, I don't see them at all. The left side launchers should be visible at [B]. David
OCT 20, 2013 - 12:11 PM
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