Scale: 1 / 35
The kit's background
Oberleutnant Otto Carius was de facto leader of the 2nd company of s.Pz.Abt.502 in early 1944. He commanded an "Early" Tiger until it was irreparably damaged in April. Weather then prevented operations for several weeks. Our next sighting of Carius is a set of photos and newsreel from July, showing him in another Tiger, a "Mid" numbered 217.
Tiger 217 had been in the company since the start of 1944. There are 2 photos showing it in whitewash with small black numerals; this is typical for winter 1943/44. At this time Carius had no connection to Tiger 217.
The July photos show Carius in Tiger 217 conferring with infanty and reading a map. We can't see any numbers on the turret, but Zimmerit damage matches the earlier photos.
Carius remembered this Tiger being painted Dunkelgelb with white digits when he got it. However, the July photos show Tiger 217 with camouflage, and no numerals can be seen on it.
Tiger 217 was typical of Tigers built in January 1944, except that it had a "flat" mantlet. Sometime between the two sets of photographs, it became even more unusual; its standard "cleated" tracks were replaced with old "flat" tracks. This probably happened during the May break, following some long road marches. The tank therefore would have "flat" tracks the whole time that Carius owned it.
If you wish to convert this kit to make some other "mid" Tiger of the same period, you will have to replace the kit's tracks with a set of cleated tracks; only a couple of these Tigers have been seen using the old tracks. Also, you will need a standard mantlet with reinforcement around the eye holes. There is one such mantlet included in the kit as a spare part, but it has no Zimmerit; there is also a spare mantlet with Zimmerit, but it has no hole for the MG34 so you would have to drill this hole yourself.
The outermost wheels can all be omitted, revealing correct hub detail; but this does not put the tank into "transport mode", it is just another kind of suspension damage often seen in 1944. Tigers of s.Pz.Abt. 502 usually omitted their front two wheels in this way.
My ongoing review and comments;
|Holes for the exhaust shields||Damaged road wheels||Road wheels|
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