Scale: 1 / 35
The kit's background
This 1996 kit is a repackaging of Tamiya's generic "mid" Tiger with decals for a tank that Otto Carius commanded. The kit matches the tank except in its tracks and the mantlet of the gun. Both of the kit parts are standard issue, but Otto Carius' Tiger had older versions of each.
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.
The kit includes three figures that recreate a scene filmed on 13 July 1944, when Otto Carius conferred with infantry commanders standing on this tank.
My ongoing review and comments;
|Latches on the engine deck||Shovel||Tracks on Carius' Mid Tiger|
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