Modellers the world over are drawn to models of German World War Two tanks. The Tiger 1 always seems to have the most appeal, but the two version of the Königstiger also have their appeal despite being a later addition to the German Army. If I am honest I think it is a mixture of the vast size and interesting camouflage finishes that draws modellers to these vehicles time and again.
The following part of the introduction is provided by Casemate Publishing:
Weighing in at nearly 70 tons the Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B, now known as Königstiger was the largest mass-produced tracked combat vehicle, which was sent to the units of the Third Reich. Armed with a 88 mm caliber gun, the armor thickness reached 180 mm from the middle of 1944. They sowed terror in the ranks of the armed forces of the allies.
This offering from Kagero in the Photo Sniper series takes a good look at the King Tiger and covers both turret designs. There are three authors to this title who are Łukasz Gladysiak, Mike Koenig and Jacek Szafranski. The book itself consists of 84 pages of a good quality paper that are protected by a card cover. This offering the photo sniper selection can be considered a publication of four parts, five if I am feeling generous.
The first section of the book provides a short history of the tank and its use in some areas of conflict. The text is written entirely in English and it makes for an interesting read on the King Tiger over 18 pages. This area of the book is also well provided with period photographs of the King Tiger in the field; I found a number of images particularly interesting due to the level of detail they provided on the zimmerit coatings. I was also very impressed with how clear these black & white photographs are. Another benefit to this area of the book is the diorama ideas they present the modeller with.
The next area will make the modellers day; 20 pages of 1/35th scale drawings covering many aspects of the King Tiger. Rather than just the usual look at the King Tiger from front, side and rear, we are presented with scale drawings at an angle, from above and various parts of the King Tiger, and it should be remembered that both turret designs are covered in this area. One set of scale drawings that caught me out that are included in this title covers the tools on the vehicles, but these are provided at 1/17.5 and so twice the size that most of us will be working with.
Next up we get sections covering photographic walk arounds of Museum preserved vehicles. Here we are treated to photographs of the Henschel turret type King Tiger in the Munster Museum, Henschel turret type King Tiger outside at Le Gleize , and the Porsche turret type at Bovington. A removed engine and the breach of the main are also well covered here. I will say that I would have preferred that the Henschel at Bovington was also the tank covered due to the period zimmerit that is present on it.
Remember I said there were five sections if I was feeling generous? Well there are a few pages covering the crew uniform of the King Tiger and this also looks at vehicle camouflage. Anyone who knows anything about paint finishes on German armour will know it is a huge subject all of its own and so well beyond the ability of this title to cover.
The last section of the book provides a series of colour profiles covering both turret types. These finishes are very pleasing as they have a nice aged look about them or perhaps realistic appearance is more accurate.
There is not a lot I can add here in the conclusion as this book looks to me to kit all of the marks a modeller will look for. The history is sufficient and has great photographs plus the scale drawings will really give the modeller a superb reference and scale check for their models. If it comes to faults all I can say is I wish there was more of it, but it is a fantastic deal for the price.
Highs: Everything I could want in a one stop publication with the possible exception of paint finishes.Lows: None of which I am aware.Verdict: Chances are every one of us will build or has built a King Tiger and this book is a must when it comes to any questions you may have.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...