For no particular reason I fancied picking up a Tiger 1E for my soon to be painted mid-war DAK force, unfortunately Vagabond in Auckland city (up the road from my place of work) had all the Tiger 1E’s in stock except the Tunisian model.
Fortunately one member of our gaming group has so many Flames of Wars figures, vehicles and entire armies that he’s usually pretty good to hit up for spare stuff. So I traded one of my 1930’s facades and a few resin Zeltbahn for one slightly used Tunisian Tiger 1E from the “Shop of Daniel”.
After stripping it with methylated spirits I took it apart and then pinned the tracks and barrel back on. I stuffed the housing ring a little getting the barrel off, but nothing a touch of green stuff won’t fix. The Tiger was apparently painted using Vallejo and I was surprised how easily it stripped off in meths. Typically I paint everything with Tamiya or Games Workshop acrylics and have always had to leave stripping pieces in overnight to soften these paint jobs. Not so with Vallejo, because after dumping the Tiger in, the paint almost immediately softened and could be rubbed off with a finger tip. A point worth remembering for the future I suppose.
As the Tiger has such a large nose-heavy turret I also broke out some rare earth magnets and dropped a couple into the turret and body and damned if they don’t work a treat! The turret isn’t at all floppy after magnetising and traverses very nicely and smoothly. I’m now considering using the rest of my rare earth magnets to do the same to my remaining Panzers and possibly my painted NZ Shermans and Stuarts. It takes a little more effort to do, and make very sure you glue the magnets in the right way, but damaged and lost turrets should be a thing of the past if I do all my tanks this way.
Update: Since writing this post I spent another hour going through all my other Panzers magnetising the turrets. Things went surprisingly quickly despite some annoying stuff ups along the way. Note: make sure you get ALL the magnets in ALL the turrets glued in place with the same polarity!