Saturday, April 2

Read n' reviewed: Tigers – Modelling the Ryefield Family from AMMO by Mig Jiménez

Ryefield Model's growing stable of Tiger I scale models needed this. A guidebook on just how to get the best out of the various types of tiger in the family from some of the very best modellers of the world. See how they created these expert works and how the book sums up in Paul's review...

Read n' reviewed: Tigers – Modelling the Ryefield Family
Publisher: AMMO by Mig Jiménez
Reference: AMIG6273
Author/s: Mario Eens, David Pérez, Fabio Marini, Huy Khang Nguyen, Kreangkrai Paojinda
Softcover, 220 pages with high-quality full-colour photos and illustrations
ISBN: 978-84-17846-47-3
Price: 28,50 €
Mention the word tank, and I’m sure many armour modellers will have an image of the Tiger tank pop into their head, and the popularity of the Tiger will mean that there will always be plenty of Tiger kits on the market. Rye Field Models has clearly listened to their marketing department and released kits of the main versions of the Tiger, and this publication is a great way to show off their kits.
With the variety of model kits and model finishing products on the market, it’s easy to get left behind about what some new products are actually for, or even how they are used properly. Ammo by Mig Jimenez is one of those companies that almost seems to be constantly releasing new products so this joint publication with Ryefield Model is a great way for Ammo to show off their various wares as well.
The first chapter covers the very comprehensive catalogue of Ryefield Model’s Tiger kits and the various accessories that are available to spruce up your model that little bit more than what you get out of the kit. RFM has released the three main production variants of the Tiger, but also the Sturmtiger and Bergepanzer versions, in a variety of full interior and exterior models.
Chapter two gives us a brief history of the Tiger tank including its development and deployment, but it also gives us a variety of wartime photographs of the tank on the production lines as well as the front lines and everywhere in between.
Technical manuals are definitely amongst the driest forms of reading material in the history of printing, and trying to convince people to read technical manuals for any sort of equipment is almost mission impossible. I’ve read that that the Americans worked out that comics were the best way of trying to get their young men to read their technical manuals, and the Germans came to a similar conclusion with cartoons and girls as evidenced by this sample from the Tiger handbook.
Chapter three takes us on a trip to three surviving examples of the Tiger tank, although it makes no mention of where these Tigers are found which would have been useful information for those who want to make that pilgrimage to see these almost mythical vehicles. The three examples are of the Early, Mid, and Late production Tigers and feature some nice close-up detail shots of their particular features, but it is by no means comprehensive.
The first build utilises RFM’s Tiger I Initial Production kit as built and painted by David Pérez. This is one of RFM’s “simpler” kits being just an exterior kit and is built OOB although the focus is more on the painting and weathering of this kit. This kit has the slitted exhaust covers so it can only be built as an Afrika Korps vehicle which the author does. RFM’s collaboration with Ammo for this publication is very apparent with the variety of Ammo products the author uses featuring prominently in the photos, and this is the same for all the build articles.
The next model is Fabio Marini’s build of RFM’s Early Tiger I used by s.Abt. 503 with its distinctive undercut turret stowage box. This boxing is a full interior kit and looks absolutely beautiful, although the author still manages to throw in a bit of scratch building to add that bit of extra detail. Unfortunately, almost all of this won’t be visible once it is all closed up but the publication does give you the photographic proof that it is there and all painted up.
David Pérez returns with his build of RFM’s Bergepanzer Tiger I which does not feature an interior, but is the first build to feature zimmerit. The author uses the new Ammo Zimmerit paste which I wasn’t aware of, and no picture of the product is provided, so I’m guessing this is ultra-new, or unreleased yet. The author applies the paste with a brush and then creates the zimmerit texture with a zimmerit scraping tool. To create chipped sections of zimmerit, the author just scrapes off sections with a blade which gives some larger chipped sections. I did find the zimmerit to be extremely subtle to almost imperceptible once the model was painted, although the chipped sections looked quite convincing, especially with the contrast between the red oxide primer underneath and dark yellow base colour.
Mario Eens builds RFM’s Middle Production Tiger I kit which is a full interior kit, although the author does not use it for this build. The author chooses to use some after-market instead of the kit provided PE, although the author notes that this is only because the after-market had longer locating pins than the kit provided PE. This build also features zimmerit, although the author chooses to use ATAK’s resin zimmerit set and the texture is a lot more noticeable on this kit compared to the previous build.
Huy Khang Nguyen takes us through his build of RFM’s Sturmtiger, which is another full interior kit and features a clear part for the superstructure roof, although it looks a little thick in the picture, and I’m not particularly a fan of this approach. The author chooses to paint the part anyway but leaves it removable so that a bit more of the interior is visible once the model is complete, however, the interior is definitely dominated by the gigantic ammunition stored inside.
Kreangkrai Paojinda takes RFM’s Late Production Tiger and builds the oft modelled Michael Wittman’s last Tiger tank. Once again this is another model that will require zimmerit, and the author uses epoxy putty and a zimmerit rolling tool to simulate zimmerit on this model. The author also uses Fruils for the spare track links which doesn’t appear to be a major improvement but the author makes no mention of why he chose this, or if there are enough links in the kit. Some Eureka tow cables are also used but otherwise, the kit appears to be built oob.
As modellers, it is the little things that can really make a difference to a model, so Mario Eens gives us a guide on how he paints the various tools and equipment on a tank. This can be a bit contentious because tools were sprayed over at times with the same colour as the base coat, but they do add a busy look to the vehicle when they’re not and the author does a great job with the wood and metallic effects.
Last but not least, we are given some profiles on various vehicles based on the Tiger I chassis, all of which are available from the RFM catalogue of Tiger kits
Overall, this is a very nice publication for those that want to build a Tiger tank, and not necessarily just an RFM one. The techniques used are obviously transferrable to other Tiger kits, and the full interior builds definitely serve as great inspiration for those embarking on a full build because instructions can be a bit vague at times when it comes to interior colours, although the accuracy of the colours used will always come down to your interpretation, but this is a great inspiration. Especially if you do decide to pick up an RFM Tiger kit.

Highly recommended. 

Paul Lee

Thanks to AMMO by Mig Jiménez for sending this book to read and review.
This book is now available to purchase directly from the AMMO Website...