Tamiya Tiger 1 Early (131)

Just a little preview of my go at 131. This is my first tank in probably 10 years. Glad to be back in the hobby!

I’m using AFV Club’s Early Tiger indy links… They’re acceptable for just getting back into the hobby but I’d not use these again. Flash is prevalent and the guid horn pieces are often broken or wrongly moulded.

There won’t be many flashy things here. I used some tamiya putty to attempt to get rid of the seam along the barrel. She’ll be displayed buttoned up, pretty straight forward.

In the back you can see two upcoming builds, my RFM Easy 8 and a Dragon Tiger II which was one heck of a steal from an Ebay auction. I built this kit several years ago and I was shocked to see it now comes with a metal barrel! Well worth the price now!


Welcome back Justin and it looks like you’re off to an excellent start. I just finished an Initial Tiger I Tunisia. It was an outstanding kit (Dragon) but all those wheels! The wheels alone took me 5 days to clean and paint! Good luck with your kit and I hope you achieve a fantastic result.

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Thanks! It’s really enjoyable to have the hobby back. I fell out of modeling all together and then for a time got back in with Formula 1 cars and then Ferrari road cars (of which I have a considerable collection) but I found this Tiger kit when I moved and after getting settled into the house, I dusted off the kit and got back to it.

Glad to another person return to the hobby! Very interesting subject matter with the Tunisian Tiger not typical dark yellow/tricolor etc. Looking forward to watching the build!

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Looks good so far,That KT is a nice kit,especially the older ones which come with lots of goodies.

The hard part of 131 is that she’s a living tank and at Bovington. So there’s little room for deviance or artistic license. She’ll be in the Afrika Corps dunkelgelb but I doubt i’m going to do the camp pattern that’s on the current tank at Bovington. From what I understand they used old photographs to analyze the actual pattern itself and were able to take paint scrapings to find the camo pattern.

Toj, it is a nice kit but upon inspection, this one seems to have a small part of the lower hull snapped off, just at the corner where it meets the upper sloped hull. That’ll need to be fixed.

She’ll be in the Afrika Corps dunkelgelb

Research has moved ahead in recent years on those topics.
We’re pretty sure that Dunkelgelb was never used in Africa at all, never mind by the Afrikakorps.
The Afrikakorps didn’t own any Tigers anyway. All of the Tigers in Africa belonged to Panzer Army 5.


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and thus learning is a never ending endeavor!

I improperly used Afrika Corps as a colloquial term. If they weren’t dunkelgelb, then what color would they have been?

EDIT: After finding the Tank Chat video from Bovington, It was RAL 8000 and 7008.

I’ll have to do more homework to best match 8000 and 7008 with a paint.

Thanks for the correction! :slight_smile:

I finished the tracks. A test fit showed that I needed 96 links rather than the kit directed 95 to achieve the proper sag off the drive sprocket.

Now on to priming!

You’ll notice I left the intake tubes off. This kit supplied them with a fabric tube. Guessing that they’ll likely fray when i cut them, I’ll cut them to size when I prime and paint them.

Here are the completed tracks. They assembled well but needed a lot of clean up. I didn’t clean them up quite as well as I should have but this isn’t going to be a very involved build, so I’m fine to leave the small issues alone.


Basecoat is on. I used Tamiya Dark Yellow and Buff in a roughly 2:1 ratio.

As you can see, I missed a few joint lines. On the air filters…

And I didn’t quite get the seam line on the barrel and brake…

The tracks were sprayed with a mix of Red Brown, Flat Earth, and Gunmetal. I didn’t achieve the look that I wanted and I’ll respray these closer to a steel grey.

I don’t know how you Tiger builders deal with all of these stinking road wheels!! Also, peep that T26E4 Pilot 1 that came in today in the back! I really can’t wait to get to that build!!

And finally, I sprayed the kit supplied intake hose flat black.


Looks like the paint went down really well! Nice to see this project moving along!

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After some very casual examination of 131 at Bovington and further casual research into the painting of the tank I made my own blend of the darker tone mixing Tamiya Dark Yellow, Khaki, and Flat Earth. Probably ended up too brown and not quite green enough but, as with all government work; it’s good enough…

Also finally getting around to painting the stupid road wheels. Really, how do you Tiger modelers manage?!

And lastly, gave the tracks a loose fit. Seems like I got the link number spot on.


Hey,your making fine progress,I really like your paint job.Your project makes me want to bust out my Dragon version of 131 from my stash.

Looking really fine Justin! You’re making excellent progress. Your camo paint looks excellent too. I have to agree with you on the roadwheels! I just finished a Tiger I Initial Tunisia and I spent 40 hours cutting, scraping, and painting wheels! There’s 48 of those tires to paint! Too much. Your tracks look outstanding. :+1: :beer:

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@Tojo72 @SSGToms Thanks for the support and following along! Anthony, drag that kit out and let’s see your version of the Hollywood film star! Matthew, I think next time I do a Tiger it will be really late war and thus, I’ll have 8 less road wheels to paint! :joy:

This build is looking really nice. I really like the camo and I think the colors are very close.

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