The Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger is definitely the most popular tank of World War 2, known even to those who have nothing to do with history, army or modeling. This is simply a symbol. Equipped with a powerful main gun and strong armour, it gave its crew good protection against enemy fire, being itself a lethal weapon. Two well known German panzer aces, Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, achieved their biggest successes while commanding Tigers. Needless to say, the Tiger tank is also one of the most popular panzers amongst scale modelers.
Kagero Publishing have just released another title in the mini TopColor series which enables us to add up to sixteen Tigers to our display cases.
The booklet represents the typical style and content of this series; colour profiles are preceded by a short list of references containing books, magazines and internet websites which were used by the authors. The booklet has a soft cover and everything is printed on glossy paper of good quality.
On 18 pages we will find 16 colour painting schemes representing different versions of the tank. One of the profiles is printed on the last page of the cover. Tigers presented inside the publication represent different configurations of wheels, exhausts protections or the commander’s cupola.
Whenever it was possible the authors have supported the profile with an original photograph or a drawing of additional characteristic details of the depicted tank. Of course the drawings have quite plentiful legends describing the colours used to paint the tank (which refers to RAL standards), short combat history, names of crew members, number and name of unit etc. The legends in this book are bilingual: Polish and English. Most of the painting schemes were taken from the Eastern Front but you can also find in here some tanks used in Normandy or Italy. Painting schemes are interesting and definitely not dull in my opinion. One of the represented tanks belonged to Otto Carius, on which he achieved most of his victories.
The publication contains a large, single sheet of waterslide decals. All markings are printed in three scales that are popular amongst armour modelers: 1/72, 1/48, 1/35. The decals are printed by Cartograf, the well known Italian company. Quality is very good and has a thin carrier film. Colours, although mostly black and white, are vivid and I do not see any misalignment of print. On this sheet you can find tactical numbers of particular vehicles, vertical stripes for the barrel representing “kill” markings and a few division or battalion emblems.
The series is definitely aimed towards modelers and the authors really have the modelers in mind. This title in particular aims also to the ‘Tigeroholics’, (making sixteen Tigers to add to the display case would probably be too much for the rest of us!) I really like the series of mini TopColors for their comprehensiveness: in one package I get the painting scheme, reference photographs or drawings and a complete set of necessary decals.
And with three popular scales included makes this title even more attractive. Another good point for Kagero is the choice of partners for this title: Marek Jaszczołt, who is a well known historian and enthusiast of Panzerwaffe, Jacek Pasieczny – a talented artist and Cartograf decals as the producer of great quality decals. What's not to like?
Highs: Interesting art work, great quality decals thanks to Cartograf, 16 painting schemes.Lows: None of note.Verdict: Very good publication, useful both as a reference and a big source of decals with emblems and markings, although geared toward Panzerwaffe or Tiger enthusiasts.
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