Tiger Meet 2011 - The Final Lechfeld Tiger
In late 2010 I was one of three finalists of Fighter Bomber Wing-32's design competition which led to the design for this - as it should prove only a short time later - sadly final Bavarian Tiger Tonka due to the wing's
disbandment only a few months later. In 2011 and 2012 I had several opportunities to have some pics taken of me together with the lady as many of us like to do given the
occasion. For me this Tigerlady is something very special and it is just a shame that she got shredded in early 2013. If the original can't be saved I want at least a nice keepsake as big as possible, hence in 1/32 and it needs to be something special.
Base is the well known Revell kit but with substantial scratchwrok added. The engines are not the resin pieces. I rather stuck with the kit parts. These received further detailing with scratchparts, particularly around the turbine and the reverse thrust mechanism below the tail root. The gear was completely disassembled, shortened and rebuilt with metal struts and extra wire along some plastic scratch parts. The intakes received scratch channels down to the fan blades and I scratchbuild some proper intake ramps which hopefully resemble the original a little more. As I wanted to keep the wings movable but still wanted to avoid those ugly holes in the wing seal bags I rebuilt the seal bags with styro foam and old rubber from a bicycle hose. The instruments and cockpit tube was enhanced with some PE parts. The WSO's displays had been reworked with a Dremel in a way that some sort of three dimensional effect similar to the original is created, i.e. one can see either the black monitors or the greenish tint of the glass depending of the angle of the light. The in-flight refueling probe received a metal rod and also the weapons pylons and LAUs were enhanced with some metal scratch rails. The typical Luftwaffe HGU-55G "Gustav" helmet was formed out of a drilled up helmet shell of a British Tornado pilot. The IRIS-T missiles received an optical sensor made of silver paper and clear varnish and the HARMS received some self made decals and metal rails. After the decalling and subsequent polishing, several details were added to the fuselage. Antennae had been placed and painted, panellines and screws highlighted, position lights received some life with silver paper, the APU opening was drilled up, the wing sweep zone was repainted and withered, the air stream diverters around the vortex were added with this metal parts and eventually painted according to the Tiger markings and the tail hook and its root for the field arrested landing was scratchbuilt and further detailled.
The rainbow colors on the windscreen and the canopy is intentional and only visible under certain light conditions and from certain angles, just as it was the case on the original. The effect might not be as strong as for instance on the Hornet canopy but is still there. I achieved this effect by mixing future with soap and another round of polishing. During it's entire, albeit short, life as a Tiger 46+33 had a quite visible smudge on the starboard side of the nose cone. Well if it is on the original, it has to go to the model as well.
Photos and text © by Alexander Breunig