The new Rye Field Tiger depicts a rather rare set of vehicles. In the beginning of 1945, Kampfgruppe Schulze and Oberleutnant Fehrmann formed a division of six Tiger I and five Panther tanks with the intention of going into the Ruhr area. The Tiger tanks were commanded by Oberleutnant Ferhmann and were designated with 'F' to denote their 'Gruppe' commander hence F01, F02, F03 and up to F13. These were all knocked out rather quickly, but have become a very popular subject for model companies.
The tanks are usually configured as an early Tiger, retrofitted with steel wheels and having some Zimmerit. I think their hybrid nature is what creates the interest for scale modelers and Tiger fans. This is Rye Field's 3rd Tiger, and they seem to be getting better with each kit.
Steps 1 & 2
The gun breach and mantlet assembly is exactly as it was in previous kits with the barrel length corrected from the second kit on. As with the Tunisian kit, there is no interior detail inside the turret. I do think a simple breach is usually good, but knowing what the interior assembly works like in the interior kit I can see why they leave it out of these kits. The turret roof has the same components we've seen in previous kits from Rye Field, detailed loaders hatch, ventilator and not too much else. All looks good though.
Steps 3 - 6
The cupola assembly is almost good as is, but I had to trim the bracket that holds up the hatch as it seem too long to me, and has in previous RFM kits. Other than that, it's a very nice cupola assembly. The rest of the turret consists of the turret ring, escape hatch and stowage been, all nice components we've seen and all are very nice. New to this kit though is the spare tracks on the turret. The hangers on attached to the sprue in the correct shape to glue to the turret, which is an interesting way to do this. I do suggest you do all of this before putting putty on the turret to represent Zimmerit.
Steps 7 & 8
The lower hull is identical to the previous two kits in regards to the suspension. This time I chose to not make the torsion bars workable, and things went better than the previous builds when I had made them workable.The exhausts and final drives are again the same as previous kits and perfectly good. The rear plate has tools and the inertial starter plate attached and then goes on to the hull. I had issues with this step, but I am unsure if it was something I did or the kit. There were 2 separate parts in the kit for the rear lower hull extensions and perhaps I used the wrong one. I will pay very close attention to this step in the BergeTiger kit and let people know if it's a me or RFM thing. I filled the area with Mr. Surfacer as I had to sand the rear plate extensively to get it to fit. I put the wheels on in this step as they're steel and I didn't need to paint a rubber rim later. The rest of the rear plate went together perfectly well.
The side plates and jack are done in the next step and all went well. This is all my choice at this step as you are given the choice for steel or rubber rimmed wheels.
Now we have our option for PE tool clamps which I chose not to do. The plastic clamps in this kit are pretty good, although I would drill out the middle to make them more accurate. The upper hull plate is pretty straight forward and I had no problems. Tools, engine hatch, intake vents, all went well, however the hammer (Part O21) gets in the way of the next step. The workable hatches are nice assemblies, but as with all other RFM kits the hammer gets in the way of the drivers hatch. I suggest not drilling the holes for this tool and remove the pegs and just attach it after the hatches are on.
Here we're putting on the lights, cables and PE grills. This went without incident and I found this all went very fast. You do have the choice for more PE here, which again I didn't go with. At the end of this step we assemble the front plates and bow MG. IF you're going to create F01 like I did, you may want to use PE clamps to have an empty shovel mount on the front plate. We're instructed to do the tracks here as well, and as always they are ModelKasten style, and go very well together. They are of course, time consuming and have fragile guide horns.
Final assembly is easy, and all we attach after are the S-mine mounts and spare antenna tube. The S-mine mounts are not exactly correct (See tiger1.info) but i chose to just build the kit as suggested.
All in all I enjoyed this build. Rye Field is picking up momentum in the fight with Dragon for the money of Tiger kit builders. This kit was quick and easy, and really has the feeling of an affordable multi-media kit. I just wish it had modeled on Zimmerit.
Here is my post build "After Action Report"
Highs: Good molding, All the photo etch you need, workable tracks.Lows: No turret interior, no Zimmerit molded on parts.Verdict: Very solid offeing from Rye Field. Best Fehrmann Tiger for the price.
Our Thanks to Rye Field Model! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Adam Mann (Mannloon) FROM: WISCONSIN, UNITED STATES
I am a professional video game artist specializing in hard surface modeling and PBR texturing. I started making armor models a few years ago and have been trying since to translate my digital skills to paint and plastic, which isn't always easy. My specialty is German Armor in 1/35.