Book Review
Tiger I Mini Diorama File
Step by Step Finishing German Armor 1/48 scale Mini Diorama. Tiger I Pzr. Abt. 101 Villers Bocage
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by: Pat McGrath [ EXER ]


The Tiger tank has long been a perennial favourite with Axis Armor modelers and in this volume of his downloadable series on Finishing German Armor Glenn shows how to build a diorama depicting one of the many photographs of the aftermath of the Battle of Villers Bocage showing Tiger 121 of Pzr. Abt. 101.

For those not familiar with this format the way it works is this. You order through Glenn's website and when he receives the order he emails the file to you. This is a PDF file so you need Adobe Reader to see it. It is a view only file which means it cannot easily be printed. If you need to have the pics beside you on the work bench you can always do what I do which is use the Ctrl PrintScreen method and paste it into photoshop or paint and print it out.

What's in the file

The file is laid out in A4 style as a step by step guide to making a mini diorama of a knocked out Tiger I of SS Pzr. Abt. 101 at Villers Bocage using the AFV Club final Tiger kit in 1/48 scale.

It starts with the title and a colour photo of the finished diorama on the first page. On page two is the black and white photo on which the dio is based. Page three contains a list of the materials and the Kit used. The materials are easily sourced, and although Glenn uses Testors enamel and Vallejo acrylics I'm sure if you have your own favourite brand the techniques described can be adapted to use them.

On page 4 we get a short history of the Battle of Villers Bocage including some photos of the aftermath showing Tiger 121. So the first four pages are a kind of an introduction.

Now we get on to the meaty part of the article. In a simple but effective writing style accompanied by good clear color photos, Glenn guides us through 36 steps with two or three steps per page, to building the finished dio.

He starts out by outlining what changes he made to the base kit to make it resemble Tiger 121. Now he doesn't go through the whole assembly of the kit. As the title of the series says this is a guide to finishing German Armor so that's to be expected.

He goes on to describe how he planned the dio, sketching it out and states what references he used.

Steps 4 to 21 cover the design and techniques used putting the dio together and the photos used illustrate the text well. Steps 22 to 36 cover the painting of the dio base and model, and as Glenn painted the model in situ on the base it's easy to see how the techniques used help tie every together. Interestingly, he hand paints the camo on the Tiger.

He also, very usefully to me anyway, describes how he uses artist's pastels on their own and mixed with oil paint or turpentine to depict the burnt sections of the tank.

The last three pages contain images of the finished dio from different angles as well as a preview of volume five which will cover finishing a Das Reich Hummel


Once a month I visit a big newsagent/bookshop and go through all the modelling magazines to see if there's anything worth spending my hard earned cash on. I weigh up what I'm interested in versus the content I know I won't read and most times I come out empty handed. This is where downloadable PDF files like this score over magazines, for a fraction of the price I can get something I know I'll use, and reading it on screen I'm also doing my bit for the rain forest. True, it's nice to sit down with a modelling magazine and a cup of coffee but this is a good alternative.

The content is well presented in an easy to follow style with good photos. Although Glenn uses the 1/48 AFV Club Tiger kit there's nothing to stop modelers from scaling up and using the techniques in 1/35 scale.
Highs: Accessibillity. Easy reading style, good photos and price.
Lows: Not printable.
Verdict: A very useful read depicting how to put together a diorama from start to finish.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: Vol.4
  Suggested Retail: $2.95
  Related Link: Item webpage
  PUBLISHED: Mar 11, 2010

Our Thanks to Armor Models by Glenn Bartolotti!
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.

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About Pat McGrath (exer)

I served three years in the Irish Army. Then I studied fine art for five years. Acted professionally since leaving college (Look me up on IMDB- Pat McGrathIII) Interested in Allied Armour 1942-45 and German SPGs. Other interests are figures and Sci Fi models

Copyright 2021 text by Pat McGrath [ EXER ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for putting this up James. I think we'll see a lot more of this in the future- downloadable files, e books etc.
MAR 10, 2010 - 09:31 PM
Good review, the logic about downloading something you can use vs. buying a magazine is incontrovertible. BTW, Pat, the Maybach engine arrived. Do I owe you any postage for it?
MAR 11, 2010 - 05:55 AM

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