After completing my 1/6th scale M26 Pershing I decided to build something German in the same scale. Since I was on a heavy tank streak I decided that my next build would be a 1/6th scale King Tiger. For the build’s base kit I used the 1/6th scale fully radio controlled kit from Armortek.
Armortek is a UK model company that focuses on 1/6th scale all metal R/C WWII tank models. What makes their models unique is that they are all crafted out of scale thickness aluminum plate. This model in particular was going to weigh about 500lbs when fully assembled. Their kits are computer designed, with hull components laser cut, and they come ready to assemble like a large erector set. All other components are fabricated from both CNCed (i.e. computer controlled machined) and cast aluminum.
I have built two of their models in the past (an early Tiger I and their early M4A3) so had previous experience with working with these kits. Working in this media is different from working on my other modeling projects. The assembly is all put together using bolts and fasteners, rather than adhesives as on standard scale plastic models. The kit supplies all of the components to assemble a very simple and basic model out of the box, so details are rather limited, leaving room for improvement.
I wanted to place as much functional and non-functional detail on the model as possible. For reference I used images of preserved vehicles obtained from the internet, several 1/35th scale model kits from various manufacturers, and some books on the King Tiger that were in my collection. I also referred to walk around images of the Aberdeen Proving Ground Jagdtiger that I took while visiting the museum back in 2008.
During construction all of the panels are joined together using counter sunk Allen screws; I sealed these over and sanded them flush to the body work. On the tank’s hull side plates I added torch cut lines, engraving them into the aluminum using a Dremel power tool and cutting disc, and weld bead details were sculpted with epoxy. For the tank’s suspension and drive train I mostly stuck with the kit supplied components, because such a very good job has been done with the layout and details, only slight enhancements being made to the tank’s bump stops, hubcaps, road wheels, and sprockets. Basic kit supplied details were either modified to make them more accurate, or were replaced entirely with items that I fabricated from various metals, plastics and resin.