Constructing, correcting and detailing the 1/72 scale

ESCI Tiger Ausf. B and the ESCI Jagdtiger.

By Stephen Brezinski

Photo 1. Left side of the completed Tiger Ausf. B (Tiger 2) on its Matchbox cobble street base, with accompanying Revell 1/72 figures. In this photo you can see the bent (battle damaged skirt over the second road wheel. The tow cable & tools are scratch built. I tried to find a suitable city scene as a backdrop but am unsuccessful so far.


These two German vehicles of World War 2 are fairly well known to many so I will not go into detail on the vehicle’s development and action. As this particular version of the Jagdtiger is a bit unusual I will pass on what I do know about it. The SdKfz 186 Jagdtiger was developed from the Tiger 2 hull with a simple heavily armored box and mounting a 128 mm Kwk gun developed from the German 128 mm Flak gun. The Jagdtiger version I constructed, rather than the typical 128 mm gun armed SdKfz 186, is the 88 mm Kwk 43 armed SdKfz. 185 Jagdtiger. This Jagdtiger version I constructed is suspected of being produced in the spring of 1945 when there was a shortage of 128 mm tank guns. It is claimed that in 1999 one of these 88 mm armed Jagdtigers, known to some as the "Simenides Jadgtiger, was discovered in Poland (possibly in what used to be Eastern Germany?). At the time I write this, little further information or photos have been released to the public. Only 85 Jagdtigers out of an order of 150 were produced, including maybe four to 12 of the 88 mm armed vehicles.

This article will be a construction review of the two ESCI kits with some tips for correcting or adding detail, as you chose to do.

The Models

The two kits are good representations of the vehicles and even for today’s standards are good models, though not up to current Revell quality and accuracy. Basic shape and detail is good. The most serious problems lie in the roadwheels, turret roof fixtures and the engine deck. This will be covered in more detail below. The lower hulls, engine deck, suspension, tracks and three figures are common between the two kits. The Tiger 2 has a turret and 88 mm gun, while the Jagdtiger has the box superstructure molded onto the top of the hull and an 128 mm gun and mantlet. Neither model is currently in production though can still be found in collections, on E-Bay and at model shows.

Overall fit was fine, not superb, requiring filler around the hull sections. I am not into measuring angles and scale inches so did not check this aspect of either kit.

Photo 2. This is the Jagdtiger sprues with kit instructions. The wheels at right are common to both kits, as is the engine deck. Note the details of the rear door construction, allowing the door to be modeled open or closed.

Construction & Detailing References

The first basic book I recommend is Squadron’s Tiger In Action book. It gives a decent representation of the Tiger and its variants, a little history, line drawings & color plates, and is inexpensive. To compliment this Schiffer offers several inexpensive books on the Tiger series, and Osprey’s New Vanguard #1 has some good, concise development & operational history of the Tiger 2 as well as helpful color plates. For those who do not mind spending the money I recommend the hardcover books by J J Fedorowicz and by Schiffer Publication.

One of my preferred sources for detailing are the sharp photos of the many superb 1/35 scale models at websites such as Missing Links, Track Links, Panzernet and others. The models are large enough for good close-up photos and the builders have usually done their homework in the areas of details and paint schemes. (Otherwise I don’t find too much use for 1/35 scale. On the other hand I may let my daughter date 1/35 AFV modelers, though I draw the line at plane modelers! (Just kidding!)).

A very good website for historical and technical info on German AFV’s is George Parada’s Achtung Panzer at For another construction and detailing review of the ESCI Tiger 2 kit check out If you do not read Italian, the photos will be worth the visit.

The Tiger 2 Turret

Photo 3. At the left is a 1/76 Fujimi turret for comparison purposes, followed by an unbuilt ESCI Tiger 2 turret, and then my completed turret at the far right. Here you can see that the Fujimi turret has the locations for the smoke discharger, shell-ejection port, and the jib-crane mounting points correct.

Photo 4. Left side of the completed Jagdtiger on its modified-Matchbox base, with ESCI and Revell figures. The primer red-brown base color is a little too red in the photo. The green and dunkelgelb camouflage over the factory primer represents a hasty field application by the crew, as described in my source material for the vehicle {a friend and I refer to this as my "clown camouflage". We are not fond of it on esthetic grounds but I understand it is an accurate representation]. The AA machine gun mounted on the engine deck did exist on some Jagdtigers though is speculation for this vehicle. The mg ammunition belt is simulated with flattened wire coil. Note the skirt mounting brackets (in pairs below the cable) on the lower hull side, made from plastic strip. Just in front of the commander’s arm is the gunsight periscope.

The Jagdtiger & Tiger 2 Hulls

Photo 5. Right side of the Tiger B. This is a good view of the zimmerit pattern I applied. I real life the model’s engine screens are more transparent than in this photo. On the left (driver’s) side of the glacis is the chipped zimmerit and two AT shell impacts barely visible. A dark oil wash accents the wheels well. Note the antenna on the engine deck located in its corrected position next to the fire extinguisher.

Photo 6. Rear view of the late Jagdtiger. Being built in April 1945, no zimmerit would have been applied. Note that the exhaust pipe armor guards around the mufflers were scribed out. The scratchbuilt tow cables and tools added on. The rear door is ajar though I added no interior detail. On the right side of the rear plate is a scratchbuilt jack-block that is not included in the kit. The raised areas have been highlighted with artist oils. Unit markings on the real vehicle, driven right out of the factory would have been sparse of non-existent. More vegetation will be added later; I left it off for now so as not to obscure any details for the photo.

The Suspension

Photo 7. rear and left side of the Tiger B. On the turret side I added spare tracks, as I believe was added at the factory. Track teeth were added. Below these tracks are brackets that held the track links on. On the turret roof are the added lifting rings and winch/crane sockets. The rear mud flaps were stolen from a Hasegawa Tiger 1. Also visible is the jack below the exhaust pipe, not included with either kit. [Ignore the date on the photos, the photos were taken in Oct. 2000.]

Store-bought Details

Painting & Markings

  • The panzer-yellow and green splotches I created using artists’ oil paints and a soft brush. Artist’s oils are very good for this purpose and are my favorite for highlighting/drybrushing.
  • The Bases & Figures


    Overall I am happy with the kits and recommend them. Except for the look of the camouflage of the Jagdtiger I am pleased with both models. With ESCI’s disappearance these are great subjects for Revell or Hasegawa to do in 1/72, but at today’s modeling standards.

    Happy modeling.

    Back to Kit Reviews Back to Home Page
    Back to ESCI/Ertl