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Aug 14, 2016, 06:25 PM
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Heng Long King Tiger Build with Home Made Zimmerit


So this is going to be another weird little build thread…

I’ve built a couple of straight forward projects, the Heng Long Jagdpanther and Tiger I,

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2142189
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2255000

And a ridiculous build thread for a Pz Kpfw IV F2 from the Japanese anime Girls und Panzer,

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2470298

I was keeping my eye out for a next project and figured I’d build the biggest of the 1:16 WWII available. The King Tiger offered the opportunity for something I had not done for decades, and even then very little practice, Zimmerit! I noticed a Heng Long on Amazon for a good price, AND with the new 2.4 GHz radio gear. So, I ordered one and started the planning for a build.

My Panzer IV sits on the shelf with my anime girls adorning it, and it gets taken out every once in a while with the Tiger and Jagdpanther to play with my nephew. The girls don’t get any play though, so I figured I’d use them to help document the King Tiger build. Panzer vor, let’s go!

Rick
Last edited by mechrick; Aug 14, 2016 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Thread upload complete
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Aug 14, 2016, 06:28 PM
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Unboxing and Inspection


The King Tiger in 1:16 is a big boy. I remember building the Tamiya 1:24 Tiger I as a teen and thinking it was the biggest plastic piece of armor I would ever build. Compared to the Pz Kpfw IV this tank it is a monster. Iíve seen a real one at Aberdeen, but as a toy this model is impressive.

Out of the box Heng Long has made a number of great strides forward. The new controls on the 2.4 GHz set are great, nice to have volume and smoke control on the hand unit, instead of under the vehicle. Replacing the old heavy NiCd battery with a largely hollow Li-Poly unit is nice but takes a good little weight off of the suspension. The detail parts included are outstanding, and make a complete and very scale model kit with no modifications. And the paint jobs are getting better and better, the colors are very accurate, matching Testerís Model Masters German armor paints.

Doing a function test the convoy light and airsoft gun mechanisms did not work. Opening the hull I found the larger upper to lower hull cable connector was not seated all the way, possibly vibrating off in shipping as it did not snap solidly into the upper hull socket - something to look for with any new Heng Long model, and probably the biggest contributor to their reliability problems. Reseating the connector got everything working as expected, so after a check to count all the parts, I was set to get started modding.

Interesting note is that the instruction manual is for the older Porsche turret version of the King Tiger, with an insert sheet included for the current Henschel turret.

Rick
Aug 14, 2016, 06:29 PM
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Opening Up the Hull


Six screws on the underside of the hull, and two small screws hidden above the rear idler and apart she comes. As I said the twisted wire cable that connects the upper to lower hull was already loose. Just the two wire gun recoil connector to disconnect.

Typical Heng Long parts inside, with the exception of the newer 2.4 GHz receiver. Just a short antenna, so a scale antenna on the rear deck will just be for looks this time. The two forward sockets on the receiver unit - CN2 IR Port and CN3 MG Fire - are not used for this kit I guess.

The bull gear is a standard Heng Long unit with the stop that will need to be carved into teeth so the turret can do 180. Will use the same technique I showed in the Tiger I and Pz Kpfw builds.

Rick
Aug 14, 2016, 06:31 PM
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Final Preparations


Before sanding and disturbing any paint I made a Paintshop file I could use to try various camouflage patterns. I like to make simple 8 color files I can play with during builds. Here I documented the current Heng Long pattern - or close to it - as it is a pretty good pattern.

I then made one of my infamous lists of all the things I wanted to do in the build. My OCD for list completion in full gear, as with a list I can update as I go, think about the best order, and hopefully not forget something before moving past a critical step.

Rick
Aug 14, 2016, 06:32 PM
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A Scratch Built MG34 Mount


Itching to makes some scale modifications, first thing I spotted was the sort-of-mount for the commander anti-aircraft gun. I found plenty of pictures of the real thing online, and even found some model sites offering 1:16 metal mounts. But I figured I could make a close enough scratch unit from some aluminum tube and styrene bits. It actually turned out a lot better than I hoped, once painted it looks plenty scale. The MG34 included with the Tiger is a nice unit.

The commander figure is the same one that came with the other Heng Long tanks. Stock he stands a little high in this monster tank, and I wanted him to look a little more at ease and gun ready, so I cut his arms at wrist, elbow, and shoulder, re-angled them, and got him to tuck about 1/2 inches lower in the hatch. I also added some wires to his headgear for detail.

Rick
Last edited by mechrick; Aug 14, 2016 at 07:29 PM.
Aug 14, 2016, 06:33 PM
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Rear Deck Details


Spare fiberglass porch screen cuts nicely to make covers for the rear grills, held down with tape and 4 to 6 dots of epoxy around the perimeter. Then removing the tape and using 2-part epoxy to make a weld bead to hold the outer edge of the screen. Like on the Jagdpanther, the 4 rear cover lift hooks were reversed, but easily removed and turned around. The unused brass antenna base was pulled and the hole backfilled with Milliput. A small hole was then drilled in the scale antenna base for a carbon rod whip antenna.

Rick
Aug 14, 2016, 06:36 PM
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Viewing Ports


The armored covers and openings are always in the hull and turret on about every German tank model I have had, but rarely are the viewing ports provided. The three big openings looked empty, so I made some scratch port upper halves out of styrene, just guessing the shape looking at old photos. I left the inside empty and then filled with epoxy and a bit of foil in the rear to reflect light. If I put some diodes in the ports would shine, might have to give that a tryÖ

Rick
Aug 14, 2016, 06:38 PM
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Commander Ports


The other crewmembers have ways to see out, so the commander needs his view ports. They are pretty small so I decided just to go with painted on windows. The best solution of course it is maybe molded clear units that can be left clear through, but I did not feel like making molds or searching and buying online because that would be an expensive downward spiral into detail land. Not going for complete scale, just what I feel like.

Rick
Last edited by mechrick; Aug 14, 2016 at 07:27 PM.
Aug 14, 2016, 06:39 PM
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Hull Mods Ė The Front Slope


Zimmerit or no, the front two hull attach screws are easy to see in the underside surface, and have to go. I figure four screws are good enough to hold the upper hull down, if only there was a clip in the leading edge to keep the front edge closed. Some stacked styrene L brackets, and mating clips hold very well. That let me fill the screw holes with Milliput and sand smooth. Zimmerit or no, the front will not look as toy like.

Rick
Aug 14, 2016, 06:40 PM
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Some Upper Hull Details


The driver and radio operator hatches have solid handles, and had to be replaced with bent wire. No problem. The convoy light was detailed with a bit of rolled Millput to attach the molded on wire to the light. I could have trimmed the entire wire off and replaced it, but, you now, easy does it. The light hood is flattened and shaped Milliput that worked very well on my other builds.

Rick
Aug 14, 2016, 06:42 PM
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Some Rear End Details


The support for the starter crank support is there, but there is no detail. I simply drilled a hole through and put in a wire, then cut some tubing to the holder. Later a chain will be added. The exhaust need splitters (grenade shields) so some thin styrene was cut and inserted.

Rick
Aug 14, 2016, 06:46 PM
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Lets Make Some Removable Fender Skirts


Just to add a little variation, and to show off those huge wide tracks in motion a little more, I decided to remove a fender from each side. Besides, I do not like the look of the King Tiger with full fenders; it looks like a hovercraft of vacuum cleaner to me. I like the scale builds I see with all of the fenders removed, looking more Panther-like, and meaner.

I figured this would be the biggest mod and require the most thought. Not wanting to buy brass replacements, where most scale enthusiasts go, I opted to keep the cut out fenders and make them removable, to display either on off.

According to Achtung Panzer, the thin seam cover strips are permanently welded to the center odd numbered fenders, overlapping the fenders on either side. After carefully sawing out the chosen fenders, it was very easy off the cover strips and sand the edges smooth, thinning the exposed edges to look a bit more scale thickness, and replace the sawed and sanded off strips with thin styrene. The hull needed to be filled, with support blocks added, to complete the mod.

Rick
Last edited by mechrick; Aug 14, 2016 at 07:30 PM.
Aug 14, 2016, 06:48 PM
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Turret Details


Inside of the loader hatch wonít be seen much, as I donít turn off the airsoft. Why did they put the detail for the latch? Oh yeah, because they probably copied the Tamiya part and it has that detail. A couple of bent wires for handles, some wire bent into a circle and a + carved out of styrene add the required wheel details that wonít be seen by anyone but me.

I like filling the empty plate seam trenches, where welding should be, with Milliput. Just mix a pea sized bit at a time to complete about 6 or 8 inches before mixing another pea sized ball. Roll a long 1/16 inch string and push into the grooves with the end of a paint brush. Looks very good when painted.

Rick
Aug 14, 2016, 06:49 PM
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Hull Welding


Zimmerit or no (again), I complete the weld fills in the huge plate seams, including the tongue and groove leading edge. Look how thick that front armor is! I was happy to fill over the edges that had crossed cut lines protruding that did not look good at all stock.

The forward armor on the turret is left to be removable to service the airsoft cannon. Wetting the backside of the plate keeps the Milliput from sticking, so the weld between the front plate can fill the gap but not hold onto the removable plate.

Rick
Last edited by mechrick; Aug 14, 2016 at 07:31 PM.
Aug 14, 2016, 06:50 PM
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Rear Deck Drain Tubes


Some spare aluminum tubing was bent to make the two rear overflow tubes and one on the left side. Okay, scale detail on a toy build, but I had to do something while I contemplated the BIG decision, Zimmerit or no Zimmerit? And what paint scheme? Ambush pattern with spots (so probably no Zimmerit) or no spots.

Rick


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