Today I’m taking a look at a very different kind of model to take a little breather from the Warhammer and WH40k universe. The Tiger I Tank by Fascinations‘ Model Earth series has been a blast to assemble thus far and I’m sure I’ll have some challenging times that will give me a few droplets of sweat when I come close to completion. Hop in to see what I think about the kit.

Let me begin with an awesome video display of this model. I guess when you have metallic sound effects and Christopher Nolan’s Batman series background music, you can’t go wrong:

Alright! Now that we’re psyched let’s take a look at the package and its contents.

02-2015-02-24 23-59-59 03-2015-02-25 00-00-11 Since there are no numbers on the sprues, the parts are identified on the instruction booklet. Not too complex, at least for the tank's superstructure, however the tracks will probably mess with me a bit.

The model comes on two sprues (or metal sheets, you name it) with at times very small pieces to work with. I have worked with smaller pieces before when I assembled model airplanes in the past but I guess this takes the cake in making me flinch as I cut out the pieces one by one for assembly. Remember that these pieces are all metal and are a lot more resilient than plastic, so make sure you use a dedicated cutter for this. The details on the engraved parts are very satisfactory as you can see a camo pattern and company markings on various spots of the tank. The website classifies the model in the challenging category, so I happily went to work on the model.

All pieces have connecting inlets and outlets that can be bent or twisted to secure in position (also laid out by the assembly manual). Since the sheets are straight coming out of the box, all pieces that are round have to be bent preferably with a soft tool that wouldn’t scratch the shiny surface. I worked with the alligator toothed pliers and my hobby knife to begin with and bent the pieces mostly by hand or with the help of a pen or brush to roll sheets over.

The pieces have one engraved and one flat surface. Obviously you should be careful how you're holding the pieces. I attached a hatch on the turret to see how things go, and as suggested, bent the inlets. Secured safely in place. This is still considered a blunt tool. I used some tweezers in worse situations.

As said, some of the pieces here are quite small, so be careful when handling them as they can get lost on a carpet or so easily. Luckily I had my neodymium magnets at hand and could locate the pieces easily. Here’s a size comparison with the craft knife:

Bend the straight piece into a circle and close the lid on top. How hard could it be? Well, with this scale it becomes a little tricky. Finished piece. Dropped it at least twice. Metal Earth Secured on the turret. You're not going anywhere!

Once you get the hang of it, everything becomes natural. I finished the superstructure in one sitting and expect to complete the model next time I handle it. Here are some work in progress shots.

The cupola gave me some hell but I managed in the end. Rounded surfaces are really hard to pull off. Fast forward, finished turret with gun attached. Inside it's easy to see how much space you have to work the inlets. Need a better precision tool for next time. In the back the Genestealers are waiting for me to go at their mould lines. Superstructure from the bottom. All there's left are the tracks! Metal Earth Metal Earth

Since metal sheets are quite flexible it may at times get frustrating to get straight pieces bent due to mishandling (such as the cables on the superstructure). I also had an almost broken piece due to bending sides for too many times, thus it may be a good idea to decide on the pose and bend every piece once just to be sure. Lastly, be sure to keep the remaining sprue away from your hands once parts are clipped. The attaching vents are razor-sharp and can give you cuts easily. Hell, the parts themselves probably left quite a few micro-cuts on my fingers when I was handling them!

All in all the model is fun to work with and challenging enough to keep it interesting. The company has a range of models for tanks, aircraft and landmarks, even Mass Effect and Star Wars related models with varying difficulties. This means the hobby is quite accessible for people of all skill levels. Priced at around $15 in Turkey, I think it’s a pretty good deal to have a model of such detail and ease of access, so I recommend giving the product a try and see for yourself.

Reception: ♦♦♦♦◊ Good!

See you on the next post and happy modelling!

If only I had Wittman as a model too…


Filed under: Metal Earth, Review, WIP Tagged: assembly, fascinations, miniature hobby, model earth, tank, tiger