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Friday, January 25, 2013

King Tiger From KG Peiper Army Box Review

Article by Tom Burgess
I’ve never been an “Uber-Tank” guy, but when offered a chance to do review of some Battlefront provided miniatures for WWPD I thought “Hey, one tank will be easy!” So I volunteered to build, paint, and review the new GBX69 Konigstiger model. With its included Fallschirmjäger riders, a couple of these are just the ticket for an upcoming KG Peiper game I have in mind. Needing two for that KG Peiper mini-campaign, I decided to get a 2nd Konigstiger and to paint them together.

This King Tiger is available in the KG Peiper Box.
Click here to see another review of the GBX69 Box done earlier by Dirty Jon
334 of 3rd Platoon, 3rd Company, Schwere SS-PanzerAbteilung 501
Everything required, including magnets, decals, and “Tiger Ace Dice” was on hand, undamaged and cleanly cast. The detail was great, especially on the Fallschirmjäger riders
All pieces on hand, properly cast and ready to go…check! 
Assembly was very easy. All components fit tighter properly and I was particularly impressed by the way the side skirts were notched to fit flush on to the hull edges for a secure bond.

Because these models were to be used for gaming I decided that the Fallschirmjäger would have to be drilled and pinned to the model’s hull/turret to be secure enough for regular table use.

I decided to completely assemble the model before painting. I wanted to test fit the riders and make sure they could be mounted firmly but still allow the turret to rotate during game play.
Once I was satisfied with the positioning of the Fallschirmjäger riders, I removed them and mounted them on separate sticks for painting.

I wanted to paint these two beast as historically accurate as I could. So I conducted some research on Tiger II tanks that were part of KG Peiper and came to find that that the Tiger II that had been in the Patton Museum on Fort Knox, Kentucky for decades, “332,” was one of the tanks from Schwere SS-PanzerAbteilung 501 which supported KG Peiper n December 1944. I’d been looking at that tank at the Patton Museum for years, but had never given much thought to where it came from. I also found out that “334” one of “332’s” sister tanks from the same platoon was one of the last six tanks fighting with KG Peiper at La Gleize.

So that was it! I was going to try to recreate “332” and “334” from the 3nd Platoon, 3rd Company Schwere SS-PanzerAbteilung 501!  One drawback was that these tanks had “hard edge” camo schemes and apparently did not get the full ambush pattern applied.  These tanks were some of the several that were initially intend to go to the Schwere SS-PanzerAbteilung 509 but were diverted to the 501st for “Wacht am Rhien.”  The “dots” apparently were left off of these. I normally airbrush my panzer camo and I was excited about trying out the full “ambush” pattern, but that would have to wait for now.  A second issue was that I was going to need custom decals for the blue’ish turret numbers that 3rd company used. Fellow WWPD’er SonBae squared me away with what I needed! Thanks bro!
Painting underway!
I found many images online for these two tanks. It seems KG Peiper’s Tigers are a very popular subject in the 1/35th scale modeling world! So I was able to replicate camo patterns that are fairly representative of how these awesome beast must have looked. Being that they started as such great models to begin with, I’m very happy about these two new additions to my Flames of War collection.

332 and 334 on the prowl!
The Good:
- Everything in one box: decals, magnets and models
- Awesome detail on both the tank and riders
- Everything fit together well and assembly was easy

The Bad:
- The spare track blocks for mounting on the turret sides are too big. They are supposed to be able to stack one above the other but there really is only room for one. I chose to leave them off because of this.
- Decals are the same ones I got with the old Jagdpanther/ruined house boxed set. If these tanks are intended to be “KG Peiper” Konigstigers with Fallschirmjäger riders and all that, it would have been so much nicer to have had those unique turret numbers from the Schwere SS-PanzerAbteilung 501, A missed chance for even more “cool factor!”

Conclusion:  9 of 10! These were the coolest, most detailed, and most fun tank models from Battlefront that I ever had the pleasure to work on! Looking for KG Peiper Konigstigers?  Look no further!
Tom Burgess 

Tom is retired US Army Officer (Armor) who has been playing wargames since the late 70’s, and Flames of War since 2007.

One of the King Tigers was provided by Battlefront Miniatures.

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