Strumtiger with basic interior
Updated: Nov 6, 2020
I remember I hardly believed my own eyes when I saw this vehicle for the first time. Tecnically it is not even a 'tank'.
Strumtiger was designed to support infantry by implementing an enormous rocket launcher on the chassis of damaged Tiger I's that were brought back from the front line. Although only 19 were produced their unique look captures the fantasy of most modellers.
This Tamiya kit is relatively old and comes with a basic interior - to my surprise. I did not intend to build a kit with interior, but as it was provided I decided to give it a chance... I have to admit that I enjoyed the build and even ended up with some light improvement on the interior by adding some left over parts from other kits. But let's see the build...
For easier identification, this is the box art.
Unfortunately, the kit does not come with zimmerit (special anti-magnetic layer Germans applied to the armoured vehicles between Jan-Oct 1944 against magnetic mines), so I had to do it myself. I am not particularly experienced with scratch-made zimmerit, so this seemed to be a good practice: these beasts were produced after the Oct 1944, so they did not get that protective layer in the factory. Nevertheless, as they were built upon earlier-made Tiger I's the anti-magnetic layer was not removed from the chassis. Furthermore, as they were built on damaged Tigers, their zimmerit can look pretty worn.
I have covered the necessary parts and applied putty. Let it dry and started to carve the pattern manually. Unfortunately, the putty was a bit too thick, but later on tried to make it thinner filing it here and there.
I constantly fine tuned the zimmerit as I built so as it became more and more realistic and worn. Also proceeded with the interior.
The infamous projectiles under preparation. They were so heavy that the Sturmtiger had a special crane to help the crew to lift them up and move them into the vehicle.
And the infamous mortar under preparation.
...and in place.
Adding the details (tools and other equipment) before priming the model.
I used Tamiya's red-oxy as a primer as German armoured vehicles always got this as the first layer of paint.
Then came the individual tracks. Despite of my efforts to protect the primer on the zimmerit, the putty showed minor chip marks. But not too bad, overall.
The painting was a pretty exciting step as I wanted to make the upper structure removable so as the interior can be seen. I have decided to apply a tiny bit of bluetack around the edge of the lower hull. This would be temporarily locking the upper structure in place. However, I had to be super-careful for the rest of the painting process and tried to avoid any of the main colours leaking in between the two parts. Main colour is the usual dark yellow.
The camo is painted with dark green and red brown.
Followed by painting the details.
The headphones, fire exhaust and the boxes were left over from other model kits, just like the gas mask container. I have also made the gear box from spare parts.
Pretty pleased with the end result. It is not a super-detailed interior, but considering that I did not want to build it at all originally and this was my first attempt to do so I actually quite llike the outcome.
I have to admit, that it was a fun build and the interior elevated the level of challenge. Would I recommend this kit? If you are after a quick and easy build, then definitely. It also provides with t he opportunity to explore new areas (zimmerit, interior) without risking to screw the whole model. But if you are an advanced modeller who wants to build a Sturmtiger with a realistic interior and detailed crane, then probably you are better off to spend a bit more and get a more recent kit.
The final model
For more photos please visit the Gallery.