How to Build a Model Tiger Tank


The Tiger tank was the most feared battle tank in the German army during World War II. It was known for its superior firepower, speed and armor and is still considered one of the most infamous battle tanks in the history of armored warfare. Because of its strengths, plastic model kits of the Tiger tank are common. With a bit of skill and patience, you can build a Tiger model to look realistic.

Things You'll Need

  • Hobby knife
  • Hobby glue
  • Model paints
  • Airbrush
  • Select a Tiger tank model in a scale that you’d like to build. Common scales of tank models are 1:16, 1:25 and 1:35. Common tank model manufacturers are Tamiya, Dragon and Academy.

  • Read the complete instruction booklet before starting to build the Tiger model. Getting a rough idea about how the tank model is built prior to building it will prevent you from making mistakes along the way. Typically, you'll have to build elements such as the crew area, tracks and weaponry, then add the frame of the tank around the core.

  • Remove the pieces of the Tiger tank from their plastic frames. If necessary, use a hobby knife to cut pieces off the frame. You may also need to use a hobby knife to trim the edges of each piece to remove plastic burrs.

  • Build the Tiger model according to the instructions. Prior to gluing pieces together, press them together to ensure they fit correctly. If not, you may have to slightly trim the edge of either piece. Once they fit correctly, add glue and press the pieces together. Repeat this process until the model is finished.

  • Paint the Tiger model according to the instructions. The model’s instruction booklet will give you a guide as to which colors of paint you should use, as well as what color each part of the tank should be painted. If you are an accomplished model builder and painter, you may wish to use an airbrush to paint the Tiger tank. Tiger tanks were known for their elaborate camouflage paint schemes that made them difficult to detect. If you have an airbrush, try to copy the camouflage pattern off the image of the tank on the model box using colors such as flat dark brown, flat light brown and military green. If you want to give the Tiger tank a more life-like appearance, paint dark brown colors around its tracks, wheels and fender areas to give the appearance of mud.

  • Apply the Tiger tank’s decals. To apply each decal, trim around it with a hobby knife and dip it in a bowl of warm water. Once the decal begins to loosen from the backing sheet, position the decal over the model and slide it into place. Dab away the excess water with a paper towel. The Tiger tank will have minimal decals, including a tank number and the German army cross logo.

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  • Photo Credit tank image by Goran Bogicevic from
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