1:15 TIGER I


Part 1 :- Base prep & Wheel fitting


This section covers fitting the base parts & fitting the wheels & sprockets. I will also mention about the fitting of the remote control gear, but I will be using 2 channel radio control instead.

The model is the 1/15 scale "Tiger I" from Bandai.  The model comes in a very large box, & I mean very large box & when opened is well packaged with all the plastic parts bagged, some of  the metal parts encased in plastic & all the nuts etc in little bags.

Tiger I box

The instructions are well presented with good pictures & diagrams to follow in clear stages but, of course, they are in Japanese. I luckily have a Japanese friend who translated some of the instructions for me about the fitting of the different gears & also about the metal wire used to make tow cables. She also translated the wiring colours for fitting the remote control unit as I think that they are the main parts that you will need translating to help with the model. (E-Mail me if you want a copy of these).

So lets on with it then.  First have a good read of the instruction first to see how the kit goes together & to see where you can modify the build plan if you wish.  Looking at the stage plan & the paint scheme I will use I have altered some of the build to ease in the building, time & painting, but I will say where & why on each stage.


Just follow the instructions on this stage & you will not have any problems &, like it shows in the instructions, use a flat bladed screwdriver to lift the springs into their location tabs.  Bandai have even supplied the spanner to tighten the nuts up but do not fully tighten the rear nuts as these are to adjust the position of the rear drive wheels.

Tiger suspension springs


Now comes the "moan" section so skip it if you want.   I found that I was one of the white metal suspension parts missing, not something that you can easily make yourself so I rang "Bandai" in the U.K. & what a waste of time that was. All they said was that it was not their problem & gave me the address for Bandai in Japan, they did not even want to do the contacting or ordering of the part themselves & even when I said that the kit was well over £200 they were not interested in helping further. With having Japanese friends where Sarah works they rang "Bandai" in Japan & all they said to get back in touch with the firm in the U.K. that I brought it from. Now would other firms treat it the same way if it was £200 worth of other kinds of goods

I rang the kit supplier, who tried to help, but he had no more kits in stock so I was back to square one with over £200 of model that was waiting on one metal part & no where to turn.  Luckily another modeller I knew had been given a rough & damaged Tiger someone had made a few years ago & had put it into "storage". So the day was saved( thanks Mark), the part removed & I can now carry on & not have all this kit wasted.

So when you buy a "Bandai" kit from a shop or even direct, keep the proof of purchase or info on where you brought it as you will get nowhere with Bandai if you need any missing parts if you live in the U.K.


Before fitting the rubber tyres I sprayed the wheels in the chosen colour scheme, Panzer grey (Humbrol 67 or Tamiya XF63 ), as it will be near impossible to paint them when they are on the model as there is not much space between them.

Tiger wheel


When you have fitted the gearbox into the model a strange thing happens, which Bandai have forgot to mention. All the moveable suspension under the gearbox is now restricted in its movement as it now hits the base of the gearbox housing.  How this will affect the model I will only find out when I test the motors when the tracks are fitted, but the suspension arms are now moving with only 20% of the original distance.

 problem with the suspension & motor


I have not done any of this stage as I am going to use a radio control unit, but there seems to be no problem with it


Before I fitted the wheels I sprayed the metal parts & the drive sprockets with a grey primer then with the panzer grey (Humbrol 67 or Tamiya XF63) as I do not want to get paint on the rubber tyres.

drive sprockets

base sprayed in grey

Take great care & time when fitting the wheels & drive sprockets as there is not much space between them & if you do not fit them correctly you might have to unglue & refit some of them.  The best way, I think, is to fit the single wheels set (D) first, then the first part of the drive sprocket & the rear drive wheel, then fit the wheel set (A). Then glue the wheel set (B) to set (D), fit the second part of the drive sprocket & screw in place, then glue wheel set (C) to wheel set (A) & finally fit the wheel caps (H). This way takes some time, but you will get the wheel in the correct sequence & as you can see there is not much room left.


 wheel fixing diagram

Wheels fitted on the chassis

STAGE 6 & 7

I have not done any of these stages as I am using a 2 channel R.C. unit, but all these stages are is for the connection of the remote units control plug & the fixings for the battery box.


COMING NEXT:- Part 2 will be the starting on the body & turret of the Tiger I. Click here for next page