1/35 Academy Tiger 1 "Cutaway"

The Kit

The kit is Academy's standard Tiger 1 but with the parts needed to add the interior. The basic tank kit is molded in tan, the new interior parts in gray and the tracks are molded in a dark gray. The parts are nicely molded with no flash or ejector marks found. There are a lot of parts in the box, and unusually, you will use most of them. A small p/e fret contains grills for the engine cover. The intake tubes running from the filters to the engine are a rubber like material.
Decals are included for 5 versions in 4 camo schemes. Included is the famous Wittmann Tiger 1.

I also used Eduard's Tiger 1 interior and exterior p/e sets.

The Build

I wanted to display the model to show the interior but I also wanted it to be whole. Instead of an "exploded" display, I chose to do a cutaway display. First I had to figure out how. I taped the Tiger together and with a black Sharpie, laid out the sections I wanted to remove. I went around the turret ring to maintain the upper hull decks integrity. I then used a pair of snips to remove the majority of the plastic and then used a Dremel and sandpaper to smooth the edges. Once that was done, I looked through the instructions to see if any parts needed to be trimmed. The front crossbeam needed trimmed, but the rear crossbeam provides the mounting for other parts, so I left it alone.
The hull of the model was build pretty much OOB. The torsion bars fit into the lower hull perfectly. Most of this detail will be unseen after completion. The front transmission assembly is a tight fit and required a bit of modification to get into place. There are also a couple parts in the engine bay that are a bit of a pain to get into place. I left out the right side fuel tank and radiator, as with my cutaway, you can't see them. Also as a result of the cutaway, I had to leave the left side shell storage off and after attaching the hull top, you can't see the right side stowage either!
The turret the made up of 2 side halves and the top. Doing it as a cutaway posed a particular problem when it came to painting. I had to trim the cross members on the turret roof to clear the cutaway section. I left the road wheels complete, but cut the track short on the left side to show off the overlapping wheels.

I have been told that Academy makes the best Tiger 1 kit on the market, and after building one, I agree. Doing this kit OOB will give you a beautiful early Tiger 1. That said, my idea of a cutaway was not quite as well executed as it could have been. I had to leave off a lot of the kits detail, as some of the parts had nowhere to go. I think it looks nice, but I should have given more thought to which sections were removed.