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Ryefield Sturmtiger RM 61 L/5.4 38cm

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale armor kit with a moveable gun
RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR
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A unique vehicle, the Sturmmorser Tiger assault tank fired a 380mm rocket-propelled round. It was designed to provided infantry units with heavy fire support in urban and heavily fortified areas. The 18 built took part in several combat operations in the last year of World War II, notably the Warsaw Uprising and the battle for the bridge at Remagen.

The main gun was adapted from a Kriegsmarine depth-charge thrower capable of launching a 15-inch shell. To compensate for the launcher’s limited range, rocket-assisted ammunition was developed and the fearsome weapon was capable of leveling buildings.

Ryefield’s kit includes the interior and comprises nearly 2,100 plastic parts on 19 sprues each packaged in resealable clear bags. Many of these sprues are common to Ryefield’s Tiger I kits so many of the parts are used here. 

The individual-link tracks have separate guides and pins. That makes four parts for each link, 96 links for each side, and a total of 768 parts for the tracks alone. Be sure you have a magnifying glass and tweezers.

The 28-page instruction booklet is well illustrated with accurate drawings that show fine details; you’ll need that. Pay attention for optional parts and spots to be assembled without glue. 

The small decal sheet provides balkenkreuz, although none are shown on the marking diagrams, as well as stencils for the 380mm shells. 

Two photo-etch (PE) frets supply engine grilles, latches, and framing for the floor. One of the more unusual parts is the PE sleeve for the gun’s rifling. 

The quality of the parts is excellent with no flash and the fit is right on. The interior includes the engine compartment with the power plant, cooling system, and fuel tanks, and the fighting compartment with ammunition, radios, transmission, floor, and the driver’s position. All the fits here are good.

Installing the PE bore lining is a little tricky because it has to be rolled at an angle. I traced the outline of the part onto thin card stock and practiced rolling it so the ends meet evenly. Remember, the groves in the lining should spiral when it is in the barrel. I sanded the edges slightly for a precise fit. 

Rubber bushings allow the gun, including the breech, to elevate and traverse. The breech is posable — if you are careful, it can be left movable — but open all the way, the gun cannot elevate completely.

In Step 20, the keepers for the jack (parts C48) were too thick to pass through the PE bracket. I replaced them with wire, an option given by the instructions.

The casemate roof is molded in clear plastic. If you wish to leave it that way to display the interior take care gluing on the ventilators and hatches to avoid marring the parts.

A jig makes track assembly easier and saves time and aggravation. I inserted the pins four at a time after touching them with cement. But watch out: Pins N1 and N2 are different even though they look the same.

I painted the camouflage with Testors and Tamiya colors. Color patterns show three camo schemes.

I spent 55 hours building my Sturmtiger, most of it on the interior and tracks. I would recommend this kit to experienced modelers because of the many small parts.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the March 2019 issue.

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