By studying pictures of real kingtigers I realized that this was more accurate, and easier, than using the folded brass mounts from the Aber set. Only the plate that goes on top and keep the cables and rods in place are the Aber offerings, and of course the beautiful wing nuts.
The new tow cables were made from steel wire rope. The cable eyes were made from a little piece of the wire and the metal on the inside of the eye was made from a thin sheet of lead peeled of the neck of an old wine bottle. Only the piece between the eye and the cable is from the kit part.
A new starter handle (mounted on the left, rear side) was made from Evergreen plastic rod. This is so soft that you can just shape it by hand, no extra heat is needed.
The gun barrel is the kit offering, I didn't have enough money for a metal barrel and besides I don't think it's that hard to put a kit barrel together and make an invisible seem. The new mantlet from Mori is beautifully made, but it's a little too narrow and it makes the ring at the end with all the bolts look too big, but now that I had invested in it, I was sure going to use it, but I don't think I will buy it again.
The Eduard side skirts are pretty straight forward, just follow the construction guide.
There is only one thing, the rear mud guards have no hinge detail. To make the hinges I took the kit mud guards and cut the hinges out and sanded them as thin as I dared and glued them on, it looked much better.
Before I started painting, I had assembled as mush as I could of the model. I had assembled the chassis minus the exhausts, the front MG and the 4 tow shackles. The armored guards for the exhausts had been attached with an absolute minimum of glue, so they could easily be removed when it was time attach the exhausts. The turret was completely assembled with the exception of the spare track links. Road wheels, drive sprocket, idler wheel and tracks were also left off.
I started by washing the model in warm water with a drop dish washing fluid and an old soft toothbrush. Then I loaded my airbrush with some isopropyl alcohol and sprayed the model with it to completely remove any grease on the surface.
Before the basecoat I sprayed the model with some Model Master metalizer nr. 1405 in the places where I wanted a chipped paint effect. When it had dried I applied some ordinary table salt with a wet brush to the places where I wanted the chipped paint. Be careful here !! Don't use too much salt or it will look very exaggerated, and make sure the brush is not too wet when you pick up the salt or else you will have to remove it with a chisel.
For the basecoat I wanted to do red oxide primer. I had obtained a recipe for this color from an Australian who knew a lot about paint, it was something about mixing a lot of different colors and he boiled it down to a mix of the normal chocolate brown some white, yellow and red but I can't remember the exact ratios anymore. It was an ok color but a bit too dark for my taste. At this point in time however, I just wanted to finish this model and mixing a new color and repaint the model was not an option in my small brain.
I now masked the patches that I wanted to remain in the red oxide primer basecoat, then sprayed the olive green. For this color I used Extra colors olive green. I then masked the patches that I wanted to remain green. Then I sprayed the dark yellow, here I also used the color from Extra color.