Der Tiger - designing, building and running the 1/5 scale Wimmera Tiger tank


In 2003 Australian Gerard Dean decided to build a 1/5 scale model of a German World War Two Tiger tank, as a quick project. Six years later it rolled down his drive, and he was underwhelmed by the sound, which was when his mania started.

In Gerard’s own words ‘Der Tiger is no 'How to make a 1/5 scale model Tiger tank with V12 IC engine' but it does tell you how not to make one. Model engineers will learn about the  technical challenges the author faced when he unbolted a home-built 150cc V12 IC engine from its exhibition stand and bolted it inside a metal tank model. That was the easy bit! The next two years were spent integrating  two radiators, seven cooling fans, dual ignitions, a flat belt clutch, 8 speed home built constant mesh gearbox and a track transmission system with 18 gears and dual mechanical disk brakes.

Once the motor started, a home made 16 RC control system patterned on the Bovington Tiger 131 was made complete with telemetry system and home-made heavy duty servos. In 2013 the Wimmera Tiger won the  gold medal for Internal Combustion engines at the prestigious Model Engineer Exhibition in  London and then, an hour later, broke it's crankshaft. The organisers, being made of good British stuff, kindly allowed the author to keep the medal.’

It is worth adding that the gun turret revolves, the gun elevates and ‘fires’, recoiling, flashing and emitting a puff of smoke, but nothing else. This 250 kg monster is quite  machine! This book will appeal especially to tank and IC engine builders, as well as those interested in radio control, but it is absolutely crammed full of ideas for any model engineer, and will serve as inspiration to anyone thinking that they have bitten off more than they can chew and wondering what to do next. As a bonus, it is also very amusing. A great read!

124 very well produced pages, crammed with diagrams and mainly colour photographs. Paperback. 

A copy of the review of this book which appeared in issue 4508 of 'Model Engineer' will be found HERE as a PDF.

Here are some films on this extraordinary machine - the first one is the longest, but does show the various mechanisms most clearly:-