In late 2005 I would receive an email enquiry from Unimax Limited, the Hong-Kong based manufacturer of the well-known Forces of Valor scale model series. Among FoV’s creations had been a 1/16 series called “Extreme Metal” – with the first item being a carefully-researched high-quality replica of a Tiger II Königsgtiger that had seen action at the Battle of the Ardennes in December 1944 – and I would be asked if I would be willing to help in putting together the documentation for a 1/16 scale model of the Tiger I Michael Wittmann would use at Villers-Bocage – No. 222.
Naturally I was happy for the recognition, and allowed Unimax to pick whatever they wanted from the Panzer Ace website. I was happy just for being called upon as a consultant and saw it merely as way of bringing new visitors to the site, and was not expecting the large parcel that would arrive by courier in 2006. Inside would be a magnificent 1/16 rendition of Wittmann’s famous vehicle, complete with the two A5-sized guide booklets crediting my work and the Panzer Ace site.
The first of the two booklets is titled Michael Wittmann’s Assault on Villers-Bocage, a potted biography of the Leibstandarte Panzer commander and and overview of the path he would take on the morning of 13th June 1944 at Villers-Bocage. Richly illustrated, the twenty-page booklet gives readers a picture of the battle and the impact it would have on Wittmann’s career. I would be slightly disappointed in that the publishers would feel obliged to black out all of the SS uniform insignia – making Wittmann look like an Sicherheitsdienst Untersturmführer on the cover – but you can’t win them all!
Technical Details Booklet
The second of the two A5 booklets included with the 1/16 FoV “Villers-Bocage” Tiger I would contain all of the vehicle’s technical specifications, again with a thank you note and website reference. This fourteen-page booklet with centre fold-out section would accompany the finely-detailed metal engine block that would be included with the model.