ARM: Review - DML 1/35 Scale Panzer I Command Tank 3-in-1

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale '39-'45 Series No.

6222; Sd.Kfz. 265 kleine Panzerbefehlswagen I 3-in1 kit; 517 parts (445 in grey styrene, 48 etched brass, 24 clear styrene); price estimated at US $27.98-33.98

Advantages: combines two previous kits with new moldings and options, adds 50 parts to previous versions

Disadvantages: constant releases of slightly varied models may confuse modelers or hurt overall sales

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: for all German modelers

DML continues to listen to feedback from modelers and reviews and make adjustments to their product line, and one thing which does appear to be popular is the introduction of "Three in One" kits that let the modeler produce one of three different variants of a subject.

This is both good and bad, as in the past DML and other manufacturers have released different variants of a subject as separate kits. It's a good idea when the kits are quite different (e.g. Shermans with 75mm and 76mm guns and turrets) but in some cases can be confusing, where the differences are so minor one wonders why they just didn't put those options all in one kit? The 3-in-1 series does just that.

This kit is based on the previous two Panzer I command tank kits, and upon comparing the kit with my review of Kit No. 6218 I found that DML had added 50 new or different parts to the kit - eight in styrene for the "bedstead" antenna, 23 new etched brass, and the 21 parts that came with the second Panzer I kit (Kit No. 6207, DAK variant) for the clear viewer assemblies. Some sprues have been modified and others replaced.

By and large, however, modelers should be pleased, especially if they have not purchased one of these kits before. The model is excellent, but does come with individual link track that can be tedious to assemble due to its small size. The kit permits building one of three versions: an early command model with the HF "bedstead" frame antenna, a version with light applique armor protection, and a DAK version with extra fuel cans (note: no rack or mounting provisions are provided for these.)

The modeler also has a choice of idler wheels, stern plates, smoke grenades, commander's cupolas, stowage bin, antennas, and external view port covers.

Three finishing options are proferred, one for each variant that can be built from the kit.

Overall this is, as is now common from DML, an excellent if advanced model kit. My personal concern, however, is that with the plethora of variants DML is offering some modelers are now considering waiting for the "ultimate" version of a specific kit or a "3-in-1" variant, and DML may begin hurting their own sales with these variants in profusion.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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