ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Pzkw. I Ausf. A 4.Serie/La.S.

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6451; Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A 4.Serie/La.S. - Smart Kit; 430 parts (192
“Magic Track” single links, 167 in grey styrene, 47 clear styrene, 24 etched brass); pre-order price US$42.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: “Smart Kit” concept provides fine details in a nearly all- styrene kit; retention of “Magic Track” will please some modelers...
Disadvantages: ...but track links are 1/72 scale size and not intended for the multi-thumbed
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all very early WWII and German armor fans, plus other venues such as the Spanish Civil War
    As noted when the first DML Pzkw. I Ausf. A kits came out, everyone has to start somewhere, and the Germans started their legendary armored forces with this little tank. While this tank, the 4th production series was only designed as a training tank, it wound up being pressed into service as a reconnaissance and light infantry support tank in both the Spanish Civil War and other minor wars. Some were still in service in 1939 when WWII proper broke out.
    This time around DML has made some “tweaks” to its very nice Panzer I kit to better represent the very first production models from 1934-1936. It has some minor changes to the engine deck and two sprues of new/modified parts as well as three more clear parts.
    This kit still comes with DML’s “Magic Track” snap-together dry-fit tracks that only need minimal cleanup before assembly. There will be some arguing, however, that this kit probably should have used DML’s DS plastic tracks as it is such a small vehicle they would have solved the problem of track installation, but the selection of “Magic Tracks” is not so bad. They are very tiny, however, and if you are all thumbs or suffer from any sort of joint problems they will not be fun to assemble.
    While all of the ports and hatches are posable as either open or closed, there is ZERO interior detailing; even the machine guns lack breech sections. Considering the price of the kit has gone up considerably over its initial release, this is not a good sign and many modelers have already carped on line about doing a training tank and not a combat vehicle.
    As this is a “Smart Kit” etched brass is held to the minimum, consisting primarily of the muffler guards and mounting straps and two small cooling vents at the rear of the hull top. It does add the two rings needed to properly represent the early model wheels.
    Technical assistance was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
    Finishing instructions and decals are provided for two different tanks: Unidentified unit, 1936 (panzer grey with white outline crosses); and Unidentified unit, 1936 (panzer grey with brown camouflage, white outline crosses). A tiny set of white crosses is provided by Cartograf.
    Overall, this is a seminal vehicle but I am not sure of its popularity with modelers.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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