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

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.
6451; Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A 4.Serie/La.S. - Smart Kit; 430 parts (192
=93Magic Track=94 single links, 167 in grey styrene, 47 clear styrene, 24
etched brass); pre-order price US$42.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: =93Smart Kit=94 concept provides fine details in a nearly all-
styrene kit; retention of =93Magic Track=94 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 =93tweaks=94 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=92s =93Magic Track=94 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=92s
DS plastic tracks as it is such a small vehicle they would have solved
the problem of track installation, but the selection of =93Magic Tracks=94
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 =93Smart Kit=94 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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AMPSOne
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