Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A Modified Version - Smart Kit
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6356; Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A Modified Version - Smart Kit|
|Media and Contents:||487 parts (192 "Magic Track" links, 220 in grey styrene, 46 clear styrene, 29 etched brass)|
|Price:||price estimated at US $28.00-31.00. Will be available online from Mission Models|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||"Smart Kit" concept provides fine details in a nearly all-styrene kit; "Magic Track" will please many modelers...|
|Disadvantages:||...but track links are quite small and not intended for the multi-thumbed|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended to all early WWII and German armor fans, plus other venues such as the Spanish Civil War|
There are times that model companies get stuck in an "in your face" rut and, while the subjects of choice are sure to please a niche of the market, leave the rest of us stumped. DML came out with a very nice "Smart Kit" early model Pzkw. I Ausf. A a year ago, but it was met with some snitfits by a few modelers due to errors and "it's not as good as the Tristar kit: whinges. Whatever that does to the DML management causes them to strike back and strike hard, and as a result they have now released this kit as "counterbattery" fire against Tristar.
To be sure, they have apparently taken much of the criticism to heart, as this kit shows that it has only two unchanged sprues (main suspension sprue A and upper works/turret sprue C) from the 2006 release and a modified hull pan. The rest of the sprues are either slightly reworked, modified, or new to this version. Most of the new bits are the requisite ones for the interior, turret fittings and engine bay, but the kit also includes new wheels with brass overlays to give the road wheels a "lip" on both sides as per the original. (This technique seems a good idea, and it would have saved one of the worst flaws in the Academy Sheridan kits, but I digress.)
The kit simply adds new bits for those sprues where needed; there was apparently some problem with the glacis access panel to the transmission but a new hatch (B44) is provided.
The interior is relatively complete and includes internal bulkheads, controls, batteries, foot pedals, a brass radio mount, copious amounts of magazines for the machine guns, two breech ends with fittings for the guns, very complex but complete clear view ports and frames, and all hatches and ports on the upper side of the vehicle are optional position bits.
The tracks are again "Magic Track" links, which in this scale would be fine except for the fact that they are smaller than most 1/72 scale track links. This is one area where the use of DS plastic flexible track would probably have been more popular!
Finishing instructions and decals are provided for three different tanks: HQS 6th Panzer Division, Western Front 1939-1940 (grey); 3./Pz.Abt.z.b.V.40, Norway 1940 (grey); and 1st Abt 15th Panzer Regiment, 5th Panzer Division, Sandomierz, Poland 1939 (grey). All are provided with white decals from Cartograf.
In summary, this is a nice kit and is now likely at least as detailed if not better than the competing Tristar kit. But did we really need another Pzkw. I Ausf. A kit?
A 34 A wheels and running gear
B 51 A Details - fenders, tools
C 24 A upper hull details
D 27 A upper hull
F 22 A front glacis and details
G 32 A Interior parts
J 37 A turret and interior parts
L 12 A modified suspension parts
R 192 Magic Track links
W 46 Pzkw. I clear
X 1 A lower hull pan
MA 12 etched brass
MB 1 etched brass
MC 16 etched brass rings
Freddie Leung for the review sample.