Bison I
Alan Hobby 1:35 kit No. 019
Review by Terry Ashley


The variants of the Panzer I just keep coming with the latest entry being from Alan Hobby with this kit of the Bison I which was created by mounting the sIG-33 15cm field gun together with its full wheeled carriage onto a modified Panzer IB chassis with a large armoured box added for crew protection.

The kit consists of 370 parts in light grey plastic with a further 240 individual track links plus a small etched screen for the exhaust cover, a couple of small decal sheets and of course the instruction sheet.Alan

The quality of the mouldings is quite good overall with most parts being free of pin marks such as the large box sides only having one present in the fairing for the gun wheel hubs and the large gun shield again having only one to deal while there are a few others about but are certainly in the minority.

There are many detail parts included in the kit and the moulding ranges from fairly crisp in some places to less well defined in others with some quite small and delicate parts for an overall good appearance.

The lower hull tub moulding includes the side fenders and front glacis plate with all the suspension mountings, and suspension units as separate parts to allow for good detail definition. There are a couple of problem areas with large pin marks in the middle of the drive sprockets which will prove interesting to remove without damaging the hub bolt heads and the glacis inspection panel is moulded as a raised panel and should be flush with glacis but on the plus side the fender tread plate pattern is well done and the securing panels along the lower sides of the engine compartment include the five bolt heads.

The suspension units with springs are free of any sink marks which is good to see and the detail on the road wheels, idlers and drive sprockets is quite well done with bolt heads on both sides of the drive sprockets and the correct profile of the road wheel spoke fillets but there is a bit of excess plastic flash to be removed from some of the wheel hubs while the front wheel suspension units have the spring details quite well defined but there is a mould seam line to be removed from the spring detail.

The tracks are individual link which seems to be the norm for Panzer I kits these days and are not designed to be workable but simply glue together to form the tracks and the detail on the links is quite good although not as fine as the track links in the new Dragon Panzer IB kit.

On the interior the front compartment floor doubles as the hull floor with a row of bolt heads on the underside and the supports for the gearbox/transmission and driver’s seat on the upper side. Added to this are the driver’s seat backrest, foot pedals and gear levers with the pedals being a bit on the chunky side but at least they are there and the instrument panel has a small decal with the dials.
The transmission has a sizable sink mark right in the middle which could be covered over with a small section of plastic card and at the rear of the hull compartment is an engine bulkhead with radio added.

Other details around the hull are the rear mud guards and lower hull towing shackles as well as the rear idler wheel axle and the etched screen for the exhaust pipe which is quite handy as the exhaust itself is quite chunky as are the tools on the rear right fender that will certainly benefit from etched brackets and clips.

On the hull front are the central head light and two fender mounted lights as well as the NOTEK light while the rear engine deck has all the hatches moulded integrally but again these are slightly raised and should be flush with the engine deck and there are also etched louvers that fit on the underside of the forward engine deck intakes, these have to be fitted before the deck is glued to the hull.

The large superstructure box has the two side panels with nice bolt head details on the panels and raised gun carriage wheel fairings and as mentioned there are a couple of pin marks on the inside of these fairings that will probably be hidden when the gun is in place. The front panel again has nice petite bolt head details on the outer panels and on the inside are three small raised pin ejector marks which are easy to remove.
On the inside of the side panels are added the supports for the gun carriage wheels and at the rear are the supports for the gun trails.

The gun as with the real vehicle is a separate assembly that is just mounted inside the superstructure and comes straight from the Alan sIG-33 Field Gun kit (#014) which does show as some of the gun mouldings are not as crisp as the new Bison mouldings.

The gun though is quite well done with the large carriage frames having details on both sides with only a single raised pin mark on the inner face to be removed and include the two large recoil cylinders on each side plus numerous other smaller details with some again being a little on the chunky side.

The gun cradle is in two halves with nice bolt head details and the barrel assembly has a separate breech block and other smaller details and overall the gun is quite well done but as mentioned the details are not as crisp as some of the other details.

The front gun shield has bolt head details on both sides and only one pin mark on the inside of the shield which will be hard to remove but again may not be that noticeable when fitted to the gun and the main wheels have very nice details included on the spokes without any pin marks or sink holes to contend with except for a couple on the separate outer rims.

Other items in the kit are eight 15cm rounds with separate shell cases and two large rocket projectiles as well as six Jerry cans with separate handles and a couple of ammo boxes.

There are two small decal sheets, one from the earlier sIG-33 kit with markings for the gun and a sheet for the Bison with no specific units mentioned but generic markings and names for three vehicles.

Sprue Images
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The kit is fairly nice and does include a good level of detailing but it is not quite to the standard of the Tristar or Dragon Panzer I kits, but will certainly build into a reasonable model of the Bison I and with some work it will look even better.
The Bison I certainly looks impressive with its large armoured superstructure and this vehicle will be most welcome by German armour fans.


15cm sIG33 (sf) auf PzKpfw.1 Ausf.B &15cm sIG33 (Towed)
Nuts & Bolts Volume 19
Jürgen Wilhelm
160 pages soft cover
Modelling the German
15cm sIG33 Bison and Grill

Gary Edmundson
Osprey Modelling 19
Osprey Publishing
ISBN 1 84176 840 5
Ground Power Magazine
#97 - 6/2002

Published by
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
2-2-13 Misaki-cho,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Artillerie Selbstfahrlafetten
15cm sIG33
auf PzKpfw.I (ohne Aufbau)
to Karl-Geraet (54cm)
Panzer Tracts No.10
ISBN 0-9708407-5-6

Thanks to CK Pat from the Tristar Shop for the review kit.

Page Created 2 July 2004

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