Panzer I Ausf.B
Dragon Kit No. 6186
1/35th Scale
First Look Review by Terry Ashley

Dragon have certainly released some excellent kits of late with their Panther series, Sd.Kfz.251 and the T-34s as examples but this new kit of the B model Krupp sports car lifts the bar a little higher.

The kit represents the later Panzer I Ausf.B 6a.Series/LaS which features the reinforcing bar across the rear hull and hinged rear track guards and consists of 167 parts in the usual light grey plastic with another 216 individual track links. There is also a small etched fret with engine deck grills and the exhaust cover as well as small etched chains for the smoke discharges plus clear parts for the three head lights as well as the decal and instruction sheets.


The detail on the parts is truly excellent with very well done weld seams on all hull and turret panels joins as well as very subtle engraved screw head detail and nice raised bolt/rivet details. The road wheels have equally well done details with the bolts on the drive sprocket being the correct size and again excellent rivet detail on the lower hull bottom with nicely rendered tread plate pattern on the side fenders.

One problem with the suspension is the idler wheel which is depicted with a solid rubber tyre as with the Panzer 1A idler. The idler wheel on the Panzer 1B was in fact a new all metal design with a gap between the inner and outer wheel discs with connecting ribs and the box top art actually shows the correct configuration. Granted this is a difficult design to replicate in injection plastic but hopefully Dragon can have another look at this in any future kits on this chassis.

Image showing the actual 1B idler and the kit idler.

The Hull:
The lower hull tub includes the side fenders with multipart suspension units and separate front road wheel axle with nice shock absorber spring and rear idler wheels.
At the front is a separate plate with nice rivet and weld seam details but ensure this is attached the right way up with the bolts at the bottom while at the rear is a choice of two rear panels for an early or late configuration with or without the smoke dischargers plus alternate tail lights. The tail light mounting and later style tail light with convoy lights are included as etched parts for nice definition.

The upper hull has the forward glacis/superstructure and rear engine compartment deck as separate parts and in an interesting engineering exercise the superstructure and engine deck have an inner shell with all separate outer panels which allows the inclusion of all the superb weld seams, bolt and rivet detail that really does stand out and adds an extra dimension to the kit.

All the hull crew hatches are separate parts but there are some pin ejector marks to be removed from the insides of the hatches that should be easy to fill. On the engine deck all the access doors and fuel cap covers are also separate parts more for detail definition but will make it easy to add an aftermarket engine if you wish, take note that the etched screen for the right rear intake grills has to be added from the inside before the top deck is glued in place.

As another bonus there are alternate visors with and without the three conical bolts seen on the later visors and all visors can be shown open if you wish but you will have add the inner mounting for this.

There are many smaller details around the hull such as the towing shackles, head lights (with clear parts) and siren with separate face for good definition on the front hull as well as a full selection of pioneer tools along the fenders as well as very delicate radio aerial support tray and aerial.

The Turret:
This turret has the upper shell with separate lower turret ring and separate front panel with machine gun mantlet with two nicely detail MG barrels.
The turret shell has again superb conical rivet detail around the visors and weld seam detail around the top plate join with separate top hatch, this has some good sized pin marks on the inside to be removed but should be easy enough to fill.

There is also a rudimentary crew seat included to allow the Commander figure to stand on if he is positioned in the hatch.

The Tracks:
These are all individual links with very fine details but being very small will require some patience to assemble but the end result is excellent detailed tracks.

While they are individual links they are not workable and have to be glued together but to help with this each link has small pins and corresponding grooves so each link will locate precisely into the next giving the correct spacing between each link and a positive seating, but be sparing with the glue so you don’t clog up the small spaces between the links.


Bonus figures:
Also included are two standing figures from the figure set “German Sturmartillerie Crew” (Kit No. 6029) which have very nice details on the uniforms and also include a small etched fret for headphone details to give you a ready made crew.

The instructions:
These are of the traditional line drawing exploded view type with easy to follow construction sequences but as with any kit careful study of the instructions before gluing is advisable.

The sheet is well printed with good colour register and reasonably thin carrier film (not as thin as say Microscale, but not as thick as Tamiya decals) and should go on okay with decal setting solutions.
Markings for six vehicles are included:


This is a superb little kit with excellent details such as the weld seams, conical bolts and recessed screw heads with the engineering of the kit allowing all this detail to be included without compromise and the inclusion of alternate parts for the visors and rear hull panel gives some nice choices and will build into an top notch kit out of the box.

What the Tristar kits were to the Panzer 1A this kit is to the Panzer 1B and it is also good to see Dragon did the Ausf. B and not repeat the Ausf.A something that will be appreciated by modellers.
This kit is a must have for German armour fans and hopefully Dragon do more variants on this chassis.

Highly recommended.

Also see a review of the new Sd.Kfz.265 kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
Detail images
Close new window to return to review


Panzer Tracts No 1-1
Panzerkampfwagen I
Kleintraktor to Ausf.B

Thomas L Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle

Panzer Tracts No 1-2
Panzerkampfwagen I Kl.Pz.Bef.Weg,
to VK 18.01

Thomas L Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle

Ground Power Magazine
Issue #071 April 2000
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.

Pz.Kpfw.I/Pz.Kpfw.II and variants
Achtung Panzer No.7

Dainippon Kaiga Co.,Ltd..

PanzerKampfwagen 1 & II

Ian Allen Publishing

AFV Modeller
Issue 12

Excellent photo feature on the Panzer 1a

Military Modelling Magazine
Vol.27 No.8 1997

Photo feature on a museum Pz I.


Thanks again to the guys at Rainbow Ten for their excellent service.

Page created 2 June 2004
Page updated 24 August 2004

Click Browsers BACK button to return to list
Home / Reviews / Vehicle Reviews / Dragon