Panzer 1A Sd.Kfz.101
Tristar Kit No. 35003
1:35 Scale

Review by Terry Ashley
NOTE: This kit has been discontinued and replaced with kit #35028
German Panzer I Ausf.A Sd.Kfz.101

We have been treated to some really nice kits recently with still more to come and probably none has been more eagerly anticipated than this first full kit from Tristar, a new player in the kit market.

TristarThe kit consists of 154 cleanly moulded parts in light grey plastic, a small fret of etched brass by ABER and a full set of individual track links by Modelkasten plus a decal sheet.

The quality of the mouldings is first class with a combination of finely engraved panel lines and raised details such as bolt heads and hinges. The tread plate on the fenders and engine grills are especially well done. For a small vehicle this kit has a lot of small detail parts which give the kit an air of real quality.

The hull and turret features all separate hatches and vision ports to allow you to show these open if you wish for a bit of animation on the kit, although there is no interior except for the engine bay bulkhead.

The road wheels and suspension arms are also very well moulded; the wheels in particular feature nice details on the spokes as well as the raised nipple on the outer face so take care when attaching the wheels to have the right side facing out. The first road wheel also has a slightly different centre hub as it is separate from the other wheels, another small detail to watch out for when assembling the suspension. The first wheel also has a nicely moulded spring and suspension arm assembly which all adds to the nice details in the suspension units.

The lower hull tub has separate front and rear plates for good detail definition as well as a rear engine bay / fighting compartment bulkhead, this is the only interior and with all the hatches open it cries out for an interior. If you place the two figures supplied in the hull and turret hatches none of the interior can be seen but I suspect some aftermarket company will be designing an interior detail set as you read this.

The one man turret is very well detailed for such a small item with the large top hatch having details on both sides and no pin ejection marks on any surface. The four vision blocks around the turret are also separate parts as are the three lifting hooks around the turret rim. The gun mantlet is in two parts with the inner movable section held in place by the outer section, both of these parts have the same excellent details as the rest of the kit as does the two MG barrels with very subtle cooling jacket holes but you will need to drill out the muzzles (you have to have something to do).

There are many small details to be added around the hull including lifting hooks, exhausts and all separate tools including the mounting brackets for the jack. The horn on the front plate is hollowed out (very nice) and there is a three part towing shackle on the rear plate as well as other small details.
The front and rear fender extensions are also separate parts as is the long thin ‘lip’ along the side fenders. Etched covers are provided for the two rear exhausts which you need to ‘roll’ into a nice curve to fit over the plastic exhausts.

And to the tracks which really lift this kit to a new level. Done by ModelKasten the tracks will be familiar to anyone who has used ModelKasten tracks before, with the superbly moulded track links which fit together neatly and held in place by the separate pin.

There are different links for the right and left hand side tracks, so take care when removing these from the sprues and assembling them, it would probably pay to put the links in separate plastic bags as you remove them before assembly.

The two figures included have nice uniform details and each figure has two alternate heads with nice facial details, one with the early large tankers beret and the other with the later field cap.

Markings are provided for four vehicles, one from the Spanish Civil War, one from Pz-Abt.zBV40 Norway 1940, one unidentified vehicle from the Polish campaign and lastly one from 5 Liechte Division Afrika Korps.

In all this is an exceptional little kit with very nice details all over the place, the inclusion of etched parts and the excellent tracks really stand out, it may make the kit a little more expensive initially but lets be honest a lot of modellers spend more on aftermarket details items than the initial cost of the kit so why not include them from the start to save time and money?

This kit not only fills a gap in early German vehicles but is worth it if you just want to build a very nice kit from the box. We can only wait to see what the future holds from Tristar but judging by this kit the future looks very bright. Highly recommended.

The full Building review has been updated including pictures during constructions.

Also check out Brett Green's build up of the this kit on Hyperscale to see how good the kit is.

The sprues
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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.


Page created 3 September 2002

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