Panzer 1A Sd.Kfz.101
Early and Late Version
Tristar Kit No. 35008s
1:35 Scale
Review by Terry Ashley

Tristar have re-released their excellent Panzer IA Late version in a special package that includes the early hull from the first Panzer 1A kit (#35003) with just 1000 numbered kits being issued.

The contents of this kit is the same as in the Panzer 1A Late (kit #35008) plus the early hull (part A1) from kit #35003 with the other early hull parts required (parts C13 and C19) already on sprue C in the Late kit along with the decal sheets from both the early and late kits to use on whichever version you decide to build.

The kit consists of 155 cleanly moulded parts in light grey plastic (the early hull is in beige 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 early hull is in one piece without any weld seams included and has just the two fuel filler caps on the engine deck plus the narrower brake access glacis hatch while the late hull is split into three sections, the front transmission cover, central fighting compartment and rear engine bay. The central section also has weld seams added between the plates which could do with very light sanding to smooth a little and the glacis has the wider 75cm brake access hatch as a separate part.

The late rear engine decking has the four fuel filler caps as well as separate engine access doors and intake grill door. Also included are the smoke grenade racks often seen on Afrika Korps and later vehicles, this consist of separate smoke grenades, central rack and side supports for a total of 9 parts for the assembly, all that is needed is some fine chain for the grenade caps.

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.

The ModelKasten the tracks really lift the kit to a new level and 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 end pins.

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 figures consist of a full and three quarter figure with alternate heads for the Afrika Korps and Polish campaign with the large tankers beret or field cap. The details on the uniforms and faces are everything we have come to expect from Tristar figures and include etched parts for the ear phones.

Markings from the early kit provide 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 while those from the late kit give you one vehicle from the African and Polish campaigns

If you didn’t pick up this excellent kit the first time around this is your chance with the added bonus of the early hull for good measure, but be quick as the 1000 units may not be around for too long.

Highly recommended.

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.


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

Page created June 10, 2006

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