Munitionsschlepper auf Panzerkampfwagen 1 Ausf.A
with Ammo Trailer

Tristar 1:35 Scale Kit No. 35050
Review by Terry Ashley

The Kit:
Tristar continue their Panzer I series with this latest kit of the Munitionsschlepper with Sd.Ah.32 trailer which is basically the Panzer IA Aust A from kit #35028 with the inclusion of the Sd.Ah.32 trailer. The kit has all the parts from the previous kit with alternate 3.series/La.S or later 4.series/La.S Panzer I Ausf.A parts including the turret parts that are not used with the Munitionsschlepper version. The only thing to note is the instructions don’t mention the turret assembly obviously so you would need the previous kit instructions if choosing to build the gun tank and use the trailer elsewhere?

The actual Panzer I Munitionsschlepper was simply the standard Panzer I hull with the turret removed and two hinged metal plates fitted over the turret ring opening and towed the small Sd.Ah.32 trailer to supply ready ammunition for supported units. These vehicles were only used in the early war campaigns in Poland and France with most being converted to Flakpanzer Is thereafter.

The kit consists of 353 parts in light beige plastic with another 192 individual track links, 6 in clear plastic, 46 etched brass parts plus 2 small metal springs and the usual decal and instruction sheets. As mentioned all the sprues from the previous Panzer I kit are included with the turret parts marked as not used plus a new sprue for the trailer and complete new superstructure for the hinged top hatches. The kit still includes the full interior of front gearbox/transmission, driver’s, station, central fighting compartment and full Krupp M305 engine with the instructions only showing the 3.series/La.S part applicable to this kit with the 4.series and turret parts not being used.

Clear and Etched parts

The standard of moulding is good overall but some of the older parts have a little excess fine flash about the place and the new trailer parts also have some flash and mould seams to be removed. For newly tooled parts there does seem to be more cleanup required than one might have thought and some mating surfaces will also need to be smoothed for a good fit.

Dimensionally the kit matches perfectly to data and 1:35 plans in the Panzer Tracks No. 1-1, 1-2 Panzer I and Achtung Panzer No.7 Panzer I and II books to well within acceptable limits giving the printing processes etc. which makes for a good start.

Given this is the same kit as previous #35028 much of the text below is from that review with edits for this kit plus additional comments for the new parts included.

Lower Hull:
This has the lower plate and both sides as separate parts that allow nice details to be included on both sides including details on the bottom of the engine compartment for the full engine included in the kit. Fitting the lower hull parts together is probably the most important part of the kit as it forms the basis for everything else and before attaching the hull sides it’s best to assemble the interior parts.

The forward transmission is made up of 14 parts and the detail on this assembly is excellent, details include the suspension cross members, rear bulkhead with separate central plate plus the raised floor section with excellent tread plate and compartment details. There is also the driver’s seat, control levers, foot pedals and instrument panel fitted to the underside of the glacis plus inside covers for the final drive housings. Also included on the rear firewall is the prominent starter motor with tread plate cover that is a notable feature and all this makes for a very highly detailed interior.

The interior assembled easily with very good fit of the parts, especially the rear bulkhead and raised floor with the only trimming being a small piece to be removed for the left front corner of the floor behind the seat to clear the inside axle mounting.

It is a good idea to let the rear bulkhead (part C6) dry completely before attaching the side panels as this allows the sides to be positioned perfectly upright and provides a firm footing. The fit of the side panels was very good overall and there were only a couple of minor join gaps requiring filling with the fit of the front and rear hull panels (parts C22 and E7) being very good without any gaps for an overall good fit.

The rear hull panel has additional parts for the fenders, jack block and towing hitch and the panel features the lower curved profile but as there is a panel join line present that may need to be eliminated to represent the smooth curved profile better.

Added to the rear hull is the new large towing pintle with the lower support frame, pintle mounting and separate pintle along with a small length of etched chain for the attachment pin.

At the front is the separate lower hull panel that includes the eight small rivets along the bottom edge and also the two small brackets on the final drive housings with the fit to the hull also being good but you may want to add the weld seams that go along the undersides of the final drives for a better appearance as these are not present.

The assembled lower hull tub was perfectly square and the glacis was also a very snug fit between the hull sides without any hint of gaps and has a separate inspection hatch so you can see the excellent transmission details after assembly.

Added to the side are the full length fenders with nicely done tread plate pattern on the top surfaces only plus additional outer lip for good definition but care is needed when fitting this to ensure it lines up correctly with the fender to avoid and gaps.

Also added to the front of the fenders are the small position lights and the front fender extensions that have multi-part etched attachment brackets to give very good definition to this detail. All the tools are separate parts with the clips mounded on but with small etched brackets to add a little more detail without going the whole way of removing the plastic clips and replacing with etched parts. There is a choice of the early cone horn or later rounded type plus the Notek light on the left fender and the centrally mounted head light with separate clear glass.

The two exhausts mounted on the rear fenders are in two parts each with nice texture on the ribbed engine outlet pipes but the fishtail outlets are not hollowed out which you may want to do for a better look. The finely etched exhaust heat shields are best annealed by running them through a candle flame to make bending to the curved shape a lot easier and there are small “feet” on the shields to make locating over the exhausts easy.

The road wheels and idlers which have the inner wheel in one piece and two outer rims that gives the rim lip of the original wheels for excellent definition. The road wheels have the re-enforcing ribs applicable to the 3.series and later 4.series Panzer Is and their diameter matches perfectly to references listed below. There is a minor mould seam around the rubber sections that is easy to remove and there is also the grease nipples included on the wheel hubs and these should face outwards so watch this when assembling the suspension units.

The first road wheel also has a separate centre hub as the other wheels are joined by the suspension beam and there is nicely moulded spring and suspension arm assembly which all adds to the good details in the suspension units.

The drive sprockets are nicely detailed but the rim bolts are only on the outer face and are slightly undersized and it would have been nice if this detail was enhanced along with the wheels to really make the running gear while the return rollers are the revised type with hub details that match photos well. The suspension arms and mountings are all nicely moulded but there are some mould seams to be removed and the spring units need care to preserve the nice leaf spring detail during this process.

The original road wheel sprue D is still included as this has the drive sprockets, return rollers, mufflers and other parts so you actually get two full sets of road wheels and idlers of the correct diameter if you wanted to use these on other kits.

The small individual track links have excellent details but are not designed to be workable and are simply glued together to form the track runs. Each link has the three sprue attachment scars to be cleaned but other than that can be quickly assembled and formed around the drive sprocket and idler while the glue is still tacky.

The full superstructure is a new part in this kit with the turret ring plates and separate split hatches to replace the turret from the previous kit.

The superstructure has the front hull plate included with the crew hatches and all vision ports as separate parts and features very nicely done weld seams around the superstructure joins, these are more subtle than on the previous part and not as pronounced along with flush screws along the front panel and around the side hatch openings. The two bolted re-enforcing strips either side are include but on the insides the inner vision block frames are not included but the driver’s clear vision block is still on the small clear sprue.

The two part side hatch is in separate parts with a separate inner latch on the top door and there are no pin marks or other blemishes on the hatches and it’s interesting that in the special kit the superstructure is in clear plastic while all the hatches and visor covers are in normal beige plastic.

Rear Engine Deck:
There are still the two engine decks included with the instructions indicating to use the one with the two fuel filler caps for the 3.series/La.S (part I-1) with separate parts for the rear oil cooler access hatch that has louver detail on both sides and no pin marks to mar the louvers. The two engine access hatches are also separate with latch detail on both sides and again no pin marks to be seen with the fit of these hatches to the engine deck being millimetre perfect. Also included are small brackets that allow you to prop the engine access doors slightly open for better cooling which is sometimes seen in photos of active Panzer Is.

The rear deck panel has the cooling air outlets with very finely moulded screen mesh included but you are also provided with etched screen mesh and surrounds to use if you wish plus the cast armoured cowl covers as used on all wartime Panzer IAs. To add the etched screens requires you to carefully cut out the plastic screens and add the etched screens but as these are mostly hidden by the armoured cowls it’s up to you if you want to add the mesh screens but having the option is good.

Added on the inside of the engine deck are the exhaust outlet covers and oil cooler compartment coaming as well as the inner fuel filler receptacles and finally the forward blanking panel is added.

Engine Compartment:
The full air cooled Krupp M305 engine is included and has excellent details with the main engine block as one piece with crisp details on all sides and also fully hollowed out and added to this is the lower sump cover which has excellent details even though it can’t be seen after the engine is mounted in the bay.

On top of the engine is mounted the central magneto and two large air filters with separate top covers which are attached to two long pipes feeding to the undersides of the cylinder banks plus the two ribbed exhaust pipe extensions which attach to the outer exhaust pipes so they just don’t finish in mid air.

Mounted either side are the cylinder bank heads with again excellent details included as well as additional plumbing while on the back of the engine is added the large finned electric generator and circular fan which are again superbly moulded without any flash or other blemishes.

The only cleanup needed is the usual moulding seams and the fit of the parts is excellent and builds into a superb engine and it’s a shame to hide much of the detail when fitted inside the engine compartment.

The two large fuel tanks in either corner are nicely detailed with the oil filters (parts I40) added to the sides and the upper oil cooler has extremely fine grill detail on both sides without any pin parts and this can be fitted in the normal down position or raised with the cooler door open to show the detail below the cooler.

Sd.Ah.32 Trailer:
The trailer is nicely detailed although the parts need a little cleanup of the fine flash and mould seams as mentioned above with the lower frame/wheel covers moulded in one piece. Added to this is the main axle and shock absorbers that use the two small metal springs for added detail.

There are additional support frames for the fenders and attachment brackets on the trailer arm and rear can be fitted in the stowed (towing) position or deployed for the stand alone trailer. The wheels are moulded in one piece each with nice tyre tread detail and wheel dish detail on both sides with separate outer hub caps.

The ammunition box has separate floor sides and two part top hatches along with perforated inner honeycomb shell storage liners; the hatches can be shown open of closed with additional securing brackets and handles.

A full load of short 75mm shells (for StuG III) is provided in both groups of eight rounds as well as single rounds should you want to show the box not fully loaded with the assembled box fitting neatly onto the lower frame to complete the assembly.

The small decal sheet has just 8 white Balkenkreuz in two styles and a couple of data blocks for the trailer with just a single marking option on the instruction sheet. This is for an unidentified unit on the Easter Front in 1941 but as mentioned the Panzer I Munitionsschlepper was phased out after the earlier French campaign and replaced with the armoured Sd.Kfz.252 which also towed the Sd.Ah.32 trailer.

The large foldout instruction sheet has detailed exploded view drawings of the assembly sequences and due to the number of parts some are quite busy and you will have study these carefully before proceeding.

As with the previous releases this new kit of the Panzer I Munitionsschlepper is another superb little kit in the Panzer I series with a level of detail throughout the entire kit including the interior and full engine.

The addition of the small Sd.Ah.32 trailer with full ammo load is a nice bonus and while there is room for additional detailing as with any kit the overall fit of the parts is excellent making for a superbly detailed kit straight from box.

Rating 8/10

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
Sprue 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.
PzKpfw I vol.1
Tank Power Vol.XI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.226
Pz.Kpfw.I/Pz.Kpfw.II and variants
Achtung Panzer No.7
Dainippon Kaiga Co.,Ltd..
PanzerKampfwagen 1 & II
Tanks & Armour:
Ian Allen Publishing

Thanks to Tristar Models for the review kit.

Page created September 13, 2011

Back to Top