DML 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B DAK Version Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2004||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B DAK Version||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6207||Primary Media||597 parts (545 in grey styrene, 27 etched brass, 25 in clear styrene)|
|Pros||Very nicely done kit, separate hatches at all openings, several different options permit a dead match for specific vehicles, choice of styrene or etched brass parts; includes parts for well-known 21st Panzer Division command tank||Cons||Very tiny individual track links will not be popular with some modelers|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$27.98|
Dragon has been really cranking out kits lately, albeit many of them being modifications of earlier releases with new parts and options. This is one such kit, as it now takes their nice little Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf. B kit and provides the options to build it as one of the famous "Afrika Korps" ones.
As opposed to the original kit (No. 6186) that came with a total of nine plastic sprues, the new version has been slightly retooled and comes with 12 and includes figure set No. 6063, along with two new sprues of parts, two sprues of "jerry" cans, and another fret of etched brass. The figures provide a compliment to the model as there are four figures in the more casual dress found in North Africa. This set provides two figures in pith helmets and two with soft caps, all in casual poses with mess tins or canteens. A field stove and ration containers are provided. A puppy is also included for diorama potential.
Also new to this kit is a set of clear styrene vision blocks and block frames, which are used to provide the basis for the vision port mounts and also the locks for opening the external vision ports (recall it was a bit hot in Africa and many vehicles traveled around "unbuttoned" whenever possible to avoid cooking the crew – German films clearly show them frying eggs on fenders!)
All of the previous kit options on exhausts and view port covers have been retained, and this one also provides six complete "jerry" cans with an optional etched brass "seam" that is cleverly designed to be trapped between the halves of the can during assembly (parts N1 and N2 with MB2).
As before, the kit includes 288 single track links, which are not going to be popular with some modelers as they are very, very small – each one is about 3 mm x 7 mm. If you do not have a fine sprue nipper or keyhole type razor saw, getting these off the sprues will be difficult. I recommend the following procedure. Before cutting them off the sprue, cut open the end bars of the sprue to take the tension off the parts. This way, as you trim the parts, they are not compressed upon themselves but instead come free. You wind up with fewer broken and damaged parts this way. Also, they do have a pin-and-notch system for assembly, at least, so assembly should be much easier than you would think once you have them off the sprue.
Most of the etched brass parts deal with the rear of the hull and are used with the smoke candles. This isn't so bad, as there are also some options where brass parts can be used to replace styrene ones, which is one of the best ideas that DML has come up with in a long time.
The model offers two different paint schemes. The famous one (Red R) is from the 21st Panzer Division 1941-42 and the other is grey (the instructions state "Field Grey" but suspect they meant Panzergrau, which is NOT the same color) from the 5th Panzer Division, Tripoli, 1941. Something tells me either they meant to say either the 5th Light Division or the 15th Panzer Division, and not the 5th; that division was in Russia at the time.
Again, this is a really nice effort by DML and provides plenty of options.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.