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Tristar 1/35 Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf.A ohne Aufbau Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review April 2011 Manufacturer Tristar
Subject Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A ohne Aufbau Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35025 Primary Media Styrene/Photo-Etch
Pros Highly detailed kit of Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf.A training vehicle Cons Microscopic PE parts, that will prove impossible to assemble
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $45.00

First Look

Pz.Kpfw. I
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Prevented by the Treaty of Versailles from possessing or manufacturing tanks or similarly designed armored fighting vehicles, Germany skirted the treaty restrictions by producing 15 tank hulls without superstructures, turrets or armament. To spread production experience as far as possible, five companies had been selected in 1933 to produce 3 vehicles each. The official designation “Landwirtschaftlicher Schlepper” (Agricultural Tractor), helped disguise the fact that any type of tracked armored vehicle was being manufactured.

Designed as a training vehicle, the turretless Krupp Traktor was not intended for combat. In the spring of 1934, it was issued to the first two Panzer regiments, Kraftfahrlehrkommando Zossen und Ohrdruf to give troops their first experience of driving a fully-tracked armored vehicle. Krupp-Gruson-werk was awarded a contract to overhaul these 1. serie/La.S. chassis and convert them into training vehicles by adding a rail.

Tristar is a model company based in Hong Kong. This kit is in a shrink wrapped tray and lid type box. The box art shows this Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A training vehicle tooling along a dusty dirt road. The vehicle has a driver and a riding figure sitting on the left fender while hanging onto a railing (these figures include in the kit). The vehicle is overall Panzer gray and exhibits no markings at all.

Inside the box are 11 light tan parts trees in 8 sealed cello bags. A small sealed cello bag holds one tree of clear parts, a brass PE fret and the decal sheet. The instructions complete the kits contents. This box is jam packed with trees.

The instructions consist of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 8 pages in 7” x 10” format.

Page 1 begins with a black and white repeat of the box art, followed by the history of the vehicle in English and Chinese. Below this is READ BEFORE ASSEMBLY instructions and repeats of addresses for Tristar in China and Japan again.

Page 2 is the parts tree illustrations.

Pages 3 through to the top of page 8 gives a total of 10 assembly steps. Step 10 includes the figure assembly drawings.

The bottom of page 8 has 3 marking and painting schemes. All 3 are labeled as UNKNOWN.

Scheme 1 shows the vehicle in a wave pattern of Panzer gray and I believe tan. The lighter shade just says letter G, referring to the color listing below and that color listing is blank where the name of the color should be?? Tristar should have said what the color is here. The bow of this tank has the letters NSKK 1 in white on it. It shows the optional fender front ends installed.

Scheme 2 is in the same wave pattern and has the German cross on the bow and the white numeral 6 on the front of the left fender. This illustration also shows the optional fender front ends installed.

Scheme 3 is overall Panzer gray only. It has small white letters N35 on the rear compartment wall to the right. It is minus the fender front ends.

Below this is the decal application instructions, in English and Chinese and Japanese. Colors are listed for Tamiya and Mr. Color brands of paints.

Tree letter A holds suspension parts etc. (25 parts)

Tree letter B holds turret parts etc. (25 parts)

Tree letter C holds body panels, muffler, tools etc. (30 parts)

There are 2 identical letter D parts trees. These hold the road wheels, drive sprockets, return rollers etc. (28 parts per tree)

Tree letter E holds the transmission and driving compartment details, floor, side walls, bulkheads etc. (49 parts)

Tree letter FT holds the 2 crewmen’s parts. They are divided into separate torsos, arms, legs, heads and side caps (14 parts)

Tree letter GP is clear parts for headlight lenses etc. (6 parts)

Lettering jumps now to letter I tree. It holds the fenders, grab railing, radiator, engine parts and many small details (74 parts)

Lettering jumps now to letter T trees, of which there are 3 identical ones. They hold the individual track links. (64 links per tree)

The brass fret of PE parts is next. It holds the muffler screens and many super-tiny detail parts. I shudder to think about handling these parts later as they are almost microscopic in some cases. I think Tristar should have molded a lot of these details into the plastic parts with the same result looks that the PE parts would offer. Some parts are actually the size of the periods in these sentences! This fret could have been made with just the muffler screens and Tristar could have omitted the rest of the parts. In my opinion they are redundant and will prove to be for many modelers impossible to assemble and impractical!! Very over-engineered by Tristar.

The decal sheet completes the kit’s contents. It holds the German crosses and the white lettering mentioned above.