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Panzer I

Tristar 1/35 Munitionsschlepper auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf.A with Ammo Trailer Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2011 Manufacturer Tristar
Subject Munitionsschlepper auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf.A with Ammo Trailer Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35050 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons No crew figures
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $TBA

First Look

Panzer I
Panzer I
Panzer I
Panzer I
Panzer I
Panzer I

The Wehrmacht made good use of captured and obsolete combat vehicles during the war. For example, when a tank was deemed obsolete, it wasn't simply scrapped - it was altered to serve another purpose. Such is the case for the blitz tanks that swept across Europe in the early days of World War II - the Panzer I. It wasn't long before the Germans knew that they'd encounter more formidable armor and German industry was already hard at work on the next generations of tanks. As the Panzer I was phased out of front-line service, the Panzer I chassis was repurposed into other missions such as mounting an anti-tank gun on the chassis and creating the early Panzerjagers or changing the armor and adding a radio to create the Panzerbefehlswagen (command tank). Another useful variant was the battlefield 'gopher' - an armored tractor that could go for ammunition and transit through a battle zone that would not be safe for a truck.

Tristar has been turning out some stunning 1/35 scale variants of the Panzer I and this latest release adds yet another to that tally. This kit includes many of the parts trees released in their Panzer I Ausf.A kit as well from later production variants of the Panzer I. New in this box is the Sd.Ahn.32 ammunition trailer.

Molded in desert yellow styrene, the kit is presented on 15 parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus a fret of photo-etched details. If you look at the parts trees, it appears that you could build a regular Panzer I out of this box even though this option isn't mentioned in the instructions.

As with the previous Panzer I variants in this series, this kit uses individual track links to make up the two track runs for this model. These are provided on three parts trees which can be assembled easily with a good track jig and liquid cement.

The kit features a nice interior around the driver's compartment as well as for the vehicle commander in the upper hull. The interior includes a detailed transmission and driver's station as well as internal stowage. Behind the firewall is a fully populated engine compartment complete with a Krupp engine and its support systems. The upper hull has the commander's station complete with radio equipment which allows the crew to deliver ammunition where it is needed.

The viewing ports, crew access hatches and engine access hatches are all positionable so you can pose the vehicle closed-up in a combat situation or opened up to show off all of that nice detailing inside.

The trailer is also nicely detailed and includes a full supply of tank ammunition hanging in the racks. The top access doors of the trailer are also positionable so you can pose the trailer to match the setting of your Panzer I-based tractor.

No crew figures are included in this kit but there are sufficient aftermarket options out there that would allow you to crew up your Panzer I tractor to help set up the visual story for a diorama or vignette.

Markings are generic white Balkenkreuz crosses as these vehicles were strictly utility (though you can always take some license and personalize the tractor as they may have appeared in theater).

This is a nicely detailed kit and with the help of a couple of crew figures, you could turn this super-detailed gem into a nice vignette or diorama centerpiece. Even without the figures, this kit would be a shame to display with the hatches and ports all closed up with all of the beautiful detail inside.

My sincere thanks to Tristar for this review sample!

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