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Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A 4.Serie/La.S.

DML 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A 4.Serie/La.S. - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review April 2012 Manufacturer DML
Subject Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A 4.Serie/La.S. - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6451 Primary Media 430 parts (192 “Magic Track” single links, 167 in grey styrene, 47 clear styrene, 24 etched brass)
Pros “Smart Kit” concept provides fine details in a nearly all-styrene kit; retention of “Magic Track” will please some modelers... Cons ...but track links are 1/72 scale size and not intended for the multi-thumbed
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $42.95

First Look

As noted when the first DML Pzkw. I Ausf. A kits came out, everyone has to start somewhere, and the Germans started their legendary armored forces with this little tank. While this tank, the 4th production series was only designed as a training tank, it wound up being pressed into service as a reconnaissance and light infantry support tank in both the Spanish Civil War and other minor wars. Some were still in service in 1939 when WWII proper broke out.

This time around DML has made some “tweaks” to its very nice Panzer I kit to better represent the very first production models from 1934-1936. It has some minor changes to the engine deck and two sprues of new/modified parts as well as three more clear parts.

This kit still comes with DML’s “Magic Track” snap-together dry-fit tracks that only need minimal cleanup before assembly. There will be some arguing, however, that this kit probably should have used DML’s DS plastic tracks as it is such a small vehicle they would have solved the problem of track installation, but the selection of “Magic Tracks” is not so bad. They are very tiny, however, and if you are all thumbs or suffer from any sort of joint problems they will not be fun to assemble.

While all of the ports and hatches are posable as either open or closed, there is ZERO interior detailing; even the machine guns lack breech sections. Considering the price of the kit has gone up considerably over its initial release, this is not a good sign and many modelers have already carped on line about doing a training tank and not a combat vehicle.

As this is a “Smart Kit” etched brass is held to the minimum, consisting primarily of the muffler guards and mounting straps and two small cooling vents at the rear of the hull top. It does add the two rings needed to properly represent the early model wheels.

Technical assistance was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

Finishing instructions and decals are provided for two different tanks: Unidentified unit, 1936 (panzer grey with white outline crosses); and Unidentified unit, 1936 (panzer grey with brown camouflage, white outline crosses). A tiny set of white crosses is provided by Cartograf.

Overall, this is a seminal vehicle but I am not sure of its popularity with modelers.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 35 A wheels and running gear
  • B 50 A details
  • C 24 Turret, upper hull details
  • D 28 A upper hull
  • F 21 Early model hull details, smoke candles
  • L 8 Early model road wheels
  • R 128 Magic Track links
  • K 10 Clear styrene
  • W 37 Pzkw. I clear
  • X 1 A lower hull pan
  • MA 8 etched brass
  • MC 16 Early model road wheel rings