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Leichte (Funk) Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A

DML 1/35 Leichte (Funk) Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review November 2012 Manufacturer DML
Subject Leichte (Funk) Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6591 Primary Media 581 parts (307 in grey styrene, 192 "Magic Track" single links, 45 etched brass, 37 clear styrene)
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 Experienced MSRP (USD) $44.99

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. But even during WW I it was seen by the French and British that radio equipped command tanks were going to be needed to keep the new formations in contact with headquarters, and in1934 the Germans converted 15 Ausf. A tanks into radio-equipped command tanks. Unlike the later Ausf. B based command tanks, the first variant used a new casemate welded to the upper hull of the standard gun tank and a complete suite of radio sets inside the hull.

This time around DML has once more mixed and matched bits from earlier Panzer I kits and three of their generic radio set sprues with new mold parts to produce a model of the 15 very early model command tanks. 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, this kit comes with a complete interior for the crew compartment (no engine is provided albeit some parts from previous kits are on the sprues).

While this is a "Smart Kit" etched brass has been increased over some previous variants and covers the wheel rings as well as one brass radio rack and other elements better done in brass. These include the muffler guards and mounting straps and two small cooling vents at the rear of the hull top.

Technical assistance was provided by Ed Kusiak, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

Finishing instructions and decals are provided for two different tanks: Unidentified unit, Germany 1939 (brown/earth/green camouflage with lightning bolt on the right rear fender). A tiny set of white crosses is provided by Cartograf along with the lightning bolt.

Overall, this is a nicely done vehicle with a full radio fit and should be of interest to "wiggly amps" fans.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 35 A wheels and running gear
  • B 54 Fenders, idler mounts, hatches, details
  • C 23 Upper hull details
  • D 28 A upper hull
  • F 21 Early model hull details, smoke candles
  • G 32 Interior, floor, engine components, controls
  • H 14 Casemate, hatch, guards and brackets
  • J 37 Machine gun parts, interior components
  • L 8 Early model road wheels
  • L 4 Early model springs, idler mounts
  • R 192 Magic Track links
  • W 37 Pzkw. I clear
  • X 1 A lower hull pan
  • MA 28 Etched brass
  • MB 1 Etched Brass
  • MC 16 Early model road wheel rings
  • RB 9 Radio accessories
  • RC 14 Racks and radios sets
  • RD 18 Radio sets