Pz.Kpfw I Ausf.B
In it's relatively short history as a manufacturer of scale model armor, TAKOM has certainly brought the armor modeling world some interesting and exciting choices in products. TAKOM's selection of subjects in their series of 1/16th scale kits are a case in point.
The vaunted ( and justifiably feared ) German Panzerkampfwagen family began with the Panzerkampfwagen I in the early 1930's with the tanks intended mainly as training or at best scout vehicles. Lightly armed, lightly armored and underpowered, these Panzer I tanks were blooded in the Spanish Civil War, and fought on in Hitler's panzer forces until well into late 1941, through the height of the blitzkreig years. Modifications to the early Panzer I Ausf.A were needed, specifically a better engine, which required lengthening the tank's chassis, which also meant an additional road wheel per side would be needed. An improved transmission was also added to what now became the Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf. B. These improved tanks were produced between 1936 and 1938, 650 or so were manufactured. This little tank that was so instrumental to the big reputation enjoyed by Hitler's Panzerwaffe early in WWII is the subject of this kit review.
What's in the Box?
Despite some pretty drastic damage to the package in which the model was shipped to me, penetrating through a couple of inches of packing material inside the package where it did mangle the side of the kit box itself, there was no damage to the kit itself. I usually note whether or not I find any transit related damage to a kit when I first unbox a kit. In this case, I was actually quite surprised to find no damage, happily!
So, on to the sprue photos!
Sprue A ( x2 ) - road wheels, upper rollers, drive sprockets
Sprue A - detail
Sprue A - detail. Nice bolt detail on the drive sprockets
Sprue C - upper hull superstructure
Sprue C - detail. Note the nice recessed slotted screw heads
Sprue E - misc. on board tools, machine guns
Sprue E - detail. Here we see one of two 7.92mm machine guns on this sprue. Gun muzzles are hollowed out.
Sprue P fenders, other hull parts
Sprue P - detail. Nicely defined tread plate detail on the fenders
Sprue S (x2) Suspension parts, idler wheel
Sprue S - detail
One piece lower hull tub, nice bolt detail
Lower hull tub, bottom view
Turret - nice weld seams
Turret - rear view. With a huge hatch and all these vision ports, it's a shame there is zero interior!
Individual track links - x20 sprues
The tracks will definitely need some clean up
reverse side detail view of track links
Track pins ( x10 sprues worth )
Decals for four tanks, copper tow cable, photoetched exhaust shield
Well done 16 page instructions booklet
Sample instructions page
Two of the four paint / markings schemes drawings, nicely done by Ammo of Mig.
A quick examination of the sprues as I was photographing them was done. The kit parts are cleanly molded in a medium hard gray styrene. There was no damage to any parts noted, no short shots. Nice big parts means nice big sprue attachment points, but nothing here really requiring a chain saw. Ejector pin marks look to be reasonable in size and placement, and while there is a wee bit of flash present ( mostly on the tracks ), it shouldn't be too much effort to remove.
Given the relatively large parts, I'm happy to say that all parts are dead flat, straight and true. No twists, no warping of any sort. No sink marks are present. Parts quality is top notch.
The photoetch fret is well made, scale appropriate and with small attachment fret points.The copper tow cable is nice, and the decal sheet is well printed and the colors are registered well. Given the sheer size of the decals, I may opt to cut the decals as closely as possible to minimize the carrier sheet that goes onto the model with the decal itself. Speaking of the decals, we are given a choice of 4 sets of them to use; all 4 tanks are panzer gray w/ brown camo stripes, 2 are Polish campaign, 2 are invasion of France, 1940.
The instructions are clearly drawn and look quite easy to follow. It's been awhile since I've built in this scale, I'm looking forward to building this little guy in a big scale!
Highly Recommended ( pending full build review, so stay tuned...)
Thanks to TAKOM for the review kit
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region
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