After Panzer I Ausf.B (6186), Panzer I Ausf.B DAK Version (6207) and Sd.Kfz.265 kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen 1 (6218) DML now released a fourth incarnation of the small Panzer I tank model. Just as the previous release, this one also depicts the command version i.e. Sd.Kfz.265 kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen, but this time the kit is released in 3-in-1 style and following variants can be built:
- frame antenna version,
- add-on armor version,
- tropical version (DAK).
But this new release is not just a previous kit with new parts added - it is much improved kit now, as many parts have been retooled with more refined and more accurate details and a lot of new clear parts were added.
For more information about previous release please read Robert Blokker's review here on Armorama
and Terry Ashley's review at Perth Military Modelling website
(carefully check photos in Terry's review and compare them to my photos to see improvements in the new kit).
In the Dragon's usual colorful box we get eight sprues of light gray plastic (more sprue letters are listed in instructions as some smaller sprues are molded together) plus one piece lower hull part in the same material, two clear parts sprues, three photo-etched frets, decals sheet and big folded instruction sheet with 14 assembly steps and painting & decaling guide.
General layout of parts is the same as in previous release of this vehicle's model with new details provided for three depicted versions, but a lot of improvements were also made to basic vehicle parts. For example most ejector pin marks were eliminated from parts - it is particularly visible on all hatches, which are now spotless. Another significant improvement is the inclusion of clear parts for vision blocks and added were also all parts for the opening mechanism of armored vision block covers (provided as clear parts, as they were added to the same new sprue as vision blocks). One major inaccuracy of previous releases was also eliminated - the idler wheels are now properly composed of two discs, not solid as they were in earlier kits. There may be other improvements, but I don't know much about Panzer 1 and I don't have any of earlier kits of it (I only know them from mentioned reviews), so I can't tell much more.
Update 2005.06.11 It was brought to my attention that the main lower hull part it this kit has also been retooled and now features much thinner fenders than previous kit, where they were too thick. Thin fenders are clearly visible on the photo of hull part below.
In this new kit we don't get any figures, but instead included are two small sprues with jerry-cans and photo-etched parts fret with jerry-can details.
The new kit is another example of Dragon's practice of constantly improving their products in subsequent releases and DML are probably the only model kits manufacturer so carefully listening to all comments from modelers and reviewers. In the box the kit looks excellent and should build into very detailed nice little model.
Many thanks to Dragon Models for the kit sample.