Saturday, March 3

Some lesser known facts (and some stuff I made up) about the 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A 4.Serie/La.S. - Smart Kit from Dragon

Dragon keep to their relentless schedule of new and in this case an updating of older kits with their new 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A 4.Serie/La.S. - Smart Kit. Having added a new slide moulded deck to this kit to keep up with modeller’s demands there is plenty of other things to like about this kit – read on in our preview to see what to expect.
Some history first - and some pictures to illustrate and some little known Panzer I facts... (mine are in Bold just in case you get lost)

Did you know the Panzer I competed in the Olympics?... These guys made it - unlike some others further on..
As Germany attempted to rearm in the 1930s in the lead-up to WWII, the military leadership relied heavily on the Pz.Kpfw.I. Some 1,493 examples of all types were built and these light tanks served in the early campaigns even though they were supposed to be just training platforms. Mass production of the Ausf.A commenced in April 1934, with this version having four road wheels per side, and production continued until June 1936. 
These tankers couldn't get past the car-park fence...
To conceal its true function, Germany originally labelled these vehicles as Landwirtschaftlicher Schlepper (“agricultural tractor”, La.S.). The fourth production run (Series 4) was the final type in the Ausf.A family. The Panzer I featured a rotating turret with two 7.92mm MG13 Dreyse machine guns. The vehicle was thinly armoured with just 13mm steel at its thickest point. It operated with a crew of two men. The small and vulnerable tank was eventually phased out in favour of better and heavier designs.
These guys got lost altogether!!

Now for the serious stuff....Dragon is offering a fine 1/35 scale Smart Kit of a 4.Serie/La.S. Version of the Panzer I. The kit depicts a vehicle slightly later in origin than the Early-Production Panzer I Ausf.A released earlier (Item No.6289). Indeed, this Ausf.A variant is a welcome addition to Dragon’s Panzer I line-up as it utilizes some high-quality components from previous kits, but mixed with a range of brand new elements specifically introduced for this 4.Serie tank.
These modifications include a newly tooled engine deck that’s made with the aid of slide moulds, and the louvred hatch that’s positioned near the rear of the deck. The kit has the correct suspension and transmission inspection cover for this variant. The track links may be tiny but they’re perfectly produced via Magic Tracks with no need for time-consuming cleanup. The Panzer I may have been small in size, but this model kit possesses an enormous stature in terms of quality and ease of construction. TheBox Size is 9.6" x 15" x 2.4"

- New multi-directional slide-molded engine deck appropriate for this version
- Road wheels with photo-etched parts to represent undercut detail
- Multi-part idler wheel assembly for greater detail
- Sprocket wheels reproduced in full detail
- Glacis plate w/removable transmission inspection cover and fine bolt detail
- Tiny screw details - countersunk screws flush w/hull surface
- Well-detailed turret weld seams and screws
- Suspension exclusive to this specific version
- Side fenders w/detailed tread pattern
- Fighting compartment access hatch can be positioned open/closed
- Turret vision port covers can be assembled open/closed
- Visor interior detail reproduced accurately
- Turret access hatch can be assembled open/closed
- Multi-directional slide-moulded turret w/screw detail
- Antenna assembly can be modelled in upright or stowed position
- Driver's vision port covers can be assembled open/closed
- Engine deck hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Photo-etched exhaust cover
- Lower hull formed from multiple parts for greater detail
- OVM w/molded-on clasps
- Magic Tracks reproduced by slide mould
- Brake cooling pipe w/fine detail

Available from April 2012 in all good Dragon Outlets and from their shop On-line