Tuesday, April 13

Takom's "twofer" - Both Pz.IA & Pz.I.B in 35th scale in the one box from Takom...

Takom's new offering contains two 35th scale kits in the one box! The Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A & Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B are both inside this one boxing which will please fans. We have some info on them both and of the real thing(s) in our preview...

Preview: The Panzer IA & Panzer IB in 35th scale from Takom.

Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A & Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B
Kit No # 2145
1/35th scale
2 kits in the one box (both A & B types one of each)
8 marking choices - either PZ.1A or PZ.1B types.
Link & Length tracks supplied in this kit
Photo-etch parts included
Altering their popular 16th scale series of kits to a smaller scale, Takom's new offering of the Panzer IA & Panzer IB in 35th scale - both kits in the same box! What is the difference between them you say?
The Panzer I was the very first in a long line of tanks. Its story is linked to the 1919 treaty of Versailles, which severely reduced the abilities of the German Army to rebuild a potent army. Germany was forbidden from owning any kind of tanks. But, despite the fact that the few tanks built in 1917-18 never had the power to change the outcome of the Great War, the potential of this new weapon was well-understood.
In 1930, Krupp was selected by Waffenpruefwesen 6 (the automotive and tank design office of the German army) to work on the design of a small light tracked tractor named Kleintraktor. It was to be equipped with a 20 mm (0.79 in) auto-cannon, powered by a 60 hp engine and weigh no more than 3000 kg. A year later, in 1931, Krupp sent a description of the Kleintraktor-Fahrgestell (chassis) to Wa.Prw.6. A description of the superstructure was promised after the construction of a wooden model.
The Krupp Kleintraktor was described as a fast and manoeuvrable tracked vehicle that weighed about 3.5 tons and could achieve 45 km/h (28 mph). The hull was made of steel sheets welded together. It was armed with a 20 mm (0.79 in) auto-cannon and carried 500 rounds.

Panzer I during Japanese testing - note the new Japanese number plate.
As development proceeded, several prototypes were made, and faults were removed from the tank. The turret was redesigned to fit 2 machine guns and armour was increased. In 1933, the Panzer I was considered ready and an order was placed for 150 training tanks, with another 1000 combat-ready tanks being ordered the following year. Neither of these orders were fully delivered.

Chinese Panzer I Ausf. A’s with DP machine guns, abandoned in Nanjing, December

Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf A Version:
This first model came into production in late 1934, and continued until early 1936. Around 800 were built, having several limitations. The armour was insufficient, being only 13 mm (0.51 in) at its thickest. There were problems with the early suspension, making the tank pitch backwards at high speeds. There were also concerns about the propulsion, overheating, the commander being both gunner and loader of the two machine guns, and communication going through old-fashion vocal tubes. With its two machine guns, light armour and speed, these machines were nothing more than training and scout tanks. Despite this, most of them fought in regular Panzer divisions alongside the improved Ausf.B until late 1941.

Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf A Specifications
Mass: 5.4 tonnes (6.0 short tons)
Length: 4.02 m (13.2 ft)
Width: 2.06 m (6.8 ft)
Height: 1.72 m (5.6 ft)
Crew: 2: commander and driver
Armour: 7–13 mm
Main armament: 2 × 7.92 mm MG13 machine guns
Engine Krupp M 305 four-cylinder air-cooled gasoline engine
60 PS (59 hp, 44 kW)
Power/weight 11.1 PS (8.1 kW)/t
Suspension: Quarter-elliptical leaf spring suspension.
Operational range: 200 km (120 mi) on-road; 175 km (109 mi) off-road.
Speed: 37 km/h (23 mph) on-road; 25 km/h (16 mph) off-road.

Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B in history:
The Ausf.B was an improved version of the first model. It appeared in 1936 and was built until 1938, with around 675 machines produced. The main difference was a longer chassis (by 40 cm) with one more road wheel, in order to accommodate a much more reliable and powerful water-cooled, six-cylinder Maybach NL 38 TR delivering 90 bhp, along with a new gearbox. The suspension was also largely improved. 
The weight rose to 5.8 tons, but neither the armament nor armour was modified. During the war, the ‘main’ version of the Panzer I was the Ausf.A. Soon, both Ausf.A and B served as the basis for sub-versions and adaptations, such as the Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen, or light command tanks, which had their turret replaced by a larger superstructure. 
In 1940, several Panzer I Ausf.Bs were rearmed with the Czech 47 mm (1.85 in) gun, resulting in the Panzerjäger I tank hunter. Other were equipped the 15cm sIG and became the heavy artillery carrier 15 cm sIG 33 (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B, which was designed to destroy fortifications with its 150 mm (5.9 in) howitzer. The resulting tank had a very high profile, only partial crew protection, and both the chassis and propulsion were highly overloaded.
This new kit(s) from Takom:
- Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A & Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B
- Kit No # 2145
- 1/35th scale
- There are two kits in this one box in this release - (both A & B types one of each)
- 8 marking choices - either PZ.1A or PZ.1B types.
- Link & Length tracks supplied in this kit
- Photo-etch parts included
This kit will be available in May from Takom's Suppliers Worldwide...