Saturday, July 2

Preview: Takom's Panzerbefelhswagen I. Sd.Kfz.265, 3-in-1 in 1/16th scale

This one will be popular. The new adaptation of the Panzer I in 1/16th scale from Takom is this Panzerbefelhswagen I. Sd.Kfz.265. We look at the tank in real life & the kit's features in our preview...

Preview: Takom's Panzerbefelhswagen I. Sd.Kfz.265, 3-in-1 in 1/16th scale

Panzerjäger I B Mit 7.5cm StuK 40 L/48From Takom
1/16th scale
Kit No #1018
Photo-etch included
Kit designed by Jason Studios
The kit comes with one figure included
The kit is due out in October (estimated)
The Subject: Panzerbefelhswagen 1 3 in 1 Sd.Kfz.265
The Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen I (PzBefw I) was a small armoured command vehicle, based on the Panzer I light tank. That tank carried a radio receiver but no transmitter and nor did it have enough space for a radio operator. 

On campaign, the command tank lightly, then heavily camouflaged...
On the PzBefw I extra space was created by removing the turret and extending the superstructure upwards, increasing the overall height of the vehicle by 25cm. The extra space was used to house a FuG6 radio transmitter and a third crew member to operate it. One machine gun was carried in the extended superstructure. The PzBefw also featured a longer chassis and used a more powerful Maybach NL38TR engine, replacing the 60hp engine used on the Panzer I Ausf I.

The caption on this phot reads "Soviet Union.- "Operation Barbarossa", command tank I Ausf. A on a country road"
Between 1935 and 1940 the PzBefw I was standard equipment in the German Panzer divisions. Each Panzer division contained sixteen tank companies, formed into four battalions, two regiments or one brigade, a total of twenty three headquarters, each with at least one command tank. It was this emphasis on combined action that made the German Panzer Divisions so much more dangerous than an examination of their actual tanks would suggest. In 1940, the PzBefw was also issued to the signals and observation battalions of the Panzer artillery regiments.

Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen SdKfz 265 with Rahmenantenne (loop antenna)
One hundred and ninety PzBefw Is were produced between 1935 and 1937. Of those, 96 were still in used in May 1940 at the start of the invasion of France and the Low Countries. After that campaign they were withdrawn at company level, but retained at higher levels until the end of 1942. After the Polish campaign, 15mm of armour was added to the front of the hull, superstructure and cupola, bringing the total up to 28mm. Even so, by the end of 1941, the PzBefw I was badly outdated.

One o these tanks has been restored and resides at Bovington Tank Museum to this day.

The Kit: Takom's Panzerbefelhswagen I. Sd.Kfz.265, 3-in-1 in 1/16th scale
The kit is an adaptation of Takom's earlier Panzer I Ausf B kit with the turret deleted and the commander's position armour put in place with the radio antenna on the top of the tank. Even through this tank has only one machine gun, it seems popular with modellers and we think it will sell very well for Takom.
There are six variants of markings are included in the kit. The figure, designed, like the kit, by Jason studios, is supplied with two headgear choices (!). One is the flat overseas forage cap, the other, the earlier Polish & French campaign era bump beret. Two head choices on a figure are something normally provided with expensive resin kits!

The suspension, tracks and road wheels are workable and can move up or down, which is good for displaying a moving vehicle. 

The kit should be available in October...

That is all we know about this release for now. You can see more about Takom's kits on their website or on their Facebook page