While I mentioned
in my preview of this kit that it
had earned a place on the top of my stash, it quickly moved down that
very same stash once I started building it, as my discussion below
The kit has the following features of a late (i.e. end of production
run) PzKpfw I Ausf.A:
- Armored engine cooling intake and
outlet, installed from July 1937 onwards on some models. This can
easily be left off if so desired, as by the start of the war, some
vehicles still didn't carry them.
- Armored strips on the crew compartment
sides, installed from the summer of 1935 onwards. Some vehicles
used at the start of the war did not have them, and they can easily
be left off in the kit.
- No visor on the right rear of the
- Wirecutter on the right front fender,
installed from January 1936 onwards.
- Wide transmission hatch, although
the kit seems somewhere in between the early narrow and the late
- Small horn, although the early conical
horn is provided as well.
- Notek and rear convoy light (1939).
- Jack block on the rear vertical
By the end of the production run, smoke
candles were installed on the rear of the hull, which the kit lacks.
I don't believe all the vehicles carried them.
Attack depicts the vehicle as an ambulance.
I am not claiming that a vehicle in this configuration was never used
as an ambulance, but I haven't seen any photographic evidence so far.
Built (almost) OOB, the kit would be a perfect match for the munition
carrier, though. If you want to add a personal touch, you could add
a box-like superstructure over the turret ring, which was seen on
a limited number of vehicles. (Don't confuse this configuration with
the Laube, which had the whole superstructure replaced with a box-type
Thanks to the full interior, this kit would also be a good start to
build a Fahrschulpanzer (training vehicle).
Note that all parts for the other variants of the Panzer I Ausf. A
that are in Attack's catalogue are also provided (e.g. this
one), so if you have a sufficiently stocked spare decal box, you
can always build it in a different configuration and/or use the spare
turret for a bunker.
Attack gives the standard
instructions of the "normal edition" and adds a sheet for
the resin parts. This approach doesn't quite add up, as you are told
to install certain parts (the engine bulkhead for instance) that will
need to be left off if you want to install the resin parts. Worse,
you will actually have to cut away segments of the plastic parts,
like the front and rear plate of the hull bottom (part 2), and sand
off the locating ridges. The instructions don't mention this. Annoyingly,
you have to continuously mentally merge the two instruction sheets.
The part-numbers are not on the sprues, but on the parts diagram,
which I personally don't like too much. I noted that the numbers given
for the resin part in the parts lay-out diagram don't always correspond
to the instructions themselves.
In general: think twice, cut once.
Due to the
full interior, I decided to keep both hull halves apart as long as possible
and try to assemble as much as possible before joining them.
is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations
or hopes to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that a person
feeling regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed
to a poor outcome, while a person feeling disappointment focuses on
the outcome itself. It is a source of psychological stress."
- From Wikipedia.
I started with the upper hull. As this is the Special Edition, you
get a full interior in resin and ditto hatches. Unfortunately, you
get the regular plastic hull, which is soft in detail and has all
hatches closed. So a certain amount of time was spent opening up
all the hatches, thinning down the hull around these openings and
rebuilding the hinges.
The armored strips were added to the side of the hull, made from
plasticard with rivets from Calibre72. I goofed up a little as there
should be two rows of (smaller) bolts, not one... a field modification,
I thought? But then, then... I discovered parts on the sprue that
the construction manual didn't mention (although they are on the
parts lay-out). Off went my effort and on went the others. Ah well...
Almost all the tools are molded integrally with the hull, so I enhanced
them with some undercutting.
The hull visors are very poor affairs. After some headscratching,
I decided to sand them off and make new ones.
up the hatches. The turret and crew compartment hatch are already
provided as separate parts. Engine and transmission hatches not.
I logically started on this part by installing the interior and
soon ran into a wall (pun intended). The resin parts of the interior
have the usual casting stubs, but even when I sanded these off to
a comfortable degree, the parts wouldn't fit. One reason was that
the plastic firewall between the crew and engine compartment of
the non-special-issue kit needs to be left out, contrary to the
instructions. Apart from that, I also noticed that the shape of
the resin parts doesn't completely agree with the shape of the plastic
hull and interferes with the walls of the latter, which are quite
thick. All this meant that I had to continue sanding and shaving
off parts of the resin bits and of the plastic parts until a reasonable
fit was obtained. I broke off many of the more fragile extensions
of the resin bits in the process. (The resin is extremely brittle,
but very nicely cast with very fine detail by the way.) I am not
sure if I am convinced by the way my interior turned out in the
I left out the center resin part, which supposedly corresponds to
the medic's workstation, as I was aiming for an ammo carrier. I
slightly re-arranged other bits, putting them in places that seemed
logical to me. Note that you will have some left-over plastic and
resin parts, as Attack also gives those for the normal PzKpfw.
the hull halves
when working on both hull halves, I noticed that they would not
join willingly. A (partial) solution was found in removing the "wings"
on the lower hull, and filling in the corresponding recesses in
the upper hull. (See picture above.) Even with this modification,
I ended up adding a plastic strip to the outside of the lower hull,
just below the fenders to hide a prominent gap. The presence of
the interior didn't help the fit either, for that matter.
bogies fit with a sort of a tiny butt joint to the sides of the
hull, which makes for a very flimsy attachment.
first roadwheel is too close to the second (even though I don't
believe I goofed up), and there is very little I found I could do
numbering of the suspension arms is only given for one side. I found
it very easy to mix these parts up due to their similarity, and
I have an uncanny feeling I had to switch parts around to get them
tracks consist of two strips of plastic for the top and bottom run
and two curved resin sections for the idler and sprocket. They are
not too bad, but the resin parts are not quite straight.
turret hatch was installed in the open position. (What did you expect
with all the interior I installed.) This requires some careful cutting
at the hinges. The circular hatches on the engine deck (which I
believe are for the fuel filler points) should be installed with
the hinges at the front, not at the rear as the manual shows.
tubes of the mufflers that lead out from the hull needed to be shortened
for a good fit.
the early (plastic) horn, because I didn't find the later type,
which is in resin. It later turned up, but I liked the sight of
the early horn, and kept it. Besides, it was still seen in wartime
all the other engine hatches in the open position, but didn't quite
know if this was possible with the armored cover installed over
the main engine hatch, so I left that one as a separate part. I
believe the nose hatch (for the final drive) had no hinge, so I
placed it on the vehicle in a detached state.
towing pintle left my workbench for a LEO, so I had to make a new
one from plastic leftovers. The rear convoy light soon followed
in its path, so a spare one (I believe from BP
Resin) was dusted off.
Painting and markings
The interior was painted ivory white
for the crew compartment, and primer red for the engine and transmission
I painted the outside in dark grey, and used decals from the spare's
box. (I believe the unit marking came from the S-Model
As I didn't use the kit decals, I can't comment on them.
has clearly made improvements over the last few years, and the effort
they have made to include interiors with their kits is very laudable.
Unfortunately fit is still iffy and detail rather soft, which still
firmly places it in the short-run category. Then again, this is the
only plastic Panzer I Ausf.A I am aware of, and one of the very few
kits with interiors, which still makes it a good choice for the patient
painted the signal flags inside the crew compartment, I just noticed
that I still have to add the "Broken Down" flag, which is
a yellow rectangular flag with a black cross.
- Achtung Panzer No7, PzKpfw I / PzKpfw
II series and variants, M. Bitoh, Dainippon Kaiga, 2002
- Panzerkampfwagen I, History - technology
- variants - specialised vehicles, Tankograd Wehrmacht Special N°4009,
M. Zöllner, Tankograd Publishing.
Kit bought by author.