Sd.Kfz. 265 - Panzerbefehlswagen I

Manufacturer: ESCI/Ertl (Kit #8370; ESCI #8041; Revell/ESCI #H2341)

I planned to build this kit as a quick, out-of-the-box project. I should have known I couldn't do it. I started detailing one part, and then I had to do more ...


I really like the looks of this kit. The vehicle is small and very simple to build. This kit shares the main sprue of parts with ESCI's Panzer I and Panzerjaeger I kits. There are small, additional sprues of parts in each kit for the unique versions. The only scale references I have for this vehicle are the kit instructions, and Squadron/Signal's Leichte Panzers In Action, which do not agree on size specifications. The kit is closest to Squadron's measurements. According to the book, the model should be 62.3mm long, 28.8mm wide, and 26.8mm tall. The finished model actually measures 61.0mm long, 28.0mm wide, and 28.0mm tall. I think the height discrepancy is due to the thick tracks.

For the most part, the fit of all the parts was very good. The exception was the upper to lower hull join. The rear hull plate is too tall, and must be shaved down a bit at the top. Also, maybe it was just me, but I could not get the left superstructure side doors to fit straight.


Added Details:

Should this vehicle have the air intake cover above the engine deck? I added it to hide the intake grate at the lower rear of the superstructure, because it needs more detail. However, I have seen no photos of any Pz. I variant with this cover. The Squadron drawings are the only place I have ever seen it.

There is a small hole on the right, forward hull at the base of the superstructure. This is an antenna mount location hole for the Pz.I version, and should be filled for this present kit (which I failed to do). For the ESCI/Ertl release with the hard plastic tracks, there are plenty of extra individual track links in order to reproduce track sag.

The kit comes with one commander figure. He is dressed in the early war uniform with Panzerschutzmutz hat, and is not too poorly detailed. I painted my kit in Polly Scale Panzer Gray, and used decals from my spares box. The decals in my kit were too old to use.

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