Dragon 1/35 Panzer I ausf A

KIT #: 6289
PRICE: $22.95 when new
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2006 release


Design of the Panzer I began in 1932 and mass production began in 1934. Intended only as a training tank to introduce the concept of armored warfare to the German Army, the Panzer I saw combat in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, in Poland, France, the Soviet Union and North Africa during the Second World War, and in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Experiences with the Panzer I during the Spanish Civil War helped shape the German Panzerwaffe's invasion of Poland in 1939 and France in 1940. By 1941, the Panzer I chassis design was used as the basis of tank destroyers and assault guns. There were attempts to upgrade the Panzer I throughout its service history, including by foreign nations, to extend the design's lifespan. It continued to serve in the Spanish Armed Forces until 1954.

This is one of Dragon's 'Smart Kits', which basically means that it has individual link tracks and a photo etch fret. The fret with this kit is minimal and is basically muffler screens and some straps. The individual links are easy enough to assemble, making this a good choice for those wanting to try their hand at this feature.

The rest of the kit is fairly straight-forward. There is a lower hull piece on which one attaches the suspension bits along with the road wheels, idler gear and sprocket. There is also a rear section to the hull. With the tracks in place, the pioneer tools and muffler can be attached.

The turret provides the basic form onto which all the various panels can be attached. The various view ports can be posed open or closed. This kit is a curbside with no interior detailing. So the option to pose engine and turret hatches open or closed is sort of a moot point. The radio mast can also be posed raised or lowered.

Instructions use Gunze paint references and there are three camouflage options. One is the box art vehicle in desert tan. Another in overall panzer grey ad a third in the initial scheme of grey with spotches in khaki green and dark brown. The small decal sheet provides numbers and unit markings.

Overall, this looks like a very nice model that should prove to be a fairly quick and hassle-free build. It takes up little shelf space so is perfect for those with limited room or those who just like light tanks.



May 2023

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