Takom 1:16 Pzkpfw 1 ausf A Build Review
For a first look, unboxing review of this kit please visit https://www.amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=14534
This is the first kit I've built in this scale, so I was a little nervous going into this but it looks like a fairly straightforward build. So per usual we'll start at the suspension and see where that takes us. Starting with the roadwheels and idler wheel, there is an interesting flanged design. Each wheel has two flanges to add to the side walls. The wheels have nice detail, including some casting marks on the spokes, but the flanges have some injector pin marks to deal with. Fit is nice, though, after a little cleanup. Of note the Idler wheels are a little bit bigger than the road wheels but follow up the same process. Also to note, the kit includes 2 extra road wheels, indicating an Ausf. B might be on the way.
After that we start assembling various suspension components. I have to say at this point the detail on the giant spring seen below is pretty weak. This probably could have been executed very differently
There are right and left parts here, so pay close attention to the instructions. It mostly comes down to a few parts with collars for retaining clips when they get inserted into the hull as seen below (oh, and yeah, seams to file)
Keep those straight- the other indicator is the direction of the leaf springs as the two bogie assemblies, large and small have different directions, as seen below.
There are a few bolt heads you need to harvest from the sprues for the suspension arms, which look pretty good and were easy to install, but some of the bolt heads on the final drive piece show limitations of 2 piece molding by showing a strange profile, but it's pretty much invisible on the final product
Anyway, I added a couple hull parts, taping things down to make sure I had a tight fit, then got the rest of the suspension installed. The front road wheel doesn't move, but the rest do, both on swing arms as well as revolving. This should make painting easier.
Now for everyone's favorite part, the tracks. These were actually pretty simple, using a single track link and plastic pin. After breaking and dropping a few pins on the first set of links I adapted my process. I actually found it was much easier to use a brass wire (about 0.025 diameter) to make sure the holes on the two links were lined up, then inserting the kit pin.
I found the resulting track set to be solid and maybe a little stiff. It was primed and hit with various rusts and metallics and dust and grime.
OK, so some final suspension assembly and check to make sure everything sits level and in line.
At this point I took a minute out to assemble the tools. At this scale they are bigger than I'm used to and I really wish Takom gave us a decal for the fire extinguisher...that's a wish that carries over to all scales and manufacturers...it's so obvious and easy. Here is some of the jack..it's really big and nicely detailed, as are all the tools.
On to the upper hull. This is essentially a set of plates built upon a frame, so I trimmed up all the plates and laid them out (adding hatches and such beforehand) before attaching them to the frame in one pass. I did this to make sure things fit as well as I could, adjusting alignment as I went. The flat parts do have some ejector pin marks on them, make sure you clean them up so the parts fit flat on the frame. I used a lot of tape and clamps to make sure everything was tight as it dried
Then on to some engine deck detail, most of which my camera ate. The vents on the back had some unnecessarily weak fitting. Most of the deck hatches fit ok. There was some filing and such to make most of them fit as they were a touch too large, and the large central hatch took styrene strips underneath because it was a little too loose. Simple fixes, but it really felt like the engine deck was engineered by someone on a Friday afternoon who was just trying to get out of the office. Even the gas caps fit poorly. The ribbed exhaust tube are also a bit of a pain to clean up. Looking at reference photos I'm not sure where they came from, I only found one photo and they seem pretty dark. Most examples I saw just had a straight pipe.
The turret was a pretty simple build, went together in a few minutes. It's too bad there wasn't more internal details, because the hatch is huge. In fact, most of the hatches and vision slits had internal detail in the arms that hold them, but with nothing else inside I decided to just pose everything closed.
Now I deviated from the instructions. I decided I wanted to do a Spanish Civil War so I got a set of decals from FC Model Trend in Spain. They also offer a number of aftermarket details for this vehicle, but I like to keep my build reviews mostly out of the box. The Takom decals that I tested are very nice and perform very well. Using Tamiya colors as follows, XF67 Nato Green for the base, XF-59 Desert Yellow and XF10 Flat Brown followed for the other colors. With this camo scheme to deal with on a large surface I decided to plan it out a little, starting with the first base coat in green then marking out the borders in pencil.
Some blue tack masking and the second color
Then the third (you can also see some of the tools painted up, each one could be a separate model at this scale.
At this point I added the only PE in the kit, shrouds that go over the exhaust. This was pretty easy, I annealed it over a flame and then bent it over a big paintbrush handle, folding the feet under it. They fit really well and look great. I had also held off on attaching the antenna channel and front vent tube to make sure I could get underneath them. After the basic colors were done and cleaned up, and additional fixes like roadwheel rubber, exhaust detail and the like were tended to, it was time to add the tools and hit the model with a gloss coat and put the colorful Spanish decals on.
After that it was time to hit the whole thing up with a flat coat (Dullcote followed by Tamiya TS80). I weather the suspension area with oil brushers and put the tracks on. I went with the kits recommendation on the number of track links, but 1 or 2 less might have been fine, there is plenty of sag.
Once I got to this point I did a final dusting of very thinned buff and added metallic pigment to tools and tracks and burned exhaust shrouds and wrapped the wire tow cable around the front hooks, no problems there. Once everything was done I used Molotow Chrome for the headlights and added the clear lenses. The big one in the center had some nice detail.
Here are the finished shots
For a light tank, it makes up into an impressive model in size and impact.
In summary I would say this was a fun kit to build, simple instructions, no error or convoluted options to sort out, some nice marking options out of the box and crisp and clean molding (despite some ejector pin marks to take care of). It's a great starting point, For the price point you get a good model any beginning or intermediate modeler could easily build up (with a little care) to something that would look great and be really satisfying. I think that the more advanced modeler will find loads of after market stuff that, with good references, will let them build any sort of super detailed end result. I also think that there are a few variants that Takom could do that would be awesome (Flak panzer, Panzerjäger, Panzerbefehlswagen and Ausf. B)
There are a couple weird choices that are probably based on whatever one they used for research, like that fluted tube going into the mufflers...I only found one picture of that as mostly it was a simple pipe. And some stuff was over simplified, like the springs on the front road wheel. I also think they could have done better on the interior. at least on the turret they could have had the back of the MGs...it's not a complicated set-up...but if it keeps the price point lower, it may be a decision I can live with.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.
Reviewed by Dave Mckenny
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