Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Panzer 1 Ausf A in 1:35 scale wip

If I really had to exert myself to find some sort of positive side to the pandemic it would be that the longer indoor hours are ideal for larger scale modelling or gaming projects. For the last few weeks I have been busy at my latest build - a 1:35 scale Pzkpfw 1 from Hobby Boss. Now this model is a bit different from most since it has a full interior build - hull, turret, and engine - so really it's two builds in one, internal and external. 
The kit - it is such an early model of the Pz1 that there is also a SCW variant

The interior is highly detailed but from my research I soon realised that I would have to make some additions. All external viewports needed to have latches, hinges, and rivets added and furthermore all electrical wiring in the crew and engine compartments was missing.  But the main headache was the interior colour. I have come across a lot of confusing references - some entirely in Ivory (the Germans used a colour called Elfenbein), some entirely in a dark hull red colour, some claiming a mixture of both with the lower hull in red while the upper hull and turret in ivory. Others mentioned a light blue differential while others still added a dark green differential since the Germans were cleverly passing their early tanks on as agricultural tractors to circumvent the Versailles treaty conditions!  Actually all these colour schemes were in force at some time or another but it is not always clear at which point they were employed between 1935 and 1945. I decided to do a Spanish Civil War vehicle and my final choice fell on an entirely Elfenbein interior but to be honest I am still not sure if I made the correct decision.
As for the build itself this is a really excellent kit and very few parts proved problematic to fit. When it came to finishing the interior I imagine any vehicle in which a crew is spending long hours would end up pretty messed up after a few days on campaign. So I tried to give a very dirty appearance to the interior with all types of oil, fuel, mud, and assorted grime on the lower hull flooring.  I hope I haven't overdone it but I doubt anyone would wipe their boots clean before entering a tank! The driver's feet position I messed up particularly badly seeing that it would have been constantly trodden upon and I also added rust, paint chipping and grime to both the floor and side wall. I reasoned the worst of the wear would be in the lower hull, getting less and less grimy further up in the upper hull and turret. 

Lower hull with transmission in centre foreground and driver's position on right

The Pz1's Krupp M305 engine is beautifully rendered
Lower hull driver's position

Lower hull interior. The port latches, hinges, and rivets are all built from scratch

Turret interior with suspended commander's chair. Again, all port structures are from scratch
The two MG13 7.92mm machine guns are highly detailed

Next to the ammo rounds in the upper hull I noticed what seems to be a toolbox which I couldn't possibly leave empty. So I quickly ordered a toolset in 1:35 scale from Mathomodels and filled the box with tools. I think it came out very nicely.
Mathomodels photo etched tool set. Cool!

The tools snug inside their box next to the ammo rounds

With the interior practically done it's now time for the exterior
I still have to do some pipework around the radiator in the engine compartment and a few touching up here and there but I consider the interior mostly done. I will now move on to the tank's exterior and hopefully upload the next post with the finished model. There are two Spanish Civil War colour versions and still haven't decided if it will be the full dark grey 'Negrillo' or the later three colour camouflage pattern in sand, green, and brown.  Jury's still out on this one!
Until next time, keep well.