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Bill Koppos
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The first Panzer... 1/16 scale Takom Panzer 1b

March 14, 2024 · in Armor · · 9 · 175

Way back when I had a book entitled "Tank" by one Kenneth Macksey. Actually it was one of the first books I ever bought with my own money (An 80 dollar paycheck). It was softcover with a combo of line drawings and photos, and it included a nice drawing of this here subject matter. What I will always remember is the way Macksey described it's historical impact. "Obsolete as it was, it bore the title of 'tank' with enough conviction to subjugate unprepared enemies" (Or something close to that effect). A pretty astute observation, IMHO. It's amazing the stuff that sticks in my head.

At any rate the Panzer 1 was the first Panzer, training fledgling crews and filling in until bigger and better was available. It looked like a tank in those long columns at parades and rallies. Even though it's armor could only stop rifle ball and shrapnel, and it's weapons could not penetrate any opposing tank, it could rove deep behind the lines and cause havoc among un-armored vehicles and horses and such, adding to the dreaded sightings of the "Chars Allemands". Und so it's place in history, after which it went back to training, or providing chassis for various other uses.

's big Panzer 1 comes in 2 varieties, type a and b. The b was an extended length model with a bigger engine, my LHS had both types when I went over there equipped with a gift certificate from my darling wife, and the b went home with me. According to the internet pundits, it is accurate enough, there were some reported issues with the wheels and tracks, and supposedly it's a bit simplified. I just built it, it looks very Panzer 1 like to me. The1/35 is very small, this one is NOT. It actually took more time than I thought it would, most of the hours being spent on the tracks. the reviews said the tracks were a breeze, being big and all, but I must have gotten a later run from the molds, as these were a real pain to get together. I ended up drilling out every hole for the assembly pins, trimming flash as I went, a la Fruil tracks. I doggedly persisted with making them loose and moveable, so I could push it around a table and make clanking noises. Nobody mentioned that the assembled bogie trucks did not fit the hull right either, careful trimming being needed here. Anyways it wasn't too bad and she went together.

For color I used Tamiya's lacquer German grey, pre and post shaded with lightened and darkened tints. I used the "marbling" technique on a tank here, and I think it applies well to armor as well as aircraft. I used it for the original streaking effect and on the flat top surfaces. Also this was my first ever application of the brown second color that is now accepted as correct for pre 1940 German Panzers. (Panzer Colors 1 and 2 missed this one). I used some darkened Tamiya Linoleum brown for this, sprayed freehand. I wanted a Polish campaign marked vehicle, and working from period photos, masked and sprayed the white crosses, also known to Polish anti-tank gunners as "aiming points". Which is why they were short-lived as panzer markings. Weathering and mudding was with oil paints and my trusty and dwindling supply of Tamiya weathering sticks.

Here she is my big little beast. Always liked the looks of this thing. Very Germanic. Now, find a place for it. More stuff to the storage unit. It is however still bigger than my 1/16 Takom Japanese tankette. Hmmm the FT-17 awaits.

Reader reactions:
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8 additional images. Click to enlarge.


9 responses

  1. That's a damned good tank, Bill @billkoppos! 👍 It looks very realistic to my old eyes. Great job, sir! 🥃

  2. Excellent achievement on the Panzer, Bill @billkoppos
    Very realistic indeed, especially the rust effect.

  3. Great Pz.I Ausf.B build !

  4. Awesome in every respect, Bill!
    Congratulations!

  5. Nice work, Bill. Early war tanks are always interesting.

  6. Great tank Bill. Looks like a fun project to tackle. Looks like you did it justice. -G

  7. Very well put together model and pretty good weathering!

  8. Thanks in advance to present and future commenters. Leaving for Tucson Arizona tomorrow AM. Gonna swing North to Andy's Hobby Headquarters in Phoenix (bringing funds). I'll take pitchers.

  9. Love the big Panzer, Bill, have a safe trip.

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