Sd.Kfz. 265 kleine
Dragon/DML, 1/35 scale
u m m a r y
Media, Contents and Price:
||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale
‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6218; Sd.Kfz. 265 kleine Panzerbefehlswagen
|Media and Contents:
||465 parts (437 in grey styrene, 25
etched brass, 3 clear styrene)
||estimated at USD$27.98
||Clear, crisp, state of the art
version of this little vehicle; crew a bonus
||Single-link track not likely to
appeal to all modelers in this scale
||Highly Recommended for all light
armor, early WWII and German armor fans
Dragon's 1/35 scale Panzer I Ausf. B will
be available online from Squadron.com
The Germans learn from their mistakes, as a general rule, and when they
create something new out of whole cloth they look to the past for guidance. In
the First World War, tanks were generally unable to communicate with each other
with the exception of visual signals, e.g lights, flags or even a semaphore
system of wig-wag signals used by the British. But the French grasped the basics
and created an armored radio command tank on the FT-17 platform, the T.S.F.
When the Germans went to create their new tank force in the 1930s, they realized
early on that it had to be a radio-equipped force to be most effective on the
battlefield. Not only would it need to have a radio in every tank for
short-range control and coordination, but they would also need longer-range sets
to keep commanders in touch on a much larger battlefield than those fought over
in past wars. But even then, only a receiver would fit in the first tank, the
tiny Pzkw. I. As a result, a specialized model had to be created to carry both a
transmitter and receiver so that a commander could control his tanks on the
In 1935, between 6 and 15 early model Ausf. A tanks were converted to become the
kleine Panzerbefehlswagen or Sd.Kfz. 265 – small Armored Command Wagon. As time
progressed, a special longer chassis was used, eventually becoming the hull for
the Ausf. B version of the "battle" tank. A total of 184 of these were produced
between 1935-1937. Later, when larger tanks came into service and the Pzkw. I
series was judged obsolete, they were converted to fill other functions as an
armored ambulance, a mobile command post or a mobile observation post.
DML's kit uses the hull of their nice new Pzkw. I kit but with two new sprues
added (J and K) providing the 34 parts needed to convert it to a command
vehicle. It provides parts for both the early split-hatch model and the later
rectangular cupola. It also has more optional position hatches and a choice of
view port styles. The only thing I did not see in the kit was a blanking plate
for the machine gun mount as used in later vehicles. The kit only has one part
(K15) for this and that is the gun mount itself.
The model also comes with the old StuG III crew set from DML (#6029) so the
modeler has a set of figures as well. Note that both the early "crash helmet
beret" and the later sidecaps are also included in this kit. The headset bands
are now part of the etched brass fret ("MA Parts") so there is no more steel
fret for this kit.
The only squawk I ever hear over kits like this have to do with the itty-bitty
single links for the tracks, which can be tedious to assemble. Still, this tank
used "dead" tracks made of cast steel links, and it is the only way to get them
to look right.
The kit comes with five different marking schemes – an exercise one in Germany
in 1938 which is actually somewhat gaudy, and four solid Panzergrau ones – one
of which is an ambulance with the 4th Panzer Division in France 1940.
Overall this is a nice little kit and one that begs for an interior, so I am
sure the after-market boys will be modifying their old Italeri kits to fit.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Review Text Copyright © 2004 by Cookie
Page Created 22 August, 2004
Last updated 21 August, 2004
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