Sunday, December 26

Build Review Pt III: Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A in 35th scale from Takom.

Clayton's build of Takom's Panzer IA & Panzer IB in 35th scale is complete. He has taken the time to show us how he finished the Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A kit off so nicely in a DAK scheme from priming to camo, tracks, weathering, dust & rust. See how he did it in the third part of his report...
Build Review Pt I: Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A & Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B
From Takom
Kit No #2145
1/ 35th scale
2 kits in the one box (both A & B types - one of each)
8 marking choices - either PZ.1A or PZ.1B types.
Link & Length tracks supplied in this kit
Photo-etch parts included

Today: Pt III: DAK Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A in 35th scale from Takom: Painting & Weathering
You know when you go through those periods in your life when it’s a struggle to find any time for modelling? Well, I have been smack bang in the middle of that period! Life seems to keep getting in the way and productive bench time is really hard to come by at the moment, so whilst my review of the dual boxing of the Takom Panzer 1’s was some time ago, I had always planned to get back to these kits and finish painting them both.

I did manage to get the Ausf B, all painted and weathered – Some of you may have seen that review. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check it out.
Whilst I was happy with the way the model turned out my favourite version of the Panzer 1 has always been the Ausf A. I find that one less wheel and shorter body configuration so unique and interesting and was looking forward to the weathering possibilities the North African desert environment offered.

So, when a rainy weekend presented itself, I took the opportunity to get back to the model and finally finish off the last part of the kit review.

When we last saw this model, I had pre-painted the running gear and the tracks and primed the rest of the model. The full build review from July 2021 can be seen here and will give some insight as to why the lower section of the model was assembled and painted as a separate stage. To refresh your memory, this is where I got to.
I’d used a different grey on the Ausf B, so for this little fellow, I went back to something a little dirtier and freehand sprayed the primed sections with German Grey with SMS Lacquer. I went with a darker grey because this would essentially represent the chipping colour, so I wanted to keep it dark so as to add considerable contrast once the model was complete.
Most of this grey layer will be lost with subsequent painting however I couldn’t resist the urge to add a few highlights to the grey using a mix of Light Grey and Kure Grey. It’s probably more about me having fun with the airbrush than actually adding much to the finished model…but adding an additional ‘visual’ layer is always a good thing and is an integral part of producing a successful finish on your model.
The tools, exhausts and gun barrels were brush painted using a mix of Vallejo acrylics. These Panzers were shipped to North Africa in their factory scheme, and once they hit the ground were painted in the Gelbbraun colour to help blend in with the desert. This colour was darker than the traditional Dunkelgelb we so often see on German armour, so as modellers we must be mindful of that variation. But back to my point of painting the tools is that in reality they would have been painted straight over the top, so painting them now is more in keeping with the actual way things would have been presented in real life.
The model then received two coats of hairspray and after about 15 minutes of drying time, the top colour was airbrushed over the model. The paints were thinned using Isopropyl Alcohol. I find using a dedicated lacquer thinner can make them difficult to chip and IPA works better. The initial coat was applied using Tamiya Dark Yellow 2 and was highlighted using a blend of the base colour and white. The coverage was purposely mottled and imperfectly applied to help present the field applied nature of the paint. The mottling also helps present a faded look.

Whilst I mentioned the darker colour of the Gelbbraun in the previous step, I have still used the Dark Yellow here because I know the next few steps will help drag the colour down to where I need it to be.
Almost immediately after the paint is applied, I set about creating the chipping. The surface is covered in tap water using a flat brush and after about a minute was worked using an old brush and a toothpick. The effect works best when it is randomly applied to logical areas. Here you see extra attention was placed on the transmission hatch to show where it may have been handled by the crew.

You can also see the effect of the tools I was speaking of previously. They have just been completely painted over. Heavy chipping was focussed on these sections also.
Working in small sections and methodically moving around the tank is the best way to produce interesting results. Be sure not to leave the paint too long though because the longer it cures the harder it will be to chip. Some paints are far more forgiving, however. Some acrylics can be chipped for days after they are applied. Lacquers you need to work far more quickly.
Notice the different levels of chipping over the various sections of the tank. Variation makes for an interesting and more realistic model.
After two coats of Tamiya Clear have had ample time to cure the decals were applied. The large numbers on the turret sit right through the vision hatch so a sharp scalpel was used to cut them along the ridge so that sat flush. Decals softener was used to settle them on the surface.
Then on to my favourite part of the painting process! The Post-Shading. A heavily thinned mix of Clear Smoke and Linoleum Brown is applied to recesses and around details. The effect is enhanced by adding streaks in a downward motion. The effect is subtle but adds an amazing amount of depth and life to the model. I always feel the model goes from looking a little toy-like to looking like the real thing and this stage.
A pin wash is applied using a mix of Industrial Earth and Shadow Brown. The wash enhances the details, but it also gives the illusion of making the overall tone of the finish a shade darker and closer to the Gelbbraun I was going for.
The shading and the pin wash layers often compress the spectrum of colour in the model. In order to help extend the colour range of the model, small dabs of oil paint are applied to the model’s horizontal surfaces. The areas that would be subject to the harshest conditions (sun exposure etc). The dots and then worked into the surface using an old brush and a scrubbing motion. It isn’t blending with enamel thinner…it is literally just scrubbing the oils into the surface.
Once the step has been completed you can see some of the lighter tones in the paint have been re-introduced helping to sell the weathered and worn look.
After a couple of days, the model is treated to a matte varnish and left to dry. A dry mix of Rubble and Sand pigments are ground into the surface around selected recesses and logical areas where dust and sand would gather. The matte varnish helps the pigment bind to the surface. As long as the model isn’t handled too much after this point the dry application of the pigment is more than adequate for a display model.
Metallic parts such as the gun barrels and some of the tools are polished with a silicone brush and Gun Metal pigment. With that stage complete the model is ready to photograph.
I have raved about these kits previously, so I’ll hold myself back this time and just reiterate the fact that this dual boxing is a real winner and easily my favourite release of 2021. The kits are just so buildable and offer the modeller a great deal of choice out of the box. 

The completed Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A: The Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A in a walk around. first, a closer view of the tank's details...

A wider walk around the tank...
 To add scale and a human connection, a figure was added, with the Alpine Miniatures 35th scale Alpine Miniatures DAK Panzer Crew 2 #35073
To top it off, I created a base to make this little scene a full one - with an excellent result...
Lastly, in combination with the brother kit in the same box, the Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B that I made earlier this year... 
I hope Takom extend this line of Panzers because the elements are all there to build on. A command version or a Bison would be greatly welcomed. I noticed Ammo have released the Spanish Breda in 1/35 using the foundations of this kit , so that is really exciting news for us Early War armour fans.

Clayton Ockerby

Price: $41 USD from Hobbylink Japan
Thanks to Takom for sending this kit to Clayton to build and review