German Flak Panzer 1A
w/ammo Trailer

1:35 Scale
Review by Terry Ashley

Following on from their Panzer 1A (kit #35003, #35008) and 20mm FlaK38 (kit #35010) Tristar have done what the German Army did in 1941 and married the two together making the Flak Panzer 1A which basically had the turret removed and superstructure cut away to mount the 2cm FlaK38, also towing an ammunition trailer fitted to the standard Sd.Ah51 Trailer.

The kit consists of 311 parts in light beige plastic with another 128 individual track links with Sprues A, B, C and D from the initial Panzer IA (kit #35003) and sprues A,  B and J from the FlaK38 (kit #35010) and new sprues E, F and G for the Flakpanzer parts. There is also a six part clear sprue plus a small etched fret and the decal and instruction sheets with the standard of moulding good overall but a few parts have some excess fine flash and some quite exaggerated mould seams that will need cleaning. This gives the impression on some parts such as the lower hull parts and inner floor section that the edges are not smooth but clean up okay without much trouble.

There are also some nicely rendered details such as the floor and fender tread plate pattern and the front transmission with cleanly moulded suspension parts.


The lower hull is new for this kit and has the lower plate and both sides as separate parts that allow nice details to be included on both sides including details on the bottom of the engine compartment even though no engine is included in the kit. Fitting the lower hull parts together is probably the most important part of the kit as it forms the basis for everything else and on first look the mating edges of the lower and side panels seem uneven due to a bit of flash present but once smoothed out fit together okay.

But before attaching the hull sides it’s best to assemble the interior parts which consists of the forward transmission made up of 14 parts and the detail on this assembly is excellent, in fact the plastic transmission has better details than on the resin part in Tristar’s own Panzer I Interior set (#TSR-001) with the reverse usually being the case.

Other details include the suspension cross members, rear bulkhead with separate central plate plus the raised floor section with excellent tread plate and compartment details. There is also the driver’s seat, control levers, foot pedals and instrument panel fitted to the underside of the glacis plus inside covers for the final drive housings for a nicely detailed interior.

The interior assembled easily with very good fit of the parts, especially the rear bulkhead and raised floor with the only trimming being a small piece to be removed for the left front corner of the floor behind the seat to clear the inside axle mounting.

It is a good idea to let the rear bulkhead (part C6) dry completely before attaching the side panels as this allows the sides to be positioned perfectly upright and provides a firm footing. The fit of the side panels was very good overall and using Tenax 7-R there were only a couple of minor join gaps requiring filling with the fit of the front and rear hull panels (parts C22 and E7) being very good without any gaps for an overall good fit.

The rear hull has additional parts for the fenders, tail lights and large towing hitch for the ammo trailer that includes fine etched securing chain.

The assembled lower hull tub was perfectly square and the glacis (part E4) was also a very snug fit between the hull sides without any hint of gaps and has a separate inspection hatch so you can see the excellent transmission details after assembly.
The fenders also fitted perfectly to the upper hull sides and there are separate outer fender lips for good detail and the only filler needed on the whole assembly was for the few minor gaps along the lower hull joins.

The new front superstructure has subtle weld seams included as well as recessed bolts along the front edge and the three visors have separate outer visor covers and three parts inner visors including clear vision blocks with the panel also fitting easily to the lower hull. Apart from the visors there is no other detail on the inside of the superstructure and the full width FlaK38 gun base is then attached across the hull with a single part for the rear engine compartment.

This may be in one part but has excellent details on the sides, rear and top that includes the distinctive intake grills of the Flakpanzer and the nicely rendered upper intake grills and fuel filler caps and the two fender mounted exhaust have etched heat shield covers as they did in the previous kits.

The suspension is from the initial Panzer 1A kit and is very well moulded; the wheels in particular feature nice details on the spokes as well as the raised nipple on the outer face so take care when attaching the wheels to have the right side facing out. The first road wheel also has a slightly different centre hub as it is separate from the other wheels as they are joined by the suspension beam and also has a nicely moulded spring and suspension arm assembly which all adds to the nice details in the suspension units.

The drive sprockets are nicely detailed but the hub bolts are slightly undersized if you want to get picky and the return rollers also include new etched hub details to address one small area of detail missing from previous Tristar Panzer I kits.

All the tools are separate parts with the clips mounded on and could benefit being replaced with etched tool clips for that extra bit of detail.

I should make mention here that sprue B is included for just a few front fender parts and the jack which means you get a complete 1A turret to add to the spares box, quite a nice little bonus for anyone who may want to build a Drehturm turret or any other project where a Panzer 1A turret would come in handy.

The small individual track links have excellent details but are not designed to be workable and are simply glued together to form the track runs. Each link has the three sprue attachment scars to be cleaned but other than that can be quickly assembled and formed around the drive sprocket and idler while the glue is still tacky.

Views of the new links

The gun is taken directly from kit 35010 except that the outrigger base is omitted and the ammo trailer included instead. The 20mm gun moulded separate to the gun mount and a separate shell ejection shut cover while the flash suppressor is partially hollowed out but the six muzzle brake openings are only represented by small indentations.

Additional information in the form of the actual gun dimensions from the FlaK38 Technical Manual show that the kit barrel is the correct overall length but the barrel section is 2mm too long and the housing section 2mm too short.
The measurements are; full length of the gun (housing and visible barrel including flash suppressor) is 2252.5mm which equals 64.357mm in 1:35 scale and the visible length of the barrel with flash suppressor is 995mm being 28.429mm in 1:35 scale.

Kit barrels compared based on Technical Manual dimension showing the
Tristar barrel being 2mm too long and the gun housing 2mm too short.


The two sides of the cradle box with the large bearing rings have nice details included and there are only a few very small pin marks on inside lower surfaces to deal with.

The attention to detail is typified by the left side ammo rack being in three separate parts which allows the X stamping on each to be faithfully reproduced. Also on the inside of the right cradle is a separate perforated reinforcing bracket, which is barely seen after assembly but does add that extra level of detail.

While the gun will elevate when fitted into the bearing rings the instructions show to fix the gun in one of two positions, horizontal of elevated to about 45 degrees, this is due to the side elevation arm which is fixed to the lower cradle and the gun mount, but it would be fairly easy to alter this so the gun will elevate if you wish.

The round base plate has nice tread plate pattern included and bolt head details around the outside rim with the nicely represented gunner’s seat made up of four parts attached to the left side. There are only two small pin marks on the base tread plate but these are positioned where they will be covered by the gunner’s seat so you don’t have to worry about these. This plate attaches to a circular mounting plate that in turn fits to the hull gun platform.

The main gun sight is made up of five separate pieces and has excellent detail definition as a result but is designed to be fixed into place in accordance with the gun elevation so remember to line this up with barrel in what ever position you choose.

Very noticeable are the gun shields which are moulded superbly thin for plastic shields and have very subtle bolt head detail as well as absolutely no pin marks to be seen and really are the best looking gun shields this side of etched metal. Also included are the cutouts on the lower corners of the main shields to allow the gun to traverse in the small confines of the Panzer I hull.


The Sd.Ah.51 trailer is also very well done but the main trailer frame has some prominent mould seam lines to be removed but this can be done very easily, the wheel mud guards are included in the frame moulding but still have well defined details.

The two wheels are very nicely done with subtle tread pattern and again no pin marks on either side of the wheel rims which again adds to the nice detail as does the multi part trailer hitch which is made up of seven parts.

The large ammo trailer is a fairly simple affair with the main box section in one piece apart from one end and the top which has details on both sides in case you wish to show this open. The details around the trailer are very crisp and well represented.

A selection of 20mm ammo boxes is included for the trailer or elsewhere in a diorama setting and the trailer is a perfect fit into the trailer frame.

For a detailed look at the gun see the FlaK38 comparison review here of the Dragon, Italeri, Tamiya and Tristar kits.

The small decal sheet is well printed with very thin carrier film cropped extremely close to the printed image and should help during application.
There is a selection of vehicle numbers with the instructions showing markings for just two vehicles but with small numbers for vehicle No. 211, 212, 213 and 214 from the unit below;

Clear parts

Despite some minor non-typical flash on a few parts the level of detail is excellent from the nicely detailed interior to the excellent FlaK38, the kit will build into a very nice replica of this attractive variant of the Panzer 1 family.

Highly recommended.

The sprues
Click for larger image
Detail images
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Panzer Tracts No 1-1 Panzerkampfwagen I Kleintraktor to Ausf.B
Panzer Tracts
Thomas L Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle

Panzer Tracts No 1-2 Panzerkampfwagen I Kl.Pz.Bef.Weg, to VK 18.01
Panzer Tracts
Thomas L Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle

German 20mm FlaK in WWII 1395-1945
By Werner Müller
Schiffer Military History
ISBN: 0-88740-758-7
Tamiya Photo Album 4
Tamiya Plastic Model Co.
Krupp Protze
Flak30, Flak38
Ground Power Magazine
Issue #071 April 2000
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
Pz.Kpfw.I/Pz.Kpfw.II and variants
Achtung Panzer No.7

Dainippon Kaiga Co.,Ltd..

Tristar ShopThanks to CK Pat from the Tristar Shop for the review kit.

Page created February 24, 2006
Updated February 25, 2006 (Blue Text)

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