Sunday, December 9, 2012

Minairons Miniatures: 20mm Panzer I Ausf. A

Hi, I just finished the review of the splendid 20mm Panzer I Ausf. A plastic boxed set of the new Spanish company called Minairons Miniatures and was really surprised about the the quality the new company managed to deliver at very reasonable prices. For those unaware of who Minairons Miniatures is here's a small sunmary of their goals and future ranges: 

We are new company aimed at producing fast-assembly, hard-plastic, quality miniatures for wargaming and collecting. After a number of months of planning and hard work, we are now close to proudly watching how the new firm is born and becomes fully operational --this event is scheduled for mid-October 2012. Minairons miniatures' ranges will usually have a close relationship with the military history of the nations of the Iberian Peninsula --logically with a special accent on Catalonia, where the brand is born. In this manner, our starting range will consist of a selection of Spanish Civil War fighting vehicles, mainly those with a wider use in other Inter-war conflicts, or even early WWII. These are to be released in 1:72nd and 1:100th scales first --leaving an eventual 28mm range for a little later, depending on demand and budget volumes.

History of the Panzer I

The Panzer I was a light tank produced in Germany in the 1930s. The name is short for the German Panzerkampfwagen I (armored fighting vehicle mark I), abbreviated PzKpfw I. The tank's official German ordnance inventory designation was SdKfz 101 (special purpose vehicle 101).

Design of the Panzer I began in 1932 and mass production in 1934. Intended only as a training tank to introduce the concept of armored warfare to the German Army, the Panzer I saw combat in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, in Poland, France, the Soviet Union and North Africa during the Second World War, and in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Experiences with the Panzer I during the Spanish Civil War helped shape the German armored corps' invasion of Poland in 1939 and France in 1940. The Panzer I's performance in combat was limited by its thin armor and light armament of two general purpose machine guns. As a design intended for training, the Panzer I was not as capable as other light tanks of the era, such as the Soviet T-26. Although weak in combat, it formed a large portion of Germany's tank strength in numbers and was used in all major campaigns between September 1939 and December 1941. (source Wikipedia)

The box

Enough talking about the history of both the model and company, let's take a look at the actual plastic boxed set! The plastic boxed sets comes in an extremely well-designed and created cartonboard box with on the front of the box, some painted examples of the Panzer I's while the back of the box shows you an easy manual for assembling these magnificent models.

The boxed set contains three hard plastic sprues which each contain enough parts to make one Panzer I ausf. A with the possibility of adding the Breda model 1935 gun (used as a modification during the Spanish Civil War) or the twin german machinegun turret. Each of these sprues consists of only 10 pieces, 2 of which are the alternative turrets. The boxed set also includes a very nice set of decals with national markings for up to 4 early German), Kuomintang Chinese and Nationalist Spanish tanks.

The assembly

Due to the small amount of parts and the easy manual on the back of the boxed set, it only takes a matter of minutes to assemble these often forgotten small tanks which won the initial battles of the third reich. The tanks come with very minor amounts of flash on the tracks and suspension but can be easily trimmed with your trusty stanley knife.

As you can see I forgot to clear some of the flash on the tank's suspension or tracks but as said it can be easily trimmed down as I now have done after taking the picture.

The conclusion

As said before this plastic boxed set is nice way to represent the early war panzer divisions of the German Army as they rolled through Europe causing horror among their often outflanked and outgunned enemies. The retail price of this boxed set is €18.95 which is around €6.30 a tank which is a very reasonable price considering that they aren't cheap to come by and if they are they are often way to complex or fragile to be used as wargame models. So where are you waiting for? Forget all those Tigers and Panthers, let the Panzer I's loose!

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Curt said...

Thanks for the excellent review! I'm very much looking forward to the 1:56 edition of these vehicles so we who game in 28mm can enjoy them.

Wargame News and Terrain Blog said...

Understandable, also looking forward to the more unsual vehicles in 28mm such as the Bilboa armoured car among many others.