Bison Decals Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A/B/F
(VK 16.01) und BefhelsPz. I Ausf. B. (BD-35016)
by Frank De Sisto
Water-slide decal sheet in 1/35th-scale. Price: $9.00 USD, plus shipping.
Fans of the Pz.Kpw. I series have been well served over the years. Initally,
Italeri gave modelers an Ausf. B, a Bef.Pz. Ausf. B and a Pzjgr. I Ausf
B. From Eastern Europe came the Ausf. A, Bison I, and Ausf. F. Most recently,
Tristar have produced two different state-of-the-art Pz.Kpw. I Ausf. As,
and DML have come up with very well-done Pzkpw. I Ausf. B and Bef.Pz.
I Ausf B, both of which also come in a “Tropen” version (for
use by the Afrika Korps). Need I mention that a tailored after-market
sheet for these tanks is an idea whose time has come?
I hope not! I assume that Bison also thinks the time has come as well.
This new sheet contains markings for no less than 12 complete models.
They include four Ausf. A (Reichswehr pre-war, Chinese Army, two Wehrmacht);
five Ausf. B (all Wehrmacht, including three in Poland, 1939; two from
the Afrika Korps, and one in Russia, 1941); two Ausf. F (one Wehrmacht
and one Polizei), and finally a Bef.Pz. Ausf. B of the DAK. These are
great choices and provide for just about every conceivable theater and
scheme seen on these vehicles. The only real fault I can see is that most
of the colors listed are substantially incorrect. According to the several-years-old
information in Panzertracts 1-2, the colors of pre-war Reichswehr tanks
should be Nrs. 17, 18 and 28, yellow/brown/green; Polish and Norwegian
Campaign tanks are two-tone brown/grey, Nrs.45 and 46; DAK tanks are two-tone
RAL 8000 yellow-brown and 7008 grey-green, over the original RAL 7021
dark grey. I cannot recommend this Panzertracts title enough, for those
interested in pre-and early-war Panzer colors. Everything else you have
ever read is essentially hogwash.
The quality of the decals themselves is first-class, as the US firm
Microscale is the printer. This ensures that color saturation, registration
and detail is first-class. The subjects included are all very colorful,
allowing the modeler to have a collection of rather unique or unusual
vehicles (the Chinese and pre-war tanks come to mind). The instructions
include at least three views of each vehicle, as well as the occasional
detail of a particular area. Each drawing is large enough to supply enough
information to the modeler, but just in case more is needed, simply log
on to Bison’s web site where you will find excellent full-color
supplementary images. The instruction sheets are on one and one-half A4-sized
sheets of paper and include in-print and on-line references, although
the former are quite “dated” and are superceded by the Panzertracts
title previously mentioned.
Overall, this is a well-researched product that includes an exceptional
variety of choices. Your “petite-Panzer” will look quite fine
dressed in these markings.
Bison products are available at retail and mail order shops and directly
from the manufacturer at: www.angelfire.com/pro/bison.
Visit their web site for images of reviewed items.