Before I begin, I am not a die hard fan of model kits but I do have a sizable collection of 1/35 scale world war tanks. I do not tend to bother with modern tanks because they look all too alike.
And how I am different from other tank modelers is probably a fact that I do not cater to historical accuracy. Instead, I cater to Girls und Panzer. Basically, I mix tank models with anime.
So far, I’ve only touched 1/35 scale. I do have a 1/16 T-34 tank but it is a complete RC kit I purchased, so it’s not really “mine” per se. I did not put any efforts into building it and I certainly did not paint it.
I’ve been dormant in tank building for a while simply because there was nothing else for me to build. However, deep down, I’ve always wanted to get into 1/16 kits because 1/35 tanks are … just too small and there are no decent 1/35 figures to go with.
In 1/16 scale, there are plenty of choices for GuP figures.
Anyway, if you’ve seen a 1/16 tank in real, you will know that they are quite huge. And they are large. My 1/16 scale T-34 is 15 inches (or 38cm) in length. They are too large to have a lot of them and display properly which has been why I haven’t purchased another 1/16 scale tank.
Additionally, I am not interested in RC models. I wanted to build my own. But RC tanks tend to be cheaper than DIY models.
Meanwhile, I began to notice a trend in middle of 2019. A Chinese model kit company, Tacom, began to release 1/16 tank models on the cheap and they were exclusively light tanks, or tankette they are called. Unlike other expensive, premium, 1/16 tank kits, they are not meant for RC. They are just model kits which is why they are one third price of other 1/16 “proper” tank kits.
One of their new 1/16 tank kit is Panzer 1 which triggered my interest. Panzer 1 is a light tank but a pretty breefy tank in its class. What I did not like about it was that it was an original German version with 2 machine guns in its turret.
However, I soon found out that Ammo had a rebranded version of Tacom Panzer 1 kit.
Pazner 1 Breda Spanish civil war version. This version is virtually identical to Tacom Panzer 1 kit with exception of its turret and decal kits. Instead of 2 MGs, Ammo’s version has a Breda 20mm anti-air gun.
In Girls und Panzer world, machine guns are useless. But 20mm gun is workable. The gun is said to be able to penetrate up to 30mm armor within 500 meters range. Good enough for me.
So, I imported it from Japan via Amazon.co.jp.
Because this is a light tank 1/16 scale kit, everything wasn’t as large as I thought they’d be. I will talk about this at the end of this article.
The most painful part of building this kit is probably the tracks. However, they weren’t hard. It was just time consuming.
Compared to the tiny tracks I had to put together for 1/35 scale Carro Veloce CV.33…., yes, it wasn’t that hard. Another positive point is that no glue is required as you put the tracks together. The wheels and tracks are properly articulated to work together when you roll the tank.
RCing this kit is not possible though unless you heavily modify the wheels and its painfully weak shafts.
In fact, I dropped the whole thing once and broke a wheel shaft along with few dents. I glued the wheel and used a model paste to fill dents. The tracks survived to my amusement. It shattered but didn’t break, so I was able to put them back together.
This tank is for Nishizumi Miho. I wanted a 1/16 scale Panzer 3 or 4 for her but this tank will do. This kit cost me around 90 CAD + shipping. A 1/16 Panzer 4 kits costs 400 CAD.
The choice was obvious, for me at least. To be fair though, that 400 CAD kit can be RCed and comes with proper (metal) shafts and such. As I am not into RCing though, those extra qualities would be lost on me.
As I place near complete Panzer 1 next to T-34 (both 1/16 scale), I now see the real deal.
Panzer 1 is about half a size of T-34. Is the scale on the dot though?
According to Wikipedia, Panzer 1 has a length of 4 meters. In 1/16 scale, it would be 25cm. Ammo Panzer 1 is about 23cm in length. Close enough and it is within a margin of error.
T-34 is about 6.7 meters in real. In 1/16 scale, that comes to about 42cm. My T-34 is about 38cm in length.
Hm, so, the T-34 should slightly be larger. Not complaining though since the 1/16 T-34 I have is already big enough.
Painting and polishing is for much later because I am unsure what color to use. It’s for Nishizumi Miho, so desert yellow is an option. Military gray color is another option. A final option is dark red seen from Miho’s panzer in the late stage of GuP anime.
Since there is no going back once I paint, choosing its color is going to take some time.