Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. F

(VK18.01) Early

Kit # FH3012 Preview by Francesco Giovagnorio

Historical background:

The "early" version of Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf. F (VK18.01) is the one which never entered production and was used as a test to develop the 0-serie, or "combat" version.
There are photos showing at least one completed vehicle.

Sadly, we can not answer many questions related to this version: how many were built? Which was their fate? Were they scrapped? Converted into Late version? Sent to the front without conversion? Without further evidence (there are no photos showing Early version in battle), we must assume that only one vehicle was built and that it never saw action.


Differences between Early and Late version:

It is evident that, during testing, the designers found many details which needed changing, as the final version was somewhat different in many particulars. Naturally, it was more refined, with the complete equipment of tools (arranged in a different way), spare track links and towing cables.

After having scavenged through the scarce info available and after a thorough inspection of the surviving photographs, I think that the major external differences between the two version are as follows:

   Early  Late
Front fenders less refined, rudimental hinges more refined, different hinges
Track guard design straight raised in the center
Sprocket 13 teeth 16 teeth
Tracks larger pitch (160 mm) shorter pitch (130 mm)
Tools partial equipment full equipment
MG protection absent ring-shaped steel wire
Posterior smoke candles rack absent present
Frontal towing rings absent present
Circular escape hatch larger diameter smaller diameter
Handles above the circular hatches absent present
Posterior spare links absent present
Towing cable absent present


Differences between FH3006 - German Pz. Kpfw. 1 Ausf. F (VK18.01) Late and FH3012 - German Pz. Kpfw. 1 Ausf. F (VK18.01) Early

Both kits are identical for the most part, so you can read Henk Timmerman's preview of the Late version to have an insight of the content. Let us see what is different with the help of some pictures from the same source:

Sprue G (left) is substituted by Sprue H (right). Each sprue contains the main different parts between each version: in Sprue H, we can find the different sprockets, track guards and fenders, posterior plate with no spare links and candle rack.

Sprue D (left) is substituted by Sprue V (right). Those sprues contain tools which, as reported before, are differently organized from Early to Late. However, many objects present in other small sprues (such as B, C and F) were not present in Early so will go directly to the spare box.

So, you were thinking that Flyhawk overlooked the different thickness of each track link and used the same sprue for both Early and Late vehicles ? Think again. As crazy as it may seem (it is only a matter of a fraction of millimeter !), the sprues are different: the Late is on the right, the Early on the left. Each link has a different thickness (2.3 mm vs 1.9 mm), and, if you count the total number of links, you will notice that there are 69 in Late, 63 in Early. Can I call it attention to detail ?

So, you were thinking that Flyhawk overlooked some different details in the hull and used the same piece for both Early and Late vehicles ? Again, think again. Late tub (left) is different from Early (right): you can read L1 in one and K1 in the other. Most manufacturers would call the differences not significant enough to justify a different piece (something like the attachments for the lateral handle that the Early version has not), but this is not Flyhawk's policy.


PE sheet is somewhat different, although some parts which are present in the Early version could have been omitted (such as the MG protections, which were absent in the real vehicle).


Decals are the same for both Early and Late, and most of them will go to the spare box because the Early version had no insignia or numbers, and perhaps not even a cross as shown in the painting instructions. The two very fine Caesar figures are missing, but, as a sort of compensation, Flyhawk provides two incredibly small brass MGs which will be a pain to mount but will guarantee an excellent result.

All in all, another leap in Flyhawk's long march towards perfection. A construction review will follow soon.



[1] Panzer Tracts 1-2, Panzerkampfwagen I (Kl.Pz.bef.Wg. to VK18.01), T.L.Jentz & H.L.Doyle.

Preview sample provided by Flyhawk.


This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 31 October 2015