Dragon 1/35 StuG III ausf G mid-1943
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III) assault gun was Germany's most produced armoured fighting vehicle during World War II. It was built on the chassis of the proven Panzer III tank, replacing the turret with a fixed casemate and mounting a more powerful gun. Initially intended as a mobile, armoured light gun for direct-fire support for infantry, the StuG was continually modified and was widely employed as a tank destroyer.
This kit represents the StuG III Ausf. G (Sd.Kfz. 142/1; December 1942– April 1945, ~8423 produced, 142 built on Panzer III Ausf. M chassis, 173 converted from Panzer III): The final and by far the most common of the StuG series. Upper superstructure was widened: welded boxes on either sides were abandoned. This new superstructure design increased its height to 2160mm. Backside wall of the fighting compartment got straightened, and ventilation fan on top of the superstructure was relocated to the back of fighting compartment. From March 1943, driver's periscope was abandoned. In February 1943 Alkett was joined by MIAG as second manufacturer. From May 1943, side hull skirts (schurzen) were fitted to G models for added armor protection, particularly against Russian anti-tank rifles, but were also useful against hollow-charge ammunition. Side skirts were retro-fitted to some Ausf. F/8 models, as they were be fitted to all front line StuGs and other tanks by June 1943 in preparation for the battle of Kursk. Mountings for side skirts proved inadequate, many were lost in the field. From March 1944, improved mounting was introduced, as a result side skirts are seen more often with late model Ausf G. From May 1943, 80mm thick plates were used for frontal armor instead of two plates of 50mm+30mm. However, backlog of completed 50mm armors exited. For those, 30mm additional armors still had to be welded or bolted on, until October 1943.
This has to be about the 20th kit based on Dragon's standard Panzer III. However, Dragon has improved the kit over the years and added whatever details are needed to do the different variants. This one is the long barreled StuG III auf G, the version produced for the last two years of the war.
All of the differences between the previous F8 and the G have been reproduced, including the larger casement area and the additional machine gun, something not used on most earlier versions. Photo etch is provided for the intake/exhaust grilles, idler gears and some braces. Dragon has added their usual aluminum side skirts. A braided wire section is provided for the tow cable. Many of us will appreciate the DS tracks instead of individual links or the older vinyl versions.
As usual, a lot of the parts count goes into the suspension, that has complete torque links, even though they are hidden by the upper hull. The fenders include all the usual pioneer tools as well as the tow cables. Several sections of the photo etch are used on these fenders. There are spare road wheels for use on the back of the engine decking. All of the hatches can be posed open or closed as one wishes, though there is nothing to see in the engine section. The hatch on the commander's cupola will allow one to see the radio suite on the inside, as well as the gunner's position and the very nicely detailed breech section of the main gun. Those who want to model the hatch shut can skip a step or two.
One of the benefits of not using a lot of photo etch is that the side skirts will have a more solid injected plastic mounting that will be easier for most modelers to install.
Instructions are typical Dragon in that they are well drawn and are a bit crowded. The kit has two camo options. One is the box art version from Panzer Regiment 'Totenkopf' at Kursk in 1943. The other is an overall panzer tan vehicle with the 15th Panzer Regiment in Sicily during 1943. The small decal sheet is only used on the first version and is nicely done.
I am sure this one will sell just as well as their previous Panzer III/StuG III kits. One thing I've noticed at the LHS is that kits of these vehicles seem to sell quite well. Nearly as well as Shermans! I'm sure you will be quite pleased with this one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StuG_III July 2014 Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your favorite retailer. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your favorite retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page