CyberHobby 1/35 Pz.Kpfw III ausf L Tp
KIT #: 6587
PRICE: $66.50 SRP
DECALS: options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:

HISTORY

In June of 1942, Ausf L tank entered production. 653 were produced by Daimler-Benz, MAN, Alkett, Henschel, Wegmann, MNH and MIAG until December of 1942 (chassis numbers 74101-75500). Ausf L was armed with 50mm KwK 39 L/60 gun and two 7.92mm MG 34 machine guns. Externally it was almost identical to late model Ausf J as it was developed by modifying it. The main difference was new torsion bar gun counter balance, which replaced the original the coil spring gun recoil mechanism. Armor protection of the front turret was increased from 30mm to 57mm and 20mm spaced armor was installed on the superstructure front and in many cases on the gun mantlet. The design of the vehicle was simplified as rear deck was modified (air-intakes and hatches) and early in production hull escape hatches, loaderís vision port on the mantlet and turret side ports were removed. Ausf L was also mounted with new special system to transfer heated engine coolant from one vehicle to another. Single Ausf L was mounted with an experimental 75/55mm tapered-bore KwK0725 gun and was designated as PzKpfw III Ausf L mit Waffe 0725. Vehicles send to North Africa were equipped with additional air filters, modified oil filters different cooling fan reduction ratio and were designated as Ausf L(Tp). Ausf L was also first to be mounted with anti-aircraft machine gun mount (Fliegerbeschussgerat 41/42) on commanderís cupola. This became standard on al new PzKpfw III tanks and was mounted on older models during service. Many were mounted with 5mm hull and turret armor skirts (Schurzen).

THE KIT

It seems to me that Dragon really hit their stride in terms of accuracy and fit when their Panzer III kit was issued several years ago. Since then, there have been a number of variants produced, each incorporating new or upgraded parts and this one is no different. There is a list of features that is quite complete and I'll let the PR folks detail those for you below.
  • Complete gun assembly reproduced w/full detail
  • 3-directional slide-molded gun sleeve for greater detail
  • Hollowed-out undercut on turret bottom included
  • Brand new 5cm Kw.K L/60 gun w/delicate detail
  • Gun barrel and mantlet are slide molded
  • Slide-molded engine deck for Pz.III Ausf.L
  • Engine hatches can be assembled open or closed
  • Side hatches can be assembled open or closed w/interior details
  • New injection-molded tow cable for engine deck w/cable mount included
  • Gearbox access panel finely designed
  • Photo-etched mesh included
  • Air deflector accurately represented
  • Slide-molded stowage bin w/fine details can be assembled open or closed
  • Turret realistically made by 3-directional slide molds
  • Fenders w/pattern detail on both top and bottom surfaces
  • Toolbox w/padlock produced by slide mold
  • Notek headlight w/exquisite detail
  • Exhaust pipes w/hollow ends
  • Lower hull sides come w/full detail
  • Fully detailed weld seams on hull bottom
  • One-piece slide-molded lower hull w/exquisite detail
  • Slide-molded torsion bars included
  • Detailed track tension adjuster
  • Idler wheels w/photo-etched parts
  • Injection-molded on-vehicle tools have clasp detail
  • Slide-molded hydraulic shock absorbers well detailed
  • Detailed suspension swing arms
  • Accurate sprocket wheels
  • Road wheels w/accurate detail
  • Final-drive housing covers are separate parts for maximum detail
  • Slide-molded cooling air intake
  • Photo-etched air-intake grills
  • 40cm Magic Tracks


  • As you know, CyberHobby is Dragon and that portion of the company is the one that generally produces the very limited production or more unusual kits in the Dragon line. This tropical version of the Panzer III ausf L fits right into the mold as few of these were built, compared to the total production run. As such, there are only markings for the box art tank included in the kit. This is overall Panzer Sand with brown splotches. I find it rather interesting that they'd take the time to include some DS molded cacti, but they will very much add to any diorama that you might build for this one.
    CONCLUSIONS

    I'm sure this one will find favor with many armor builders, especially those who like to concentrate on North Africa and Sicily for their modeling. It is a nice one and we can all thank CyberHobby for taking the time to do this interesting variant.

    REFERENCES

    http://www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerkampfwagen-iii.htm

    December 2009

    Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local retailer or on-line store.

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