Dragon 1/35 PzKpfw III (5cm) ausf G (early)

KIT #: 6639
PRICE: $59.00 SRP
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit

HISTORY

The Panzer III was the common name of a medium tank that was developed in the 1930s by Germany and was used extensively in World War II. The official German designation wasPanzerkampfwagen III (abbreviated PzKpfw III) translating as "armoured battle vehicle". It was intended to fight other armoured fighting vehicles and serve alongside the infantry-supporting Panzer IV.

Early in the war, the Panzer III was very much the class of the field as much due to its higher speed than anything else. While several Allied tanks in 1939/1940 were better armed or armored, the Panzer III was able to easily outmaneuver them so they were not much of a threat. In the Polish and French campaigns, the Panzer III formed a small part of the German armored forces. Only a few hundred Ausf. A through F were available in these campaigns, most armed with the 37-millimetre (1.46 in) gun. They were the best medium tank available to the Germans and outclassed most of their opponents such as the Polish 7TP, French R-35 and H-35 light tanks.

The ausf G version differed from earlier versions by having more armour on gun mantlet. Armed with 3.7 cm KwK 36 L/46.5 (later 5 cm KwK 38 L/42) gun. 600 produced in 1940-1941. This particular kit has the 5 cm gun.

THE KIT

Here we have yet another Panzer III variant from the fine folks at Dragon. This is a Smart kit so it comes with photo etch and individual track links. Some folks are not fond of these, but the result of using them is a major improvement in the look of the overall model. These are different colors from right and left so no issues in getting things on backwards. I do sometimes wonder why Dragon bothers molding the torsion bar suspension on the inside of the hull as it is invisible when the kit is done, but they do and perhaps this will help when modeling the finished product onrough terrain. As usual, the detail level is second to none. Here is a full listing of features from Dragon:

- Brand new Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.G realistically produced w/authentic detail
- Slide-molded engine deck for Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.G Early Production
- Engine hatches can be assembled open or closed
- Armor plate realistically presented w/weld seams
- Injection-molded tow cable for engine deck w/cable brackets included
- Hollowed-out undercut on turret bottom included
- Starter crank port cover can be assembled open or closed
- 5cm Kw.K 38 L/42 gun w/delicate detail
- Complete gun assembly reproduced w/full detail
- Gun barrel and mantlet are slide-molded
- 3-directional slide-molded gun sleeve for greater detail
- Fenders w/pattern detail on both top and bottom surfaces
- Rear hull accurately tooled w/smoke candle rack
- Cupola hatches can be assembled open or closed
- Vision ports w/open or closed option
- 5-directional slide-molded commanderís cupola authentically recreates structural details
- Turret side hatches can be assembled open/closed w/interior details
- Gearbox access hatches finely recreated
- One-piece slide-molded lower hull w/exquisite detail
- Full detail on lower hull sides
- Fully detailed weld seams on hull bottom
- Turret realistically made by 3-directional slide mold
- Slide-molded torsion bars included
- Slide-molded cooling air intake
- Photo-etched air-intake grills
- Injection-molded plastic fender catch for accurate presentation
- Idler wheels reproduced
- Detailed track tension adjuster
- Final-drive housing covers are separate parts for maximum detail
- Accurate sprocket wheels
- Road wheels w/accurate detail
- Slide-molded hydraulic shock absorbers are fully detailed
- Detailed suspension swing arms
- Injection-molded on-vehicle tools have clasp detail
- Exhaust pipes w/hollow ends
- Toolbox w/padlock produced by slide mold
- 38cm Magic Tracks

There are five markings options. All tanks are in overall Panzer Grey. Three of them are from Russia in 1941 and are with the 16th, 2nd, and 13th Panzer Division. The other two participated in the Greek campaign and are with the 2nd Panzer division. The small decal sheet is well printed and provides the insignia and vehicle numbers.

CONCLUSIONS

If you are one of those modelers that really likes the Panzer III and wants to have a full selection of variants, then this is one you really need to add to your shelves. Those interested in the Greek campaign will now have a nicely detailed model to represent that period of time.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_III

March 2013

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactthe editor or see other details in the Note toContributors.

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