|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
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.
Panzer III Ausf. E, F were the main production models 1939-1940. Armed with 3.7 cm KwK 36 L/46.5 (later 5 cm KwK 38 L/42) guns. 531 produced. This particular kit is for an initial production F model.
This is one of Dragon's Smart Kits and so has over 650 parts, many of them with the superb Magic Track individual track links. Typical of new Dragon kits, there are a number of brand new toolings to ensure that you have the most accurate kit available. I'll let the Dragon PR folks highlight the features.
- Newly tooled slide-molded engine deck for Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.F Initial Production
- Newly tooled starter crank port cover can be assembled open or closed
- Newly tooled idler wheels
- Complete gun assembly reproduced w/full detail
- Brand new 3.7cm Kw.K L/46.5 gun w/delicate detail
- Gun barrel and mantlet are slide molded
- 3-directional slide-molded gun sleeve for greater detail
- Engine hatches can be assembled open or closed
- Armor plate realistically presented w/weld seam
- Fenders w/pattern detail on both top and bottom surfaces
- Rear full accurately tooled w/smoke candle rack
- Cupola hatches can be assembled open or closed
- Vision ports w/open or closed option
- Slide-molded cooling air intake
- Photo-etched air-intake grills
- Injection plastic fender lock for accurate presentation
- Gearbox access hatches finely designed
- Side hatches can be assembled open or closed w/interior details
- 5-directional slide-molded commander's cupola authentically recreates structural details
- Hollowed-out undercut on turret bottom included
- Detailed track tension adjuster
- Turret realistically made by 3-directional slide molds
- One-piece slide-molded lower hull w/exquisite detail
- Lower hull sides come w/full detail
- Fully detailed weld seams on hull bottom
- Slide-molded torsion bars included
- Slide-molded hydraulic shock absorbers are well detailed
- Detailed suspension swing arms
- Final-drive housing covers are separate parts for maximum detail
- Accurate sprocket wheels
- Road wheels w/accurate detail
- Injection-molded on-vehicle tools have clasp detail
- Exhaust pipes w/hollow ends
- Toolbox w/padlock produced by slide mold
- 38cm Magic Tracks
Another fine Dragon armor kit that is designed to give hours of modeling pleasure. The end result will be a fine model of this early/mid war German tank.
June 2010 Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors. 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 local shop or on-line retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page