Dragon 1/35 Panzer III (5cm)(t) Ausf G

KIT #: 6773
PRICE: $64.00 SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart kit

HISTORY

After German forces had swept across Western Europe as undisputed champion in 1940, the lone resistance came from the British Isles. It was planned that Germany would conduct an amphibious invasion of Great Britain under the codename Operation Sea Lion, and to this end a number of Panzer IIIs were especially converted into diving tanks. These were known as the Tauchpanzer III, and they had the ability to drive along the seafloor totally submerged thanks to a breathing apparatus. During the planned invasion, they would have been lowered from ships onto the seafloor near the coast and they could then drive onto the shore. In the end these tanks were not used to cross the English Channel as it was decided to bring Britain to its knees via the Luftwaffe instead. 

THE KIT

This is not the first Tauchpanzer variant of the Panzer III done by Dragon as one was produced a few years back as an ausf F variant. This is the somewhat later G version that provides the bits for a standard  Panzer III, plus the bits that were included in the ausf F diving tank kit. These bits are basically the waterproofing parts for the gun shield and the turret ring  along with what looks like check valves for the exhaust to prevent water from coming in and killing the engine.

The rest of the kit is like the standard G as kitted earlier this year:

- Slide-molded engine deck for Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.G
- 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 DS  Tracks

The kit comes with markings for three vehicles, all of them in overall panzer grey and all from 1940 or 1941. Two of them are from the 4th Panzer Division with the red bear logo on the turret. The third is from Pz.Abt. D in 1940

CONCLUSIONS

So here we have yet another fine Panzer III variant from our friends at Dragon. I know it is one of my favorite tanks and those of you who feel the same way will want to pick this one up.

REFERENCES

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

November 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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