Dragon 1/72 Pz.Kpfw III ausf J
Scott Van Aken
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
Panzerkampfwagen III Sd
Kfz. 141 (abbreviated
PzKpfw III) translating as
"armoured fighting vehicle". It was intended to fight other armoured
fighting vehicles and serve alongside the infantry-supporting Panzer IV;
however, as the Germans faced the formidable T-34, stronger anti-tank
guns were needed. Since the Panzer IV had a bigger turret ring, the role
was reversed. The Panzer IV mounted the long barreled 7.5 cm KwK 40 gun
and engaged in tank-to-tank battles. The Panzer III became obsolete in
this role and for most purposes was supplanted by the Panzer IV. From
1942, the last version of Panzer III mounted the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24,
better suited for infantry support. Production of the Panzer III ended
in 1943. However, the Panzer III's capable chassis provided hulls for
the Sturmgeschütz III until the end of the war.
This is the Panzer III ausf J which had its frontal armor increased to
50mm. It was equipped with the 50mm gun and this kit may well be a J1 as
it appears to have the longer and more powerful 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 gun.
1,067 produced in late 1941 to mid 1942
of Dragon's small scale armor, the detailing is superlative on all of its 95
parts. Typically, a few of the sprues have bits that you will not use on
this variant. There is a one piece lower hull with separate road wheels and
some separate suspension bits. Two different escape hatches are provided and
I have to tell you, these guys had to be skinny to fit through it.
Each of the fenders has a goodly number of standard
tools to be attached as well as a few spare road wheels. There is photo etch
included and these are used for intake and exhaust screens, so no worries
about having to bend tiny pieces. The turret has a storage bin on the rear
and the raised commander's cupola is typical of this version There is no gun
detail on the interior as frankly, it isn't needed. One could, however,
probably stick a figure through the commander's hatch as there is room. The
kit also includes Dragon's excellent DS tracks. These are easy to glue and
paint and can be stretched if needed. Just don't get too carried away.
Markings are provided for two Panzer Grey vehicles. One with the 5./Panzer
Regiment 24 at Stalingrad in 1942 and the other with 1./Panzer Regiment 5 in
Russia during 1943.
In all, another outstanding addition to the Dragon
family of small scale armor kits and one that will look great on your display
My thanks to
www.dragonmodelusa.com for the review kit. Get yours today at your local
retailer or ask them to order it in for you.
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