Dragon 1/35 StuG III F/8 (early)

KIT #: 6620
PRICE: $66.50 SRP
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit


StuG III Ausf. F/8: (Sd.Kfz 142/1; September–December 1942, 250 produced) Introduction of an improved hull design similar to that used for the Panzer III Ausf. J / L with increased rear armor. This was 8th version of Panzer III hulls, thus the designation "F/8." This hull has towing hook holes extending from side walls. From October 1942, 30 mm thick plates of additional armor were bolted on to speed up the production line. From F/8, the 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/48 gun was standard until the very last of the Ausf. G. Due to lack of double baffle muzzle brakes, few L/48 guns mounted on F/8 were fitted with single baffle ball type muzzle brake found in Panzer IV Ausf. F2/G.


To this modeler, the StuG series of assault tanks are some of the coolest vehicles around. Low slung and well armored they just look menacing. This is one of a long line of Dragon Stug III kits, utilizing many of the sprues of the appropriate Panzer III variant, in this case the Ausf J/L kits. Of course, they are not identical and Dragon has taken those differences into account by adding a bunch of new tool parts to this one to assure that it meets the requirements of the new variant. I'm glad that the excellent one piece DS tracks are becoming more and more prevalent in these kits, though even with them the parts count exceeds 500.

Since these vehicles have an alleged open fighting compartment, Dragon has added a lot of detail in this area so that if you decide to open some hatches, you'll have something to look at. Hence the rather large parts count. Below is a full list of features.

- Newly tooled spare wheel rack 
- Newly tooled fighting-compartment roof w/weld seam detail 
- Newly tooled multi-directional slide-molded superstructure w/bolt detail 
- Newly tooled slide-molded engine deck 
- Newly tooled multi-piece upper hull for maximum detail 
- Newly tooled muzzle brake for optional assembled 
- Newly tooled fenders w/details on the top and bottom surfaces 
- Radio set w/new housing cover 
- New fender support is produced 
- New pattern of bottom hull is presented w/details 
- One-piece side-molded lower hull w/new drain hatch details 
- StuG.III F.8 rendered w/excellent detail 
- Gun sight protective guard has both plastic and photo-etched options 
- Photo-etched guard is pre-formed for easy assembly 
- Delicate front hull w/bolt details 
- Driver's vision port w/crystal part 
- Driver's vision port armor w/delicate weld seams for Early Production 
- Upper hull is easily assembled 
- Gun sight and hand wheels are included 
- Complete gun mount is represented 
- Gun breech and recoil guard are fully reproduced 
- Recoil and recuperator cylinders are accurately represented 
- Slide-molded mantlet w/realistic welds seams and internal surface detail 
- Chamfer in lower part of manlet 
- Lower-hull sides come w/full details 
- Fully detailed hull-bottom weld seams 
- MP40 w/photo etched straps available for enhancing fighting-compartment interior details 
- Delicate interior details including the hooks on 2 sides of the compartment 
- Air-intake covers w/mounts are accurately reproduced 
- The engine deck cover is realistically presented 
- Fighting-compartment hatches can be assembled open/closed 
- Air deflector accurately represented 
- Photo-etched mesh is included 
- Cooling-air intakes are slide molded 
- Photo-etched air-intake grills 
- Road wheels w/accurate details 
- Final-drive housing covers are separate parts for maximum detail 
- Accurate sprocket wheels 
- Idler wheel w/multi photo-etched parts 
- Detailed track tension adjuster 
- Injection-molded OVM w/clasps 
- One piece DS tracks w/defined detail 

The camouflage section of the instructions are for four different vehicles. All are a base of panzer tan. One with the number 34 is from Panzer Division 'Hermann Goering' in Sicily during 1943. Another is with StuG Brigade 243 at Stalingrad in 1942. This one has actual unit badges on it, while another Stalingrad vehicle is in winter white. The last one is with StuG Brigade 904 at Kursk in 1943.


One has to wonder how many different variants of the StuG III Dragon has done and has left. All of them are very nice kits and this one will add to that growing list.



September 2013

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

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