Dragon 1/35 StuG III ausf F (late)

KIT #: 6756
PRICE: $80.00 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken

Smart Kit


StuG III Ausf. F: (Sd.Kfz 142/1; March–September 1942, 366 produced) The first real up-gunning of the StuG, this version uses the longer 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/43 gun. Firing armour-piercing Panzergranat-Patrone 39, StuK 40 L/43 could penetrate 91 mm of armour inclined 30 degrees from vertical at 500 m, 82 mm at 1,000 m, 72 mm at 1,500 m, 63 mm at 2,000 m, allowing Ausf. F to engage most Soviet armoured vehicles at normal combat ranges. This change marked the StuG as being more of a tank destroyer than an infantry support vehicle. An exhaust fan was added to the rooftop to excavate fumes from spent shells, to enable the firing of continuous shots. Additional 30 mm armour plates were welded to the 50 mm frontal armour from June 1942, making the frontal armour 80 mm thick. From June 1942, Ausf. F were mounted with approximately 13 inch (334 mm to be exact) longer7.5 cm StuK 40 L/48 gun. Firing above mentioned ammunition, longer L/48 could penetrate 96 mm, 85 mm, 74 mm, 64 mm respectively (30 degrees from vertical).


Dragon gets to add yet another variant of its StuG III series with this nicely done final production StuG III ausf F. As expected, it uses quite few sprues from earlier and later versions, but there are new bits to ensure you have the most accurate replica.  It has new parts representing the welded-on frontal armor and concrete above the driver's position. There are new mounting brackets for the cleaning rods on the left side of the hull, and the front portion of the fenders are of a fixed, rather than folding type. Another change is new antenna troughs on the rear hull of the StuG.III F.

The rest includes a reasonable photo etch fret for screens, the idler gear, the heat shield over the exhaust, and the mounting brackets for the antenna troughs on the rear of the vehicle. The nicely molded 7.5 cm gun includes a full breech and mounting for the fighting compartment. A complete radio suite as well as other bits are provided for the fighting compartment as well, making it rather complete. There are a variety of hatches on the outside of the upper hull, with some of them being able to be posed open so you can actually see what's inside. Those who like closed up StuGs will be able to reduce their build workload in this area by skipping a lot of bits. As with all their StuG kits, you are provided with a full torsion bar suspension. As is becoming more and more common with Dragon kits, this one has their great DS tracks, helping to keep the parts count down to a bit over 500 pieces.

Instructions are well drawn and a bit crowded with Gunze paint references. Two 'unknown unit' vehicles from 1942 are shown in the camo section with one in a whitewash scheme and the other in panzer tan with green squiggles. The decal sheet is just a pair of crosses.


Pretty soon Dragon is going to have to start concentrating more on earlier variants as I think they have most of the later ones covered. True StuG fans will want to add this one to their collection and it should make for a superb replica.  



December 2015

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