Dragon 1/35 Tauchpanzer III ausf H

KIT #: 6775
PRICE: $80.00 SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart kit


FirsPanzer 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 was 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 support 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 roles were reversed. The Panzer IV mounted the long barrelled 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 assault gun until the end of the war.

Some tanks were converted to amphibious tanks for Operation Sea Lion. Unusually, they were designed to be able to stay underwater rather than to float. The idea was that they would be launched near to the invasion shore and then drive to dry land on the sea bottom. The tank was waterproofed, the exhaust was fitted with a one-way valve and air intake was through a hose. They could safely operate at depths up to 15 meters. These tanks proved useful later in the war when used to cross rivers on the eastern front.


This has to be one of Dragon's more popular tank subjects as I believe they have done over ten sub-types, and this is without touching the prototypes. This kit is basically the same as their Panzer III ausf H but in this case, it adds the bits and pieces to make up the tauchpanzer variant. The kit has a full suspension along with torsion bars that go across the hull, just like the real one. There are a ton of pioneer tools to place on the fenders. All the hatches can be posed open or closed, even though there is no interior. However, for those who like to use aftermarket or scratchbuild, this is a nice feature.

Three frets of photo etch are included. Two are from 'standard' panzer III kits while one is specific to this variant. You will need to fill a few holes here and there as well as cut away some detail, but the instructions are quite specific as to what needs to be done in this regard. While I easily spotted the new exhaust with the large one-way valves, The intake snorkel is rather small and apparently not on a 15 meter hose! This kit uses Dragon's excellent DS tracks instead of individual links, which helps to keep the parts count down to 420 pieces.

Instructions are well drawn and rather crowded. I have to confess that I did not understand some of the 'substitute' glyphs as it seemed not to indicate a substitute part! All three markings options are for grey tanks operating in Russia during 1941. The decals are nicely done and I have darkened the image quite a bit so you can see the white bits against a nearly white background. You get quite a bit of photo etch with this one, though it all seems to be appropriate.


This is another great kit from Dragon and portrays a relatively non-standard tank. There are enough external clues on this to make it different from the standard ausf H and will make a very nice addition to any German armor collection.



June 2015 

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

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