Dragon 1/35 StuH.42 ausf E/F

KIT #: 6834
PRICE: $85.00 SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit


The StuG.III is a well-known tank destroyer used by German forces in WWII. Closely related is the StuH.42 (denoting Sturmhaubitze 42), which was used to support armor and infantry with a larger-caliber gun offering greater destructive firepower. The first low-rate production examples were manufactured by Alkett in October 1942, using chassis of StuG.III Ausf.E/F vehicles fitted with a 10.5cm StuH.42 L/28 howitzer.

It had a Maybach HL 120 engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 40 km/h. It was based upon the StuG III Ausf. F chassis with its most notable difference being the addition of an L/28 howitzer for its main gun. The purpose of this addition was so that the Wehrmacht would have an effective combat support unit that would work well against infantry.

The total weight of the StuH was around 21,780 kg and the total length of the 6.1 meters. Furthermore, it had a crew of four men and a six speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission system. Also importantly, the StuH 42 had a torsion bar suspension. Overall, the StuH like its StuG counterpart had good reliability and was well liked by its crews. Its combat effectiveness was also very good.  Approximately 1200 of all variants were built.


Thanks to Dragon's foresight when it comes to designing kits, we have had the benefit of a zillion variants on popular modeling subjects. Such is the case when it comes to the StuG III and Panzer III. The German military industry was nothing if not inventive and it is this insight we can thank for the myriads of off-shoots. In this case, we have the infantry support version of the StuG IIIF. The StuG had become such a potent anti-tank vehicle, that the type had drifted from its original intention and so the StuH was the result.

Dragon has done a lot of StuG variants and so it chooses its E/F kits to provide the basis for this one. The kit does incorporate new bits, the largest being the retooled superstructure roof and fighting compartment. Also new are the front of the fenders, produced in photo etch. The rest of the p.e. fret is pretty much standard StuG III with wheel inserts, engine screens and the usual brackets and braces we are used to seeing in Dragon Smart Kits.

Several of the parts will need to be modified and some holes drilled out, but if you are used to building these sorts of kits, this will be standard proceedure for you. The full torsion bar suspension is included, something that has been around since the first Panzer III kit was released by Dragon many years ago.

There is a pretty complete fighting compartment with storage racks and radios. All of the upper hatches on this area are separate as well and while not shown open, I'm sure one could easily model them in that manner to put in some figures. If you keep these closed, you can save several construction sequences as they will otherwise not be visible. Also part of the interior are the gunner and loader's seats. The gun itself has a full breech and it appears that it can be made to elevate as well.

On the outside of the hull are the usual mass of antennas and pioneer tools that these vehicles normally carry. A neat feature is that the antenna are hinged so can easily be positioned in the long antenna troughs that are a feature of these vehicles.

Instructions are well drawn, a bit busy and offer Gunze and Model Master paint references. There are color notes on what has to be cut, drilled out or filled. Markings are for three vehicles in a variety of color schemes. These are a panzer grey vehicle from Abt.185 in 1942, a panzer yellow one from an unknown unit is 1942 and a winter wash grey one also from an unknown unit in 1943. All are on the Eastern Front. The decal sheet is nicely printed and contains what few markings these vehicles carried.


Those who are enamoured with the Panzer/StuG III will have to have this one in their collection. The parts count is over 450 parts, but I've often wondered if that number includes the bits not used as there are certainly enough of them in this kit. Thankfully for some, the kit includes DS tracks so no need to be concerned about putting together separate track links. Well worth picking up.

July 2016

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