Dragon 1/72 Pz.Kpfw III ausf J

KIT #: 7372
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Armor Pro


Panzer 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 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

Typical 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 shelf.



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.

September 2013

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