Kit Review: cyber-hobby.com 1/35 Scale Kit No. 53 (Dragon Models
Limited =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6544); Pz.Bef.Wg. III Ausf. J - Smart
Kit; 794 parts (521 in grey styrene, 216 =93Magic Track=94 individual
links, 35 etched brass, 19 clear styrene, 2 pre-bent steel wire, 1
length of twisted steel wire); estimated price US$47.99 from Dragon
USA Online
Advantages: nice clean kit of a late-model command tank with
simplified antennas; many options to match specific tanks at set
points in the production run; =93Smart Kit=94 minimizes the amount of
etched brass required
Disadvantages: kit does not come with DS tracks
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all WWII German fans
So far the DML stable has been short on early model command tanks
with the exception of the Panzer I series. There was a modified Panzer
III command tank in the old =93Imperial=94 series of ex-Gunze Sangyo kits
but so far little in the line of new =93Smart Kits=94. Now cyber-hobby.com
has released this kit of a late model Panzer III command tank with
four distinct antennas for its various communications systems.
Early models of Pzkw. III command vehicles (Panzerbefehlswagen)
mounted a dummy 3.7 cm gun and only had machine guns for self defense,
and as a result were soon singled out for elimination on the
battlefield. As a result, in late 1942 standard Pzkw. III tanks were
converted over to command tanks but retained their 5 cm L/42 main gun
and coaxial 7.92mm machine gun for self-defense. 81 conversions were
made between August and November 1942 when variants aremed with the
long L/60 5 cm gun took their place. They were first issued to the SS
panzer divisions.
Based on the 2007 DML Panzer III Ausf. J kit (No. 6394) this kit adds
some small details such as extra track links and the four radio
antenna of the command variant to that kit. The hull pan is similar to
that from the StuG but has the side hatches and other detail changes.
It retains the full torsion bar suspension from the other kit and the
detailed suspension components and muffler assembly. As with the StuG
all hatches are separate with some interior details and can be
positioned as the modeler chooses. All engine deck ventilators are
spaced and mounted on separate frames to get the correct appearance
and =93lift=94 needed to give an accurate representation of the original.
The kit provides a number of options to include the complete spaced
armor array but as a J only comes with the L/42 gun. The barrel is
=93slide molded=94 with a hollow bore. Options also include blackout or
clear headlight lenses and the =93kugel=94 mount for the bow machine gun
(but the machine guns are not included with this kit). All viewports
and viewers may be positioned open or closed as well.
The kit includes the rudiments of an interior, but unlike many
Russian or Ukrainian kits the details they provide are highly accurate
as far as they go. This should please the =93after market boys=94 as there
is more than enough room for a nice resin interior here and enough
ports and hatches to see it.
Some modelers are now learning to love the new DML DS plastic tracks,
but this kit retains the excellent if tedious =93Magic Track=94 links. As
the old curse goes, be careful of what you wish for as you may get it!
Also the kit only comes with a modicum of etched brass, but in this
case adds the new antenna parts to include the curious =93basketball
net=94 one on the rear of the turret.
Technical consultants were Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
The kit provides four different finishing options: Pz.Rgt. 7, North
Afrika, 1943 (sand, no markings); 2./SS.Pz.Rgt. 1, 1st SS Panzer
Division =93LAH=94, Kharkov 1943 (whitewash over sand, red 555); 1./
SS.Pz.Rgt. 3, 3rd SS Panzergrenadier Division =93Totenkopf=94 (whitewash
over grey, white I01); Pz.Rgt. 11, 6th Panzer Division, near
Stalingrad 1942 (grey with whitewash, white 903). One other unmarked
vehicle in green over sand mottle is shown. All markings are targeted
and from Cartograf.
Overall this is a good choice by cyber-hobby.com and will appeal to a
number of modelers.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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