ARM: Review - 1/35 scale Flammpanzer III (F1)

Kit Review: 1/35 scale =93Orange Box=94 Series No. 13 (DML
1/35 scale Kit No. 9113); 687 parts (469 in grey styrene, 216 =93Magic
Track=94 links, 2 etched brass) Flammpanzer III (F-1) with Bonus German
Sturmpionere Figure Set; retail price US$29.95
Advantages: Inexpensive kit with nice complementary set of figures
Disadvantages: original DML/Gunze Sangyo kits show their age next to
=93Smart Kit=94 and =93Gen2" products
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for newer modelers or fans with deep parts bins
The =93Orange Box=94 series from DML=92s affiliate are so
far a mixed bag, but at least in comparison with contemporary model
kits they are inexpensive and a great way for newer modelers to get
into the hobby and practice their skills.
More than 15 years ago DML took over the Gunze Sangyo line of kits
which were at that time among the best kits going, but were very
expensive multi-media affairs and thus out of reach or out of touch
with most armor fans. They took them and converted the multi-media
parts to styrene and released them under their =93Imperial=94 series kits
(90xx) block.
This kit is basically a number of older moldings from that series
combined into one box and with the latest =93Magic Track=94 single link
tracks replacing the older ones. As such, it actually has fewer parts
than more recent kits and therefore is a quicker =96 and easier =96
assembly task than the other ones. For that reason, it should appeal
to newer modelers who want to work on a more advanced kit than the
basic models (or something like an older Tamiya kit) with more details
and skill sets needed for assembly.
The hull, for example, is a one-piece affair with fixed suspension
arms and very basic wheel sets. The upper hull is also one piece with
applique parts for the add-on armor protection. As the Gunze Sangyo
derived parts were for multiple variants, a good deal of the parts
here are left on the sprues as not needed.
The kit does come with the flame tube for the Flammpanzer and basic
parts for the Ausf. F version of the base tank. A 3.7 cm barrel and
also a 5 cm long barrel are also present in the kit, but unless you
really want an older generation Ausf. J with a mixture of details it
is probably not a good idea to use it.
The only photo etched parts provided are the protective screens for
the engine air exhausts on the sides of the hull, which is a good idea
as that is usually the most preferred etched brass that actually gets
used by modelers.
The kit offers three sets of finishing options: Unidentified Unit,
Eastern Front 1943 (sand with green patches, red 411); Unidentified
Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (sand, yellow 1825); and Flamm-Kompanie/
Pz.Rgt. 26, Italy 1943 (sand, white F 24).
The figures are from an early Ron Volstad designed set, and are very
good indeed. They come with sections of Bangalore torpedoes, a
flamethrower, an explosive charge, and a mine detector. A small
version of the original painting instructions is included.
Overall this kit does not stand with more recent efforts, but it is a
decent kit and at a good price with the bonus set of figures plus
=93Magic Track=94 links a pretty good deal.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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Dragon has goofed on the box top. It is not an F-1, it is an Fl (short for Flamm). The base tank is not an Ausf. F, it is an Ausf. M. Note the late, wide tracks and the deep wading muffler fitted, and the lack of hull side escape hatches. About 100 tanks from the M series were set aside for conversion to flamethrowers. If the kit includes a 37 mm and short 50 mm gun, these are on sprues from other variants that have one or more parts need for the final version. Gerald Owens
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Gerald Owens are so
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Thanks for the corrections. I normally give the full cite for the kit for those who want to search for it on line so they don't have a disconnect.
Roger that on bits from older kits, as noted these are not their current "Smart Kit" molds.
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