ARM: Review - 1/35 scale Pzkw. III Ausf. G Divng Tank

Kit Review: 1/35 scale Kit No. 75 (Dragon Models Limited 1/=

35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6765); Pz.Kpfw. III (3.7 cm) (T) Ausf. = G -Smart Kit; 973 parts (696 parts in grey styrene; 216 Magic Track single = links; 42 etched brass; 17 clear styrene; 2 pre-bent steel wire); pre-order= price (Special) US$49.95 via Dragon USA Online=20

Advantages: unique variant of early model Pzkw. III; alternate version to t= he Ausf. F =93Operation Seeloewe=94 kit

Disadvantages: kit does not come with DS tracks, which will disappoint a fe= w modelers

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: for all WWII German Panzer III fans

DML=92s boutique subsidiary has now released a fitting com= panion piece to the Ausf. F diving tank from =93Operation Seeloewe=94 in an= Ausf. G with the diving fittings but none of the sealing materials provide= d in the first kit (cyber-hobby No. 71, DML No. 6717).=20

As noted in the review of the first kit, the Germans basically conceded th= at the tanks would sink, so their approach was to waterproof the tank and f= it it with a snorkel system and pressure relief exhaust so it could operate= autonomously under water. For their invasion of England that was planned f= or late 1940 (after the pesky RAF had been eliminated) the Germans converte= d 168 Pzkw. III Ausf. F and G tanks to use this system; these were dubbed = =93Tauchpanzer=94 or diving tanks. =20

The system consisted of a number of seals to prevent water leakage into th= e hull and a pressure relief exhaust fitting that prevented water backflow = into the engine. A floating snorkel buoy was developed that was fitted with= a rubber hose that could stretch up to 15 meters in length for air intake;= to avoid taking in the exhaust gases which would bubble up and also to avo= id problems with a high sea state there was an extended intake tube on top = of the snorkel buoy, as well as a short radio antenna for communications. F= or navigation purposes underwater a gyrocompass was fitted for the driver.= =20

The tanks were to be driven off a ramp from a landing ship into the water = and then driven to land, where the seals would be removed so the tanks coul= d then join in combat. But after the cancellation of =93Seeloewe=94 at the = end of September 1940 the tanks were then converted to a simpler system to = provide for limited water crossing capability of only about five meters for= use in the invasion of Russia. The best known use of the vehicles was on 2=

2 June 1941 when the modified Pzkw. III tanks of the 18th Panzer Division c= rossed the Bug River.=20

This kit has most of the same components from the F kit less the DS Plasti= c seals and hoses. It does come with the depth gauges but the kit has you b= uild it as a =93defrocked=94 diving tank as used in Russia during 1941 afte= r crossing the Bug River.=20

As with all DML Panzer III kits the suspension begins with five of the ori= ginal seven =93mini-sprues=94 and three new ones provided for the early mod= el =93porthole=94 drivers and more complex idlers, plus newly molded shock = absorbers.=20

The hull pan is one with the side hatches and other detail changes. It ret= ains the full torsion bar suspension from the other kit and the detailed su= spension components and muffler assembly. As with the earlier kits all hatc= hes are separate with some interior details and can be positioned as the mo= deler chooses. All engine deck ventilators are spaced and mounted on separa= te frames to get the correct appearance and =93lift=94 needed to give an ac= curate representation of the original. A completely new engine deck is prov= ided for the early variants of the Pzkw. III with this kit.=20

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 en= ough room for a nice resin interior here and enough ports and hatches to se= e it. The gun follows most of the DML standard design concepts and faithful= ly replicates the internal mantlet as well as the rest of the small details= of this petite weapon.

For the G model this kit does provide the early Pzkw. IV cupola as well as= a different turret shell with the ventilator fan mount. As it comes sans s= eals, it also comes with three MG34 machine guns (one hull and two turret v= ersions).=20

The kit comes with 36 cm =93Magic Track=94 single-links, and while not wro= ng many modelers appreciate the DS plastic tracks as they speed constructio= n.

Technical consultants are Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.=20

As this kit covers the tank in combat, it provides for three finishing opt= ions: oddly enough, they are all from Pz.Abt. D in 1940 and not the Barbaro= ssa ones. All three are in Panzer Grey with white markings: 101, 110Y or 11=

-35, all with white crosses. A tiny set of Cartograf decals are provided.

Overall this is a cheaper version of the diving Panzer III which is more u= seful to those who want to model one in =93combat=94 mode.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.=20

Cookie Sewell

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.