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

Kit Review: cyber-hobby.com 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 cyber-hobby.com 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
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AMPSOne
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