ARM: Review - 1/35 scale Pzkw. III Ausf. M w/Brackets

Kit Review: 1/35 scale Kit No. 52 (Dragon Models Limited=9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6605) Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M Early Production mit Rahmen fuer Schutzhuelle - Smart Kit;

901 parts (634 in grey styrene, 216 =93Magic Track=94 links, 32 etched brass, 19 clear styrene); estimated retail price US$52.50

Advantages: offers a slightly different version of the late production Pzkw. III tank

Disadvantages: kit does not come with DS tracks, which will disappoint a few modelers

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: for all WWII German fans

DML=92s boutique affiliate continues to fill in the =93niche=94 market for German armor with this new kit of an early model Pzkw. III without the rain guards over the mantlet or the front applique armor. Instead, it provides the framework for the rain guards but no guards themselves, which yields an interesting look.

Once again it is a case of =93mix and match=94 using the later DML Ausf. J/L and Ausf. N kit sprues with some new bits or replacement of some of the older ones. It comes with the split hatch early Pzkw IV style cupola and other earlier production parts.

The hull pan is a later one minus the side hatches and other detail changes such as the three return roller assemblies. 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 options for blackout or clear headlight lenses and the =93kugel=94 mount for the bow machine gun. All viewports and viewers may be positioned open or closed as well.

Once again this kit includes the rudiments of an interior, which 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.

This kit continues to offer DML =93Magic Link=94 single link 40 cm tracks. As I have noted many modelers hope for DS tracks to simplify assembly (e.g. two parts to 216) but the tracks provided are correct and the best single link tracks for assembly going. Also the kit only comes with a modicum of etched brass - mostly grilles, brackets and the track guides for the idler wheels.

Technical consultants on the kit are Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

The kit provides three finishing options: 24th Panzer Division, Russia 1943 (two-color camouflage, white 231); test run, Germany 1942 (sand overall with no markings); and Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front

1943 (whitewash over grey, red 512). All markings are targeted and from Cartograf.

Overall this is at least a more widely traveled variant of the Pzkw. III than some of the =93one-offs=94 from

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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