ARM: Review - 1/35 scale StuG III Ausf G Initial w/Winterketten

Kit Review: 1/35 scale Kit No. 50 (Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6598); StuG. III Ausf. G Initial Production w/Winterketten; 711 parts (388 in grey styrene, 288 =93Magic Track=94 links and grousers, 24 etched brass, 10 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted steel wire); pre-order price US$50.99 via Dragon USA Online

Advantages: another limited run =93boutique=94 kit of an early version of a popular subject

Disadvantages: verbatim re-pop of Kit No. 49 (DML No. 6602) but with Winterketten vice the original track set

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: For all WWII German fans

For some reason beyond my ken DML=92s faithful sidekick has released a verbatim repeat of one of its kits from last year, the StuG III Ausf. G Initial Production, but now has replaced the earlier kit=92s =93Magic Track=94 set with one of the DML =93Winterketten=94 sets a= nd a new set of etched brass which adds one part. As such the review of this kit is pretty much identical to its 2010 predecessor.

As with the original version (No. 6320) the kit comes with many of the accouterments seen on kits like the DML Tiger I and Panther, starting with individual torsion bars and road wheel arms as well as all of the external details on the lower hull such as shocks and bump stops. Each idler wheel consists of five parts with twin brass inserts between the plastic castings. All wheels are detailed to the point of having the rubber tire manufacturer=92s data readable!

The brass is provided only for those bits where plastic cannot do the job, such as the aforementioned wheel rims and the air intake and exhaust grilles on the engine deck plus some non-slip gridding. All fender details are separate and go on in subassemblies. In point of fact, most of this model consists of subassemblies, which is how it gets its tremendous level of details.

The kit comes with a high level of interior parts, including the gun, commander=92s cupola assembly, floor, and the radios and stowage racks for various bits on each side of the casemate. Likewise the engine deck consists of several subassemblies combined to form the deck. Note that every hatch on this vehicle can be opened for display of the interior, but there is no engine or transmission provided.

The kit comes with a set of =93Magic Track=94 single link tracks with the =93Winterketten=94 extensions and a set of grousers for some of the links. As noted in previous reviews due to the complexity and fragility of these tracks they are not a good candidate for DS Plastic so DML took the best option to reproduce them. Grousers are only fitted to a few of the links (about one in three) as the Germans apparently saw no need to add extra weight to the vehicle.

Final assembly again has a number of different modules combined into one final assembly =96 lower hull, fenders, engine deck, interior, gun barrel, casemate, and tracks.

Note that there are a couple of errors in the directions and errata sheets are included in the box.

Development credit for this kit is again given to Thomas Anderson, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

Three different finishing options and a targeted Cartograf set of decals provided: Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1943 (sane with green mottle, black outline 210); same vehicle, winter 1943 (same scheme with whitewash overcoat); Sturmgescheutz Abt. 1, Kharkov 1943 (grey with whitewash and black crosses).

Overall, again this is another niche or =93boutique=94 version of a popular kit, but with a total of five and four DML versions of the Ausf. G kit having been produced one would think they would move on to the earlier variants (and they already have one F8 and one StuH 42 kits out as well).

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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