Kit Review: cyber-hobby.com 1/35 scale Kit No. 72 (Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6753); StuG III (Fl); 797 parts (547 in grey styrene, 216 =93Magic Track=94 links, 19 etched brass,14 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted steel wire); pre-order price US $49.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: First injection molded kit of this type
Disadvantages: unknown due to low production numbers and limited photo evidence of use
Recommendation: For all WWII German fans and a few diehard Finnish and Syrian modelers
The latest boutique entry from DML=92s affiliate cyber-hobby.com is a kit of what is essentially the StuG III Ausf. F/8 fitted with a fixed flamethrower. Ten conversions of this type were made in mid 1943 but information on use is sketchy. For some odd reason the Germans adopted a fixed flamethrower for their heavy vehicle mount which meant the vehicle had to be close to its target and pointed right at it to operate. Soviet, American and British vehicle were usually all gun tanks fitted with supplemental flame projectors that had at least a limited amount of traverse or were turret mounted, which meant much more flexibility of use and better engagements. For once this does not appear to be a very good solution to the problem by German engineering.
As with other kits, it uses most of the past sprues from the Ausf. F/8 kit but adds one new sprue of six parts for the flame projector as well as an etched brass armored cover for the aperture for the projector.
The same 20-piece etched brass fret is included with the wheel rims and the air intake and exhaust grilles on the engine deck plus some non-slip gridding. It also comes with the styrene mounts and etched nickel schurtzen protective shielding.
Technical assistance was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
One generic finishing option is provided: Unidentified Unit (probably a testbed), 1943 (sand with crosses on the sides and rear). A tiny Cartograf decal sheet is provided.
Overall this is a different variant of the StuG and due to the low production numbers and lack of information on its combat use a good choice for cyber-hobby.com to kit.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.