ARM: Review - DML 1./35 scale Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. L Late Production w/Winterketten

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No. 6387; Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. L Late Production w/Winterketten - Smart Kit; 723 parts (464 in grey styrene, 216 "Magic Link" individual track links, 24 etched br ass, 19 clear styrene); estimated price US$49.95

Advantages: builds one specific variant of this tank; "Smart Kit" minimizes the amount of etched brass required

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

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: for all WWII German Eastern Front fans

DML has now released a kit of an Ausf. L with the Winterketten they introd uced on an Ausf. N kit in 2010 to expand their line of "Winterized" German tanks. The Winterketten are provided as "Magic Track" single links with the extended blades on the outside of the track, but this kit does not have th e ice cleats as well.

Other than specific parts to build the Ausf. L there is little different f rom previous DML Panzer III kits. As it is a late product L the hull pan ha s no side hatches. It retains the full torsion bar suspension from the othe r kit and the detailed suspension components and muffler assembly. As with the StuG all hatches are separate with some interior details and can be pos itioned as the modeler chooses. All engine deck ventilators are spaced and mounted on separate frames to get the correct appearance and "lift" needed to give an accurate representation of the original.

The kit provides some of the options for spaced armor arrays to include th e additonal armor. Options also include blackout or clear headlight lenses and the "kugel" mount for the bow machine gun. All viewports and viewers ma y be positioned open or closed as well.

Once again this kit includes the rudiments of a turret interior, which is accurate as far as it goes. As noted this kit offers DML "Magic Link" single link 40 cm tracks with th e extended blades molded in place. But unlike the earlier two kits (StuG II I G and Panzer III Ausf. N) they have deleted the set of ice cleats.

Technical advice was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

The kit provides three finishing options: Pz.Rgt. 15, 11th Panzer Division , Kharkov 1943 (grey with whitewash patches, white 32); Unidentified Unit, Kharkov 1943 (grey with whitewash patches, red 221); Unidentified Unit, Kha rkov 1943 (grey with faded whitewash coating, red L32). All markings are ta rgeted and from Cartograf.

Overall this kit provides yet another option for the popular Panzer III se ries from DML.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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