ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Pzkw. III Ausf. H Late Production

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.
6642; Pz.Kpfw. III (5 cm) Ausf. H Sd.Kfz. 141 Late Production - Smart
Kit; 826 parts (556 in grey styrene, 216 =93Magic Track=94 single links,
33 etched brass, 19 clear styrene, 2 preformed steel wire); pre-order
price US$47.95 from Dragon USA Online
Advantages: many options for varying the model with and without some
components; =93Smart Kit=94 minimizes the amount of etched brass required
Disadvantages: kit does not come with DS tracks, which will disappoint
a few modelers
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all WWII German fans
Continuing on with their plastic history of the Panzer III DML has
now released a kit of the Ausf. H variant. This was the first version
of the early production Pzkw. III tanks to mount the new KwK L/42 5 cm
cannon in response to perceived battlefield threads, and 280 were
built between October 1940 and April 1941 when the redesigned and
uparmored Ausf. J version went into production.
As with previous members of this family, the hull pan is similar to
that from the StuG but has the side hatches and other detail changes.
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 only the early model=92s L/42 gun barrel with its
=93slide molded=94 hollow bore with a complete breech assembly. Options
also include blackout or clear headlight lenses and all viewports and
viewers may be positioned open or closed as well. Note that about five
of the sprues are either new or heavily modified from past kits.
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 enough room for a nice resin interior here and enough
ports and hatches to see it.
Some modelers are now learning to love the new DML DS plastic tracks,
but this kit was not a beneficiary of that technology so the modeler
will have to use the excellent if tedious =93Magic Track=94 links. But in
the case of this kit, it provides a set of =93universal=94 tracks =96 only
one link design =96 and shows no difference in the assembly. This is
odd, as generally the German tracks were designed to take a pin on one
end only and if used like this the opposite side needed to have track
run reversed. I leave it to the diehard III fans to sort this one
This kit offers a wide variety of detail options and as such the
directions are EXTREMELY busy. For the first time I can recall this
shows holes being filled in (a symbol like a ball point pen tip) so
the modeler must take extra care when following the directions. Most
complex is the diagram showing the depressions on the turret forward
roof section being filled in.
Technical consultants were Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
The kit provides five different finishing options: Pz.Rgt. 8 15th
Panzer Division, North Africa 1941 (green over sand, red 2 - 223);
Pz.Rgt. 3, 2nd Panzer Division, Greece 1941 (grey - white 111); 1st
Panzer Division, Eastern Front 1942 (green over sand, white 712);
Pz.Rgt. 8 15th Panzer Division, Tobruk 1942 (green over sand, red 5);
and Pz.Rgt. 8 15th Panzer Division, North Africa 1941 (green over
sand, red 6 - 632); A=93targeted=94 sheet of colorful markings is provided
by Cartograf.
Overall this continues the family, and by my count now makes 13
different Pzkw. III variants from DML or - Ausf. B, E,
F, H late, J Early, J, J with B IV, L, L trop, M Early, N, N w/
schurzen, and N w/winterketten. Oh for an Ausf. A!
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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