ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale StuG III Ausf. D Late Production Dec. 1944

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ?39-?45 Series Kit No. 659

3; StuG III Ausf. G Dec. 1944 Late Production- Smart Kit; 455 parts (411 in grey styrene, 31 etched brass, 10 clear styrene, 2 DS Plastic, 1 length of twisted steel wire); pre-order price US$54.95 via Dragon USA Online

Advantages: the penultimate StuG III as a kit; ready for easy(er) assembly or suitable for super-detailing; DS Tracks will be popular with modelers wh o detest single-link tracks

Disadvantages: again, some modelers not happy with DS Tracks (you can?t w in!)

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: For all WWII German fans

Continuing the story of the DML Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. G kits thus far:

6229 - StuG III Ausf. G with Deep Wading Muffler (2008) 6320 StuG III Ausf. G Early Production - Smart Kit (2008) 6365 StuG III Ausf. G Early Production w/Schurtzen - Smart Kit (2009) 6412 - StuG III Ausf. G May 1944 Mid-Late Production - Sma rt Kit (2010) 6417 StuG III Ausf. G ?Georg Bose? DX 07 Special Kit (2007) 6581 StuG III Ausf. G Dec, 1943 Production - Smart Kit (2012) 6607 - StuG III Ausf. G Initial Production - Smart Kit (20 10) 6658 - StuG III Ausf. G ?Black Knights? Comic Version (2010) 6598 - StuG III Ausf. G Initial Production w/Winterket ten - Smart Kit (2011) 6633 StuG III Ausf. G July 1944 Late Production w/Zimmerit

This is the nearly final version of the vehicle with no zimmerit, lat prod uction features like the close-defense weapon and remote control machine gu n mount, and the the iconic ?Saukopf? (boar?s head) mantlet. There ar e 32 different parts in this kit as opposed to the July 1944 kit with zimme rit (6633 on the above list).

What comes in the box provides a near final production version with ?Sau kopf? mantelet while retaining all of the features which were popular wit h the earlier kits.

As it uses the ?Smart Kit? it retains individual torsion bars and road wheel arms as well as all of the external details on the lower hull such a s 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?s data readable!

Brass is provided only for those bits where plastic cannot do the job, suc h as the aforementioned wheel rims and the air intake and exhaust grilles o n the engine deck plus some non-slip gridding. All fender details are separ ate and go on in subassemblies. In point of fact, most of this model consis ts of subassemblies, which is how it gets its tremendous level of details.

The kit retains a high level of interior parts, including the gun, command er?s cupola assembly, floor, and the radios and stowage racks for various bits on each side of the casemate. Likewise the engine deck consists of se veral subassemblies combined to form the deck. Note that every hatch on thi s vehicle can be opened for display of the interior, but there is no engine or transmission provided. This kit also now comes with the remote control mount for the machine gun and its reduced size gun shield.

Final assembly again has a number of different modules combined into one f inal assembly ? lower hull, fenders, engine deck, interior, gun barrel, c asemate, and tracks. Oddly enough, while the radios and antenna bases are s upplied, no comment is made about the antennas for them!

The kit provides a full set of schurtzen racks but no plates for the side armor. It also retains the ?luggage rack? at the rear of the hull as pr ovided by a etched brass frame.

This kit comes with 40 cm tracks in DS Plastic but as DML does not note th e proper length for them before installation as they do with their 1/72 ? Armor Pro? series kits I have no way of telling if they will sag or be to o taut. As the tracks in those kits vary by 3-5 mm in length either way, ho pefully someone who has used them can give a good number for the proper len gth of the unfitted tracks.

Technical support was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

Three different finishing options and a targeted Cartograf decal set are provided: Unidentified Unit, East Prussia 1945(sand with whitewash, no mark ings); 185th StuG Brigade, East Prussia 1945 (sand overall, black L 0); 185 th StuG Brigade, Eastern Front 1945 (tricolor upper hull, sand lower, black crosses).

Overall, this should be the most popular version of this kit as it is the iconic Sturmgeschuetz and the inclusion of the single piece tracks will ple ase many modelers who do not like single link tracks.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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