Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.6581; StuG III Ausf. G Dec. 1943 Production - Smart Kit; 707 parts (448 in grey styrene, 216 Magic Track single links, 20 etched brass, 12 etched nickel, 10 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted steel wire); pre-order price US$49.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: The 10th StuG III Ausf. G kit from DML adds some new bits and changes some old ones out
Disadvantages: confusing number of kits and variants; kit may not be accurate as it lacks both zimmerit coating and possible wrong production features
Recommendation: For all WWII German fans and a few diehard Finnish and Syrian modelers
Once again, as with the DML Tiger and Panther kits, it is time for =93Mouseketeer Roll Call of the kits produced by DML of just the StuG III Ausf. G variant:6229 cyber-hobby.com - 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 cyber-hobby.com - StuG III Ausf. G May 1944 Mid-Late Production - Smart Kit (2010) 6417 StuG III Ausf. G =93Georg Bose=94 DX 07 Special Kit (2007) 6607 cyber-hobby.com - StuG III Ausf. G Initial Production - Smart Kit (2010) 6658 cyber-hobby.com - StuG III Ausf. G =93Black Knights=94 Comic Version (2010)
This latest kit provides an Ausf. G without =93zimmerit=94 paste coating, both a welded and a =93Saukopf=94 mantlet, a new set of solid cast return rollers, new driver faces, and new fenders and hull details. But from comments on the Internet it seems to be that it should have had zimmerit factory installed for the date it was built and also not come with the =93Saukopf=94 mantlet as that was (according to the only source I saw that noted it) not available until April 1944 and then only from Alkett. I leave it to those wiser than I on StuG III models to figure out what DML was trying to produce.
It uses most of the past sprues Panzer III and StuG fans are familiar with, such as the seven-in-one wheel sprue, lower hull and driveline fittings, and the long 7.5 cm interior parts.
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 Steven Van Beveren, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Three different finishing options and a targeted Cartograf decal sheet are provided: StuG.Kp. 1019, 19th Luftwaffe Felddivision, Ukraine 1944 (sand with green and brown overspray, white 127); StuG.Brig. 226, East Prussia 1945 (whitewash over sand, black 1068); and Pz.Jg.Abt. 2, 12th Panzer Division, Estonia 1944 (whitewash blotches over sand, black 221).
Overall it seems that with too many trips to the same well DML may have missed the boat on this kit, if the comments by German armor fans and historians are correct. But many modelers have seen this version as the =93real deal=94 StuG III and will probably be happy with it, errors and all.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.