ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale StuG III Ausf. G Late Production w/Zimmerit

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ?39-?45 Series Kit No. 663

3; StuG III Ausf. G July 1944 Late Production w/Zimmerit - Dragon Zimmerit; 824 parts (558 in grey styrene, 216 ?Magic Track? links, 33 etched bra ss, 16 etched nickel, 10 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted steel wire); pr e-order price US$54.95 via Dragon USA Online

Advantages: finally DML produces the iconic StuG III version with pre-cover ed zimmerit hull parts, ready for easy(er) assembly or suitable for super-d etailing

Disadvantages: single choice option of zimmerit pattern not appreciated by some modelers

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: For all WWII German fans

Okay, here?s the story on 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/Winterk etten - Smart Kit (2011)

Now DML is offering the late production Ausf. G with zimmerit and the icon ic ?Saukopf? (boar?s head) mantlet as a kit. This kit provides an Aus f. G with?waffle pattern? zimmerit (as with the StuH 42 Ausf. G kit No. 6454) on its upper and lower hull. To accomplish this, DML swapped out 32 parts from their StuG III Ausf. G ?Smart Kit? and replaced them with th e new ones with the ?waffle pattern? in place.

I have seen some comments on the Internet about which factories used which pattern of zimmerit and which features are correct or incorrect for that m odel. I do not have that detailed a level of information on the StuG so wil l leave it to them to sort out the overall accuracy of the kit.

What comes in the box provides a later production? ? e.g. with both a welded and?Saukopf? mantelet ? version of the Ausf. G assault guns, s o the builder does have a choice. However, there is no zimmerit on either m antlet.

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 plates for the side armor and the se are all etched nickel with styrene and etched brass details. These appea r modified from a previous kit (apparently a Pzkw. IV from what I recall) a nd use supplemental plates attached to the two center plates for reinforced protection. The ?luggage rack? at the rear of the hull here is provide d by etched brass frame. However, only two options in the kit mount the shi elds.

Technical support was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

Four different finishing options and a targeted Cartograf decal set are p rovided: Unidentified Unit, Western Front 1944 (tricolor with large black c rosses and white 222); Unidentified Unit, Western Front 1944 (?ambush? scheme, no markings); Unidentified Unit, Western Front 1944 (sand overall, black crosses, black 201); and 904th Sturmgescheutz Brigade, East Prussia 1

945(whitewash over sand, black 304)..

Overall, this should be one of the more popular variants to be marketed.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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