Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Scale Armor Pro Series Kit No. 7372; Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J; 122 parts(115 in grey styrene, 5 etched brass, 2 DS Plastic track runs); pre-order price US$19.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: new kit of one of the more common Pzkw. III models; based on St uG III kits with same attention to detail
Disadvantages: nothing major noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German small-scale modelers
After a pause of about a year DML has returned to its Panzer III line in 1 /72 and is ?walking back? from the last versions to the mid production tanks. This kit is of the common J version and uses some new parts along wi th parts from the M and N kits. As with the recent Ausf. L and N kits, only sprue D (wheels) and E (the tracks) are retained from the StuG kit.
As before the kit makes a great deal of use of slide molding for its parts . The return rollers are molded together but the slide mold provides for th e face details of each pair. The same is true for the gun barrel and a holl ow bore as well as some other smaller details.
The hull comes with the places marked in raised lines for the side hatches . The vision ports are now included on the turret shell molding (part A36).
The kit now has supplemental directions for the DS Plastic tracks that adv ises pulling on them if too short or trimming them if too long: as they do take standard plastic cements this is not a major problem and will ensure a good fit. The ones in this kit were 154mm versus a recommended length of 158mm.
The kit comes with five etched brass bits: the engine radiator air intakes and exhaust grilles. Two braces are provided but not accommodated in the d irections.
The kit offers two finishing options: 5.Pz.Rgt. 24, 24th Panzer Division, Stalingrad 1942 (grey, crosses, red 523); and 1./SS.Pz.Rgt. 5, SS Panzergre nadier Division ?Wiking?, Russia 1943 (grey, crosses, red 122). A tiny sheet of Cartograf decals is provided with the kit.
Overall this kit continues their coverage of Panzer IIIs in 1/72 scale.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.