.? .>Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Scale Armor Pro Series Kit No. =7290; Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M w/Wading Muffler; 114 parts (106 in grey styrene= , 6 etched brass, 2 DS Plastic track runs); pre-order price US$19.95 via Dr= agon USA Online
Advantages: first new kit of a Pzkw. III from DML in several years; based o= n StuG III kits with same attention to detail
Disadvantages: nothing major noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German small-scale modelers
DML is following up both its 1/35 line of Panzer III kits and its return t= o small-scale Panzer III tanks with a new kit of the Ausf. M variant with t= he elevated =93wading=94 muffler installation and some other tweaks.
As with the recent Ausf. L and N kits, only sprue D (wheels) and E (the tr= acks) are retained from the StuG kit. Two new sprues cover the upper hull a= nd turret of the M model and its characteristic muffler installation.=20
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.=20
The hull comes with the places marked in raised lines for the side hatches= (and hatches on the generic sprue) but from what information I have M mode= ls did not have side hatches. A few careful passes with a knife tip or mini=
-chisel should remove them. The vision ports have been removed from the tur= ret.
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 1=58mm.=20
The wading muffler consists of three parts and a new plate for the lower s= ide of the rear hull extension. The flaps (open under most circumstances) a= re molded closed.=20
The kit comes with six etched brass bits: the engine radiator air intakes = and exhaust grilles and the rain shield over the forward spaced armor array= . Two braces do not show up in the directions.=20
Credit is given to Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson for technical assistance.= =20
The kit offers five finishing options: 4./SS Pz.Rgt. =93Totenkopf=94, Pz.G= ren.Division =93Totenkopf=94. Kharkov 1943 (whitewash, black 414); Pz.Rgt.=3, 3rd SS Panzer Division =93Totenkopf=94, South Russia 1943(sand wth brown= , black I-3); 23rd Panzer Division, South Russia 1943 (tricolor, red 222);= 3./SS Pz.Rgt. =93Totenkopf=94, SS Panzergrenadier Division =93Totenkopf=94= . Prokhorovka 1943 (sand, white 331); 8./SS Pz.Rgt. =93Das Reich:, SS Pz.Gr= en.Div. =93Das Reich=94, Kharkov 1943 (grey, white honorific, black 851). A= targeted sheet of Cartograf decals is provided. (I just list what DML call= s them with the additions of SS or not, I don=92t alter their names for the= units.)=20 =09 Overall this is a nice kit of a very late model Panzer III and should prov= e popular.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.=20