ARM: Review - DML1/72 scale Pzkw. III Ausf. N with Schurzen

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Scale Armor Pro Series Kit No. 7407; Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. N w/Side Skirt Armor; 150 parts (142 in grey styrene, 6 etched brass, 2 DS Plastic track runs; pre-order price US$19.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: the DAK Pzkw. III Ausf. N with the more common Russian Front fittings
Disadvantages: no zimmerit molded on the hull
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German small-scale modelers
    DML has now followed its nice Pzkw. III Ausf. N DAK version (No. 7386) with the more well known one equipped with the schurzen turret and side shields. This version was commonly used as a Tiger escort in heavy tank battalions.
    As noted with previous new Panzer III kits, only sprue D (wheels) and E (the tracks) are retained from the StuG kit. Five new sprues and a separate commander’s cupola cover the upper hull and turret of the N model and its details.
    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 the face details of each pair. The same is true for the gun barrel and a hollow bore as well as some other smaller details.
    While this kit provides a nice set of schurzen shields (not as complex as the 1/35 scale ones but nicely done and reasonably think for injection molding) it does not provide “zimmerit” paste on the hull. As a result the modeler must do his homework on the chosen finishing options to see if they need it or not before painting.
    The kit now has supplemental directions for the DS Plastic tracks that advises 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 the review sample were indicated as being 158mm in length but when measured were only 153mm, so plan on some pulling and tweaking.
    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.
    Credit is given to Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson for technical assistance.
    The kit offers five finishing options: 2nd Panzer Division, Kursk 1943 (green blotches over sand, colored markings and crosses); 6th Panzer Division, Kursk 1943 (tricolor bands, black crosses); 18th Panzer Division (sand with green overspray, white 14); Panzerbrigade Norwegen, Norway 1945 (tricolor with heavy brown overspray, no markings); and Pz.Abt. 212, Western Front 1944 (green over sand, no shields). A targeted sheet of Cartograf decals is provided.          Overall this is a nice (and simple!) kit of the close support and Tiger I escort tank and as such should be a popular model.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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