Review - DML 1/35 scale Pzkw. III w/Wading Muffler

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6558; Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M w/Wading Muffler - Smart Kit; 902 parts (634 in grey
styrene, 216 “Magic Track” links, 33 etched brass, 19 clear styrene); pre-order price US$47.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: offers a slightly different version of the late production Pzkw. III tank
Disadvantages: kit does not come with DS tracks, which will disappoint a few modelers
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all WWII German fans
    DML has now released a mainstream production kit of this penultimate Panzer III variant. Unlike the predecessor from 2010 (Kit No. 52/6605) this one uses the complete set of applique armor and the high-mounted muffler with two different fitting options.
    Again, it is a case of “mix and match” using the later DML Ausf. J/L and Ausf. N kit sprues with some new bits or replacement of some of the older ones. It comes with the split hatch early Pzkw IV style cupola and other earlier production parts.
    The hull pan is a later one minus the side hatches and other detail changes such as the three return roller assemblies. It retains the full torsion bar suspension from the other kit and the detailed suspension components and muffler assembly. As with the StuG all hatches are separate with some interior details and can be positioned as the modeler chooses. All engine deck ventilators are spaced and mounted on separate frames to get the correct appearance and “lift” needed to give an accurate representation of the original.
    The kit provides options for blackout or clear headlight lenses and the “kugel” mount for the bow machine gun. All viewports and viewers may be positioned open or closed as well.
    Once again this kit includes the rudiments of an interior, which accurate as far as they go. This should please the “after market boys” as there is more than enough room for a nice resin interior here and enough ports and hatches to see it.
    This kit continues to offer DML “Magic Link” single link 40 cm tracks. As I have noted many modelers hope for DS tracks to simplify assembly (e.g. two parts to 216) but the tracks provided are correct and the best kit single link tracks for assembly going. Also the kit only comes with a modicum of etched brass - mostly grilles, brackets and the track guides for the idler wheels.
    Technical consultants on the kit are Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
    The kit provides five finishing options: 4./SS.Pz.Regt. “Totenkopf”, SS Panzergrenadier Division “Totenkopf”, Kharkov 1943 (whitewash over sand brown, black 414); 3rd SS.Pz.Regt, 3rd SS Panzer Division “Totenkopf”, South Russia 1943 (tricolor mottle, black I3); 23rd Panzer Division, South Russia 1943 (tricolor mottle above the fenders, red 222); 3./SS.Pz.Regt, SS Panzergrenadier Division “Totenkopf”, Prokhorovka 1943 (sand brown, yellow 331); 8./Pz.Rgt. 2, 2nd SS Panzer Division “Das Reich”, Kharkov 1943 (grey, black 851, dedication to Walter Tessman, 14.3.43). All markings are targeted and from Cartograf.
    Overall this is at least a wider release of the earlier kit but DML still has not addressed the early model Panzer III variants.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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