Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M w/Schurzen
Dragon Models, No. 6604, 1/35

Short History:

Panzer III was the common name of a medium tank that was developed in the 1930s by Germany and was used extensively in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen III Sd Kfz. 141 (abbreviated PzKpfw III) translating as “armoured fighting vehicle”. It was intended to fight other armoured fighting vehicles and serve alongside the infantry support Panzer IV; however, as the Germans faced the formidable T-34, stronger anti-tank guns were needed. Since the Panzer IV had a bigger turret ring, the roles were reversed. The Panzer IV mounted the long barrelled 7.5 cm KwK 40 gun and engaged in tank-to-tank battles. The Panzer III became obsolete in this role and for most purposes was supplanted by the Panzer IV. From 1942, the last version of Panzer III mounted the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24, better suited for infantry support. Production of the Panzer III ended in 1943. However, the Panzer III’s capable chassis provided hulls for the Sturmgeschütz III assault gun until the end of the war.

What`s In The Box:

Panzer III M w/Schurzen was released many years ago by DML. It was in their Imperial Series, and that box contains kit of Panzer III M/N version. DML started re-tooling their models, in the list of Panzer III variants Ausf. M version was already released and with Schurzen was expected. New redesign model is offered in standard 1/35 box from DML, with nice box art cover, representing this tank in two tone camouflage. Panzer III Ausf. M w/Schurzen is released under Smart Kit series, which means that modellers will not spend too much time on constructing it.

On the sides of the box and on the rear, there are pictures of all nice details that this model has, including seven different types of camouflage for this vehicle.  Kit contains 17 sprues in light gray colored plastic, 1 sprue in clear plastic for periscopes, 2 sheets of metal for Schürzen side skirts, PE parts, DS Tracks and decal sheet. Assembly instructions contains 25 steps on 6 pages. Standard Dragon Models instruction that is easy to follow.
Assembly starts with lower chassis. Torsion bars are made to be workable, so pay attention on this part not to glue it. There is no notification for that in instructions. Highly detail wheels; road wheels are with visible logo of tyre manufacturer ( Continentau ). Fenders are detailed on both sides, from top and from below and are including all details like tools, boxes, etc.




This kit contains Schurzen; for chassis and for turret, which are made in sheets of metal (only for chassis sides, for turret are made of plastic). Good thing is that Scurzens side doors on the turret can be made opened or closed. Turret rear box can be made open or closed and PE parts are provided for all in-scale details. Hatches for engine can be made open or closed too and are detailed on both sides.  Option with towing cables or without them on rear engine deck.


Interior of the turret is not made in complete, but it has enough details to make all hatches on it as opened. Main gun has details from both sides including breech, one piece plastic barrel. Mantlet is detailed on both sides.

[/URL]

Tracks:

DS track are provided with very nice details on them. Instant glue will be needed to get one track together. I have nice experience with DS tracks, only question is, will they look loose after construction. But this can be easily solved. Plastic link-by-link tracks are provided as reserve tracks for front of the chassis which were used as extra “shield” by panzer crews. There are visible pin marks on them and little sanding will be needed.


Painting & Marking:

Painting and marking are provided for seven different vehicles.  Colour guide is provided for: Model Master, Mr. Color and Hobby Color. Most of the historical pictures of Ausf. M version are from biggest tank battle in history, Kursk, so DML provided markings for them.

•   Pz.Rgt.3, 2.Pz.Div., Kursk 1943
•   3.Pz.Gren.Div. ”Totenkopf”,  Kursk 1943
•   3.Pz.Gren.Div. ”Totenkopf”,  Kursk 1943 (varian with Schurzen)
•   1.Pz.Gren.Div. “LAH”, Kursk 1943
•   6.Pz.Div., Kursk 1943
•   4.Pz.Rgt.15, 11.Pz.Div., Kursk 1943
•   Unidentified Unit, Sicily 1943


Conclusion:

A high quality model  that is well engineered and produced. Highly Recommended for all German armour fans.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Review kit of this model was provided by Hobby Easy

www.hobbyeasy.com

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products or business highlighted here – on Inscale.org