Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. N w/Schurzen - Smart Kit
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited (cyber-hobby.com)1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6474; Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. N w/Schurzen - Smart Kit|
|Media and Contents:||858 parts (599 in grey styrene, 216 “Magic Track” links, 24 etched brass, 19 clear styrene, 8 etched nickel)|
|Price:||Retail price US$47.50|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Changes out a number of sprues for more recent moldings; offers the schurzen with this kit|
|Disadvantages:||Kit does not come with DS tracks, which will disappoint a few modelers|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended for all German fans, and anyone doing a Tiger I diorama|
I was surprised when I got this kit – exactly two years after their first kit of the Pzkw. III Ausf. N was released in December 2007 – to see how much they had changed from the earlier kit. I had expected that all they would do was simply add the “Schurzen” shield option as they did with the recent StuG III Ausf. G kit; not so.
Even though this kit only has about 20 more parts than its first release (No. 6431) did, DML has replaced or changed eight sprues for parts from the Ausf. M kit or the Pzkw. IV Ausf. H kit, as well as add some other bits as well. They now include the full plastic turret “schurzen” array as well as four etched nickel panels per side for the last variants of this tank.
The hull pan is a later one minus the side hatches and other detail changes. 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 are 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 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.
The kit provides five finishing options: 2nd, 6th and 18th Panzer Divisions, all at Kursk 1943; Panzerbrigade Norwegen, Norway 1945 (three color splotches); and Pz.Abt. 212, Western Front 1944 (sand brown with brown patches). All markings are targeted and from Cartograf.
Overall this is a better version of the Ausf. N and sure to find popularity with Tiger modelers as well.
A 91 Pzkw III J hull details and turret mounting
A 61x2 StuG III Wheels and torsion bars (7 mini-sprues connected)
B 46 StuG III Road wheel arms and lower hull details
C 41 Pzkw III J applique armor and details
D 31 StuG III basic upper hull details
D 34 Pzkw III turret details
E 15 Pzkw III J turret and mantelet details
F 2 Pzkw. III M/N - fenders
G 9 Pzkw III mantlet details
G 18 StuG III OVM and light components
G 54 StuG III fender and smoke grenade launcher parts
G 52 Pzkw IV F - turret and hull details
H 29 Pzkw III M/N upper hull and engine deck
H 1 Lower hull pan
J 8 Machine guns and muzzles
L 19 Pzkw. IV L/24 gun
M 23 Pzkw IV H cupola
15 Pzkw IV F Clear styrene
P 4 Clear styrene
R 44 Pzkw III M/N turret schurzen array, brackets
Y 144 Magic Track - Left
Z 144 Magic Track - Right
MA 24 Etched brass
MB 8 Etched nickel
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.