This is brief look at the kit contents before moving on to a full
comparison with the just released Tamiya Stug III B (kit #35281).
The kit represents the late type with front cast drive sprocket and repositioned front return roller for the 40cm track and the early stamped idler wheel plus armoured smoke candle box on the rear plate.
The kit consists of 191 parts in light grey plastic plus another 240 individual track links and two small etched frets with 8 parts as well as the instruction and decal sheets.
Standard of moulding is quite good overall but there are some annoying pin marks to contend with such as in the centre hub on the return rollers and on the idler wheel spokes that will take a bit of removing and some of the moulding seams are a little on the large size. Another thing to note is that some parts, especially some smaller ones have huge sprue gate attachments and care will be needed during cleanup but overall for an eleven year old kit is stands up okay.
The lower hull tub has good details on the undersides and side axle attachments with separate axles that will allow you to articulate the axles if required. The running gear has quite good details but a little heavy in some places that may require a little more cleanup but overall captures the details and dimensions well.
The separate rear plate has separate exhaust mufflers and tow shackles as well as the upper intake grills that fit into the upper hull overhang and these are very chunky with huge sprue attachments to clean up but basically hidden on the finished kit.
The upper hull is a large single moulding with separate glacis and rear engine inspection hatches as well as having separate fenders that allow the inclusion of the hull side fender flanges with bolt head detail on the upper and lower sides, a nice detail inclusion and the front glacis is a separate panel with the inspection hatches moulded closed but with nice hinge definition.
The separate rear side intake tubs have etched screens with meshing that is a little thick by today’s standards but still much better than could be represented by moulded plastic mesh covers which are included if you prefer this medium.
The fenders are separate as mentioned with the front and rear mudguards included
and have nice dot pattern and hinge details included. Separate fender supports
attach them to the hull sides which require a bit of cleanup before assembly.
Other items include all the tools as separate parts with the tool clips moulded on as is the fire extinguisher and jack while the long aerial trough is a little thick but has etched supports to add good definition here.
The front headlights can only be assembled closed unless you wanted to cut the front cover and add your own light inside and the smaller lights and siren are also proved as separate parts.
The upper superstructure is a single moulding with separate side angled panels added and although the details are crisply done there are some compromised due to the moulding technology of the day. The panel bolts are all raised while they should be flush with the panel surface and the bullet splash ribs in front of the main sight are represented by a series of ridges instead of actual raised ribs. The driver’s plate has a separate visor cover that can be fitted open or closed and the top hatches are also separate with basic internal detail although there are a few small pin marks to contend with.
The 7.5cm L/24 gun has the recoil housing and gun collar spilt longitudinally with a separate outer barrel that is hollowed out but the details here are rather basic with the weld seams just solid raised lines and no bolt head detail is included on the recoil housing. The gun assembly simply attaches to a basic inner gun mount that is hidden and there is no other internal detail in the kit.
The tracks are the 40cm type in individual links that are designed to be glued together and are not workable with just a couple of minor pin marks on the inside of each link to contend with as well as the sprue attachment cleanup but look good when assembled.
The small decal sheet has rather thick carrier film which has yellowed on my kit due to the passing years but has markings for two StuGs, one from StuG Abt226 “Operation Barbarossa” 1941 and 1 Batterie, StuG Abt191, Balkans 1941.
This was a nice kit for its day and still stands up well in some areas today with all the correct dimensions and features of the late Ausf.B captured well although some of the moulded details are a little chunky but with a little work an excellent model will result.
See here for a full kit comparison with the just released Tamiya kit (#35281) Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B (Sd.Kfz.142).The Sprues:
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Tank Power Vol.XXX
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.254
Panzer Tracts No 7-2
Thomas L Jentz and
Hilary Louis Doyle
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Page created January 2, 2006