Quick summary, this is not Dragon’s first Panzer III kit released but it might be one of their finest. Upon opening the box, you will find the following items, all 650 parts (about 70 of which are not used):
- 24 sprues of gray plastic
- 2 bags of Magic Tracks
- 1 decals sheet with 5 sets of markings for gray panzer schemes
- 1 clear sprue of periscopes
There are a few variations to decide upon for he build. After looking over the instructions a few times, I decided to start building a vehicle from 2nd Panzer Division, Russia 1941. The kit has different cupolas to choose from and the 2nd Panzer Division had late model cupolas which I prefer over the early cupolas used by the 16th Panzer Division.
The build is straightforward and as easy as it gets for a Dragon kit. This is not a shake-and-bake kit with its large number of parts, small parts and separate track links. It will require some modeling skills. I will list the steps that require attention and correcting.
- Step 1A - Parts X3 and X5 are labeled wrong in the instructions. The numbers are reversed (X3 is actually X5 and vice versa). Parts B2 and B3 need to be added later in step 6 after the idler wheel is assembled
- Step 4 - The smoke discharger chains are very delicate and need to be added later in the build to prevent them from getting broken off and lost
- Step 9 - Part B16 is actually part K1. These are the two cables mounted on the engine deck
- Step 12M - Part G17 is an antenna. The part is very delicate and best applied as near as possible to the end of the build to prevent breakage and loss.
- Step 14 - E2 an E3 need to fit into part E12. The main cannon does not move. You need to dry fit it to get your desired elevation.
- Step 18 - Part S41 is shown as a turret roof exhaust fan. This is actually 2 parts that need to fit atop one another and the correct parts are S41 and G6. The turret escape hatch construction in this step; parts G24 and G19 are mislabeled. they should be part G27 and G30.
Once the build was complete, I used Tamiya German gray as a basecoat and used Tamiya white and black mixed in to do some post shading. the tracks were painted Vallejo track color and Mig pigments were used to simulate rust and wear.
Overall, this build was nice and relaxing and produced a great looking model. I would like to thank Dragon Models USA for the review kit and IPMS/USA for the chance to build it. And thanks to those of you reading this!