Who is Gallery Models?
The following statement was sent to me by a Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) representative upon requesting a short synopsis of who Gallery Models is, "Gallery Models is a concept developed by Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC). The first model was developed in 2009 together with prominent designers, artists, mold-makers, historians, and modelers. The central idea propelling Gallery Models is to select subjects that will challenge the hobbyist’s imagination and building skills while providing detail and enormous intrinsic kit value. Gallery’s selection includes helicopters, armor, and ships."
The Pz. Kpfw.III (Panzerkampfwagen III - Panzer) or official designation Sd.Kfz. 141 was a German medium tank developed in the mid-1930s that was armed with cannon firing armor-piercing shells and machine guns for infantry support. The Panzer III consisted of different series ranging from A to N with additional variations. There were approximately 4,358 of the Ausf. J-N series built by different manufacturers between 1941 and 1942. The J series had an improvement in armor plates on the hull front and sides along with a thickened mantlet. The L and M series were armed with the L/60 50mm gun as opposed to the 50mm L/42mm with the earlier J series. The side visors and loader’s vision ports were eliminated on most of the L & M series. Wading capabilities were added to the M series in 1943 and Schüzen or armored sides were added. For an in-depth discussion of the differences see the references provided or the numerous books written about the Panzer III.
Gallery models, with this new kit, provides the modeler with the options to build either options J, L, or M.
Box and Contents
My first impression when I received the kit was WOW! The box measures a whopping 22” (559mm) x 13.75” (349mm) x 6’ (152mm). It comes in a thick cardboard box with security seals on both sides. On the front is a beautifully painted picture of a Pz.Kpfw.III M with armor skirts (Schürzen). On the side panel are images of three versions the modeler can build, Type J, L, or M.
Two instructional booklets, one for the Type J and L with forty pages covering forty-seven steps. The other booklet is for the Type M printed on thirty-two pages covering thirty-eight steps. Both booklets are printed in black/white portrait style.
One painting and markings guide in color with a paint reference chart for Mr. Hobby, Acrysion, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol paints.
Two upper hulls each in plastic bags clearly marked for the version to use. Both hulls are nicely detailed. One marked for the Type J & L, and one marked for the Type M & L. The Type J upper hull measures 10.5” (267mm) in length and 4.5” (114mm) wide. Not being a rivet counter, I wanted to measure the thickness of the side hull in a 1/16th scale to the reference dimensions. References have the upper side hull as 30mm thick. Measuring the kit hull and converting it to a 1/16th scale the actual measurements came out to be 32mm thick.
One lower hull is used for all three versions. As the upper hull has lots of detail molded in, the lower hull is equally detailed.
One baggie containing the turret and turret stowage box. The turret has weld beads molded on and the stowage box has bolt and rivet heads present.
Nineteen greys, four black, and one clear sprue:
- Sprues A x 2 contains several small parts partially wrapped in foam padding. A few of the parts located on these two sprues include the lower hull brackets, front access panel parts, parts for the fenders, one 7.92mm co-axial machine gun and one bow-mounted 7.92mm machine gun. Both MGs have barrel openings.
- Sprue B x 1 containing the fenders, front armor plates, two pioneer tools (wire cutters and ax), spare tracks clamp bar, and antenna.
- Sprue C x 1 contains a shovel, fender and lower hull brackets, headlight, bow machine plate, and brackets, and vision port covers.
- Sprue D x 1 contains the spare link brackets, toolbox, crank starter shaft, fender deck track guards, glacis for upper hull, ball mounting for the MG, side air intakes, Type M exhaust parts, and other small items.
- Sprues E x 4. These four sprues contain torsion bars, road wheels, shock absorbers, clevis hooks, tow cable ends, wheel caps, return rollers, suspension arms, and hinges for the engine deck plates.
- Sprues F x 2 contains suspension rubber bump stops, shock absorbers, sprockets, and detail parts located on the fenders, idlers, and engine deck covers. Additionally, the smoke grenade launchers for the Type M are included on this sprue.
- Sprue G x 1 has parts for the idlers, jack, bottom cover plate, headlamp, fender stowage box, fire extinguisher, and other small parts.
- Sprue H contains the turret, stowage box, and armor plate for the turret (Type M).
- Sprue J x 1 contains parts for the assembly of the gun mantlet, turret ring, floor assembly, and parts for the turret stowage box.
- Sprue K x 1 contains parts for the mantlet, gun breech, barrel, parts for the cupola, and fan mechanism for the turret ventilation system.
- Sprue L x 1 contains more parts for the gun breech as well as turret hatches. The detail on the hatches is good. Hinges molded on for ease of displaying open or closed.
- Sprues M x 2 wrapped in protective foam. These two sprues contain the gunner, radio operators, loader, and driver’s turret hatch emplacements, handles, cupola visor assemblies, turret grab handles and other small parts for the turret.
- Sprue V x 4 consists of black styrene sprues containing the tires. The tires are marked with the inscription “Continental,” no other markings as to size, etc. In researching for this review, I was able to find an example of a rubber tire having the word Continental. Additionally, the kit tire has a molding bead around the center which matches the reference wheel tire. Also, included on these sprues are the tires for the top rollers, and rubber stops.
- Sprue GP x 1 wrapped in foam contains all the clear parts such as prisms, periscopes, and lights.
- Sprue X x 1 contains parts only for the Types J or L. Here we find hinges for the hull engine cover plates, fender headlight and siren mounts, Nortek light, turret protection plate, engine access panels, turret side vision ports, and exhausts.
- Sprue Y1 and Y2 contain parts for the rear plate and mantlet, parts for the siren, Nortek and lights assembly, and engine hatch covers.
- One metal barrel used for Type J (5.0 cm KwK 38 L42)
- One length of copper twisted wire.
- One baggie containing the vinyl roadwheel caps
- Sprues Z x 7 (rust-colored) containing the track pins and Sprues TR-1 x 22 (rust-colored) containing the guide tooth (horn).
- One bag of rust-colored track links. Two links per sprue tree. 110 total.
- One fret of photo-etch
- One decal sheet for the eight different markings:
- Ausf.J, 3 Pz. Rgt, 10 Pz.Div, Tunisia, 1943
- Ausf.J, 631, 2 Pz.Div, Russia, 1941
- Ausf.L, Unknown
- Ausf.L, 124, Russia, unknown
- Ausf.M, 503, 3 Pz.Rgt, 2 Pz,Div, Kursk, 1943
- Ausf.M, 3 Pz.Gren.Div, Kursk, 1943
- Ausf.M, 412, unknown
- Ausf.M, 621, 6 Pz.Div, Kursk, 1943
- Two die-cut styrene sheets of armor plates (Schürzen) for the Type M version.
- Over 1500 parts included.
This kit by Gallery Models looks to be an excellent base model to build one of three versions of the iconic Panzer III in a large scale. Inspections of the sprues did not reveal any mold shift or flash. Sink marks are located on the inner sides. Parts attachment points on the sprues are in areas that can be sanded easily. I look forward to the next step in deciding which version to build.
References used for this review include:
- Doyle, D. (2019). The Complete Guide to German armored vehicles: Panzers, Jagdpanzers, assault guns, antiaircraft, self-propelled artillery, armored wheeled and semi-tracked vehicles, and more. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
- Taylor, D., & Hayton, M. (2017). Panzer III: Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf A-N (SdKfz 141). Haynes Publishing.
- German Panzer Parts. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2022, from http://www.questmasters.us/panzer_parts.html
The complete Build will follow with Part Two.
Thanks to IPMS/USA and MRC for allowing me to review this kit.