The Orange Box Series from Dragon are basically previously released models that have been repackaged. This particular kit is a combo of the Dragon 6069 Schwerer Plattformwagen Typ SSY railcar flat top and the Dragon Kit # 9018 Pz Bef Wg III Ausf K
The sprues for this kit are an assortment from different kits needed to piece together a Ausf J Pz III
- A Upper Hull
- B x 2 Drive Sprocket and idler wheel
- b Add on armor and upper hull detail
- C Lower Hull
- D x 2 Road Wheels and Return Rollers
- E Turret parts
- F Misc parts
- g Star Antenna
- H x 2 More misc pars
- J Only 5 pieces out of a complete sprue
- K Add on armor and front deck
- L Single Antenna
- M Antenna base
- O Turret
- Stainless Steel Wire for Antenna (see sprue M)
There is nothing provided for tow cables.
Building the Pz Bef Wg III Ausf K
- Step 1 is the assembly of the idler wheels, road wheels, return wheels, and the drive sprockets. I did not assemble the road wheels and return rollers until after I had painted them. This makes it easier to paint the inside of the road wheels and the tires.
- Step 2 adds the running gear to the hull and covers the removal of the molded on mounting lines for the escape hatch from earlier issued models.
- Step 3 is for the mounting of the road wheels, return rollers, idler wheel and drive sprocket. I did not mount these items until very late in the build. When I added the tracks, I glued the road wheels in but just dry fitted the idler wheel and drive sprocket. This will make it easier to soft mount the tracks, let them dry, and then remove them for painting and weathering. Then at the very end of the build, I remount the tracks, idler wheel and drive sprocket and glue them into place. In this step you are to also mount the extra armor plate on the lower hull as well as the spare tracks. I leave the spare tracks off until near the end of the build so the spare tracks can be painted off of the vehicle as well.
- Step 4 adds extra armor plate on the rear of the hull. The instructions call for the mounting of the tracks here, but as explained earlier this will be done towards the end of the build.
- Step 5 adds the rear plate and the muffler. Since the muffler sticks out and can be easily broken off, I waited until the end to mount it.
- Step 6 adds the towing apparatus and cover plates to the rear of the hull. There are no rods to insert in the towing apparatus; you will have to see what you can find in the spares box. When assembling the two outer towing assemblies be careful about parts F43 thru F46. Make sure that the smaller piece is on the inside and the larger piece is on the outside.
- Step 7 adds the brake vents, driving lights, fender extensions, extra armor and spare tracks. Again having learned from experience, I left off the driving lights till the end as they will be broken off during handling. I added the extra armor, but left off the spare tracks until then end, for ease of painting.
- Step 8 adds the front and side upper hull detail. At this step, you are to also remove several molded on placement guides and expand the turret ring.
- Step 9 adds the spaced armor for the upper hull.
- Step 10 adds the rear vent lids and assorted lifting hooks and hinges. The instructions here point to just one hook or hinge and ask you to repeat it a certain number of times. Look at the line drawing carefully so that you place these items correctly. This step also adds the rear fender extension. I left off parts P26 and K9 (rear tail light and reflector) until the end to keep from breaking them off.
- Step 11 adds the right side details to the fender and the armored engine air intake. The instructions show where the engine crank (part F31) should be placed by actual measurements. All measurements are in millimeters. The problem here is that the fender has preformed pads and these pads do not match up with the pads on the crank. You have to place the crank according to the measurements otherwise subsequent parts won’t have enough room to be properly placed. However, this leaves a big pad exposed on the fender no skid pattern.
- Step 12 adds the antenna trough, antenna base and the spare road wheels to the right side fender. This is where the stainless steel wire is attached to the F10/M1 antenna base. The only problem here is the M1 base is just barely larger than the wire, and I don’t have a drill that small. I ended up cutting off part of M1 to create a larger area on the part and adding the wire to that hole. The antenna trough is also placed by measurement. See step 11 because if you get step 11 wrong, the parts for step 12 won’t fit.
- Step 13 adds the left side details to the fender and the armored engine air intake. Again the instructions show placement of the parts by measurements. Again if you get them wrong here, the parts in step 14 won’t fit.
- Step 14 adds the antenna trough, jack, fire extinguisher, and spare road wheels. Be careful in the assembly and placement of the jack. It doesn’t line up very well the placement pads molded on the fender.
- Step 15 starts the assembly of the turret. If you are careful the barrel can be moveable.
- Steps 16 and 17 add detail to the turret. Be careful with the placement of the external grenade launchers. Look at the painting instruction pictures to get a better feel for where and how these are to be placed. The part b18 consist of bolt heads molded on the sprue runner.
- Step 18 shows the placement of the bolt heads part b18
- Step 19 assembles the storage bin on the rear of the turret
- Step 20 finishes the barrel assembly and gluing it to the turret.
- Step 20a is where I started painting the hull, turret, road wheels, etc the base panzer grey color. Then I gloss coated the model and after that had dried I added the decals.
- Step 20b covers adding the running gear and tracks. As mentioned earlier, I assembled the tracks with glue and before it set, I draped the tracks around the drive wheel and idler wheel. I then adjusted the track to get the proper amount of sag in between the return rollers. When I was satisfied with how the sag looked, I let the glue dry, removed the tracks and painted them off vehicle. This was repeated for the other side.
- Step 20c Replace the tracks and glue all running gear into place. Add all the remaining items that were left off due to possible breakage.
- Step 20d touch up all items that need paint. Add all weathering desired at this point.
- Step 21 adds the star antenna.
- Step 22 adds the turret to the hull and the left side antenna.
Painting and Decals
The instructions show two paint schemes, Panzer Grey and Panzer Grey with a minimal white wash camouflage. The decals are done by Cartograf of Italy and are in good registration.
This is a very good model. The molding is well done. No flash and other than the road wheels, very faint mold lines. As with most Dragon instructions, be careful. Check and recheck, dry fit multiple times before adding glue. The lack of tow cables and other minor pieces is somewhat puzzling. If you want, you can combine this kit with others and make a complete train of loaded cars headed for the front. What a diorama possibility!
Panzer Tracts No. 3-4 Panzerbefehlswagen Ausf D1, E, H, J and K by Thomas Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle IBSN 0-9815382-8-2
Thanks to Dragon for the review sample and IPMS/USA for the review space.