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In-Box Review
135
Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.C/D
Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.C/D 7.5cm kanone (Sd.Kfz.142)
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by: Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The Sturmgeschütz was designed based on a need found during World War 1 in that infantry lacked the firepower when engaging a fortified enemy. Development started in 1936 by Daimler-Benz with some of the requirement to include, must mount a 7.5cm artillery gun, fixed gun, provide overhead protection for crew, and not to exceed the height of a standing soldier. Based on the recently designed Pz.Kpfw.III and mounting the Krupp 7.5cm StuK 37 L/24 the StuG.III was born in 1937. The StuG went through many variants during its life, and became the most produced armored vehicle in World War 2 by Germany. The latest kit for Dragon Models covering this assault tank is the StuG.III Ausf C/D, the second last to mount the short 7.5cm gun.

Contents

16 Plastic Sprues
1 Clear plastic sprue
1 Fret of photo-etched
1 Sprue of DS Plastic Accessories
2 Lengths of DS Track
1 Sheet of Decals
1 Instruction sheet

Review

When the box I arrived, I was a little perplexed, it is a big box, and when I opened it I saw why, it was full of sprues, and lots of them. A first look at the sprues gave a clue, many of the sprues are from previous Dragon release, there are sprues labelled STuG III, Pz.III, and even Pz.IV. A quick glance of the sprue layout diagram showed that on some sprues, you are only going to use a part or two. But I digress, a closer look shows what we have come to expect for Dragon Models, well molded plastic. Even though some of the parts are from older releases, they are still well done and should serve this new kit well.

The only sprue I could find labelled for the new kit is Sprue D, which includes fenders, hatches, and side armor for the super structure.

Also included is a fret of photo-etch, which looks to be the standard fret used for Pz.III chassis, as the majority of the photo-etch are the parts to form the inner ring of the idler wheels as well as screen for the intakes. For track, the kit includes the Dragon DS track, some like it, some hate it, I am of the later, and I will be replacing with metal track. But a look at the track, I must say, it looks nice, well molded with good detail.

Looking at the instructions, they are of the standard Dragon format. Being a Dragon kit instruction, they are known for the occasional error, so I highly recommend checking part and dry fitting. The construction follows the typical tank flow, starting with the running gear, suspension, wheels, etc. There are a lot little modifications shown to include shaving parts off and filling holes, so I suggest a close study prior to applying glue.

Based on the use of sprues from previous kit, some sprue letters are repeated, so careful when choosing parts and refer to sprue layout. This is important when building the upper super structure. The kit does include the interior of the fighting compartment, but does not include the drivers section. The gun breech assembly does look to be well details, as well as the rest of the fighting compartment.

For the assembly of the gun, the instructions show cutting of the barrel to mount into the mantlet, I would suggest a good razor saw for this. The barrel is one piece slide molded and looks good.

With the interior assembled, it would be time to close it all up, mount the fenders, attach the upper super structure, and rear deck. All look to be well detailed, as with previous Dragon kits. The tools and other items on the outside of the tank are very well molded and look good.

The decals, printed by Cartograf, look great, and include markings for three vehicles, all from Abt.177 in Russia, 1941. Names of the StuG's include Derfflinger, Prinz Eugen, and Seydlitz.

A little addition added to the kit by Dragon was a small sprue of DS plastic which contain two coats and a pair of boots that can be used as a nice accessory on the built. These do look good, and would be nice to see more offered, possibly in a separate kit.

Overview

For fans of the StuG the release of this early variant is a great addition to the Dragon line of these assault tanks. The kit includes parts from many well done previous kit, and included with the new parts, should prove to be a great model. While some may wish to replace the DS track, there does not seem to be many issues with this kit. With the recent release of the Sd.Kfz.152 and this StuG, there is the start of a great looking diorama. I would definitely recommend this kit.

SUMMARY
Highs: Usual great molding, interior fighting compartment.
Lows: DS Track are like Marmite, you either love them or hate them.
Verdict: Looks to be another great kit from Dragon and a great subject with an early model StuG, highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6851
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 21, 2017
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.35%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.23%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Kevin Brant (SgtRam)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA

I am an IT Consultant and father, with a passion for plastic models. I mostly prefer 1/35 Armor and 1/48 Aircraft. My main interests are anything Canadian, as well as WW2 German and British Armor and Aircraft. I have been building models since I was a young kid, got away from it for awhile, but r...

Copyright ©2017 text by Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Nice review, Kevin! Seems like you get more PE than with the MiniArt/Bronco Stugie, but those DS tracks. I'll pass on the Marmite, thanks.
MAR 21, 2017 - 10:30 AM
Kevin: Thanks for a good review, if you intend to build it, do take care of the instructions, there are many traps, telling you to cut, or fill some areas, that you later discover shouldn't have been done, especially on the transmission parts. Beeing a Graphic designer myself, instructions should make order in chaos, Dragon failed here. Another fault is they used the hull, of the fighting compartment from their Stug III F8, and the instruction show a radiorack, on the firewall???? Never seen any on the C/D version in the photographic/research material I have, and Ive been inside one myself. Apart from this, I must agree, some really well detailed parts, but the overall impression is marred, by the lousy instructions
MAR 21, 2017 - 11:04 AM
As much as I like Dragon, and what they have to offer, they really need a solid kick in the a**e as far as their instructions are concerned. To me it indicates a total disdain for us, the customers, and shows they are only interested in our money.
MAR 21, 2017 - 08:23 PM
What was that surgical bit, about having to cut the barrel so it will fit into the mantlet?? Is Dragon getting so lazy that the builder now has to cut parts so that they will fit?
MAR 22, 2017 - 02:07 AM
I think you were a little generous with the rating here. I just did a build review of the Ausf. E they put out and the construction was nothing but a series of modifications to the kit parts. The result was fine, but the process is idiotic.
MAR 22, 2017 - 02:15 AM
Awesome review Kevin! I agree with Adam though, Dragon can and should be doing much better with their new releases. I won't be buying any new Dragon kits until they do, since their old ones from the mid 2000s are much better and cheaper than some of these.
MAR 22, 2017 - 02:11 PM
Yeah, which is why they are not considered a charity. Is this really a revelation to anyone, that for-profit companies exist only to make money for their owners? KL
MAR 22, 2017 - 02:53 PM
Glad I'm not the only one beeing annoyed by this product, admitted, it's a great kit, and will be, if on has the nerves to finish it, be the best detailed Stug III C/D around, BUT, it's not cheap, which should mean, a really quality product. Another issue with Dragon, generally is their plastic ,it hard, and it's difficult to cut the parts form the sprues, without flakes/damage to the relevant part. If you decide to build it, take especially care around steps 1-3, in the instructions, concerning the roadwheels and the return rollers. Dont cut any parts, as per the instructions, or fill anything, untill you know it shoud be done, I'm really p... off, and I'm only just started it.
MAR 22, 2017 - 08:57 PM
Thank you for the excellent review. This has got to be my favourite part of Armourama as I hate buying a kit and being done-in by lousy instructions. Dragon is INFAMOUS for this and I honestly don't understand WHY? The kits are usually of the highest quality and yet the instructions are uniformly overly-complicated, cramped and seemingly begrudging the builder the details necessary. Errors only makes an enjoyable build into a curse-filled grudge match. Wish they'd catch on.
MAR 24, 2017 - 01:23 PM
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