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In-Box Review
135
Cyber-Hobby Pz. III Ausf. G
SdKfz 141 Pz.Kpfw.III (3.7cm) (T) Panzer III Ausf. G
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

One of the more-remarkable but little-known facts about WW 2 was how Nazi Germany whipped Poland, France, Norway and Great Britain in the opening stages with only a handful of mobile armored units. The myth of Blitzkrieg was perhaps a balm on wounded French and British pride at having been so thoroughly beaten, but in actuality, most of Germany's army marched on foot to the English Channel. And its armored units were equipped with tanks like the Pz. III and Pz. IV that were woefully under-gunned, or else like the Pz. 38(t) that were borrowed from the nations it conquered along the way.

Germany's tanks were surprisingly unprepared to fight the new mobile wars of the mid-20th Century: their production required labor-intensive foundry work, their design was boxy and employed relatively thin armor plating, and their narrow tracks made them of limited value in a truly off-road campaign. Ince Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, it was almost immediately apparent the Pz. III was too lightly-armed & armored, and that its narrow tracks were ill-suited to the vast stretches of the eastern Steppes in Winter or those periods of heavy rain that turned what roads there were into sucking fields of muck.

Yet German tank designers adjusted quickly to the new realities, first by gradually increasing the firepower of its existing tanks, adding wider tracks, and more armor plating, and then by introducing radical new designs like the Panther. The Pz. III which had been intended as the Third Reich's Main Battle Tank evolved to carry more armor, a larger gun, and then, when the platform proved unable to sustain a properly-sized cannon, the chassis become the basis for the highly-successful StuG III tank destroyer.

The Pz. III was not only the workhorse of the early Blitzkrieg and North Africa, but with its StuG III variant was by far Germany's most-produced tank. A pivotal variant was the Ausf. G: it is the last version to run on the early 36cm tracks, and it carried both the 3.7cm KwK L/46.5 cannon, and later, the 5 cm KwK 38 L/42. Cyber-Hobby has released the lighter-gunned version as a Tauchpanzer (wading tank) limited edition White Box.

I have no information on how many of the 600 Ausf. Gs carried the smaller pop gun, or were able to take advantage of the wading technology, but the new kit now rounds out the Pz. III major variants.

kit contents

Inside the usual Cyber-Hobby White Box are:

25 sprues of dark gray plastic
1 hull tub
1 turret box
2 sprues of clear plastic
2 frets of PE
2 wires for the fenders
2 bags of Magic Tracks (handed left & right)
a tiny sheet of decals
instructions & painting guide

the review

Cyber-Hobby is the arm of Dragon Models dedicated to limited edition runs of rare or unusual items, and this wading version of the III/G is a good use of its mission. The results are excellent: one "knock" on German war production is the excessive amount of ornate fabrication used on things like drive sprockets, and in the case of the Pz. III Ausf. G, this is both true and wonderfully-rendered by C-H. The over-sized drive and idler wheels look like something out of a 30s tractor, with fluted bases and

As with many recent Dragon issues, the kit is a reboxing of some older sprues along with items particular to this kit. Since the German Waffenamt (procurement office) tried to standardize the Pz. III & Pz. IV components, it should be no surprise the kit borrows 3 sprues from the standard Pz. IV repertory, along with one from the initial Ausf. J. There is also a sprue from the Pz. III Ausf. F and three from the venerable StuG III Ausf. G.

With so many previous sprues in the mix, there are quite a few parts left for the spares bin. The overall impression is one of crisp molding, and most of the hatches and other details are separately-molded. Super detailers may want to add some clamps and other items, but this one looks like it will build up OOB quite nicely.

It's good to have a new version of this variant, a welcome upgrade from the older versions including the C-H Orange Box kit. Some of the touted features include a working torsion-bar suspension; one-piece lower hull (replete with weld seams and details on the hull bottom and sides); plus of course, Magic Tracks. A generous offering of PE will enhance things like the idler wheel without taxing anyone's modeling skills.

In keeping with the C-H mission, the painting guide & decal offering is skimpy: just one ad hoc unit (Pz.Abt. D) from 1940 in Panzer Gray. I can find no information about any such unit.

conclusion

I have always loved the Pz. III and I now have one of every variant except the A-D prototypes which saw no more than 30 of any one produced, and which saw limited service in the Poland campaign. Those earlier variants will also require extensive new tooling, as the suspensions were the leaf spring variety, and not the torsion bar version used from the Ausf. E forward.

Thanks to Dragon USA for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed here on Armorama when ordering.
SUMMARY
Highs: New tooling for a kit that was long of the tooth. Dragon's usual crisp molding, including some fans and internal details.
Lows: A bit specific for some, but with a little modification, can be a generic Ausf. G.
Verdict: This kit rounds out DML's series on the Pz. III tanks that actually served in any significant numbers during WW 2.
Percentage Rating
93%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CHC-6765
  Suggested Retail: $49.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 26, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.08%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.50%

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 Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright ©2017 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. 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

Please, do you know if with this kit can I build a G version of the Afrika Korps? it brings the corresponding spare pieces? Many thanks. Regards. Edgardo Gil.
AUG 11, 2015 - 11:52 AM
I believe that you can go with this kit for an early DAK III-G - but you may need to source some tropical engine covers from elsewhere (if they were actually retrofit to these G in N. Africa), as I don't think those will be in this box.
AUG 11, 2015 - 03:56 PM
Hello Edgardo, This kit is missing a lot of the nessesary parts for an African IIIG. First of all there were NO 37mm armed Panzer IIIs in Africa. Second the pics of the Very early Panzer arrivals in March/April 1941 especially the early Tripoli shots show the early Gs with the upgraded so called Tropical engine hatches already in place. Also of course you will need the proper Decals/Markings not in this kit. This kit also does not have the turret rear stowage box the so called Rommel box. As of yet Dragon does not release a proper III F or G for North Africa . They did upgrade the very Old III G kit from the 80s/90s with. New magic tracks and a couple other small new tooled parts and decent Afrika Korps figures kit 6263 the guys eating. This kit isn't bad , the front of the recuperator housing has very bad knock out holes a pain to fix and the Rommel turret box is very badly shaped. Most of the parts need are available now in After Market resin. If you have not purchased this kit as of yet I would suggest instead obtaining Dragon 6639 III G , this kit has all the parts ness except the Tropical engine hatches and Decals both readily avail on EBay I'm sure so 6639 is the closest new tooled G kit for Africa , again I am Surprised Dragon hasn't produced the F and G for Africa they have all the parts already just need to rebox it properly and add decals . I hope this info helps and you can Email me with any questions on the Pz III if you wish ( panzerstikeATcomcast.net ) I do have a large library on the III and enjoy talking about it it is my Favorite Panzer. Good luck on your project and have fun. Brian
AUG 11, 2015 - 10:35 PM
Many thanks Brian. By the way I have a question about the Pz III but the adress site that you mention it doesn´t run. Do you know if the panzer III have a turret basket in any of their diferent variants? I have read some publications like Panzer tracts or the Spielberger book about the Pz III but to no avail. In the Encyclopedia of german tanks (Chamberlain, Doyle, Jentz) there is a reference that says that the Pz III have a turret basket since the H model and that was retrofitted then to other models, but this is the only reference that I can find. With the turret basket I mean that the turret floor must turn when the turret turn, like the Panzer IV, Panther, Sherman, Tiger, etc. in these last cases, turret and turret floor were connected in one piece. In the Panzer III the loader must walk accompanying the turret movement, like the T-34. In the Encyclopedia of german taks the authors says that this change occurs in the Ausf H when turret floor was attached to the turret and they move togheter. Thanks again for all your information Brian. Best regards.
AUG 12, 2015 - 11:09 AM
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