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DML 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.G 'Afrika Korps' Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review January 2010 Manufacturer DML
Subject Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.G 'Afrika Korps' w/Bonus Deutsche Afrika Korps Figure Set Scale 1/35
Kit Number 9116 Primary Media 698 parts (463 in grey styrene, 216 “Magic Track” single link tracks, 17 etched brass, 2 etched nickel)
Pros Fairly good kit of a short-barreled Pzkw III with five figures and extra details for inexpensive price Cons Not Smart Kit technology; very little etched brass for brass fans; no DS tracks supplied
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $29.95

First Look

Twenty years ago some of the most desirable and expensive armor kits available were the Gunze Sangyo series from Japan, as they were more accurate than most other kits and the first true multimedia armor kits to boot (we will ignore some of the composite wood and metal kits from WWII and the early 1950s here). However, in the early 1990s they were bought out by DML of Hong Kong, who then converted most of their multimedia parts to styrene and issued them under their “Imperial” or 90xx series kits.

Now DML affiliate has released one of their more popular kits, a Pzkw. III Ausf. G, in its “Afrika Korps” guise (Imperial Series Kit No. 9032) with some new parts, “Magic Track” single link track, and DML “Deutsche Afrika Korps” figure set No. 6063 in one box at a bargain price.

The ex-Gunze kit is not a bad model, as it was light years ahead of the now 38-year-old Tamiya kit when it came out; today it has been bypassed by DML’s own “Smart Kit” Pzkw. III series kits. But it is still a serviceable model, and even with the single link tracks has 200-300 fewer parts than many other recent kits; if you want a fast build, this is a good kit to consider.

The original kit used a large number of common parts for both their StuG III Ausf. F/G kit and the Pzkw. III series models, so as a result the modeler does have to do some work as he goes along to convert the generic parts to a dedicated Pzkw. III tank. It’s all simple things, but it means drilling out mounting holes and cutting off unnecessary bits as you go. All of the hatches except for those on the turret are fixed in place.

The suspension has separate road wheel arms and a choice of drivers and idlers, but the G needs specific items which are called out in the directions. As this kit is not an “in your face” model construction is conventional and quick, with the only exception being the use of the “Magic Track” links. As I have noted now on most occasions, there is nothing wrong with these tracks other than there are 108 links provided per side (not all are used) rather than one simple DS plastic run – difference being 3-4 hours to assemble correctly vice five minutes.

The turret is nicely done other than it has a two-piece (sides) gun barrel and NO interior parts to be seen. This is unfortunate as the hatches have interior details, so it means either use figures or cannibalize bits from another Pzkw. III kit. The commander is an older figure but unfortunately is not really suited to mounting in the hatch opening.

The figure set is a “Gen1" set and finds four figures in an admin setting with no weapons. They come with a field stove, water cans and water bottles as well as a pet dog and even a lizard. Poses are very casual (this was one of the first of the Ron Volstad designed sets) and would make a good diorama posed with the commander (wiping his brow) next to the tank at an admin halt.

Two finishing options are provided: one desert model from Pz.Regt. 5, 5th Liechte Panzer Division, North Africa 1941 (red 114), or one from 7th Company, Pz.Regt. 3, 2nd Panzer Division, Russia 1941-42 in grey (white 731). A small sheet of targeted Cartograf decals is provided.

Overall this kit no longer is the cutting edge that it was back in the late 1980s, but it is still a good kit and the combination of figures, Magic Track links and some new bits for the price makes it an attractive “quickie” project or centerpiece for a diorama.

Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 46 StuG III - upper hull base and fenders, hull details
  • B 42x2 StuG III - wheels
  • C 23 Pzkw III - fenders, turret base
  • D 1 Lower hull
  • E 59 Pzkw III - turret, gun, details
  • E 13 AK - water can, water bottles, small details
  • F 27x2 Pzkw III - hull details, bustle lid
  • F 11 AK - mess kit, canteen, small details
  • G 6x6 Pzkw III - road wheels, shock absorbers
  • H 10 Smoke candles, rack, vents
  • I 11 Pzkw III - upper glacis, vent covers
  • J 4x2 Pzkw III - drivers
  • K 108 “Magic Track” left side links
  • M 108 “Magic Track” right side links
  • M 11 StuG III - jack, hatch, vents
  • N 12x3 Jerry cans
  • O 27 Pzkw III - turret, commander figure
  • MA 2 Etched nickel
  • MB 17 Etched brass
  • 6063 33 AK - four figures, dog, lizard