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Pz.Kpfw.III (5cm) Ausf.H Sd.Kfz.141 Late Production

DML 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.III (5cm) Ausf.H Late Production - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review April 2011 Manufacturer DML
Subject Pz.Kpfw.III (5cm) Ausf.H Sd.Kfz.141 Late Production - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6642 Primary Media 826 parts (556 in grey styrene, 216 "Magic Track" single links, 33 etched brass, 19 clear styrene, 2 preformed steel wire)
Pros Many options for varying the model with and without some components; "Smart Kit" minimizes the amount of etched brass required Cons Kit does not come with DS tracks, which will disappoint a few modelers
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $47.95

First Look

Continuing on with their plastic history of the Panzer III DML has now released a kit of the Ausf. H variant. This was the first version of the early production Pzkw. III tanks to mount the new KwK L/42 5 cm cannon in response to perceived battlefield threads, and 280 were built between October 1940 and April 1941 when the redesigned and up-armored Ausf. J version went into production.

As with previous members of this family, the hull pan is similar to that from the StuG but has the side hatches and other detail changes. It retains the full torsion bar suspension from the other kit and the detailed suspension components and muffler assembly. As with the StuG all hatches are separate with some interior details and can be positioned as the modeler chooses. All engine deck ventilators are spaced and mounted on separate frames to get the correct appearance and “lift” needed to give an accurate representation of the original.

The kit provides only the early model’s L/42 gun barrel with its “slide molded” hollow bore with a complete breech assembly. Options also include blackout or clear headlight lenses and all viewports and viewers may be positioned open or closed as well. Note that about five of the sprues are either new or heavily modified from past kits.

The kit includes the rudiments of an interior, but unlike many Russian or Ukrainian kits the details they provide are highly accurate as far as they go. This should please the “after market boys” as there is more than enough room for a nice resin interior here and enough ports and hatches to see it.

Some modelers are now learning to love the new DML DS plastic tracks, but this kit was not a beneficiary of that technology so the modeler will have to use the excellent if tedious “Magic Track” links. But in the case of this kit, it provides a set of “universal” tracks – only one link design – and shows no difference in the assembly. This is odd, as generally the German tracks were designed to take a pin on one end only and if used like this the opposite side needed to have track run reversed. I leave it to the diehard III fans to sort this one out.

This kit offers a wide variety of detail options and as such the directions are EXTREMELY busy. For the first time I can recall this shows holes being filled in (a symbol like a ball point pen tip) so the modeler must take extra care when following the directions. Most complex is the diagram showing the depressions on the turret forward roof section being filled in.

Technical consultants were Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

The kit provides five different finishing options: Pz.Rgt. 8 15th Panzer Division, North Africa 1941 (green over sand, red 2 - 223); Pz.Rgt. 3, 2nd Panzer Division, Greece 1941 (grey - white 111); 1st Panzer Division, Eastern Front 1942 (green over sand, white 712); Pz.Rgt. 8 15th Panzer Division, Tobruk 1942 (green over sand, red 5); and Pz.Rgt. 8 15th Panzer Division, North Africa 1941 (green over sand, red 6 - 632); A “targeted” sheet of colorful markings is provided by Cartograf.

Overall this continues the family, and by my count now makes 13 different Pzkw. III variants from DML or - Ausf. B, E, F, H late, J Early, J, J with B IV, L, L trop, M Early, N, N w/schurzen, and N w/winterketten. Oh for an Ausf. A!

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Breakout:

  • A 91 Pzkw III hull details and turret mounting
  • A 61x2 StuG III Wheels and torsion bars (7 mini-sprues connected)
  • B 17 Pzkw III fenders and turret details, rear engine deck
  • B 46 StuG III Road wheel arms and lower hull details
  • D 34 Pzkw III gun and L/42 barrel
  • E 20 Pzkw III turret and mantelet details
  • F 15 Pzkw IV F - turret cupola
  • G 52 Pzkw IV F - turret and hull details
  • G 20 StuG III OVM and light components
  • H 10 Smoke candle rack and mount
  • J 8 Machine guns and muzzles
  • K 31 Pzkw. III J Initial Production engine hatches, details
  • 15 Pzkw IV F Clear styrene
  • P 1 Lower hull pan
  • P 4 Clear styrene
  • S 11 Pzkw. III H details
  • U 12 Pzkw. III H upper hull details
  • V 62 Pzkw. III H hatches and details, rear engine deck
  • Z 4 Shock absorbers
  • W 216 “Magic Track” universal link track
  • MA 33 Etched brass
  • MB 2 Prebent steel wire