DML 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.III (FL) Ausf.M w/Schurzen Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Pz.Kpfw.III (FL) Ausf.M w/Schurzen
|Styrene, Photo-Etch, Aluminum
|Distinctive variant, nice details
The Panzerkampfwagen III was a medium tank designed for the anti-armored vehicle role while the Panzer IV was originally roled for infantry support. When the Soviets introduced the T-34 onto the battlefield, the Panzer IV's larger turret ring allowed for larger caliber guns to be installed in later version and it assumed the anti-armored vehicle role. The Panzer III moved into the infantry support role, and one of those variants was the Flammpanzer (flame-thrower tank). The Germans put a flame-thrower turret on a new Panzer III Ausf.M chassis to help deal with entrenched Soviet forces.
DML has released another variant in their Panzer III series, this time rendering the late chassis with the flame-thrower turret. This release has a new (to me) feature of aluminum sheet side skirts. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 16 parts trees plus the turret shell and lower hull and a packet of individual track links. One tree of clear parts, one fret of photo-etched details, two aluminum side skirts and two runs of rubber band (vinyl) tracks molded in tan round out the kit.
Among the features and options in this release:
- Detailed chassis
- Detailed suspension
- Positionable crew hatches
- Positionable crew periscopes
- Movable turret
- Flame thrower chemical system on hull rear with plumbing and nice details
- Optional metal side skirts which can be dinged, damaged, and weathered realistically
- Nicely detailed engine deck
- Detailed smoke grenade launchers on turret
- Nice pioneering tools and hull stowage
This is an interesting variant of the Panzer III in kit form which will look distinctly different from other Panzers on the contest table. While there is no version of the Panzer III I'd like to crew against the T-34, you'd at least get a good fireball if a Flammpanzer was unlucky enough to encounter a T-34. If you want a project with nice details that will provide a unique subject for your shelf or contest entry, try one of these kits!
My sincere thanks to DML for this review sample!