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Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf.F

DML 1/35 Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf.F First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2014 Manufacturer DML
Subject Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf.F Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6792 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $67.95

First Look

Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf.F
Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf.F
Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf.F
Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf.F
Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf.F
Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf.F

The Panzer III was developed as a medium tank designed to battle other armored vehicles. The first full-scale production versions were the model E (Ausf.E) and model F which only differed by a few details. As newer versions of the Panzer III were fielded, the initial production versions were modified to support other missions such as the subject of this kit, the Panzerbeobachtungswagen III which was a Panzer Ausf.E/F that was stripped of its main gun and turned into a mobile armored observation post complete with bulky radio sets to allow the crew to call for artillery fire and adjust their aim points as needed.

In place of the main gun was a machine gun to provide self-protection on the battlefield and offset to the right was a dummy 40mm gun to provide the appearance of a normal tank to the enemy (who was looking for the German artillery obervation posts). When these Panzers were remanufactured, they also adopted other upgrades to the drive, suspension and armor to bring them up to current production standards which for these vehicles was usually model (Ausf.) H.

Here is another interesting hybrid kit from DML. This kit is an interesting example of mix and match parts from numerous previous kits in order to get everything needed for this version. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 20 parts trees plus the lower hull and turret casting. Also included are a set of rubber (vinyl) tracks and one fret of photo-etched details. If you look at the parts diagram at the beginning of the instructions, roughly 50% of the parts are not used so you'll have plenty of spares for your parts box.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Detailed suspension
  • Photo-etched engine deck grilles
  • Detailed turret machine gun
  • Positionable hatches
  • Radio antennas
  • Nice details on the hull and turret exterior

Markings are provided for the following examples:

  • Abt.500, Eastern Front, 1943
  • Unidentified unit, 1942

This is another nice release from DML which will provide a distinctive subject and when you see how small this tank is in 1/35 scale, you'll wonder as I do how they fit three crewmen inside. This will make a nice addition to your tank shelf with something that isn't another Tiger or Panther. Give one a try!

Thanks to DML for this review sample.