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Flammpanzer III (F-1)

DML 1/35 Flammpanzer III (F-1) with Bonus German Sturmpionere Figure Set Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review October 2009 Manufacturer DML
Subject Flammpanzer III (F-1) with Bonus German Sturmpionere Figure Set Scale 1/35
Kit Number 9113 Primary Media 687 parts (469 in grey styrene, 216 “Magic Track” links, 2 etched brass)
Pros Inexpensive kit with nice complementary set of figures Cons DML/Gunze Sangyo kits show their age next to “Smart Kit” and “Gen2" products
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $29.95

First Look

The “Orange Box” series from DML’s affiliate are so far a mixed bag, but at least in comparison with contemporary model kits they are inexpensive and a great way for newer modelers to get into the hobby and practice their skills.

More than 15 years ago DML took over the Gunze Sangyo line of kits which were at that time among the best kits going, but were very expensive multi-media affairs and thus out of reach or out of touch with most armor fans. They took them and converted the multi-media parts to styrene and released them under their “Imperial” series kits (90xx) block.

This kit is basically a number of older moldings from that series combined into one box and with the latest “Magic Track” single link tracks replacing the older ones. As such, it actually has fewer parts than more recent kits and therefore is a quicker – and easier – assembly task than the other ones. For that reason, it should appeal to newer modelers who want to work on a more advanced kit than the basic models (or something like an older Tamiya kit) with more details and skill sets needed for assembly.

The hull, for example, is a one-piece affair with fixed suspension arms and very basic wheel sets. The upper hull is also one piece with applique parts for the add-on armor protection. As the Gunze Sangyo derived parts were for multiple variants, a good deal of the parts here are left on the sprues as not needed.

The kit does come with the flame tube for the Flammpanzer and basic parts for the Ausf. F version of the base tank. A 3.7 cm barrel and also a 5 cm long barrel are also present in the kit, but unless you really want an older generation Ausf. J with a mixture of details it is probably not a good idea to use it.

The only photo etched parts provided are the protective screens for the engine air exhausts on the sides of the hull, which is a good idea as that is usually the most preferred etched brass that actually gets used by modelers.

The kit offers three sets of finishing options: Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (sand with green patches, red 411); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (sand, yellow 1825); and Flamm-Kompanie/Pz.Rgt. 26, Italy 1943 (sand, white F 24).

The figures are from an early Ron Volstad designed set, and are very good indeed. They come with sections of Bangalore torpedoes, a flamethrower, an explosive charge, and a mine detector. A small version of the original painting instructions is included.

Overall this kit does not stand with more recent efforts, but it is a decent kit and at a good price with the bonus set of figures plus “Magic Track” links a pretty good deal.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • B 34 Pzkw. III upper hull and turret
  • B 44x2 StuG III wheels and suspension parts
  • C 1 Pzkw. III/StuG III lower hull
  • D 20x2 Pzkw. III road wheels
  • E 29 Pzkw. III early models turret cupola and details
  • F 27 Pzkw. III turret components and suspension details
  • F 27 Pzkw. III fender components and hatch details
  • H 40x2 Pzkw. III Ausf. J components
  • J 39 Pzkw. III applique armor, skirt hangers
  • K 15 Flammpanzer III barrel and details
  • K 28 Pzkw. III turret details, muffler, smoke grenade launchers
  • L 108 “Magic Track” left side track links
  • R 108 “Magic Track” right side track links
  • MA 2 Etched brass
  • 6024 3 3 x Kar 98K rifles
  • 6024 59 Four figures and kit (includes flamethrower, mine detector)