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Zvezda 1/35 Panzer III Ausf.F Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2005 Manufacturer Zvezda
Subject Panzer III Ausf.F Scale 1/35
Kit Number 3571 Primary Media Styrene
Pros DML quality kit Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $29.98

First Look

Panzer III Ausf.F
Panzer III Ausf.F
Panzer III Ausf.F
Panzer III Ausf.F
Panzer III Ausf.F

The German Panzer III was an evolutionary development from the lessons learned in the field with the Panzer I and Panzer II series. The Panzer I and Panzer II were classed as light tanks, while the Panzer III and Panzer IV were medium tanks. While the light tanks were ideal for most of the Blitz campaigns, it would be up to the new medium tanks to deal with enemy armor and fortified opposition.

The Panzer III was developed with an anti-tank gun in the turret and two machine guns. By mid-1940, the Panzer III Ausf.F was armed with a 37mm main gun. The Panzer III Ausf.F would see distinguished service in Russia as well as in North Africa.

Zvezda's Panzer III Ausf.F is molded in light gray styrene and is presented on six parts trees, plus one lower hull section and a pair of 'rubberband' tracks molded in silver. The kit is free of flash and ejector pin marks in visible places. Detailing is nicely molded into the kit where appropriate. Nicer still, none of the usual details that appear on other kits are cast onto the hull and fenders of this kit. Specifically, the fender brackets, pioneering tools and lighting are all separate pieces. Nice job Zvezda!

The lower hull is nicely detailed as well and there are no holes in the hull for motorization. In addition, there are no 'air gaps' between the upper and lower hulls when assembled. This model is designed for the modeler, not the toy market.

The only down side to the kit is that it is designed to be posed 'buttoned up'. The drivers compartment hatches, turret side hatches and most of the rear deck are closed up. Only the commander's hatch can really be posed open. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing are there is no interior to this kit, it does get in the way of the superdetailer or the modeler who'd love to stuff the four new Warriors' Panzer III crew figures (reviewed elsewhere in this issue) into the open hatches.

Markings are provided for three examples:

  • 04, Captured and pressed into service by the Soviet Army
  • An unnumbered example of the German Army, Easter Front, 1941
  • 431, German Army, Eastern Front, 1941

Zvezda kits are nicely detailed, reasonably priced and offer the novice as well as the experienced modeler a great project. Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!