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REVIEW
Pz. III Ausf. H (early)
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 11:56 AM UTC
Bill Cross reviews Dragon''s Pz. III Ausf. H (Early Production).

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
Hederstierna
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Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 07:17 PM UTC
Nice review, Bill. Great to see the Magic Tracks' still in this kit.
Jacob
Charlie-66
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Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 03:39 AM UTC
Nice review Bill, very helpful. The newer Dragon kits on the Pz III chasis (tanks and Stugs) all go together extremely well. You can almost build them in seperate modules. They definitely avoided some of the mix-and-match fit issues they have had with some of their T-34 series.
Thudius
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Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 04:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Nice review Bill, very helpful. The newer Dragon kits on the Pz III chasis (tanks and Stugs) all go together extremely well. You can almost build them in seperate modules. They definitely avoided some of the mix-and-match fit issues they have had with some of their T-34 series.



I'd somewhat disagree with that, as it applies to the Stugs anway. I've yet to have a go at the IIIs in my stash so it will be interesting to see what the fit differential is between the various releases. I'll probably get this or the Late at some point to complete the series.

Kimmo
Charlie-66
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Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 05:28 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Nice review Bill, very helpful. The newer Dragon kits on the Pz III chasis (tanks and Stugs) all go together extremely well. You can almost build them in seperate modules. They definitely avoided some of the mix-and-match fit issues they have had with some of their T-34 series.



I'd somewhat disagree with that, as it applies to the Stugs anway. I've yet to have a go at the IIIs in my stash so it will be interesting to see what the fit differential is between the various releases. I'll probably get this or the Late at some point to complete the series.

Kimmo



Kimmo, I don't follow. Why would you disagree if you haven't built any of them yet? I've built 4 of the recent Dragon/Cyber Hobby Stug's and the fits have been uniformly excellent. Same thing with the recent Pz III tanks. Have you had issues with any of them?
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 07:37 AM UTC
Thanks, Gents, I'm glad the review was helpful. My thanks to Dragon USA and Armorama for providing the review sample.
Thudius
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Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 07:55 AM UTC
Kimmo, I don't follow. Why would you disagree if you haven't built any of them yet? I've built 4 of the recent Dragon/Cyber Hobby Stug's and the fits have been uniformly excellent. Same thing with the recent Pz III tanks. Have you had issues with any of them?[/quote]

I did say as it applied to the Stug. I just did a review build here for the Late December Stug. The fit wasn't anywhere near what I was expecting.
[url=http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=212036[/url]

What I meant by the fit differential was that I am curious to see whether these same issues are present on the Pz III kits as well, I have the E, F and G and just realized the late H as well. Can't seem to remember what's in the stash I'm currently building the Pz IV E and it has some fit issues as well. In both cases, nothing major, but certainly not Tamiya like.

And to Bill, a nice review, yet again. Hopefully you didn't mind the thread going in a slightly different direction.

Kimmo
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Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 08:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text

And to Bill, a nice review, yet again. Hopefully you didn't mind the thread going in a slightly different direction.


Thanks, Kimmo, for the compliment. No, I don't mind getting feedback about how kits build up. I have all the CH and DML Pz.IIIs in my stash, but haven't built any of them yet. It's good to hear what others have experienced.

Sometimes it's just a bad kit with warpage issues; at other times, it's a known problem like the M1A1 AIM hull.
Charlie-66
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Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 10:25 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Kimmo, I don't follow. Why would you disagree if you haven't built any of them yet? I've built 4 of the recent Dragon/Cyber Hobby Stug's and the fits have been uniformly excellent. Same thing with the recent Pz III tanks. Have you had issues with any of them?



I did say as it applied to the Stug. I just did a review build here for the Late December Stug. The fit wasn't anywhere near what I was expecting.
[url=http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=212036[/url]

What I meant by the fit differential was that I am curious to see whether these same issues are present on the Pz III kits as well, I have the E, F and G and just realized the late H as well. Can't seem to remember what's in the stash I'm currently building the Pz IV E and it has some fit issues as well. In both cases, nothing major, but certainly not Tamiya like.

And to Bill, a nice review, yet again. Hopefully you didn't mind the thread going in a slightly different direction.

Kimmo[/quote]

Kimmo, no problem. I must have misunderstood. I just found and read your recent Stug III review and it was very well done; really excellent.
Thudius
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Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 10:55 AM UTC
[/quote]
Kimmo, no problem. I must have misunderstood. I just found and read your recent Stug III review and it was very well done; really excellent.[/quote]

No harm, no foul Thanks for the kind words.

Kimmo
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2013 - 04:14 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Bill Cross reviews Dragon''s Pz. III Ausf. H (Early Production).

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!



Hi, All! Thanks for the review, Darren! In response to some of our fellow modellers' comments on the 1/35 DRAGON Pz.III-series kits: First of all, they're the only game in town, considering their level of detail. The TAMIYA kits are pretty good, but let's face it, the DRAGON kits are what most experienced modellers are buying, with good reason. Secondly, I don't think that ANY kit on the market today couldn't stand some improvements, no matter how small. I don't think that any "fit and/or accuracy problems" with any given model kit, aside of dimensional ones, are insurmountable...

This is NOT going to turn into a rant, just a personal observation- As I commented earlier in another forum regarding DRAGON's Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.G(T), I think that DRAGON is bound and determined to corner the ENTIRE Pz.III market by releasing every type and sub-type, Early, Mid, and Late Production, Trop, Befehlspanzer, Tauchpanzer and s.IG33 ever made from a Pz.III Ausf.E. thru Ausf.N; I do not include their StuG.III kits, because they did make some Early types. I'm surprised that they haven't done a Bergepanzer version of the Pz.III...

I think it would be nice if DRAGON could give us the choice of buying some of the earlier Pz.Kpfw.III versions, Ausf.A, B, C, and Ds. I don't think that DRAGON will ever produce the earlier Ausf.A thru D because then they'd have to create new tooling for the very different hulls, suspensions and wheels of those early variants, and THAT COSTS MONEY. It's much easier for DRAGON to keep taking the easy way out by changing a few details here and there on the same basic kit and calling it "NEW"...

My guess is that we'll have to wait for some other manufacturer to produce those earlier Pz.IIIs- AMUSING HOBBY, TRUMPETER/HOBBY BOSS, BRONCO or maybe even MENG..?
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 04:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Bill Cross reviews Dragon''s Pz. III Ausf. H (Early Production).

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!



Hi, All! Thanks for the review, Bill! In response to some of our fellow modellers' comments on the 1/35 DRAGON Pz.III-series kits: First of all, they're the only game in town, considering their level of detail. The TAMIYA kits are pretty good, but let's face it, the DRAGON kits are what most experienced modellers are buying, with good reason. Secondly, I don't think that ANY kit on the market today couldn't stand some improvements, no matter how small. I don't think that any "fit and/or accuracy problems" with any given model kit, aside of dimensional ones, are insurmountable...

This is NOT going to turn into a rant, just a personal observation- As I commented earlier in another forum regarding DRAGON's Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.G(T), I think that DRAGON is bound and determined to corner the ENTIRE Pz.III market by releasing every type and sub-type, Early, Mid, and Late Production, Trop, Befehlspanzer, Tauchpanzer and s.IG33 ever made from a Pz.III Ausf.E. thru Ausf.N; I do not include their StuG.III kits, because they did make some Early types. I'm surprised that they haven't done a Bergepanzer version of the Pz.III...

I think it would be nice if DRAGON could give us the choice of buying some of the earlier Pz.Kpfw.III versions, Ausf.A, B, C, and Ds. I don't think that DRAGON will ever produce the earlier Ausf.A thru D because then they'd have to create new tooling for the very different hulls, suspensions and wheels of those early variants, and THAT COSTS MONEY. It's much easier for DRAGON to keep taking the easy way out by changing a few details here and there on the same basic kit and calling it "NEW"...

My guess is that we'll have to wait for some other manufacturer to produce those earlier Pz.IIIs- AMUSING HOBBY, TRUMPETER/HOBBY BOSS, BRONCO or maybe even MENG..?

bill_c
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Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 03:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I think it would be nice if DRAGON could give us the choice of buying some of the earlier Pz.Kpfw.III versions, Ausf.A, B, C, and Ds. I don't think that DRAGON will ever produce the earlier Ausf.A thru D because then they'd have to create new tooling for the very different hulls, suspensions and wheels of those early variants, and THAT COSTS MONEY. It's much easier for DRAGON to keep taking the easy way out by changing a few details here and there on the same basic kit and calling it "NEW"...

My guess is that we'll have to wait for some other manufacturer to produce those earlier Pz.IIIs- AMUSING HOBBY, TRUMPETER/HOBBY BOSS, BRONCO or maybe even MENG..?


Dennis, I apologize for not getting back on this sooner, but I was away for 2 1/2 weeks.

You have touched on two points:

1.) Dragon maximizing its investment
2.) The challenges of kitting the earlier Pz. IIIs

As you correctly point out, doing #2 would require extensive new tooling, as the early variants of the III were substantially different from the later versions.

As for #1, DML has kitted some limited and obscure vehicles in the past, and perhaps they will eventually turn to the Ausf. A-D, but it probably won't be until they have exhausted all the ones they can release with their current molds. I don't know what others they might have in mind, but it would seem they've pretty much mined that vein of ore. Then, I've been wrong before.
mgentom
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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 08:34 PM UTC
At the moment Im trying build this kit, but is a bit enoying that the early sprockets in this kit are wrong! they are supposed to fit the earlier marks with narrow tracks (38cm) not the 40cm tracks included in this kit. You need either whitemetal sprockets from friul or grab it from one of the Dragons Nashorn kit.

panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 11:38 AM UTC

Quoted Text

At the moment Im trying build this kit, but is a bit enoying that the early sprockets in this kit are wrong! they are supposed to fit the earlier marks with narrow tracks (38cm) not the 40cm tracks included in this kit. You need either whitemetal sprockets from friul or grab it from one of the Dragons Nashorn kit.




Tommy;

Maybe I'm confused, but this III-H kit is supposed to have the early type 38cm tracks included, right? So, if it indeed has early-type sprockets same as seen in the E, F and G kits... they should be correct for those 38cm tracks.

I'll assume that you assembled your kit sprockets and found that they did not fit the kit tracks... I would expect that this should also be the case in the other early-mark kits which come with the early sprocket and the 38cm track set. That would, I think, be a serious flaw that would bring out plenty of outcry and complaints about track-sprocket mismatch in those kits... is it possible that you have the wrong track set?

Bob
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 01:16 AM UTC
hmmm ... I just checked through the Panzer Tracts No.3-2 and it seems all H had the 40 cm tracks to help with the weight gain of the up armoured hull ..so the tracks are right ...They should have given you the sprocket with the spacer added to fit the new tracks ...Strange thing is ,is that Dragon already make this part and was included in an early Nashorn kit.
As for dragon doing the early Panzer IIIs ..I doubt it since Miniart have already announced the B,C, and D kits which should be out very soon.. I can`t wait!!

Great review Bill !!



Rick
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 02:42 AM UTC
Rick, thanks for checking that out with Panzer Tracks. I will note that the drive sprockets don't fit the supplied tracks, though it surprises me that slipped through DML's quality control.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 03:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Rick, thanks for checking that out with Panzer Tracks. I will note that the drive sprockets don't fit the supplied tracks, though it surprises me that slipped through DML's quality control.



That P-T detail jibes with what I've found as well - that early sprockets were "corrected" as needed to fit the new 40cm track by inserting a spacer between the toothed wheels.

It does turn out that D does supply those 40cm tracks - just as apparently they should, given that all Ausf H seem to have had them... So the D got that part correct (yay!) - but apparently did not add in the widened "early" sprocket (which could have been lifted from the Nahorn kit?).

I, too, confess surprize that this made it past Dragon's design team and quality-control - evidently nobody did a test-build of this kit before sending it out to the stores! I also suspect that very very few of these III-H early kits have been unboxed and started yet by modelers - else one would expect to have heard about this problem sooner. I might add (mind, not snidely so) that this gaff has made it past more than one respectable kit reviewer...!

However this flub came to be, I expect that this would actually be pretty easy for a modeler to fix to get this kit together - just add in some styrene shims when assembling the kit sprocket - much like as the original tank manufacturers did. They don't even need to be correctly-sized discs or rings - just an appropriate thickness, as one is unlikely to be able to see into that part of the sprocket anyway. Easier and cheaper than getting AM sprockets or robbing from another kit (unless of course that one has extras...).

Bob
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 05:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I might add (mind, not snidely so) that this gaff has made it past more than one respectable kit reviewer...!


(Blushing) I'm afraid you're right in my case.

Quoted Text

I expect that this would actually be pretty easy for a modeler to fix to get this kit together - just add in some styrene shims when assembling the kit sprocket - much like as the original tank manufacturers did.


Bob, would you be willing to do this and post a few photos? I would then link it to the review.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 05:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

I might add (mind, not snidely so) that this gaff has made it past more than one respectable kit reviewer...!


(Blushing) I'm afraid you're right in my case.

Quoted Text

I expect that this would actually be pretty easy for a modeler to fix to get this kit together - just add in some styrene shims when assembling the kit sprocket - much like as the original tank manufacturers did.


Bob, would you be willing to do this and post a few photos? I would then link it to the review.



Bill C:

I wasn't taking any poke at your review, honest! I went and looked up a few others to see if this had been mentioned elsewhere - no "joy".

The sprocket shim-job: I would be glad to try this out and show it! But... small detail... I don't have the III-H kit in question, so don't have any "38cm early sprockets needing widening retrofit for 40cm tracks" to demo directly from! And I don't have the Nashorn kit mentioned as coming with "factory-widened" early sprockets, for potential appearance comparison and/or size-fit, either...

Perhaps I could borrow some stock 38cm early sprockets from a III-E kit... which I do have. I could try a shim "dry-fit" and photo these... I'll take a look tonight.

The expected width (size) fit actually is easy to determine given the 40cm sprocket and track should be 20mm wider than the older 38cm track and sprocket...

Scaled to 1/35, the shim needed for the "added 20mm" to get the 40cm sprocket should be about 0.6mm, or about 0.023 inch. So I am thinking I'll cut my shim from a 0.025 styrene sheet and sand it slightly. Of course, this assumes that the Dragon 40cm track are properly about 0.023 inch wider across inside the tooth-holes than are the D's 38cm tracks...

For a real-time parts-comparison, compare to any Dragon III or IV 40cm sprocket...


Bob
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 05:53 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I would be glad to try this out and show it! But... small detail... I don't have the III-H kit in question, so don't have any "38cm early sprockets needing widening retrofit for 40cm tracks" to demo directly from! And I don't have the Nashorn kit mentioned as coming with "factory-widened" early sprockets, either...

Perhaps I could borrow some stock 38cm early sprockets from a III-E kit... which I do have. I could try a "dry-fit" and photo these... I'll take a look tonight.


If you don't, PM me as I obviously have the kit and would be happy to provide the sprockets in return for having them fixed, LOL!
thebear
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 08:06 AM UTC
Hi Bob and Bill .. I was thinking it wouldn't be too hard to add a shim, but on the real tank the shim was added to the outside of the sprocket .. The teeth ring was removed ,and the shim added and the ring bolted to it .. This leaves a deeper lip which is quite noticeable in pictures . I guess it could be done but it will be fiddly.



Rick
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 09:24 AM UTC
Thanks for the info!

Sad to say, but it looks like you are right - there are a few pics showing the modded early sprocket on Nashorn (and the D Nashorn captures that look pretty well, I might add - based only on a very brief glance at the kit bits and some few pics...). I did not find as much clear wide-early evidence for putative III-H tanks in my short web search.

IF all of these were widened by adding a shim (2cm+) to the outer ring beneath that bolt-on tooth ring (which was a replaceable part)... this will get quite a bit more complex, as the shim would have to be a more-carefully-formed fitted ring slipped behind a carefully-removed tooth-ring.. ARGH! THAT won't be near as easy to do as putting a shim inside between the halves of the sprocket!

But there you have it. IF the D's Nashorn kit modded early sprocket to fit the 40cm track is pretty much correct (and seems pretty much correct in appearance, at least for some Nashorns), than that, or a similar AM item, would be the likely solution for a similarly-modded III-H early sprocket. To be blunt... CR*P!

So... looks like a sort of Hobb's choice! Either we add a shim inside the current, like I proposed (and would have blythely gone and done up to this moment) to get the correct width, but alas NOT the correct inset-rim appearance, or we need to find an extra Nashorn or other "AM" sprocket to make the tracks work and get the right width with presumabaly correct appearance! At, of course, added expense and frustration.

That, friends, makes this gaff rather more of a muchness than it first seemed. Now I guess it should get back to Dragon pronto to have them alerted to fix this - and THAT should be easy for the D - all they need to do is include that Nashorn modded early sprocket. In the meantime, I'll skip past this kit - I was actually very interested, as it is visually distinct in the III stable. But as I don't have the spare sprockets and don't want to buy an AM item to fix the fault, and scratching the fix sounds more complex than first thought...

GRUMP!

Bob
thebear
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 09:55 AM UTC
Sorry for being the bearer of bad news (bearer ..get it .. I crack myself up! )
I really hope Dragon fix it because I like the look of the older sprocket and this is the transition moment .. Something to make this H look different from other IIIs .. of course the earlier III's did get the wider tracks and the spacers retrofitted ..This could be a good aftermarket piece .

Rick
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 10:03 AM UTC
Gents, if past practice is any indication of future action, DML won't do squat about this problem. Can anyone suggest the correct Friul sprocket to solve this problem?