144 sand coloured plastic parts on four
sprues, decals for four vehicles, a five page, double sided, fold-out
instruction sheet with history, parts plan, ten build diagrams and two
pages for paint and decal instructions.
Highly detailed, optional marks (M/N), L&L
tracks, both turret and hull schurtzen supplied.
Some detail over simplified and some
The Panzer III was the third tank
designed for the German Army in the 1930s and meant to be their Main
Battle Tank but it was overtaken by events and the Panzer IV plus
later models. It stayed in production until August 1943, going
through many up-grades of both armour and weapons and its chassis
was later used for the successful Stug III self-propelled gun.
Originally designed with a 37mm gun, the Ausf M was given a 50mm and
the N a short 75mm.
This is, of course, the ex-Esci kit, re released by Italeri along
with a lot of others. As is usual with these Esci kits, there is a
very high parts count (144) which means quite a lot of detail even
with link and length tracks being included in that number. It can be
built as either the Ausf M with 50mm canon or Ausf N with the short
75mm as used in the early Panzer IV. There is also the option of
turret and/or hull schurtzen for both models. Pioneer tools are a
bit of a mixed bag in so far as some are moulded on and some (axe
and shovel), are not. Oddly, they give you two 50mm gun barrels, one
long and thin and the other shorter and fatter but not as short as
thumbnails below to view larger images:
schurtzen is not bad, a bit thick, the mounts are considerably over
scale and should either be replaced by scratch built items or at
leased thinned down some what. Similarly, the three smoke grenade
launchers on either side of the turret are very poorly moulded and
should be replaced.
The decals, as we've come to expect from Italeri, are excellent and
cover four vehicles, two Ms, one with schurtzen and one without, one
in Russia and one in Italy plus two Ns, the same with the schurtzen,
Russia and Nth Africa and all in 1943.
Generally speaking, this is a good kit and should build into a nice
little representation of the Panzer III. However, unfortunately, it
is some what overshadowed by the very nice Revell kits of both the M
and the L which are better detailed and much more refined in their
moulding. One of them is not currently available but several other
1/72 scale manufacturers are promising new moulds in the future.
Regardless, this is still a good kit and I for one am glad to see it