Jump to content

Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.G/Sturmhaubitze 42 w/Zimmerit (DW35021) 1:35


Recommended Posts

Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.G/Sturmhaubitze 42 w/Zimmerit (DW35021)

1:35 Das Werk via Albion Alloys

 

boxtop.jpg

 

Following WWI the German military had identified a weakness in their forces, in that their advancing troops often left behind the support of their artillery as they moved forward, leading to a call for the creation of Sturmartillerie, which was effectively a mobile artillery piece that could travel alongside their forces, providing valuable protection.  By the time the Nazis were gearing up their economy and military for war more openly, a requirement for just such a vehicle was made official, mating the chassis of the then current Panzer III with a short-barrelled 75mm gun in a fixed armoured casemate with limited traverse, which gave the type a distinctive howitzer-style look.  In the later variants a longer high-velocity gun, the 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/48 replaced the shorter gun to give it an improved penetrating power that was more in alignment with the Tank Killer job that it had become used for.  These vehicles were designated Ausf.F or G, and were amongst the most produced version of this almost ubiquitous WWII tank.

 

A project to up-gun the StuG was instigated using an Ausf.F chassis and a 10.5cm leFH 18 howitzer, taking the name Sturmhaubitze 42 or StuH 42 for short.  It was electrically fired, and was to be fitted with a muzzle-brake to bleed off some of the recoil, and a dozen of this type were made from repaired Ausf.F examples, then almost 1,300 built as infantry support that were based on the Ausf.G, some without their muzzle-brakes due to the poor availability of metal as the war continued to turn against the Nazis, thanks to the Allied bomber force battering their industrial base into dust on a 24/7 schedule.

 

 

The Kit

If you’ve been wondering where Dragon have gone in the AFV world, you should know that this kit is a reboxing of their 2007 kit that they released regularly as different variants over the years.  This boxing has waffle-texture zimmerit applied to its upper surfaces and hull sides, which is extremely well-executed, and was ahead of its time when it was originally moulded, and still looking good under 2020's high-definition gaze.  The kit arrives in a nicely appointed box with Das Werk’s branding and artwork printed on the box lid, and inside are fifteen sprues and the lower hull in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a Photo-Etch (PE) fret, small decal sheet, a length of braided wire, and a new instruction booklet with full-colour printing on glossy paper that has a simulated aged patina, and even includes a coffee ring on one of the pages, and a sketch of a couple of German tankers poring over a map in the corner of another page.  You can still see the Dragon logo on the sprues, with most of them also bearing the StuG III G or StuG III G w/zim logos, while one is marked as Heuschrecke IVb, from which you only take the barrel and breech parts for the StuH 42.  This is heyday Dragon, so the detail is excellent, as you can see in the pictures.

 

hull.jpg

 

sprue1.jpg

 

sprue2.jpg

 

sprue3.jpg

 

sprue4.jpg

 

sprue5.jpg

 

sprue6.jpg

 

clear.jpg

 

Construction begins with the lower hull, which has a full set of torsion-bars linked to the swing arms fitted along with a damper on the front wheel, and armoured drive-sprocket fairing at the very front of the chassis.  The rear bulkhead has the twin exhausts, towing shackles and torch-cut armoured brackets installed, plus a Zimmerit covered lower glacis plate.  The road wheels are made up in pairs, as are the smaller return-rollers, while the drive-sprocket has the final drive bell-housing attached to the rear, and the idler wheels have two PE rings between them, a central cap on the outside, with the idler axle and adjustment mechanism at the rear.  There are 12 pairs of road wheels, six pairs of return-rollers, and two each of the idlers and drive sprockets.  The rear bulkhead is mounted under the back lip of the hull, with a PE mesh above it, and armoured panels and ducting around it, plus an armoured access hatch for the manual starter.  The fenders are separate from the body in this kit, and they are shown being covered with pioneer tools, including a highly detailed jack, plus a pair of towing cables made from styrene eyes and a braided metal cable, which seems to have gone missing in my box, but was quickly replaced by Albion’s excellent customer service.  Just give them a call if anything is missing and the model shop you bought it from can't help.

 

Attention turns to the casemate now, with the commander’s cupola first on the agenda, made up from a circular base with seven clear vision blocks inserted from below, an armoured cover above, a PE insert and the hatch.  A bracket extends inside the hull to support the commander’s sighting periscope, then it is put aside while other details are installed on the waffle-textured armoured panels.  The vertical appliqué armour to each side of the gun is attached, including the driver’s vision port and armoured glass, some cheek detail panels with Zimmerit are fitted, and at the rear an extractor fan with armoured cover and two aerial bases are fixed to the outside.  Inside the casemate the radio gear is built up in two packs, and ledged upon the inside lip of the sponson, with another set of shelves on the other.  The roof panel goes on with the cupola, and the two simple hatches with optional flat armoured splinter-shield in front, which could also be posed hinged upright with an MG34 machine gun poking through the shield, although somewhere along the line the numbers given in that step (step 10) seem to have come adrift from what's on the sprues, as there’s no part 31 on sprue F.  Part 27 is an MG34 however, and it has a hollow muzzle thanks to a little sliding mould.

 

Moving to the engine deck, the four vents all have raised armoured covers to prevent ingress of dirt, grenades and plunging fire.  Around these there are several pioneer tools added, plus radiator boxes on each side, which have mesh covers for the same reasons.  A couple of spare road wheel pairs are made up, fitted to custom axles, which are bolted to the rearmost two armoured covers on the deck, and have six spare track pins inserted into the lightening holes on each one.  On the glacis plate the two clamshell maintenance hatches and their chunky latches are slotted into the plate, a large bullet-splash upstand in front of the driver’s viewport, and a central convoy light are all fitted in place, making up yet another sub-assembly that will form the upper hull later on.

 

Unusually, the interior of the fighting compartment is made up and inserted into the upper hull from inside, with the floor made up first with central raised section below the breech, which is built up with either the breech-block for the 10.5cm StuH, or the 7.5cm StuK guns, depending on which you have decided upon.  The sighting, traverse and elevation gear are added to the gun supports with seats for the gunner on the left, then you build up whichever of the two barrels you have chosen.  The 10.5cm barrel is shorter and has a single muzzle-brake insert, while the longer 7.5cm gun has two inserts added to a separate muzzle-brake, which keys into the tip of the single-part gun tube, with both sliding inside the gun sleeve and into the heavy trapezoid mantlet.  The breech and gun supports are mated with the interior, and is slipped into the upper hull from below, which has the engine deck, fenders and glacis plate joined up and your choice of barrel slotted into position before it is put to the side while you make up the tracks on the lower hull.

 

The tracks are well detailed link-and-length, and have a jig that helps to obtain the correct sag on the top run.  The top run is made from four lengths with a single link between each one to assist with the sag, then nine links go round either end of the running gear, with another length and single link joined together with a long final length under the road wheels.  The instructions advise that although you can flex the tracks to help with the sag, they will eventually break, so take it easy and work carefully.  The part numbers for the other side are given in brackets, and each link as two raised ejector-pin marks on their inner face, which can be shaved off with a sharp blade and then sanded flush with the rest of the run.  It shouldn’t take too long, and it depends how dirty you’re going to make your tracks.  With the tracks finished and in position, the upper hull is joined to the lower, and that’s your lot!

 

 

Markings

There are a generous five decal options from the kit’s decal sheet, with lots of different camouflage options to choose from.  Each vehicle is shown in three views, with one having a scrap diagram next to it for an alternative marking on the glacis.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • Gebirgs-Panzerjägerabteilung 95, Hungary, late 1944
  • StuG Brigade 277 (StuG Brig. 277), Lithuania, between Vilnius and Kaunas, July 1944
  • StuG Abteilung 261, Eastern front, late October 1943
  • StuG Brigade 322 (StuG Brig. 322), Kovel, Russia, June 1944
  • StuG Brigade 202, (StuG Brig. 202), Kurland 1945

 

profiles.jpg

 

decals.jpg

 

The decals aren’t marked as such, but on the box you can see that they are printed by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

detail-zimmerit1.jpg

 

detail-zimmerit2.jpg

 

Conclusion

If you’ve been missing the Dragon StuG.III, or wanted to make the less common StuH, this kit will be just what the doctor ordered.  It comes from Dragon’s premiere division days, with excellent detail throughout, especially the waffle-textured Zimmerit on the outer panels.  It has just the right level of irregularity about it that makes it look much more realistic than serried ranks of perfectly executed shapes.  The paste was applied by hand, afterall.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

Available in the UK in good model shops.

Review sample courtesy of

logo.gif

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...