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Pair of Panzer IIIs


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Hello everyone,

 

I was preparing this build(s) for quite some time. It will be a pair of early DAK Panzer IIIs. To be precise Panzer III Ausf. G belonging to 21 Panzer Division and Panzer III Ausf. H belonging to 15 Panzer Division. Tanks that I will be building were sent to North Africa with the first batches of 21 PD and 15 PD. 

 

These builds are inspired by this fantastic thread on Missing Lynx forum and IMO the best book about opening stages of North African campaign, Tank Combat in North Africa by Thomas L. Jentz. Some magazines, like 

Workhorse: Panzer III in North Africa will be extensively used as a reference material as well.

 

The base will be two Dragon kits: No. 6773 and No. 6775. Both kits are for Tauchpanzer, non tropical versions, but it looks like that kits contain most of the parts that are needed to build standard tropicalized versions.

 

IMG_20210724_160411

 

I'll use MasterClub narrow tracks for Pz III G.

 

IMG_20210724_160441

 

And wide MasterClub tracks for Ausf. H. However, not sure yet which version of tracks will it be, probably early ones.

 

I'll use Archer Fine Transfer decals. Some additional extras will ne used as well.

 

IMG_20210724_160357

 

Including some parts from this Academy Pz III J. This kit is very cheap, making it perfect choice for spare parts.

 

Like all German WW2 tanks, development and production of these vehicles were continuous process, and there's no clear specification of Ausf. G or H. It's rather a combination of different modifications (both factory and field applied) that were implemented continuously during their production and usage. Interesting part of these builds will be to identify all of the modifications that were applied on particular tank that I'm building.

 

That's all for now.

 

Cheers,

Nenad

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Hello everyone,

 

I started with the first build. It will be Panzer III Ausf. G. It will be tank number 131, 1st company of the I Abteilung, Panzer-Regiment 5.  At the moment reference photos were taken, it was still 5th Light Division, later to become 21st Panzer Division.

 

2724100_75663c2568f2eebffa8b551a1c48621d

 

2724100_922cae6eb519b31bd0e5ada6e132cf92

 

There are few more photos of this particular tank, taken before desert camouflage was applied. I don't know when exactly these photos were taken, but I guess sometimes between March and August 1941. I don't now much about what happened with this tank, other than it was lost during operation Crusader, recovered, but than abandoned during the retreat.

 

This is tropicalized version of Panzer III Ausf. G. It is not obvious from this particular photo that this is not an Ausf. H, but it is clearly visible on other photos that there's no additional armour plates.

 

It has early commander cupola and first return roller moved forward. Equipment is a bit rearranged compared to the usual layout. 

 

So off to the build. I will not be using building instructions from this kit for the construction. I will be using building instruction for standard Ausf. G (non-Tauchpanzer), kit No. 6639. These two kits share most of the sprues, while No. 6639 is much closer to the tank I am building. 

 

Building suspension was quite straightforward. Just pay attention on the instructions because there are errors, mostly wrongly labeled parts. There are two positions for the forward return roller. I choose one closer to the idler wheel (2) according to the reference material.

 

IMG_20210724_154712

 

According to Panzer Tracts, three screws (1) should not be removed.

 

Roadwheels and suspension finally finished. My least favorite part of any build.

 

IMG_20210724_160738

 

Assembling rear of the lower hull was a bit tricky. Instructions were not very clear, so I had to rely a lot on Panzer Tracts. Fit was not perfect either. There are many gaps, for example this one (2). Nothing that cant be fixed with some putty, but didn't expect it from a Dragon kit.

 

IMG_20210727_125104

 

Not sure if gap (1) should be there. I guess not. But I'll probably leave it like this, because it's not visible at all when idler wheel is attached. 

 

IMG_20210727_134647

 

Here's how rear end turned out. Fortunately, all parts needed were in the kit. At least for now :)

 

Next to come - fenders and figuring out the layout of all the accessories.

 

Best,

Nenad

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Well, good idea.

I will do this with interior on the Panzer III and IV.

If you are interested in, so try an interior kit from MIniArt.

Far better as Dragon!

No need for extras also! Cheaper finally and fun! Or Takom or RFM.

Happy modelling

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1 hour ago, dov said:

Well, good idea.

I will do this with interior on the Panzer III and IV.

If you are interested in, so try an interior kit from MIniArt.

Far better as Dragon!

No need for extras also! Cheaper finally and fun! Or Takom or RFM.

Happy modelling

 

Haven't tried any of them yet :)

I have few MiniArt kits in my stash, although they are mostly Grants. They look very nice! How's Takom and RFM compared to Dragon?

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2 hours ago, Nenad Ilijic said:

 

Haven't tried any of them yet :)

I have few MiniArt kits in my stash, although they are mostly Grants. They look very nice! How's Takom and RFM compared to Dragon?

Takom is “Meh” detail wise. Soft plastic.

 

RFM is nice. But a little more chunky looking, compared to the Dragon Pz III kits. 
 

I personally think you’ll be happy with your choice of kits, being Dragon. 

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Hallo

Takom and RFM compared to Dragon? Much better as Dragon.

New Technology and you get also interior kits.

Some modellers stick on Dragon, but the fact is, that time passed.

Of course, the new interior kits take much more time, and you need much more passion!

MiniArt is to my opinion the best and most accurate all over.

AFV Club interior kits are a headache.

Fitting issues all over.

The tracks are also not so good as I like them!

Since many parts are grouped and not so exactly molded, far away from MiniArt!

I started to model tanks a short while ago, after 25 yeras aircraft modelling only.

I built all German tanks without interior, and all with interior.

Panzer I, II, III and IV. Panther and Tiger and Königstiger.

MiniArt is the best of all.

Now, the Panzer IV in H or J version with interior is a challange!

Or a T-34 with interior!

Some other kits have flaws in one building unit, as engine, drive unit or turret.

The MiniArt color instruction you may also see on the website, is the best and most accurate!

Happy modelling

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Two panzer III’s, and desert ones, what’s not to love!? I just built the dragon III H in the recent group build and you’re right about the instructions around the rear, it was very vague and I did it wrong to start with. Shame about the fit but you seem to have sorted it. Good start to it.

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On 7/29/2021 at 10:18 PM, Longbow said:

Takom is “Meh” detail wise. Soft plastic.

 

RFM is nice. But a little more chunky looking, compared to the Dragon Pz III kits. 
 

I personally think you’ll be happy with your choice of kits, being Dragon. 

 

Thanks! I had many Dragon kits in my stash, so I'm stuck with them anyway for some time :)

 

On 7/30/2021 at 9:18 AM, dov said:

MiniArt is to my opinion the best and most accurate all over.

AFV Club interior kits are a headache.

Fitting issues all over.

 

 

Thanks! Yeah, AFV Club is hit and miss. Older ones are PITA, fit issues and all kinds of problems. Like Hellcat that I built recently, not a very fun build. While some kits are really nice, like a Valentine II I built a while ago. I remember enjoying it a lot. I'll be building their Churchill III after these Panzer IIIs are finished, we'll se how that one will turn out.

 

Cheers,

Nenad

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 Hello everyone,

 

I made some progress over the weekend working on fenders. To figure out equipment layout, I found a few photos where fenders are visible. These two are from tank number 131:

 

left fender

 

tapatalk_-1870282785

 

This one below is not 131, but it is the tank with a very similar equipment layout:

 

right fender 2

 

There's the first piece that is not supplied in the kit and it's Notek light. Fortunately, I had Panzer Art set, which is quite nice.

 

IMG_20210727_162411

 

Larger toolbox on 131 is not the the version usually used on Ausf. G (which is in the kit).

 

IMG_20210728_122036

 

Its an older version, usually used in Ausf. F and earlier models, where padlock is on the right side. So I had to change it a bit.

 

IMG_20210728_135150

 

I am quite sure that fire extinguisher was not attached to the fender in the usual holder (proto etched part on previous photo). I am not sure how it was attached, but it looks like that holder is missing, so I just decided to remove it.

 

There are two types of S hooks in the kit, smaller and bigger. Looking at the photo, neither of them looks right, but I would say that smaller one is closer match?

 

IMG_20210801_192424

 

Spare wheels are from Academy Panzer III Ausf. J kit. It looks like that forward spare wheel is damaged. Here's the result.

 

IMG_20210801_192330

 

Right fender is a bit more straightforward:

 

IMG_20210801_192241

 

 

Damaged track piece is used only as a placeholder. This is part of the completely broken and dreadful DS tracks supplied in the kit. This is one of the reasons why I hate them so much. Quite often they arrive like this:

 

IMG_20210731_163145

 

The only pieces of equipment I didn't figure out where they were placed are crank and crowbar:

 

IMG_20210801_192610

 

Maybe under the longer track piece on the left fender?

 

That's all for now. Thanks for watching.

 

Cheers,

Nenad

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I think the small S hooks look too small. 
 

Id go with the larger ones. 
 

Looking good, though !!

 

Look at your top photo, the clamps are oriented to the rear, on both S hooks. 

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Hello, I am following this build as I have academy kit to build. 

I may recommend to drill out holes on spare academy wheels. 

Demaged DS tracks occure from time to time. I have old kits with such tracks that are okey after more than 8 years and other are like that with released grease from them. I would highly recommend not to place them (those demaged ones) anywhere on the kit since they have tendency to soften plastic and cause lot of problem in the future. 

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On 8/1/2021 at 10:44 PM, Longbow said:

I think the small S hooks look too small. 
 

Id go with the larger ones. 
 

Looking good, though !!

 

Look at your top photo, the clamps are oriented to the rear, on both S hooks. 

 

Yeah, I'm closer to that as well. Here's how larger one fit:

 

IMG_20210802_134712

 

I'll check what's in the Academy Pz III J box, maybe they are in between.

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Hello everyone,

 

Did some small progress over the last few days.

 

Started working on the upper hull. This is where there are many differences between Touchpanzer version (base kit I am using) and tropicalized version I am building. However, except the fact that I had to use instructions from three different Dragon kits and hunt for the concealed parts on many sprues, it went without any issues. There are so many sprues in this kit, spanning from Ausf. F to Ausf. J, I think that it's possible to build three different tanks :)

Good thing is that at the end, almost everything was there. I just had to use air intake grilles from Academy kit.

 

Here's the engine deck:

 

 

IMG_20210803_141333

 

And these are all sub assemblies I managed to build so far:

 

IMG_20210805_170916

 

Most of the equipment is not glued yet, I prefer to glue it after painting. S-Hooks on the previous photo are from the Academy kit. Unfortunately they are also very small, if not smaller than Dragon. Also added track holder on the fender (haven't noticed it earlier on the reference photo). I'm still thinking should I replace tool clamps with photo etched ones, but I probably won't. All of the tools supplied in the kit already have plastic version of clamps attached to them, and they are not that bad. I'll just risk breaking the tools while trying to remove them.

 

This is early commander's cupola. I painted periscopes now, and I'll protect them before painting. I like this Gunze Oil paint for WW2 periscopes. It's hard to capture this on the photo, but I find it perfect for this application. It looks like when you glue a pisece of negative film where the glass surface would be. It does not work for the newer periscopes which have this blue-green sheen.

 

IMG_20210805_171045

 

That's all for now mates.

 

Cheers,

Nenad

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Hello everyone,

 

Did some work on a turret. I replaced mantlet and barrel with Panzer Art resin version with canvas cover. This one:

 

IMG_20210807_141354

 

It's quite nice, with just two small issues. It's bent a bit and there's horizontal seam line across it that needs to be dealt with. Also, there's a problem of attaching it to the inner part of the mantlet.

 

To do that, first I had to remove these two connector pins.

 

IMG_20210807_141340

 

Also, Panzer Art piece is not hollow, so I had to cut the barrel in order for inner part to fit the Panzer Art resin piece.

 

IMG_20210808_130723

 

That wouldn't be a problem if you don't plan to add any interior details. I am not fan of interior kits, but as I am planning to leave most of the turret hatches open, there have to be at least something inside. I'm more than happy with what's already included in the box.

 

Front turret panel is a bit of a letdown. There are 8 ejector pin marks on this little piece, on the visible side! Why not inside? Don't know.

 

IMG_20210808_134736

 

Machine gun barrel is not included in the Panzer Art resin piece, so I had to remove the muzzle from the kit part, and extend it. I used aerial supplied in the kit for this, as I am replacing it with Aber one :)

 

 

IMG_20210808_141005

 

And here it is assembled.

 

IMG_20210809_164848

 

Rest of the build should be fairly straightforward.

 

I am going on vacation tomorrow, so there will be no updates next two weeks.

 

Cheers,

Nenad

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys,

 

I am back from vacation and made some progress over the weekend.

 

Hull is mostly assembled. I also added some lifting cable damage to the fenders, because it's quite visible on reference photos.

 

IMG_20210825_131827

 

IMG_20210825_131815

 

Also, added some wiring:

 

IMG_20210825_131916

 

Beside some building, I did some research about the reference photos, trying to figure out where and when exactly were they taken. I know that I could build a model without knowing that, but I would miss all the fun of the detective work :)

 

With a help of the fellow modelers, now I can say that photos were taken in Derna Pass, around April 10th, 1941. You can see the discussion here.

 

View1-1

 

View2-1

 

Cheers,

Nenad

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Nice attention to detail Nenad. Just catching up on your thread now, nice neat and precise work going on, great!

 

Good luck, looking forward to seeing it progress. 

 

Atb

Darryl 

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