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StuG III Ausf.G Mar 1943 Alkett Prod. (35336) 1:35


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StuG III Ausf.G Mar 1943 Alkett Prod. (35336)

1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd




The StuG is a popular German WWII AFV, and the more you learn about it, the more obvious it becomes why.  The SturmGeschutz III was based upon the chassis of the Panzer III, but removed the turret and front deck, replacing it with an armoured casemate with a lower profile that mounted a fixed gun with limited traverse.  It was originally intended to be used as infantry support, using its (then) superior armour to advance on the enemy as a mobile blockhouse, but it soon found other uses as an ambush predator, and was employed as a tank destroyer, hiding in wait for Allied forces to stumble haplessly into its path, where it could be deadly.  With the advances in sloped armour employed by the Soviets, the original low velocity 75mm StuK 37 L/24 cannon was replaced by higher velocity unit that was also used in the Panzer IV for tank-on-tank combat, extending the type’s viable career to the end of WWII.


The earliest prototypes were made of mild steel and based on Panzer III Ausf.B chassis, and while equipped with guns were unsuitable for combat due to the relative softness of the steel that would have led to a swift demise on the battlefield, being withdrawn in '41-42.  By this time the StuG III had progressed to the Ausf.G, which was based on the later Panzer III Ausf.M, with a widened upper hull and improvements in armour to increase survivability prospects for the crew.  Many of the complicated aspects of the earlier models that made them time-consuming and expensive to produce were removed and simplified by that time, which led to a number of specific differences in some of the external fitments around the gun, such as the Saukopf mantlet protector.  The Ausf.G was the last and most numerous version, and was used until the end of the war with additional armour plates often welded or bolted to the surface to give it enhanced protection from the Allied tanks and artillery.



The Kit

MiniArt have finally managed to get their production running again after the shock of the invasion on the 24th of February 2022 forced them to up-sticks wholesale to escape from the horror.  Well, they’re back and we’re all very happy for them, and wish them the best with their business and hope they can return to normality at the earliest convenience.  We’re all behind you!   Just before the aforementioned event, MiniArt had released a new tooling of the late StuG III and this is a continuation of the Ausf.G series, which had changes laid over changes during the final batches.  This boxing is another Alkett factory example from March 1943 and arrives in a standard top-opening box in the MiniArt style, with attractive artwork and profiles on the side.  Inside the box are forty-five sprues in mid-grey styrene, one in clear, a good-sized Photo-Etch (PE) fret of brass parts, decal sheet and glossy-covered instruction booklet with colour profiles on the front and rear covers.  Detail is excellent throughout, which is just what we’ve come to expect from modern toolings by MiniArt, with so much detail crammed into every part of the model, which includes individual track links that different from the earlier pre-series kit we reviewed some time ago.
























Construction begins with the floor panel, which receives the torsion suspension bars with their fittings, a pair of runners to support the engine that isn’t included in this boxing, and the support structure for the gun, which is made up from some substantial beams that have a traverse shoe placed on top to give the gun its limited 15° travel for fine-tuning lateral aim.  The rear bulkhead is set against the engine mounts and the hull sides are mated to the floor, with the bases for the final drive housing glued to the front next to the two-layer front bulkhead.  The glacis plate with transmission inspection hatches are given a similar treatment, plus another appliqué panel, and the usual exhausts, towing lugs and idler protection are added to the bottom section of the rear, and a radiator exhaust panel with PE grille is made up and applied above it, adding some deflecting tinwork to the hull.  Narrow bolted panels are added to the sides of the hull in preparation for the upper hull parts that are added next.


Much of the gun breech detail is represented, and a large trunnion is fitted onto the two pins on the sides of the assembly.  Elevation, traverse and sighting gear is installed on the breech, although it’s unlikely to be seen.  Before the gun can be fitted, the walls of the casemate must be made up, and these are well-detailed externally, including vision slots, smoke grenade dispensers and lifting eyes.  The shape of the casemate is completed with the addition of the front wall, which has a large cut-out to receive the gun in due course.  The front of the casemate is built out forward with a sloped front and some appliqué armour, dropped over the front of the lower hull and joined by the breech assembly, which is covered by an armoured panel after armoured protectors to the mounting bolts have been glued over them.  A bridge over the top of the insert encloses the breech, then it’s time to prepare the roof with some details before covering up the interior, then making a choice of how to finish the commander’s cupola in either open or closed pose.  It has a number of PE latches and a set of V-shaped binocular sighting glasses in the separate front section of the cupola that can be open or closed independently to the main hatch.  The gunner’s hatch is a simpler affair consisting of a clamshell pair of doors, with the machine gun shield just in front of it and a well-detailed MG34 machine gun with drum mag slotted through the centre.  This hatch can also be posed open or closed, and the MG shield can be posed in the flat position for travel.


The engine deck is built up with short sides and armoured intake louvres on the sides, which are covered with PE meshes as the deck is glued down onto the engine bay.  Two types of rear appliqué parts can be added to the slope at the rear of the deck, then armoured cover to the fume extraction fan is added to the back of the casemate.  A rail of spare track links is fixed across the rear of the casemate with the barrel cleaning rods underneath, lashed to the deck with PE and styrene parts, then the four hatches are made with armoured vents.  A pair of road wheels are carried on the deck with long pins through their holes that attach them to the rearmost pair of hatches.  One decal option also has a field modification of a large stowage box mounted on the centre of the rear deck, with the other options mounting a much shallower box in the same place on PE brackets.


As yet the StuG has no wheels, so the addition of the swing-arms with stub axles is needed, adding the highly detailed final drive housings under the front, plus additional suspension parts that improves damping further.  The idler adjuster is covered with armoured parts, and a group of pioneer tools are dotted around the sides of the engine deck, after which the paired wheels are fixed to the axles, with drive-sprockets at the front and idler wheels at the rear, plus a trio of return rollers on short axles near the top of the sides.  The tracks are individual links that are held together by pins, using 94 links per side, and each link has three sprue gates to clean up, plus a little flash on the highly detailed sides, which will need scraping away with a sharp blade.  I created a short length in fairly short order, coupling them together, and the result is a very well detailed track with flexibility to adjust them around the running gear of your model, and as they are a tight fit, they shouldn’t need glue, but I’d probably set them in position with liquid glue once I had them how I wanted them on the vehicle. Once they’re in place, the fenders are attached to the hull sides, with integrated mudguards and tiny PE fittings added once the glue has dried.  More pioneer tools and stowage are added to these, as space was a premium on these vehicles, and every flat surface ended up with equipment on it.  This includes a convoy light and either a highly detailed PE fire extinguisher or a simplified styrene alternative if you prefer.  Shovels, pry bars, jack blocks and the jack are also found on the fenders, as are the two towing cables, which have styrene eyes and you’ll need to supply the 110mm cable material yourself, with a set of PE tie-downs holding them in place on each side.  The barrel of the gun has a large bulky Saukopf mantlet cover, which is made up from three parts with a barrel sleeve moulded into the front, which the single-part barrel slots into, tipped with a detailed three-part muzzle brake to give it the correct hollow look.  It slides over the recoil tubes of the breech, closing up the interior, and the last parts of the kit are two whip antennae on the rear of the casemate, and optionally another pair of road wheels on both front fenders for one of the decal options.




There are five markings options included on the decal sheet, all of them with varying camouflage from bare dunkelgelb to predominantly green with splotches of other colours.  From the box you can build one of the following:


  • 201 Stg. Abt., Greece, Summer 1943
  • 322 Stg.Abt., Eastern Front, Summer 1943
  • 1st Company Pz. Abt. ‘Rhodos’, Rhodos, Autumn 1943
  • Bulgarian 1st Assault Gun Battalion, Autumn 1943
  • 10th SS Panzer Div. ‘Frundsberg’, Pomerania, March 1945






Decals are by Decograph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.




A good-looking, well-detailed model of an important WWII German tank destroyer that saw action the Eastern and Western fronts in relatively large numbers.


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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