SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Blitz by Takom PzKpfw III Ausf M

Build review of the 1/35 scale armor kit with link-and-length tracks
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
FSMWB1020_Takom_PanzerIII_box
FSMWB1020_Takom_PanzerIII_02
FSMWB1020_Takom_PanzerIII_03
FSMWB1020_Takom_PanzerIII_04
FSMWB1020_Takom_PanzerIII_05
FSMWB1020_Takom_PanzerIII_06
FSMWB1020_Takom_PanzerIII_07
Early in the war, the Panzer III was truly the workhorse of the German armed forces with the Ausfrung M being the penultimate version and the last Panzer with a 50mm gun. The M version was basically an Ausf L equipped for deep wading.  

Takom surprised me with this kit, apparently the first in a series of Panzer IIIs. Included in the Blitz line, it features link-and-length tracks (90 of the 396 parts), limited photo-etched metal (PE) parts, and no interior. The 14-page instructions are printed in a small book and I needed magnification to get a good look at the marking diagrams. The well-printed decal sheet provides markings for four tanks.   

I followed the first three steps and built the suspension onto the one-piece hull, but I white glued the wheels and sprockets on so I could remove them after the tracks were built and glued on for painting; polycaps would have made this a little easier.

The pins between each half of the road wheels are a little long. Removing the raised bumps on the back of the outer road wheels (Part A11) made fit easy. The fit of the return rollers to the hull is a bit sloppy.

I glued the tracks to the wheels and sprocket; an extra link around the idler section made them fit a little better. After letting them dry overnight, I removed them for painting.

Deviating from the instructions, I joined the upper and lower hulls before attaching details.

As a warning though, attaching the rear fender springs (parts A51) is nearly impossible as an afterthought. Also, leave the antenna (Part D51) off until the end; the turret will not turn with the antenna on nor will the antenna lay in its trough.

The fit of parts A23 and A24 to the sealed wading intakes on the sides of the engine deck was tight requiring trimming.

I also deviated from the instructions and built the gun and turret face so I could assemble the major turret parts before adding details.
The trunnions (parts E31 and E32) did not fit into the turret’s front plate without filing. As designed, the gun tended to droop, so I fixed it in place with a little glue. The gun has decent breech detail that can be seen through the posable hatches; no other interior is provided.

The turret Schürzen includes the option to pose the hatch panel open or closed.

The commander’s cupola comprises nine nicely detailed parts with the option of having the vision blocks open or closed.  

To make up for a couple of omissions, I used bent styrene rod for armored cables to the headlights. Also, it was common at Kursk for Panzer IIIs to have extra tracks mounted between the transmission vents on the glacis, so I used some spare links from the kit and a piece of styrene strip.

The hull Schürzen fits great to its rails. Unfortunately, either my hull Schürzen sits a little high or my turret Schürzen too low as there is not enough clearance.

According to German tank expert Hilary Doyle, Panzer III Ausf Ms were fitted with Schürzen right before Kursk with many of the tanks painted in the earlier two-color camouflage and the standoff armor readied for the later three-color camouflage based on dunkelgelb. I chose to paint my model this way.  

I had planned to build tank Red 421, but photos show it was fitted with a different style of Schürzen. So I went with White 5
21 of the 2nd Panzer Division. Decals went on easily and look good. 

I spent 18 hours getting the model ready to paint and another 16 hours on painting, decals, and weathering. Assembly was quicker than most kits thanks to the simplified Blitz concept. Despite some easily overcome problems, it was a fun, quick build.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2020 issue.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Read and share your comments on this article
COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of FineScale.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0
FREE DOWNLOAD

FREE DOWNLOAD

Essential finishing techniques for scale modelers.
FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.