Takom- 1/35 StuG.III Ausf. G Early Production
The StuG III was based on the obsolete Panzer III, and the Ausf. G was the ultimate version of the venerable assault gun with more than 8400 being produced between December of 1942 through April of 1945. The main improvement over the previous variants was a new casemate structure made up of slanted 30mm side armor and 50mm frontal armor plates. In May 1943, this frontal armor was improved to a single 80mm plate to take the place of bolted together 50mm and 30mm plates. Initially designed for the infantry support role to take out enemy machine gun nests and the like, it quickly became an effective tank killer, with more kills than Panthers and Tigers combined (20,000 alone just in 1944). The 75mm StuK 40 L/48 gun proved to be quite effective and could defeat 96 mm of angled armor at 500 m, and 85 mm at 1000 m with a 30° slope. The StuG III Ausf. G saw action in Normandy, Italy, and onwards to Kursk. They also served with the armies of Finland, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania- and some examples fought well after the war including Syrian vehicles that were destroyed easily by Israeli forces during the Six Day War in 1967.
What's Inside the Box
Inside we find many sprues similar to those in Takom's Panzer III box, with some obvious differences. There are seven sprues of plastic, a separate lower and upper hull, turret parts, fret of PE, copper wire for cables, and a sheet of decals featuring five schemes.
Sprue A (of which there are two) are identical to those in the Panzer III kit and feature the suspension arms, road wheels, return rollers, sprocket and rear idlers, and the parts from the Pz. III not used here (like the Schürzen brackets).
Sprue B (2x) are also identical to the other kit and include the link and length tracks.
Sprue C is a small tree for the jack, towing points, and assorted add-on bits.
Sprue M is unique to this kit and includes the applique armor plates, exhausts, tools and assorted tiny bits. Slide molding is evident here with the ends of the tow cable eyes hollowed out.
Sprue N is also new and features parts for the main gun assembly and cupola, scissors periscope, smoke dischargers, and machine gun.
The lower hull is a single tub and is nearly identical to the Panzer III kit, except for the spot indicated for the gun assembly.
The upper hull is noticeably different in the front to accommodate the casemate, but the rear side is identical.
The casemate is in two parts- the lower assembly and the top plate. Detail is crisp.
The PE fret has screens for the rear exhaust assembly and the side air intakes.
The instruction manual is a small booklet, but I am pleased to see the color pages for the schemes are much larger and easier to read.
Decals represent the following five schemes:
- Sturmgeschütz-Batterie 742, Northern Finland, July 1943
- SS-Sturmgeschütz Abteilung 2, 'Das Reich', Belgerod, Russia, July 1943
- Großdeutschland Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung, Kursk, Russia, July 1943
- Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 189, Orel, Russia, May 1943
- Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 242, Monte Cassino, Italy, February 1944
Overall, this looks to be a great kit. Comparable to their Panzer III (for obvious reasons) and with the added benefit of a bigger gun and more interesting casemate turret. I love the addition of some non-Kursk schemes and like the ease of the Blitz kits with the somewhat lower parts count. I haven't heard much in the way of any fit issues, so I will hope that things go smoothly and we end up with a great representation of this important assault gun.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders- pending full build.
Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves, AMPS Albany
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