Takom- 1/35 StuG.III Ausf. G Early Production
For the First Look of this kit, please go to- https://www.amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=14594
Work begins very similar to that of the Blitz Panzer III with the lower tub, suspension, and road, idler, and sprocket wheels. Everything is keyed to fit so there are no issues with aligning the suspension arms. One thing I am not particularly crazy about is the attachment of the sprocket wheels. They are also keyed, but I would much prefer the poly caps that allow the friction to keep the wheels on while also allowing them to spin which makes adding tracks much easier, but in the end things worked out.
The focus then shifts to the rear end in steps 4 & 5, specifically the exhaust and frame for the PE screen. Step 6 has you add the tracks and step 7 adds the top deck of the lower hull.
Steps 8-12 are about attaching everything to the top deck, including armor plates, tools and tow cables, engine intakes and hatches, jack, and spare road wheels. The small pegs that go through the holes in the road wheels are quite delicate to remove and two of them were bent and broken on the sprue. I did leave most of the tools off to make painting them easier.
Steps 13-16 concern the construction of the casemate and main gun. Everything fit quite well, but be sure to double check your work as I ended up with something upside down due to my carelessness but caught it quickly enough to fix. Attaching the casemate to the lower hull concludes step 16 and I had some issues getting it squarely down onto the hull, but clamps helped get everything straightened out.
Step 17 has you attach the main gun to it's base on the floor of the lower hull tub. Getting it in place took some fiddling, but it settled in eventually.
Step 18 features the bits that attach to the casemate top including hatches, commander cupola, scissor scope, and periscope lenses. Take note-- the instructions would have you attach both hatches to the loader/machine gun position, but if you want the gun shield up as it is shown added in step 19, you must leave the one hatch open as it was used to prop up the shield. The instructions show both hatches closed behind the upright shield, which is not correct. My thanks to the vigilance of the AMPS folks on Facebook for pointing that out to me. Construction ends with the addition of the casemate roof in place.
Painting and Finishing
Out of the five schemes, I chose the Sturmgeschutz-Brigade 242 StuG based in Monte Cassino, Italy. I used the AMMO Early/Middle War German paint set for the model and after a gloss coat, I added the decals and then washes to make the details pop. After applying Testors Dullcote, I then used Mig pigments to dirty things up.
The lack of in-progress photos tells a story of how easy things went together. I was totally enjoying the build and forgot completely about taking pictures along the way. I look forward to seeing more of what Takom has to offer in their Blitz line- would love to see some American or British WWII armor in the future. I know that other companies are releasing current StuG III kits, but you can't beat the price of the Blitz kits-- and despite the lack of an interior, the included PE and decal schemes lend themselves to adding detail where it's needed. Seems like a win to me!
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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