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Takom "Blitz" StuG III Ausf.F8 Early Production

Catalog Number: 8013 Manufacturer: TAKOM
Published: Wednesday, August 30, 2023 Retail Price: 40.00
Scale: 1:35 Reviewed By: Shon Stephens

StuG III Ausf. F8 "Early Production"

Takom No.8013

1:35th Scale



Takom has continued their Blitz series of kits with the StuG III Ausf. F8 Early Production in 1:35th scale. The Blitz line features a comparatively low parts count, high detail, and quicker assembly. These kits do not include detailed interiors, also in keeping with the overall lower price of these kits. This release brings another welcome addition to their line of StuG III and StuH 42 vehicles.

The Sturmgeschütz came into existence as the result of a 1936 order given to develop an armored vehicle, mounting a 7.5cm Sturmpanzerkanone (StuK), for close infantry support. The experimental series vehicles were constructed on the chassis of five (5) Pz.Kpfw III Ausf. B. Once successful testing had been completed the StuG III Ausf. A was ordered into production during January 1940. The Ausf. A shared the same basic hull, drive, and suspension components as the 5ZW on which the Pz.Kpfw III Ausf. F was built. In 1941, hastened by encounters with KV-1 and T-34 tanks on the Eastern Front, a request from Hitler to increase the armor of the StuG and mount a larger 7.5cm StuK made its way through the German High Command. A new StuG entered production in March 1942, armed with the 7.5cm StuK40 L/43 and fitted with additional armor. The change to a long gun also marked a change in the role of the StuG to that of tank destroyer. The final production StuG III Ausf. F were upgraded to the StuK40 L/48 gun. Starting in September 1942 an improved hull design, similar to the 8ZW design of the Pz.Kpfw III Ausf. J/L, was introduced in the StuG III Ausf. F8. The side plates of the hull were extended as towing brackets, numerous improvements to the rear deck and ventilation were introduced, as well as increasing the thickness of the front and rear armor. The production of the Ausf. F8 lasted until December 1942. During this time an increase in demand for the StuG led to production of the Pz.Kpfw III being cut short. German manufacturer Alkett built a small portion of the Ausf. F8 on any already completed Pz. III M hulls. These machines can be identified by single-piece, forward-opening hatches over the final drives. The StuG III Ausf. F8 were issued to existing units to replace losses sustained in the fighting of 1942 and to expand unit strength of StuG companies.

Initial Impression

The box is compact and faced with outstanding art work by Jason Wong. Inside the box, Takom has provided eleven (11) plastic sprues and a lower hull. These are molded in a high-quality, light gray styrene.  The quality of the molding itself is very high, with evidence of slide-molding technology in use on multiple sprues. In addition to the plastic, there are two (2) small photoetch brass sheets included alongside a metal barrel and copper wire for tow cables. The decals are on a very small sheet, but nicely printed and sufficient for the four (4) marking schemes called out in the A5 instruction booklet.

Plastic Sprues

Sprue A

There are two (2) of these sprues. The A sprues provide parts for the drive and suspension components,  fender supports, and other odds. The details of the roadwheels and return rollers is superb with small weld beads and "Continental" manufacturer's marks. The roadwheels have a typical mold separation to be cleaned up from their centerline. Drive sprocket and final drive housing detail are also well represented.


Sprue B

The B sprue contains the "link and length" tracks, and comes as two (2) identical sprues. The tracks are nicely represented and molded with hollow ends and guide teeth. The individual links have been molded without ejector pin marks to clean up. The length sections of track have a few ejector pin marks to clean up, but these are shallow and a bit of sanding stick or sponge should knock them right off. The longest section of track is molded with sag for across the return rollers.


Sprue C (and N)

The C sprue is small and provides a standard German 20T jack, towing shackles for front and rear, and the idler wheel mounts. These last having bolt detail on their inner face.

There is a lot more going on with the N sprue, including some nice slide molding for the muzzle brake and gun mantlet. This sprue features parts for the L/48 gun, mounting pedestal, and MG42. The cupola, hatches, and smoke launcher mounting brackets on this tree remain unused for the Ausf. F8.


Sprue M

This sprue provides many of the parts used for the rear hull, including rear plate, exhaust, shielding, and armored louvres. There are also some nicely detailed tow cable ends and a variety of OVM tools. The Notek light has some fine detail on it's upper surface and edges. The majority of the tools on this sprue won't be used for an Ausf. F8.


Sprue F

The F sprue provides many of the parts needed to represent the F8 version of the venerable StuG III. Separate fenders are included, with correct tool positions. A newly-tooled fighting compartment roof and other pieces are molded here. The gunsight port being correctly portrayed for the F8. The weld detail of the armored boxes is very well done. Other parts include hatches, tools, antenna mounts, gun shield, and torsion bars. Of note are parts F18 and F19, given as a jig for forming the "birdcage" gunsight housing on one of the PE frets.


Sprue G (Parts J, K, and Lower Hull)

The G sprue contains additional armor welded to the Early Production Ausf. F8 and the glacis over the front drives. Part J is the correct rear deck configuration for this particular StuG variant. Part K is the F8-specific fighting compartment, also newly tooled. The Lower Hull is a single-piece, cleanly molded, and well-detailed bathtub-style  part. 


Photoetch, Barrel, and Decals

Takom has included an aluminum barrel. It's a simple alternative the the slide-molded plastic part on sprue N, but still requires the muzzled brake from that same sprue to be complete. The provided PE frets are of good quality but aren't overly complex for an intermediate modeler or require anything more than CA glue. The copper wire and molded plastic cable ends allow an accurate tow cable to be modelled.


There are four (4) marking scheme callouts on the last pages of the instructions. These callouts provide a legend for MIG AMMO paint colors. The marking options are:

  • Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 243, Eastern Front - November 1942
  • Panzer Regiment Hermann Göring, Sicily - September 1943
  • Panzerjäger-Abteilung 61, 11th Panzer Division, France - September 1944
  • Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 203, Stalingrad - December 1942


The kits instructions are printed on a durable, semi-gloss paper in A5 format (5.8" x 8.3").  A basic section of "Read Before Assembly" tips begins the instructions. A map of the Parts sprues is included on page two (2). The build sequences  provided in in twenty-one (21) steps drawn as 3D views with detailed parts callouts. 



This release from Takom is excellent addition to the Blitz line of kits and the StuG series of vehicles. Most of the plastic in this kit comes from the well-received and  previously released StuG III Ausf. G Early Production kit, with newly tooled parts added to build into a StuG III Ausf. F8. The reviewer is looking forward to building this kit!

Highly Recommended for Intermediate to Advanced builders and German WW2 armor experten.

Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.

Reviewed by Shon Stephens


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