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Armor/AFV: Braille Scale
1/72 and 1/76 Scale Armor and AFVs.
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Dragon Panzer IIIN
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 08:17 AM UTC
Greetings all.

As some of you might have seen I did a partial build review of the following.



For those that haven't seen it and are interested, the full review is HERE.

The fenders are still not affixed but all the pieces are on them now. I've been doing some touch ups of the painted areas and started some pin washes and detail painting. The only remaining pieces to be put on are the two turret hatches. I'm not sure if I want them open or closed and that's why the delay. Here's where it stands at the moment







I've had a few people ask in some campaigns that I'm in to put a coin beside the builds for scale reference. So here is one;



I know that I've got a couple of other Blogs going and I will try rotating through them. Just felt that some might be interested in this kit and might like to see how things are going.

Cheers,
Jan
Matt182
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 12:40 AM UTC
looking good so far Jan, look forward to seeing it finished. I have the ausf L which ive made a start on. Very nice little kit, lots of detail for such a small kit.

Keep the updates coming
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 08:50 AM UTC
@Matt182 - Thanks for dropping in and showing some interest. If I can offer you any help or insights into the kit, please feel free to ask. I would hazard a guess that from the turret base down the IIIL and IIIN should be very similar if not identical. As I noted in the review, watch out for the sprue connections points when fitting the pieces for the upper body crew area. If they are the same for both kits they might prove a pain. BTW, one of the extra unused parts for this kit is the applique armour for the mantlet. Just for a laugh I tried to see if it would fit but the opening for the main gun was too small.

Cheers,
Jan
weathering_one
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 02:57 PM UTC
Glad to see this blog after the review you did of it. I'll be watching and waiting for a surprise or two! what about those other blogs you were doing? Will you resume them at some point as I am curious about that truck and little gun you were doing.

Regards,
AJ
ChaosXVI
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Metro Manila, Philippines
Joined: October 24, 2009
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Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012 - 12:56 AM UTC
Jan,

This kit came out a few months back in our LHS but was more expensive than the Neubaufahrzeug No. 1 so I didn't get it. But you had good reviews so I am now thinking of getting at least one copy. Would you say this is a better offering than the 80's ESCI Pz III N?
tread_geek
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Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012 - 03:29 AM UTC
@ChaosXVI - Toby,

That depends on the individual and their expectations (beauty is in the eyes of the beer holder). I have built the Esci Panzer IIIM so as the kit allows it to be the M or N version it's a quite nice option. You also get the option of using turret and side skirts and a few more tools are separate parts. However, the old ESCI kit is just that, old! This Dragon kit has extremely nice and fine details compared to the ESCI. All the lightening holes on the wheels of the suspension are open on the Dragon while they are just indents on the ESCI. The ESCI smoke dischargers are cast on and horrible and the front machine gun looks about the size of a 20 mm cannon. If you go to the Henk of Holland ESCI page" and scroll about half way down, you will see the IIIM/N entry with sprue and instruction shots, as well as pictures of a completed model. Compare the pictures of the two and it should allow you to make an accurate personal judgement.

Cheers,
Jan
PedroA
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Valencia, Spain / España
Joined: December 27, 2010
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Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 09:06 AM UTC
Jan, thanks very much for you review. Interesting opinion about one of my favorite kit to this year. I think I will wait some time.

Best regards.

Pedro.
madmax5510
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Hunedoara, Romania
Joined: May 06, 2008
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Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 09:21 AM UTC
Hi Jan!
Very clean and nice build,and thanks for the review.I have myself the old Esci Pz III M-N,and still i'm not sure if this new Dragon kit deserved the money.
Matt182
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 02:33 AM UTC
Jan, I had a look in my Ausf L kit last night and its the same. The spure attachment points are awful on those parts. When I started this kit I was a little surprised at how badly placed many of the spure points are. It took me a long time to clean up just 8 parts for the lower hull.

I'm in the middle of a big build right now but I hope to get back to this one at some point as it is a nice kit. It just needs a little more time spent on it than most 1/72 kits I think.

Look forward to to your next update on your build

Matt
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 04:43 AM UTC
@Pedro & Dani - Thanks for having a look guys. It's good to know that these reviews can be useful. I find it interesting that several people now have mentioned about the price of this kit. I wasn't aware that this might be an issue. I did some Internet searches for this kit and was shocked. The price seems to be all over the place, from as low as US$16 to as high as US$30+. I know that the pre-build kits run around $30 but an unbuilt plastic one! If that is the case, it is totally ridiculous.

Searches at a few online USA stores show prices in and around US$20 for a 1/72 kit like the Type 97 Chi Ha. Even at that price it's rather expensive for such a small and limited parts model. We can only hope that there has been some kind of mistake in pricing or people will vote with their wallet and not buy these kits.

Cheers,
Jan
PantherF
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Indiana, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 04:59 AM UTC
That's very nice looking but I gotta ask.

Did you use any type of magnifying glasses? I would go blind building one at this scale and my hat is off to those that can!








~ Jeff
tread_geek
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Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 06:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Jan, I had a look in my Ausf L kit last night and its the same. The spure attachment points are awful on those parts. When I started this kit I was a little surprised at how badly placed many of the spure points are. It took me a long time to clean up just 8 parts for the lower hull.

Matt



Matt, thanks for dropping in and even more thanks for confirming my observations. What one might rightly think should be a fast and simple build of either the N or the L version may prove frustrating to many. I will continue with my build shortly but I'm at the moment in the middle of a review of another new release. All I'll say is that I certainly hope that all the new Dragon kits aren't going to be to this standard. Some things go tremendously well and then you hit glitch after glitch.

@PantherF -


Quoted Text

That's very nice looking but I gotta ask.

Did you use any type of magnifying glasses? I would go blind building one at this scale and my hat is off to those that can!

~ Jeff



Jeff - Glad you like the diminutive Panzer, There is always a great reward to building these small scale beasts.

As to your comment /question about optical assistance devices, YES, virtually ALL small scale builders use them at one point of a build or another. In my case I use a 5X Optivisor plus shoot progress pictures with a 10+ times macro setup on my DSLR. I guess that at times building these things is akin to microsurgery but that's what makes it FUN.

Cheers,
Jan
sabredog
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Western Australia, Australia
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Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 09:09 PM UTC
I use magnifying glasses as well

Strange that their standards have slipped a bit. I have the excellent Revell Pz.III kits so perhaps I might give this release a miss.
tread_geek
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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 08:18 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I use magnifying glasses as well

Strange that their standards have slipped a bit. I have the excellent Revell Pz.III kits so perhaps I might give this release a miss.



Michael, I don't believe that their standards have slipped, at least not as far as moulding is concerned. What I have seen over the last little while is more of a simplification based on more emphasis being placed on Dragon's prebuilt market (fewer parts = increased production for that market). They have long had an issue with instruction inaccuracies and, IMHO, excessively large sprue gates but they were making progress with the latter up until this kit. Matt182 on this site as well as other reviewers on other sites have also noticed this change.

Cheers,
Jan
tread_geek
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Posted: Thursday, May 03, 2012 - 09:29 AM UTC
I am slowly trying to work my way through each outstanding project and today it is some progress on the Panzer III. THe fenders are now glued in place and that was an interesting experience. They sort of fit but needed some gentle sanding to have them fit flush.

The antenna mount is now attached and the only remaining pieces to put on are the main turret hatches (haven't decided if I'll leave them open and try for a figure in the cupola). I have also done some more detail painting, mainly the tools, and there is more to follow. As luck would have it, I knocked off the bow machine gun while attaching the right fender. Thankfully it broke off clean from its mounting hole and was reattached after these pictures were taken.











I must admit that visually it's a fine looking model but is it worth all the avoidable problems!

Thanks to all of you who have been following this and for your patience.

Cheers,
Jan
weathering_one
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Posted: Friday, May 04, 2012 - 01:04 PM UTC
I tried to order one of these from the local hobby shop but they said that they didn't have a listing for them. The few tools I see don't look bad but the jack really stands out. It does seem a bit shiny though. I know, I know, it ain't done yet. are those road wheels a good fit or a bit loose? How does that antenna attach? Did it cause any problems with liming it up on the fender?

Thanks,
AJ
tread_geek
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Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 - 09:06 AM UTC
@AJB - Sorry to take so long to get back to you but I'm trying to finish off a few outstanding builds.


Quoted Text

The few tools I see don't look bad but the jack really stands out. It does seem a bit shiny though. I know, I know, it ain't done yet. are those road wheels a good fit or a bit loose?



Yup, "it ain't done yet..." but, slowly but surely. The road wheels are just a tad loose, not to any extreme but you might have to watch when they are drying so they all touch the surface at the same time. The same fit applies to the sprockets but the idlers had a nice press fit.


Quoted Text

How does that antenna attach? Did it cause any problems with liming it up on the fender?



THe antenna and its storage tray are all one piece and the base of the antenna has a pin that fit's into a cone shaped protrusion on the right hull side. The stand part itself has three "legs" that fit into holes or recesses in the fender proper. It might be tricky to some to line up all these points but just take your time. BTW, the fenders are surprisingly thin so they have some play to them.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As I mentioned in another post here, I'm trying to get caught up on outstanding blogs/builds. As part of the process I worked on the decals of a few today and this was one of them. I used the standard process of Future-->Decals-->Future to set them. I must comment that these Cartograph decals are really nice to work with.







With this done I now have two builds ready for finishing and a third almost there.

Cheers,
Jan
Braille
#135
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Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 09:21 AM UTC
@tread_geek – Jan,

Yes, I finally got an uninterrupted silent amount of time to read through your build review and check out the photographs, scans, build log and comments. I’ll be adding this one to the stash on the first go around that Dragononline.com places this vehicle on sale. I happen to have this one in 35th scale and it does come with all of the extra tracks, fuel cans and properly rendered fenders.

I agree that they have taken a step back on the items that you mentioned in comparison to their earlier released Stug III Ausf.G kits. You’ve done a wonderful job on your build review and follow on build here. Keep up the excellent work!

~ Eddy
PedroA
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Valencia, Spain / España
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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 04:13 AM UTC
Good work. I wait your progress.

Regards.

Pedro.
Rouse713
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Wisconsin, United States
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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 10:18 AM UTC
"Tiny is as tiny does"


Wow! This looks really good. The picture with the penny always gets me on these builds. I also like the subject matter, most people who model that sPzAbt are usually doing the tigers, not the Pz III's. Cool.
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 04:26 AM UTC
@Braille - Eddy, I am very happy that the review helped you make a decision about this kit. I must say that after reviewing a few of the recent Dragon kits I am perplexed. They seem to be all over the place as far as standards or details are concerned (separate tools, moulded on tools, lots of PE, no PE, etc). IMHO spare tracks and fuel cans should have been part of this kit also. This kit has no tread pattern on the fenders yet their newer Neubau-Fahrzeug has it on both upper and lower surfaces.

@PedroA - Thanks for taking the time to drop in and comment. I am juggling time between a few projects but I'll try to get back to this one soon.

@Rouse713 - Mark, I'm glad that you find this kit interesting. It actually goes together fairly well and in this scale most people won't notice the odd missing detail. I also agree that up to this point the Panzer III and its variants haven't been exactly a top priority for the manufacturers. Lets hope we see a few more of the earlier variants as opposed to more Tigers! ;-)

Cheers,
Jan
tread_geek
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Posted: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - 06:37 AM UTC
After a frenzied period of activity on this and several other builds, I am going to call the Panzer IIIN finished. As with a few of my recent builds, some artistic license was used in the choice of colours that were used to enhance the look to the naked eye. Here is an image from the model show in which it was entered this past Sunday.



Obviously the lighting conditions, camera settings and general situation were not conducive to photography. Next up are the pictures of the IIIN prior to the show. These were taken with macro filters.











Although limited in parts and definitely lacking in some extra features as shown on the box top, this kit can still create a fine representation of this particular Panzer. Comments and questions welcomed.

Cheers,
Jan
weathering_one
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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 02:25 PM UTC
Jan,

These finish pictures, the one that I took with my POS camera and others I've seen on Google Images made me order one the other day. Your images seem a bit dark and mine are somewhat overexposed but the details on this kit still stand out and look great! I saw a couple of larger scale Panzer III's but this one made them look lame.

Regards,
AJ
BBD468
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 02:37 PM UTC
Well done Jan...very nice indeed!

Gary
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 06:06 AM UTC
@weathering_one - AJ,

Thanks for the kudos and I'm sure you won't be disappointed with either the 'N' or 'L' version. I am also sure that if you could find some appropriate spare track pieces, storage or scratch some sandbags that it would definitely add to the overall effect.

About the pictures: please see below.

@BBD468 - Gary,

Thanks for the kind words and for dropping in to have a look.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pictures of these small subjects are always problematic. I've been struggling for a couple of years to find the best solution. One thing that I generally don't like to do is excessive editing other than cropping that might have some say that I "doctor" my images to look a certain way. However, as this question has arisen in a few other of my Blogs, I've made an exception with the following pictures in an attempt to get them as close to what the eye might see in person.

I've adjusted Exposure by about +1.5 and Saturation by -6%.







Cheers,
Jan