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REVIEW
Panzerbeobachtungswagen III
CMOT
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, October 02, 2014 - 11:35 AM UTC
Jacob Hederstierna-Johnsen reviews the Dragon Models 1/35th scale Smart kit German Sd.Kfz. 143 Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf. F.

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If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
justsendit
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Posted: Thursday, October 02, 2014 - 12:20 PM UTC
Great review Darren!

I'm just finishing up a Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.H and I can see that the Ausf.F shares many of the same parts. The details and fit are fantastic and other than a couple of Dragon instruction hiccups, I can say, I really enjoyed my build. Fortunately, the Ausf.H came with MagicTracks which I really like.

ómike
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, October 02, 2014 - 01:20 PM UTC
Nice review! Informative and to the point. And, to the reviewer's credit, but not to Dragon's... pointed out a couple of frustrating issues...

Sounds like it is an OK kit that could have been quite stellar...

We've been around the DS and Magic Track question enough, and this just continues to rub me wrong. Why does Dragon put MT into some kits, such as the III-H early kit - similar to this Beo-F kit in many ways, as Jacob pointed out - yet use DS for this one? It's the same wider early tracks, right? (but I fully recognize that some like MT, others the DS)

And that widened early-type drive sprocket... looks like THIS kit gets a correct widened sprocket... whereas that H early did not. This one bugs me. As we have ID'd elsewhere and elsewhen, the D has the correct widened F sprockets in the inventory, and now they show up. Get 'em in one kit, but not the next. Flip of the coin?

And what's with the jack? Dragon has been around these panzer kits a looooong time. Panzers came stock with jacks. Now suddenly we don't get one! This sounds like sheer sloppiness in kit design and / or production - I'm pretty sure that the D knows these came with a jack just like other Pz did.

And OK, we are used to D kits having at best a limited interior in most cases (a couple of Pz 1, Pz II, and Pz 38(t) kits being the tank exceptions), but here seems to have been the chance to toss in some interior in that turret - it's a special case, and there is no gun, as usually seen in D's III kits, so maybe some work-table (my assumption that there was some such in this thing), radios, or other stuff seems like an opportunity to make something cool happen...

Just seems kinda sporadic and capricious, to me, instead of the careful attention and consistency with kit quality one should, I think, reasonably expect from the Big Guy in the (German, anyway) armor kit world - specially for the price being asked.

Just my opinion!

Bob
mgentom
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Troms, Norway
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Posted: Saturday, October 04, 2014 - 12:57 AM UTC
Thanks for a nice review Jacob. For those who not want to build a beobacht panzer, this kit could be a good starting point for building a Ausf F from the Umbewaffnung programm. Since this is the only kit of a PzIII ausf F With the additional front armor.

I've got some picture of a Norwegian pz.III ausf N. according to the Fahrgestell Nr. this was originally a Ausf. H rebuild with a new late version turret. But if you see closer to the front superstructure it looks like this one came from ausf. F. A potensial for kitbashing in the future?
In german service this one had schuerzen like Dragon kit 6474

sometime in '50



In the year 2009



hopefully not a diversion from the review.
Sorry if I not write in proper English.

Tommy
panzerbob01
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Posted: Saturday, October 04, 2014 - 05:10 AM UTC
From what I understand, the N was built using various later H, J, and L hulls, and some M versions. With the later H, J, and earlier L hulls having the side escape hatches, as evident in those N pics.

As the III-N was already a converted "parts-tank" created from mixing older hulls and late turrets with guns swapped in from older Pz IV... it may not be completely out of the question that some pieces actually came into this one from an F. BUT, if some older F or G or even earlier H hull was used - it was already updated for this N role by having the F (also used on G and earlier H) idlers and sprockets swapped out for the later types (seen on later H and later III).

Again, it could be! We should never say NEVER with much of this German armor! A real "cross-kitted" F/H - N / Pz IV gun" could have happened, I guess, though I would accept the Fgst nr as the core indicator for the hull having been used!

Bob
Hederstierna
#247
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Posted: Sunday, October 05, 2014 - 12:38 AM UTC
Hi all
Thanks for the kind Words, glad you liked it.
Jacob
bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Sunday, October 05, 2014 - 04:51 AM UTC
Yes, good review!
Bizarre
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Posted: Monday, October 06, 2014 - 09:11 AM UTC
I have a question regarding smoke candle bin in the rear. Do you mean that it is attached on the outside of the rear armour plate? That is fine for vehicles up to Ausf J when these were relocated inside the tail armour which is also different from Ausf H.
Hederstierna
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Posted: Tuesday, October 07, 2014 - 12:01 AM UTC
Roman
The problem is not the outside pod, but that the assembly of this is not depicted in the instruction booklet, only that the assembled smoke pod is depicted in one Picture in the instructions. The parts for this item is shown as "not to use" parts (marked in blue)and it,s not shown on the finished drawings either. I hope this make sence.
Jacob
Bizarre
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 04:28 AM UTC
I see. well, instruction errors are Dragon's classic.

I really "liked" having 2 sprues with the same letter containing similar parts....