Since I actually did build the thing about a year ago, I’ll post my thoughts about the construction sequence, and especially about the instructions and some peculiarities of the kit.
There are 23 construction steps and though they are logical I built my example in a bit different way. Also, I noted some errors I am discussing below.
Step 1: wheels – lots of them. Assembling the front wheels is no problem. The drive sprockets are handed (different) on the actual machine, but not in the kit. Dragon has issued you with 2 identical assemblies.
Sprue A – 90 parts for the suspension, engine covers and firewall, front lights, fenders, instrument panel, etc.
Dragon has put its favorite slide molding routine through its paces in this kit, and even without it the effort is still rather impressive. The cooling gills on the bonnet halves have been molded through – and most other kits will require a PE set for this. Also, the pattern on the radiator is discernible even if you look through the delicately molded guard grille.
The heat shield for the muffler also has its cooling gills molded as the real deal, so your weathering efforts here will be worthwhile. Delicate suspension parts and mirror supports, as well as lightbulbs molded in the bottom of the headlamp reflectors really contribute to the feeling you’re dealing with first-rate kit.
The last pic in the previous post shows I forgot to add the PE plate between the upper hull and add-on armor, so I had to add it and paint it separately. Hatches and and some small details were added next. I then proceeded to spray the brown spots using diluted Revell brown under very low pressure. MM Burnt Metal was used to detail paint the S-hooks, tank jack, etc.
The decals were fixed using Mr. Mark Softer.
The wheels were added next, then the right side track run was superglued on. To my horror it turned too short, so I had to stretch it with most of it already stuck on the model. It ain’t a particularly pretty sight.
Oh yes, you knew that was coming as it’s a patter of the way I’ve been publishing recently. I feel it’s only logical that the articles are presented in this sequence despite my modelling not following it exactly as there are always multiple projects on the bench.
This one is bit odd, as I started separating pieces from the sprues the moment I set the camera aside. I knew it should take me a minimal time to build the little tank and deliver a hopefully useful review to Armorama, who kindly supplied the kit.
Alright, so kits of various Pz Kpfw III “marks” have been around for quite some time, including several versions by Revell, whose releases were (and still are) regarded as the finest depictions of the tank in the scale.
As the Revell kits have gradually became less and less available, Dragon have stepped up with a new-tool Ausf. L (the subject here), M and the N infantry support tank with the 75mm gun, fitted to early marks of the Pz. IV. As you’d gather DML would milk the molds as much as it can, hence the commonality.
Since I needed decals in order to complete the model I had to raid the kit collection and source some. The victims were an Italeri M113 and a Revell (Matchbox) M40 SPG. I also used the lettering from their sheets to make up a code for a 5-16th Artillery machine (but sans the yellow weight class sign). Mr. Decal Softer helped the markings get grip and conform to the model surfaces.
The decals were sealed, and I used minimal amount of pigments to add to the dusty appearance. Diluted H2Oils (Burnt Umber and Paynes Grey) were used to simulate the leaks. Mixed with some dry pigments they helped create the mud buildup on the front upper sheet.
Alright – so why do I keep labeling articles using the full kit name and number? Because most companies “milk” their designs and have multiple releases using the same basic kit (or some of it). OKB Grigorov has already released the A1 and A2 versions of the M109, kits No 72004 and 72005, respectively.
Back to our initial SPH variant.
What’s the first thing we usually do? Dry fit major components so we’re able to judge size and get motivated by the upcoming result! I sanded the turret base and the hull recess that is intended to accept it a bit. The model is pretty small, yet rather heavy for its size.
Alright, another resin + PE monster from OKB Grigorov, and despite it’s lower Cat. No. (the AT-T was 72007) I got it in the beginning of this year to build for a review.
I must say I liked the kit from first sight. Relatively small number of parts that will make for a detailed, compact model of a vehicle that has a bunch of modifications still in use today, 50 years after its introduction.
So – onto the kit.
All the parts are packaged in zip-lock bags, all protected by bubble wrap and a sturdy white cardboard box. There are
I painted the entire composition with Revell enamels – 79 being the main color and 57 as well as mixes of the two used to vary the shades in different places. I also added the white rectangles on both the Horch and trailer fenders, but these almost disappeared under the dust I applied later.
Seats were brushed with Revell 381 and given a thin acrylic wash to accentuate the molded-on uneven surface (again a nice touch by Dragon). Tires were sprayed Revell 78 to simulate a bleached/dusty effect, and then added to the vehicle body and the trailer. The exhaust pipes and muffler were basecoated with Revell 37 to simulate rust and glued on the vehicle. I then proceeded to add some metal chips by drybrushing Tamiya’s X11.
Since I got the kit to build as a reviewer for Armorama I started almost immediately after taking the pics. Here’s how the build went through.
I started by adding the lower engine compartment/radiator face and the firewall to the vehicle body.
Other than filling the seam line in the front wheel arches these fit fine.
Next step was the suspension. After carefully studying reference images I glued parts B9 and B10 first, and then proceeded to add the suspension arms.
Please note that all 4 parts are labeled B7, but the parts intended for the rear axle have an extra pair of locating pins. With these fixed I glued the 8 springs (parts B8) to parts B10 and B11. So far fit has been very good. I cut off the representation of the rubber mudguards and replaced them with thick aluminum foil.