1⁄35Building the Pzkpfw III Ausf E
IntroductionDragon’s venerable Imperial Series also has some interesting subjects to offer, among them in particular being the Pzkpw III series. Classed as an early war medium tank, the Ausf E represented the first production variant of this type. The base kit is #9040 and provides options and markings for vehicles serving in the Battle of France, the Balkans, and Greece. For this build I chose to represent a vehicle serving with the 2nd Panzer Division in Greece in 1941. In addition to the base kit, materials used for this build include a replacement 3.7cm turned aluminum barrel from Jordi Rubio, Armorscale MG34 brass barrel for the hull MG, and Aber engine deck screens to replace the kit supplied PE screens.
lower hull and suspensionThe parts sprues included in the box have a mixed heritage coming from various StuG and Panzer III kits as well as some that are specially provided for the E. As a result, there are a large number of parts marked as “Not for Use” as well as some duplication of many parts as a healthy spares bin contribution. The lower hull and suspension assemblies follow a standard pattern along with some surgical adjustments to move the first return roller to a parallel position instead of the pre-molded slightly lower position and to remove the molded starter crank cover with a correct replacement. Given the age of the kit the parts are well molded with one exception being the idler wheel halves which were molded slightly out of alignment, requiring some careful sanding and adjustment to be usable. Some careful sanding is also required to remove the molded in location outlines for the escape hatches and the instructions require filling of some unused holes near the 2nd fender support bracket. The return rollers and road wheels were assembled and temporarily secured with some poster blue-tack putty to be removed later for painting.
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