Tamiya 1/48 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf.B (Sd.Kfz.142)
Well, I have just finished this Tamiya 1/48 Sturmgeschutz III. Although there might be a few armor model kits within the 1/48 scale. Tamiya is taking this scale more seriously and bringing out popular WWII armor subjects. When I started modeling back in the eighties, everything was 1/35 Armor. I was the old Italeri-Testors kits found at local pharmacies in Puerto Rico (if you were lucky enough to find them). Boy, if model kits were scarce, even harder to find was the proper camouflage paint colors. Using the circa Testors square glass bottle, I had to play alchemist with what was available. My best efforts couldn’t bring my model close to those pictured on the bright yellow Testor’s box. Out of frustration for the lack of supplies, my great interest in building 1/35 scale armor disappeared.
Germany’s versatile Stug III was originally designed as an assault weapon, however also came to be used as a weapon of defense as the war progressed, providing both assault gun and anti-tank support. Based on the durable Panzer III chassis, the Stug III featured a monoblock structure with an L24 75mm short barreled gun mounted directly to the hull, eliminating the revolving turret and reducing overall height.
The Ausf. B was the first truly mass produced Stug III with 250 produced from June 1940. Featuring wide tracks and powered by a 230hp Maybach HL 120 TRM engine the Ausf. B boasted a top speed of 40km/h. The Ausf. B saw action during the Balakans campaign in April 1941 and Operation Barbarossa in June, 1941. The simple construction leading to low costs and easy mass production made the Stug III one of Germany’s most produced armored vehicles with over 10,000 produced.
Can’t start talking about the kit without mentioning the nice box art on a glossy stock. This one is a keeper and will be framed to display it along others I have. The Tamiya 1:48 Sturmgeschutz III comes in 3 crispy, flash-less, sprues molded in dark gray -almost as Tamiya XF-63 German Gray-, a small bag with 2 metal screws, 4 poly caps, a pre-primed die-cast chassis and a decal set with markings for 3 versions.The kit features a nice die cast chassis which adds some mass and weight to it with ‘built-in’ suspension. It also features styrene molded tracks which has the natural ‘sag’ of the tracks already shaped.
A word of advice, I started the threads assembly from rear. NOT recommended! A few mm wrong on the backside can become a nuance when you reach the main propulsion sprocket. I did learned the hard way. This kit features some moulded on tools which in my opinion are fine as long as you paint them very careful.
Once painted, it will be hard to say they are separate. I will call this tank due to the low volume of parts and ease of build, a weekend project. It took me just 2 days from removing the wrap to the finished photo session. Decals are very nice with a thin carrier film but strong enough to hold on to the more aggressive SOLVASET.