Dragon 1/35 Pz.Bef.Wg.III Ausf.J w/Schurzen
The Panzer III was a medium-class tank that, at the outbreak of WWII, was designed to be the primary platform of the all-conquering panzer divisions. However, with the advent of more heavily armored and up-gunned enemy tanks, the role of the Panzer III became secondary to that of the Panzer IV and production finally ceased in 1943. A number of specialized command tanks containing long-range radios were created based on standard gun tanks, and one of these was the Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf.J. As its name denotes, it was based on the Ausf.J chassis, of which 2,616 were built by German factories from March 1941 to July 1942.
Dragon’s new 1/35 scale kit of the Pz.Bef.Wg.III Ausf.J depicts a command tank fitted with a 5cm L/42 main armament. Whereas earlier Panzer III command tanks were fitted with dummy cannons, the Ausf.J retained its main cannon. This kit allows modelers to fill a gap in the Panzer III family tree, and it is produced to the very best engineering levels. Indeed, this is Dragon’s first Panzerbefehlswagen III built to the latest standards. While it does wisely utilize parts from recent Panzer III kits, it also features entirely unique components such as a rear-mounted star antenna and frontal armor without a bow MG fitted. Furthermore, true-to-scale Schürzen armor plates are installed on the hull sides. All in all, this kit forms an interesting and different Panzer III kit for modelers’ collections and dioramas.