Chassis usage variations and upgrades of Panzer III are what we are gonna focus on in this Part of The Barkas Build kit options. Here I am going to mention vehicles based on the same chassis, but not regular ones – rather rare or odd looking machines, and such with non-popular purposes. Of course, as in previous articles I am going to pick only the kits that worth your money and there are no better options for. At least at the moment when the article goes viral.
The Panzer III subject is very wide, and as you might expect there are quite some rather odd-looking engineering creations, and I am starting with something that is really cool and relatively popular: Sturminfanteriegeschütz 33 DML #6749. This kit is a refined version of Dragon 6713: s.IG.33 auf Fgst.Pz.Kpfw.III (Sfl.), with added interior for the fighting compartment and some minor differences. The only let down of #6749 are the DS tracks, but hey, there are no perfect things in life! Besides, there are some pictures of this fine looking beast with winterketten, so it is an opportunity in disguise. Similar vehicle is kit-bashed in Michael Rinaldi’s Tank Art 4 book and it is executed with excellent finesse in a winter camo scheme. It can serve as a starting point or only as an inspiration, but overall, this Sturm 33 option for The Barkas Build is one of the coolest deviations from the standard options. In my opinion, this is not only one of the best kits out there, but the subject itself is very attractive and weird.
Next, if you choose not to build this one up above, might be the Pz.Kpfw.III (Fl) Ausf.M w/Schurzen Dragon #6776. It is an updated version of Sd.Kfz. 141/3 Pz.Kpfw. III (Fl) Cyber Hobby #6616 but less pricey one, if you manage to find it on eBay of course. Here, DS tracks /again/ are a let down, but this is the new marketing strategy that DML feed us with. We gotta live with it. For those of you who doesn’t know what the difference is, the Flammpanzers are flame thrower tanks, which – as a weapon – is very cruel but in the same time extremely effective way of close combat. Against fortifications it is one of the most successful and it gained extreme popularity during WWII. So if you want to make something more flammable, this is the kit for you:
Another option, which I found to be the ugliest possible, is the future release of DML – Su-76i. It is not out yet, /April 2016/, but it is sure that it’ll be something, because it is based on Ausf.J #6394 which is “The Best” Pz.III to get. Su-76i is a vehicle based on captured Panzer III and StuG III, which Russians turned into one weird mod and even managed to produce around 200 from. I find it to be heresy in worst possible form, but what can you do, it is history. I assume though, that there will be some fans of it, so I suggest that as a good option to build an odd version of the Pz.Kpfw.III. And yeah – you gotta wait until probably mid of 2016 to get it, which will fit you in the Group Build time-frame of course.
The very last one that I will give you is Pz.Kpfw. III (3.7 cm) Ausf. F “Operation Seeloewe”. This is the hardest to be found, the most expensive, the rarest and the weirdest looking Panzerkampfwagen III version that we can get in plastic. It is Cyber Hobby #6717 or just #71 and it is 2012 tooling. It is also absolute one-of-a-kind kit, a “showstopper” and whatever you wanna call it. Nearly 900 parts, Magic Tracks, whatever you can think off. It is based on Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.F DML #6632 which is also one of the best Panzer III kits out there. But you WILL experience enormous troubles finding #71 from Cyber Hobby. And even if you do, you gotta spend a lot to get it.
And with it, that pretty much concludes the most interesting or weird-looking Panzer III versions in scale, which I consider worth spending money for. There are Vorpanzer or Tauchpanzer versions, FLAKs /which authenticity is doubtful/ and some others with different roles on the battlefield, but those above, are the creme de la creme! There are some resin conversion too, especially for recovery vehicles based on Panzer III, however they are not the subject in those articles per se. So if you are getting into The Barkas Build and you wanna be different, read the article again, you will find what you need up here! If not, check out the other parts with kits in different scales, StuGs or Standard Panzer IIIs, there will be something for everybody’s taste.
See ya in the next part!