We have looked through most of the production variants of the kits available for Panzer III and StuG III, now it is time to take a closer look at the pre-production vehicles, which were built in small numbers but still saw some service, even though limited one. Now, it is 2016 and modeling companies are competing like hell to give us more and various options to build. So every next month we have another kit of a vehicle which was rarely seen or was produced in 5 or 10 pieces. That is pretty much the case with Panzer III Ausf. A,B,C and D and StuG 0-series.
Lucky for us, we have them all available on the market, except for the StuG, which should be here anytime now. And as I’ve said before, here we will mention only kits which worth spending money for and those are all in! So let’s start as they started in the factory. With model A. Ten of those produced, sometime after 1936, 8 of which saw action in Poland. Weak 250Hp engine, odd suspension and overall not so effective. However when it comes down to kits, we have this:
It is Panzer III Ausf.A 35134 and you will probably be able to find it for a lot less on eBay. It is state of the art kit, 2015 tooling with all the bells and whistles. The tracks are individual links very very similar to Modelkasten tracks, which makes use of aftermarket ones unthinkable. The detail is superb and the suspension is insane! If you are a fan of the first version of the pre-production Panzer IIIs, this is the kit. I cannot compare it to the other three versions that MiniArt have released because it is very different conceptual in terms of suspension, but this kit is very nice and unique in its appearance. One of the best Panzer III of them all. Definitely worth getting that.
Next comes the three kits released from MiniArt. Panzer III Ausf. B #35162, Ausf.C #35166 and Ausf.D #35169. They are all very similar to one another, and they present us with cupola interior and perfect tracks, consistent of individual links with pins holding them together. The fit of this kit is great, and the detail is second to none. Down below you can see the video build of Ausf.D that I filmed. You will like it, and you’ll see that the kit worth the money. Whichever you decide to get they are amazing.
Panzer III Ausf.B was built in 10 examples, and they saw some action in Poland. For that kit /and other MiniArt versions too/ DN Models offers a mask set which is substitute for the decal options in the kit providing ease of use and higher realism alltogether. It is designed specifically for MiniArt kits, but it can be used with other companies’ Panzer III kits in case you find the markings on other vehicles. During The Barkas Build duration DN Models will offer 50% discount on Panzer III mask sets: Opt 1, Opt 2 and Opt 3 /see description down below./
They are available for each Miniart kit and based on the decals in each set. The other kits I recommend are Ausf.C which, in real life was built in 15 eamples and used again in Poland, and Ausf. D which was used in Norway and Poland and was build in most numbers of the pre-production Panzer IIIs – totaling 30 tanks. Both are based on the same Miniart model and they are nearly perfect. They lack some texture but it is nothing serious and nothing that you cannot fix by yourself.
I have to mention that they are not suitable for novice modelers and some of the ones you get from B and C versions might be made from the old plastic material that Miniart no longer use. If you want to wait a bit, in 2016 MiniArt will release three more: Panzer III Ausf. D-B #35213, Special Edition Ausf.B with Crew #35221 and Pz. BfWg. III Ausf. D1 #35223. The last one seems to be the one I will like most. But hang in there, once I get those kits I will add a review of them especially for The Barkas Build.
Last but not least I want to add another kit that is about to be presented to the modeling world, and this is StuG III 0-Series /zero series/ again from Miniart and based on those mentioned above. It is not out just yet, but anytime now, we will have it. Considering the quality of the Panzer III series from Miniart and the overall detail that they show us with their kits we might consider this a definite winner. And it is suitable for this build because Zero Series Stug is not available from any company out there. None. And this is what we have to work with. The good news are, the base is more than promising, and it will most likely the best one to get even if the competition issue some other toolings of StuG III initial version.
More information about it will be published here as soon as possible. The group build will continue throughout the rest of 2016, so there will be enough time if you want to use that particular one. This pretty much concludes what we have as a pre-production Panzer III tanks. They are mostly MiniArt, but this doesn’t mean that they are one and the same kit. Also with that Ausf.A from Bronco, the spectrum is wide enough for initial-panzer-3 lovers, and it will be very interesting if many of the modelers out there get into the build with some of those mentioned above.
If you still want something else, check out the other parts of the kits suitable for that build. All Panzer III or based upon it vehicles! And to get better idea what I was talking about above, take a look at the video below:
If you want to get 50% off of DN Models Panzer III for MiniArt sets, you have to send me a link to your entry video for the Group Build and request – which one of these three you might want to get. You can do it through the contact form of www.dnmodels.com or at email@example.com