The article picture is…48th scale StuG III. Can you believe that!?!? Two words – Michael Rinaldi…
…talking about different /smaller/ scales we have few options when it comes down to armor. It was once considered that 1/100 is an option for that, but nowadays no company which consider themselves a serious game player does not make those for armor. So except for 35th which is pretty much the standard, we have two more. 48th and 72nd.
Now, as I promised I will mention only kits worth buying and those suitable for The Barkas Build, but I really do hope that these articles will help other modelers /not participating/ as well. So here, again /!!!/ we have two main players. Tamiya and Dragon. But there is one difference. They do not compete because they offer kits in different scales this time. In other words – each of them is king in its class.
Let’s start with 48th scale following the path down from 35th. 48th scale is very popular in Japan, especially due to the fact that it is well suited for diorama mix in between aircraft and armor vehicles. Tamiya have small in numbers but with amazing quality series of vehicles in that scale, sometimes even better than the ones in 35th released from other companies. But for The Barkas Build we are talking Panzer III and StuG III in particular so we will focus onto those. And yes, Tamiya have them. And they are extremely nice and worth the money – and by money I mean not much! Japanese manufacturer have two Panzer IIIs – Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. L – Sd.Kfz. 141/1 #32524 issued in 2006 and Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. N – Sd.Kfz. 141/2 #32543 released the following year – 2007.
Interesting to mention with those two is the die-cast lower part of the superstructure, made for balance and adequate position while resting at the bench. They are light because they are small, in case you wonder why. Both kits represents a bit different vehicle variant, but are based on the same thing Panzer III. Once build they are cute, do not take too much space and they are very accurate and competitive with 35th scale as well. Yes, the details are a bit chunky compared to the larger ones, but this is scale modeling not a engineering contest after all. Both of those kits are very highly recommended. Nothing bad to say about them honestly!
After those two, in 48th Tamiya hits hard with their StuGs. This time we have three options. First one is Tamiya 32507 Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. B (Sd.Kfz. 142) released in 2004. This is the best of the StuGs in 48th if you ask me. It has a large decal sheet and all the accurateness of the vehicle possible in that scale. Shake-and-Bake kit, suitable for every modeler, Tamiya does not disappoints with it. Lower part – again die-casted and for the same reasons as the above.
Then in 2006, Tamiya released two more, both Ausf.G – and both of them state of the art of scale modeling. The first option is Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G Sd. Kfz. 142/1 #32525 and it is a winter camouflaged option of the famous vehicle. I believe that winter camo is always nice to be applied because of the endless weathering options aftterwards. But it works with all the kits available anyhow, its not only because of the boxart. On the other hand, if you decide that you want something slightly different /Early version/ you might want to try and go with the other one: Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G #32540
Here it might come down to which one you would like more or even which boxart catches your eye. But whichever you decide to go with, you will be spot on. They does not seem promising when you see the size of the box, but they are, trust me! And since Tamiya pull it off here, I might add – this is it guys, 48th scale is done. If you want 48th scale Panzer III or StuG III for The Barkas Build, this is what you will go for. Period.
Now let’s shrink things even more. Go to good ol’ fashioned 72nd scale. Again, suitable for dioramas, and even crowded ones this time. I never believed that a tank might worth something in that scale, but Dragon proved me wrong with their Armor Pro series. No real competition here, so I will just list the options:
Same goes for StuGs. Cheap, accurate /according to the scale of course/ with good fit and not a great need of any aftermarket. We have only three options here which is a bit worse compared to the bigger diversity we get with standard Pz.Kpwf.III in 72nd, but I believe they are just enough. Actually the options are two in terms of versions, because Ausf.G appears twice but one of them have schurzen, the other doesn’t. And the third of course is StuH.
Concluding everything, in 48th scale the player is Tamiya, in 72nd is Dragon. And I am mentioning all those because they are all worth it. So in case you are wondering which, go for the boxart or for the type that fit your preferences best. Also, I deliberately missed to mention Revell in 72nd scale, which makes some options. But honestly, I haven’t had one before and what I found was somewhat controversial as quality description. So I decided to sick to the well known and most used brands, because for those I can pretty much guarantee that the quality is nice.
In other words, if you are entering The Barkas Build with smaller scale vehicle – 48th or 72nd, and you are still wondering what to get, take another look on the written above. They are all there!
Proving my words of quality is the art that Michael Rinaldi does in plastic. Check out his 48th and 72nd built kits here: