|The hybrid Panzer III N.|
After having a look in my cupboards I have found a wealth of 1:72 items. This was something of a boon and means I can assemble a new force at no extra cost! As my funds are pretty strained this is most welcome.
Included in this haul was a project started about two years ago, namely my hybrid Panzer III N. To make this little vehicle I used the turret from an Armourfast tank and the hull from one of the Italeri fast-builds.
|Panzer III L or M with "Winterkette"|
Both are fair kits but the Italeri version is superior. To make an "N" you have to mix and match. The turret from the Armourfast kit is correct for the vast majority of "N"s whereas the Italeri version sports the spaced turret armour that was very uncommon on this vehicle*. I may well compare the kits later - but I digress.
|Close ups of the WIP.|
Having added various parts to the turret (more still to come) and re-arming with a turned aluminium barrel - I moved on to the crewman. I wanted to show someone in a non-regulation garment (even more heavily padded than the regulation two-piece) as was commonly seen in the East. My quandary was and remains is he just too big for the tank! At the time I asked my most critical associate (Frau K) to look it over. She decreed that he looked about right and I duly secured him into the cupola with an epoxy putty blob. When asked yesterday, after a pause of two years, she thought he looked much too big!
|Another Panzer III in the Russian winter.|
I am hovering, at first sight he does appear too large but when viewing period photographs in less bulky uniforms the commanders do look to be of a comparable size. I can certainly remove the little fellow if need be but would obviously prefer not to do so as he is very well secured.
Constructive criticism would be welcomed before I complete the sculpting and spray the vehicle. I have included, for comparison, a couple of shots showing "winterised" tanks complete with commanders. For the record the Panzer III was approximately 8' or 2.5 metres high.
Fingers crossed I will get away with this...
*I say uncommon as somewhere I have a photograph of a III N with spaced turret armour. Accepted wisdom says this was never done but in at least one case an L/24 75mm and extra armour were combined!