Build review: Dragon 6860 StuG.III Ausf.A MICHAEL WITTMANN, ‘LAH’ (BARBAROSSA 1941)

I got this kit as a surprise due to a seller error. The kit’s code is one off from the Stuka zu Fuss I was trying to buy and the seller sent the wrong kit; we had an arrangement to fix the deal and I got this kit for about $23, which wasn’t bad. The Wittman name certainly give the kit some appeal. Here is the offical Dragon entry for the kit. This is a relatively new kit (Feb 2017) but it seems aside from the PE fret there wasn’t any new sprues! 

Since I’ve built a 6792 Panerbeobachtungwagen which is based on the Panzer III chassis, I thought I’d have a better time building this guy and I wasn’t wrong. Steps 1-3 follows similar procedures, except in step 2 you need to cut 4 R35 rivets to naul to the hull and they’re on the R sprue’s back which was hard to find. I recommend leaving off A5/A21/A23 until you fit the upper hull, I find they don’t fit as expected. More on that later.

In step 6 it was tricky how B30 and B29 fit together, I think it’d help if you glue B25 or 26 first to B30, then it’d be more obvious where B29 goes. They have these tiny chains you hang onto B29. I dn’t know where the ends of the chain goes so I just improvised. As with the 6792 kit I could not get V35 to fit, so I had to sand off some nubs. The diagram showing V41 attaching to the hull is missing the whole B29 assembly, not a big deal. 

For step 7 they’re showing D1 the right platform. It has these “arms” extending. First the one near the end of the vehicle is actually not on D1, yowsers. The “stepped” one near the front, after fitting problems at the end, I think they should be cut off, because it simply is in the way between the upper and lower hull. The esame is true for the left platform in step 8.

In step 9, you can choose to have the vision port on C18 to be opened or closed according to how you position G13. I chose open. The machine gun assembly for A27 was very difficult, especially when it’s not clear how MA12 was supposed to fit. In retrospect perhaps I should just use masking tape to simulate the belt. 

In step 10 I was confused what they wanted you to do with R2, but after looking at R24 I realized they wanted you to get the base of the antenna from R2. It’s a bit tricky to do this without damaging the base, so use caution. 

In step 11 you build the roof. You have some choices there such as Q14 or 16, the main difference being one molded shut and the other option works with the hinges to give you open tops. From that point on you build the interior of the StuG, it looks pretty decent but you may need to have a complete open top to appreciate the details here. 

Step 18 is the final fitting. It is quite tricky to figure out how the side skirts are supposed to go on the hull, especially with the platform protrusions take made it difficult to fit. I suggest fitting D7 first onto the lower hull, and proceed tto fit D1 and D18. D7 has a couple of tabs on the side that’d help you decide where the side platforms should go. If you’re doing right V57 should be snap fit. Now in step 18’s top diagram it shows you haow A5 was supposed to fit – the trouble for me is I couldn’t get them to do that especially for the right side platform, as the offset was too much.

I had to sand off quite a bit of A5 to get the platforms to sit properly. Finally the MA5 and 6 fits on top of the tow eyes, this was much easier than the equivalent in kit 6792. There was a bit of mystery where the box art shows couple of A25/26 hooks on the hull. Kit 6792 has those, but instructions didn’t call for them. After looking through some StuG As it looks like it was the box art that drew something extra that wasn’t supposed to be there.

All in all this took about a day and bits. Quite fast a kit to build but quite a bit of confusions as well. 

 

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