Das Werk 16002 1/16 Panzer III Ausf. J

This is Desk Werk’s second 1/16 scale tank.

And this is Panzer III which is an odd ball. Panzer III and IV are almost identical at the first glance, but Panzer IV is slightly bigger. Having a bigger chassis, thus a bigger turret ring, meant Panzer 4 is able to mount a bigger gun.

During the world war these tanks were heavily utilized, having a bigger gun was crucial. Therefore, Panzer IV became the main tank for the Germans while Panzer III was largely forgotten or became an infantry support tank.

Now, I already own a 1/16 scale Panzer IV by Trumpeter. Thus, I didn’t really have a reason to purchase this kit…. except for a fact that I dislike Trumpeter Panzer IV. It is too … static. It has got no suspension. Wheels don’t rotate, and I had to drill holes manually to make hatches articulate.

Having experienced what they’ve done with 16001, AKA Stug III, I felt I should give this a shot and very likely replace my Panzer IV since both tanks are very similar on surface.

Besides, it is cheap enough. It cost me 129 USD on a sale.

Now, I can see why they released Panzer 3 after releasing Stug III. Both share the same lower hull, meaning they didn’t have to work as much to produce another SKU. More SKU equals more income in general.

This package was also ordered from USA and it also took 2 ducking months to arrive. I guess it is norm now. USPS has officially degraded. I am going to try avoiding buying anything from USA from this point on. Ordering from Japan arrives faster at the same cost. Duck me. We live in a weird world.

Anyhow, the build progress is going to be fairly identical to the Stug III tank build. About 2/3 will be exactly identical, so I am going to skip some repeated content.

There are two aluminum barrels. A short one and the other is a longer one. I will probably go with the shorter one simply because all other 1/16 scale tanks I’ve build had long-ass barrels. Time to try something different for a change.

I thought the lower hull would be exactly identical. It’s not. Well, it’s almost identical, but Panzer 3’s lower hull appears to have a service hatch on both sides. They are clearly meant to articulate, but I’ve glued them shut because I don’t feel they would be used anyway and I don’t want it to dangle in and out while handing the tank.

I generally do not like having too many stuff on the hull, so I will avoid attaching things if I could.

Now, the barrel choice. I realize I’ve stated that I’d go for the shorter one. However, upon actually trying out the barrels, I’ve chosen the longer one. The short barrel is really short, and the longer barrel isn’t even that long, either. I feel the longer barrel gives a balanced look.

As you can see, the longer barrel isn’t even that long. I’d say the length is just about perfect, so I am going with the longer version.

Meanwhile, this kit gives options for a lot of parts. You are given at least two options for most parts. I’ve generally chosen one with a cleaner look.

This build has taken only 3 days (5 hours each). This is partially due to a fact that I avoided several parts where the manual told me to attach things but I didn’t. Additionally, I’ve already built a very similar model before, so I was already quite familiar with parts.

Closing gaps is one of final touches. I am using acrylic paste which cures to a rubber like substance.

As for painting, I am going to go with dark gray or medium gray. It has different names but it’s overall dark blue-ish color.

Because the primary color is going to be already dark, I am going to skip priming. In fact, I am going to spray-paint this and then apply weathering on top of the primary coat. For darker colors, this is a better way.

For lighter colors, I’d do weathering first and then apply main coat.

Now, I will airbursh medium gray over this, painting loosely over the weathering effects to make it look real.

The front half turned out okay, including the turret but the backend is a bit of meh.

Either way, I feel this is done better than how my Panzer 4 turned out to be. A lot less pain as well to boot. Size wise, Panzer 4 is just a tad bit bigger. It’s hard to believe that this small of a difference made such a big difference in the actual war.

Historically, Panzer 3 could never mount a 7.5cm KwK 40 like Panzer 4. All it could mount was a 7.5m KwK 37 which was, while sounds impressive, merely an infantry support gun.

On these models, Panzer 3 is mounting a 5cm KwK 39 and Panzer 4 is mounting a 7.5 KwK 40.

Regardless, both look similar enough to bare eyes, and I am going to replace Panzer 4 with Panzer 3 simply because it is better built (kit wise) and its paint job is also superior.
Panzer 4 is spotting no weathering. I wasn’t weathering 1/16 scale tanks when I was building the Panzer 4. So, that’s that. I could attempt to weather Panzer 4 now though. Well, we will see.

See you next Sunday.

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