by: Mark [ ]
The Panzer III Ausf. N (Sd.Kfz. 141/2 ) was the last variant in the Panzer III family to be built. It used leftover 75mm KwK 37 L/24 low velocity guns from upgraded or modified Panzer IV’s. They were built for infantry support from Ausf. J/L/M chassis’. So, there are variations you will find in pictures of this version on-line and in reference material, depending which chassis was used. A total of 614 were produced from 1942-43.
What’s in the Box
This kit is from Tamiya and released in 2008. It is a modified version of their Ausf. L kit (35215). In fact, all but one of the sprues is identified as being from the Ausf. L kit. Only sprue F is new for this kit. You can actually build the Ausf. L with this kit, if so desired. So, really it should be identified as a “2 in 1” kit. The PE fret was originally released as a separate upgrade part (35199). The metal barrel is not a complete barrel, only the tip. The rifling is a bit oversized, but adds a nice touch. It looks to have come from the Tamiya Stug III Ausf. B kit (35281). What’s in the box:
6 sprues molded in beige
Lower Hull molded in beige
1 PE Fret
1 Metal barrel
1 Rubber-band tracks
1 Decal sheet
1 10 page Instruction manual
1 4 Page Painting Guide
Looking at the Kit
The quality of the styrene is what we expect from Tamiya. There is little or no flash on any of the parts. Any ejector pin marks are located such that they shouldn’t be seen once built. A total of 27 parts are listed as not being used. The instructions are the standard Tamiya format, consisting of 10 pages of line drawings. Assembly is broken down into 21 steps.
Before building the kit, you will need to choose which of the three versions (A, B, or C) you will build. As there are parts specific to the version you select.
Step 1 begins with the installation of the suspension arms, six per side. You just need to make sure that they are all level so the hull sits square. Next you complete the suspension, add the return rollers, and the drive sprocket covers. Don’t forget to install the poly caps with the drive cover. Parts D28 & D29 are called out as only applicable for version C. The escape hatches were removed during Ausf. L production.
Step 2 adds the final drive covers; don’t forget to add the polycap first. The shock absorbers and return rollers are added next. Finally the hull rear plate is installed.
Step 3 installs the rear tow hooks, muffler, and radiator (?) outlet. The large PE grill is also added in this step.
Step 4 assembles all the road wheels, idler wheels, and drive sprockets. The road wheels are one piece. Therefore, you will need to paint the rubber using your preferred method.
Step 5 installs all the running gear and the spare track links on the front of the hull.
Step 6 begins the Upper Hull assembly. First, you need to drill two 1mm holes from the underside. Then all of the hatches, hull side panels, and radiator outlets are added. The PE grills are installed as well.
Step 7 Continuing with the upper hull, the front glacis plate is installed. The ball MG is only the barrel. If desired, you will need to drill it out to make it look more realistic. The front brake cooling ducts are installed. Left fender supports and spare road wheel mounts are added. The armored covers are added to the engine hatches. Finally, the S-hooks and breaker bar are installed.
Step 8 assembles the front spaced armor as well as the jack.
Step 9 adds the spaced armor from step 8. You finish this step with the right fender supports and the tooling.
Step 10 assembles the antenna case, Notek light, and headlights.
Step 11 installs everything from step 10, plus the tool box, jack block, and rear convoy light. The spare road wheels are assembled and installed.
Step 12 adds the right fender tool box, antenna base, antenna case and tow ropes. Finally, the inverted V-deflector (D27) is only installed for version A & B. This was phased-out of production starting in June 1942. If you are not installing D27, then do not forget to remove the mounting pins on the top of the hull. You will need to drill out two holes, from the underside, if installing the cleaning rods (F23).
Step 13 adds the rubber band tracks. These can be glued using your normal cement. Finish this step by attaching the upper hull to the lower hull.
Step 14 covers the mantlet and the barrel. You need to select part F3 or F4 depending which version you are building. The armored co-ax MG is the external portion only. No interior details are included.
Step 15 deals with the main gun and assembly. The interior lacks any level of detail. The gun is designed to elevate up and down. Care needs to be taken with gluing parts C5 and the mantlet.
Step 16 assembles the main gun with the turret top and bottom.
Step 17 adds the smoke dischargers, if you are building version A. If building versions B or C, then skip this step.
Step 18 through 20 completes all of the external parts for the turret.
Step 21 completes the assembly by installing the turret to the chassis. Three different figures are included. Select the one called-out for the version you are building. In addition, the extra spare track links can be added, if you desire.
Version A is for the two Russian Front options. Versions B and C are specific for the Tunisia option (DAK uniforms) as they are the same figure with only minor differences. Figure version B has the radio headset; while version C holds a flare gun.
Decals – Options are provided for three different vehicles:
1st Company, sPzAbt 502, Leningrad, Winter 1942-3
8th Panzer Regiment, 15th Panzer Division, Tunisia 1943
11th Panzer Regiment, 6th Panzer Division, Kursk, 1943