First to Fight: PL1939-014
Preview by Peter Van Kempen - P.Kempen5(at)chello(dot)nl
Edited by Rob Haelterman
Right picture taken from Henk of Holland website, used with permission.
two quickbuild Panzers, Panzer III Ausf. E number PL 1939-014 by
First to Fight, and Panzer III Ausf. G 5cm (DAK), number PS 720016
by S-Model are available for some time now.
the S Models Kit from our well-known website friend Henk Timmerman,
one of the second sets of his collection of S-Model kits; hence
I do not have a boxart to show. (Ed. Note: we took the boxart
site.) I’ve used a picture of the boxtop in the background
showing you one of each sprue that you get twice in every S Model
box. The S Model kits are more extensive as you get PE detail, transfers
and a separate sprue with spare wheels and some other details, not
included on the main sprue. Both companies represent the early version
of the suspension (drive sprocket and idler) and their engineering
and quality is almost the same, and very well done. The outside
of the tracks are wanting, and the holes need to be drilled out,
but as the horns are represented and the wheels are very well detailed,
this can be overcome in a diorama setting. Those of you who want
it perfect can take off the tracks, divide the idler and drive wheels
and reconstruct them with borrowed tracks from other kits. I had
a look at my spares box and believe even road wheels from other
kits could be used. The supplied road wheels are 7 mm diameter both
for FtF and S Model. I measured some others in 1/72 like Esci (those
are 7.5 mm and the largest around), Revell (7.3 mm), 1/76 kits as
Nitto (7.0 mm) and Matchbox and Airfix (6.8 and 6.9 mms respectively).
It should not hurt the eye in my opinion, so you can create your
own details using the very well depicted old drive sprockets and
idlers of both kits for early type Pz.Kpfw. III’s, if you
want. The most fortunate or laziest can use the old idler type as
supplied in the Trumpeter Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B that has
also the newer idlers, which were also used for the type, included
in the box.
The engine deck details are, in my humble opinion, very well rendered in the FtF version, nicely depicting the flat deck and the panels in early configuration, with a sloping rear over the radiator covers. In turn, the S Model deck has molded on ventilation covers over three motor covers and elevated ventilation flaps as supplied over the radiator covers in the tropical Pz.Kpfw. III version it depicts.
width of the vehicle was measured over the side mudguards/fenders
and given as 2.9 meters in several sources. The basic dimensions
did not change much in the series. Inclusion of the overhanging
gun and exhaust muffler housing makes it difficult to find a clean
base on the parts to judge the length, scale wise. Finally, I recalculated
the length of the side fenders/mudguards over the tracks and that
gave me a total length of 5.38 meters to check on scale. It might
not represent the actual vehicle length so bear with me; it’s
an indication only!
I am looking forward to assembling these for my own collection, and believe they are the better deal to get an early type Pz.Kpfw. III on display, compared to the expensive Dragon kits around. As to their quality, they are above the wargames versions and deserve more support from the Braille scale community than they get now.
Both were bought by me for my own collection and are herewith highly recommended!
Robert Kru adds: There are some inaccuracies in the S Model kit: it has the driver's visor and cover for the starter crank at the back from an Ausf. E/F.