Hat have released the second version of the PzIII, this time the ausf J with the L/60 50mm KwK 39. Moulded in a light tan colour instead of the Panzer grey of the Aus G, this eases painting as most would have been Dark Yellow in base colour anyway. The Ausf J was introduced after the H incorporating all the improvements in the G and H into one hull, this meant that production of the H was only small as more J's were ordered.
The kit is broken down the same as the Ausf G, the hull is the same as used in the G and there lies the problem, the G had the two piece transmission access hatches which were replaced by a one piece cover in the J the tow shackles and lights also need to be changed. The air intakes on the rear access hatches are supplied as separate pieces. The kit has anew set of tracks with the later sprocket and idler, there is also a turret bin mounted although this is not solely used on the J and above as earlier marks had the retro fitted during workshop upgrades.The only thing missing and I am not sure why as the turret side hatches are separate, are the hull escape hatches, these could have been done the same way as the turret hatches without too much trouble.
The other problem with the kit is the drivers Glacis plate or rather the MG mount, the J introduces a different ball type of mount as shown below.
This vehicle also has the shorter 50mm gun used in both the G and the H
Despite the problems it is still a nice kit and by combining both parts from the G and the J it should be possible to make most of the subtle variation within these mks. It is a shame that I didn't buy more of the Stug Gs and PzIIIs from Revell when the local hobby store were selling them off cheap, they would come in handy now, still I think that I have enough spare parts to make at least one of each into a detailed model
Thank you very much to HäT for providing the review kit