|Sturminfanteriegeschütz 33||by Doug Chaltry|
|A Comparative Kit Review|
|StuIG 33 Accessories|
|At the time of this writing, there are no accessory sets specifically designed for any of the available StuIG 33 kits, although both PART and Extratech have been known to make sets for Attack kits, so perhaps we'll see something for that model in the future. But since the StuIG 33 was built on the chassis of the Stug III, which in turn, was based on the Panzer III, there are several detail and accessory sets designed for models of those vehicles that may be of some use to us.|
|PART makes two sets for
the Panzer III Ausf. M, and two sets for the Stug III
(40) Ausf. G, both by Revell. One of each of these sets
is replacement fenders, and the other, a general detail
set for the appropriate vehicle. The fender sets may be
very useful in replacing the fenders on those StuIG 33
kits that are based on the old ESCI Stug kit, which has
poor fenders. I have already begun this conversion with
the Rhino kit (with the PART Pz. III fenders), and it
appears that the operation will be a success; not only
fixing the incorrect length of the ESCI fenders, but also
taking care of the problem of having poorly defined
pioneer tools molded onto them.
The general detail sets may be of less use for our purposes, but there are several items, such as onboard equipment, tools, engine screens, etc., which may be of some use. PART also makes side armor plates for the Panzer III, but the StuIG 33 was never equipped with this feature.
One final item that PART markets which may interest some modelers is the set of etched tracks for the Panzer III. These are indeed wonderfully detailed tracks, which will look fabulous when built. If you are building a model with the ESCI kit providing the plastic components, you may want to get these tracks. They are less necessary for projects using the Revell Stug as a base model, unless you want to go that extra mile for the added realism.
|Extratech makes a resin
and brass engine compartment for the Revell Panzer III M.
Although the engine is for a late version of the Panzer
III, I suspect that it may be a simple matter to convert
it to an earlier version (though I have not confirmed
this). Since it is designed to fit the Revell kit, it
will likely be a simple fit into any of the StuIG 33
conversions designed for use with Revell kits.
Also recently released is a Panzer III driver's compartment in brass and resin. Again, although designed for a Panzer III, it may also be possible to adapt this set to the StuIG 33, if appropriate interior references can be located. Unfortunately, most of the kits in this review have solid bodies, so these sets may only be of value for the Attack kit.
|Two of Eduard's old and
now out-of-production sets were designed for the ESCI
Panzer III and Stug III kits. Though much of these small
sets are not appropriate for the StuIG 33, there are some
parts which may be used, such as lift hooks, front and
rear fender ends, and the mesh covering for the engine
Eduard now also makes a new Panzer III set designed for the Revell kit. Like the sets from PART, only some of the pieces could be used for the StuIG 33, including fender details and on-board equipment. And finally, Eduard also makes a set of etched tracks for the Panzer III. Although I have not seen these in hand, I imagine they would look very good.
|ARMO makes a turned aluminum gun barrel for the sIG 33 howitzer, originally designed for the Attack Grille kit, but it will also be quite useful for replacing the poor guns in some of the StuIG 33 kits reviewed here.|
|Aber also makes a turned aluminum gun barrel for the sIG 33 howitzer.|
|MR Models produces a set of equipment and tools for German tanks. Included are shovels, axes, wrenches, etc. This set would be perfectly appropriate for use with the StuIG 33.|
|Long out of production, VVV Models once made etched tracks for the Panzer III. The photo I've seen shows them to be far less detailed than the other sets currently available.|
|Decals and markings are going to be a problem with these kits. Only the Attack kit comes with correct decals (two options). The only aftermarket decals I am aware of with markings for the StuIG are the now out-of-production AFV-Decals sheet #7205, which includes a single set of markings for one of the StuIG 33s with the 23rd Panzer Division. There are several manufacturers who make German crosses as both waterslide decal and dry transfer, and there are a couple of manufacturers who make sheets of German Divisional Markings that include markings for the 23rd Panzer Division. If anybody knows of other manufacturers of appropriate markings, I would like to know about them.|
|Finally, there are a large number of available sets of various diorama accessories, such as fuel cans, stowage boxes, cans, rolls, etc., from several companies. All wartime photos I have seen of the StuIG show them heavily laden with stowage items, so many of these accessories will certainly come in handy for dioramas.|
|With nine different
kits or conversions for the StuIG 33, you would think
that at least one of them would be perfect, or close to
it, wouldn't you? Unfortunately that is not the case
The best resin kit is the Rhino Models complete kit, although it suffered from sub-par resin castings, and needs a lot of cleaning up. That kit is now out of production regardless.
The best plastic kit is from Attack. But it is a limited-run kit with soft details, and minor dimensional errors. A little bit of scratch-building and super-detailing, and you'll have an awesome model. The MW plastic kit, which is also limited-run, could also be made presentable with a little extra work and spare parts from other kits.
I feel that in order to build the most accurate and detailed StuIG possible, it would be best to use the Modell Trans conversion, and correct the engine deck to the early layout. I plan on doing this by kit-bashing it with the AMC conversion set because I already own that one too, but how many people would want to buy both of those conversions for just one model?
Believe it or not, the bottom line is that there is still room in the marketplace for a new, and accurate, StuIG 33 kit or conversion.