PIO Models

Munitionspanzer auf Fgst. StuG 40

Kit # 72039 Preview by Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail.com

As far as I know PIO is out of business. Which is a shame as they did some very nice and unique conversion sets. Their approach was to take a good Revell kit and throw in some resin or photo-etch parts to make the conversion. This is such an example, containing a complete Revell StuG 40 Ausf. G.

Technically, I have some misgivings about the MG shield. Revell has the later MG configuration and apparently this Munitionspanzer was based on an early G, thus necessitating a different MG shield which is given in PE. Unfortunately that would also require different hatches for the loader, opening front to back and supporting the MG shield when in firing position.
You can also see on the boxtop that there is no added armor for the commander's copula, again indicating an early vehicle. At the time of release of this kit, Revell's StuG made sense to base this conversion on, but today I would use the conversion parts on a Dragon early StuG. That would also mean you don't need the PE parts to replicate the bolted frontal armor, as it is included in that kit, as is the MG shield.
The only necessary parts thus remaining would be the blanking plate for the gun mount and the box on the rear, which are parts a modeler with some experience might be able to fabricate himself.

While I do not know why PIO went under, I believe the steep price asked for the kits might have been a factor. As you see from the boxtop this one sold for 13GBP. Knowing that the Revell StuG III Ausf. G contained within sells at about half that price you immediately realize that the small PE set, the two plastic rods and the single resin piece make for the other half. I believe that marketing the conversion parts separately might have been a better business model, especially with the Dragon kit around.

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Article Last Updated: 28 January 2009