(UM) of Ukraine produces several versions of the Sturmgeschütz
III (i.e. Ausf. E, F, F/8, G – early and late – StuIG
33 and Flamethrower). These kits are sharing four out of the five
sprues, while the fifth one bears the parts necessary for the specific
version. That means that the modeler will end with a lot of spare
parts, as well as that most of the following comments are applicable
to all Sturmgeschütz III kits produced by UM.
we start, some notes:
am not an expert in German armor, so I compared this kit mainly
with Revell’s StuG 40 (kit nr.03132). Other sources that I
have used are mentioned at the end of this preview.
kits are modular, so the Sturmgeschütz shares many parts with
their Pz.Kpfw. III offerings. This means that this review is necessarily
quite similar in many points, with the review I did for their Pz.Kpfw.
III Ausf. H.
have to apologize for the quality of the photographs (here in Greece,
I am considered the champion of bad photographers). The pictures
used here come from Henk
of Holland’s site, used with permission.
is in the box?
The flip-top box has the artwork of a Dunkelgrau painted vehicle on
top, while on its back there are drawings of one (generic) vehicle
also in Dunkelgrau. A hard carton inside the box, secures its structural
integrity. The kit consists of five sprues with a total of 214 parts
and a small photo-etched fret. Out this lot, 175 parts will be used
for an Ausf. F/8, while the rest belong to those other versions of
Sturmgeschütz III the company produces. All five sprues are packed
in a cellophane bag. In a zip lock bag there is the photo-etched fret
and the decal sheet. Sprues “A” (there are two of them)
and “B” are the same ones provided with all Pz.Kpfw. III
based vehicles the company produces. I suppose that this is the reason
that there is (in my sample at least), some excess plastic in places
(but nothing serious). Sprue “C” is the standard sprue
for all UM’s Sturmgeschütze, while sprue “D”
is unique in this kit and contains the parts that differentiate the
Ausf. F/8, from other StuG versions. This arrangement means that you
will end with a lot of spare parts.
Compared with the above mentioned Revell kit, the UM offering is on
par with it. If there is any size difference this is not noticeable
with the bare eye, so I assume that this kit is rather correct in
scale. George Bradford’s Book has not any entry for the Ausf.
F/8, so I compared it with the Ausf. G and it is spot on (the kit
is around 0,6 mm narrower compared with the plans).
hull and suspension
The lower hull is well made and with enough detail on the bottom.
The wheels are also well made and in scale. There are two problems,
though, that will embarrass the builder: First, the wheels do not
have the usual (and rational) arrangement of “peg and hole”,
but there are holes in both the inner and outer ones. The pegs in
the sides of the hull are shorter than they had to be to accommodate
both wheels. This makes the alignment of the wheels fairly difficult
and affects the stability of the construction. The return rollers
have a “peg and peg” arrangement, but unlike the road
wheels, this is a minor issue. Second, the lower hull does not have
any guides to be glued with the hull’s sides, rendering the
alignment and stability dubious as well. As of detail, the shock absorbers
are provided separately and are well made. The first of the return
rollers is provided with a separate base, to correspond with the torsion
bar suspension. The idlers are beautifully done and correct in size.
With the sprocket there is a problem. Correct in shape and size, they
are attached to the sprue in four points, while the sprue itself runs
on the sprocket. This means that it is almost impossible to get the
sprockets out of the sprue, without damaging them. In the rear of
the lower hull, there are the exhausts (using a saw is highly recommended
here). Holes have to be drilled in order to attach them to the rear
plate. The exhausts themselves are well done. Not surprisingly, they
are not drilled at their end, but unlike the Revell StuG, their relevant
thickness allows easy drilling. The intake mesh is provided in photo
etch and is superb. Four pieces are provided for the rear towing shackles.
Two pieces are provided for the side protectors of the exhaust and
one more for the deflector (the latter is rather on the thick side,
thus it will need some serious sanding to come in scale). Under the
back plate, the smoke candles are provided (a detail that most companies
hull and superstructure
There is a lot of well defined detail in this part. The brake access
doors are provided separately and they are correct for the type. The
bolted appliqué armor (many vehicles had welded pieces here,
so some research is necessary), is provided in two pieces with nice
detail. The (separate) fenders have no anti-slip surface. There are
two pieces to be attached in the lower hull’s corners to provide
the hull’s drilled extensions. The rear convoy light, the horn,
the Notek light and the headlights are provided separately too. There
is a catch though: Again there is no “peg and hole” arrangement,
thus it is fairly easy to lose these parts during the construction.
At the engine’s deck, there are five rectangular openings, to
accommodate the engine’s armored covers. The air intake meshes,
are provided in photo etched and are superb. The final end of the
upper hull is provided as a separate piece and includes the starter
crank’s hole cover. Two guns are provided: a Stuk 40 (75mm,
L/48) and a Stuh 42 (105mm howitzer, L/28), the latter as option for
one of the earliest Sturmhaubitze, that were based on the Ausf. F/8
chassis (no decals for such a vehicle are provided though). I didn’t
like both these guns and I think that is better to if they are replaced
by aftermarket barrels. The arrangement chosen by the company for
assembling the gun’s cradle (that includes also the gunner’s
sight), although very detailed (despite almost nothing will be visible
in the finished model), requires a lot of effort for the proper alignment
of this specific sub-assembly. The (well detailed) superstructure
piece has all hatches closed. The fan’s cover is provided in
photo etch. The side visor for the driver is also provided as a separate
piece, but there is no mark to indicate its exact position. All tools
are separate parts and are well made.
These are from polystyrene of the link and length type. Their overall
detail is good. Compared with the Revell ones, though, the links are
slightly bigger. Five to six links will remain as spares and these,
along with a small length provided, can be used to represent the spare
tracks for the front armor. Three more track lengths are provided
for extra armor.
As already stated, a small photo-etched fret is provided. This contains
the side and rear air intake grills, the fan’s cover, five lifting
hooks, the aiming wheel for the gun. Also included is a part to make
a (non standard) rear frame to secure stowage and/or spare tracks.
All parts are superb, although because of the lack of volume of the
lifting hooks, I think it is better to be replaced by thin copper
The four page instruction sheet is of the blown diagram type with
22 sub-assembly steps. On the front page there is a brief history
and data section, as well as a diagram of the contents. The fourth
page has three view diagrams, as well as decaling and painting instructions
for ten vehicles. Humbrol codes are suggested for painting.
The well registered sheet contains decals for ten vehicles. Four of
them for Dunkelgrau painted vehicles and the rest in Desert Yellow.
While only one option suggests for a vehicle operated in North Africa
(serving under 10th Panzer Division in Tunisia), several StuGs that
initially were destined for Africa, were re-directed to the Eastern
Front, thus I think that UM’s suggestion is correct.
As the earlier rear plate, the front towing shackles, and optional
pieces for the earlier front lower hull are provided, it will be fairly
easy to make an Ausf. F from this kit, although UM offers this version
too (kit Nr. #279). You will only need the earlier headlights and
perhaps a L/43 gun (as several Ausf. Fs were armed with the L/48 gun).
Also there are the later type (all metal) return rollers, so Revell’s
main error can be corrected.
This is a rather over engineered kit and thus it is not recommended
for beginners. On the other hand, it is dimensionally correct, has
a lot of detail and provides a host of spare parts. A modeler with
average experience will have no problem to create a beautiful and
correct presentation model. Furthermore, as far as I know, this is
the only F/8, available in plastic.
model was bought be myself.
• Achtung Panzer # 5
• Peco Books # 2, 4, 8, 13 and 20, by Matyas Panczel
• Squadron Signal # 14, by Bruce Culver
• Tankograd # 4007, by Joshen Vollert
• Waffen-Arsenal #176, by Wolfgang Fleischer
can be purchased from