Comparing Panzer IIIs: Dragon vs. Tamiya

Because the Panzer III is - beside the Stug III - one of my most favourite tank types of the WW II, I built two different types at the same time in my past tinkering phase: the Ausf J from Dragon and the Ausf L from Tamiya. This article will give some advice for improving these two kits. Also the painting stages with my way of weathering and ageing is described.
Both models are in principle well detailed. Also fitting accuracy is correct. Tamiya's "L" is an "old lady", however beats Dragon concerning casting quality and authenticity.

The comparison of running wheels and supporting rollers is self-explaining in this respect. For me reason enough, to exchange also the sprocket wheels and idlers instead of Dragon´s to that from the Tamiya kit. To make them fit also to the Dragon tub, some drillings at the wheels are necessary (in the photos showing the building phase down in the gallery, one can see Dragon’s drive assembly at the Dragon model still. It was exchanged later as described.)

A further prominent error with Dragon is that insufficient thickness of the ball mantle of the nose machinegun. Instead of representing the 50mm thick armouring, it seems in such a way, as if it were only 15mm. Therefore I had to bore the frontal armour from the rear, fill it up with one compound putty and use a better (smaller) ball shaped machine-gun mount from the spare part crate (see the pictures: left previous, right after the change)

An inaccuracy that occurred on both manufactures is that they omitted the weld seam on top of the motor bay and the small gap between the armour plates of the rear hull and the crew compartment. Unfortunately I have not noticed that prior to finishing the models.

  • Photo by George Schachinger (viking)
  • Photo by George Schachinger (viking)
  • Photo by George Schachinger (viking)
  • Photo by George Schachinger (viking)

About the Author

About Viking

Starting with aircraft models in 1:72 scale, I soon switched to armour and figures. But only since 1998 I´m seriously concerned with the topic of diorama-, tank-, vehicle-, and figure construction. Running my homepage: "Wikingers Panzermodellbau" also tak...