by: Bill Plunk [ ]
Reference photos abound showing StuG IIIís with virtually anything and everything carried on the rear deck by their crews. Given the cramped nature of the interior fighting compartment and lack of a rotating turret, the crews often packed their vehicles with all the various things they needed externally. The latest set from Legend Productions aims to recreate that, catering in particular to the StuG III G variants for some of the stowage.
The set comes packaged in a plastic sealed sturdy brown cardboard box with the resin parts packaged in a single Ziploc bag and wrapped in bubble wrap. The set also includes a PE fret for the stowage rack frames and this is packaged separately and loose inside the box. No instructions are provided with the only guide being the single color box-top photo on how the set can be positioned.
The set consists of a single PE fret and multiple resin stowage items cast in a light cream colored resin. The castings are well detailed with some parts having only minor flash or bubbles to deal with depending. The set is designed to be used to create stowage for both the fenders and the rear deck area. The PE set includes items for constructing the rear deck stowage frame and a bonus of 2 intake grills.
The fender stowage consists primarily of 12 jerry cans and a tarp wrapped around three cut logs. The designed arrangement assumes that the schurzen rails, common to the StuG Ausf III G variants, are available to help contain these items so be sure to check your kit and references before using. The jerry cans are embossed with the requisite lettering for 4 water and 8 fuel cans and have separate spouts and handles provided. These, unfortunately in my sample, are extremely fragile and didnít handle the shipment process very well since they were packaged in with some of the larger items. Some were damaged and others broken off their casting blocks, but all of the damaged or loose bits were still inside the bag or the box, so could be repaired with a little effort.
The rear deck stowage consists of large modular pieces that can be rearranged somewhat to provide the look you are after. They are designed to work together with the provided PE stowage rack frame but no instructions are provided for the PE so care will be needed in its instruction and assembly to fit your desired modular layout. The set includes a wide variety of items including a 20 liter drum, 4 steel helmets 2 of which have covers and 2 are plain, various stowage boxes and tarps, ammo cans, and 2 buckets. In my sample, the drum had some minor damage as did the buckets, but nothing that couldnít be repaired. Some of the pour blocks on these items are quite large and extensive, so a razor saw or other similar tool will be needed to remove them for use.