The Germans were very skilled in World War II at adapting obsolete or obsolescent war material to new tasks. A prime example is the Sturm-Infanteriegeschütz 33B: essentially a howitzer intended to destroy buildings and fortifications, it was aimed straight ahead with very little latitude for movement inside an armored shell perched atop a Pz. III.
While a mere 24 were built, this distinctive AFV has been released by Dragon recently (Rick Cooper
has already reviewed Dragon's new kit here)
. Now Voyager Model has released a PE set for the kit.
what you get
Inside the usual Voyager "jewel box" is:
2 frets of brass photo etch
1 fret of "silver" PE grills
1 tiny fret of "silver" PE chains
1 length of ABS plastic
1 length of wire for making hinges
3 solid brass shells
4 brass rounds for making powder charges
a length of copper twisted-strand wire for a tow cable
4 pages of instructions
Don't be fooled by the box top photo which also includes PE35364 (fenders) and PEA108 (damaged road wheels for Pz. IIIs and STUGs).
I tend to prefer "all in one" sets like those from Alliance Model Works or Griffon Model, but Voyager does allow consumers to pick & choose according to how much upgrade they want. Feel that styrene fenders are OK? Then you don't need that particular set. In this case, the crucial elements would seem to be the storage lockers on the rear engine deck. Additionally, you get some rounds and powder charges.
The grill covers are good, though they mirror the kit's PE offering and are not, as such, "new." They are at a generally better level of production, however, than DML's. The copper tow cable will add a lot of realism above that provided with the kit's pre-molded styrene versions, though Voyager could have really hit the mark if it included PE lugs/loops like the ones Griffon has (or at least resin ones). Either would add pennies to the overall cost. The usual tool clamps will significantly improve the molded-on styrene "suggestions" of clamps, though be careful when removing those lumps from delicate ax and shovel handles. The jack clamps are nicely-done, but the jack only gets a PE top instead of a more extensive facelift.
An ABS plastic rod and a steel wire will help render an improvement is other miscellaneous features.
I don't for the life of me understand why anyone but Pz. III geeks like myself would want the Dragon kit, since it's such a rarity. This is a real specialty piece, with too few built to justify sneaking it into the house past SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed). But if, like me, you ARE a Pz. III nut, then you're going to want this distinctive kit, so you might as well improve it with this PE set that goes with it.
Thanks to Voyager Models for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed on Armorama when ordering.