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7Jan/162

Rubicon PzKpfw III Ausf. J/M/N

Rubicon is a new manufacturer from Hong Kong with 1:56 scaleplastic kits. And that is reason enough for a small tank week, that will cover reviews of several tanks, beginning with the Panzerkampfwagen III Ausführung J / M / N.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

The kit is delivered in a transparent bag, covers three sprues, an instruction and a decal sheet. It is the Panzer III, of which as a medium battle tank around 5.700 units were built between 1936 and 1943. The chassis was built until the end of the war, as a base for tanks like the StuG III, that was manufactured more than twice the amount than the Panzer itself.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Rubicon is producing in China, similar to among others Dreamforge. The instruction is compact and coherent. The decal sheet covers a lot of motives, beside the Balkenkreuz there are even signs of the DAK. The parts are spread among three sprues.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

The quality of the casting is for a debut impressive. The sprues are practically used and filled, and the different options and variants are a great bonus.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

The amount of details is impressive and the micro structure, that covers the surface of the tank is a great looking effect. In general the plastic feels very slick, that might be due to remaining release agent. So for that reason, i'd recommend you give the sprues / tank a light brush with warm soap water and a toothbrush, like it is suggested in model building.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

The build starts with the turret. It is made from many single parts and has a moveable gun mantlet. For the Panzer III you can choose from two different guns, the 75mm KwK 37 L/24 and 50mm KwK 39 L/60. I went with the 50mm KwK, of the Ausf. J and M. And the commander hatch was kept open, to leave space for a miniature later.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

The tracks a mindfully casted and multipart, so you get more depth and details. But the surface is smooth and has minimal casting errors, but can't be seen as the chassis will cover those parts later on. The tracks are quite slick and it might be useful to roughen them up with sandpaper. Fit is great and leaves no wishes unfullfilled.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

The track section is build rapidly and make up the lower hull of the tank. On top of that goes the upper hull and the turret. Thanks to a plug connection there is only little play during the build and that secures a good fit.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

In the next step the smaller parts go onto the tank hull. Like the back part of the turret, the exhaust and additional gear.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

There are optional parts, like additional tracks and head lights. A clever solution are the skirts, as those don't need to be glued but can be plugged. This gives you a variable option. For the headlights need to be small holes drilled, that are pre-marked. The position of the head lights isn't historically correct, as i only found pictures and drawings without or inner head lights. But that's not that big of a problem, as those are optional parts. The last picture shows the tank with a german crew by Perry Miniatures.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

The comparison of the new plastic kit with the old resin kit by Warlord Games shows the differences clearly. Of course, the digital sculpted kit is more detailed than a handbuild resin master. But some details like nuts and bolts are less plastic and more shallow, that you can see good at the tools on top the of track guard. And the weight is a topic for some, but that can be fixed with lead in the hull (like die-cast in the model building). In total the Warlord Games model is historically more correct, but has less details. For example, the Rubicon kit has a fourth cover on the engine, that couldn't be found in any research.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Completely build and shown from various angles, the Panzer III without skirts and long gun looks like this. The scale is 1:56 or 28mm and fits with the true-scale models of the perrys as well as the Bolt Action or Artizan range.

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N Rubicon Models - Panzer III Ausf. J/M/N

Conclusion
The kit costs around 23 Euro and is on the same level as the other kits from companies like Bolt Action, Blitzkrieg Models or Die Waffenkammer. The advantages of plastics are clear, and it is easily build and modified.

As already written, the casting is great. There are few to none mold lines, the positions in the sprues are thoughtful, so you can easily remove them without risk of damages. The covered variants and included options are a definite bonus and a reason to buy the kit multiple times. That is something, the Bolt Action kits can't offer (yet).

The Panzer III was a drudge of the Wehrmacht in the early years of war and was used in the Afrikakorps as well as the West- and Ostfront.

The kit was supplied by Fantasy Warehouse.

Link: Rubicon Models

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Nice review, thanks!

  2. You’re welcome 🙂


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