Articles

ESCI - Pz. III Ausf. M (8324) _________(EXT)

  

Manufacturer ESCI
Scale 1/72
Set Code 8324
Year Unknown
No. of Figures 1
No. of Poses 1
Additional Items Panzer III
Size Tall
Material Hard Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level Medium
Glue-ability Excellent (Polly-cement)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939 – 1945

Review     

Although if it incorporated a single figure, ESCI continued the good custom of supplying crewmen for their vehicles, and in Panzer III M we meet again a most known and spread Panzer trooper of the company. This is because the manufacturer utilised him in a large number of kits, not only in other Panzer III variants, but also for StuG III and Elephant armoured vehicles.  

The figure deserves and not such popularity, he received excellent facial details as well as great sculptured M34 cap with a lot of insignia and a perfect belt including the adjustments holes. On the other hand, the crewman holds firmly close to the chest with both hands binoculars and the old mould showed its limitations when cast the figure as single piece. The distance between body and binoculars was filled by excess of plastic having as straight result a very heavy and flat item, supra-dimensioned and totally unreal. Furthermore, the fault cannot be neither corrected nor hidden, access to the undesired material being impossible with any tool. The figure was created for turret emplacement and the binoculars with all its mistakes come into sight over the hatch. Of course, it had been much better the manufacturer to apply the multipart solution, ESCI adopting such strategy for plenty of their Panzer crewmen. The only choice for a hobbyist wishing to save and repair the figure would remain totally removing the palms and binoculars, finally accessing the huge stack of hard plastic displayed there for getting rid of it. The next stage would be replacing the original palms and binoculars with Dragon or Preiser ones or other items in order to cover the surgery. Indeed, quite many efforts have to be carried out in the attempt of saving the mini, so another trouble-less method would be setting the figure in a hatch in a manner that just the head to be visible. Because its fat appearance this Panzer man encounters serious difficulties in accessing narrow hatches, for instance the resin turrets are a forbidden place for him without cutting from the waist or even chest.    

Due to its pose and binoculars hiding upper details, the trooper’s tunic is uncertain and could be the classical Panzer or a different item of garment but trousers seem to be the Panzer ones. He has no pistol and in this light it would be fine adding a Dragon or Preiser holster to his very fine belt. Likewise, the headphones are set in position, but no related wires are perceived. Concerning anatomy, we receive a quite fat man in a flat pose, but as it has been pointed out, the facial details are awesome. If the modeller decides to throw away the figure, even such thing is not recommended because it might be found solutions and utilisations even for such minis, at least the head should be kept and displayed on a figure encompassed in the large side of 1/72. The hard plastic ease the work of removing the flash  and the ugly mould mark from the back as well as painting, the material finely accepting enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils.  

Though not the most successful figure and in an often encountered stance, there are several good points at it. In terms of modelling, certainly emerges as a challenging mini, with some work and after-market parts, the crewman might be transformed in a proper one.  

Historical Accuracy 8
Anatomy 8
Poses Quality 6
Details Quality 8
Mould Quality 6
Sculpture 8
Recommendation/Utility 7
Reviewer’s Opinion 7