Tag Archive: Panzer III

Nashorn is German for rhinoceros, pronounced Nahz-horn,was initially known as Hornisse,which is German for hornet, was a German tank destroyer of World War II. It was developed as an interim solution in 1942 by equipping a light turretless chassis with the Pak 43 heavy anti-tank gun. Though only lightly armoured and displaying a high profile, it could frontally penetrate any Allied tank at long range, and its relatively low cost and superior mobility to heavier vehicles ensured it remained in production until the war’s end.

The 8.8cm PaK43 was an outstanding weapon which was the result of a contract to develop a new 8.8cm anti-aircraft gun, awarded to Rheinmetall –Borsig and Krupp, to replace the Flak 37. One of the terms of the contract was that the weapon should be capable of firing in the ground role. The Rheinmetall –Borsig was successful in winning this
contract. The Krupp design lost out due increasing performance demands from the Luftwaffe, however it entered service as an anti-tank gun designated the Pak43 in 1943 and it is now regarded as the finest anti-tank gun of WW2. The Pak 43 was modified by fitting a horizontal sliding breech block, similar to the Pak 40 and the semi-automatic loading system of the Pak 43 was simplified. This simplified gun was designated the 8,8cm Pak43/41.
The chassis chosen for this project was the hybrid Panzer III/IV chassis which had been developed for the Hummel mounting the 15cm sFH18 Howitzer. This was a hull which was the same width as a Panzer III, but lengthened with the engine located in a central position, it utilised Panzer III and Panzer IV components in the drive train and running gear. For example the sprocket was of the type designed for the Panzer III because the transmission was also from the same vehicle, whereas the engine was from the Panzer IV.
They were produced from February 1943 to March 1945; the initial order was for a series of 500, of which 494 were completed before the end of the war.

The Nashorn has also been a very popular subject for scratch building and was Dragon’s first WWII kit,(‘39-‘45 Series No. 6001), back in late 1992.When putting this kit together, I can recall it was a challenge. Parts did not fit or line up, it was nearly impossible to get the tracks on, the fenders were too short for the hull, the gun sat too high, and many of the details were totally wrong. DML was likewise caught off guard by the bad review. In that period they did find that some of their draftsmen were not doing a good job and summarily fired them, replacing them with better researchers and competent ones. When they released their Hummel kit (No. 6004) they corrected many of the hull problems with the Nashorn kit, but it was still considered to be a bear to assemble correctly and to get all the parts to fit right. I built it straight out of the box, and this was my first “soft skin” kit,which added to the frustration. But as we know now, Dragon Kits evolved to become a true work of art.


In this photo set it shows the finished application of Testors Model Master Enamels by brush,and the application of the kit’s decals. Obviously I chose the markings of one of  the support tanks   of  s.Pz.Abt. 502  Tiger Battalion near Leningrad in 1943.  After a day or two, I applied a coat of Testors Model Master  High Gloss Clear Enamel and  let dry for two full days.  After two days I was able to handle it without causing any print marks.  There is when I applied Flouquil   Flat Black Enamel to the tires. I thinned it  out enough to apply the paint with O size brush and  let the capillary  action do the work. By doing this method it leaves the running wheels and small upper support wheels nice and clean. I Then applied MIG Productions Dark Wash to the track and some parts of the rubber. This took me about three applications for what I was looking for. Today I  applied a light wash of  MIG Productions Brown Wash on the bottom hull and underneath  as well. Still wet, I sprinkled some #4 from the Rustall  Set, It gives a natural earth and rock look. 

All the major construction is done. Next on the agenda is to paint a dark undercoat of  Floquil Railroad Colors (Enamel). Engine Black and Tuscan are my choice on this project.  I do not prime my models with grey,I use a brownish-black  color and then spray the topcoats on. 

Here I assembled the “Winterketten” tracks with ice cleats spaced every three tracks. The tracks were a joy. Nicely done. Also included is a shot of the front upper hull with the PE shields on the front. I decided to go a step further and complete the whole front using Edurard PE  plates and mounting plates. Now to the gun assembly.

Here is a practice fit of the upper front hull,rear deck and two fenders. To my great delight all these fitted very well. It is almost like a “snap fit” kit. Love this newer generation of Dragon Kits.

In these shots are the completed sections of the upper hull and side fenders. The small parts fit very nicely,and with amazing detail. I was very impressed with the quality of the tow cables. I would rate them very high, and in my opinion better than any resin one, and less of a pain.Very little clean up and the welds are perfect. So far so good. 

Just finished installing the lower road wheels,upper support wheels,the drive sprockets,idler wheels,tension assemblies,and the”complete”  rear panel. The panel parts aligned and fitted well,the details are of high quality,and I love the PE screens above the mufflers. So far so good.  

 Just finished the suspension system. I am very pleased with the detail and ease of the fit. The only problem I have so far is with  the incorrect numbering of the parts,otherwise I am very happy.

These are several pics. of the kit’s detailed wheel assembly. I love the PE rings that fit inside the idler wheels. Nice. The bottom hull has some very very nice details.

Finally Getting Started. I am very impressed with the detail. Looks like a “Fun Build”.

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