Damraska’s AFV Projects

Things continue to move along slowly at the Robotech Factory. Many bottles of glue, paint, and similar items went bad over the last decade, forcing me to put projects aside and work on other things while I wait on orders. Last night it was the super glue; one bottle bricked and the other stopped being, well, super. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I ended up spending most of the weekend working on the old Panzer III M. Since the super glue all went bad, I gave up on the photo etch parts and switched to making bits of junk out of rod and sheet stock. It looks okay, I guess.

Between paint sessions, cataloging paints, and throwing stuff away, I also spent many hours looking for a Panzer III to model. The solid tooth tracks (with cleats) on my model are a real problem. According to the references I found, they were introduced in late 1943. Only about 150 Panzer III Ms were produced. Most fought in Russia, especially during the Kursk offensive. A few went to Africa. Every vehicle I can find from that period wears tracks with open guide teeth.

However, I found references that after Kursk, surviving Panzer IIIs were withdrawn and reassigned to police duty in subjugated territories. It turns out some survivors were assigned to Panzer Brigade Norwegen, operating in Denmark and Norway. Panzer Division Norwegen was reconstituted from the remains of the 25th Panzer Division after Kursk. Most of the reconstituted division was eventually sent east but a panzer brigade was left behind for the police mission and that became Panzer Brigade Norwegen.

Panzer Brigade Norwegen continued to police Denmark and Norway right up until the end of the war, when it surrendered. Someone posted a picture of the surrender on Reddit.

It turns out quite a few late model Panzer IIIs survived with this formation. They were subsequently transferred to Norway and used by that nation into the 1950s. In the photo above, you will see a number of Panzer III Ns, some Panzer III Js or Ls, and maybe, just maybe, a Panzer III M. It is really hard to tell. If you look very closely at the tracks, you will find one or two links with solid guide horns.

I could model a tank from this group with solid horn tracks. It is possible, though not likely. However, if I do that, I need to add, at a very minimum, turret skirts and field applied zimmerit.

Another option is to accept the incorrect tracks and model a vehicle that went to Stalingrad and was lost in the encirclement. Accept for the tracks, my vehicle matches that configuration.

Both stories are interesting and worthy of telling through a model. Dunno what I’m gonna do.