I had been eying this model for a while, debating whether I would by the plastic model from HaT or go with this one. After reading Rommel, I wanted to build a Panzer III for my 1940 campaigns and decided to go with the paper model first. I picked the early war gray finish to match the Blitzkrieg theme.
Building the Model
I ordered the kit on Monday afternoon (July 27, 2009). The owner quickly responded with the files and that evening I was working on the Panzer III. These models are small scale, and I can usually build one in a week, spending an hour or two in the evening or working during my lunch hour at the office.
Since these models are intended to be used in my wargames and they'll be handled often, I usually try to reinforce the hull and turret so it will stand up to use better. For this one I used a combination of corrugated cardboard in the bottom and Styrofoam in the top. I especially wanted to make sure the top of the hull wouldn't bend when someone turned the turret.
Tuesday I glued the wheels together. They're made from a ring of card and an outer circle for the wheel. They might look a little better built as a true double wheel, but until I get a circle cutter, I'll stick with the original design. I made a mistake with the wheel placement, and put the front drive wheels too low. I remember it for the next one.
The turret is made from one piece of paper and has no bottom, so I filled it with a layer beveled cardboard and foamcore. The gun mantle is two parts, the inner structure and sides and then the outer curved piece that would move with the gun barrel. The instructions say to use a toothpick for the barrel, but not having one the right diameter, I rolled a gun barrel out of 65# card from my wife's card scraps. The roll of tape at the base of the barrel hides where I accidentally bent the tube when inserting it into the gun mantle.
On Friday I used craft store acrylics to paint the exposed card edges. I used "gunmetal" on the barrel and the track edges. Then I mixed aluminum, blue and black to try to match the unusual coloring on the rest of the hull. It's not panzer gray, that's for sure, and it looks even bluer outside. But regardless of the color, it's was a fun model to build and I plan on a few more for my Early German army.