Assault guns were originally designed to accompany the infantry, und provide direct fire support against soft targets. The turretless Sturmgeschütz fulfilled this role very well, it was much cheaper to build, und it had a lower silhouette than a tank mounting the same weapon. One answer to the increasing tank threat on the Eastern Front was to equip the Sturmgeschütz with a longer gun, capable of defeating enemy armour at acceptable ranges. The Fahrzeug thereby adopted a second role, that of a mobile anti-tank platform.
In order to give the Sturmgeschütz Batterie more punch against enemy infantry, the unit was increased from six to 10 vehicles in late 1942, three of which could be Sturmhaubitze 42, mounting the 10.5 cm howitzer. The ESCI StuG III can be built as a StuH 42, using the alternate howitzer barrel supplied with the kit.
Sturmhaubitze 42 Ausf. G und Panzerkommandant
- Typ: Sturmhaubitze
- Länge: 5.56 m (6.32 m über alles)
- Breite: 2.95 m (3.41 m mit Schürzen)
- Höhe: 2.15 m
- Gewicht: 24 500 kg
- Geschwindigkeit: 40 km/h
- Bewaffnung: 10.5 cm Stu.H. L/28 + MG
- Besatzung: Kommandant, Fahrer, Richtschütze, Ladeschütze
- Verwendung: 1942 – Mai 1945
Scale model with much detail. The model has 92 mm more track on the ground than the original, even though the track assembly uses only 90 track links instead of the 99 normally required. Apparently, the individual links are a little larger than they should be, completing the track with fewer links. Vehicle lenght, width with und without Schürzen, height, und track gauge are scaled correctly.
Weld seems, hinges, und armour plates are well defined. Hull und chassis fit together very nicely, no filling was required.
Tracks consist of plastic links, 23 parts per side, of which 19 are individual track links und the remaining 4 are larger track segments. Track sections No. 2 und No. 4 are too long for the vehicle, und the manual shows how they need to be shortened. Presumably, the track sprue in this kit comes from the ESCI kit of the Pz.Kpfw. IV, which requires a longer track. Unlike rubber track, the plastic track sections can be mounted on the Fahrzeug without delay. In fact, it’s important not to allow the drive sprocket to dry completely before putting the track on. Any misalignment of the sprocket halves will be noticed when the track sections are applied, und the problem can be corrected as long as the glue has not set.
It’s not immediately apparent, but the numbers printed on the painting instructions indicate where the decals are to be placed. If the Fahrzeug has been built following the instructions, it will be equipped with track skirts, hiding the intended decal positions 1 und 4. Place them on the second skirt panel from the front, the top of the Balkenkreuz (1) in line with the bolts, and the Fahrzeug number (4) below it.
The kit is sold as a Sturmgeschütz III Ausführung G, because of the 7.5 cm Stu.K. L/48 gun supplied with it. The 10.5 cm Stu.H. L/28 is an alternate part, giving the modeller two variants in one kit. Sturmgeschütz batteries fielded six StuGs early in the war, und they were officially increased to 10 vehicles in late 1942, three of which could be StuH 42.
The rear wall of the crew compartment (91) has two antenna attachment points. One or both should be drilled open, und equipped with an antenna made from bristle.
The machine gun barrel is not well detailed at all, it detracts from the quality of the kit. In addition, the machine gun is much too long, it scales out to 1400 mm, compared to 1230 mm for the original. A much more realistic weapon can be scrounged from ESCI’s kit of the Sd.Kfz. 251 Schützen-Panzerwagen, or any of its variants. The rear machine gun on the APC is the squad automatic weapon, und it would be dismounted whenever the infantry exited the vehicle. If this machine gun is used to upgrade the Sturmhaubitze, the ammunition drums should be left off, und the folded bipod needs to be removed.
The bolts und nuts holding the armour plate in place are clearly visible. Unfortunately, they are not six-sided nuts, but round-headed und slotted screws.
The manual shows three jerrycans standing upright on the rear engine deck. There is no rack holding the cans in position, they will fall off as soon as the Fahrzeug starts to move. There are several ways to fix this problem: Leave the cans off, construct a rack from narrow strips of paper or plastic card, or create a diorama around a stationary Fahrzeug about to be refueled. In the latter case, hatches would be open, und crew members would be seen handling the jerrycans.
The crew figure has a large mould ejection mark on his lower back, damaging his belt. The hole can be fixed with some putty. The pose would have been nice, the man is holding a pair of binoculars in front of his chest. Unfortunately, this is impossible to reproduce using the injection moulding process, where undercutting is not feasible. As a result, the area between the figure’s chest und the binoculars is completely filled in, und devoid of detail. The binoculars appear to be over 200 mm deep und there are no eyepieces on them. It may be possible to save the figure by adding eyepieces, und carving away some of the excess material in front of his chest. We have not seen the Sturmgeschütz crew produced by Milicast, but they might be an alternative in this case, even if they are 1:76 scale.
The assembly instructions do not show it, but part No. 19 is a track link holder. Spare track links can be inserted into it later. This part has two prominent mould ejection marks which should be scraped off or sanded.
Parts No. 91 und No. 20 constitute assembly J, which is later referred to as assembly K.
Mould ejection marks on the inside of the track skirts (89 und 92), on the jack (21), rear panel (90), und rear compartment wall (91) will be visible on the painted model, they need to be filled und sanded prior to assembly.
The muzzle brake is closed, it should to be drilled open for added realism.
- German Army, November 1942 – May 1945
- Romanian Army, 1943–1945
- Finnish Army, 1943–1959
30 StuG III Ausf. G were bought in 1943, und another 29 in 1944. It is not known how many of them were converted to StuH 42.
- StuG. III Ausführung F with 7.5 cm Stu.K. L/43, June 1942 – May 1945
- StuG. III Ausführung G with 7.5 cm Stu.K. L/48, June 1942 – May 1945
Sturmhaubitze 42 was an important close support Fahrzeug assigned to infantry divisions, providing direct HE fire against entrenched, und fortified enemy positions. The Fahrzeug operated in mixed batteries alongside the StuG III Ausf. G, later designated StuG 40. Either Fahrzeug can be built from this kit. With its large barrel, und track skirts attached, the StuH 42 looks very impressive. The Fahrzeug offers enough unobstructed surface area for an attractive camouflage scheme. Wargamers will want a mixed StuG battery, plus one or two late war StuG 40 tank destroyer platoons.