Flakpanzer III "Ostwind"

Kit #: 72110

(Revell AG kit no. 3286)

Preview by Stephen Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman

According to Jentz & Doyle, there was an urgent need for Flak protection for the Sturmartillerie Brigaden (Sturmgeschütz Brigades) and this was an expedient answer. The StuG units, which were part of the artillery service not the Panzer arm, could not count on receiving Flakpanzer IV vehicles. The turret of the Ostwind was to be mated with a Panzerkampfwagen III which made sense (if possible) as the StuG III and Pz III shared suspension, engine and other parts. Like the Ostwind, the Flakpanzer III was armed with a 3.7-cm Flak 43 gun.

Though I have seen no period photos of the Flakpanzer III, Jentz & Doyle have found evidence that about five were issued, going to StuG Brigades 341, 244 and 667 in March 1945.

  • The above box art portrays what looks like a computerized drawing onto a WW2 period photo of a warehouse or garage building. Overall the vehicle from the turret ring up looks the same as the Flak turret on the Pz IV Ostwind. From the turret ring down the hull and suspension appears to be a standard Pz III. Some items of note are the spare gun barrel storage box (kit part A2) on the rear of the engine deck, and the hull escape hatch (kit parts 80 & 81) visible above the roadwheels. This hull escape hatch was phased out with the Pz. III Ausf. L. At the time that this Flakpanzer was produced, the Pz III was out of production so I surmise an old, rebuilt Pz III hull would need to be used. The side escape hatches are portrayed in Doyle’s vehicle drawing.
  • A maybe minor thing that bothers me are the artwork’s sprocket teeth, they are little sharp points. They should be more like that portrayed in the Revell artwork below.
  • Note the spacer atop the superstructure to raise the height of the turret. I presume this spacer, represented by a plastic ring (kit part M) allowed the turret to clear the engine vents on the engine deck.
  • On the front plate we see spaced armor (Vorpanzer) built into the Pz III Ausf. L and added onto earlier variants. On the glacis and nose are spare track links.
  • On the back of the box we find Maco’s rendition of the Flakpanzer III all in a monotone panzer yellow color. At the time these vehicles were built in late 1944 and early 1945 I have read that many Panzers were painted in primer brown and then given a camouflage of Panzer yellow and green over the primer at the factory. My thoughts on the final colors for this beast is that it would be finished in a soft edge 3-color scheme and an ambush scheme would be possible and look rather good.
  • Parts of the 3.7-cm Flak gun would be completed in gunmetal color, the track in dark gray and light rust and dirt, and considering scale-effect the roadwheel tires would be dark gray not black.
  • Assembly instructions are the common multistep exploded view and with a good parts diagram.
  • I won’t go much into the kit parts here in this review as they are well covered in kit reviews on the Revell Pz III kit and the Maco Ostwind kit. Below are scans of the Maco parts that are the same as in the Flakpanzer IV Ostwind model kit, and Maco’s Flak 43 model kit.
  • Sprues for the 3.7-cm Flak gun and turret, with unused parts such as the large gun shield (parts 33, 34 & 35)

  • In case you wish to build your own Flakpanzer III, perhaps by using the Ostwind turret from the Hasegawa or the Maco Ostwind Flakpanzer IV kit, here are three reasonable choices for 1/72-scale Pz III hulls. At left is the Dragon Pz III hull with engine vents and tow cable molded to the hull which is a disappointment. In center is the old ESCI Pz III kit now re-released by Italeri. At far right is the tan color Revell Pz III upper that comes with this Maco kit. The Revell Pz III is my preferred kit due to good molding and detail quality and separate engine vents.
  • Even though water slide decal markings are included, the same decal sheet as in the Wirbelwind and Ostwind kits, Maco portrays their Flakpanzer III in either all panzer yellow or panzer yellow with white patches, and Balkenkreuz markings on the sides and rear. As I know of no known photos of this vehicle, the markings and color may be just an educated guess.
  • Here is box art for Revell’s re-release of Maco’s Flakpanzer III showing a distinct and unusual hard edge camouflage scheme and no markings. Here is a good example of a rule of camouflage: the wheels are one color. If a wheel is more than one color, the movement of the spinning colors is very visible and attracts attention.
  • From what I have seen the kit molds and parts are the same as the Maco kit except that now all the parts are in the same color styrene plastic now that Revell is using the molds.


Revell kits can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 30 June 2020

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