OKB Grigorov


Commander Cupola Type 1
for 1/72 Panzer III and Pz IV

Kit #: S72374 Preview by Stephen Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman

The all-round vision commander’s cupola which facilitated greater situational awareness, along with the 3-person turret was a significant reason for the success of the German Panzers over allied tanks with thicker armor, bigger guns and greater numbers. I understand the turrets for both the Panzer III and the Panzer IV were designed and built by Krupp which I believe explains why the turrets look so similar and use the same cupola.

  • This aftermarket commander cupola set replaces 1/72-scale cupolas on early-war Pz III and Pz IV tanks and differs from the kits we usually see with the injection molded in having the five vision ports open. The cupolas also have respectable detail inside the cupola (if you are going to show the inside you better have something to see). A frustration I have with so many plastic Panzer models is that the hatches are often molded shut and the vision ports are molded closed. Making a realistic vehicle in service we must have one, or both, hatch and visor open or the crew is near blind.
  • This is a more significantly armored cupola than that used on the earlier Pz III and Pz IV. Like the earlier hatch in the OKB Grigorov cupola set S72394, this cupola has the split round hatch. I believe the split hatch is why this is called the “type 1” by OKB Grigorov. I expect to see some form of latch on the underside of the hatch but do not see any. A later type has a 1-piece round hatch that opens on a hinge. The last (Type-3) has a round hatch that lifts and pivots to the side.
  • There are four sets of three cupola parts for a total of 12 cast resin parts, enough cupolas for four Panzers. Casting quality and detail appear very good. Not only is there good detail on the cupola exterior but the cupola interior has details of the vision blocks and forehead pads. I noted no bubbles or distorted pieces. There is some thin flash to clean off.
  • Panzer IV plastic model kits this set would be appropriate for include the Hasegawa Pz IV Ausf. F and Ausf. G kits, ESCI/Italeri Pz IV Ausf. G kit, the Hasegawa Pz IV Ausf.F1 and Pz IV Ausf.F2 kits, Mirage Pz IV Ausf.E kit 72855, and Dragon Pz IV Ausf. D, Ausf. F and Pz IV Ausf. G kits, the Plastic Soldier Company Pz IV kits, and others.
  • Panzer III model kits this cupola would be suitable for include the Mirage Pz III Ausf. G kit 72652, UM Pz III kit numbers 270, 271, 272 and 275, the Attack Models SU76i Kommandir kit 72891, Armourfast Pz III Ausf.G kit 99002, Italeri Pz III Ausf.J kit 7507, Revell Pz III Ausf.M kit 3119, Revell Pz III Ausf.L kit 3133, S-Model Pz III Ausf.G kit, Dragon Pz III Ausf.J, ESCI/Italeri Pz III Ausf.M and Flammpanzer III kits, Plastic Soldier Company Pz III kits, and others.
  • My assessment is that this would be a great addition to help turn a decent gaming model into a good display model and historical miniature. I am impressed with detail and molding quality of OKB Grigorov products.

This accessory was purchased by the modeler.

OKB Grigorov products are available at Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 23 August 2020

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