1/35 Scale - Kit No.35255

First Look by Terry Ashley

The Kit:
Following on from their recent release of the Sd.Kfz.139 Marder III 7.62cm Pak36(r) Tamiya have now released this new kit of the Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III M 7.5cm Pak 40/3 which represents a late model M with the welded driver’s position and simplified drive sprockets and idler wheels.

The kit consists of 204 parts in light tan plastic, a decal sheet, a small etched piece for the exhaust cover and full length tracks; the moulding is everything we have come to expect from Tamiya. If you have the first Marder kit then you know what to expect as the quality is the same.

As any student of the Marder series will know very little of the M is the same as the 7.62cm model and this kit reflects that. The only parts of the new kit the same as the earlier kit are the tracks and suspension/road wheels plus a few accessories, everything else is new.

The two A sprues are from the earlier kit with the exception of the drive sprockets and idler wheels which have been modified to the later type.
These sprues also include the hull MG, spare track links, a couple of periscopes and some personal equipment.

The lower hull has separate base plate and side and rear panels with internal engine/fighting compartment bulkhead and the fighting compartment floor. The tread plate pattern on the floor is quite nice and includes handles and hinges for the lower compartments. The rear plate has detail on both sides as well as some small pin ejector marks on the inside to be removed; these are very shallow and should be easy to deal with.
A large upper hull plate includes the glacis, driver’s compartment and engine bay doors as well as the base for the gun platform; the driver’s hatch is in one piece but includes interior detail and an indentation if you wish to cut the hatch in two to show open?

The suspension consists of the leaf springs and axle stubs and the single return roller for this version of the Marder. The road wheels have nice details on both sides with these being glued in place; you don’t get much choice with single wheels. As mentioned earlier the drive sprockets and idlers are of the simplified design with no lightening holes in the drive sprockets and simple round holes on the idler wheels. The drive sprockets have the usual Tamiya poly caps to attach to the axle.

The upper superstructure has the two large side panels which have separate lower panels which also form the top of the hull overhang over the tracks, these panels also have some pin ejector marks on the inside but these should be hidden by the large ammo storage racks and radio supplied for the walls. The rear exhaust has an etched part to add for the heat shield, adds a nice touch to the final appearance.

The 7.5cm Pak40 is a kit in itself with exceptional details such as separate breech block, detailed carriage where the barrel will slip into the cradle and is movable. All the traverse hand wheels, sight and other small details finish off the assembly. The barrel is in the usual two halves and includes the muzzle break but the fit is very good and by running some liquid cement down the join there shouldn’t be a lot of sanding needed to eliminate the seam.

The gun assembly attaches to the hull top by way of a poly cap to allow movement and this also makes it easy to add or remove at any time.

The gun shield has nice surface details and fits to the front of the gun assembly, the edges if the shield could do with thinning a little for better appearance as could the two side plates. These also have some minor pin marks on the inside faces to be removed.

To finish off there are many small detail items to add around the vehicle such as tools, front Notek light, barrel travel lock and towing hooks front and rear plus the usual 38(t) style perforated storage box on the side fender.

The tracks are continuous length vinyl and have nice details on both sides although the teeth don’t have the side indentations but they are more than adequate as far as kit tracks go.


The decals feature a good selection of five vehicle markings with the decals themselves having the usual Tamiya thick carrier film we have come to know and love?

  1. Unknown vehicle, Belgium, Spring 1944 (Three colour Dark Yellow, Dark Green, Red Brown)
  2. 348th Infantry Div., 348th Tank Destroyer Bttn., 1st Co., Belgium, Spring 1944 (overall Dark Yellow)
    The instructions shows this vehicle in a two tone cam scheme but there are numerous photos of this and other vehicles in overall Dark Yellow with darker lower surfaces due to being covered in dirt and dust while the upper superstructure was covered with a canvas tarpaulin. You will note the demarcation line is level with the tie-down clips along the sides of the superstructure. In the Schiffer Marder III book there is a photo on page 40 of a Marder III with the tarpaulin in place and on page 41 with it removed showing the difference in shade of the Dark Yellow. This is also explained in the Sqd/Sgn #2019 on page 33 with a similar photo showing the difference in paint shading.
  3. 346th Infantry Div., 346th Tank Destroyer Bttn., 1st Co., Netherlands, Spring 1945 (Three colour Dark Yellow, Dark Green, Red Brown)
  4. 561st Independent Tank Destroyer Bttn., 3rd Co., Russia, Summer 1944 (Three colour Dark Yellow, Dark Green, Red Brown)
  5. 616th Independent Tank Destroyer Bttn., (presumed) Russia, Spring 1944 (Two colour Dark Yellow, Dark Green)
The Sprues
Click on thumbnail for larger view

Another excellent kit from Tamiya of a much wanted vehicle, the quality of the parts is all we have come to expect from Tamiya. This kit also gives us the basic hull for either an Sd.Kfz.138/1 Grille ausf M or Sd.Kfz.140 Flakpanzer 38(t) ausf M. All that is needed is new upper superstructures, interior of the fighting compartments and obviously the 15cm sIG33 and Flak38. These vehicles are mostly seen with the cast driver’s position instead of the welded position in this kit, but that is no obstacle for Tamiya?
It is probably a good guess that several aftermarket companies are working on these or other conversions for this kit as we speak?


Pz.J├Ąger Marder III Ausf. M - Sd.Kfz. 138
Nuts & Bolts Vol. 17

Marder III
Kagero Photosniper 13
George Parada, Wojciech Styrna, Stanislaw Jablonski. ISBN 83-89088-03-7

Marder III
Schiffer Military History
Hosrt Scheibert
ISBN 0-7643-0394-5

PzKpfw 38(t) in action
Squadron/Signal books #2019
Charles K. Kliment and Hilary L. Doyle.
ISBN 0-89747-089-3

Panzerjager in Action
Squadron/Signal books #2007

Ground Power Magazine
#100 - 9/2002

Published by Delta Publishing Co.Ltd. Japan
Panzerjager Marder

Page created 13 October 2002

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