Tiger Model DesignsTiger Model Designs
Marder III M Backdate
(Kit #352054)
Mid (Kit #352055)
1/35th Scale
Reviews by Terry Ashley

TamiyaTMD have released two extensive backdate sets designed for the Tamiya Marder III M (Kit #35255) and as both are very similar with just the rear panel and exhaust different we will look at both sets together.

The sets consist of 133 parts in light grey resin cast to a high standard with just the usual casting blocks and some thin resin film to be removed from the parts before assembly, a quick bath in warm soapy water will also remove and mould release residue. The parts were blemish free without any warping on the larger parts and only a couple of small air holes evident which considering the number of small fine parts is very good indeed. Also included is some thin wire and a small sheet of lead strip to make various straps and other details as needed.

The details on the parts is excellent with rivet and panel details on both sides of the rear and side superstructure panels which are also cast to a uniform thickness for good detail definition with the cast texture on the driver’s compartment very well represented.

The main difference between these early Ms and the later M of the Tamiya kit is the cast and riveted driver’s compartment on the early version as opposed to the square welded driver’s compartment on the later version. The early versions also have extensive riveting on the hull sides, rear and front and superstructure panels while these are again welded in the later version.

To represent this TMD supply replacement panels that include all the correct riveting that simply replace the equivalent parts in the Tamiya kit, with only some minor surgery actually needed on the kit, which does make these backdate sets easier to assemble from what they may first appear.

The compete upper hull is provided in resin that as well as including the new cast driver’s compartment has the riveted side sponsons and all that is needed to fit this is to remove the front towing eyes. The separate driver’s compartment doors have excellent padding detail on the insides and there is also a new detailed gun travel lock for the centre of the upper hull.

The new superstructure sides and rear hull panel are straight replacements for the Tamiya parts and fitted very well during test fitting with only some minor trimming needed here and there. The right side has the engine vent louvers as separate parts with minor differences for the ‘mid’ (set #352055) with the exhaust exiting from these louvers while the ‘initial’ (set #352054) has the exhaust exiting from the rear panel which are different in each set to correspond with this exhaust setup.

The front hull panel is also provided with the correct rivet pattern for the earlier version and this again simply replaces the kit part and there are also new fenders to fit the new side panels that have very nice details included.

The other external parts provided are new early drive sprockets and idler wheels that again are straight replacements for the Tamiya parts and feature the extra lightening holes in the outer ring on the drive sprocket and rain drop shaped lightening holes on the idlers wheels. There was quite extensive resin film on the sprockets and idlers due the fine casting but this was easily removed with light use of an X-Acto #11 blade and light sanding for a perfect finish.
New drive sprockets and idlers before and after cleanup
with the Tamiya parts for comparison

Tiger Model Designs

Moving to the interior there is a new engine compartment bulkhead with separate heater vents that can be positioned open or closed along with the vent handle also a separate part. The fit of this bulkhead between the Tamiya hull sides was perfect and required no trimming at all which does make assembly quite trouble free. There are numerous details parts to add to the lower fighting compartment such as MP40s and ammo pouches and crew seats all cast with very crisp details.

The ammo tubes on each side of the fighting compartment are provided in resin and have superb details with some ammo tubes cast with rounds in place while others are empty but all include the shell retaining straps and other fine details as well as the separate racks for mounting the tubes with the thin lead sheet used to make the main retaining strap over the whole rack.

Other items provided are the radio, intercom box, the transformer and relay box for the right compartment wall with the instructions showing a wiring diagram for the wiring which can be added from the thin wire provided as well as nicely detailed fire extinguishers and other smaller detail items around the hull and fighting compartment that include a superb MG42 in its wall rack for the left compartment wall.

On the rear panel are new exhaust pipes for the appropriate version that require minor reworking of the Tamiya exhaust to receive the new pipes but again this is all very easy to deal with.

The Tamiya PaK 40 is built and fitted as per instructions with no additional parts included in the kit for the gun which is quite nice as it comes.

The instruction sheet has extensive text notes supplemented with photos of the model during construction showing the various parts being assembled and I found these to be very clear and concise and shouldn’t pose any problems during construction but of course you should always carefully study the instructions and test fit all parts before gluing as a matter of course.

These backdate sets are excellent with highly detailed parts free from blemishes and the assembly is quite straightforward with most parts being straight replacements for the Tamiya parts and will build into a superb early Marder III M depending on which version you choose.

Just a quick note for allied modellers, the Marder III M captured by the British in Italy and used by them for a short period with a new rough cam scheme and British roundels added before being shipped back to the UK can be built for the ‘initial’ set #352054 as this has the correct exhaust setup for this vehicle. This vehicle is well documented in the Nuts & Bolts Vol.17 Marder III book and will certainly make for a very different and unusual Marder III M.

Resin parts
Tiger Model DesignsTiger Model Designs


Nuts & Bolts Vol.17
"Marder III"
Panzerjäger 38(t) Für 7.5cm PaK 40/3
Sd.Kfz.138 Ausf M (part 1)
Marder III

Kagero Photosniper 13
George Parada, Wojciech Styrna, Stanislaw Jablonski.
ISBN 83-89088-03-7
Marder III & Grille
Wydawnictwo Militaria #175
Dla Michalka
ISBN 83-7219-155-7
Marder III
& Grille
Vladimir Francev and Charles K. Kliment

Thanks to Joe and Jeff of Tiger Model Designs for the review samples.
And to Paul A. Owen of Track Link for his input.

Page Created 26 December 2004

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