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Alan 1/35 Marder II D
Kit no. 011

 

by Richard Eaton

 

 

One of my favorite small WWII 1/35 scale armor subjects is the German Marder line of Tank Destroyers. I am slowly making all four versions of the Marder. I have build the Tamiya Marder II and Italeri Marder III several times. Lately I finished the IronSide Marder I. Some time ago I converted a Tamiya Pz II tank to a Marder II with the Russian 7.62 cm gun. That was fun but the suspension was wrong for the type. Imagine my delight when I found the Alan Kit of an accurate Marder II D while surfing at GreatModels Webstore! I had to have it. It differs from the Tamiya Marder II in that it has the correct torsion bar suspension, early fighting compartment and Russian gun. Cool! Man these Russian and Eastern European kit makers are filling in the holes in armor collections nicely!

The History

In the pre-war years, the Pz. Kw II LaS 100 light tank was the backbone of the German armor forces. It was introduced into service in 1935. Later, in 1938, Daimler-Benz introduced the LaS 138 type, which was fielded as the Pz Kw II (Sd Kfz 121) or fast fighting vehicle. While the turret and superstructure resembled the earlier Pz Kw II, this series was the first to use torsion bar suspensions. During 1938-39 nearly 250 of these fast machines were produced.

During 1940 some of these vehicles were converted into flame throwing tanks. This type (kit also made by Alan) was the subject of a review in the December Internet Modeler. As these vehicles were not terribly successful they became the first of the series to form the basis for different types of self-propelled gun carriages.

By late 1941, it was clear that additional firepower was needed for the Eastern front. ( I don't know about you, but seeing Soviet infantry charging through your mine fields to clear them for massive oncoming tank columns behind unbelievable artillery barrages would tend to make me want to leave my mark in the snow). On December 20th 1941, the weapons department was ordered to construct a self-propelled anti-tank vehicle using the captured Soviet 7.62 cm gun. These machines were a wartime expedient and were given to Alkett to complete without a development contract. By May 42 a total of 150 of these vehicles had been turned out. An extension contract for a further 60 was issued. The supply of these carriages depended on the supply of repaired Pz Kw II flam chassis. The official designation of this vehicle was the PX Sfl II fur 7.62 cm Pak 36 (Sd Kfz 132) Marder II. The concept was so successful that from 1942 on the earlier standard Pz II chassis were modified to carry the then available 7.5 cm PaK 40/2 as the Marder II (Tamiya kit). Later still, the excellent Czech Pz 38(t) chassis was also modified to become the Marder III (Italeri kit).

Technical data

Crew: 4
Weight: 11.5 tons
Length - 5.85 m
Armament: 7.62 cm Pak 36, 7.92 mm MG.

In the Box

This new kit from Alan in Russia is of the standard Sd Kfz 132 Marder II. A first impression of the kit is that it is comparable to Italeri in the detail and quality of its mold. If this kit was made in Japan you could easily add 30% to its price.

The parts consist of nine trees of hard gray styrene parts, one sprue of clear parts, one piece of brass PE screen, and a decal sheet. The styrene parts are crisp with little flash. There are some injector marks and sink holes but they are not offensive.

One large tree includes parts for the tank superstructure, fighting compartment floor, various equipment, and hatches. The fighting compartment floor is nicely detailed and all superstructure parts have fine rivet detail. The fighting compartment shield includes exterior and interior detail molded in. Small tools and tie downs are finely molded with no flash.

Another large tree contains the hull bottom, tank top deck, fender details, machine gun, and other various equipment. Fender supports are molded in and a fine non-skid cross pattern is evident. The rear deck has detailed motor access doors molded shut and rear hatches which can be poised open or shut. The MG42 is very nicely done.

The final large tree contains parts for the main gun, mount, shield, ammo storage, and associated hardware. The 7.62 cm gun is executed nicely with 25 parts. The shield and mounting hardware consists of a dozen components. The gun and mount can be assembled so that traverse and elevation are movable.

Two smaller trees contain identical parts for road wheels, suspension, and various lower hull hardware. Road wheel detail is excellent with interlocking hardware to aid in assembly.

Finally there are four small trees of individual track links. The track links are the first individual molding I have seen in a kit for this vehicle type and are superb. Interconnect moldings seem fine and a dry fit of several links proved that it should be no problem linking them together.

The kit instructions are printed in three languages. These contain ample and extremely well done drawings showing assembly. All parts are numbered in the instructions and on the sprue. A black and white photo of the vehicle is also included. Color information and instructions for marking three different vehicles are provided.

Decals for the kit include two types of crosses and three group markings. They appear to be quite thin and well registered. The decals are dated 1999 by ProDecals so they should be fresh. One piece of PE mesh is provided to cover the muffler.

Conclusion

Well, now that I put my glasses on and really gave this kit a going over I am quite impressed. I really cannot spot any obvious flaws with the kit. If you are into the Marder variants, as I am, I am sure that you will like this early model beauty. Can't wait to start building now!

Source

  • F.M. von Senger und Ettrlin: German Tanks of World War II, Galahad Books, 1969.




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