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!
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.
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).
Crew: 4 Weight: 11.5 tons Length - 5.85 m Armament: 7.62 cm Pak 36, 7.92 mm MG.
In the Box
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
F.M. von Senger und Ettrlin: German Tanks of World War II, Galahad Books, 1969.