During the summer of 1941 the appearance of new Soviet tanks
such as the T-34 and KV-1 came as a surprise to the Germans,
whose tanks were clearly outgunned and out armored. Development
and production of new medium and heavy tanks to combat the
Soviet tanks would take some time.
An interim measure was the
development of the Marder series of self-propelled anti-tank
guns. These would use the combination of proven chassis of
obsolete tanks and either captured Soviet 76.2mm divisional
field guns, which had been captured in large numbers early on
during the invasion of the Soviet Union, which had been
rechambered to accept the German 75mm armor piercing round or
the German 75mm Pak 40 series anti-tank guns. Both types of guns
could penetrate just over 100 mm of armor at 1000 meters.
This design was based on the idea
of using equipment currently available and quickly modifying it
for immediate use. They were lightly armored and simpler to
operate than a tank. Their mission was to destroy enemy tanks at
long range and through ambush.
While the earlier versions of the
Marder were based on captured French and obsolete German tanks,
the Marder III version was based on the Panzerkampfwagen 38(t)
light tank, a Czechoslovakian design that the Germans liked and
continued to produce and use after their takeover of
Czechoslovakia in 1938/39. The Ausf. M (Mitte or mid engine) was
the final version of the Marder series with a lower silhouette,
improved armor and fighting compartment, and the engine
relocated to the middle of the vehicle. 975 were produced from
April 1943 - May 1944. It fought on all fronts and 350 were
still in use at the end of the war.
This is one of Tamiya's more recent offerings and I think an
excellent one!! The detail is excellent and the fit is
excellent. I built mine out-of-box but next time I'll use
aftermarket tracks, although the kits aren't to bad. There are
also several aftermarket detail sets for this kit too, again
maybe next time…
Contents of the kit are several
trees of tan colored parts, the one piece tracks, some poly
caps, a small photo etch part for the muffler with some fine
brass wire to secure it, and finally a small decal sheet. The
instructions are easy to understand and provide you with 5
Construction was not difficult as
long as I took my time. Fit was great. The hull is built as a
unit, the gun is built as a unit, and then the two are put
Painting was done with Tamiya acrylics. A black undercoat
followed by the three colors of the camouflage scheme. I need
practice here on this part, to achieve the proper method to
allow the preshading to show through here, as it should. Next
time, I'll paint the darker colors first and the yellow last so
I can hopefully apply less of the yellow and keep the kit with
some more depth and not too bright. Details were painted by
Decals… The only ones I used
were the national markings on the sides and rear end, with a
minimal Future floor wax spot to provide a smooth area. I flat
coated those spots with Testors Dullcoat.
Weathering was done with
Alphacolor earth tone soft pastels that I got from Bronto
Models. These are excellent and give great results. I weathered
mine lightly. It's a shelf sitter… when I do a diorama, I'll
be heavier on the weathering.
I highly recommend this kit!!
It's great OOB and with some aftermarket it could be
sensational! Hats off to Mr. Tamiya!!