7.5cm Pak 40/2 auf Sfl (Sd.Kfz.131) Marder II

Kit #: 72271
Preview by Stephen Brezinski - SBrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman

This in-the-box kit review covers ACE’s rendition in 1/72 scale of a German self-propelled Pak 40 7.5-cm anti tank gun mounted on a Panzer II chassis. The vehicle was introduced in mid-1942 and produced till mid-1943. It can be modeled in service in Italy, the Northern European front and the Russian Front till the end of the war. I refer you to the references for further information
The term Marder II commonly used for this vehicle will be used in this review but be aware according to Jentz, this was not the common name during WW2. [Terminology and vehicle information I use in this review is largely based on Panzer Tracts No.7-2 - Panzerjaeger (7.62 cm F.K.(r) auf gp.Sfl. to Marder 38T), by Thomas Jentz and Hilary Doyle, which I consider the most accurate resource.]

The box art gives us an indication of what we are supposed to have in the box. The Pak 40 gun has the original gun shield for the towed gun surrounded by a superstructure of armor plate atop a Panzer II Ausf. F chassis. Two shovels are stored on the superstructure side; many photos show the vehicle also having a pick mounted here, some show no tools at all. There is a tall travel lock securing the long gun barrel for travel. The vehicle is painted in a panzer yellow color with small green splotches. The tracks are depicted as a dark metallic gray color with no rust or ground-in dirt. Left of the gun is a rolled-up towing cable. On the bow is a run of spare tracks. There is a driver’s visor but no false visor to the right (our left) common to the Panzer II. The driver’s visor is open covering the two periscope holes in the front plate.

Based on the vehicle features this appears to be a factory built Marder II and not one of the 75 conversions from Pz II tanks. Overall the art work looks accurate and I think wonderfully done.

The kit consists of about 111 light gray, injection molded styrene parts making up the vehicle body and superstructure, and 20 medium gray injection molded styrene parts comprising the Pak 40/2 gun, and 14 etched brass parts.

This is the kit sprue containing the superstructure parts and is particular to the Marder II model. At upper and lower left are the superstructure sides (parts 52 & 55); at upper right are the rear ammunition bin (parts 48 and 49). The parts on the sprues are not numbered so we have to refer to the parts diagram on the first page of the instructions to find a part if it is not obvious. I see a minor sinkhole on both sides of part 55 which is the right superstructure wall. The part at lower right is the forward superstructure part showing the superstructure to be not symmetrical.
The sprue containing the parts for the hull is common with ACE’s Panzer II kits and is not shown here in this review; see Henk Of Holland’s website for a full view of all the kit parts and instructions: http://henk.fox3000.com/Ace-ww2.htm

At right is Sprue-H with the Pak 40 gun that comes with the ACE Marder II; I’ve seen this sprue before… oh yes, it’s from the Roden Pak 40 and SdKfz 234/4 kits! It certainly makes sense for ACE to use a good piece already in production rather than spend the money and time making yet another 1/72 scale Pak 40 kit, and it is good for Roden also.
At right is the ACE sprue with most of the small parts like shovels and axe, Notek headlight, driver’s seat, tow hooks and wire cutters etc; all done very nicely. This sprue is common to ACE’s Panzer II kits. With limited-run plastic kits like this, the styrene can be softer and break more easily, so please be careful when cutting the small parts free. With short-run styrene kits the moldings may wear outresulting in excess flash and moldings off register.
I see some sink holes on the sprue tree which is where the sinkholes should be and not on the kit parts.

The sprue for the wheels and suspension are common to ACE’s other Panzer II model kits. Left of center ACE gives us two idler wheel choices, part-18 for an early Panzer II and part-19 for a late Panzer II and the factory built Marder II. ACE’s Panzer II based model kits have the leaf spring suspension parts separate where as ESCI/Italeri’s Panzer II leaf spring suspension is molded on to the hull sides and with Attack’s Pz II are molded separately.

The assembly instructions for kit 72271 are multi-step exploded-view common to ACE’s and many other model maker’s kits. The parts are numbered and the instructions look complete and understandable. The Roden parts H1 though H18 for the Pak 40 are colored medium gray. The vehicle ammunition bins on the engine deck (parts 48 & 49) are molded closed; we would have to open these to show the ammunition for a combat diorama.

Be aware that the wood storage box (parts-63, 65, 66 & 69) was not present on most Marder II vehicles and is particular to a vehicle identified to be in Russia in 1943. There were actually many variations in extra storage boxes that were mounted on the Marder II based on the particular unit and crew. Most Marder IIs in my reference books did not have the MG34 (part 74) mounted on the superstructure.

At upper right is the etched metal fret with the observation visors along the bottom and four pieces of etched tracks. The etched visors look really nice and I think are a great idea. There are three fine etched parts (parts-e2) that I could not find in the instructions so I presume are not used with this kit? At the upper left of the instructions is the guide for folding the tracks and bending up the track guide teeth.

Here is a close-up of the original ACE etched brass Pz II tracks next to ACE’s newer injection-molded soft plastic band tracks, ESCI’s old abysmal (my personal opinion) polyethylene band tracks and at far right are the Mk72 styrene track for their Marder II. The instruction sheet at top left of the scan shows how to bend the brass tracks into shape. I’ve had mixed results with etched brass tank tracks; it depends on the track type and how they are fabricated. My personal favorite here is the new ACE soft band tracks for detail and ease of use.

At left is the painting and mounting guide for four vehicles, all of them serving on the Eastern (Russian) Front. At the upper left corner the water-slide decal markings are simple German crosses (Balkenkreuz) in three variations and kill-rings for around the gun barrel. All four sketches show the large ammunition box mounted on the forward right fender (track guard), but keep in mind this box is not typical of Marder IIs. At right of the instruction sheet is the parts diagram.


Modeling Research

  • Panzer Tracts 7-2 - Panzerjaeger (7.62 cm F.K.(r) auf gp.Sfl. to Marder 38T), by Thomas Jentz and Hilary Doyle (2005), Panzer Tracts, P.O.Box 312, Boyds, MD 20841-0334.
  • Panzerjager, by Horst Scheiber, (1998), Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
  • ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GERMAN TANKS OF WORLD WAR TWO, Peter Chamberlain and Hillary Doyle, (1978), Arms & Armour, and Sterling Publishing.
  • http://www.achtungpanzer.com/marder-marten-series.htm
  • http://henk.fox3000.com/Ace-ww2.htm

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Preview Last Updated: 05 May 2012