|Sd.Kfz 138 Ausf M Marder|
|Kit No. 344||Review by Simon Barnes|
Of the 3 UM Marder kits this is the one that I have waited for the most, certainly the best looking of the 3. The M version is based on the Pz 38 chassis but with the hull mounting the new mid mounted engine instead of the engine being at the rear, this allowed more space at the rear of the vehicle for a fighting compartment than the rear engined vehicles did.
The hull sprue is common to all 3 M version kits and fits together in a similar fashion as the earlier kits did. Other fitting common to all types are also on this sprue such as the tools and jacks which are all separate
The next sprue is specific to the Marder and has the superstructure, the gun, ammunition bins, radio, exhaust and rear plate as these vary between the different vehicles. The odd thing about this vehicle is that most models in 1/35th of the Marder all have the exhaust pipe exiting the vehicle on the right side and running to the rear muffler. This kit has the exhaust exiting on the right side of the rear plate and going to the muffler. Both variations are correct as pictures show both types, the only book that really explains it is the Militaria book, but unfortunately I don't read Polish !! Shame that there isn't a book in German about German vehicles at least then I would be able to read it !
Lau adds (2018):
The gun is fixed in position whilst it is adequately detailed more could be added if wanted, the fighting compartment is similarly kitted out, missing only a few small stowage boxes. The only real fault I can find is the fact that the right hand ammo stowage only has place for 10 rounds, where as from what I can see in photos it should be 12 the same as the left. This would require some modification of the fighting compartment to add more space for the 2 extra rounds.
The tracks and wheels are the same as supplied in all the other Pz 38 (t) kits, UM must have modified these sprues as the early kits had problems with the sprocket and idler spacing making then too narrow for the tracks, this has been rectified and both can be fitted together without any added spacing.
The PE is just the bare essentials, the grills for the side intake are PE and flat, on the real vehicle the vanes were angled.
A lot of options are provided on the decal sheet, even the vehicle used by the British. UM continue to add more decals to their sheets than are shown in the instructions, although this is nice, it does mean that you need some form of reference to place them properly.
Again another nice kit from UM that will build into a decent representation of the real thing, it scales out well to the various plans and dimensions that I have. With a little extra work it will build into a real gem.
Marder and Grille MBI Books dual Czech and English Language
PzKpfw 38(t) in action Squadron/Signal No 19
Marder III Militaria N0 73