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Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III Kit

Unimodel 1/72 Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2005 Manufacturer Unimodel
Subject Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III Scale 1/72
Kit Number 0343 Primary Media Styrene & Photo-Etch
Pros Nicely detailed SPG Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $10.98

First Look

Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III Kit
Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III Kit
Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III Kit
Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III Kit

When Germany occupied Czechoslovakia, one of the first items on the Wehrmacht's shopping list was control of the Czech armor factories that were turning out tanks with superior firepower then their Panzer I and Panzer II main tanks. These tanks would continue to be manufactured and were designated as PzKpfw 38(t).

As these tanks were later phased out of front-line service, their chassis were 'recycled' for other duties. One such application was to adapt the 38(t) chasis to carry the 75mm Pak 40 anti-tank gun, creating what would later be dubbed 'Marder III'. This self-propelled anti-tank weapon provided greater flexibility on the battlefield.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees, plus a small fret of photo-etched parts.

The first tree contains the main gun, gun shields, and gun compartment details. The second tree contains the parts for the lower hull and fenders. The third and fourth (identical) trees contain road wheels and track sections. The photo-etch parts provide the fender mounting brackets and a stowage box.

The track sections are an interesting touch since they are more realistic than rubber band tracks and easier to manipulate/assemble than true track links (especially in this scale). The results appear to be quite nice.

The kit provides a semi-furnished driver/machine gunner compartment and a nicely detailed upper hull, especially around the main gun.

Looking over the instructions, the details of this kit are quite impressive and the Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III should build into a nice scale replica.

Markings are included to represent three different Sd.Kfz.138 Marder IIIs:

  • 9th Panzer Division, Kursk, July 1943
  • 23rd Panzer Division, Eastern Front, 1943
  • 1st SS Panzer Division, Kharkov, 1943

This is a nice-looking kit that is reasonably priced and not a difficult build. You can see for yourself at your local hobby establishment or you can find this kit online at Squadron Mail Order.

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!