In the late 1930’, Germany’s confiscation of over 100 of Czechoslovakia’s LT38’s resulted in the Pz.Kpfw 38(t) Ausf A, and set the course for this chassis to become of the Second World Wars’ most widely used tanks. In time, variants of it would be used for the Grille, Hetzers, flammpanzers, and of course, the Marder series of Tank Destroyers. The variant that this model represents, the Marder III Sd.Kfz.139 was based on the Panzerkapfwagen 38(t) light tank, with the top superstructure removed and a captured Soviet Pak 36 fitted after being altered to take German 75mm Pak 40 ammunition.
Russian manufacturer UM Models are a fairly unknown manufacturer to me, but I was surprised to learn they do have a very extensive range of 1/72 kits. The kit comes in an end-opening box, on the front of which is an excellent illustration, and the rear has a full painting guide. Inside the box, sealed in a plastic bag are 4 sprues of light grey styrene, two of which are the same, holding the running gear, a sheet of matt decals, a small photo etch sheet and of course the instruction sheet. The instruction sheet looks very good indeed, giving painting instructions throughout for Humbrol colours, and being of the exploded line-drawing type.
The parts look very finely cast, with only a tiny amount of flash being present which is easily removed. At this scale, parts of necessity are going to be simplified…but I was very pleasantly surprised at the amount of detail represented on these tiny parts.
The hull is constructed of flat panels, which were slightly warped, but at this scale, easy to fix. There are no positive locators for the bottom of the hull, and construction is a little awkward, but with care, a beautiful little Marder III should be reproduced.
On many of the parts there are half-formed injection pins which will need removal and filling if not hidden by final assembly. However, the fine detail included, I think made up for these, with a full set of separate tools, a photo etch tool box for the fender and the basket at the rear of the vehicle being supplied as photo etch too.
The tracks are supplied as link and length and look very finely moulded as well.
A beautiful little kit that will require very careful assembly to get the most from, but could produce a small-scale Marder III that anybody would be proud of, at a price anybody can afford.
My Thanks to Squadron for the review sample