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In-Box Review
Marder III H
1:35 '39-'45 Series - Sd.Kfz.138 Panzerjäger 38 für 7.5cm PaK40/3 Ausf.H
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by: Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]

Originally published on:

Another Dragon 'Smart' kit! The second to use their really nice 38(t) running gear. This time in the guise of a Marder IIIH, produced in 1942 -'43, and armed with a 7.5cm PaK40/3 L/46. When the Aufklarungspanzer 38(t) was released not so long ago, the sprue breakdown let it be known that we could expect a few more variants to be released quite soon, and I don't think this will disappoint many! (But there are always some!)

the kit
Beautifully presented, in a larger box than the Aufklarungspanzer, each sprue individually bagged for protection, the usual Dragon card on top. What we get is a separate hull, same on as kit #6294, nine sprues of light grey styrene, and three small transaparent ones. We are also given a large photo etched fret, an aluminium barrel, a bag of those Magic Tracks again with the embossed casting numbers on, and a really special pre-formed wire basket for the rear of the vehicle in a small black vac-formed tray.

There's obviously going to be a few sprues that were from #6294, and so Sprue B is from that kit, but with different parts marked 'not for use'. Sprue B (the second one!) is from Dragon's superb PaK40 kit, which has seen good use in many kits now, and sprue A containing the running gear is also from #6294, although they have added a bit with new drive sprockets without lightening holes, so a choice is available, consult your references for the specific vehicle you intend to make as all the marking options provided by Dragon use the ones with the holes.

Sprue C is also from the PaK40, containing the ammunition for the PaK40, and we get eight unused rounds, three spent shells, packing tubes and cases. These are also nicely provided for on the decal sheet, with full markings provided. Sprue D, again from #6294, however, there is a brand new sprue, G that holds the upper structure of the vehicle, and as you'd expect, Dragon have outdone themselves in the moulding and level of detail provided. All the periscopes are provided as transparent parts, as is the driver’s visor, and interestingly, all the on vehicle tools are provided without moulded on clamps. In the previous smart kits the tools were provided with detailed moulded clamps, in this kit we're given PE clamps and no plastic alternative?

As far as feature goes, the kit certainly lacks nothing. As with #6294, the fenders are reproduced in the same way... I think. I'm starting to build it as I write this so I'll maybe amend this if it's different, but so far the bend is still achieved in the same way. Obviously a new shield is provided for the main gun, as well as a new mount, and the hull machine gun is provided as a pre-drilled example. It's the inside of the vehicle that I can't wait to get started on! The transmission hatch can be positioned open as a full transmission is provided, and the shell racks for the inside of the fighting compartment have to be seen!

The photo etch included, is as I mentioned earlier, the largest fret yet included in a 'Smart' kit, and that with the superb wire basket, and aluminium barrel, lead me to think that the 'Smart' kit label is beginning to 'merge' into Dragon's normal range, seeing as one of the selling points of the Smart' kit series was they would contain a minimum of PE. This one holds a new shield for the muffler, a toolbox for the fender, tool clamps as mentioned earlier, various straps for tying down equipment are provided, unfortunately not those for the shell racks though.

marking options

Four marking options are offered;

Pz.Jg.Abt.171. Infantry Division, Italy 1944
2nd Pz.Jg.Abt.39, 21 Panzer Division, Tunisia, 1943
23rd Panzer Division, Eastern Front, 1944
An unidentified unit in Italy, 1944.

I could have poured over reference books for six hours when writing this, in an attempt to find something, anything, wrong with it. Quite frankly though, I don't do that. I've better things to do... like build it. I've started this one and will be publishing regular updates on my progress, so keep an eye out! For now... enjoy the pictures of what's in the box, it's a great kit, and if there is anything wrong with it, then it's so small it makes no difference to me... I'll still build it, and enjoy it! Recommended!
Another very 'Smart' kit from Dragon, this time in the form of a Marder IIH. It cries out to be built, and includes extensive photo etch, a metal barrel, and a really clever pre-formed wire basket!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6331
  Suggested Retail: 46.00 USD
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 27, 2007

Our Thanks to Dragon Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)

Copyright ©2021 text by Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Looking forward to seeing you build this one up Vinnie (and thanks btw for the confirmation on the fenders question), it's interesting to see the convergence of the "Super" and the "Smart" kit features...and making the PE obligatory for the handles is an interesting move, wonder if this signals a new trend in this regard vs. the with/without options provided previously.
JAN 27, 2007 - 04:15 AM
Which will be useful for those modelers, who are interested in accuracy in any degree. Vinnie's review is great for someone who wants to know what is in the box. But I have the kit already and know what parts are inside, so I'm looking for something more in a review and hopefully this "different site" will provide it. By the way: Vinnie, could you please check muffler and exhaust parts in new kit? - they were modified from Aufkraerungspanzer kit and it would be interesting to check how they fit now. Pawel
JAN 27, 2007 - 05:36 PM
is there by any chance we can take a peek at the colour chart?
JAN 27, 2007 - 05:56 PM
Looks damn good to me, that basket is a work of art! I'll be watching your build updates with great interest Vinnie.
JAN 27, 2007 - 08:44 PM
A very nice looking kit.. that is now on my "want" list.. I just love the Tank Destroyers.. btw that does look like a nice amount of PE in the "basic" kit..
JAN 27, 2007 - 09:01 PM
Looks great, Vinnie. Personally, I cant wait to get this kit. Basically I like anything on the 38(t) chassis, so this one will be well-worth getting. I have the Dragon Aufklarungspanzer 38(t) kit as well, and that is a real nice kit also. It will be interesting to see how Tristar/AFV Club does their Marder III Ausf H. Not sure I will get that one or not, but I will have them in stock regardless. One of the blokes from my modelling club will get one Thanks for the review, and now I will wait for the UPS truck to show up with mine Cheers !! Robert
JAN 27, 2007 - 09:15 PM
Thanks for your most helpful review Vinnie, (as always )Been looking foward tothis one for ages, Looks really great exceeds expectations! I Can't wait to get my gubby little plaws on one One question theortically how easy would it be to get a gunner figure sitting in the gunner position? Jerry
JAN 27, 2007 - 11:32 PM
Great review! I just had to get one from Cyber-hobby. But now that I have one, Can anyone tell me if the instructions are wrong or is there only one seat or two for the driver and radio operator? the instuctions only call out for one on the right side of the vehicle but the parts listing has two? Any ideas? Do I dare ask about the gun travel lock?
FEB 16, 2007 - 10:29 AM
Cripes, a year's worth of new modeling projects come out every month now!
FEB 16, 2007 - 12:33 PM

What's Your Opinion?

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