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Tamiya 1/48 Marder III Tank Destroyer

The German Marder III series tank was designed using the chassis of the obsolete 38(t) tank made by the Czech company CKD. This tank destroyer was developed to counter the Russian T-34 and KV-1 tanks. The initial version of the Marder was armed with the PaK 36(r) 7.62cm anti-tank gun. Additional versions of the Marder were created based on the 38(t) tank. The series culminated with the development of the Marder III M, which differed from the earlier models.

The Marder III moved the engine to the center of the tank and the fighting compartment to the rear of the vehicle. This revision lowered the profile of the crew compartment allowing for additional armor plates for protection. Between May 1943 and May 1944, 942 Ausf. M tanks were produced.

The Kit:

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Kit Highlights
  • 1/48 scale plastic assembly kit of the German Tank Destroyer Marder III M.
  • The Marder’s combat compartment has been recreated in superb detail.
  • Display the model on its own or together with other 1/48 scale vehicles to create impressive dioramas. Related Products

Here is another subject added to our Tamiya 1/48th armor series.  This time is the German Tank Destroyer Marder III.  A beautifully engineered model kit and for its scale, it will please the most demanding armor builder. Like I have mentioned plenty of times before, armor builders for the most part prefer their kits in 1/35th scale. But the 1/48th scale armor is gaining popularity among aircraft model builders. Either as stand alone display models or with your favorite aircraft from the given era, the display and diorama possibilities are endless.

Unlike most of the armor subjects from the 1/48th Tamiya armor series, the Marder III German Tank Destroyer does not come with a die-cast pre-primed chassis. However, as with the case of the 1/48th scale Russian KV-2 Tank, the Marder III does include metal plates to add some weight and mass to the model. The instructions are in a 5 fold sheet with 20 steps to complete the model.

As with the other kits from the 1/48th series, the tracks are injected styrene. It is a love and hate relation but once one gets used to them, the assembly is very straight forward.

Again, I’ve concluded that Ambroid or Tenax plastic cement works better (for the track sections) than my regular Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. Once dried, a dab of CA glue with some kicker on the joint areas will help the tracks stay together during the assembly process.
The drive sprocket is attached via poly cap, however the idler wheel needs to be glued. A word of advice, don’t glue the idler wheel until you have fitted the tracks on the lower hull. It will be a lot easier, plus you won’t have to force the tracks that much and risk having them snap at some points.

I did not find any fitting problems with this model kit, nada, zero, zip. The included figure has some molding seam which was fixed in no time. That seam IMHO, falls into the acceptable/normal range. The kit comes with 3 marking options as follow:

  1. 15th Panzer Division, 33rd Tank Destroyers Battalion. North Africa, 1942.
  2. 7th Panzer Division, 42nd Tank Destroyer Battalion. Russia, 1942.
  3. 19th Panzer Division, 19th Tank Destroyer Battalion. Russia, winter 1942.

Painting and Weathering:

I don’t usually prime my models. The base color for this Marder III was Tamiya XF-63 German Gray. It was time to give it a try to the AK-Interactive Worn Effects (AK-088). If you’re happy with the old hair spray technique that’s fine. But I’m glad to report that the Worn Effect AK-088 does works as advertised. After this was applied and dry, a modest cat of Tamiya XF-2 Flat White was sprayed with my AZTEK A470 airbrush and Tan Nozzle.

After this step, I started to scrub the white paint with an old tooth brush. Then a smaller hard brush was used for harder to reach areas like corners. Then I proceeded to my decals which went without a problem. The decals were sealed with Testors Acryl Flat Coat to protect them from the wash that was about to come.

Following the decals, a Dark Wash from MIG Productions was given to the model. Rust streaks was the final touch and it was achieved using ”Rust Streaks” from AK Interactive (AK-013). As with the Worn Effect, it does work superb.

Final Verdict
The 1/48th scale Marder III German Tank Destroyer is not the regular weekend build I sometimes refer on other subjects from the line. It has exquisite molded on detail as well a separate. Tool boxes, axes, picks and hatches are included as separate parts. There are some notable ejection pin marks under the fenders. But considering the distance between them and tracks, they don’t pose a negative point given the fact that they will be barely if not visible at all. Still, if you want to fix them, be my guest. They won’t be hard to fill and fix either.

There are 2 ejection pin marks on each side of the armor plate (visible on the pictures). They are there on purpose and sure, I can photoshop them. But the only one I’d be lying to, is to myself. What you see on the pictures, is what you’ll get out of the box. This model kit is a palm size gem and is highly recommended!

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.