Tamiya Jagdpanzer Marder 1 Sd.Kfz. 135
For the recent First Look of this kit, visit: http://amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=14625
Steps 1-5 are the lower hull; the fighting compartment assembly.
This is a view of the front transmission plate.
Looking down into the lower hull one can see the only supplied interior is the fighting compartment.
This is a view of the rear hull, rear idler mounts, and the hitch assemblies. Great rivet detail throughout the kit.
There was one little seam on the upper hitch that required some putty or it would show badly. I used some super glue and kicker for a base. I sanded it and put some Tamiya grey putty on it. I get no shrinkage at all doing it this way.
These steps involve the road wheels and suspension pieces.
The drive sprockets have two pieces and a poly cap to build. The rear idlers are just two parts.
This is the lower hull with the suspension and road wheels stuck together. There are holes in the hull that accept the complete suspension assembly. It is a one piece module. The only parts that go onto it are the lower road wheels and the inner suspension supports. Speaking of road wheels there is a correct way they mount. The left side center bogie has a small piece hanging from it. Don’t cut it off. It belongs there!!!
Here you have a choice. You can remove the large parts and paint them now. I did not and regretted doing it later. This is just my thoughts as it will be your model to make the choice on. The way the model is constructed it would work to do it now.
This step is for building the tracks.
The tracks are link and length style. They are also some of the best ones I’ve done. They were really crisp and hardly needed any extra cleaning. Be careful though, you only get two extra links!! I have another confession to make here. I used the new Tamiya quick set glue to assemble the tracks on the sprockets. Well it worked perfectly except it leaked onto the sprockets just a little and I couldn’t lift the tracks back off. This is a great new glue!!!
The upper hull area is assembled in these steps.
This a top view of the front plate, engine deck, exhaust and cover, lower gun mount, and shell storage support. I had zero issues with any parts fitting.
I kept the few tools off until I painted them.
The left side showing the same parts and tracks mounted.
This is the right side view with the aforementioned parts attached.
This step is for the radio construction.
The radio has pretty good detail. There is potential to wire it and also the headset is included.
Shells and upper structures are featured here.
I have one of two complaints here. The kit has hidden all or most ejector pin marks. The inside of the upper shields had numerous ones all over. Luckily, they all sanded out but a few were pretty awkward to get at. The radio hides one.
This is one view of the inner shield supports.
This is a view of the fighting compartment showing the upper ammo support.
After all the marks were sanded out, I could install the other components to the shields. I left the radio out till after I got the inside painted.
Here are the final steps. Following are the assembly of the gun and its components.
The main three gun components are the barrel, carriage, and cradle.
The barrel is a great one piece mold. The muzzle is the only two part assembly. There is a very slight seam to fill or sand.
The underneath of the carriage has a seam too. It is mostly hidden but I filled the leading edge so that much won’t show. The rest of the cradle is spot on.
OK, my second complaint is the backside of the shield at the hinges. It’s a mess. It almost looks like it was from another kit. I say that because it is covered with ejector pin marks and behind each hinge it has a recess where the hinges are on the front. As great as this kit is, this seems to look like older technology to me compared to the perfection of the other parts of the kit.
I thinned the edges a little as they looked quite thick. I took some .030 x .060 Evergreen plastic strips and filled in the recesses. I then spread some super glue over them to stop the putty from shrinking like before.
The Tamiya silver putty on and the pin marks also covered. They were too deep to sand out here.
After they sat all night I sanded them out with 600 grit paper and primed it with Tamiya grey primer.
This is the tank ready for paint. The gun sits right in afterwards. I left the gun out to make painting inside easier and also get the shells in. I taped the sides on to check it for fit.
Step 34 involves the figures. They will appear in the final photo. They do go together very well with minimal cleanup.
The Finished Product:
The tank and all it parts ready for priming. I used Tamiya Hull Red to replicate in my mind the primer color of the real tank.
I painted the inside of the tank and shields first. I then assembled them and finished painting the rest of the parts. This way I could lighten the outer color near the upper edges
This is a view from the left side.
This is another view showing the right side of the tank.
A front view of the tank showing the transmission cover and the detail it has.
This is the interior with all the parts assembled. It is sparse but can be detailed if the builder wants to.
This is the excellent detail of the underneath of the tank.
These are the two supplied figures. They come with two heads and hats for one figure. The choice is the hat without a visor or with. I chose to go with the soft cap. They build up pretty well. I copied the uniform markings as they were on the box art.
I sprayed the Marder using Tamiya paints. I tinted the Dark Yellow with Buff. I tinted it a little more as I got higher on the tank. The red is their Red Brown and the green was tinted Field Green. I over sprayed the tank with Testors Acrylic Flat coating. For a wash I used oil and White spirits from MIG. I also used some MIG pigments around the suspension parts.
It appears that maybe Tamiya has simplified this build to possibly attract the beginner builder and keep costs down. The aftermarket folks might get involved with this kit and help upgrade it for the more adventurous modeler. Time will tell.
As I stated, in my opinion, the two cons are the amount of marks inside the upper shields and the gun shield. The second being the recesses under the shield hinges. They are easy repairs. The rest of the kit falls together and was a blast building. The overall kit has very nice and crisp detail; not to mention a cool looking little tank!!
It looks like a winner!
German Army Uniforms of WW2 by Wade Krawczyk
Rommel’s Funnies by Tom L. Jentz
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders
Special thanks to Tamiya for the review sample
If you liked this review, consider joining AMPS. Your annual membership
includes six copies of AMPS's magazine, Boresight,
and helps to support our ongoing reviews.
Click here for more information about joining AMPS