ARM: Review - 1/35 scale Marder III Upgrade Set

Kit Review: (Dragon Models Limited) 1/35 scale upgrade and conversion set No. 3837 for Sd.Kfz. Panzerjaeger 38 fuer 7.5 cm PaK 40/3 Marder III Ausf. H; 120 parts12 (116 etched brass, 2 in grey styrene, 2 preformed brass); estimated retail price US $16.98

Advantages: adds the extra etched brass parts some modelers prefer on "Smart Kits"

Disadvantages: does not come with brass fenders

Rating: Recommended

Recommendation: for "fine tuning" the new DML Marder III Ausf. H kit.

As noted before, some modelers are not happy with the nice new series of DML "Smart Kits" that are designed to be easier to assemble and use fewer parts and less etched brass to achieve an acceptable level of detail. As such, DML's affiliate proceeds to turn out the boutique "upgrade" kits for them.

This one provides some parts which those modelers will be pleased with, beginning with etched brass and pre-formed casemate sides with all of the bolt head detail and reinforcing strips etched in place. Also provided are etched rivet strips fo the hull, "spoon" tabs for removing the long 7.5 cm rounds from their racks, and a number of other replacement parts for the kit.

Oddly enough, the one thing discussed on the internet did NOT come with this kit, namely etched brass fenders. A rather odd supplementary instruction set indicates that a angle setting gauge is provided for what it points to as etched brass fenders MA1 and MA2, but in this kit those parts are the casemate sides. No gauge is included that I could find.

The directions - such as they are - for these kits have been poor from the beginning, and this set really borders on the unusable. The figure for the call-outs on the brass fret is so small I had to use a

10x jeweler's loupe on it to read them, and then it is still very difficult. DML needs to get the attention of the people and provide decent directions with these kits or they are nearly useless to modelers not intimately familiar with the actual vehicle.

A nice bright set of Cartograf decals comes with the kit, providing for three more tri-color camouflaged vehicles, but again there is no indication as to who they belong to or where they were serving.

Overall this set is somewhat odd as other than the tiny etched brass bits and the pre-formed sides it seems to serve very little purpose.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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