This Marder 1A3 shows the new three-colour NATO camouflage pattern called »Fleckentarnanstrich« in the Bundeswehr. The basic colour is RAL 6031 Bronzegrün, tinted with 30 % white to account for aerial perspective. The model comes with a detailed plan of the camouflage pattern which shows the pitch black (RAL 9021) and leather brown (RAL 8027) camouflage patches on all sides of the vehicle. The Fleckentarnanstrich is difficult to paint, but the finished model is well worth the effort. The stowed camouflage nets may be replaced with more realistic items made from army gauze bandage and draped over the infantry fighting vehicle. The anti-tank guided missile system MILAN, like many other equipment items, still shows the older »Yellow Olive RAL 6014« Bundeswehr camouflage colour. The launcher tube has been drilled open to add realism.
- Schützenpanzer Marder 1A3, Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV)
- 5. Kompanie/PzGrenBtl. 152, Schwarzenborn, 1997
- 5. Kompanie/PzGrenBtl. 323, Schwanewede, 1998
- 2. Kompanie/PzGrenBtl. 212, Augustdorf, 1999
- Milan Panzerabwehr-Raketensystem, anti-tank guided missile system (ATGM)
Scale-Modell with excellent detail. The surface of the Marder is covered with small hinges, rivets, bolt heads, crew and infantry hatches, and panel lines which remain clearly visible after painting. The finished model is a feast for the eyes, especially if the regulation camouflage pattern is recreated accurately.
More than 160 parts, the Marder 1A3 is an exceptional model in this scale. Despite the abundance of detail and kit parts, the hatches in the rear fighting compartment are cast into the hull permanently.
The required skill rating on the box cover places the kit in category 3 (medium), when it should be category 4 at least: the Marder 1A3 is difficult to build.
- Stage 6: The applique armour plate (part № 13) should not be mounted at this early stage, because the top edge needs to be aligned with the engine deck later. First complete Stage 9, then paste the armour plate to the lower hull and engine deck at the same time.
- Stage 7: The tiny track links need to be glued to the drive sprocket individually, making sure that there are no obvious gaps between the links.
- Stage 11: The holes for the railing (part 27.A) should be drilled open to ensure a better fit.
- Stage 12: Use glue only sparingly when cementing parts № 31, 32 and 33 together. Otherwise the entire assembly may melt and collapse, as can be seen in the rear view of the vehicle below.
- Stage 13: The semi-circular railings around the infantry hatches (parts 36 and 37) should be glued to their posts with very little adhesive. Excess adhesive will flow onto the rear deck and spoil small detail in that area.
- Stage 14: The rearview mirrors (part 39 and 40) should be cut off their mountings and glued onto the vehicle in the stowed position. Small parts like these tend to break off easily when the model is handled in the course of wargames. Furthermore, the kit does not provide self-adhesive mirror foil which might be used to finish the mirrors after painting the vehicle. Standard operating procedure is to stow the mirrors during combat manœuvres, and this may be recreated accurately in miniature.
- Stage 20: The antenna mounts should be drilled open and fitted with long bristles taken from a paint brush.
- Stage 22: The barrel of the 20 mm cannon should not be fitted at this stage, otherwise it will be in the way when the Milan anti-tank guided missile system needs to be mounted in stage 30. Make sure the Milan is properly in place, only then glue the barrel into the turret.
- Stage 26: Part № 70 is shown in the instructions as if it was just a rack for the ammunition box of the co-axial machine gun. In fact, the part combines the rack and the ammunition box, even if the latter is sculpted inaccurately. Refer to the picture on the box cover to see how the rack is mounted correctly.
- Stage 27: The co-axial machine gun (stage 26) is not glued to the 20 mm cannon, therefore it will not move co-axially in miniature. If the Marder is used in a diorama the machine gun and 20 mm cannon should be aligned in the desired position and then glued to the turret permanently.
- Stage 28 to 30: The Milan anti-tank guided missile System (part 75) needs to be glued to the small parts of the tripod (part 72, 73, and 74) first. Allow the entire assembly to dry overnight before glueing the launcher to the turret hatch. The locating pegs on two of the turret periscopes are too small to insert securely into the underside of part 72. In addition, the weight of the Milan launcher will tilt the entire assembly forward during the drying process, and this needs to be checked and corrected until the glue has set. Milan may be fired from the vehicle or from the ground. Accordingly, parts 73 to 75 should have been marked as optional in stage 28.
- Stage 32: The rolled camouflage nets (part 79 and 81) should be mounted with the wide end forward. Fill the unavoidable gaps between the net and the engine deck with Rai-Ro Green Wax
The hatches in the rear fighting compartment as well as the driver’s hatch are cast into the hull permanently. If mounted crew and infantry figures are to be shown in a diorama, open hatches will have to be scratchbuilt.
There are no crew figures in the kit. Maybe Preiser will take the opportunity and produce crew and infantry for the Marder 1A3. However, any such kit would have to include new hatch covers with interior detail, because the cast-on items will be destroyed when the hatches are cut open.
The protective covers over the headlights are slightly too thick. Expert modellers will want to replace them with etched brass parts.
Incorrect painting instructions in Stage 32: the tow ropes are actually bronze green at either end, only the section of metal rope between the tow rings should be painted iron colour.
View of the front left
View of the left side
View of the right rear
Marder 1A3 from above
Revell’s kit of the Marder 1A3 is difficult to master even for the expert modeller. The two editors of this magazine who built the three Marder 1A3 review samples did not enjoy the experience. The first model suffered all the mishaps outlined above, and the following kits were only marginally easier to build. The completed models are a feast for the eyes, but the many frustrations suffered in the process will be remembered for some time. Potential wargamers are not to be envied either: they will have to build three Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles to raise a Panzergrenadier platoon or 13 vehicles for a complete PzGren-Kompanie in accordance with the current Bundeswehr TO&E of Heeresstruktur 5.