Category: Self Propelled




Tamiya 1/35 German Tank Destroyer Marder III


Built,Painted and Weathered
















Tamiya 1/35 German Tank Destroyer Marder III,Kit #35248

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Box Art

Here are several photos of my Dragon PAK 40/4 auf  RSO painted with Model Master Enamels,  MIG Pigments,Washes and 502 Abteilung Modeling Oil Colors. Unit Unknown

Upper body and bed and lower wheels,track,and suspension ready for paint. I used several photo etched sets including the one from Dragon. Note: when assembling rear end make sure you fit the drive train and wheels before completing  the multi- piece differential. Obviously you have to paint the engine before installing the front driver section on.


In 1944, the Germans mounted the widely used 7.5cm Pak 40 on the chassis of the RSO in an attempt to make up for a shortage of tank destroyers. The RSO which stood for Raupenschlepper Ost,
was developed as an affordable tractor well suited for hauling supplies and light artillery in the snow and mud often found on the Eastern Front.

There were two principal types manufactured by four different manufacturers, although Steyr remained the principal. In 1944 87 RS/01 and RSO/02 were adapted to mount the 7.5cm PaK 40 to fulfil the role of unarmoured tank destroyer.The suspension was a very basic design with all steel wheels and just four small leaf springs but the all tracked design and high ground clearance gave it excellent performance in the worst of conditions. Of the approximately 23,000 RSO’s of all versions produced, 60 were built to mount the PaK 40/4 anti-tank on the rear flat bed and a lightly armoured front driver’s compartment.

They were deployed in combat by Army Group South on the Eastern Front. These field trials indicated that, like with the early Marders, the gun-crew were unacceptably exposed to enemy small arms fire.The RSO or ‘Raupenschlepper Ost’ was designed and built as a result of German experiences during the winter of 1941/42 demonstrating the need for a fully tracked prime mover.
Steyr came up with the RSO, deliberately designing the high ground clearance to counter deep snow. There were two principal types manufactured by four different manufacturers, although Steyr remained the principal. In 1944 87 RS/01 and RSO/02 were adapted to mount the 7.5cm PaK 40 to fufill the role of unarmoured tank destroyer.

The Kit

This new release from Dragon is the first modern tooling of this easily recognized AFV. The kit combines Dragon’s existing Pak 40 with new Smart Kit tooling for the RSO chassis, the gun platform, driver’s compartment, engine, transmission and the gun mounting. The majority of this kit is new tooling to Dragon’s latest standards.

Other features include Magic Tracks and a sprue of shells and other munitions. A small PE fret includes the movable centre plate for the gun shield, vision flaps on the gun shield, hinged plates above the driver’s compartment, centre detail on the road wheels and the ends of the suspension struts. The gatefold instructions have 21 steps of line drawings.

AfterMarket Parts
Voyager PE35367 WWII German RSO chassis set PAK40: 4 self-propelled artillery pieces of the basic update: with rivets

Brand: Voyager Number: PE35367
Size: 1 / 35 WWII German Steyr RSO chassis set 75mm PAK40 / 4 self-propelled artillery pieces of basic update / with rivets
Attachment of the Dragon 6640
Package content: photo etch: 2 pieces, metal pieces, glue sticks, and wire. 

Nashorn is German for rhinoceros, pronounced Nahz-horn,was initially known as Hornisse,which is German for hornet, was a German tank destroyer of World War II. It was developed as an interim solution in 1942 by equipping a light turretless chassis with the Pak 43 heavy anti-tank gun. Though only lightly armoured and displaying a high profile, it could frontally penetrate any Allied tank at long range, and its relatively low cost and superior mobility to heavier vehicles ensured it remained in production until the war’s end.

The 8.8cm PaK43 was an outstanding weapon which was the result of a contract to develop a new 8.8cm anti-aircraft gun, awarded to Rheinmetall –Borsig and Krupp, to replace the Flak 37. One of the terms of the contract was that the weapon should be capable of firing in the ground role. The Rheinmetall –Borsig was successful in winning this
contract. The Krupp design lost out due increasing performance demands from the Luftwaffe, however it entered service as an anti-tank gun designated the Pak43 in 1943 and it is now regarded as the finest anti-tank gun of WW2. The Pak 43 was modified by fitting a horizontal sliding breech block, similar to the Pak 40 and the semi-automatic loading system of the Pak 43 was simplified. This simplified gun was designated the 8,8cm Pak43/41.
The chassis chosen for this project was the hybrid Panzer III/IV chassis which had been developed for the Hummel mounting the 15cm sFH18 Howitzer. This was a hull which was the same width as a Panzer III, but lengthened with the engine located in a central position, it utilised Panzer III and Panzer IV components in the drive train and running gear. For example the sprocket was of the type designed for the Panzer III because the transmission was also from the same vehicle, whereas the engine was from the Panzer IV.
They were produced from February 1943 to March 1945; the initial order was for a series of 500, of which 494 were completed before the end of the war.

The Nashorn has also been a very popular subject for scratch building and was Dragon’s first WWII kit,(‘39-‘45 Series No. 6001), back in late 1992.When putting this kit together, I can recall it was a challenge. Parts did not fit or line up, it was nearly impossible to get the tracks on, the fenders were too short for the hull, the gun sat too high, and many of the details were totally wrong. DML was likewise caught off guard by the bad review. In that period they did find that some of their draftsmen were not doing a good job and summarily fired them, replacing them with better researchers and competent ones. When they released their Hummel kit (No. 6004) they corrected many of the hull problems with the Nashorn kit, but it was still considered to be a bear to assemble correctly and to get all the parts to fit right. I built it straight out of the box, and this was my first “soft skin” kit,which added to the frustration. But as we know now, Dragon Kits evolved to become a true work of art.

One area of armour that the German Army pursued in the Second World War, was the so called Self Propelled gun, a large calibre cannon mounted to a tracked chassis with a limited traverse, due to the intended use being to engage enemy tanks from a hidden position at long ranges. This tank destroyer was built on the VK3301 chassis which was the basis for the Tiger tank. The main gun was a 12.8cm L/61 anti-tank weapon. To put this into perspective, 8,8cm was the caliber for the Tiger’s main gun and for the family of Flak and anti-tank weapons that literally devastated US and allied armor. The gun on the Sturer Emil was nearly 50% larger in caliber! From another perspective, the main gun on today’s M1A1/M1A2 Abrams and Leopard II tanks is ‘only’ 12.0cm. This was a big gun and would have likely devastated the T-34s had the Sturer Emil had been produced in any numbers. Only two prototypes were built, both were sent into action on the Eastern Front, one of which was subsequently captured by Soviet forces. Trumpeter has released the ‘Sturer Emil’ in 1/35 scale. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit consists of 245 parts on five parts trees plus the upper and lower hulls and armor gun shield. The tracks are the standard ‘rubber’ track molded in black. interior is very well supplied coming with very nice looking ammo racks holding the separate shells and cases. You get a wide range of personal gear attached to the interior sides such as MP40s in the mounting frames, handgrenades, gas mask containers, MP40 mag pouches, canteens, and a very nice radio. As well as ten shells mounted in the racks you get four individual shells, four individual cases and one assembled complete round. It is good to see mainstream kits of lesser known vehicles, with this kit having nicely detailed parts with details on both sides of major parts reminiscent of the detail in Trumpeter’s Karl with very well detailed main gun and should build into an impressive model. Modelers of German armor and self propelled guns in particular will enjoy this big gun on their shelf. I had no problem whatsover with this kit,and the interior is a treasure and the detail on the massive gun is very impressive. You can add so much inside because of the huge area. The vinyl tracks did not need any clean up and fitted like a glove,just like the main panels. I used Model Master enamels,and weathered with MIG washes and pigments. I recommend this kit highly.

Dragon’s Pz.Sfl.IVb

Early in WWII, German units relied on towed howitzers like the 10.5cm le.FH.18. Various proposals were made for a self-propelled version, with Krupp offering one based on a modified Panzer IV chassis. Named the Pz.Sfl.IVb or Sd.Kfz.165/1, its open-topped turret contained a 10.5cm le.FH.18 howitzer that was capable of only a 70 degree traverse by hand. A test series of eight vehicles was produced in November 1942 and they were combat tested in Russia. However, production was eventually cancelled because the administration decided they wanted carriages with all-round traverse. In the event, the le.FH.18 was successfully mounted on a Panzer II chassis in the well-known Wespe variant. Dragon has produced a fine new 1/35 scale kit of this rare and novel self-propelled howitzer. Just as the original prototypes were especially constructed, so Dragon’s scaled-down kit has a preponderance of brand new toolings. Of special note is the correctly shaped turret. This was based on detailed research so as to reproduce it with the correct proportions and dimensional accuracy. Though the lower hull and running gear look similar to that of a Panzer IV, they are in fact heavily modified. For instance, the Pz.Sfl.IVb has six enlarged road wheels each side. This kit fully represents the nuances of this unusual artillery piece, and no effort was spared on creating this kit. Dragon has given you Twelve large sprues of grey styrene, six smaller ones, a bag of handed track links, and a separate lower hull and turret. Not much to say about moulding quality as you can imagine, except that it’s up to Dragon’s usual excellent standard.This kit went together without any trouble,and the major sections went together quite nicely. The details were up to Dragon’s high standards and were very crisp.The “Magic Links”,went together very nicely with limited clean up. There’s a fully detailed breech, which of course you would expect, plus highly detailed charge and ammunition racks. Full radio gear, this time with speaker which will come in handy, two types of periscope including Rabbits ears, and there’s even a frame for a canvas turret cover which you can fit or stow on the fender.

Along with the fairly well appointed turret interior of course, the fighting compartment is fairly full as well, and although the final drive hatches can be modelled opened, there is nothing supplied to fit in the driver’s compartment in the way of controls, transmission etc., so if you want them open you’ll have to source an aftermarket interior. I had great fun constructing the interior and painting the loading compartment. I used Testors Model Master enamel paints,using Mig washes and pigments for the weathering. Overall this was the first open top that I have done for a long time.Dragon’s new kit will be money well worth spent,providing hours of enjoyment.


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