Ace 1/72 SdKfz 131 Marder II

KIT #: 72271
PRICE: $12.45 from
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: includes photo etch fret


The Marder II came in two major versions. The first version Marder II (Sd.Kfz. 132) was based on the light Panzer II Ausf. D/E and Flammpanzer II chassis with Christie suspension. It was armed with captured Soviet 7.62 cm guns, re-chambered to accept German 7.5 cm Pak 40 ammunition, which improved its penetrative capabilities. These early Marder IIs had a very high silhouette (2.60 m high), thin armor of only 30 mm (front) and 10 to 15 mm (sides). There was no armour on the top or rear, leaving the crew with very little protection. Alkett and Wegmann produced 201 Marder II (Sd. Kfz. 132) from early 1942 to early 1943.

The second version Marder II (Sd.Kfz. 131) was based on Panzer II Ausf. A to C removed from active service but later also newly produced Ausf. F chassis were used. This Marder II had a redesigned (widened) fighting compartment and used the German 75 mm Pak 40 anti-tank gun. The silhouette was lowered by about 40 cm to 2.20 m, but the armor was thin and the compartment was open to the top and rear, as in Sd. Kfz. 132. FAMO, MAN and Daimler-Benz produced 576 Marder II (Sd.Kfz. 131) conversions from June 1942 to Mid 1943. 75 more were converted (probably by FAMO only) from mid 1943 to early 1944 when the last Panzer IIs were taken out of active service. 


Many of you have built Ace kits and they offer a good quality product for a reasonable price. Ace tends to produce short run or low pressure mold kits of subjects that the major brands have ignored or not yet done. Such is the case with this Marder II kit.

Produced on seven sprues, of which one, for the gun, comes from Roden, the parts are well molded with some small amount of flash (actually just largish mold seams), and a tendency for the really thick bits to have sink areas. All of this is taken into stride by those who like to build these kits so it isn't a deal breaker by any means.

The basis of the kit is the Panzer II and one gets pretty much a stock lower section from that vehicle. The upper hull and the gun are what make this a Marder and for that, there are additional sprues to cover these differences. The kit provides a partial interior as the Marder is an open vehicle. There are small items to go on the interior side walls as well as behind the shield. The double shielded gun is on a sprue developed by Roden for some of their armor kits.

One of the highlights of this kit is the etched tracks. These are actually pretty neat. One simply folds them over to provide track depth. The guide teeth are then bent upwards. They can then be formed, painted and glued in place. A similar set is done in aftermarket by Intech and those who have used them comment on how nice they are.

Instructions are the usual folded sheet of paper with instructions on one half. The drawings are well done and, as usual, no painting info during construction is provided so you are on your own as to how to detail stuff. There are four options, all in Panzer Yellow with green or brown splotches. They are all Eastern Front with one being an unknown unit, one from 7th Luftwaffe Field Division, one from 560th Panzerjaeger Abteling, and one from Fuhrer Begleit Division 'Grossdeuchland'. The small decal sheet is off register but since only two markings are affected, it isn't a big deal.




December 2010

Thanks for the preview kit. Get yours at the link and at a discount.

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