Panda Hobby 1/35 Marder I

KIT #: PH 35006
MARKINGS: Six options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch parts


The Marder I was developed in May 1942 by Major Alfred Becker. It carried the 75 mm PaK 40 anti-tank gun on a Lorraine chassis. As the gun was relatively large, the original crew compartment superstructure was removed to create the space needed to work the gun. This was done at Baustokommando Becker. The gun was then mounted atop the chassis. Alkett, working in conjunction with Becker, produced the angled armour shielding for the crew compartment. The shielding was relatively light, and was open from above. The shielding provided the crew with protection from blast and small arms fire, but was not intended to stop armour piercing rounds. The vehicle's primary function was to provide mobility to the anti-tank gun. It was not intended as a replacement for a main battle tank.

Between July and August 1942, 170 Marder I's were built on the Lorraine chassis. Later, several other French and Polish tanks were used as the conversion base for the Marder I, including the Hotchkiss H39 and FCM 36. These conversions were also completed at Baustokommando Becker, though fewer of these were built. The Marder Is initially served in infantry divisions on the Eastern Front and met with good success. They later made up a significant component of the armoured fighting vehicles of the reformed 21st Panzer Division in Normandy.


Panda Hobby's kit is very nicely molded in a tan plastic. The kit includes a small photo etch fret, which will be good news to those who are not fond of every handle and brace being made from this material. It seems to be used for brackets around the transmission cover, steps leading to the back, braces on the ammo storage rack, exhaust shield, parts of the gun cradle, a few shield braces and a large bit that fits atop the gun barrel. The kit also includes separate track links. These may be a bit tedious to assemble, but really, they look a lot better than any other method of providing tracks.

The hull is made from flat pieces glued together. The chassis is well thought out as once one attaches the suspension arms, one finds that the suspension springs is a single piece. This piece includes molded in return rollers. Road wheels are separate items as is the idler and sprocket. Each track run consists of 107 pieces, but Panda Hobby provides an assembly tool just for these.

Then one builds up the fighting compartment and upper hull section. This includes a shell rack and enough shells to fill it. The shield assembly is then constructed and attached to the various supports that one assembled with the fighting compartment. I'm not sure if the rear shield section was hinged or not, but it doesn't seem so according to the instructions. The Pak 40 is then built up and installed  before the forward shield assembly is attached.

Kit instructions are nicely drawn and easy to follow. There is a small decal sheet and one is provided with six options. One is the box art vehicle and the others are shown here. No unit or other information is provided. I initially thought the last option was something made up, but a kind reader has found something on it and it apparently was a vehicle captured by Belgian Resistance forces in late 1944. See photo below. It also appears that Kitty Hawk cannot tell the difference between the post war German flag and that of Belgium as they supply a German flag. Note also that the Belgian flag is flown with the stripes vertical and the German with them horizontal. The small decal sheet is nicely done and provides what little in the way of markings this vehicle wore. Image


I am going to bet that this isn't the first 1/35 Marder I to have been kitted, but it may well be the best. It does not look overly complex and thanks to Panda Hobby providing a track assembly guide, it may well be a lot easier to build than one thinks. I can appreciate the minimal use of p.e. as in my case, that material always tends to make a build go a lot longer. I am sure that those of you who model German armor will find this one to your liking.


June 2016

Thanks to Panda Hobby for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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