Panda Hobby 1/35 15cm sFH 13/1(Sf) auf GW Lr.s.(f)

KIT #: PH 35035
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes metal track links


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 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.

In addition to those developed for anti-tank use, some were turned into SPGs by the installation of a 150mm howitzer. These were designated SdKfz 135/1


This is another of Panda Hobby's nice series of Marder vehicles. In this case, it is the howitzer mouted 135/1 Marder I. This is a fairly straight-forward kit and would be a great introductory kit for those who want to get into the more complex, high parts count kits that are beloved by so many builders.

The hull consists of separate floor, sides and end pieces onto which the suspension mounts are places. One then makes up the right and left suspension assemblies. This consists of six road wheels, an idler and a sprocket on each side. Then it comes to the track links. For this kit, Panda has provided individual metal track links. However, they have also provided an assembly tool that looks as if it will accept 30-40 links at a single time. This sort of tool is extremely handy in helping to put together these pieces and is quite welcome.

Once those are on, the rear spade assembly is built and then it is on to the superstructure. This consists of the engine and fighting compartment pieces, which is followed by the gun shield. Then the exhaust and the pieces for inside the shield are assembled. The next several steps is for the building of the howitzer. It appears that is can be elevated if one is careful. Then the gun mount and installation followed by the attachment of various pioneer tools. The photo etch is minimal and consists of a few braces, brackets and the heat shield for the muffler.

Instructions are nicely drawn as usual and, as usual, provide no color information during construction. Markings are provided for two vehicles. One is with the Afrika Korps in September 1942 and is shown on the box art. The other is in overall panzer grey based at Versailles in 1943. The end result will be a great piece for your display area.


Panda Hobby continues to impress. The addition of the metal tracks just picks things up a notch and helps make this a very accurate kit. It would be a great one for those wanting to get into the world of more complex kits and a fairly quick build for those who are already steeped in the genre.


July 2020

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Thanks to Glen Coleman and Panda Hobby for the preview kit. You can get yours at your favorite retailer.

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