Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III Ausf. M

Revell Kit #: 3316

Preview by Stephen 'Tank Whisperer' Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman

Looking at the box art we see that this is the late Marder Panzerjäger using the Czech Panzer 38(t) Ausf. M chassis and the engine compartment in the middle and the gun compartment in the rear. The long 7.5-cm Pak 40 protrudes out over the engine and driver’s area up front. The driver’s compartment hood is the angular welded type. To the left, our right, of the driver is a single cylinder of Triebgas. There are no crew figures in the kit, but the ones depicted here at least give an idea of the vehicle size. The extended sides at the bow with tow eyelets and the lack of rivets on the lower superstructure indicate this is a late Marder 38 Ausf. M that is partially welded. The artwork portrays a hard edge 3-color camouflage with vehicle number, no cross marking.

For the first time I cannot say that this appears to be a reliable portrayal of the model. According to Jentz & Doyle two cylinders are used though I see no proof that one, or three cylinders, were not used on occasion. The kit includes two gas cylinders but the boxart and the photo below of the built model only portray one cylinder. More important, Jentz & Doyle states that this gas system was used for test driving the completed vehicles (acceptance trials) at the factory and thereby save on gasoline, so we should not see a Marder 38 in combat that is fueled like this. Okay, hypothetically this could be a factory vehicle rushed into combat outside the factory at the war’s end? Revell’s painting & marking guide describes their markings as “unknown unit and location”.
The photo below shows the assembled and painted model in a handsome ambush scheme that shows us location of the kit parts when completed. I would add a little track-sag on the top run of the track.

A photo of the completed Revell model shows the overall great detail such as the great detail in the tracks. The brace between the gun barrel (parts-F1 & F7) and the cradle (part-F11 & F12) below should be all the way forward in the cradle implying this gun is in partial recoil; not realistic unless we are modeling a damaged vehicle. In the photo below we can see that the gun barrel and muzzle brake should be further forward over the nose of the vehicle.

From Nielsen’s and from Jentz & Doyle’s books these are photos of the installed Triebgas cylinders, valves and piping on a factory fresh Marder 38 Ausf. M to help correctly detail the Revell model. Triebgas is reported to be propane or similar flammable gas, like that used to power modern forklift trucks, something not good to have mounted on the front of your vehicle in combat. We can see that this is an early Marder by the cast driver’s hood and the lack of side extension and towing eye at the front, and cast driver’s hood with rounded edges.

Kit Parts
Revell’s Sd.Kfz.138 Marder III Ausf. M, kit 3316 comes with 140 pale gray color, injection-molded styrene plastic parts on five sprue. Sprue-A and the two Sprue-B are common with Revell’s Grille kit 3315, the other two sprue are new for this kit. These are new kits, I understand originally developed by Toxso Models but not actually released before now, by Revell A.G. Molding quality is very good with no significant sinkholes, flash, and just a few ejector pin marks.

Sprue-A here holding hull parts and spare track links is common with Revell’s new Grille kit 3315.

Below are Sprues E and F. At upper left of sprue-E are the 7.5-cm ammunition racks parts E27 thru E30 which are empty of shells making it difficult to depict this model in a combat diorama. The empty ammunition racks and the position of the gun in recoil gives me the impression that the engineer/artist who developed model did not know enough about the vehicle and needs of a modeler. Otherwise, this is a superb model kit. The shells are stored nose down and we will need to make 24 of them out of plastic rod. The empty shell racks and the Triebgas cylinders would be appropriate for a vehicle at the factory.

At the bottom left on sprue-F is the Pak40 barrel (part F1) with muzzle brake and muzzle open so no drilling needed.

The two Sprue-B are also common with the Revell Grille kit 3315, complete with the 15-cm shells, and holds the Pz.38(t) wheels leaf spring suspension and long band track that is supposed to bend around the suspension so no fidgeting with individual links around the sprocket and idler wheels. I found the exceptional Revell sprocket wheel and track detail only surpassed by the OKB aftermarket resin parts. I am wary of bending hard plastic around the wheels (one length broke) so I tried warming the track in hot water before bending. The hot water did not make the styrene plastic track much more flexible like it did with my OKB resin track. The 16 15-cm artillery shells for the Grille model are extras and go in the spare parts box.

OKB Grigorov offers aftermarket cast-resin track and sprocket wheels which will offer a little improvement over the very good Revell parts. The Revell and OKB sprockets here are a later type seen on the Panzerjäger 38 Marder and this Panzerjäger 38 Hetzer which replaced the Marder tank destroyers. The OKB resin sprockets appear to be a millimeter or two larger in diameter than the Revell sprocket wheel. I hope that be not a problem. Revell’s pale-gray plastic tracks are among the most realistic in smallscale only surpassed by the darker gray OKB resin track.

The driver’s visor (part A24) shown in Step-6 can be modeled open with work to open up the viewport.
There is a significant error that is fortunately not difficult to figure out. In Step-5 and Step-6 Revell instructs us to install the eight roadwheels (parts B10) on the wrong pegs (axles) of the four leaf-spring bogies (parts B1).
The roadwheels will only fit on the outer, smaller, axles/pegs on the bogies. The roadwheels are the 32-bolts around the rim type and feature the bolts on the backside as well, neither ESCI, UM nor attack offer detail on the backside of their Pz 38/Hetzer roadwheels.

Steps 21 thru 24 cover the assembly of the Pak40 gun. Of all the smallscale Pak40 antitank guns on the market (ESCI, Airfix, Matchbox, Dragon, Italeri, UM, Zvezda, Roden, etc.) this one looks like one of the best in detail, and delicacy. The muzzle is open thanks to slide-molding, so no drilling.

Something looks wrong with the gun assembly in Step-24: the breach looks too far back on the cradle like it is in recoil. The old ESCI Pak40 kit suffers this same design and assembly error as this model manufacturer.
See the Reference photo above from Nielsen’s and the Panzer Tracts books, et. al. to see what it should look like. So when building this model assemble the gun fully forward on its carriage, unless you wish to model the gun damaged and in recoiled position of course.

Steps 9 thru 11 show assembly of the two Triebgas (LP) cylinders but does not show the fuel lines and valves. Steps 33 and 34 have 5-view paintings with camouflage and markings for two Marder 38 of unknown units in 1944 and 1945. Again, I have never seen a combat photo of a German vehicle with these flammable gas cylinders mounted and I think it likely that these would be seen at the factory only, but it is still a unique model that is important, at least a little important, to history. Overall, this is a very good smallscale model of the Marder IIIM and up to typical Revell Models quality.


  • Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Variants, David Nielsen, Zimmerit Press (1999)
  • Panzer Tracts No. 7-2 Panzerjaeger, by Thomas Jentz & Hilary Doyle. (2002).
  • Panzers 35(t) and 38(t) and Their Variants 1920-1945, Walter J. Spielberger, Schiffer Military History (2008)
  • Marder III, by Horst Scheibert, Schiffer Military History (1998). A decent, inexpensive overview of German open topped tank destroyers based on the Czech Pz 38 chassis.
  • How to Design a Tank Destroyer Video lecture by Nicholas Moran.


I purchased my model kits at Tracks & Troops


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Article Last Updated: 03 August 2021