Military Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale military vehicle models.

Marder I 7.5cm Pak.40/1 auf Gw.Lr.s.(f) Sd.Kfz.135

Published: May 31st, 2017     
Marder I 7.5cm Pak.40/1 auf Gw.Lr.s.(f) Sd.Kfz.135
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Company: Panda Hobby

Summary

Panda Hobby, a relatively new manufacturer based in China, has recently released a very interesting addition to the German self-propelled Marder family in 1/35th scale; the Sd.Kfz. 135 Marder I. The diminutive French chassis sports individual-link track, a single-piece barrel, and a nicely-detailed ammunition rack to help kick-start the interior.

Background

The Marder or "Marten" was the name given to a variety of German World War II tank destroyers which used existing, high-use or outdated chassis coupled with proven and lethal anti-tank guns. Due to the weight and space constraints of the smaller chassis, the Marder series were not fully armored and were not considered proper Panzerjager that could exchange fire with enemy tanks. Thin upper armor on the front and sides offered protection against shrapnel and small arms only. Accordingly, these vehicles operated best when used in ambush situations or from prepared defensive positions. All Marder series had open tops, although some were issued with canvas covers to protect the crew from the elements.

Russian AT-S Artillery Prime Mover

Published: May 26th, 2017     
Russian AT-S Artillery Prime Mover
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Scale: 1/35
Company: Trumpeter

Trumpeter continues to produce a wide range of interesting and wide ranging Russian subjects. While the box says that this is the Russian AT-S Tractor, in fact, this is a two-in-one kit. Also included with the prime mover is the Soviet ML-20 152 mm howitzer Mod 1937. As with most Trumpeter kits, the box is sturdy and the sprues are individually packaged and the more fragile parts are wrapped in foam. For the prime mover there are twelve sprues, including four for the individual track links, one sprue of transparent parts and a small PE fret. There are markings for three vehicles, Russian, Finnish, and the German Democratic Republic. For this build, I chose the Finnish markings. For the artillery piece, there are nine sprues, two PE frets, a set of rubber tires and a metal gun barrel. As with most recent Trumpeter models, the parts are well molded in grey plastic, though there is some fine flash and mold lines present on the parts which take some time to clean up. While this a prime mover combination, the artillery piece is so sweet, I elected to build them apart rather than the vehicle towing the gun.

T-54-1 Mod. 1947

Published: May 26th, 2017     
T-54-1 Mod. 1947
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Company: MiniArt

I've always had a fascination for the Russian T-54/T-55 series and have been building models of it all my life, beginning with the ancient Tamiya T-55 from the 1960's. As each new incarnation came out, I leapt on it eagerly, including the Lindberg kit, the AMT/ERTL kit all the way to the latest Takom offering.

MiniArt has been expanding its armor stable dramatically lately, with the release of a number of kits on these ubiquitous vehicles, both with and without full interiors. The T54-1 marks the transition of Russian armor development from the the T-34 through the T-44 and rather looks like a transition, with a number of aspects shared with its predecessors.

Russian AT-T Artillery Prime Mover

Published: May 25th, 2017     
Russian AT-T Artillery Prime Mover
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Scale: 1:35
Company: Trumpeter

Joining Trumpeters growing fleet of prime movers, this kit is their latest addition. The AT-T is a tracked vehicle, sharing the same components as a T-54. The kit and markings are for one vehicle. Molded in the now customary grey Trumpeter plastic, there are ten sprues in the kit of which three are the tracks and two are the rubber road wheels. It includes one fret of PE, clear parts and one sheet of decals. The parts are nicely molded, but there are some prominent mold lines on some of the smaller parts that must be taken care of.

Construction begins with the engine and drive train. Since the radiator grill of the cab is open, you can see the engine. Trumpeter did not skimp on the detail and the engine is a kit in itself. Since the engine flaps cannot be opened on the cab (at least without some surgery), you really don't need to super-detail the engine. The instructions are clear and the engine and drive train went together without a problem. Similarly, the lower hull also went together quickly. There's a little bit of play in the idler arms, but nothing that is out of the ordinary.