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In Box Model Kit Review

1/35  IBG Panzerspahwagen

Marmon-Herrington (e)




Review By Martyn Smith - England

(Martyn's review first appeared on the website: My Hobby Info - Social Club Forums)

This review is of IBG’s new kit#35024, the Panzerspahwagen Marmon-Herrington (e).  Readers will benefit from checking out Mike Shackleton’s great review of the Marmon-Herrington Mk.I South African Reconnaissance Vehicle (kit# 35021) here http://modelerssocialclub.proboards.com/thread/7237/models-marmon-herrington-reconnaissance-vehicle


Mike covers the background of the Marmon Herrington very well but a bit more information on the MkII upon which this kit is based would be useful so…


The MkII was basically a four wheel drive version of the Mk.I South African Reconnaissance Vehicle. Apart from the 4WD, the noticeable differences included different front mudguards, sand channels stored over the rear wheels, and an adapted turret to take different weapon options.  Two models were produced, the Middle East (ME) version and the Mobile Field Force (MFF) version.  The ME version was the one issued to British/Commonwealth Forces in North Africa and the Middle East (and indeed other theatres) and was armed with a .55’’ Boys Anti-Tank rifle, and two .303 Bren Machine Guns; supposedly but the second MG appears to have been rarely carried. Later a .303 Vickers or Vickers K gun for air defence was fitted in theatre.  The MFF was used within South Africa and was armed much like the kit Mike describes (with the MkI turret and side mounted Vickers)…but it did have the mudguards and sand channels like the ME version; a sort of MkI SA/MkII ME hybrid (Note IBG plan to release the MkII ME and MFF versions fairly soon).


Many MKII ME types were stripped of their turrets and received larger calibre weapons like the British 2pdr, captured Italian 20mm or 47mm Breda cannons or German Pak36 AT guns, in order to provide fire support.  Some turretless MkII’s were used as Royal Artillery armoured observation vehicles or as REME Light Aid Detachment vehicles; other users included Royal Engineer Field Company for recovery/demolition on the battlefield.  400 MkII’s (including 338 ME’s) were produced for the British and were also issued to South African, Polish and New Zealand troops; that I know of.  Turretless versions specifically were seen with these forces and photo evidence show these in North Africa, the Middle East (even as far as Iraq), and Madagascar during the landings of 1942.


Just one word of caution to the modeller wanting to up-gun their turretless Marmon Herrington; from studying photos it looks like some also had the hull roof cut away as well as having the turret removed to the rear doors. These must have used some sort of pedestal mount fixed to the hull floor. However some definitely had the guns mounts simply welded to the front of the redundant turret ring, see the pages below.  I guess these field modifications didn’t always follow the same pattern.



Some MkII’s were captured and used by the Italians and Germans and used for reconnaissance, the latter renaming them the Panzerspahwagen Marmon-Herrington (e); this being the kit IBG have produced.  It isn’t known if the Germans made use of captured turretless versions or removed the turrets themselves.  There is a famous picture of Rommel using one of these vehicles here: http://beutepanzer.ru/Beutepanzer/uk/armor_car/Marmon_herrington/Marmon-01.htm.


The Kit


The kit is packaged just like the MkI, in a large top-opening box (great for keeping the parts together during construction) and shows a turretless German "Beute" MkII somewhere in the desert; maybe North Africa. Worthy of note are the box top vehicle markings; a simple German national cross or ‘Balkenkreuz’ and the DAK (German Afrika Korps) badge of a palm tree (minus the ‘Hakenkreuz’ or Swastika).  I guess this is because the German and Austrian postwar criminal codes make the public showing of this illegal.  More about this later.


The kit contains, if I counted them correctly, 214 parts on seven light grey and clear sprues, five tyres, a fret of photo etched brass and a piece of wire. Also a small sheet of decals and the instructions are included.  Like Mike’s MkI my rear door parts were warped a bit.  Flash and seam lines are minimal and nothing a sharp blade can’t cure.


The Contents Are:

Sprue A: The hull floor, roof, bonnet top plates, rear plate, pioneer tools and boxes & roof frame.



Sprue B: Armoured radiator doors, engine parts, steering wheel and dashboard, windscreen parts, silencer, brake and transmission parts.  Note: some parts relating to the MkI are redundant on this sprue.



Sprue C (x2): Wheels, wheel carriers, hooks, seat cushions & battery.




Sprue Ca: Wheel, seat backs & radio (Wireless Set No19).



Sprue Ce: Suspension and axle detail parts.




Sprue D: Clear parts – headlight lenses and windscreen glazing.


Sprue F: Body sides, suspension springs, front mudguards, chassis frame/ parts, 4WD transfer box and driveshafts.  Note the difference in the hull sides compared to Mike’s MkI.  This represents a later hull with the left side Vickers MG position covered with welded-on steel plate.



Tyres (x 5): While some vehicles are seen with cross country tyres, these are good replica’s of the ones often fitted; which appear to be Firestone 10.50 x 20’s.  These are very well moulded, although they lack manufacturer’s data and have a slight ridge across the tread that will need careful removal.




PE brass fret: Radio guards, various handles, hooks and straps & radio headphone parts.



Brass wire: To be cut into 6mm lengths and used to detail the interior hull rear.



Decals: Markings for one vehicle are included, but two options are offered. German national crosses with two different DAK badges are offered; one with Swastika and the other with a modified ‘Swastika’ to satisfy German laws.  These markings represent a Panzerspahwagen Marmon-Herrington (e) from an unidentified unit of the Afrika Korps, North Africa, summer 1941.  Note: Unfortunately dashboard instrument decals aren’t provided.



General Observations


1. Parts are well moulded, ejection pin marks minimal and sensibly placed.  Many sprue attachment points are there, but although having built IBG’s Bedford I have to say these are much smaller, so clean up will be much easier.  These attachment points were my main fault with the Bedford kit.


2. Highly detailed engine, requiring a little wiring to finish it off should the modeller wish.  Some may consign this to spares box if the bonnet is built buttoned up. If it can’t be seen why build it, as it's great for diorama spares?




3. Highly detailed WS19 radio set, with PE guards, headphone and handset.  It just needs wiring to finish it off.  This selection is excellent for a British/Commonwealth version, but I do have to ask the question ‘wouldn't a captured vehicle like this have been refitted with a German radio set? I honestly don’t know, so let me know if you do.



4. The chassis frame is made from many parts, all nine parts will need to be perfectly aligned.  The instructions at this point need to be carefully studied as the exploded diagram is not too clear IMHO.  Making sure the ‘flatpacked’ hull sides are also perfectly aligned is paramount.



5. For a simple vehicle it is well kitted out, but the more fastidious modellers may want to ad extra detail like internal wiring, storage frames, etc.  It is fairly well appointed but would benefit from internal stowage, none of which is provided. Bronco Models' new British accessories set would be great for this along with Value Gear tarps, stowage sets etc).


6.  There are several display options provided including open/closed doors (sides and rear), opened/closed armoured radiator doors, folding seats and open/shut armoured windscreen plates (See instructions notes below about this).  Unfortunately, and I can’t imagine why, the side doors (but not rear) are moulded without interior detail.  This is a shame as they’re crying out to be left open to show off the nice interior. On a positive note, this is a simple fix, only requiring the handle and locking plate to be reproduced.


The kit has some pretty nice touches…






This is IBG’s usual offering for instructions and uses CAD images to illustrate the build. There are 45 build stages, some easy like the MkI build.  The first 14 stages are simple, getting the smaller detail parts out of the way. You could of course decide to leave these off until later if required. Overall the stages look clear enough, although personally I prefer clear line drawings myself.  I can’t see any obvious traps or pitfalls apart from one…at stage 40. The handle is fitted to the interior front windows for the armoured windscreen plate (parts B32 and B40 for the open plate). Be aware if you're building the armoured windscreen closed you will need to substitute part B32 for B33.


Also be aware that the options (like the radiator doors) which can be portrayed open, require different parts than the closed option (the stays B19 and B20 OR B21 and B22 respectively). Finally, be carful with some exploded diagrams as they're not as clear as I would like to see [i.e. The fitting of the central struts, etc to the chassis frame sides (parts F36 and 37)].


Two painting guide pages provide recommendations for Vallejo Model Air and Vallejo Model Color.


The rear of the instruction book promotes William Marshall’s book, “Marmon Herrington, A History of the South African Reconnaissance Car” published by Model Centrum Progres.  It is 176 pages long with 229 black/white photos and 141 colour walk around photos.  It also contains 20 colour plates and 8 pages of 1/35 scale drawings.


Besides covering a great deal of the basic vehicle history, development and manufacture, it specifically features all the M-H variants to a high degree.  The book also gives a great insight into the units and countries that operated the Marmon Herrington, the theatres they fought in, general camouflage schemes and markings, etc.  I would like to thank Model Centrum Progres for letting me reproduce some pages from the book below.  Two more colour plates for the turretless MkII can be seen on IBG’s website here http://www.ibgmodels.com/S1.htm.






This is the first styrene plastic model of the Marmon Herrington of the Mark II (or any other version) that I know of.  It’s a simple, but well engineered and produced kit which fills a hole in the market and will appeal to British, Commonwealth and even German vehicle modellers.


I think care will be needed when following the instructions, although to be fair, these show an improvement over IBG's Bedford kit which was released just before this one. Care will also be needed to make sure the parts such as the chassis and hull sides are properly aligned, due the nature of the assembly.  The parts' fit I can’t comment on having not built it.  But referring back to my IBG Bedford build, I found the parts on that kit went together very well.


Also, I would have preferred at least one other colour/marking option, maybe the colourful Royal Artillery version shown in William Marshall’s book; even if it meant providing generic markings with dubious census numbers. Finally, it would have been nice if instrument panel decals were provided.


Like Mike says in his fine review (linked above) and like the IBG Bedford I’m now building, there’s enough here I think to keep the novice, intermediate and advanced modeller happy.  Missing bits can be made fairly simply from sheet styrene and rod, wire, etc by those wanting a bit more detail. And I’m sure the aftermarket companies will provide upgrades/accessories at some point in the future.


Highly Recommended


  • “Marmon Herrington, a History of the South African Reconnaissance Car” by William Marshall. Model Centrum Progres, 2013

  • Beutepanzer website http://beutepanzer.ru

This great website contains five pages of captured ‘trophy’ Marmon Herrington’s, including several turretless MkII’s. Check out page one to see the vehicle used by Rommel.


Copyright: Martyn Smith - April 2014