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Sd.Kfz.234/2 Puma
Heavy Armoured Car

 

Roden, 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 705 - Sd.Kfz.234/2 Puma
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 145 injection moulded plastic parts on four sprues [41 in buff and 104 in black], 4 double sided A5 instruction sheets with history, parts plan, build diagrams and colour and marking drawings and decals for two vehicles.
Price: USD$6.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Beautifully moulded, highly detailed and long overdue subject.
Disadvantages: All hatches moulded closed
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Glenn Porter


Roden's 1/72 scale Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma is available online from Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

While the 1/76 scale Matchbox Puma was reasonably accurate and detailed, it has been out of production for some time now, although I believe Revell is about to re-release it. However, Matchbox only did the Puma where-as this offering from Roden is only the first of four of the 234 series. In the first issue of Rodenís eight rad armoured cars, the 231, there were some moulding problems, sink marks in the wheels and the diff housings were very rough. As production progressed, these problems were addressed so that the last of the kits based on the 231, the 233, had no moulding faults at all.

So what do we get in this kit.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


On opening the box, the first thing you will notice is that they Roden has not used white plastic on this variant, but rather a buff colour which makes it much easier to see the detail. The two ďAĒ sprues however, are still moulded in black. This doesnít make any difference to the finished model of course, but it makes it much harder to see any faults that need correction. Care will need to be taken assembling the wheels as they now come in four parts, inner, outer, inner hub and a small inner locking ring. Iím not sure why they have done this - perhaps to make the wheels rotatable even though these are not toys. On the plus side, it appears that Roden has made the steering positional. This is important in my opinion, as one of the technical innovations of these vehicles was not only two steering positions, but both front and rear steering was connected to give effective eight wheel steering although some vehicles later had this disconnected.

The suspension is very detailed and includes both steering arms and shock absorbers but these parts are very small and care will need to be exercised if any clean up is required. Caution! Parts A20, the rear tow hooks, are shown on the parts plan but are not shown in the build diagrams. Checking out the colour chart on the last page of the instructions will show their correct position. Roden supply a really nice 7.92 MG 42 machine gun, which they suggest you cut the barrel off to place in the turret. Personally, I would rather keep the gun intact for the spares box and source an alternative barrel to use.

 



My only gripe about this kit, in fact all their eight rad kits, is that the access hatches are moulded closed, although it shouldnít be too hard to open them. Oddly, the equipment box hatches in the guards are moulded open. Iím still trying to work out if thatís a plus or not.

An excellent reference for this kit is Kagero No 20 Sd.Kfz. 234 which covers all four vehicles, has 1/72 and 1/35 scale plans and very nicely printed decals which for the Puma is the same two marking sets as in the kit. Not that the kit decals are that bad, but these are better.

Well, thatís it. It will be interesting to compare this with the proposed Hasagawa kit of the Puma. Generally Iím not all that impressed with Hasagawaís 1/72-scale kits, although some of their later offerings arenít bad. Itís a great time to be a Braille-scaler when we can compare similar kits from different manufacturers.

Highly Recommended to all us lucky small-scale armour modellers. .

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Glen Porter
Page Created 17 January, 2005
Last updated 17 January, 2005

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