Italeri 1/48 Sd.Kfz.234/2 Puma Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2011||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Kit Number||6601||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed Italian WWII AFV||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$30.00|
The Sonderkraftfahrzeug (Special Purpose Vehicle) 234 was an armored car developed in 1940 to address operational shortcomings in earlier German armored cars. Designed specifically for North Africa, the vehicle's protracted development effort found that theater lost before the Sd.Kfz.234 was ready. Powered by a 210 horsepower V12 air-cooled diesel engine, the vehicle was an 8x8 design (eight wheels, all powered).
The Sd.Kfz.234/2 Puma was one of four variants produced. The Puma variant was equipped with a gun turret designed originally for the Leopard light tank and armed with a 5cm KwK 39 L/60 main gun and one MG34 machine gun. Over 100 Pumas were produced between September 1943 and September 1944.
Italeri has expanded into the 1/48 scale armor market with two new releases, the Flak 37 and this nice looking Sd.Kfz.234/2 Puma kit. It's clear from the instructions that this kit was produced from CAD-based designs and it looks to be a really well-done kit.
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on four parts trees and has some good details in this box.
Construction starts in the crew compartment and both drivers' positions are in here - the main driver who steered the front two axles and the rear driver who steered the rear two axles. The interior drops into the lower hull half along with two stowage bins.
The upper hull has a separately molded central deck with turret ring so this part can be changed out to render one or more of the other Sd.Kfz.234 variants in the future.
Flip the assembled hul over and you install all four axles along with their steering linkages. With these in place, the skid plates and fenders go on next. Next comes the eight wheels which mount to the axles, plus a spare tire for the rear of the vehicle.
The main hull has a nice array of separately molded pioneering tools, Jerry cans, and other gear.
The turret subassembly is next with a complete main gun and MG34 mounting in the turret. Add crew seats, hatches and smoke dischargers, and the turret mounts to the hull.
- The kit provides markings for four examples:
- Puma 7101, unknown unit, Germany 1945
- Puma 111, 2 Panzer Div, Normandy, 1944
- Puma 432, 20 Panzer Div, Czechoslovakia, 1945
- Puma, unknown unit, Berlin, 1945
This is a nice kit that will work nicely for 1/48 armor builders as well as aircraft modelers that want to expand their subject interests all in the same scale.
My sincere thanks to MRC for the review sample!