Building the Sd.Kfz. 234/2 Puma

The Puma has always been a model which I wanted to build. I have had the Italeri kit in my stash for years, but for one reason or other I never got round to building it. Enter the Dragon. Dragon has been releasing some very good models during the last few years, and a good proportion of those are not the ‘evergreen’ Tigers or Panthers.
Recently their efforts have given an expectant audience at last a Sd.Kfz. 234/1 and 234/2 worthy of the 21st century. Whilst this kit is not in the ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ league, Dragon have created a kit that doesn’t need acres of Photo-etch, Aluminium barrels or 800+ parts (No individual track-links..). Using the latest in moulding techniques, this kit goes together accurately and easy, straight from the box, and makes a refreshing change.

I am the first to admit that my knowledge of the Puma is limited to knowing that it has eight wheels and can drive both ways. For this reason I’ll concentrate in this article purely on building the kit, leaving any nit-picking and rivet counting to the experts out there. Comparing the model to photo references which I have shows it to be accurate enough to me. Besides, with both Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson as technical consultants, I don’t think there’ll be any great inaccuracies with the kit.

First Impressions
Opening the box for the first time is always an exciting experience, and especially when opening a Dragon kit. Unlike many of their recent releases this one does not come with an extensive Photo-etch set or aluminium barrel, and to be honest I don’t think this is a bad thing. The inclusion of all these extra goodies almost makes using them obligatory, turning the build into a chore, and they are not always an improvement on the kit parts. The barrel for the Panzer IV or 88mm Flak springs to mind, where the plastic barrel has the correct rifling inside, and the aluminium barrel has not.

For a complete review of the kit I refer you to Teacher’s excellent First Look review, Sd.Kfz. 234/2 Puma.

There is not much more I could add, other than confirming his views. I did come across one or two issues along the way, more of which later. The most important test for me for any kit is the ‘must build right now’ factor. Does the presentation of the kit, the ‘feel’ of the plastic, the detail etc make you want to start right here and now? This kit does that, and so that’s what I did.

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About the Author

About Henk Meerdink (Henk)


Nice review! Does anyone know if the Italeri kit has vinyl tires? Jeff
OCT 13, 2006 - 02:20 AM
No it doesn't Thanks for the review Henk. I built the Italeri kit last year and really want to try this now.
OCT 13, 2006 - 02:25 AM
Thanks guys, I'm glad you like it. Mind you, the pleasure was all mine.. It's a great kit, sure it has some issues, but then most kits have. Yep, the co-ax is one of them. But it does have some very nice surface textures. The main thing is that it looks good, and builds well. It scores on both counts. Cheer
OCT 13, 2006 - 08:46 AM
The spray booth (office) has been running overtime, i have not slept, the paperwork is behind, I have lost all concept of days and weeks (been working nightshifts 7 nights a week... ), but progress is been made. Camo is done, coat of klear, decals are on (absolutely wonderfull, not a drop of setting solution needed ) now let the weatheringbegin. And that's where my dilema starts.. how much? I don't want to over weather it, as it is a good looking machine as is. But than again, you just know how good it looks with a winter camo.... Cheers Henk
OCT 27, 2006 - 08:48 PM
Beautiful work Henk! I love the way you have the paint flaking on the exhaust.....brilliant! Vinnie
OCT 27, 2006 - 09:18 PM
Sharp work with the camo Henk! In terms of weathering, I'd recommend you run with whatever setting/environment you think it would belong in (in terms of a base since you've already got the figure!) and apply accordingly. :-) How's that for a non-answer?
OCT 27, 2006 - 09:39 PM
Cheers Vinnie, a compliment from the master is a compliment indeed . I'm not yet finished with the exhausts, but the 'flaking paint effect is working well. I'm going for a 'fairly new vehicle' look, so the exhaust would not have completely deteriorated (or replaced) yet. Thanks Bill, I've not yet decided on a base, or setting, other than that it will have to go on a base. The vehicle on it's own just doesn't do itself justice, if you know what I mean. The figure is just for try-out, the loaders hatch is also still loose, as I may go for two figures. One with binoculairs scanning the distance, and one checking the map. I somehow feel a very cold and miserable Autumn morning, with loads of dead leaves and a rutted track with muddy puddels would really show this vehicle at it's best... Cheers Henk
OCT 27, 2006 - 09:59 PM
Nice build Henk, I like the way the paints coming along too. sad to hear about the ammo racks though. anyone have a photo of them for scratch building purposes?
OCT 28, 2006 - 01:36 AM
I do like the rusty mood of the exhaust pipes!
OCT 31, 2006 - 03:12 PM
Dear Sergeant Major sir! I am in process of finishing my Puma and I am about to close the top and the bottom hull then it occurred to me that there is no radio in the instruction but there are two antennas to fit to it. A radio set is in the sprue but the parts plan says it is not for use. Why the antennas and no radio set in the interior? Thanks, Noli
FEB 23, 2007 - 05:43 AM