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15Feb/150

Bolt Action SdKfz 234/2 Puma

This is the first of an upcoming series of reviews about some recent tank kits. I'll start with the Puma or SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car from Warlord Games for Bolt Action.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

The  armoured car was a wheeled tank of the Wehrmacht and this kit covers the variant 234/2 with closed turret and 5cm KwK 39 gun. The vehicle reached a top speed of 90 km/h and was used along with the SdKfz 231 as a template for the later scout tank Luchs of the Bundeswehr.
This new plastic kit replaces its predecessor made from resin and is a bit cheaper. Warlord Games sets the price at 18 GBP instead of 21 GBP and gives you even some decals along with it.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

The Puma is divided upon two sprues, with decals and a small instruction leaflet. A quick view on the sprues shows the close cooperation with Italeri, so are the parts and the construction noticeably more delicate than, for example "regular" gaming kits.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

They have made the effort to reproduce the suspension in great detail, the eight weel supension is converted in many small parts.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

The assembly isn't something intended for absolute beginners, since the instructions are rather basic and the delicate parts are not that easy to handle. It also surprises, that they put so much effort into reproducing the suspension, since it is barely visible.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

Because on the other hand, all the more suprising, the wheels are casted hollow on the inside. This is just inconsistent, producing a relatively "fine" suspension and then cutting a corner at the wheels? There is room for improvement.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

As the lower body is completed, the upper body of the chassis is next. The fit was so far blameless, even if the glueing areas could have been guided by some tongue and groove principle.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

The hull is almost finished, it is only missing quite a few small parts. Those can be seen as optional, as they don't have fixed assembly spots. With the canisters, that is fine with me, so you have bit of variety, but with the tools and spares, it's rather annoying, as those were placed standardized upon the vehicle.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

Completely built, with spare wheel, exhaust system and all the luggage, it looks like thise. In case of the antennas, it is perhaps worth considering to omit these in game models, as these are quite thin and in danger of breaking.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

Now the only thing missing is the turret. Warlord Games has once again put a vehicle commander into the sprue, but again this one is not on the same level as the single miniatures they offer in lead or plastic, so you can replace him or omit him without feeling guilty.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

A complete built, including the turret, the Spähpanzer Puma looks like this.

Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car Bolt Action - Puma SdKfz 234/2 Armoured Car

Conclusion
Don't get me wrong, the Puma isn't a bad kit - BUT it feels too much like a scaled down / up model kit. Too much show case, but not bulk enough for the gaming table and then this thing with the wheels.

And it is a bit sad to see, that they missed out on the chance, to put a few options into a kit / sprue. Including the flat tower of the 234/1 couldn't have eaten up that much space inside the sprue. On top of that, Warlord is offering mouch more tank in other kits for the demanded 18 GBP.

However, the plastic kit is more pleasant to built than the old resin kit, has much more detail and is also variable thanks to the accessoires. The casting quality is fine, but the concept still has room for improvement.

Bolt Action is a brand of Warlord Games.

The kit was provided by Radaddel.

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