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Building the Sd.Kfz. 234/2 Puma

Building the Puma
The instructions break down the building process into 25 steps, following a fairly standard sequence, starting with the suspension, and via the interior, exterior and turret finally reaches the last step, the wheels. The instructions are in typical Dragon style. Some of the drawings require almost a technical degree to decipher, and calling the extra sprue containing the turret parts ‘C’ had me puzzled for a second, as there is already a sprue ‘C’ in the kit, and you can find yourself searching for a piece on the wrong sprue. I’ll take you through the building process following the instructions, and comment along the way where necessary.

the suspension
The suspension is a complicated affair, and needs care and attention to get right. Getting all eight wheels lined up correctly is aided greatly by the small tabs on the axle ends, which can be removed if you want to pose the wheels turned. This will greatly enhance the presentation of the finished model, but be warned, it will also involve major work on the steering rods and actuators. But more about those in step 8.
I always cut all the pieces required for a (sub) assembly of the sprue, and lay them out on my work surface in the correct lay-out. This helps me to visualize how the parts should fit together, as well as avoiding the potential error of putting ‘handed’ parts on the wrong side of the model. As you can see in the photo, the suspension consists of 6 parts for each wheel, and the instruction is fairly vague about where the various parts fit together.

The sequence photo’s show how I started by gluing part B4 a B3 to the hull, and dry-mounting part D19/D18 (take care to mount the right one, as the steering attachment has to be on the correct side, and the right way up!) If you will mount the wheels straight, you can just glue this in place, but if you are planning on displaying the wheels ‘turned’, you will have to remove the small pins from the end of the axles. All the parts can be dry-mounted to make sure that everything fits correctly, and then it’s just a case of running some liquid glue into the various joins. The comedy instructions do not help here, but part B15 is not difficult to attach, although three hands would be helpful. The trick is to position part D13 first, and than to straddle part B15 over this, and than to push the locater pins of B15 home into the hull.

In step 8 the suspension gets attached to the bottom hull and the steering components are added. Again this is not as difficult as the instructions make it look. For starters it would have helped if the drawings would have been turned upside down (I suggest you do this yourself instead.) as it is far easier to attach the various pieces with the hull upside down. The actuators (parts D15, D23 and D24) are all keyed, so positioning them correctly should not be a problem, but make sure you have the right one on the right side. The tracking rods (parts D5) need to pass through the hole in the bottom part of the hull, see the photos.
Attaching part G to Part G is the first fit issue. Either of these parts was not quite straight, as when I dry-fitted the parts there was a gap on either end, resulting in a see-saw effect. Although not what you would expect, his is easily corrected by gluing first one end, letting the glue dry thoroughly, and then gluing the other side, applying pressure to eliminate the gap until the glue is dry.

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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