Sdkfz. 234/2 “PUMA” # 121
Platoon Commander,2nd Platoon
1.Company/AufkAbt. 2 (Heavy Armoured Car Company)
2nd Panzer Division
Normandy, France 1944
*Building the Model*
The first shots of the finished product:
I want to thank armorguy(John) for the inspiration and many of the detail parts of this vehicle.
His Puma is in another league completely, but with some of his part and using his AMZING build, as reference I was able to work on my “Model T” version, when compared to his Formula 1 version Puma!
I have lost track of the hours worked on this vehicle. The amount of planning and “figuring out” is also extensive as anyone who has tacled these ‘rotomold’ vehicles knows. Every element of the vehicle is a challenge. The hull is a base to build on and I used many of armorguy’s resin parts for my version of the suspension, mainly the leaf springs and end covers. I used 3/8 inch “screw rod” (it is a long piece of metal which has tread all through the piece.
I had to figure out how to attach the wheels to the vehicle and at the same time detail the outside of the wheels as best I could.
I removed the center piece of the stock rotomould wheels. Gave a thought to using the wonderful Panzerwerk wheels, but the added cost and even more the added weight mademe first try to add detail to the stock wheels.
Removed the stock detail, hollowed out some holes and added nuts and bolt ends.
I then replaced the center at the end using armorguys resin center pieces.
I finally decided to attach the wheels by using the 3/8 inch screw rod, which I would cover with ½ inch styrene tube, and nuts inside and outside the interior wheel hub. The screw rod gave me plenty of adjustment to get the wheels lined up as best I could. Of course these would rotate but with no steering.Once I tested and it seemd to work, I placed all the parts on the vehicle and fixed everything permanently by placing a big blob of AVES Apoxie (AA) inside the wheel, fixing the interior nut to the wheel and fortifying the whole interior hub area.
I added some more details with styrene pieces and screws. These pieces will not be visible in most cases but wanted to have some details down there for some of those low angle shots. Added also the is chassis piece from armorguy that can be seen in the middle of the lower chassis. Iused AA sculpt extensively, add it to joints of many parts and give it the “weld look”.
Added a lot of made up detail to the underside of the vehicle, using the Armorguy resin pieces and lots of styrene and micro fstener bolts and screws.
As I usually do I then painted the undersides of the vehicle with the top side far from completed.
I had another 234 chassis and realized it had the spare tire so I added this as an after thought. Initially my plan was to make another chassis for the 234/1 version, but it was simply too much work so I will use the same chassis for both versions.
Added some dirt texture to the undersides and painted with the air gun, washes and dry brushing…trying to make sure all the underside areas were thoroughly covered a must for later low angle images!
On the upper chassis area I used a bit of everything! Remade one set of the grills with styrene and bolts. Used resin hinges(I forget where I got it but I believe they are from armorguy too!) and styrene, stregthened with AA throughout.
On the sides I cut out the bin latch areas to give it some depth and added hinges (the piano hinges mentioned for the 250 side bins a while back, forget where I got them)and some detail to the latch areas.
Also used John’s armoured exhaust piece.After I had fixed it and strengthened these pieces I realized the angle was wrong but decided to leave them with the wrong angle. The exhaust itself is a piece of styrene tune. The half drum mufflers are the stock pieces, bolted with wood screws and some details added.
The front bumper was made with the stock piece which I filled in with again Apoxie sculpt from AVES. Roughly finished first and then worked it with the Dremel and an electric sander (a new tool for me that was used extensively, is a small iron shaped piede which uses velcro to attach the sanding paper to the vibrating base.)
Used some of Armorguy’s latches and also some from Mike Stannard. The ammo case in the right fender is a piece from Cyber Hobby with Mike Stannard working latch and scratch built brackets made of styrene.
The fire extinguishers are the resin pieces from Armorpax with Michigan Dawg decals.
Flipped the model, covered the painted wheels and then started workin on the top areas and turret.
The turret hatches were a nightmare. I must have played around with the pieces for about 3 hours and could not figure out how to get them on, so I decided to have the hatch either be closed or open. Initially I had the hatches lieing flat and then realized they would be 90 degrees max, so re-did the open possition set up. Also added some scratch made and not accurate periscopes. Not sure if these were removable, but in many 1/35 kits these are not shown. Made the interior periscope pieces with styrene and micro fastener bolts. Added the Armorguy resin pieces to the turret, including the muzzle break, smoke dischargers, commanders range finder.
Added some of the Panzerwerk cold weather starter cover for the 250 to the rear gun port and to the area on top of the turret where there is a vent. Made sense to have this area protected, eventhough this is not prototypical, it was easier to add the cover than to open up the quirky grating. Also made the opening to the right of the gun and used some resin Panzerwerk pieces of the 250 turn indicator kit to protect the smoke discharger wires where they go into the turret. Made the turret lift hooks by making a flat piece of AA, using a styrene tube to remove a circle area and then once dry I used the Dremel to cut and carve out the pieces.
Added the tip of a Panzerwerk MG in the position on the mantelet. I used a long screw through the area of the MG to fix the gun to the turret. This area I later covered with AA to hide the screw.
Added weld seams from Armorguy and getting these ready were a labor of love…using the grinding wheel to get rid of the resin excess while holding the vacuum cleaner under my left arm…and wearing goggles over my eyeglasses…
Added some bolt detail to the turret too abd added some weld seams with Aves Apoxie to the sides of the mantelet.
Back to the chassis. added weld seams to the chassis, the visors and rear towhooks, from the Armour Hobbies 250. Made a mount for the Panzerwerk jack using styrene some small doll house hinges and bolts. Started adding the tool fixtures, all are from Mike Stannard, except the wire cutters that are from Armorpax. Also added two of Mike’s jerry can holders to the front fenders. These are not of the type shown in the few images of these vehicles, but there were 200 of these made and very few images of the actual images, so I feel confortable with some “modeler’s liberties”.
The jerry cans are from DML. Made the lane markers from various diameters of styrene tubing, florist wire and an Aves Apoxie small ball which I then drilled and placed on the wire once dry.
Made a mount for the second antenna on the chassis. Both antenas are from Mike Stannard. Made a mount for the barrel cleaning rods, with styrene and Rio Rondo leather straps. These will be then removed and the whole area hidden with a tarp for the 234/1 version. The bracket on the right fender that holds the extra rounds wll hold some sort of crate for the 234/1.
Bosch lights and siren from Panzerwerk. Painted a base color of Dark Yellow after throroughly washing the model. Had some problems with a dusty effect from the material below…should have primed it, but it as logistic problem in my case to go outside for primer.
Painted a three color camo(all colors are Tamiya acrylics) …basically adding dark green and red brown bands to the base dark yellow base. Used Red Brown and a mix of Nato Green and either Dark Green or Olive Green. For some reason I have never liked the Tamiya version of the dark green German camo color. These base colros are covered eventually with a lot of shadow dark brown color and several oversprays to fade them a bit as I prefer that finish. I then went over the corners with Buff using the drybrush. This turned out a bit too light but went over the same areas with Dark Yelow. Red Brown and the green mix to make it look more natural. Added some rust and scratches throughout.
Each crewman has his own helmet strapped to the exterior of the turret. These helments are Dragon M42. One painted, two with cmo covers and one plain.
For the markings I used a new system and it worked quite well. I found a font I liked on ‘Word’ and printed the number I wanted, in this case “121” for the second platoon commander of the first company.The first company of the recon abteilung had 25 of these 234/2’s. I then used a piece of the thinnest styrene I had and placed it on the printed number. It was so thin I could easily see the printed number inderneath. I then cut out the 121 on the thin piece of styrene. I then placed a new styrene piece and scribed the number on the second piece. Making sure bith pieces are the same size as this will make the ‘registration’ match the two stencils. I then drew an outline to the scribed number in the second styrene piece and leaving some stencil “bridges” made the outline stencil. Went this direction instead of making a full piece and then painting the center over it. The result was quite nice. My intention had always been to fill in the stencil gaps with paint brush, but almost left the stencil look as it looked interesting, sort of the “hurried look”…but went ahead and painted the areas and touched up some of the overspray. The crosses were also painted in using a set of photo etched stencils I got from Vince Abbot. Decided to leave the registration number and other markings as this way I can use the vehicle in both configurations(234/1 and 234/2 although the tactical insignia here is probably the same for both), either Heer or SS.
Images of the vehicle and crew in separate threads.