9 October 2012

Puma Days

Puma Days

Puma Days or Puma Daze?

Still building up my Summer WW2 German 1/72 Force. 
Refurbished an old Matchbox SdKfz 234/2 puma, and built and painted an Italeri Kit.

At the weekend I obtained a turret-less 234 matchbox body at the KWC swap meet, that I intend to convert to a 234/1 command vehicle. The body has already been undercoated in grey, and I'm working on the open top turret. The two 234/2s with the 50mm gun in the turret have already been painted in the grey/dark green camo of the rest of my force and given a wash or two to weather them.

It was a strange sense of familiarity to hold the Matchbox kit and box in my hands again after 30-odd years. Funny how the brain works...

Quite a difference in size between the two kits. The matchbox may actually be 1/76. 
Lower on it's chassis too (But maybe that's just that my modeling skills have improved over 30 years)

Someone else's interpretation of the 234/1 to inspire my scratch-building the turret.

The difference between the 234/1 and 234/2 (FoW models 1/100)

Wiki info: The combat experience of the existing 8-wheeled armoured cars during the German invasions of Poland and France, indicated some deficiencies in the current design. Therefore, in August 1940 an improvement program was started, based on a new set of requirements learned from these combat experiences. The result was the SdKfz 234.
Developed from the Büssing-NAG SdKfz 232, design of the Sd Kfz 234 began in 1940. It was to have a monocoque chassis with eight wheels, like its predecessors, and an air cooled engine for use in North Africa.
Chassis were built by Büssing-NAG in Leipzig-Wahren, while armoured bodies were provided by Deutsche Edelstahlwerke of Krefeld and turrets by Daimler Benz in Berlin-Marienfelde andSchichau of Elbing, with engines from Ringhoffer-Tatra-Werke AG of Nesseldorf.


Potracted engine development meant the desert campaign was over before the 234 arrived, but it nevertheless proved useful on the Eastern and Western Fronts.It was quite formidable, but not many were built before it was replaced by the simpler 234/1, with a 20mm gun, in 1944.


SdKfz 234/3 with 75 mm L/24

234/4 with 75 mm L/46
There were four main variants.

  • 234/2 "Puma" - 1 x 5 cm KwK 39 L/60, 1 x MG34. Employed a fully enclosed turret originally designed for the VK1602 Leopard light tank. The turret front was protected by 30 mm armor set at an angle of 20° from the vertical. The sides and rear had 10 mm armor set at 25°, and the top plate was 10 mm armor. The gun mantlet was rounded and was 40 to 100 mm thick. 101 were produced between September 1943 and September 1944.
  • 234/3 - 1 x 7.5 cm K51 L/24 in open-topped superstructure replacing the turret. 88 built between June and December, 1944.
  • 234/4 "Pakwagen" - 1 x 7.5 cm PaK 40 L/48 in open-topped superstructure replacing the turret. 89 built between December 1944 and March 1945.


  1. Very interesting - I had not come across the /3, & /4 variants before.
    I do quite enjoy fielding my Puma's :-)

  2. I started wondering the other day, when I came across a photo the /4 labeled as a Puma; Di Agostini's Combat Collection also label /3 as a Puma. So I researched it a bit. I think only the /2 was really known as the Puma. the other variants weren't given specific names.

    I have in the past added a Puma to a Sdkfz 221, 222 or 223 recce zug to bolster defensive fire power (before they run for it, of course) Looking forward to fielding a whole unit