|Roden 1/72 SdKfz 234/1
|$7.98 (6.96 at Squadron)
|Scott Van Aken
Thanks to www.rodenplant.com for the historical background.
Roden continues with their policy of doing as many variants of a subject as they can, so this is the initial SdKfz 234 to go along with the 'Puma' that was first boxed. This version has a 20mm cannon as its main armament. While this was generally satisfactory, it was later upgraded to larger guns.
The Roden kit has basically swapped out the turret sprue of the Puma with one that has the 20mm gun. In all other respects, the kit is identical. The molding on this kit is very nice with the bodywork parts being done in a brownish plastic and all the running gear and some of the add-on bits being supplied in two black sprues. Because of the contrast and difficulty in photographing the different shades, I've pinched the image from the Roden web site to illustrate this version as they have all their photo sprues in white plastic. You can see the different turret sprue in the upper right corner of this image.
As you might expect from something that has hundreds of moldings on it already, there is a tad bit of flash on some of the body sprues. Nothing major and it is something that you'd normally clean up during standard construction anyway. I saw no major problems with ejector pin marks or sink areas. Roden's more current kits seem to have been improving in this area and I'm glad to see it. Instructions are well done providing easy to follow construction sequences. Colors are given as either Humbrol numbers or generic names. There are markings for one vehicle as shown on the box art. On the back of the box is a three view in color to help with painting. Basically Panzer yellow with brown and green areas on the upper surface. The small decal sheet is well printed and I can only hope that it will be useful as early Roden decals were rather lacking in stick and the ability to conform to surfaces.
While the new mold Hasegawa kit of the Puma has stolen a bit of Roden's steam on this series, the fact is that you'll get all the variants from Roden and you'll get them at a considerably lower price. 1/72 armor builders will really like this one and I can recommend it.
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