Warlord Games very generously sent me a few kits to review which I shall be looking at over the next few weeks, however this week I have knocked together a vehicle close to many peoples hearts, the Puma armoured car.
The 1/56 scale Puma is a brand new kit from Warlord, and despite only 100 or so being built in 1944 the vehicle is immensly popular with modellers and gamers due to a combination of sleek lines good armament and high speed.
Warlords kit is tooled by Italeri and who have a proven track record with this vehicle, producing several kits of it in in a variety of scales. The kit comes on 2 sprues, and is extremely crisp and cleanly molded, with no flash and very few mold lines. The model even includes a rather nice commander model.
The kit is simple to assemble, the only tricky areas are with assembling the suspension. One area I found a little unclear from the instructions was in the placing of parts 5 and 42, the suspension springs. I would recommend attaching part 42 to part 5 without glue, then attaching them to the lower hull and gluing once in place as this will give you more time to giggle the fit of the parts around.
Also worthy of mentioning I think are the steering rods which are incredibly thin pieces. I found the best way to remove these from the sprue was to cut the surrounding sprue away from the part whilst the part was still attached to its connecting runner. Once the part and its runner was removed from the sprue I placed a finger gently on the part and used a brand new scalpel blade to remove the part from the connectors. Although this sounds time consuming it really isn't, and is far easier than trying to repair a damaged part or look for a missing one!
It's also worth mentioning that should you look at the suspension parts and think 'No chance' You can just stick parts 41 and 48 onto the lower hull and attach the wheels directly too them without messing around with the suspension.
There are no locating tabs for things like the tools and stowage, although between the instructions and photo's of the real thing these are easy to work out, and give you the option of leaving them off the model as well, which I like.
Only room for improvement with the model were two points, firstly the wheels are hollow, and if you are concerned about this they can be filled in. I didn't bother though due to time constraints, and the fact it's invisible unless your turn the model upside down.
The second point is very minor. I would have preferred it if Warlord included the transfer sheet from their SDKFZ 251 kits as this includes number plates which are prominent on the front of the Puma, whereas they have included the sheet from their plastic Panzer IV which features divisional markings. Either way the included sheet is still very nice and easy to work with.
I painted the model over a grey primer coat, pre shading the model with black in the recesses and white on the raised areas, and then built up the Dunkelgelb using Vallejo Middlestone.
Weathering was done using artists oils, and Games Workshop Agrellan Earth for the mud. The kit does come with an aerial. however I made my own from fine wire.
As ever you can see more of my work here at Volley Fire Painting Sevices, and read about my new US Marines force, as well as the collecting processes of Brian Ward, Jez Allum and Jamie Tranter.
More of Warlords Games products can of course be found here http://www.warlordgames.com/