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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: PaK'ing Your Puma. The new Sd Kfz 234/4 Pakwagen

Turning a Puma into a BOOMa.
By Throckmorton

You love heavy German recce right? And, you love PaK 40's too, I'm sure! And what's the best piece of German recce (at least in this humble authors opinion)? The Puma. Deadly little beastie if there ever was one, and for 50 points a pop why wouldn't you take it?

So, what would you say to taking that excellent Puma chassis and plopping a PaK 40 right on top of it? If your answer is anything other "thank you sir, may I have another" I might have to question your sanity.

The Sd Kfz 234/4 Pakwagen was the final in a series of iterations of the 234 Schwere Panzerspah (or Heavy Reconnaissance... panzer... thingie) a venerable line of reconnaissance vehicles which included the Puma, a 75mm open topped variant and KwK 38 20mm armed version as well. Overall, less than 500 of the entire line were produced with some 89 of the 234/4 being built between December of '44 and May of '45.

In Flames of War terms, the vehicle made it's debut in the recent Desperate Measures supplement for Late War play as a part of the Heavy Panzerspah platoon along with it's smaller gunned brother  234/1 with the 20mm KwK 38. And together they make a pretty great combo. Here's the stat's from our fine friends at Easy Army.

Like similar models, these are purchase-able in units of 2 (one of each) costing 95 points per platoon. And honestly, at that price, they're a steal. Take 2 units, I honestly think they're that good. Mixing the lighter gun with its 5+ firepower and the PaK help you dig out infantry or you can just send the PaK out as a tank killing missile while the 20mm sits back and removes gone to ground. Pretty sweet.

But, I'm sure you also want to know about the models themselves!
PaK's in the PAKaging 

Crack open a PaK and this is what you get inside. Wheels, dudes, guns and a chassis. No real molding problems here I'm glad to announce. 

It was a little finnicky to get the PaK and the gun shield in properly and I had to shave down a bit of the shield, but with a little work it fit nicely. 

Here we are, all built up. 

It's a cool looking little model!


Base coated Middlestone. 
Single color camouflage of Cavalry Brown. 
I took this, which looks single color to me, as my guide. Sure, I can't tell if it's green or red/brown, but I think it works. 

Working in the wash, crew and other details. 

And here it is all done!

Pak'ing some serious punch!
The model is great. It's small, low piece count, easy to build up and paint and will be totally useful on the battlefield for Desperate Measures lists. Sadly, it's the only book it can be used in right now, and that's the only drawback I can think of. So, let's score it.

Detail 4/5 PaK Puns: Standard Battlefront fare here. Good stuff all around with no major defects.

Build 4.5/5 PaK Puns: Mostly easy peasy, just a few bits with the gun shield to futz with but other wise quite a quick build.

Value 5/5 PaK Puns: If you play Germans out of Desperate Measures you want these. Probably only 2, though I've played with three and it's pretty fun!

Overall 4.5/5 PaK Puns: The new DM German lists are pretty great and this is an excellent addition to the line; something you'll definitely want to be using as we move into Late Late War. Buy them, know them, love them.

Deep in the painting mines of Throcktopia, Throckmorton is kept as a slave to the Throck-Overfiend, who forces him to paint up tiny models and then sends the fruit of his malign labor to the devious DirtyJon, the vile Luke and their compatriot, known only as "Truckstop"

Models provided by Battlefront.

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