This is probably the most complex Puma kit on the market, maybe even more so than the MarS kit. It is also one of the best, with only a couple minor weaknesses. (A Puma Comparison article is available that provides a side-by-side comparison of this kit with the other Puma kits.) The scans below show all of the parts included in the kit. It includes two copies of the wheel sprue shown on the left.
First, I've compared the kit to the dimensions and drawings in the reference below, and it scales perfectly to 1/72nd. The only quibble I have is that the gun barrel may be just a little bit too petit, but that's difficult to judge from photographs. Of the three plastic kits available, this one has probably the simplest suspension to assemble, although the Italeri suspension has the advantage of being able to alter the sit of individual wheels, if the modeler chooses to, whereas this one will take some surgery to do so.
Some highlights of this kit include the open hatches on the turret, as well as the armored covers for the viewports also being separate. Some interior detail is included, though none of it will be seen with this version, and is mostly present for the follow-on versions of this armored car that Hasegawa has planned. Some of the tools and stowage items are included as separate parts, but some of it is also molded onto the fenders. Granted, the fenders are molded from the side with a multi-part mold, so the relief on the tools isn't too bad, but they still should have been molded separate. The kit also comes with a crew figure. He is not too bad, though there's a bit of flash to remove from along its edges, and his head could definitely stand to be replaced by an extra Preiser head if you have one. Hopefully this signals the beginning of an effort of Hasegawa to include crew figures in all of their new kits (but somehow I doubt it). The only [minor] drawback to this kit are the wheels. The wheel hubs aren't too bad, but the lightening holes in them could certainly be more pronounced. The tires are very poorly detailed along the road surface, which isn't surprising being styrene. For wheels like this, I'd almost prefer if they were molded in rubber (as long as the rubber held paint).
The instructions are typical of Hasegawa, and very clear. The marking and painting guide is for a single vehicle, though many other decals are included, including several white unit markings that cannot be seen in the following scan. The decals are also typical of Hasegawa, meaning they are nice and colorful, printed in register, though with very thick carrier film.
I think this is the best of the plastic Puma kits currently available.
Rob Haelterman adds:
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|Article updated: 31 May 2005; 17 March 2010|