Today, we're opening one of the new all-plastic German vehicle sets for Flames of War.
Pay close attention to the box art – yes, you can build four models of three different vehicles from this kit, which the manufacturer identifies as:
- Puma (5cm)
- Eight-wheeled vehicle with full turret
- Sd Kfz 234 (2cm)
- Eight-wheeled vehicle with enclosed turret with mesh grenade screens
- Sd Kfz 234 (7.5cm)
- Eight-wheeled vehicle with open-topped casemate
Opening the box, and there's four identical plastic sprues for the vehicles, a sprue of crew figures (for the open-topped vehicle), a sprue of half-figures (if you wish to model the turret hatch open), and a plastic bag (unit cards and decalsheet).
(There was also something that fell out of the box and hit my foot… a turret broke loose from one of the sprues during shipping.)
So this is the vehicle sprue. There is an assembly diagram on the back of the box. Wheels fit to the lower hull, which fits to the upper hull. There are two possible upper deck pieces, to fit to the two possible turrets or the open-topped option. Some small, unidentified parts look easy to add.
One minor complaint is the part shown in the diagram as attaching to the right rear of the vehicle. The box provides no photo showing that part of the vehicle, which makes it hard to confirm you've attached it properly. The online assembly instructions are a little clearer about where the part goes, but again fail to show a picture of the assembled vehicle from that angle. Fortunately, the assembly video on the manufacturer's website shows a glimpse of where it goes.
The other concern, just from looking at the parts, is some worry about how well the upper deck fits into the upper hull, as there are no obvious attachment points. The good news is that, in the assembly video, the parts look like they fit together easily.
(The online article and video refer to four variants, but the box only provides three variants.)
These are the crew figures. As is typical for this company, the figures are not shown in the assembly diagram on the box, so refer to the online assembly article. The box shows the open-topped version with one crew figure; the online article shows two crew figures, but the box does not include sufficient figures to place two crew in all four vehicles.
Three Unit Cards are provided, two of which are identical. The Puma Scout Troop card provides stats for a two-vehicle troop of either Pumas or Sd Kfz 234 (2cm). (Which means the box actually provides two troops.) The Sd Kfz 234 (7.5cm) card provides stats for a troop of two or three vehicles.
Also in the bag is a small decalsheet. No decal instructions are provided, either in the box or online. The painted vehicles shown on the box only use the German crosses, but none of the other decals.
No painting instructions are provided for this specific set, in the box or online. I believe there are general directions for painting Late War German vehicles, but no link is provided from the online assembly article. I've not seen painting articles for vehicle crew on their website (if there is a painting guide, the manufacturer should include a link from the assembly article).
These vehicles will be a fun addition to any German WWII force, as they fought right down to the final fighting in Berlin. One in Berlin was even field-fitted with an aircraft machinegun! (No, that's not on the Unit Card.)