Sd.Kfz. 234/4
s.Pz.Spähwg. (Pakwagen)

Airfix 1:76 Scale Vehicle Correction

Sd.Kfz. 234/4 schwerer Panzerspähwagen

Late war conversion of the standard armoured car assigned to heavy reconnaissance companies, this vehicle mounted a 7.5 cm anti-tank gun. Airfix shipped this vehicle in an incorrect version, using the hull of the Sd.Kfz. 231 instead of the 234. A noticeable difference between the two vehicles is the shape of the fenders. The problem can be corrected, using the fenders from the Matchbox Sd.Kfz. 234/2 (Puma) kit. Spare parts from both kits may be used to create an 8-wheeled Sd.Kfz. 231 or 232, replacing the Puma turret with a 20 mm L/55 or 7.5 cm L/24 turret.

Heavy recon units packed some punch, they were equipped with 8-wheeled armoured cars carrying 5 cm and 7.5 cm guns with good armour penetration capabilities. The long 7.5 cm PaK 40 anti-tank gun was a very accurate and reliable weapon, capable of penetrating the frontal turret armour of Sherman and T-34 tanks at ranges up to 1500 meters.

Possible Conversion

Sd.Kfz. 234/4 schwerer Panzerspähwagen

  • Type: Heavy Armoured Car, 8×8
  • Wheelbase: 2.75 m (1.35 m bogie)
  • Length: 6.02 m
  • Width: 2.36 m
  • Height: 2.29 m
  • Weight: 11 t
  • Armament: 7.5 cm L.46 PaK 40
  • Commander, Driver, Gunner, Loader
  • Note: Rear driving position removed

Pakwagen

The turretless design of this particular vehicle was an emergency measure to increase the number of mobile anti-tank guns in 1945, appropriately called Pakwagen. The design had a number of disadvantages in combat: To accomodate the larger gun mount, the rear driving position had to be eliminated, reducing the vehicle's tactical maneuverability. The fighting compartment was very cramped, and only 12 rounds of ammunition for the main gun could be carried. The limited traverse of the turretless 7.5 cm gun mounting required that the entire vehicle be aimed in the general direction of firing, exactly like an assault gun.

Evaluation

Scale model with much raised detail.

Good choice of subject, a very attractive and versatile model.

Few parts, easy to assemble. The angle of the gun shield must be carefully adjusted and monitored while the adhesive dries. The front bumper is very fragile, requiring that the model be mounted on a protective base.

High quality kit. Parts fit well and there is minimal flash.

Compatible with Fujimi, Matchbox, Nitto, and VAC-U-CAST.

The original Airfix model is an unauthorized variant of a Sd.Kfz. 231/- Pakwagen. The model may be converted to a Pakwagen Sd.Kfz. 234/4 using the fenders of a Matchbox Puma armoured car.

The reverse driving position is modelled in the open gun compartment, but this variant of the 234 did not actually have a rear driver!

Unavailable at this time. The manufacturer is well advised to upgrade, and re-issue this unique vehicle.

Historical Employment

  • The Airfix vehicle did not officially exist, although there might have been an inofficial variant using the hull of an Sd.Kfz. 231 for a Pakwagen conversion. Three Sd.Kfz. 234/4 Pakwagen were deployed in the Panzerjäger Platoon of the Stabskompanie (HQ coy), Pz. Aufklärungsabteilung (Armoured Recon Detachment).

Possible Conversions

  • Sd.Kfz. 234/4 Pakwagen with 7.5 cm PaK 40 L/46, January 1945
  • Sd.Kfz. 231 schwerer Panzerspähwagen (8×8) with 2 cm L/55, 1939-1945
  • Sd.Kfz. 232 schwerer Panzerspähwagen (8×8, Funk) – radio vehicle, July 1942-1945
  • Sd.Kfz. 233 s. Pz.Spähwg. (8×8) with 7.5 cm Stu. K. L/24, January 1943-1945

The Sd.Kfz. 234/4 is an attractive variant of a well designed armoured vehicle. The distinctive 8-wheeled chassis was used for a variety of vehicles, it combined excellent cross-country mobility and speed. Heavy armoured cars served on all fronts and they were camouflaged in a number of different seasonal or regional patterns. Wargamers may use this vehicle to raise late war heavy reconnaissance detachments. The Airfix kit is obviously incorrect, but the problem is easy to fix if the necessary parts are available.

Airfix Modelling

Frequently Asked Questions

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