PSP plating has been developed prior to WWII to quickly build temporary airfield strips in remote area where civil engineers aren’t supposed to be around. It has been called Marsden Matting or Marston mats (or Marston Plate) for a town in North Carolina adjacent to Camp Mackall airfield where the material was first manufactured. The PSP has been made from durable steel. They are made of steel stripes with holes punched through it in rows. The plate has a U-shape and channels are located between the holes. Hooks were formed along on a long-sided edge and slots along the other side so that they can be connected to each other. In order to achieve this on a long surface, the plates were laid in staggered pattern. In total, during WWII, 800 millions square feet of PSP have been produced.˛
Due to cost and weight issues, the modern PSP have been improved using lightweight aluminum but the general design remains similar as the original with the addition of hooks and grooves on both sides in order to ease building procedure.
Before the release of the PAM set, the only 1/35 PSP PE kit was the honorable Verlinden one, produced in metal. Since it is generally used for airfield purpose, most of the current available PE kits are in 1/48 or 1/72 from numerous providers.
Pro Art Models is busy releasing kits to “pimp up” the M1078 SF support vehicle and this kit is part of the deal. As always the resin parts are packed in a plastic zip lock bag and protected by a sturdy carton box.
Contents of the kit:
• 1 PE frets for 4 PSP Plates
• 4 resin parts for shaping purpose.
Due to the design of the PSP; it is complicated to obtain a perfect shape match to the real one. With this new set, Pro Art Models really tackled this design issue providing resin parts to achieve this result. The plates have an exact (scaled) match in dimension with the original parts.
Four resin parts are provided to shape the PE. As mentioned in the introduction, PSP has two channels between the rows of holes. In order to achieve this, you need to press the PSP sandwiched between the two long resin parts and clamp it in place for a limited amount of time.
Two parts are used to punch the holes in the shape. The flanges of the holes are intended to improve anchoring of the plate onto soils. Normally such small parts are not represented on the other PE kits. While punching the hole, you will improve the final look of your PSP.
The kit comprises 4 PSP and if you need more plating you need to order extra PE part and this is a good idea from PAM with this option, as the kit is really affordable.
I started some trials. My conclusions are as following:
• Forming the middle grooves requires some time. I did not use the two clamps but I squeezed the jig instead. This is perfectly working, but not at the extremities of the plate.
• While punching the holes, if inducing too much stress to the overall structure of the plate you will lose the flatness. You need to press the plate again with the large jig. Nevertheless, the final look is pretty convincing. And with more experience, you will be able to produce the plate rapidly.
Since I don't have a connection with the manufacturing of this kit or the release, I feel that my review is not biased in any way.
EDITORS NOTE: On the manufacturers product link provided below, there is a series of photos with great tips on assembling the PSP kit in review for anyone that needs some help.
Highs: Final appearance is good. And with the option of buying only the PE parts for refill (6 Euros/ 4 PSP), the set is pretty cheap.Lows: Can be a tedious process to produce the plate (87 holes to punch), losing the flat appearance after punching the holes.Verdict: Highly recommended, nice approach with the PE refill.
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