by: Gino P. Quintiliani [ ]
PSM brings us a piece of equipment that has been seen on the battlefield since the Vietnam war up to the recent past: the S-250 shelter. It has been used in many roles from command post, to radio shack, to Firefinder Radar Control Unit. It can be mounted on a wide range of trucks or trailers using a universal mounting bracket base, though I am quite familiar with the S-250 Shelter mounted on the M1097 Heavy HMMWV, as I had five of them in the FireFinder Radar Battery that I commanded as a Captain from December 2001 to July 2003. They were utilized as the control unit for the radar systems.
According to US Army documents:
The S-250 Electrical Equipment Shelter is a mobile tactical shelter designed for transport by
truck, helicopter, rail, ship, or military cargo aircraft such as the C-130, C-141 and C5A. For
ground transport, the S-250/G utilizes the 1-¼ ton military trucks (M561 and M880), the M1028
Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV) and the High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) variants (M1037, M1042, and M1097). The payload for the S-250/G has been upgraded from 1900 lbs. to 2530 lbs.; the tare weight is 770 lbs., equaling a gross weight of 3300 lbs. The panels are of sandwich type construction, 1.5" thick with closed cell rigid polyurethane foam hot bonded between aluminum alloy skins. The panels contain structural members on 19” centers to which equipment can be mounted. The 30"×55" door at one end of the shelter comes with a 23"× 34" hinged secondary exit. Two replaceable shock skids are provided to absorb impact shock, and a sling is provided for lifting and tie down. A special mounting kit is required for mounting on the HMMWV.
This resin set from PSM allows you to build an S-250 Shelter and has the mounting hardware and soft top and door conversion parts to mount it in an M1097 Heavy HMMWV as made by Tamiya.
the kit contents
The set comes in a sturdy cardboard box with the parts enclosed in a zip-lock baggie so none are lost in transit. Included are:
12 resin sprues with 23 separate parts cast in crisp light-grey resin.
The box also includes a two-sided instruction sheet with warnings and general information in both German and English on one side. The other side is a layout of the numbered parts and assembly instructions shown in clear, color pictures.
Because the attachment points are small, removal of the parts should not be an issue. The assembly instructions are easy to follow and each part is shown and called out with clear numbers and arrows for placement.
The set includes 6 parts to build the shelter, which include the walls and roof as one, floor, mounting bracket, vent cover, and door handles. All of the parts are crisp and generally free of flash and left-over resin bits. There is a thin layer of flash on the insides of the mounting bracket, but it is easily removed with an Exacto blade. There is a bit of leftover resin in the recessed parts of the shelter, such as the conical vent on the left side, but it too should be easy to remove.
The remainder of the set is parts for the HMMWV conversion. The S-250 Shelter is carried on an M1097 Heavy HMMWV, which has a beefed-up suspension and a larger rear bumper to accommodate heavier loads and trailers. PSM has captured this part of the conversion well: the rear bumper and its tie-down parts are very nice, and look the part. There are also a couple of pieces included that are used to secure the tailgate, since it is extended about 4 inches when the shelter is mounted. These parts (part 18) are not well-represented. The PSM parts are solid rods, while the actual parts are square tubes with a tab on the end where a hook on a chain is inserted to secure the tailgate in the up position, or to act as a support when the tailgate is in the down position. It also acts as a step for the shelter.
The remainder of the parts are to build the soft-top, pickup version of the HMMWV. The rear wall (part 6) and the body side supports (parts 14 & 15) are nicely-cast and represent these areas well. The rest of the soft-top parts leave a bit to be desired. They are cast very roughly without defined details. The doors (parts 7 & 8) are slabs of resin without the interior support details or stitching present on the actual parts. The same is true for the top and rear wall casting (part 1). Likewise, the blanking plate for the rear door openings (parts 9 & 10) are devoid of any details (there should be rivet and hinge detail on them as well).
The lack of detail is a problem on these parts. Both Italeri/Revell and Academy's soft doors and roof, and rear door panels from their M1097 and M998 Cargo Carrier kits respectively have captured these pieces well. I recommend replacing the above parts with a set from either Academy or Italeri.
Thanks to Perfect Scale Modellbau for providing this review sample. Be sure to say you saw it reviewed on Armorama when ordering directly from PSM.