Thursday, February 15

MiniArt roll out the 48th scale Marston Matt in their latest base...

Marston matting. The all-too-familiar sight on any WWII airfield & allied base scene. MiniArt has made two strips of this in their rigid plastic bases to suit your latest 48th scale kit. We look at the real thing & the kit contents in our preview...

MiniArt roll out the 48th scale Marston Matt in their latest base...

Marston Mat
From MiniArt Models
Kit No #49017
1/48th scale
Injection moulded kit
This kit contains two flat base parts in hard, moulded plastic
The Subject: Marston Mat
Pierced (or perforated) steel planking (PSP), is standardized, perforated steel matting material developed by the United States at the Waterways Experiment Station shortly before World War II, primarily for the rapid construction of temporary runways and landing strips (also misspelled as Marsden matting which is what I always thought it was called). The nickname came from Marston, North Carolina, adjacent to Camp Mackall airfield where the material was first used.

RAF aircrew with one of their Bristol Beaufighters on a PSP airstrip at Biferno, Italy, August 1944
The matting consisted of steel strips with punched lightening holes in it. These holes were in rows, and a formation of U-shaped channels between the holes. Hooks were formed along one long edge and slots along the other long edge so that adjacent mats could be connected. The short edges were cut straight with no holes or hooks. To achieve lengthwise interlocking, the mats were laid in a staggered pattern. 

An RAAF Kittyhawk taxing on Marston matting at Milne Bay Sep 1942
The hooks were usually held in the slots by a steel clip that filled the part of the slot that is empty when the adjacent sheets are properly engaged. The holes were bent up at their edges so that the beveled edge stiffened the area around the hole. In some mats a T-shaped stake could be driven at intervals through the holes to keep the assembly in place on the ground. Sometimes the sheets were welded together.

Assembling Marston matting in Alaska
Used for large add-hoc bases and taxiways / runways right up until after WWII, Marston matting can be found in many different paces all around the world. Popping up still useful and not yet rusted away in many places. This matting us a ubiquitous sight in any WWII Allied diorama.

The kit:
MiniArt's 48th scale of diorama accessories is growing ever larger, with this new Marston Matting for your airfield diorama. They compliment a lot of other MiniArt scenery like cables, plastic & metal barrels, & oil drums.

Just some of the new 48th scale accessories from MiniArt of recent times...
MiniArt's new method of making solid (not vac-formed) bases for their dioramas continues with these two parts in the one kit. 315mm x  227 mm in dimension each You can use them separately or together of course.
You can see from the photos of the real thing the difference underneath the bases with those structural ribbing and the top with the circular pressed holes we are all familiar with on this matting. Deep enough to make them look realistic.
The two parts together showing the joining surfaces.
The texture of the circular pressed matting shown to good effect in these photos.
There is a slight undulation in an irregular pattern to give that realistic feeling also.
This Marston Mat sections are both 454mm x 315mm long and both can be joined on their flat centres to make a longer strip of runway.
This kit should be available next month from MiniArt's distributors worldwide. You can see more about this kit on the MiniArt Website...