While many modelers just want to build tanks and the other "stars" of the motor pool, I like the supporting cast as much, if not more.
And since soldiers get thirsty, a "water buffalo" is as much a part of any convoy or advance fire base as is the latest Main Battle Tank or armored personnel carrier. The United States military has usually done a pretty good job of logistics, and so "water buffaloes" are important for the health and functionality of the troops.
The M149 water trailer was introduced by the Army in 1960, and has served with US ground forces continuously up until probably the present day (I can't find anything that says it has been taken out of service, though troops are often supplied with boxes of bottled water nowadays). With a total gross weight of 1.5 tons, it's an easy pull for the 2 1/2 ton or 5 ton trucks such as the M923.
Perfect Scale Modelbau has released three resin versions of the M149, and the M149A1 can work in dioramas from Vietnam through NATO right down to today (especially in NATO camouflage).
Inside PSM's usual white cardboard box are:
2 Ziploc baggies containing 76 light gray resin parts
1 solid resin water tank
1 small fret of PE with 5 pieces
4 page 8 1/2 x 11 color instruction sheet
The M149A1 in this kit can be built either in the static or mobile position, so if you want to show it on the move, you can. Other than some extra wire for handles, the kit comes with everything you'll need except markings (which most photos show to be minimal at best). The resin feels a bit greasy, and PSM recommends treating it with a de-greaser to remove any mold release agent, but the casting is crisp and mostly without any flash in the review sample we received except with smaller parts as would be expected.
The company also made what I consider an excellent decision in casting the body of the water tank as a solid piece of resin. While this undoubtedly increased the overall weight of the kit (making it more expensive to ship), the likelihood of having to replace crushed parts is nil. In addition, modelers will not be plagued with lining up components and "truing them up."
The construction looks pretty straightforward, with the trailer chassis and the support front wheel assembly providing the most challenges. Some of the grab handles broke off their pour plugs in shipment, but they can be easily replaced with thin wire (and will probably yield more satisfaction and less cursing). Still, I give PSM high marks for including virtually everything, rather than leaving modelers to scratch the handles as many resin makers would.
Overall, the casting, as with all other PSM kits and conversion sets I've handled is excellent. There is a tiny amount of flash around the edges of the tires, but nothing that a little sanding won't take care of. As always, take care when working with resin, and be sure to wear a face mask or wet the area you're working on to cut down on resin dust.
Painting instructions are not provided, other than the options of olive drab, Masster Tarnung
("MASSTER camouflage, from "Modern Army Sensor Systems Test, Evaluation and Review"), and the MARDEC pattern. Check your references.
I'm glad to see PSM working their way through the various items in the NATO arsenal. This piece will work in almost any situation from Vietnam to the present. The company also offers the earlier M149
and the later M149 A2
Thanks to Perfect Scale Modelbau for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed here on Armorama when ordering.