IntroductionPNMIRK is the Danish abbreviation for Pansret Minerydningskøretøj, Armoured Mine clearing Vehicle – a unique Danish combInation of the Wisent ARV and the Full Width Pearson Mine Clearing Plough. It is used to clear a path of mines or IEDs for all kind of vehicles and personnel. Besides the full width plough the PNMIRK also has MSD Signature Duplicator (this creates a magnetic field in front of the vehicle to set off magnetic mines), and at the back a Lane Marking System (LMS) that by air pressure shoots markers along the cleared path. Only small changes have been necessary to make the Wisent use the mine plough, and the development of the vehicle has been a cooperation between Pearson Engineering, FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesllschaft and the Danish Army. Ever since I saw this vehicle for the first time I knew, that one day I would model it. When Perfect Scale Modelbau (PSM) brought out their kit of the Wisent ARV (35151) I was halfway there. The last kit to facilitate this build was Rye Field Model’s (RFM) M1 Assault Breacher Vehicle (RM-5011), which would provide both the plough and the LMS. To upgrade the Wisent, I also bought myself a set of Bronco’s tracks for the Felthaubitzer 2000 (AB3526). Shortly after having bought all of these, I was contacted by the No 8 Armoured Engineer Coy, who is the user of this vehicle, and was commissioned to build one for them.
First HurdleI started by constructing the plough. The plough in RFM’s set is, however, not the same as the one used for the PNMIRK. The layout of the centre plough is very different, so some scratch building was necessary here. I’ve visited the Engineer Coy and therefore have plenty of photos and measurements to help with the construction. As soon as I went through the assembly instructions sheets I was pleased to see, that the plough could be modelled in any position of choice, as all the joints were movable. Sadly, however, the sloppy fit of the parts made this impossible. In general, I was rather disappointed with the accuracy of this kit – though a clever parts layout, good possibilities to position it and well cast - the kit is never the less a disappointment. I do not like the multi part kits, especially when the Tamiya-like fit is not there. I started by constructing the two outer ploughs, as they were identical to the Danish ones; only the two mounts for MSD transmitter, the spring for the collapsible outer parts and hydraulic pipelines were added. I then constructed the centre plough which was a scratch build; I had a small issue as the parts for the actual plough blades on the Danish version is identical to the ones of the outer ploughs but different in the kit. I therefore cast some from the kit parts to make them identical. I took a long time to make this plough; it is extremely complicated, and I had to double check everything frequently.
Second HurdleWith the plough finished it was time to build the vehicle and the attachments parts for the plough. Having built quite a few of PSM kits I had no trouble with assembling the basic Wisent. One must take a lot of notice how the parts for the shock absorbers are numbered. I didn’t and I had to make a lot of unnecessary surgery because of this. The intake of the PNMIRK has been updated with a Tropic kit and therefore had to be changed. I used some spare parts for a Leopard 2 build to construct the updated intake. As already mentioned I opted to use a replacement set for the track; I think PMS’ are too clumsy. I absolutely hate the way they are build but in the end they are better. Once the parts for the basic vehicle were built I dry fitted the vehicle together to make some estimates of the placement of the mounting plate for the plough. This I didn’t do well enough as the plough at the end sits lower than I wanted it to. The mounting plate is an almost 100% scratch build. One does get some help though; Pearson Engineering has cleverly made the mounting plate the same shape as the front of the M1 tank. Thus they “only” had to develop attachments point between the vehicle and the mounting plate – thereby saving time of re-invented the control “thingies” for the plough itself. I therefore scratch built the front part of the M1 tank using the kit as a template. The actual attachment points of the plough were taken from the RFM kit. Then I made the attachments detail between the mounting plate and the vehicle. At the end I detailed the whole thing and added hydraulic lines as well. Since I’d used the kits parts fitting the plough to the mount was a no-brainer.
Third HurdleTo mount the LMS the Danish Army developed a unique kind of “rear spoiler” for the Wisent. I therefore had to scratch build one of those too. A good friend in the Engineers made some measurements for me, and they turned out to be very accurate. I was especially fearful of the length of the diagonal beam, but it was spot on first time. The LSM components were all from the RFM kit and were trouble-free to build and incorporate. All in all, this hurdle actually turned to be the easiest one so far.
Finishing the BuildAt this stage of the conversion of the Wisent to a PNMIRK was basically finished. All that was left was to finish the build of the Wisent vehicle. There were three alteration added to kit. At the front are placed two additional antenna mounts, these were scratch built and wires made – next was an antenna mount for electronic warfare and counter measures at the back of the driver’s compartment, which was also scratch built – and finally the rear plate had to be altered, as the PNMIRK has a reworked rear to accommodate the LMS spoiler, which also included some scratch building. With this done, all I had to do was to assemble the rest of the Wisent per the instructions. The instructions are, however, a week point of PSM kits. They are in form of pictures with parts numbers added, but they are very small and in general not instructive, easy to figure out or indeed to see. The fit of parts is indisputable well-made and cast and has a good fit. I was a little fearful about the stairways on top of the crane, but as it turns out, it wasn’t really that difficult to build. The rack on top of the rear is simply a pearl in itself – well done PSM!
The Paint JobThe build was split into different sub-builds before painting; namely: the body without running gear or tracks, running gear and tracks, the crane, the rack on top of the rear, the OHW (overhead weapon station), the plough and the rear spoiler. These were all given a base coat of grey, which was later sprayed with dark grey in selective places as an undercoat. The green was a mix of Tamiya XF67Nato green and XF81 Dark Green (RAF) in a 50/50 mix. Heavily diluted this was then sprayed onto the parts. The rear spoiler was done with a lightened XF-55 Deck Tan, and the sprayed to the spoiler. All of the parts then went through a circle of washes and sealer, decals and sealer, weathering and sealer and in the end pin-washes and then a matt cote. As a sealer I use a floor polish.
After ThoughtsHaving finished this my first fought was – dam, I must give this to its rightful owner, but I also have to build another one for myself at some point! But then I was also proud and happy for the way it turned out. It looks like the real one, and even in 1/35th scale, it’s an awesome AFV. I would have liked to alter the green colour if it was possible – it’s not spot on; however, everything else turned out the way I had hoped for. This is an expensive build – the kits alone are almost 300 euros. To this one has to add an enormous number of hours to finish it off. Nevertheless, I love everything about it.
Copyright ©2020 by kenneth oestergaard. _OPINIONS Historicus Forma, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2018-09-23 15:11:04. Unique Reads: 17948