by: Olivier Carneau [ ]
Pro Art Models (PAM) has released this set in October 2011 to convert the Trumpeter LMTV kit #01004 into the Special Forces Warpig truck.
Basically the Warpig is a LMTV truck equipped with extra communication gear, new and more comfortable seats for the team members, weapon brackets for a M2 HMG or Mk19 AGL and a M240 MG.
The cabin is open top and a special for extra jerry cans or water cans has been attached to the front of the chassis.
The conversion set comes in the usual PAM blue thin cardboard box with a photo of a completed and painted model on top of it.
Inside you get one plastic bag with 86 resin parts, one bag with additional 5 resin parts for the M240 and a third bag with two PE frets, a thick one for the frame of the cargo bay and a thin one for the various details.
The instructions come in two double-sided A4 sheets with line drawings.
The carving is excellent and the detail is very sharp. The resin parts are nicely cast with virtually no air bubbles. No flash and no molding lines were present on my sample. No damage or broken parts were noticed. The pouring lugs are a bit large and will require some work to get the parts ready for use and a good razor saw should help.
The resin parts are not numbered so your first job will be to thoroughly read the instructions to find out which part is which and goes where. This will take you some time as there a lot of tiny parts.
The 4-page instructions are made of neat drawings. There is no build sequence like in the injection kits instructions. So you will have to check the Trumpeter kit instructions during the build to avoid any mistake in the conversion.
In some areas the instructions are not clear enough to find out the right location of some parts. Again reference pictures will be helpful.
Labeled as a conversion set for the SF Warpig, the set also gives you some parts to detail the undercarriage or replace some plastic parts of the donor kit. So you get a new fuel tank and parts to detail the brake system. The various pipes are shown where they connect on the resin parts but PAM does not show where they connect at the other end.
So as the instructions are not really clear, it is advised to refer to your documentation. PAM gives the WWP book as a reference to help.
Concerning the conversion per se, you get the parts to make the modified driver compartment. The replacement dashboard is very nicely detailed. Except the floor main part, nearly all the rest is built from resin parts or PE. The major parts are new doors, new seats, storage bins and the radio rack. The seat belts can be added as you get all the parts unless the belts themselves.
For the space behind the driver, you get a resin air intake and air cleaner as well as parts to detail the spare wheel support of which a PE ratchet strap in 6 parts plus the 5 rods to make from styrene.
For the cargo bay or team members compartment you only use the floor and the rear wall from the Trumpeter kit. The other parts are a mix of PE parts for the slat frames and resin parts for the seats and the front and rear walls. One of the seats is carved with the body armor over it.
Unlike the picture on the box could make us guess, there is no extra equipment in the set. You have the basic conversion parts for the cabin and the cargo bay. The radio rack is present on the PE fret but you don't have any radio set. Even the aerials are absent and PAM suggests you buy their extra radio sets for the Warpig.
Likewise the M2 HMG and its pedestal mount are not in the set and you only get the M240 and its Platt mount for the vehicle commander. However the M240 is really nice and crisp.
As a conclusion, I must admit this set is a very nice base to model a SF Warpig thanks to the quality of the parts. But this can not be built straight from the box into a fully detailed model.
Instead of giving the brake lines details that will not be visible in the end, I would have preferred that PAM add at least some radio sets and the M2 HMG.
However I recommend this conversion to those who like original models.