Marsden Matting or as NATO designate it PSP [Pierced Steel Planking] consisted of steel strips with holes punched through it in rows with U-shaped channels between the holes. Hooks were formed along one long edge and slots along the other long edge so that they could be connected to each other. The short edges were straight cut with no holes or hooks. To achieve lengthwise interlocking, the mats were laid in a staggered pattern.
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 together. 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.
The typical Marsden matting was the M8 landing mat. A single piece weighed about 66 pounds and was 10 ft [3.0 m] long by 15 in [0.38m] wide. The hole pattern for the sheet was three holes wide by 29 holes long resulting in 87 holes per mat.
WWII Marsden Matting was extensively used by the Seabees [Construction Battalions] and other front line construction personnel to build runways and other readily usable surfaces over all kinds of terrain in the pacific Theatre of Operations. A C-47 Skytrain supply aircraft was the first plane to land on the first steel-mat runway constructed in France after the Invasion of Normandy.
On the Pacific islands the matting was typically covered with crushed and rolled coral or soil to form a level surface. The perforated and channelled design of the matting created strength and rigidity and facilitated drainage. A runway two hundred feet wide and 5000 feet (1500 m) long could be created within two days by a small team of engineers.
Berlin Airlift At the start of the Berlin Airlift the runways at Tempelhof Airport in the US Zone in Berlin were made of PSP. Designed to support fighters and smaller cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-54 Skymaster that formed the backbone of the U.S. effort was too heavy for the PSP. Berliners were hired to fix the runway between the three-minute arrivals, running onto the runways with bags of sand to dump onto the mats and soften the surface.
The PSP was also used in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Contents:The base is packed into a resealable plastic bag
The base is moulded in very strong injected plastic with the PSP texture moulded on top. The base has a good weight and not something that will be knocked of a shelf too easily.
The dimensions of the base are:
length 223mm x width 160mm x depth 10mm
The textured surface is sprayed with an odd choice of pastel colours and the style looks like a test piece from a home decorating evening class. I would definitely suggest over spraying the surface with some metallic paints and then applying some weathering washes for a more realistic look. If you're happy with the colour then its ready to be used straightaway.
This is a great idea form Eduard. I have never considered placing a model on a base before, but this will change. Although I have no suitable 1/72 to park on it, my 1/48 Eduard Hellcat looks very happy on there. Nice one Eduard.
Highs: Good consistent surface detail and a good price.Lows: Odd colours applied to the PSP surfaceVerdict: A great idea from Eduard and will be far more interesting parking your pride and joys on this rather just sat on a pine or laminated shelf. Also a great base for creating a diorama.