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In-Box Review
135
Gama Goat Conversion sets
Gama Goat Hard Top; Soft Top; and S-250 Shelter Conversion sets
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

It was only a matter of time before the conversions for Tamiya’a Gama Goat really started rolling in. Perfect Scale Modellbau out of Germany has jumped into the fray in a big way with not one, not two, but three conversion sets for the lovable Goat. Rather than focus on smaller corrections or PE type of aftermarket goodies they have opted for a much more noticeable approach with sets that add the hard top cab, the soft top cab as well as a canvas cover for the trailer, and a third set that is large and in charge, a S-250 Shelter.

Contents

Each of the three Gama Goat conversions sets come packaged in a small but very sturdy cardboard box. The resin parts and castings are well protected with a bubble wrap cocoon inside that help to insure no breakage. None of my samples suffered any damage in transit whatsoever. The PE and decals are packaged in a separate small poly bag.
#35122 Gama Goat soft top and canvas shelter cover conversion
  • Three large resin castings
  • PE sheet
  • Decal sheet
  • Instructions
  • Clear Plastic for the rear window

#35123 Gama Goat hard top conversion
  • Three large resin castings
  • Two small resin parts
  • PE sheet
  • Instructions
  • Clear plastic for the windows

#35124 S 250 Shelter conversion
  • Two large resin castings
  • 14 small resin parts
  • Instructions

Review

Opening each of the boxes will leave you with a very positive first impression. Closer inspection will reveal no air bubbles, pin holes, or other common maladies of resin castings. The quality of the casting is consistent for each of the three sets; below I will attempt to lay out what you will get with each individual conversion set. The instructions in all three are a bit dodgy, but with the minimum number of parts it should not take more than a minute of study to figure out where everything goes.

Soft Top conversion set #35122

This set provides three large castings, two that are completely new and one that replaces the rather sparsely detailed engine cover from Tamiya. The two new pieces are the soft top cover for the drivers compartment and the canvas shelter cover for the utility trailer. The replacement piece is a new style of engine cover.

The engine cover is a style that is unknown to me and doesn’t appear to be that common but it may be just what you are looking for if you are modeling a particular Goat. This cover is the same one used in Perfect Scale Modellbau’s earlier release of a resin Goat from a few years ago. It features horizontal channels across the top of the cover that the Tamiya part does not have. In addition it also sports a crossed set of what appear to be reinforcing strips on the forward facing end. Also, the cooling louvers are a slightly different arrangement, but alas are molded solid just like the Tamiya part they replace.
The cab soft top is very nice; it appears to be a drop fit onto the Tamiya kit. The top appears to have just the right amount of sag giving the appearance of stressed and stretched canvas. The only drawback is no interior support details although it doesn’t appear as if this would be too difficult to add for at least an intermediate modeler (leaves me out!)

The canvas cover for the rear trailer is even nicer, great detail that captures the look of stretched canvas perfectly. The snap details on the front and the rear are very nice, often a problem getting the resin pour to fill details like this out but Perfect Scale Modellbau nailed it. The front end of the cover features a very nicely detailed inner flap to close off that portion of the cover but the back end is open. Again, the only drawback is the lack of interior detail. To end on a positive note however it is again a drop fit unto the Tamiya kit.

The small PE fret provides you with 14 tie-down hooks for the trailer. The decal sheet provides markings for several vehicles from the 1st Armored Division, 82nd Airborne and what I think is a 2nd Cavalry Regiment vehicle with V Corps (or, it may be V Corps, II Cav, as I could be reading the bumper codes incorrectly) as well as what may be a 1st ID vehicle but I am really fuzzy on that one (1-roman numeral 1 followed by a 3 with a triangle, so it may be 3rd AD, or it may just be an I Corps Goat, who knows) At any rate, lots of marking choices available.

Hard Top Conversion set #35123

The hard top conversion provides, wait for it, and wait for it, that’s right, the hard top for the Gama Goat. The hard top comes with a separately molded roof piece and two small door handles. Again, the molding is top notch without any flaws whatsoever. The conversion also provides a new engine cover, the same as the one noted above with the soft top conversion. As well, the PE and the decals are the same as the soft top set and are described just above.

S-250 Shelter Conversion Set #35124

The S-250 Shelter comes with a couple of large castings for the body and the floor of the shelter. Once you put those together you more or less have a shelter, the only thing to add is the front vent cover as well as a couple of door handles for the rear doors. The instructions leave a bit to be desired and are not very clear. Part #3 is the vent cover, it is not indicated where it is located, but the shelter is sparse enough that you can easily figure out where it fits inside the upside down U shaped bolted bracket face. Also, part #6 is not well marked; they are the door handles for the rear doors.

The shelter is secured with a set of 4 turnbuckles attached to the four corners of the trailer; all the hardware is included as delicate resin castings. Take extreme care in removing each of the pieces from the resin casting plug. Besides the turnbuckles you also receive the chain links, each link is cast separately making construction a bit tricky. I think I would replace the resin chain with an appropriately sized piece of metal chain from the spares bin.

This conversion set is the most versatile of the three as the S-250 shelter can be seen on all manner of vehicles, Humvees, the M-1102 trailer, CUCV, or even in the bed of a Meng Hi-Lux for a unique model. The kit comes without any decals or the PE fret that the other two sets include.

I went ahead and cleaned up the parts for the shelter and floor itself to check for any fit issues. The floor to shelter body fit was an easy five minute clean-up with a razor saw and an emery board for a nice tight fit. The shelter in the trailer was easy as well, however, the bottom rear of the shelter will need to be trimmed a bit for the trailers rear gate to be able to close.

Conclusion

These three all look like solid winners that should go a long way toward dressing up the Tamiya Gama Goat. You could easily combine any two of these sets for an even more unique look; I am thinking of redoing my previously built Goat with the hard top conversion for the cab and the soft top for the trailer, should look great when it is done. I can recommend each of these conversions with the only caveat being that you might want to have a bit of experience with resin before tackling the S-250 conversion but only because of the separate links for the chain and turnbuckle.
SUMMARY
Highs: Great looking conversions for the Gama Goat. Resin castings are free of any imperfections. Great fit for all the conversions although the shelter does need a slight trim to enable the tailgate to clear. Nice selection of markings with the new decal sheet.
Lows: Odd engine cover that I am not familiar with. Instructions are a bit hard to follow and the individual links for the chain on the shelter seem a bit much.
Verdict: Highly recommended. any of these three will really dress up the Goat. I like that you can use any two of them for an even more unique model.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35122, 35123, 35124
  Suggested Retail: 18.50 to 21.50 Euros
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 28, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.70%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.70%

Our Thanks to Perfect Scale Modellbau!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright ©2017 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

I like the decal sheet.By changing the letter to "C" instead of HQ,I would be able to build the Goat C Co.1/37 had. C-7
MAY 28, 2014 - 04:53 PM
Hi there, I got the canvas cover set and I am disappointed. First the contour of the cargo canvas is not correct. I could be mistaken from photos, but the front bow is going down straight and not curved as displayed. also, the thickness of the canvas cover is with about 2,5 mm (0.10 inch) way to thick. Second problem is the engine cover. The kit despicts the late engine cover made of pressed steel(the Tamiya kit has the early style aluminium cover). While the shape of the cover is good it is just 2,5 mm (0.10 inch) to short. Problem was that PSM`s resin Goat has serveral dimensional problems and these problems are simply carried over to the replacement parts. Sad but true. H.-H.
MAY 29, 2014 - 02:47 AM
Well, having been burnt a few times, I'm now being extra-careful before committing money to purchase. Thorough study of their photos point out some problems, to me the rear canvas cover doesn't look good at all, let alone accurate. I'm a mediocre scratchbuilder but when I'm buying resin I want top shelf stuff (think Legend, Adler Model and a few others) not something that doesn't fit or has obvious flaws such as the geometry on the rear of that shelter, nothing appears to be square... Not generalizing on PSM products they have some excellent stuff in their range but maybe different master builders? Cheers, Christophe
MAY 29, 2014 - 03:46 AM
Here we go again. I get so tired of people criticizing model kits. Heaven know no model company will ever produce an exact miniature replica of a vehicle in 1/35th scale. What most people fail to realize or accept is that if modeled to exactness, there is a lot of detail that would not even show up on a 1/35 model. Many time companies model detail over-sized or slightly inaccurate just so modelers will have the detail they think would be on the model. Yes the PSM kits are not completely accurate and I admit it would be nice if the rear canvas cover was not molded as thick as it is, but at least PSM has given us something to work with. The alternative would be to scratch build it yourself with plastic rod and tissue paper. While I'm sure I could accomplish that, not all modelers have the same skill levels or patience. Rather than criticize, why don't we thank companies for their efforts? If you still feel the need to point out problems or inaccuracies, then at least offer a solution or describe how you fixed the problem so that other modelers can profit from your experience. Then, others can decide if they want to accept the kit with it's problems, build the kit with your described solutions, or pass on the kit altogether. Just remember, that companies are in the business of making money. If we continue to constantly criticize their products, what is their incentive to continue producing kits, that they know they won't sell, because someone criticized it and because of that, others won't buy the kits. Okay, time to fall off my soapbox. Just my opinion, and we all know how personal opinions rate. If I stepped on anyone's toes, I'm sorry.
MAY 29, 2014 - 08:49 AM
No worries, in our countries thankfully people are free to express themselves one way or the other. You're free to like, I'm free to dislike and express my opinion which is just that : an opinion, nothing more nothing less... Cheers, Christophe
MAY 29, 2014 - 08:54 AM
LOL Here we go again... This is a review of a kit, not and payed for ad. It is supossed to tell consumers what they get. In this thread you get the information, both of what's in the box, as well as how it compare to the real thing (thanks Hans-Hermann). If a producer doesn't produce a product that meet the standards of the buyer, and therefore doesn't sell any products, it's the producers problem. That's how it works, at least in market economies. I buy a lot of stuf from many producers. I'm also prepared to pay high prices fro that. But I don't just pay for resin parts (or photo etch or whatever), I also pay for research. Add to that, as a minimum, I pay for quality and 'buildability'. The later meaning that if I get a resin part that is 2mm to small in comperasion to were it's suposed to fit, the part doesn't meet my lowest standard. Again, the above information give informatin for both rivet counters and builders that go for the close enough look (I'm both of them, depending of project, so no judgement there). What can be wrong with that? Sorry, I don't buy the bend over for the producers perspective', and I don't buy the 'why count rivets - it's all just a hobby'. Some of us are intersested in accuracy when it comes to this set, others may not. A good modeling site/review will provide information for both! Cheers, /E
MAY 30, 2014 - 06:29 AM
Hint, hint: They should make those turnbuckels available seperately - many uses! Very nice!
MAY 30, 2014 - 08:07 AM
Very good review, Rick, thanks for doing this. The spirited discussion is good, as small companies like PSM try their best to provide us with products that fill voids left by the big manufacturers like Tamiya, who haven't provided an accurate or to-scale tarp for any kit of theirs I've ever seen.
JUN 05, 2014 - 10:17 AM
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