by: Matthew Quiroz [ ]
introduction As famed NASCAR racer Darrell Waltrip would say “Whoa Boogity Boogity!” And as a well known candy bar commercial goes…”Not going anywhere for awhile?” If you’re thinking of buying this particular detail set, plan on staying busy for a long, long time. The Griffon Model Royal Edition photo etch set (S-BPL35001) for the Dragon M-16 Halftrack (6381) consists of a whopping twelve frets of brass, copper wire, ABS rod, a set of turned brass barrels for the machine guns and even a small decal sheet for the instrument panel. The set is a combination of sets that Griffon offers for the Dragon M-16 kit all rolled into one “ginormous” set.
The kitThe box had some heft to it when I took it out of the slightly larger mailing box. No wonder with all that comes with it. The box itself is padded to help keep all that precious brass nice and straight; and it did its job well as all of my pieces were flat, straight and undamaged. The instructions are well laid out and are easy to follow. The builder has a couple options available to them with the building of the running gear. Namely, they can choose between a standard type with oval cut out on the bogie housing and a hybrid type without the oval cutout on the bogie housings.
Details abound with this set. A vast majority of the Dragon kit interior is sanded or cut away to be replaced with brass items. A choice of early and late instrument panels is given. For as many parts that are replaced on and in the cab of the vehicle, there are an equal number of parts that are replaced or added on the gun system itself. Latches, clamps, straps, knobs, levers, hinges, clasps, plates, etc. etc. etc. are all replaced with brass offerings found in this set. Suffice to say, the builder (In this case me) has their work cut out for them. I will be doing a Build log in the not too distant future to hopefully better showcase this set. I just hope I’m up to the task! Feel free to follow along as I torture myself dealing with all of this small and well detailed brass.
Instructions The instructions consist of several sheets with detailed drawings/diagrams on both sides. All in all it’s about 12 pages folks. They are broken down into three sub steps consisting 7 pages, 4 pages, and the last of 1. Basically small models within the model.
assembly preview I am just curious how my broom handle fingers are going to deal with handling all of the small and vast amounts of brass that are going to be festooning this model. All measurements for what needs to be cut are metric so it would be beneficial for the modeler to have either a metric ruler or micrometer with a metric display. I could try and tell you what you get on the frets, or else you can simply look at the pictures and instruction scans to see for yourself.
contents Bottom line, there is a lot of brass with this detail set. I have listed but a few of what is included in this set below…
1. Photo etched Fret * 12
2. Metal M2 Machine Gun Barrel * 4
3. Metal Cooling Jacket for M2 Machine Gun * 4
4. Decal for Dashboard * 1
5. Auxiliary Material: ABS Rod & Copper Wire
6. Engine Compartment Hood with Round Rivets with screw head detail
7. Battlefield modified Jerry Can racks
8. Late and Early style instrument panels with decal
9. Two types of cab floor
10. Radio cover and ammo storage chest
conclusion Granted the price is not for the faint of heart, but if the builder purchases one of these exquisite sets, and has the patience and fortitude to see the build through to completion, he or she could be rewarded with a spectacular looking model. Thanks to Dragon USA for the review sample.
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