by: Andy Renshaw [ ]
Griffon Model has come on the scene within the last few years with some very nice PE upgrade sets for various models. They seem to work closely with Dragon on most of their releases, so their sets fit very well and are direct replacements or improvements to Dragon parts. This particular set is for the Dragon M16 MGMC and the “upcoming M13”, so maybe that was a bit of a spoiler for an upcoming Dragon release. I would rather see them do a M15 or M16 “special”, but that is another discussion to be had! The set provides you with front bumper Jerry can racks and the two rear stowage boxes in fine etched brass.
•1 PE fret
•1 length of brass wire
This is a very simple set. The Jerry can racks are one piece that you just fold and glue. The rear boxes are fairly simple, and come with very nice lids and hinges that can be made working if you so choose. This set only has four hinges to assemble, so it’s a great way to cut your teeth on making PE hinges. It is also worth noting that this set corrects an error in the Dragon kit as both boxes are molded the same depth, however the longer one located on the right side should be slightly narrower than its partner. The Griffon boxes have the correct widths.
The only fault with this PE set is that Griffon did not include any interior separators inside the boxes, which there should be. These can be easily added with some scrap brass or plastic sheet. Instructions are very clear and easy to understand.
Starting with the jerry can racks, these are very simple and only require cutting from the fret, then folding and running come glue along the corners. After they were complete I test fit several popular jerry cans. Italeri cans will not fit without trimming the raised ridge off the bottom of the can. Some resin ones from Legend fit just fine.
The boxes are a little more involved. I first folded up the box and lid. The lid has a very fine lip that needs to be folded down, and this was best done with a Hold-n-Fold or other PE bending tool. The resulting lid fits very nicely onto the box.
Next comes the hinges. On the fret, they are all in a row, and Griffon actually supplies six for the four needed, so you do have spares. Since the hinges are all in a row, leave them on the fret and cut the fret itself near the hinge parts. You can now use the fret to clamp the “female” half of the hinge, plus the aligned brass wire. Now bend up that half using a small blade. With everything still clamped, cut the second “male” halves off the fret, then insert them into the other, bending the part as needed. You may need to work this a little, but this way you only have to handle a few parts at a time.
Once one is assembled, cut the hinge loose by cutting the wire between each hinge and part from the fret as shown in the photos. There are small locating marks on the box lid and back to align the hinge. Once these are place, the latch details can be added and you are all done, although I recommend mounting the box before adding the latch detail.
On a side note, I wanted to play around with some “damage”, so I dented and bent up one corner of the box as though the halftrack backed into something. The brass was quite stiff, but it looks the part and there is no way such damage could be done with the original kit parts!
Overall, this is a nice little set for very little money and it adds a bit of detail to the front and rear of your M16 MGMC. If you have the old Taymia kit lying around, I’m sure you could use these on it as the set directly replace the boxes. Good show by Griffon, highly recommended!