Griffon 75mm GMC Premium Edition

Griffon Model 75mm GMC M3 Halftrack Premium Edition BPL35006

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A little history:

The first thing that strikes me about the GMC(Gun Motor Carriage)75MM Halftrack is its appearance. That gun just does not look like it belongs there. And knowing the history of the vehicle, it does not. Being a stop gap measure to fill the void of mechanized Anti-Tank units the U.S. pressed into service what they had on hand. That being the new M3 Halftrack and the old French 75 gun that had been in use since the end of the First World War.

The Vechile performed as well as can be expected but was surely lacking in crew protection. It was quickly replaced with the M10 GMC fully tracked vehicle based on the M3A1 chassis. But enough of what you likely already know.

 

The PE:

Designed for Dragon's M3 75mm GMC Kit #6467, Griffon Model scores well with the Premium Edition BPL35006 set which includes a Turned Aluminum 1/35 M1897A4 Barrel with Rifling to replace the kit supplied multiple piece barrel. The other sets included to make up the Premium Set are the Rear Stowage, Cab and Suspension. The lettering of the frets would suggest there are several other sets to be added for other releases, can't wait to see those.

The frets are mounted on sturdy cardboard to keep from being mutilated by your friendly shipping company. In the etching of the parts, I find the attachment tabs much easier to cut than those of one of Griffon Model's competition. This should help in keeping the PE parts from bending in removal. Griffon Model supplies a few extra parts in case of those "Opps" factors.

There are loads of options to work with in the kit, care must be taken to make sure you are modeling the correct vehicle. I found the instructions included the installation of the PTO lever but I fail to find where there was a M3 75mm GMC equipped with a winch, I will happily stand correct if shown otherwise. You should be aware that not all parts will be required for your build. A little more than the average research on your subject will be required for accuracy. But if you are wanting to have fun with a bunch of PE, then this is the set for you. There is a lot there.

Construction:

As already noted the PE is well made and high quality. Separation from the fret should not require anything more than sturdy and sharp knife blade. The scoring for the folds are deep enough to have a crisp fold with the most basic of folding tools, two razor blades has worked well for me so far in my build. 

I have joined the parts with solder and found no solder inhibiting coatings on the brass as you may find on some other PE suppliers. This being the case the construction of the parts can be very sturdy, but standard CA has worked well, so no need to burn your fingertips.

Looking over the instructions I think the most difficult part to construct will be the bucket with it's curved sides and flat bottom, it looks to be a challenge, yes, a bucket.

The kit also includes PE for an upgrade of the radio set, this alone would be worth a small investment. As has been pointed out to me, there is some debate if the 75mm GMC actually carried radios but I leave that to those who know best.

Again, pay attention to the subject you are building for placement of parts. I am finding it is easier to construct the kit part while noting what the Griffon instructions calls for, then referencing back to sources to make sure there is a need for the pieces called for, then again, I could be overworking the issue. If you are going for accuracy or the Wow factor, Griffon has you covered here.

Conclusion:

The only negative I can find in the package is the confusing instructions. There are two sets of instructions you have to refer to for the 75mm gun alone, not to mention the original Dragon kit instructions, which leaves a lot to be desired. As a result, much time is needed to study the instructions, part construction and placement.

Obviously this is not for the first time Photo Etch modeler. The attention to detail is superb. Care should be taken to make sure you are using the correct part for the correct vehicle. The leftover parts will really enhance the spare parts bin. Current retail price in the U.S. is around $46.00, a little expensive but when you factor the quality as well as the quantity of the upgrade it would surely be worth the money in this reviewers opinion.

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Detail Summary

  1. 1 x Turned Aluminum 1/35 M1897A4 Barrel with Rifling
  2. True-to-Scale Rear Vehicle Stowage
  3. Provide 2 Types of Instrument Panel (Late & Early) with Decal
  4. Provide 2 Types of Cab Floor & Gear Levers Arrangement (Late & Early)
  5. Optional Left Side Rotatable Rear View Mirror
  6. Optional SCR-510 Radio Set
  7. Add Hooked “T” Latches for Engine Compartment Hood
  8. Add Details on the Inside of the Gun Shield
  9. Add Details on the Gun Mount M3 w/Resin Trigger Handle
  10. Gun Mount M5 Convertible (for M3A1 75mm GMC)
  11. Add Telescope Mount M36 for Telescope M33
  12. Adds Some Notable Details on the Rear Suspension
    1. Large Oval Cut-Out on the Both Side of the Bogie And Frame Assembly
    2. Small Drain Hole on the Both Side of the Bogie And Frame Assembly
    3. Securing Bolts on the Return Roller Arms
    4. Exhaust Pipe Support
  13. These Added Details Can Feature:
    1. 1.The Standard Type of Rear Suspension with Spring Loaded Idler
    2. 2.The Hybrid Type of Rear Suspension with Spring Loaded Idler

Thanks to Griffon Models for the review sample