Standard packaging for Armor PE from Griffon, sturdy cardboard protects the PE from folds and mishandling.
Fret A shows the Armor plate and framework. Initial look does not show much folding other than the frame. This is a small build in comparison to other offerings in PE Halftrack so please follow me in the build and fold and glue and maybe even some soldering, watch the fingers!
Fret E (there are no other Frets, these frets no doubt are included in the Griffon Royal Edition)
The original part that the Griffon PE is replacing. Nice slide molded Gun shield from Dragon, and in one piece . Very thin and nicely detailed. The PE will have to build up special to beat the detail that is coming out of the box from Dragon.
Griffon's frets are well made but not hard to separate the parts from the fret. Slight pressure on the tab with a sharp hobby knife and it's pops. I have dealt with others that nearly called for a dremal to cut it away from the fret. Not the case with this Griffon product.
This is right hand side frame to build the shield on. I annealed with heat first to test how the Griffon PE takes the heat and to make sure the folds will be pliable. Turned out I did not need the Hold and Fold as the angles were too complicated for this and the smooth mouth pliers worked fine here. Use a small metal file to file down any leftover tabs from separating the part from the fret.
Test fitting the frames against the kit part to check the angles, looks good.
Now you can use CA as your bonding agent, should work fine, remember to score the surface on both sides of the brass before gluing, give the CA a little something more to grip. I like to solder PE parts of this size using solder past and my trusty microtorch. Alcohol bath before soldering with solder paste, clamps use to hold part in place. Apply heat and watch those finger tips!
And the result.
A little cleaning with the wire brush and there you go. Be sure to clean as you go because it's far easier to do that than when the build is nearly complete.
Turned out nicely if I say so myself. Griffon brass is sturdy and takes solder with no problem. Some manufactures coat their metal (not always brass) with an agent that makes soldering nearly impossible without striping all of the coating and cleaning the part. The weight and thickness of the Griffon parts feels good in your fingers as you are working with them. I found that annealing was not necessary with the rest of the folds as the scoring for the fold lines were etched just enough to make the bend and fold clean and easy with just my smooth mouth pliers and finger pressure. The thickness of the armor feels and looks more to scale than the plastic kit part.
The forward right side of the Gun Shield and moving on...
Finished product. The kit has some more bolt, rivet and bracket detail will be added but you can see the overall result is a well produced replacement for the Dragon Gun Shield.
Notice how much more pronounced and well define the screw head detail is with the Griffon PE when compared to the original kit part. This will be really pronounced when you paint and highlight the details on your kit.
The Finely turned 75mm barrel does not come in this kit, that is a future review is coming up shortly. What is included in the kit is the two frets of parts and one .5mm * 5 mm plastic rod for making a quick release lock on part of the gun mount. Also there are replacements for some other parts not directly connected to the gun shield but attaches to the gun mount itself. Behind the shield will be the mount for the telescopic sighting system.
Conclusion, I found the Griffon 75mm Gun Shield a great little addition to the 75mm GMC. Over all it took about 1.5 hour total to complete this build and I believe you will find that it would be time well spent for the detail added to your 75mm GMC. Using CA would cut that time down I am sure. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to add that something special to the 75mm GMC, a subject that is not often seen modeled till now.
I would like to thank Griffon Models for this great review sample. Thanks to the crew for the encouragement and guidance for my first review. Now let's go build a Half Track!