|GRIFFON: Update set - Sd.Kfz.166 Brummbar|
Another superbly designed and produced update set from Griffon Model!
Sd.Kfz.166 Brummbar Mid. Production Update set
Manufacturer: Griffon Model
Material: Photoetched brass
Serial Number: L35021
Price: (Approx.) £20 (LuckyModel.com & Free Shipping)
Dragon released their Mid. Production Brummbar (#6460) not so long ago, and it was met with almost universal pleasure....apart from one or two that objected to it being called Brummbar. The old story however, of the limitations of injection moulding plastic, means that there's an opening for an aftermarket company to come up with a set to improve it...and currently a company you can rely on to do it properly is Griffon Model.
Packaged in a series of plastic bags, each with a cardboard insert to protect the frets, and all stapled to a cardboard header, this set is comprised of six fret of etched brass, together with two lengths of fine brass wire.
Although Dragon do include a fair bit of photoetch in their kit, Griffon have largely avoided replicating these parts, and instead have concentrated on producing those parts in photoetch that will really benefit from replacement. The instructions for this set as can be seen from the pictures below, run to four pages of A4. The first thing we're offered is a set of replacement tool clamps for all the on-vehicle tools. These are not provided in the Dragon kit for some reason, as you would normally expect in one of their latest releases. You will have to remove the moulded on ones from the kit tools though, the good news being that there actually aren't that many of them!
All the tie-downs along the armoured superstructure wall are replaced, again requiring removal of the moulded ones on the kit. As you would expect in a comprehensive set such as this a full set of fenders are supplied, these being made up of multiple parts, in much the same way as the originals would have been constructed. They're embossed with the correct pattern, and complete front and rear mudflaps are included. Although these will prove a little fiddly to install properly, the advantages of constructing them in this way are obvious, allowing anything from minor dents to extreme battle damage to be depicted realistically should you choose to do so.
There is a complete set of louvered air intakes for the rear of the vehicle, which actually don't look too complicated to assemble. As with all these sets, if you take your time, and double check the instructions as you go along to check that you have exactly the right part, then it becomes easier to avoid mistakes. Also, when working with complicated PE sets such as this it is very important to ensure that you fold a piece correctly...the first time! If you have to re-fold a piece along the same line because you folded it wrong the first time, then quite often the part will break, such is the nature of these thin sheets of brass. Also included is a very nice star antennae to replace the styrene one supplied in the kit. This even has the inner spars that support the antennae spars.
Griffon have also included in the set a complete replacement for the embossed tool stowage box on the left rear fender, again allowing the modeller to depict it opened or damaged. As far as major replacements go, that about covers the contents, aside from of course the new schurzen brackets supplied for along the sides of the vehicle. It's nice to see that Griffon haven't attempted to replace the schurzen themselves in this set, since in my honest opinion the Dragon ones supplied couldn't be bettered. They're made from an extremely thin sheet of brushed aluminium.
Although as I've said, this covers the major parts, there is an absolute plethora of smaller parts such as brackets, handles, straps, hinges, levers, and PE chains supplied for detailing almost every area of the kit. For more detail on these parts, see the instructions pictured below.
I never cease to be amazed at how much Griffon Model can include in these sets. If you've never used one, you really, really should treat yourself to one...and you could do a lot worse than this one should you have the base kit lying in your stash? If you have, it should be screaming at you by now! Simply a superb set at a good price too! Recommended.
My thanks to Griffon Model for the review sample!