Griffon Model
WWII German Sd.Kfz.138/1 Ausf.M 15cm sIG.33/2 “Grille”
[Track Fenders & Engine Compartment Doors inside]
Griffon Model Set No. L35025
1:35th Scale

Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:

Griffon Model have released five update sets designed for the recent Cyberhobby/Dragon Geschützwagen 38 M für s.I.G.33/2 "Grille" (kit #6429) with four individual sets and a fifth "Premier Edition" that contains all the parts from the four individual sets. This allows you to buy the lot in one pack if you want the works or just the individual sets depending on the extent of the updates you wish to apply.

The five sets are:

We will look at the four individual sets in turn with set #L35025 consisting of:


The quality of the etching is excellent with finely engraved details, relief embossing and raised rivets with the usual engraved bending lines to aid in the process and there are also some very small parts such as many small hinges, clips and latches that will need care during assembly.

Hull Interior:

The forward interior gets some updates with the driver's foot pedals and the steering levers which form a quite intricate assembly and care is needed to get the numerous small etched levers in the right order. But they do provide a marked improvement in detail definition over the chunky kit levers if you are leaving the front hatches open to show off the interior?

The driver's seat has the base mountings and rear seat detail replaced in etched parts as well as the driver's instrument panel in etched with the photo film dials and the driver's clear visor if showing the visor cover open?

Hull Exterior:

There are numerous exterior updates both to add additional detail and address some of the issues with the base kit with largest update being the full fenders in etched brass that require you to emboss out the stiffening ridges and also to add the fender kink which is evident on all "Grille" photos.

It's best to anneal the fenders by running them through a candle flame until red hot and then let cool naturally and of course the usual care is needed when using a naked flame and you also have a bit of black soot to clean off the part after annealing.

To emboss the ridges lay the fender on a firm surface that has a bit of give such as thick cardboard or similar and use an embossing tool if available of the tip of a ball point pen (empty is best to not nark the part) and carefully emboss out the ridges. The annealing process should help reduce the distortion that is inherent with this type of embossing but you may need to turn the fender over and sharpen the relief on the top side for the best effect.

The fender mounting support brackets are also provided in etched with separate small rivet heads to add to the brackets and these simply replace the fit fender/mounting supports but you will need to fill the recesses in the hull for the kit supports.

The full barrel travel lock is provided in etched parts with plastic rod for the central post and copper tube for the lower mounting and the full assembly is quite intricate requiring careful assembly but the lock can be raised and lowered after assembly. This addresses the height issues with the kit travel lock and the work involved does add better detail definition to the final travel lock assembly.

The engine bay doors are completely replaced with etched items that include small workable hinges that need a little care as they are quite small, the upper armoured shields are also hinged like the real things allowing you to show the engine bay doors open or closed as you wish to further show off the interior.

Added to the front of the superstructure is a replacement etched cover for the gun opening when this is elevated and is made up of the main etched door with small etched bolt heads and copper tubing.
Also included are etched inner faces for the driver's hatches and the hatch hinges are also replaced with workable hinges allow the hatches to be opened or closed as you wish.

On the rear plate the entry step is replaced as are the hinges and tie down cleats and supports on the folding upper rear panel. You are also supplied the missing port cover on the lower right rear although you may want to add the etched cover onto a square of thin card to give better height to the cover.

All the pioneer tool clips are in etched brass and can be shown open or closed but are not designed to be workable for easier assembly and as the kit tools don't have the clips moulded on added the etched clips is quite straightforward. You also get the obligatory perforated 38(t) storage box to replace the kit box and a new shovel spade as an etched part and the spare track bracket on the glacis place is also provided in etched parts with small clips and the long retaining bracket.

Fighting Compartment/SiG33 gun:

All the equipment storage lockers/boxes are replaced with etched items that have workable hinges and separate small latches allowing these to be easily shown open or just closed with improved detail definition, there are also replacement etched racks for the 150mm rounds on the inside of the real plate.

The full radio rack is replaced with a multi parts etched rack that will need care in assembling and you will have to cut away the moulded on racks from the kit radio equipment and it is also a good idea to test fit the plastic radios as you assembly the etched racks to ensure they fit snugly.

The numerous ammo box and 150mm round racks on the inside compartment walls are also provided as are the retaining straps for the large 150mm round canister racks and the three KaR98 rifle racks are also provided as a multi-part etched assembly which again is quite an intricate affair require care during assembly.

For the SiG33 gun there are a couple of added parts for the breech and trunnion brackets and you again have to cut away some moulded on detail to add these but the main update is for the front of the gun cradle.

This is virtually fully replaced with etched parts and there is also alternate parts for the different bracket assemblies seen of the SiG33 gun. This assembly is again quite intricate requiring care and some detail has to be cut away from the kit parts beforehand.

Etched and other parts.
Click on thumbnails for larger view .

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Instruction Sheets
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Overall this is a excellent update set for the Cyberhobby/Dragon "Grille" that addresses some of the smaller issues with the kit as well as adding considerable extra detail definition. Only minor alterations are required on the kit but some of the intricate sub-assemblies will need care during assembly to get the best results.

Highly recommended.

See the Pz.38(t) subjects page for additional reviews of 38(t) kits and accessories.

15cm sIG33/2 (sf) auf GW 38(t) "Grille" (Sd.kfz.138/1) Part 1: Ausf.M
Nuts & Bolts Volume 22
15cm sIG33 (sf) auf PzKpfw.1 Ausf.B &15cm sIG33 (Towed)
Nuts & Bolts Volume 19
Marder III & Grille
Wydawnictwo Militaria #175
ISBN 83-7219-155-7
Ground Power Magazine
#97 - 6/2002

GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
Artillerie Selbstfahrlafetten
Panzer Tracts No.10
ISBN 0-9708407-5-6

Thanks to Griffon Model for the review set

Page created January 25, 2009