Detailing the cab
Once the basic chassis assembly is complete I can begin adding the cab parts. The cab on Dragons M16 lacks a few small details and their winch option in all of the kits is missing a bit as well. Please keep in mind as you read that, I am not 'dogging' the kit, just pointing out the facts. It is up to the individual modeler to build as he/she sees fit. I have chosen to 'fix' these issues.
Comparing the first image below of the dry fit assembly with the Hunnicutt photo of the winch, we can see some of the omissions I will be addressing. Some omissions may be the result of molding limitations, others may be the result of mistakes in research process, one special not here is part number B-28, which is on the sprue but not called out in the instructions.
One of the omissions that span the entire half track series is the lack of the PTO lever in the cab. You can see a photo of the real thing below and my scratch built version. Note that unlike the other shift levers in the cab, the PTO lever is a tapered, flat stock lever and not a tubular rod shape. I've also replaced the misshapen gear selector with some brass rod.
The inner fender well area is missing some retaining/stiffening strips and their corresponding bolts. After filling in the depresions from the molds, I've added them from some styrene strips and bolts.
In these next photos you can see the actual aerial bracket and the guard on the bottom missing in the kit. I simply bent a piece of foil and added it after placing it on the assembled cab. There was also a common bracket to the M16, found on the passenger side top rail. This was used as a spare aerial mounting and in at least one case I have seen of a vehicle in Korea, a .50 cal. machine gun. I scratch built this bracket and also removed the large gussets and replaced with much smaller versions, closer to what I've found to be more common in reference photos.
As the cab assembly begins to take shape I can still find some places to super detail. The doors are on area, depending on whether you are showing the top section folded up or down. The barrel bolt style locking mechanism is molded in the up position. To show the flap down, I shave back the interior bolt rod to the ridge line seen in the photo. The battery box is lacking a bit of detail as well. Remember, it's all of these small protrusions that catch the pin washes and pigments when weathering.
A last look at the three main sub assemblies before dry fitting. You may notice the Tank Workshop suspension parts in the photo. While they do offer some added detail and accuracy, I will customize the kit parts on the next build. I wasn't completely thrilled with these parts but I'll leave it at that.