Griffon Model
WWII German Ammo Boxes/Belts/Drums
for MG34 & MG42

Griffon Model Set No. L35A004
1:35th Scale

Review by Terry Ashley

Griffon Models follow their recent 2cm magazines & ammo boxes (set #MA35001) with this set of detailed MG34 & MG42 Ammo Boxes that comes with 2 large frets of etched parts, 6 resin 50 round drum magazines and a couple of lengths of thin 0.2mm wire for the hinges.

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

Included in the set are two types of 250 round ammo boxes, the familiar box with the angled lid (5 in the set) and the type with smaller straight sided lid (3 in the set), both with working hinges allowing you to open or close the boxes with ease.

Lengths of etched 7.92mm ammo belts are included that have the end lead strip included which will be very useful to depict the belts correctly, each ammo belt is in two halves that you glue together to give a little more definition but the overall effect is still of flat etched belts.

Also provided are the tool inserts to make the Small Armourer's Tool Box from the standard 250 round ammo box which were supplied to every MG unit at a ratio of one to every three MGs.

The final items in the set are 3 intricate twin drum carriers designed to carry two 50 round ammo drums with the 6 ammo drums also provided in resin with additional etched parts added.

Griffon Model
Griffon Model

250 round ammo boxes:
These are made up of about 12 parts per box and will require some careful assembly as quite a few parts are very small and intricate.

The main box section has indented end panels that require you to bend the ends back in over themselves to form the indent with separate inner parts added to form the recesses in the panels, all sound a little complicated but refer to the images below. The box lid is easily bent to shape with separate latches and hinges that will require care due to the small size of the parts.

Once the main box is assembled the end hinges have to be bent around the thin 0.2mm wire provided and I found it easier to fully assemble the hinges before adding these to the boxes, also when fitting the hinges slipping the lid in place on the box ensured you position the hinges correctly on both parts allowing for precise opening of the lid. But ensure you don’t overdo the cyanoacrylate (super glue) while attaching the hinges as this will glue the whole thing together. Solder would be an alternative but due to the very small size there is very little room for error and this would be best left to the most experienced solder users.

Both style of ammo boxes assembly in basically the same manner and are extremely detailed after assembly but are not for the fait hearted and previous experience with etched parts would be of real benefit as well as good dose of patience.

As mentioned the boxes have indented end panels and most photos I have seen of the angled lid ammo boxes have flush end panels while those with the straight lids tend to have the indented end panels, but that is not to say that the types depicted did not exist.

Parts for one Ammo Box
Griffon Model
Ammo Box Assembly
Ends bend into themselves to form the indented box ends.

Griffon Model
Lid bent to shape
Griffon Model
Assembled Ammo Box
Griffon Model
Real Ammo Box types
Griffon Model
Griffon Model
Real box images courtesy

Ammo Belts:
There are in the usual flat etched brass and to try and give a little more definition each belt is in two halves that you glue together but take care to line these up exactly before gluing to get better results but while they do look a little better than plain PE they are inevitably still flat in profile when added to the ammo boxes or drum magazines.

Ammo Box with 7.92mm belt added
Griffon Model

Small Armourer's Tool Box:
This is the standard 250 round ammo box with inserts that have engraved tools included with a bottom section that forms a long hinge allowing the tools to be laid out flat if you use these out of the box in a diorama or such. The assembled tool insert fits neatly into the assembled ammo box and adds a nice alternative to the standard ammo box.
Parts for tool box insert
Griffon Model

Twin 50 round drum carriers:
These are probably the standout item in this set with each of the 3 racks provided having 18 fine etched parts and the two resin drum magazines with fully hinged top retaining bracket that allows you to show the racks open or closed.

Assembly is rather intricate with the end plates have two parts butt joined together and the four perforated supports needing careful bending using a good etched bending tool to ensure they are not distorted during bending, the same applies to the top securing bracket which has very fine edges requiring careful bending.

The most time consuming part is the very small hinges for the top bracket that will require care and again it was easier to assemble the full hinge before gluing to the carrier end plate and top bracket with the resin drum magazines fitting neatly in place as you expect them too do. 

Once assembled the drum carries look most impressive and are really worth the effort required during assembly.

Twin 50 round drum magazine racks
Griffon Model
Griffon Model
Real images courtesy

A single double sided sheet has exploded view drawings of the assembly sequences which are easy to follow but as mentioned care is needed during assembly as some sequences re quite intricate.

While this set is not for the inexperienced modeller the detail included in the ammo boxes and especially the drum carrier racks is impressive but care and patience will be needed to get a result due to the many small and intricate parts.

The only drawback being the flat profile of the ammo belts which is something common to all etched ammo sets but Griffon have tried to address this with the double belts although not completely successfully.

Inclusion of the Armourer's Tool Box insert adds another dimension to the set that should prove useful for those wanting to add those extra details to a vehicle or scene.

Highly recommended for experienced modellers 7.5/10

book MG34-MG42 German Universal Machine Guns
Folke Myrvang
496 Pages
Hard cover

Griffon Model sets are available from Hobbyeasy or Lucky Model in HK
but more shops should stock them in the future.

See the Griffon Model website for full details of update sets available.

Page created October 29, 2007