by: Russ Amott [ ]
The Trumpeter M1117 Guardian armored security vehicle is a popular plastic kit of a subject that is widely used by the US Military in current (2011) overseas deployments. Voyager Models offers an upgrade set for the Trumpeter kit to improve surface details.
Voyager set PE 35347 is a relatively inexpensive upgrade consisting of photoetch and resin parts specific to the M1117. Mine arrived in a small, open ended box with a slide out cardboard insert. The photoetch frets and other small parts were packaged separately and taped together to minimize movement and prevent damage. Kit instructions were folded up and placed on top of the parts, helping to cushion them.
The set consists of four etch frets. The first, labeled "A", includes continuous run tie downs to replace the solid molded that are on the kit, and various items such as jerry can racks, base plates for the lights, a new rear exhaust grille and other small bolts and bits.
There are two "B" frets, one with etch screens to replace the kit options of plastic or etch for the upper air intakes, and one with a set of chains for the smoke candle racks.
The last is a "C" fret with new rim inserts for the tires. The brass is much thicker than the other frets, making it more of a scale appearance.
There are 8 brass cylinders and 8 resin inserts with end detail for the smoke candle racks, two 5cm lengths of .5mm ABS rod, and three 8cm lengths of .3mm wire. Two resin 5 gal. fuel cans are also provided. They have flat bases and appear to be copies of the kit parts, but with some sharper details. Modern cans appear to have a scalloped type base rather than the flat base, so these cans will have to be placed in the racks to hide this detail.
There are also two each of brass antenna bases, metal springs that have tapered ends, and brass tips for the antenna mount.
Instructions are on three pages, consisting of simple drawings indicating assembly of parts and which plastic kit parts are replaced.
The only issue with the set as I received it was a small bend to one of tie down loop lengths. It was easily straightened.
As mentioned above, these parts are to replace plastic kit parts that lack sufficient detail, such as the tie downs, some handles, the antennas and the exhaust grille. Other missing details, such as a handle for the spot light and chains for the smoke candle racks are added to the kit. This set adds significantly to the level of accuracy of the base model.
There have been a number of M1117 builds here on Armorama using this set. I will be adding mine to the mix in the near future. It is a good set, with decent instructions. I purchased my set through Lucky Model for $13.99 US with free airmail. I highly recommend this set.