The M16 Multiple Gun motor carriage came about as a result of American observers seeing a need for defense against low level aerial attack. Although the gun chosen to fulfill this role was always going to be the Browning .50 Cal M2, it was tried in various combinations and on various mounts before the Maxson company adapted its own M33 twin mount into a four gun mount, called it the M45 mount and put it on to an M2 Halftrack for tests. It was quickly decided that the M3 would provide a better mount, and the M16 was born.
Anybody who has built ether of the two earlier US halftrack kits from Dragon will know what to expect with this one. The kit consists of eight large sprues of grey styrene, four smaller ones and one transparent sprue. In addition there is a small photo-etch fret, separate idlers and drive sprockets, a short length of nylon cord and a length of copper chain.
As in most of Dragon's new releases, the moulding of the parts cannot be faulted. No flash, and no ejector pin marks where they could be seen. The parts breakdown is basically what was in the previous two kits with obvious differences to make this new version, such as most of the original sprue C not being used, and new sprues N, which contains the rear body, P holding the new M45 mount and Q which has the .50 cals and ammo boxes. In addition there are two very nice figures included in the kit, a driver and gunner.
Now again, not being that 'up' on Allied vehicles I couldn't go into whether or not the various dimensions etc., are correct or not even if I wanted to, but then again, that's not the purpose of this article. It's purpose is to let you have a really good look at the kit. Let's face it...Dragon rarely get it disastrously wrong anyway these days, in fact the major thing some people complained about in the first US halftrack release was a slight over-flattening of the tyres, and some slots missing in some screws. These are still issues but there are aftermarket wheels available if it bothers you that much and adding slots to the round-headed bodywork bolts is easy enough with a new scalpel blade.