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British M3 Stuart Honey 1:35 Airfix A1358 The M3 is officially the Light Tank M3, later M5 just to confuse things. This was developed in the US and armed with a turret mounted 37mm gun, and an impressive 5 browning machine guns in various positions. Originally powered by an aircraft radial engine the M5 used a conventional V8 powerplant as aero engines were need for aircraft. The British would name the Tank The Stuart after the American Confederate General JEB Stuart. British crews liked the M5 as it was faster than current British Tanks and the gun could fire High Explosive shells, there were though complaints about its layout and lack of range. By late 1942 it was recognised the gun was increasingly in-effective against armour and the tanks were used primarily for reconnaissance. The Kit Before anyone gets too excited about Airfix doing 1/35 Armour all the new kits in the range are in collaboration with Academy. This kit though seems to be well liked by the modelling community. As well as the main hull casting and the turret there are 5 additional sprues in the recognisable caramac plastic as well as four spures of black plastic for the tracks. If individual track links is not your thing then rubber ones are also included. Construction starts with the running fear. Four main bogie units are made up with two wheels each. the rear idler wheels and front drive sprockets are then made up. All of these parts attaching to the lower hull as are the return rollers for the tracks. We then move onto the interior, this is not highly detailed like some kits on the market but should be more than adequate for what you can actually see. The interior and floor are then added into the lower hull. Work then moves to the upper hull this has the ports for the machine guns added along with the side skirts over the tracks. Various light fittings and equipment boxes are added. The driver and gunners observation flaps can be open or shut as needed. The rear exhaust area and additional stowage boxes / fuel can holders are then added. The tracks are then added. As mentioned there are traditional rubber ones and link & length tracks in the box. For the linked ones these are individual links to which end plates are added linking them together. To finish things up the turret is made up ad added. There is a complete 37mm gun which id added into the turret basket the turret is then built up over this. The turret mounted 30 cl can then be added along with the side mounted smoke dis chargers and a few other turret parts. The turret is added to the hull and the model is complete. Decals The small decal sheet has no maker on it, but looks to be in register with no issues. Two main decal options are provided (though only 1 is British?); "Connecticut IV", A Sqn, 5th Royal Tank Regiments, 7th Armoured Div, North Africa 1942 "Helen", B Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, Philippines late 1941 Conclusion This is a great kit of an of the M3 and is to be recommended. Review sample courtesy of
Hi all, Second Entry is the M3 Lee I'll not bother with a running commentary on the construction of this one, it all went together with no trouble and fitted well. As I said, there were no real issues building this but I now need to decide on the end user - The box artwork shows the subject in Soviet service, then there is always the option of American or British markings. These two would, according to photos, require the addition of some extra stowage boxes on the rear hull and, if going for the 8th Army option, the addition of sandskirts. Probably have a sleep on it... Kind Regards IanJ
Hi all, not sure if it's normal to have 3 separate threads on the go for one subject, but I'll give it a go anyway and worry about the fallout if any after Indeed, this is the 3rd part of my project to show a 3RTR M3 Grant 'at leaguer' on the evening of 1st September 1942, during the Battle of Alam Halfa. Having never made a diorama base ever at all, I have relied heavily on other threads shared here, as well as You-Tube clips to show me the way. This thread, then, is my own journey of discovery, with all its pitfalls and set-backs; hopefully someone will find it of interest. For some background I am trying to build a diorama of this particular day during this battle, as in the course of my familiy history research some years ago I learned that my father had taken part in it as a driver with the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, and been wounded in action. The 1st September this year will mark the 75th anniversary of that event, something I felt I had to recognise, hence this diorama. The tank and figures WIPs are described separately: tank WIP here and figures WIP here, should you be sufficiently curious to wish to take a look. So, the diorama base - a photo frame 10 x 8 - not sure if it's too big for the whole thing, but I am going with it anyway. Glass removed and safely set aside for some future purpose yet to be determined . The edges were built up to the desired profile with thin fibre-board, some packaging remnant from something I've long-since forgotten. The basic topology was then built up with expanded polystyrene shaped with a sharp knife, and glued in with plenty of PVA. Cocktail sticks were used to persuade the more reluctant pieces to lie flat as requested: In the time-honoured way, I decided to use Das air-drying clay - mainly because I had it readily to hand: I spread this over the polystyrene, with some water to get the Das to flow a bit more freely: Now for the sand. I read in another thread on here, that someone recommended 'Chinchilla dust' - no, I hadn't ever heard of it either. But I figured £3.50 for a big bag of the stuff from my local pet store was worth a punt, and indeed it has a very convincing sandy look. However, from my research of the geographical aspects of the battle told me that the area was rather stony as well as sandy, with some sparse vegetation. With that in mind, I mixed in a handful or so of fake coal - the kind beloved of railway modellers: With the Das still wet from being laid down, I liberally sprinkled this mixture over the top of it, from about 12 inches up, then gave it a bit of a press down. Tapping the framework to shift the loose material left me with this: That's as far as I got with it today, but I have to say to my hopelessly inexperienced eye it looks pretty good. Hope this is of interest to someone!