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Sleepwalker

M3A1 Scout Car (Tamiya, 1/35)

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I have started a new Tamiya kit - M3A1 Scout car in 1/35 scale. As it is with recent Tamiya's releases fit and engineering is excellent with a decent amount of details, especially in case of this not very complicated car. The model will show vehicle as US Army 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Regiment, 2nd Armored Division in Sicily, 1943. Camouflaged in Olive Drab and Sand with oversized marking stars. In fact, that was the last major engagement where M3A1 were used by US Army, very soon it has been phased out by M3 Halftrack and M8 scout car. It has been later in the war by allies, Commonwealth, Polish and Soviets.

As I mentioned the kit is very nice, with one drawback - lack of any radio units, needed in case of recon vehicle. In the case of the Soviet versions (2 of them in the box), it is fine, as M3A1 was used as a troop carrier and gun tractor. No big choice then - I need to build radios by myself...

Here is undercarriage, quite detailed and busy. Only thing I will add is brake lines, anyway barely visible. After assembly I noticed that one part has visible big hollow, I supposed it will be somehow obscured, but it is not. I need to fill it.

And here some build photos:

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Very nice build so far. Looks like a standard ICM kit with lots of detail. Are you cleaning the seam line on the tyre later or will you leave it as it is?

/Stefan

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There are several after-market US radios available in resin and/or brass.  Legend do a resin SCR694 with vehicle kit.  Minor Models have several types in etched brass including cabinets.  LZ do a nice set in resin and brass with SCRs 506, 508 and 510 with vehicle fittings.  There may be others: Verlinden used to do some.  Aber, Lion Roar and Panzer Art make nice correct turned brass spring antenna bases.  The Voyager ones use real springs but are overly fiddly.

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Thanks. I'm aiming for SCR 506 at vehicle rear and SCR 510 on the right side with necessary seat rearrangement. I will take a look at the products you pointed out.

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No issues so far. Some minor ejection pin marks have been sanded, but most of them I just left as they are covered by weapons mounting rail. All dry fitted as undercarriage and cabin will be painted separately.

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I have added top part of the doors, rear bumper and radiator grille. Armoured radiator louvres will be added at the painting stage since the radiator is black as per instructions. Some very minor and delicate details to be added. I skip them for now as I have ordered radio set from LZ and installation will definitely require free handling of the cabin. Until resins will arrive I have a break, unless I will go ahead with frame painting.

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It's good to see one of these in 1/35 scale - the last one I had was the old Airfix/Montex offering- & that was over 30 years ago.

 

I look forward to seeing this finished.👍

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Orderer radio set has arrived today. Three different radios with accessories, PE fret and super thin decals. Very nice indeed and now I can finish my model.

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Great to see this under-appreciated subject built. I'm interested to see the new Tamiya offering after building the old Zvezda/Revell offering before, which is absolutely fine, but without particularly refined detail. Your build is looking very neat so far! You can really do a lot with these open top vehicles.

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Tamiya developed reasonable compromise in their kits. Most of the details are moulded on and some have to be added. Yet, the detail level is more than satisfactory without aftermarket add-ons. Nevertheless, in my model, I'm adding aftermarket radio sets, as in the case of US version it is a quite serious omission.

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Scout car is primed with black and white Surfacer 1500. This time as suggested elsewhere I didn't just follow panels but also have made a sort of light modulation applying more white on the top sections of the vertical surfaces and all horizontal surfaces. You may notice moulded-on handles of engine covers are replaced by ones made of wire. Some details are to be added like headlights and first fittings of the radio equipment. It will require some rearranging of seats in the passenger compartment.

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Model painted with a coat of Olive Drab, followed by freehand airbrushed Desert Yellow camouflage pattern. I will mist it later with some spots of Dark Yellow to simulate sub bleached paints. Frame treated as above with engine painted with blue-grey colour. Let it dry well and I will assemble the parts and clear coat whole model.

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Imho the overspray is a bit big, but it's nice with these colors. Nice build to by the way...

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Nice one.

 

2 minutes ago, Silenoz said:

Imho the overspray is a bit big, but it's nice with these colors. Nice build to by the way...

I've had problems with overspray as well on few of my models, because I'm not used to multitone schemes, but different finishes will hide lot of it and the final result will look just fine.

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Great progress. 

 

The engine handles are really fine, nice job on that improvement.

 

I can see the effect of your modulation on the base coat already. Looking forward to seeing this one progress. All those raised rivets provide lots of opportunities for painting and weathering techniques!

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I recently completed a conversion of the scout car into an Israeli armoured car using the old Italeri kit. Looking at your build I can see that the Tamiya kit is quite an improvement. It's looking really good so far.

 

John.

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Thanks for all the comments. I'll do some touch-ups but in very few places as most overspray areas will be covered by large national insignias. I'm trying now to make stencils to paint them instead using decals. And yes, the model will be well dusted with some dried Sicilian mud.

Edited by Sleepwalker

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Some detailing. I focused now on tools and other remaining details. The actual procedure of US tools paining was ordinarily dipping them in the Olive Drab paint bucket. While used paint coat was wearing off exposing underside original tools colours. Here is my interpretation: tools painted then coated with worn effect fluid then coated with Olive Drab. The latter one was partially removed after drying. Here is how it looks like. Some collateral damage will be fixed later.

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Main assembly and painting are done. Radio equipment, two crew seats and machine guns are to be added. Seats will follow radios as they must be repositioned. Now I will coat the model with gloss clear coat and apply decals. This is how it looks like for now:

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I toned down tool chipping with a mist coat of Olive Drab:

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Front cabin ready (note masting on the glass parts):

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And some hidden underside details.

Bracing under the front fenders:

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Missing wall of battery box (under the horizontal braces):

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And finally brakes lines:

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That's all for now.

 

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Thanks for kind comments. Meanwhile, I nearly exploded when in the morning I saw what my supposed to be gloss clear coat (Gunze GX Super Clear III) turned into...

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Now I need to find a solution for this mess.

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Oh crap! That happens to me to sometimes too, seems the clear was maybe bit too thick.

There's no good way to solve this, You can try to over spray it with another coat of very wet clear. Matte or satin coat afterwards will bring most of the grain down as well.

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You're right, but the funny thing is when I painted last night all seemed to be smooth and nice. There is no way to correct it without either damaging unreplaceable details or extensive work with no clear success at the end. Therefore with a somehow broken heart, I'm sending this model ad acta. Perhaps one day I will restart it, but not too soon.

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