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British M3 Stuart Honey - 1:35 Airfix A1358


Julien
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British M3 Stuart Honey

1:35 Airfix A1358

 

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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.

 

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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. 

 

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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.  

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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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?);

 

  1. "Connecticut IV", A Sqn, 5th Royal Tank Regiments, 7th Armoured Div, North Africa 1942
  2. "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. 

 

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Review sample courtesy of 

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