Tuesday, January 23

Preview: MiniArt's new-tooled 1/35th scale M3 Stuart - Initial Production...

A new tooled M3 Stuart? News to our ears - We look at the MiniArt's initial production of the M3 Stuart Initial production in our preview...

Preview: MiniArt's new-tooled 1/35th scale M3 Stuart - Initial Production...

M3 Stuart Initial Production
From MiniArt Models
1/35th scale
Kit No #35401
Decals for six options in the box
Photo-etch included
MiniArt's new catalogue of 2024 launched quite a few tongues wagging and some interest in their new kits like this - their new-tooled M3 Stuart Initial Production in 1/35th scale. There are several of these "honeys" on the way, this being the first in the whole family and we bet a few types derived from them in the works. 

The M3 Stuart Light tank:
The US Army began development of a light tank in the early 1930s. After a number of models which progressively increased armor and fire power, the M3 series was initiated in July 1940. Provided to British forces as part of the Lend-Lease Act, the M3 first saw combat with British forces in North Africa in November 1941. The British found the M3 to be under-gunned, but were so pleased with its mechanical performance that they nicknamed it “Honey.”
The M3 saw service with American forces in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. Feedback from these actions led to improvements incorporated in the M3A1, which began production in May 1942, including the addition of a gyro stabilizer for the 37mm main gun and a power traverse for the turret. The addition of the power traverse required the turret to be fitted with a basket or floor which rotated with the turret. This was the first American tank to include such features.

The pictures of these three tanks are said to be those that are three of the six marking choices in this kit.
The M3A1 Stuart 
The M3A1 also saw service with American forces during the North African Campaign. The 37mm main gun, which had proved inadequate for British forces a year before, was now even more ineffective since German armor had continued to upgrade. One veteran noted, “Popcorn balls thrown by Little Bo Peep would have been just as effective” in reference to the 37mm against German armor. Following the 1st Battalion, 13th Armored Regiment’s participation in the Battle of Kasserine Pass, the Stuart tank was relegated to the role of reconnaissance and flank security. The M3 and its successor, the M5, continued to be utilized in Europe through the end of the war.
Although poorly suited to tank warfare in Europe, the Stuart tank proved effective in the Pacific. In New Guinea and the Solomons, the Stuart served in an infantry support role. Although the 37mm gun was not ideal, the small Stuart was much more practical for jungle warfare than the much larger and heavier Sherman that replaced it in late 1943.

The kit from MiniArt
MiniArt's new-tooled 1/35th scale M3 Stuart - Initial Production kit features - as it says on the tin, a complete with with all of the interior and six marking choices included in this first model. No doubt there will be another version without an interior if that is your wish, but it is so small who could resist?
Photo-etched parts are offered for correct scale thickness and a scope for damage or removal if so desired.
You will see variations on load outs and kit options with these CAD drawings.
The rear deck is actually very clean for a wartime tank - modellers will soon see to that!
Without the turret, one could imagine some of the other variants MiniArt could release of this type.
The blue denotes options in tools and stowage on this kit.
Although there is some photo-etch, it is limited in this kit by the looks of these CAD drawings.
The exhaust, battery bank and extra hull mounted MGs are seen in this view alongside the detailed interior of course! 
You can see the detail of the cockpit in these CAD photos.
The full engine is included - huzzahhh!
A look inside the turret of this kit.

This kit should be available next month from MiniArt's distributors worldwide. You can see more about this kit on the MiniArt Website...