Friday, January 26

Preview update: New colours, sprues of MiniArt's 35th scale M3 Light tank...

We have new information on MiniArt's new M3 Stuart. Plastic, decals, etch and marking choices with the original reference tanks are in our preview today...

Preview update: New colours, sprues of MiniArt's 35th scale M3 Light tank...

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.

An M3 Stuart tank in Afrika Korps service

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.

Modellers are already calling for turretless tanks like this one with Monty in it  - We think MiniArt will do them also - why not?

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?
The sprues of this kit:
There are nineteen sprues in grey plastic in this kit. This includes the whole interior of the tank, engine, crew compartment and ammo included.
Photo-etched parts are offered for correct scale thickness and a scope for damage or removal if so desired.
Marking choices:
There are four marking choices supplied in this kit. Decals are provided on a single small sheet for four early Stuarts.
From the 2nd Armoured Division in George, Louisiana in the Autumn of 1941. This Stuart is the first choice of four in the markings of this kit.
Seen being unloaded from a train, the Stuart depicted in this marking choice is also a well-known photo.
We do not have the photos of this one in real life, it is from the 1st armoured division, in the autumn of 1941 in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
This well-known variant from an unknown cavalry unit at Camp Fusion in the USA in 1942
This is a famous phot of one of the earliest Stuarts. Cavalry units adopted fast, light tanks in their new roles just before WWII.
You can see this "Honey" from the Royal Tank Corps in Egypt, summer 1941
Punishment for doing poorly at the school was a game of musical chairs on the hot tank - allegedly...
This kit should be available next month from MiniArt's distributors worldwide. You can see more about this kit on the MiniArt Website...