Monday, February 26

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

No interior - no problems! Well. a lot of people like the easier build to get more time painting. We look at the second of MiniArt's new M3 Stuart light tank kit in art, colours, decals, plastic, etch & the vehicles used for the marking choices in our preview...

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

M3 Stuart Light Tank Initial Production
From MiniArt Models
1/35th scale
Kit No #35425
Decals for four options in the box
Photo-etch included
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 pictures of these three tanks are said to be those that are three of the four marking choices in this kit.
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 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
This is the second variant of MiniArt's new-tooled 1/35th scale M3 Stuart - Initial Production kit. Although there is no interior, some model builders like this option for the faster build and pass up the big enchilada for something simpler to digest. We have the CAD drawings of the kit, the sprues, etch, decals, marking choices here below to show you the contents of the kit.

The two boxings of this kit to show you how both artworks differ. That and the interior and some marking choices is the main difference between these two tank kits....
Photo-etched parts are offered for correct scale thickness and a scope for damage or removal if so desired.
The rear deck is actually very clean for a wartime tank...
Modellers will soon see to that with the addition in this kit of several petrol cans that strap to the engine deck - excellent!
Although there is some photo-etch, it is limited in this kit by the looks of these CAD drawings.
Lastly, the make-up of the suspension and tracks show a little more about the construction.
The sprues of the kit are laid out here to understand the scope of this kit...
Clear parts are included for the periscopes of the kit.
The small amount of photo etch is encouraging for a MiniArt kit.
The decals for the four marking choices are supplied by MiniArt...
The profiles of all four of the tanks captured in this boxing (we saw them in real life photos in this preview above...

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