Monday, June 24

Preview : MiniArt's 35th scale M3 Light tank - no interior but with six marking choices from all around the world!

Want MiniArt's new M3 Stuart light tank "Early Production" with-OUT the full interior - but WITH markings from six Stuarts serving all around the world, well, your time has come. We look at the new kit without all the guts in our preview..

Preview : MiniArt's 35th scale M3 Light tank - no interior but with six marking choices from all around the world!

M3 Stuart Early Production
From MiniArt Models
1/35th scale
Kit No #35412
Decals for six 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 in this article show the real tanks that the six markigs were taken from - just like "Helen" here from the philipines theatre near Luzon.
The photos below show a Free French Stuart that served in Kano in Nigeria in 1942!
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 1000th tank celebrate wth an all-white scheme fresh from the foundry plant.
This is another fromt he markings in this kit - The early Stuart is a USMC version seen in Australia in 1943.

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.

This red army tank, another one captured in this kit's markings, from 1942.
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 largely replaced it in late 1943.

The Brazilian expiditionary tanks seen in this marking choice in Italy in 1944

The kit from MiniArt
MiniArt's new-tooled 1/35th scale M3 Stuart - Early Production kit features - as it says on the tin, a complete with six marking choices included in this model.

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. The decals are printed in house by MiniArt...

Marking choices:
There are six marking choices supplied in this kit. Decals are provided on a single small sheet for early Stuarts from many countries.
Check out this variety of markings - Brasilian, USMC, Free French & US tanks all in this lot - including an anniversary tank to boot! 

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