1/35th Scale
Kit No.1398
In Box Review
by Terry Ashley

The Kit:
Following closely on the heals of the M3 Honey, Academy have released this kit of the M3A1 Stuart.

The kit is identical to the Honey kit except the parts are moulded in a dark green plastic and include for a new sprue 'E' (in place of sprue 'A' in the first kit) with the horseshoe turret, large rear hull fuel tanks and a couple of extra .30cal MGs, plus a new decal sheet.

I will only deal with the new parts here as all comments in my review of the Honey kit apply here also.

Obviously the interior is correct for this kit being the A1 version while the new turret is excellent. When compared to plans I have it is spot on for size and has all hatches, the three pistol ports and periscopes, including the rotating commander's periscope as separate parts which will allow you to build the turret in any configuration you wish.

The large hull fuel tanks are moulded in four pieces each and have the large securing straps included. It would probably be an idea to remove these and represent with lead sheet or tape for a better detailed appearance.

The additional .30cal MGs are to use the two forward sponson MG mounts if you want to build the kit as originally deployed in Tunisia and the Pacific.

The Decal Sheet:
Markings are provided for five vehicles:
1. "TIGER" of 3rd Platoon, Company C, 1st Armored Battalion, 1st Armored Division, Tunisia December 1943
(This Stuart is featured in the centre colour spread of the Squadron Signal in action book on the Stuart)
2. "Painintheass" of USMC, 3rd Marine Tank Battalion, Bouganville, November 1942
3. "The pay off" from the same USMC unit as #2.
4. Soviet Army Unit and location unidentified, 1943
5. Soviet Army Unit unidentified, Woronez, Summer 1942

In all this is another excellent little kit with very nice details included and hopefully the M5 will follow. The choice of decals offer some nice colourfull markings

Highly recommended.

(Note: Yes there are white stars and markings on the sheet.
There is also a small correction sheet for the russian stars)

The Sprues: (Note: The sprues shown are from the Honey kit but are the same as for the M3A1 except being moulded in dark green plastic)
Click on thumbnails for larger view
Academy Academy Academy
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Page created 19 September 2002

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