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1:35 MiniArt M3 Stuart Initial Production - full interior


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1:35

M3 Stuart Initial Production

Interior Kit

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MiniArt


Catalogue number n.º 35401

 Price tag: 54€

To buy one click here.

 

 

 

In fact, the M3 Stuart is a very well know light tank for all modeler, but still a brief resume from wikipédia.

 

The M3 Stuart/light tank M3, was an American light tank of World War II. An improved version of the tank entered service as the M5 in 1942 to be supplied to British and other Commonwealth forces under lend-lease prior to the entry of the U.S. into the war. Afterwards, it was used by U.S. and Allied forces until the end of the war.

 

The British service name "Stuart" came from the American Civil War Confederate general J. E. B. Stuart and was used for both the M3 and the derivative M5 light tank. Unofficially, they were also often called "Honeys" by the British, because of their smooth ride.

In U.S. use, the tanks were officially known as "light tank M3" and "light tank M5".

 

Stuarts were first used in combat in the North African campaign; about 170 were used by the British forces in Operation Crusader (18 November – 30 December 1941). Stuarts were the first American-crewed tanks in World War II to engage the enemy in tank versus tank combat when used in the Philippines in December 1941 against the Japanese. Outside of the Pacific War, in later years of WWII the M3 was used for reconnaissance and screening.

Observing events in Europe and Asia during World War II, American tank designers realized that the light tank M2 was becoming obsolete and set about improving it. The upgraded design, with thicker armor, modified suspension and new gun recoil system was called "light tank M3". Production of the vehicle started in March 1941 and continued until October 1943.

 

By the standards of the era for light tanks, the Stuart was fairly heavily armored. It had 38 mm of armor on the upper front hull, 44 mm on the lower front hull, 51 mm on the gun mantlet, 38 mm on the turret sides, 25 mm on the hull sides, and 25 mm on the hull rear.

Like its direct predecessor, the M2A4, the M3 was initially armed with a 37 mm M5 gun and five .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns: one coaxial with the main gun, one on top of the turret in an M20 anti-aircraft mount, another in a ball mount in right bow, and two more in the right and left hull sponsons. Later, the main gun was replaced with the slightly longer M6, and the sponson machine guns were removed.

 

The M3 and M3A1 variants were powered by an air-cooled radial engine, either a gasoline-fueled 7-cylinder Continental W-670 (8,936 built) or a 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel (1,496 built). Both of these powerplants were originally developed as aircraft engines. Internally, the radial engine was at the rear and the transmission at the front of the tank's hull. The driveshaft connecting the engine and transmission ran through the middle of the fighting compartment. The radial engine's crankshaft was positioned high off the hull bottom and contributed to the tank's relatively tall profile. When a revolving turret floor was introduced in the M3 hybrid and M3A1, the crew had less room. A further 3,427 M3A3 variants were built with modified hull (similar to the M5), new turret and the Continental W-670 gasoline engine. In contrast to the M2A4, all M3/M5 series tanks had a trailing rear idler wheel for increased ground contact, whereas on the M2 the idler wheel was off the ground and did not aid in suspension.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3_Stuart

 

Probably as most of modellers, I do have a little soft spot for the Stuart. Its probably because of his “fragile appearance” comparing with other WWII tanks specially, the big ones for the Wehrmacht.

To get this even better, this version as a full interior.

 

Being MiniArt, you know that the parts and sub-assemblies will be in high number, but the detail in all will be exquisite.

 

Let’s check if this release stand for those standards.

 

Firstly, the plastic sprues come in gray plastic, very good to handle and work as all previous recent releases.

 

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And there is a lot of sprues, 21 in total (in these, one clear sprue – yes, in a 1:35 AFV model kit)

 

Checking the sprue A, you “only” have the main body structures all there.  So, a lot of carefully alignment and care must be taken even with the location points for all inside parts. That is a “minus” of having a full interior kit… I `m not complaining as I love these full interiors but is a thing that you should be careful with.

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The first major small details for the interior are in sprue D, Da and K.

 Despite the small parts (and there is a lot of them), the details are right there, with no flash and quite sharp, as you would expect form MiniArt.

 

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The engine (powered by an air-cooled radial engine, a gasoline-fueled 7-cylinder Continental W-670 (8,936 built) is amazing!! I`m not an engineer so I confess that when I saw the sprue C (and Ca) I thought for one second: “hum… an aircraft engine sprue here? It´s probably a mistake by MiniArt…”

But no… :D

So, the engine Continental W-670 engine sits between the two fuels tanks, making the engine deck quite busy.

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All the interior is very busy as it should be inside any tank so MiniArt achived the goal (as expect) of having an interior quite busy and with tons of details and you can just leave all hatches open… full beautiful interior to appreciate.

Do AM have some space? I believe so, as always, but not much indeed.

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Now, Wheels and tracks…

Well, no vinyl!! But it`s link-and-length. Personally, I like individuals links all the way but I prefer link and length than vinyl, so I can`t complain. Probably for me, here is one spot where AM guys will enter.

 

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As for the wheels, undercarriage and suspension system... now that`s a lots of parts and subassemblies.... 

 

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and the clear parts... Yes, we do have clear parts on this beauty and even windshields whipers in PE

 

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As for the PE, comes, as usual, in a card envelope with MiniArt logo.

The PE has several details, as PE clapping plate in the rear hatch, mesh, seatbelts (yes, for the driver), handles, clamps, idler wheels rims  etc.

 

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The decal sheet is a rather small sheet but quite a colorful one, giving all the three markings and some stencils and instruments gauges.

The color density and the thin paper are spot on so all good here also.

 

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As for the markings, you got straight from the box, four markings:

 

-      Royal Tank Corps, British Army, Tactical Training School, Egypt, Summer 1941;

-      2nd Armored Division, Louisiana, USA, Autumn 1941;

-      1st Armored Division, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA, Autumn, 1941;

-      Unindenfined Cavalry Regiment, camp Funston, USA, Spring 1942;

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For the tow cable you only have the hollow end so you needc to get some thread to make the towing cables.

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The instructions booklet has 22 pages of full constructions with very good color indication all the way.

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Speaking of color indication, MiniArt gives the modeler a color chart with not one or two brands but 6 (six):

 

-      Vallejo

-      Mr. Color

-      AK RC

-      Mission Models

-      AMMO MIG

-      Tamiya

 

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THANK YOU MiniArt for such a comprehensive color charter and very good indication color along the instructions.

 

Conclusion

 

This M3 Stuart is a fantastic little kit with TONS of details. You can make a little very detail gem directly from this box! It’s an all in package and Kudos for Miniart for doing it.

The recessed and raised detail, the detail on the engine all the compartments in a single box, directly with no extra whatsoever is fantastic! Of Course this in NOT a Weekend project! Not even a month project for me!

10/10 MiniArt!! Again! :D

 

Thanks to MiniArt for producing the beautiful model kit.

 

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Cheers Fran looks like a nice advanced offering .

Do think that Mini art does love to hold to the "Mini" part having built some of their models .

The Daimler Dingo I built was knocking on for 300 pieces. ..beautiful but very complex for a tiny vehicle. 

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