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MZsolt 01-11-2009 03:19 PM

M3A1 Stuart (Academy)
Hello everyone,
Till my other projects wait for paint (the timing is a difficult issue without a separate, well ventillated room in our flat and with my bride's allergy of paint), I started Academy's 1/35 Stuart. On the box it is designated M3A1, but after looking at the pieces, I was not so sure about it. The hull is definitely not welded but has (nice) rivets all around. According to readings found on the net, the M3 and the M3A1 was produced in parallel for a few months in 1942, so this model could be presumably an early M3A1, with turret basket as the main difference from "simple" M3. But the real reason of the riveted hull might be found in the box of Academy's Stuart Honey, I think. Other differences between M3 and M3A1:
- two turret hatches instead of the M3's cupola (OK)
- removed sponson machine guns (it appears as an option in the kit's guide)
- changed turret traverse
- changed ammo storage due to turret basket and traverse
Might be other differences as well (any info on this is welcome!), I found that the back of the upper hull was rounded with srew heads instead of the "old" riveted one, I mean this:

So I see the hard way of scratching the back of this little tank. As a first step I ordered and received Aber's screw head set (35A101), not exactly matches the original, but will be OK.
I started with the running gear. Quite nice at the first glance but found discrepancies need to be solved:

The spiral spring is much smaller than on the original, and there is some problem with the angle of the... well, I don't know the name of the part below the spring. I was afraid of trying completely scratch build the running gear so decided to get it closer to the real one with some little changes. After some filing...

... and carving...

... and using hex rod slices as nut heads I finished the day here:

Still has to work on the upper side (some putty and filing and the D shaped part - scratched from brass, I think). This will be also a slow build as I have limited time. Thanks for visiting here :)

p.s. the pictures were found on various internet sites (toadman's, and others), I don't have any copyright info on them, just hope not to be fined because I use them here...

Ropi 01-11-2009 03:24 PM

Looks nice so far! :thumb:

MartinD 01-11-2009 04:29 PM

Hi there,

That's some pretty nifty modelling you've got done there.
The Academy kit is definitely no an M3A1, because of the rear hull. It's more of a late M3.
Keep up the good work! I'd love to see how you tackle the hull.

Cheers, MartinD

Flak 01-12-2009 12:28 AM

Great SBS progress with real vechile picture comparsion...:thumb:

Andrej 01-13-2009 10:07 AM

Hello Zslot. Let me help you and your wife

You see,i have the same alergy on paints,both acrilic and enamel paints and i am doing my modeling with a falf gas mask and i never had any problems after that. IOnly thing is that i must leave the area where i painted for about 10 minutes and i offen open the windows so that the air and the model drys

I think that you can buy the gas mask in the local paint and varnish shops or in big markets were you can buy building materials

here is the pic

MZsolt 01-13-2009 01:43 PM

Hello Andrej, thanks for the idea, I have a gas mask and use it always when I paint but I couldn't persuade my darling to wear that while I'm painting the tanks and she is washing the dishes in the same room :D

MZsolt 02-02-2009 03:14 PM

Hello everybody,
I had some time recently, and finished the remaining three suspension "units" and started the rear suspension. This was quite OK for the first view but the need for changes became obious when compared with photos of the original. Here are the different views of the original kit part with the to-do list:

And long hours of carving began...

... and carving further...

Added some home-made parts from grey ABS and stirol (hex & round) rods and the result looks quite OK for me compared to the pictures of original Stuarts. One thing is sure: after so many hours of modifying the lower part of this tank, I wouldn't put any mud on it...

Well, it will be the world's slowest build... thanks for visiting :)

Moon Puppy 02-02-2009 07:20 PM

I admire how you guys can do such clean scratch work. Good looking stuff here.

camokid 02-02-2009 08:39 PM

Very impressive.


MZsolt 02-15-2009 03:23 PM

Hello everyone,

While setting up new standards of "slow building" I finished the running gear. Huhhh... It was a bit harder (and nerve-eater) than I imagined - but it's over. I reproduced the D shaped track-support parts from brass but for the first time they turned out to be far too high. Of course :( Broke them and re-made a new set of four supports but they are not really-really looking the same. Now I decided not to do a third round as I have only limited time that is why I have to use itt more efficiently - and those parts will be hardly visible from the tracks installed. I changed the nuts on the side of the lower hull as well.

In the meantime I found and bought some resin 37 mm ammo in one of the local modell stores. Here they are (from Verlinden).

As I want to completely re-build the ammo rack inside the Stuart, I need a lot more of them (20-30 pieces) - nice occassion to learn the "how to" of handling resin d-i-y style :) Or if it turns out to be too difficult to me, I will ask my brother to copy the set to fill the rack.
A question: what do you use to paint shells? Gunze and Vallejo is preferred but any close-to-reality color interests me. Thanks!

Next step will be the inside of the tank. I have Eduard interior PE set but it will need some more scratch according to the limited amount of photo I've found of the inside of this tank.



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