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...