I am splitting this one off from my “handful of Stuart”-thread, since it might be more interesting to others, due to the topic and the rebuild involved.
The basis is Tamiya¨s ancient M3 Stuart.
Now this kit has numerous issues, mainly dimensional ones. The hull is too short and the turret way to small. The tracks are also useless, since the endconnectors connect to… well… nothing. They sit there on the end of each trackpad.
Since I recently got a large amount of spareparts I will see what I can do to enhace the model.
The references for the endgoal:
Now another one of the issues with the kit is that it is a diesel. These were not commonly used, but I found info that a number of these aned up in the Australian armor inventory, being relocated from Great Brittain through the Lendlease-programme.
M3 Stuart Light Tanks In Action In New Guinea
Now with that out of the way the first issue is the turret size.
A comparison between an Italeri/Academy/Airfix turret and Tamiya’s:
So I stepped out of my comfortzone and used turret 1 and relocated the ports from turret 2 onto the right places on turret 1.
It also meant making the turretring fit into the Tamiya hull. That ring incidentally comes from a Honey turret and is NOT the same size and shape as the turret intended for this conversion!
The righthand side .30 gunport is located incorrrectly in the Academy kit and should be off center to the right.
Funnily enough the hulls are basically the same in all 4 kits! Tamiya’s details are less well done, but all the panels, lines and dimensions are similar.
And while I am at it I am considering the paint/colours.
Apparently Australia used a 2-tone scheme, among others, so I went looking for information.
“MELBOURNE, VIC. 1943-05-21. CORPORAL J. KELLY OF 2ND AUSTRALIAN ORDNANCE TANK DEPOT CAMOUFLAGE PATTERN STUART M3A1”
And that turns out to be quite confusing!!!
But I am settling for Light Green nr.5 over Deep Bronze Green, which is close to the British SSC 224.
Pages 5-7 gave some:
This may also interest you:
Don’t go by the colour pic of the Stuart at Puckapunyal - that was repainted and no original colour was used.
Thanks! To bad Mouse House went out of business a year or 2 ago, I think.
And looking at the photo’s I could find I think I can cheat my way around an expensive conversionset. Even though it looks very interesting.
I figured as much with regards to the colours. The basecolour is way to bright.
Yes, they went out of business. Boomer Books picked up the line. Email them for status. https://www.boomersbooks.net/
I found a link on the use of this set at the old Armorama forum.
Mouse house set
As far as the colours go, I think this M3 has a 3-tone.
And this one a 2-tone? Light green over bronze green?
Or just dirt/dust?
Can’t find any other pictures outside of Australia that seem to be having a camouflage. Only continental Australia?
To the best of my knowledge, the Camo patterns were only painted on home defence vehicles. The schemes were also different for different parts of Oz - blending into the different terrain and circumstances. I have only ever seen pics of one colour vehicles in theatre. I would go with the local version of Khaki Green post Sept 1942 if you are modelling a deployed vehicle.
I question whether the diesel version was ever deployed OS, as there were fewer of those and logistically for Australia, it does not make sense to have two fuel types in theatre.
@petbat Peter, here’s a link to a quite interesting thread on the subject: Maple Leaf Forum Australian colours
oh and a set of colour samples:
Some work has been done on the M3.
I redid the airfilters, bashing tamiya and academy together. According to Steve Zaloga the dieselversion had 2 hoses. And it simply looks better this way.
I also added the hatches and the base for the .30
I also removed Tamiya’s “grill” and added mesh to the opening. Not the right pattern, but a whole lot better then the original!
Ron wow you’ve done a LOT of work on this and it’s all excellent! Your details look fantastic. Keep on chopping!
Great work on the old kit and great to see something very different with the finish.
I picked one up a while ago to use as a guinea pig build to try and replicate the field applied mud cammo seen in Tunisia.
On a bit of a roll here. Messing around with strips cut from a sodacan. made the rounded shapes a lot easier, due to its natural springy-ness.
Also added an Australian soldier from a masterbox set.
What did I add?
The typical ring around the turret; there appear to be several versions and I opted for an apparently earlier one which is still open at the top. matches with the lack of other, later modifications. I added what looks like fueldrum brackets. Not so sure I like mine. Might redo them.
The top rails for fastening grousers. The bottom ones will be added once I have some grousers to measure the distance inbetween.
Several stowage boxes, not attached yet, still need touching up.