Some Fun with Older Model Kits: Stuarts and Such!

Recently I pulled a couple of aging “shelf queens” down with an eye to finishing them up nice and proper: (But still staying mostly OOB)
Decal sheets were missing on both kits but I had enough US Stars to do the job . However I am still waiting for my order covering proper registration marks and Unit ID’s for these two. Those needed decals should arrive in the next week or so:

For now here is where I am:


The old Tamiya M3 kit came with the Tank Commander figure but all the rest of the crew were MIA.

I have now added driver figures to both vehicles and have custom positioned a number of newer Tamiya figures to crew the M8.

Most of these figures came out of my box of spares from the Tamiya Dragon Wagon and PC&F Recovery Vehicles. (I have three!)

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Your Stuarts look great.


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Tanks (Thanks)

Neat! They are fun little models and yours turned out very nice.

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Some Stuart Inspiration:

Seen at the 2018 Louisville MVPA National Convention.

Vehicle then Property of 14th Armored Group; Shepherdsviile, Kentucky

(Some of these photos just MIGHT have appeared in David Doyle’s latest book on the subject)


Just a Suggestion here:

I have found that it you are going to try and take good photos of basically dark colored boxes on tracks (tanks) that it is wiser to put them on a medium, to dark background to allow the vehicle and the details to stand out. (In this case a medium brown towel,)

If you try and use a pure white background the auto-exposure in your camera or phone is going to see all that bright white in the picture, shut down the iris on your lens and leave you with nothing but a black blob in the middle of a white field.

(I am very much over simplifying the process here but I think you get the picture ~ pun most definitely intended.)


So a way to hide my modeling flaws. :face_with_monocle::+1:


As a modeler AND as a photographer; it all depends on what you are going for!

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Nice pair of classic Tamiya US light tanks. Now you just need their M5 to complete the trio. Although technically speaking the M8 is a self propelled gun and not a tank :wink:


Oops, I need to add the armored caps over the old sponson 30 cal. gun mounts on the M3!

Cruse’n the stash last night and found these!


The Patton Museum had one of these on display in the LST building. I always thought the sloped armor was a good idea. (Apparently so did the Germans!)


As to those tanker crews:
. . . . and also those Self Propelled Gun crews.

M3 Driver

M8 Driver

M8 Crew*
If you look closely at that turret you will see the gunner dozing off in his seat. (I did not want to disturb him!

Hints of a few extra details, all very rough additions can be seen - some simple seats, a drive shaft housing plus a firewall added to the M3.

Of course the open topped M8 comes with a fairly nice interior but not so with the M3.

Additionally I always choose to add a firewall to any tank I might build regardless. Even if no interior details are planned. However, I will say that a few simple, rough hewed interior details COULD make all the difference by simply hinting at (giving the impression of) an otherwise fully done interior. I feel that I just never want to look down thru the hatches and see a big black hole where an engine and firewall ought to be.* *

(Just my personal choice and opinion.)

** The same with not wanting to look down thru a turret hatch and see daylight coming in thru an incomplete sponson that has no floor to it! I always close these up as well!

Exterior weathering done with pigments. Interior dirt & grime done with washes.


Here is an image you might enjoy:
The Commander at Knox wanted an “old vs new” recce photo.
Who am I to refuse such a request?


The Stuart always reminds me of one of the best Twilight Zone episodes EVER.

Nice work!!

Or comic books… GI Combat and “The Haunted Tank”



Some more M5 Stuart Inspiration:
Two M5’s from 14th Armored in Shephardsville, KY participating in a “Secret City,” TN event some years ago.


I still have some of those old comics! The crew always a bit uneasy about their tank commander “talking to himself”.

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Wouldn’t you be uneasy in that situation? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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And some M3A3 inspiration in original color