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1/35 Stuart by Academy: a Honey of a Tank

September 1, 2013 in Armor

The Stuart was an American light tank designed to emulate the cavalry of old — racing out to spy out the enemy lines, wreak havoc, and dash back home. It was thus named Stuart after the dashing Confederate General who served as Robert E Lee’s cavalry eyes and ears.

This kit real is a honey (the British name for the Stuart when received thru Lend-Lease.) The kit includes three versions — one British in N.African livery, one American in OD and this one — an American tank captured by the Japanese in the 1942 Philippine campaign, which was then turned against the US Army when MacArthur returned! Thus the oddity of Jap markings on an American tank. The Nipponese Army must have appreciated it, because it retained the American made 37mm and a nest of Browning 30 cal mgs.

I couldn’t resist . . . .

The hatches are open this time because Academy DOES include a basic interior, which I wanted to display. The driver and radio operator seats are visible as well as the fighting compartment. The turret itself has a basic interior too. (Note: Academy would have you add the turret basket, which they did not use. I guess the Brit’s just stood all the time.)

I attempted the salt system for weathering, where salt is sprinkled over dampened areas then over-sprayed with the surface color. The model is then rubbed lightly to remove paint and salt, revealing your base color. I am sure this works well with Germany’s rusty red base, but my sources said Japan used a dark grey. Hmmm . . . The color contrast does not seem adequate, but I assure I did it!

Live and learn.

6 additional images. Click to enlarge

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7 responses to 1/35 Stuart by Academy: a Honey of a Tank

  1. It also seems odd that the Japanese would seemingly leave the white star on the turret (or is that something else?)….at any rate, a nice little build.

    • You make a good point Craig. But I built this in a day when I slavishly followed instructions, and they included it. Maybe the Japanese impressed it at the last minute and merely painted their markings on without removing the US star. Or maybe it was a sneaky trick.

  2. Good job, Mike. I’d be interested in how it compares to the Tamiya kit.

  3. Mike,

    For some unknown reason the Stuart is one of my favorite tanks. The Chaffee is the second. Don’t ask me why, I just like them. You did an outstanding job on this. Great work.
    P.S. If I don’t make a note on any of your other articles please just accept that I have run out of words to say that everything that you have submitted is absolutely fantastic..

  4. As I look closer, the star is actually a chrysanthemum — the Japanese liked flowery things.

  5. I was about to suggest that- the Chrysanthenum is the flower of the Japanese Imperial house and a national symbol because of it. It is a simplified version – take a look at the round symbol on the bows of the Yamato….

  6. I recall seeing a real version of this tank in a “Twilight Zone” episode back in the 1960’s.
    It’s use by the Japanese isn’t a surprise, heck, their medium tanks were similar to this. Oh, nice clean job on the model too!

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