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Jay Biga
26 articles

Tamiya M3 Stuart, North Africa

July 26, 2020 · in Armor · · 26 · 2.8K

Hi all,

Here is my rendition of 's (late). I built it out of the box, with the addition of some Value Gear stowage and used the kit markings for an American in North Africa. The real tank was knocked out in the first clashes of the campaign.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

26 responses

  1. This is a nice little tank kit, yours looks well done, nice job on the weathering!

  2. I dunno why, but that M-3 is one of my favorite creepie-crawlies. Nice work on this.

  3. A great looking build!

  4. Jay, @jaybiga
    Your M-3 Stuart is very nicely done. You have the desert dust visual effects down to a science, and it looks very realistic. That stuff gets into and on everything ! The desert sand has a way of polishing up the tracks and keeps them clean... just as you have done with yours. It also will put a nice shine on the sprockets where they make contact with the tracks.

    I have had personal first hand experience with this in real life as a US Army tanker, and we spent a lot of time in the desert. I served in the older M-60A1's and then the M-1A1 Abrams.

    Is this the new tool Tamiya Stuart or the older kit from the 1970's ? I have been looking at getting one of the new tool Tamiya kits for the stash.

    Well done my friend, and I pressed the "liked" button too.

    • Thanks Louis! Praise like that from a former tanker means a lot.
      It is indeed the new Tamiya version of the tank. For anybody looking for a well designed and easy build, I can't recommend it enough. It's also very affordable (for a Tamiya kit), so you could do a lot worse than getting one for the stash.

  5. Awesome looking Stuart, Jay. I don't do much armor, but I have this one lurking in my garage. My Dad was in the cavalry (with actual horses) in the 1930s, and then went into tanks during WW2. I can't imagine fighting in one of these in North Africa. Well done.

    • Thank you George! I can only imagine how hot these things must have gotten after a day in the desert sun.

      • George @gblair

        Jay @jaybiga

        Believe me tanks get VERY hot inside, and very cold during the winter...Imagine living in a refrigerator, it can be that cold . Our tools would get so hot in the desert during the summer that you would burn your hands if you picked one up and were not wearing gloves. We even cooked an egg on the fender once... Then drew straws to see who would eat it... LOL Thankfully it wasn't me !

        • In a memoir of a WW2 tanker I read about his experiences in the Bulge (obviously the polar opposite of the desert weather-wise). How they'd be in their tank at night, trying to stay warm and their breath would condense against the freezing steel of the hull, slowly accumulating until it fell down again as freezing droplets, which would make sleeping difficult.

          I guess most of us don't consider the lack of creature comforts when building these things.

          • I have personally seen frost accumulating on the inside of our turret. It is not very much fun trying to sleep inside a tank either but it’s better than not sleeping at all. It’s very hard to get comfortable and you can’t stretch out like you normally do in a regular bed.

            So you learn how to sleep in all kinds of crazy positions. It’s not really a true sleep. Your eyes are closed but you are aware of what’s going on around you. It’s almost like a twilight sleep, and hard to describe. Unless you have experienced it you most likely will not understand what I’m trying to convey.

  6. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Nice work on this Stuart, you have done a very well weathering job on this one.
    Any chance of seeing this one on a diorama ?, the main star is already done and looks the part.

    • Thanks! I am planning to make a base for it. Not a full blown diorama, but a small section of desert would go nicely with this one indeed.

  7. Nice job, Jay, and equally excellent painting/weathering!

  8. Nicely done, I built their old inaccurate one a while back and enjoyed it. You did the new one quite well!

  9. Jay, very nice little Stuart, and a very well / realistic paint scheme !
    I had the privilege to meet a guy that owned one of these, and he permitted me to crawl up inside, and yes they are small. However I could only imagine how much fun it would be to actually own one, and take the grandkids out for a ride !

  10. Sharp looking Steward Jay, really like the sand and dust affect, well done.

  11. Beautifully done, Jay! Like Louis, I'm an old tanker, and I know exactly of what has been said about being inside of a tank. It seems like it's either very hot or freezing cold inside. Never simply comfortable. The only good sleep ever I got was on the back deck of the various models of the M1 tanks I served on. (M1, M1IP, M1A1 & M1A1-HA) That's because it's basically flat. But hard. Really hard! The M60 series (M60A1 & M60A3) & M48A5 tanks I was on were NEVER comfortable!


    • Thanks Jeff!
      I came across this picture and the M60 doesn’t look comfortable indeed. 😉

      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

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