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Bill Koppos
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New Mini Art M3 Stuart 1/35 scale

June 4, 2024 · in Armor · · 13 · 324

I have always liked light tanks as a type (I don't have to use one in combat), and have built quite a few. Always been a big fan of the little thing named after J.E.B. Stuart also. As soon as I saw this new release from Ukrainian Mini-Art I snagged it, the early job with lots of rivets, including the turret. I don't think this version saw much if any combat, they were mostly used in the states for training, but the vehicle itself is quite neat and a nice addition to a light tank collection.

The kit is a combo of good and iffy. The main parts like the hull and turret panels fit nicely, but the running gear is another story. A trend I have noticed lately is for tiny assembly pins and holes and vague locations in the plans. This is no Tamiya. I had to do considerable trimming and fitting to get the bogie trucks/idlers and return rollers to line up. Check this before committing anything to glue. I recommend snapping on the sprockets and building the rear trailing idlers first, and base the alignment on these. I had to drill out the hull holes and cut some off the small pins on the bogie trucks to get them set in far enough. At this point they rock around a bit so watch the alignment while the glue sets up. After this fight the tracks are surprisingly good, they fit just so lengthwise just watch the locator holes in the joining pieces as they each have differently shaped pins and holes. There is also a full interior version of this out, some of the fussy issues are caused by fitting all of that versions many interior items together. I closed mine up and avoided some problems. The CAD drawings of the interior look pretty spectacular though, the radial engine looks really detailed, but I imagine it will be a lot of work. This kit also has some photo-etch, mainly fender stuff, an antenna bracket, and the jerry can rack. And some truly microscopic tool strap brackets I did NOT attempt to do. The brass is good quality and bends easily. There is no tow cable included, this one is from my Armor supply box.

Paint consists of a grey primer coat, to cover up the etchings, black pre shading, and lots of marbling with various shades of Sand OD and brown. I used Mr. Color OD as the overall top coat. Weathering is with some nice Abteilung oils I bought in Arizona. The decals worked very well, Solvaset laid them down easily. There are about 5 marking choices, mostly Wargame vehicles just before the War broke.I picked the one with the early 'Murican stars.

Mini Art's M3 is more work than a Tamiya for sure, but definitely doable for thems as likes Stuarts. There are more versions coming I'm sure, with the later turrets, and maybe a Brit?

Reader reactions:
13  Awesome 2  1 

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.


13 responses

  1. And the pictures are?

    • Technical difficulties caused by Cameras switching settings for reasons unknown, and refusal of iMod's site to delete the partial post.
      IALFW
      How's the Flamingos?

  2. Awesome. Looks like it actually weighs a ton!

  3. Nice work, Bill. I agree, small tank projects are a good change of pace from planes.

  4. Very well done weathering on the Stuart.

  5. That's a beautiful little tank, Bill @billkoppos
    Looks like a big target with those fuel tanks on the rear.

  6. Very nice Stuart, Bill @billkoppos! 👍 The Haunted Tank crew would surely approve! 😉

  7. Nice work here Bill. I’m an old tanker myself and I spent a LOT of time living in the M-60 and later the M-1A1 series. Yours looks amazing and spot on. Trust me on that.

    Have you ever seen the 1941 movie that was called “The tanks are coming !” It is about a NY cab driver who joined the Army and brought his old taxi with him. It was filmed in color and I think it had the older M2A1 or M2A4 in it. It may have also had some of the M-3 Lee tanks in it too.

    There’s a lot of great color footage in the film and I think it’s about an hour long. The main character was played by a guy named George Tobias. The plot was a little bogus but the tanks were the main stars of the show. It was sort of like the movie Dive Bomber but it had tanks instead of Navy planes in it.

    If you haven’t seen it before then it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re a dedicated tread head fan of these light tanks.

    I’m definitely clicking on several of the various like buttons. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    By the way J.E.B. Stuart and Stonewall Jackson are two of my favorites too. It’s a Cavalry thing.

    Well done.

    • Thank You much Louis. I will check out that film. George Tobias is a favorite of mine, he is in many wartime films like Sergeant York and Air Force.
      The convention of naming tanks for Generals is a good one.

      • Please do and when you’re done let me know what you thought about it. There’s plenty of great stuff in there and I was especially interested in the various colors that were used on the tanks from this era. Some are darker than others and some are more green while others are more brown. Classic case of the OD Green question. Which green color did they use.

        The answer is “All of them . 😉 “

        Going from memory I thought that there were some tanks that had yellow markings and serial numbers and some of them had a blue. Good stuff for a person to go digging into.

        Mr Tobias sounds interesting. I’m going to look into watching the movies you recommended as well.

        Thank you for the suggestions. I sincerely appreciate it.

        You’re going to like what happens to the dear old taxi cab. I got to do something very similar once with my M-60. We ran across an old abandoned Chevy 4 door that was stripped off the tires and just sitting there in the desert.

        I ran it over and it was only about a foot tall when I got done with it.

  8. Excellent job and super result as always, Bill!

  9. Nice work as usual Bill. A great result.

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