Old Project: M3 Stuart

I’ll be honest–I wanted to get a 1/72 scale piece of armor done for the HobbyTown National Model Contest, but I didn’t want to spend money on a new kit (although several caught my eye). My personal inventory of 1/72 armored fighting vehicles (AFV’s) is surprisingly thin, but I’d started a Hasegawa M3 Stuart a very long time ago, and then just put it back away.
Well, I decided on Sunday evening that the time had come to revive this long-dead project. Upon opening the box, I realized that my previous progress had only been to go so far as to glue four pieces of the lower hull together. That’s really not much. So, I spent a good chunk of my Sunday evening putting the tank together. Seams are good on it. The only real bad one is on the turret, and I should have that sanded clean the next time I pick it up. I don’t think I’m going to make a base for this particular tank. If I do, it’s going to be something simple–a circular wooden base with a dark stain on it–no Celluclay or anything.
No modifications are going to be done to the kit, but I think I’m going to opt to display it with the top hatch open. On Monday night, I also started putting some paint down on it. The manual called for "Middle Stone" color (whatever the hell that is), but I opted to mix Dark Yellow and brown–at a ratio of roughly 4:1. My understanding is that most of these tanks were shipped to Africa while still painted Olive Drab. In order to help them blend in a little more, they were repainted with whatever was available locally. Often times, this meant mixing up mud and gasoline (the gasoline as a thinning agent) and painting a tank. I think I’m achieving that look, but time will tell.
I’m pretty sure that the accuracy of this kit is in serious question (look at the headlights), but there’s not much I can do about it. It’s a cute little tank–not a lot bigger than the Tiny Tiger, but it’s got a rich history. Hopefully, I’ll get this one whipped into contest shape quickly. If not, hopefully the local hobby store hasn’t gotten rid of all those wonderful 1/72 armor pieces they had lying around.

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