More M3 Progress

I’m still plugging away at that 1/72 M3 Stuart, in between packing boxes or sleeping, or holding my sweet, sweet baby. If you look at the picture in the last entry and then look at this one, you’ll see a number of changes–and I’m really getting further down the road towards getting this done.
Since the last entry (actually, all taking place last night), I first touched up the paint throughout the thing. This included painting the inside-facing part of the road wheels, touching up the tracks, fixing the hatch color, and a lot of that custom "middle stone" color touch-ups all over the thing. In short, a whole lotta (touch-up) paintin’ goin’ on.
After that had dried, I first hit the whole thing with a flat lacquer. Once that had dried, I hit it with a gloss lacquer. Why? Because (I’ve always been told and have no reason to question) water slide decals adhere better to a gloss lacquered surface than they do a flat lacquered one. Once the gloss had dried, I applied the decals. All six of them. The only tricky one was the star on the turret. And that’s just because one star-point had to go over some raised detail. "Solvaset" decal setting solution made short work of it. After the Solvaset had dried, I hit the whole thing with a flat lacquer one more time. And that’s where I called it a night.
Next is where the real fun begins: The washes and weathering. This is where it starts to make the leap from tiny model to realistic-looking scale replica.
And on that subject, I’ve gotta call out the accuracy of this kit again. I think it’s downright horrid in some places. I’ve already talked about how the headlights are just cheap (but easier to manufacture in plastic) representations that don’t necessarily reflect the real thing. There’s also a problem with the road wheels–the back-most wheels should have hollowed out spokes. I’m guessing that–for the sake of convenience on such small parts, these are actually solid. My other noticeable gripe right now is the hatch. I think it’s too big for the turret, based on photos (and other larger scale models) I’ve seen. But… What’re you going to do? In short, this is a nice representation of an M3 Stuart, but there are some pretty glaring inaccuracies.

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