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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Battlefront's M3 Stuart Assembly by Max

Building Battlefront's M3 Honey Stuart
by Max

My Early War project is a Stuart Light Tank Squadron for Early War. I was able to find one
Battlefront M-3 “Honey” Stuart at my local store and had inquired about purchasing more. Chris at EndGame in Oakland, CA told me they were out of production and, most likely, being remastered.

I purchased the package and got it home. Once I opened I inspected the model and found some
imperfections in the casting. Mostly lead build up near the bogie wheels on one of the lead castings. Overall the kit was typical Battlefront and I was satisfied.

Like most, I am a family man and work a full time job. My time for building is getting
harder each month with family and work obligations. I set out to dedicate 30 minutes per day (or as many times a week as possible) to build and paint. With a new born soon to come in mid December and a 5 year old that, “Wants to paint” hounding me, I'll be trying this out.

First step in this build was cleaning up the kit's resin turret and hull and removing flash and mold lines from the lead castings. The photos in the article show some of the imperfections.

Once that was completed and gone over again, I proceeded to drill the turret bottom and hull bottom for the rare earth magnets. I place on in the turret and two under the hull. The magnets are all aligned so the two turret magnets under the hull hold the turret on and also hold the miniature in place on my “custom” holder for painting.

Next, I drill out the bow machine gun and ready it for a new barrel. This is done with a very small drill bit and patience. I also drill out the antenna mount for the antenna. I use either a brass rod or stretched sprue material for the bow gun and 4 lb. Fishing line for the antenna (about 12mm long).

The miniature is then test fitted starting with the hull. This kit required a little work sanding the parts to fit as flush as possible. Once the fit was satisfactory, I CA glued them in place and let dry. Gaps were filled using “Squadron “Green Stuff” putty and left to dry.

The turret was then assembled taking care to center the barrel in the mounting position.
The M-1917/19 .30 Cal AAMG mount was sanded down some as well as the actual MG for better fit. The hatch was then CA glued open as this was going to be one of my command tanks.

All in all I was able to finish this, with a few interruptions, in under 30 minutes. All
that is left is to glue the antenna and hull MG and sand the putty.

Next step... a soapy bath and primer.  Click here to see Part 2.


eckythump said...

That's an interesting way to do the magnets. Does it work better then the standard way in the turret recess?

Phil Gardocki said...

I must have been lucky to have picked up 3 Sturarts earlier this month.

Max M. said...

@eckythump: It works for me. My transport system is plastic "bits" boxes that I have set up for the tanks. The turrest stay on and aren't as hard to pivot as magnet to magnet contact. Just a different way of doing it that's all.

eckythump said...

I can see it being easier on the glue that holds the magnets. I've had a couple fly off due to glue failure.

Cheers for the article, I'm intrigued to see how you do the caunter camo.

jmezz382 said...

Great work ! I look forward to the next installment.

I share your experience with the little ones vs time. My 3 year old wants to paint something fierce when daddy is working on his "toy soldiers" as she calls it. I can't wait to share my hobby with her !

Max M. said...

Joe isnt that just awesome!!?? Get her soem green army men, crap brushes and craft store paint and let her go to town. My oldest, age 5, started doign that with me about a year ago! He had a blast.

SinSynn said...

All that work makes me think just one thing:
Plastic Soldier Company needs to come out with Stuarts!

Guybrarian said...


Check their website. It's in line for the new year, man.

Cliff said...

Seems like overkill to me (the 3 magnets), but if you like it and it works for you, great.

I do like the way it looks like you green-stuffed over the gap/line between the sandskirt and regular fender.

I have American M3's I'd like to add Sandskirts to, but I haven't found a good way yet (have plasticard, it's making a template or something I'm stuck on).


SinSynn said...

@Guybrarian- Thanks for the heads-up!
One word- Plastic Soldier Company is da awesome!
Oh, wait...that was a buncha words...
Well, I'll go with 'WOOT!' then....

Max M. said...

@Cliff: Yes its overkill for the turret but not for the carrying/storade system.

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