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Sunday, January 22, 2012

British Honey Stuart Swarm!

When Hellfire and Back came out, I ordered a boatload of British Stuarts. Unfortunately, so did a lot of people. Battlefront also decided it was time to update the mold, and so there was a severe Stuart Shortage (The great Stuart Shortage of '11). Finally, I scraped together 16 (I tried to get 18 so I could have some captured German ones, but no dice there), and got painting!

My new lighting rig

Ordinarily at this point in a spotlight we would write a review of the model. But since Max recently posted a very in depth modeling guide using the old sculpt and Battlefront is releasing a new model for the Stuart M3 (Which Max will be reviewing and early reports are very good!), I decided any model review was redundant and a little unfair. Suffice it to say these were old sculpts and needed a bit of love, but nothing too extreme.

Painting them was fairly straight forward.  The basecoat is vallejo Dark Sand with a drybrush of Vallejo Pale Sand.  After that a quick wash on the engine deck and my signature (and divisive!) blackline technique, and I was on to the markings.  The markings are fairly ahistorical.  I used the tank "flash" markings to help me identify platoons and HQ assets just like I did for my Armoured Regiment.  This is totally a game play concession, but I think it looks close enough.

The British Army was the first to use the Light Tank M3 as the "General Stuart" in combat.[6] From mid-November 1941 to the end of the year, about 170 Stuarts (in a total force of over 700 tanks) took part in Operation Crusader during the North Africa Campaign, with poor results. Although the high losses suffered by Stuart-equipped units during the operation had more to do with better tactics and training of the Afrika Korps than the apparent superiority of German armoured fighting vehicles used in the North African campaign,[7] the operation revealed that the M3 had several technical faults. Mentioned in the British complaints were the 37 mm M5 gun and poor internal layout.

The two-man turret crew was a significant weakness, and some British units tried to fight with three-man turret crews. The Stuart also had a limited range, which was a severe problem in the highly mobile desert warfare as units often outpaced their supplies and were stranded when they ran out of fuel. On the positive side, crews liked its relatively high speed and mechanical reliability.[8][9] The high reliability distinguished the Stuart from cruiser tanks of the period, in particular the Crusader, which composed a large portion of the British tank force in Africa up until 1942.
 M3 Stuart. (2011, December 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:48, January 7, 2012, from

Equipment and Notes
M# Stuart
 M6 37mm gun
Fully Tracked
Co-ax MG, Hull MG, Light Tank.
No HE.

The Stuart is of course a favorite of the WWPD crew. It's high speed, and low cost make it an attractive buy for the aggressive, horde-masters, and insane. The British version is a lot less attractive than the US' for 3 reasons: 1) No HE. 2) No stabilizers. 3) small platoons. Still, it's a cute little speed demon that no tanker should be without!

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