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Monday, September 30, 2013

Bolt Action - Review: Hobby Armor Depot Lend Lease M3 Scout Car

As many of you know, the Soviets were the recipients of thousands of pieces of equipment and vehicles from the Western Allies through the Lend Lease program.   While many of the items the Soviets received were despised by their recipients, or airbrushed out of Soviet history, the M3 Scout Car was popular and well loved by the Russian troops.   Primarily used by Soviet reconnaissance troops, the M3 Scout car's speed and armor made it a valuable asset for probing German positions. 

I picked up my M3 Scout Car from Hobby Armor Depot and plan to use it in conjunction with my Soviet Scouts when playing Bolt Action.   In this review I plan on just reviewing the M3 model.  If you would like to read a full review of HAD as a miniatures company, check out our review of their T-34/85.

The M3 Scout Car is the best looking of all the Hobby Armor Depot models I have purchased.  The details are crisp and sharp and there was very little resin flashing or pitting.  This is an improvement as most of Hobby Armor Depot’s vehicles are fairly rough.    The resin is still lighter than what you get from other companies, but the model comes pre-built and is 1/48 scale, which is nice for those of us who don’t use 1/56.

Hobby Armor Depot added a Maxim machine gun on a pintle mount and stars to the doors to make the M3 more Soviet.  Most of the pictures I have seen of Soviet M3 Scout Cars have Browning .50 cals on them, but the Maxim looks cool.  The pintle mount is just a rod of light resin that is glued into place.  The pintle mount is weak and I broke mine while handling it.  You may want to consider replacing it with a metal rod. 

The M3 Scout Car is a perfect match with my other 1/48 scale Soviet vehicles and looks great next to my Warlord and Black Tree Design 28mm models.  Hobby Armor Depot’s  Soviet M3 Scout Car is a new model and cannot be found in their catalog.  Hobby Armor Depot does have an M3 Scout Car in their American range, but it does not come with the Maxim Machinegun.  If you are interested in ordering an M3 Scout Car from Hobby Armor Depot ask them directly when you e-mail them your order. 

If you read the T-34 article you already know the rumors and issues with Hobby Armor Depot as a company: A history of poor customer service; terrible website; low quality; great price; allegations of recasting.  I,again, had no issues with timely delivery of this model, nor the customer service. This is by far one of their best models.  If I was to rate this model on its own, just on quality, I would give it a 7.5 out of 10.  The model loses points because of the cheap resin and weak pintle mount, but otherwise, it is fantastic.  I would love to add a few more to my collection for a Mechanized Soviet Scout Force.
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