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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bolt Action - Review: Rubicon Models M8 Scott/M5A1 Stuart

I've been sitting looking at a blank page for nigh on 15 minutes now trying to come up with new ways to illustrate how great Rubicon Models kits are. Alas I'm many things, but a wordsmith isn't one of them. I'll simply say this. Rubicon continue to produce some of the best plastic kits on the market and every Rubicon kit I've built (8 so far) have been of the same reliable, excellent quality that we've all come to expect from this powerhouse. The Scott/Stuart is no exception.

Right from the get go this piece was easy to assemble and a joy to paint. I found particular delight when I discovered that by not gluing down the turret ring mounting plate that I could run either the Scott OR the Stuart! Two tanks for the price of one! 

Once assembled, this piece was a joy to paint and it lent itself well to the current painting style that I'm favouring. I covered the body with Vallejo Russian Uniform 70.924, then I painted the tracks black. Once done I covered the body with Citadel Shade Nuln Oil and then hit the tracks with Citadel Technical Typhus Corrosion. Once these two amazing products had finished drying, I panel highlighted the tank body and then used Patchimus Primes trusty sponging technique (found here) to give the tank a battle worn look. The tracks were much easier, basically I drybrushed the tracks with different shades to give them a dirty and muddy look. Once this process was done I popped on some American decals and painted on some nice contracting Vallejo Light Turquoise 70.840 for the headlights and spotlight. I named this vehicle Cowboy, running with my current theme of naming my vehicles after character from WW2 movies, this nod of course being to Kelly's Heroes.

Sadly, considering this vehicle is open topped, there isn't any additional crew to pop in the turret ala hot tub time machine. This inclusion would have been the icing on the cake for an already stellar kit, however the detail that has gone into this kit more than makes up for the lack of crew. The kit comes with American armoured decals and the M8 comes standard with a HMG that came on the sprue as well.

In game the thing I enjoy most about the Stuart is the versatility. With so many variants and options the Stuart will lend itself excellently to almost any American, British or Australian force out there. It's a rugged little beast and if you're running an early war force running the Stuart with double MMG's in the hull is very tasty! In game the M5A1 will set you back 124 points for inexperienced, 155 points for regular and 196 points for veteran. In an American list, if you take the veteran option you also get access to those awesome gyro-stabilisers, so no moving and shooting penalty! For an additional 15 points you can equip the Stuart with a pintle MMG or for an extra 25 points you can equip a HMG. The M5A1 comes with the awesome extra of having reinforced front armour so even though it's a light tank it's armour 9+ on the front. It has a turret-mounted light AT gun with a coaxial MMG and a forward facing hull-mounted MMG. With the additional MMG on the pintle, this little beauty becomes a real pin factory!

In game I like to be a little careful with my Stuart. They're hardy but not indestructible, so you need to treat them with care or else you'll be looking at a smoking hull before you know what's happening. Despite its few weaknesses the M5 is a sound investment in any list that's under 1000 points. 

The M8 Scott will set you back 112 points for an inexperienced and 140 points for a regular. There's no option to push it up to veteran which is a shame really. The M8 is open-topped and packs a nifty little light howitzer as well as a pintle-mounted HMG that comes standard. It's armour 8+ so it's still a light tank but with a little bit of cajoling this can be a very survivable unit that can be used to great effect against infantry. Again this is a sound investment in any list that's 1000 points or under. 

Until next time, roll your 6s and have fun.


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