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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bolt Action - Review: Rubicon Models M5A1 Stuart/M5A1 Recce Kit

By Garratt

As far as plastic kits go, we have come to expect Rubicon to produce high quality, easy to construct vehicles. Does the M5A1 Stuart / M5A1 Recce kit live up to the name?

The box states that it allows the choice to build either a mid or late production M5A1 (Stuart VI) with 37mm gun or for those who like a lower profile, the M5A1 (Stuart VI) Reece / Kangaroo.

I can confirm that you can build and paint up both turret options. With just a rotation you can pop off the unwanted turret or armoured ring bristling with machine guns and swivel in the new choice. Allowing you two vehicles for the price of one.

For those who like to customize their vehicle there are options. This includes the choice to have open or closed hatches, with plenty of room to stick in your own crew models. There is also mudguards & a hedgerow cutter for those commanders who may be fighting in Europe. Lastly a spare road wheel to keep the plucky little tank moving.

On the note of repairs, the tools for the tank have all been sculpted into the chassis. Everything a crew would need is present, from track pins to shovels, the details are fine and extensive. For those who like to slap a good looking tank together in under an hour, this is a huge plus.  I have experienced difficulties gluing together tiny tools and spare parts in the past. So another big tick in the time saver column if you want to get your armour on the field quickly.

The kit slides together nicely and I only experienced some frustration when it came to removing and gluing the headlights due to the small nature of them. (I spent some time with my face close to the carpet for a while.) A first time kit builder with nimble fingers would have little difficultly putting this together with the clear instructions combined with the smooth tolerances of the model.

The kit included decals are for both US & Allies armies as both forces fielded these at varying times during the war. While other nations used the Stuart, such as France and Australia, unfortunately the decals are not included in this kit.

Overall I rate the contents of this box highly for those looking to get a great looking piece of armour on the table and ready to fight in next to no time at all.

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