M3 Stuart "Honey"
HyperScale is proudly sponsored by
Media and Contents:
274 parts in light tan injection
moulded plastic; 425 parts in dark grey styrese for individual track
links, one short length of twine, one pair of vinyl tracks; decal
Accurate; options and spares galore
including indiv. track links or vinyl tracks, open and solid wheels
and sprockets, spare equipment etc; partial interior; very nice 37mm
armament; four decal options.
Sink marks in vinyl tracks;
by Terry Ashley
Academy has come to the rescue of Stuart fans after years of trying to
deal with the old Tamiya kit with this new release of the M3.
The kit consists of 274 parts nicely moulded in light tan plastic. The
quality of the mouldings is excellent as we have seen from recent
releases. There are a further 425 parts for the individual track links, a
short length of twine, a set of vinyl tracks and the decal sheet.
lower hull tub has the side sponson bottoms included to eliminate the
“hollow” look when the hull top is attached. The details on the tub are
again excellent with a separate rear plate. The suspension is nicely
detailed with multi-part suspension units with the large rear unit having
a separate round end plate as it should be.
Open road wheels, drive sprocket and idler wheels as well as solid wheels
and drive sprockets are included on the sprues. Only the open wheels and
drive sprockets are used on this version with the others evidently
included for future kits. The M5 and M8HMC were often seen with the solid
wheels so this is a good indication of what is to come from Academy.
There is a well appointed interior provided with floor, rear bulkhead,
ammo bins and centre drive train and gearbox assemblies but no final drive
transmission at the front. Additionally there are the driver’s gear levers
and seats provided as well as the hull .30cal MG.
hull top exterior has separate driver’s front plate with the two doors
also separate as is the door in the glacis for the driver allowing all
these to be positioned open if you wish.
The front armour section of the side sponsons are also separate for
good detail definition. The square plates used by the British to cover the
MG mounts are also provided. Contrary to the box top art you only get the
early square bolted plates and not the diamond welded plates, although
it’s no problem to cut off the bolts and glue them at upright angle and
simulating weld seems for the later covers.
Full side fenders are provided along with the supports for the canvas
“lorry” decoy sometimes fitted. Other hull details include the usual
lights with guards on the front fenders although the guards are moulded
very thick and would do with either a lot of thinning or replaced with
etched parts (not in kit). The top engine intake with screen is a separate
part as are the fuel filler caps and all tools and larger grab handles,
plus the two small lifting ‘eyes’ on the rear hull. Additional equipment
is given in the form of British type storage boxs and water cans (with
separate handles) on the rear fenders as well as the large box carried on
the rear engine deck of these particular M3s. The two exhausts are also
separate parts to finish of what is a well detailed upper hull assembly.
turret is the welded plate type with raised cupola, the turret walls could
do with additional weld seams added as these aren’t on the moulding, the
front plate also has very prominent bolts that could do with reducing in
The turret interior is well appointed with a very nice 37mm gun
assembly (as good as that in the Tamiya M8) with full co-axial .30cal MG
Also provided is a turret basket but this was not fitted to the early
M3s only from the M3A1 onwards, so this is best left out for this model.
Other exterior parts include a nicely moulded gun mantelet, external MG
mounts and two British-style smoke generators on the sidewall. The support
on the roof for the open commander hatch is also provided.
Click the thumbnails below
to view larger images:
The tracks are a choice of continuous length vinyl tracks
which have nice details including the end connectors in the right place
between the pads or separate track links. Strangely the individual links
have no sink marks in the pads while there is some on the vinyl tracks.
The tracks are assembled in the same manner as the AFV Club M3 tracks
released some time back, but the pads on the Academy tracks are noticeably
larger than with the AFV Club tracks. The choice of which tracks you use
is up to you but the individual ones do give offer better definition but
obviously take a lot longer to assemble.
Click the thumbnails below
to view larger images:
Also provided is the additional equipment sprue from the M12 kits which
includes a .50cal MG and many tools and bits for the M12 and M4 Sherman
not used here with only a couple of the tools used on this kit, more bits
for the spares box.
decal sheet which is well printed with good colour definition provides
markings for four M3s.
Two subjects are from the 8th King’s Irish Hussars, 7th Armoured
Division which was the first British unit to receive the “Honey”; one with
markings for the US 80th Armored Regiment, The Task Force Schools, Fort
Knox Kentucky in June 1943; and one captured and used by the Imperial
Japanese Army in the Philippines in May 1943.