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Book Review
Modeling the M3/M5 Stuart Light Tank

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

This review is of Osprey’s, “Modeling the M3/M5 Stuart Light Tank”, one of the fine publications in the Osprey Modeling 4 Series.

This book was written by award winning author Steve Zaloga, who has been writing articles for over 25 years for outlets such as Military Modeling Magazine, Fine Scale Modeler, IPMS Journal, Airfix, and many other books about tanks and Military History.
80 pages, with 178 color and 1 b/w photo(s), 248 mm x 184 mm, paperback bound

The book begins with an excellent synopsis of the history of the Stuart tank, covering its introduction in 1941 in the deserts of North Africa, to the Northwest Europe Campaigns in 1944/1945. Then it is on to a light discussion in the introduction covering the various model kits available of the M3/M5/M8 Stuart tank in 1/35 scale. The author chooses to focus on 1/35 scale in this writing, for the reason of easy availability of 1/35 scale kits.

The main three sections of this book focuses on three separate model building projects, which are the following three separate chapters in the book, respectively.
The first of the three is titled “Onto Paris”, in which a build centering on The AFV Club M3A3 Stuart kit. This is an “out of the box build” chapter, and all construction is explained from start to finish in detail with explicit text and excellent photos. Beginners as well as seasoned modelers will all be able to learn some new tips and techniques here.
Even figure painting is included in this chapter!

The next chapter is entitled “Russian Dieppe”, and includes Tamiya’s M3 and Academy’s M3A1 model kits in its pages. By combining the two model kits, the author takes you through all the steps of creating a more accurate M3A1 of this era of wartime history. Steve uses the best parts from each of the two different model kits to build what he calls the “ultimate M3A1” in his exact words…In addition to this wonderful kit build, there are some really excellent close up photo’s of actual Stuarts in this chapter for reference.

Moving on to the third build in this book, the next chapter, which is called “Battle of the Bocage”, uses Tamiya’s M5A1 model kit as its subject throughout. This chapter, as well as the previous one, is not for the novice AFV modeler, although some excellent tips, techniques, and modeling advice can be found for both beginner as well as the advanced builder. This chapter concentrates on the Tamiya kit only, and teaches the reader the proper steps of correcting the dimensional inaccuracies and problems that go along with this model kit. Scratch builders will love these two chapters!

The last chapter in the book is “Other Stuart Modeling Projects”, in which contains a brief overview of six more Stuart conversions, all of course with superb photo’s and explanations.

At the back of the book you’ll find a reference page with further reading and museum collections concerning the Stuart Tank, as well as an excellent full color reference chart listing Stuart color schemes.
Personally, after I read this book my Stuart horizons were very much broadened, from the actual machine’s themselves to the model kits. I believe that this book is a must have for any tread-head or beginner AFV modelist…Lot’s of excellent information, techniques, tips, construction method’s, and of course, as we all expect from Osprey, top notch photography throughout the entire publication…A perfect addition to your home library.

Many thanks to Mr.George Tew, Osprey Publications, for providing review sample.
Lot’s of excellent information, techniques, tips, construction method’s, and of course, as we all expect from Osprey, top notch photography throughout the entire publication.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: 1841767638
  Suggested Retail: $17.95 US
  Related Link: Osprey Home Page
  PUBLISHED: Dec 13, 2004
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. All rights reserved.


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