Zvezda M3A1 Stuart Review

Hi, my latest Flames of War project has been a trip to the Pacific with my first Japanese force.  You can read all about it here.

As part of that list I decided to add some M3A1 Stuarts.  16″ move at night, what not to like.

As I am putting the army together on a budget I decided to have a look at the the new M3A1 Stuart model from the fine people at Zvezda.

The model comes on a single spru like many of the other Zvezda models and is made up from 10 parts.

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The detailing on the parts is good, possibly a little small at times.  Unless you use an air brush I’m not sure how much of the fine detail, such as the hull rivets,  will show up after painting.

The hull is made up of 4 parts plus the tracks

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The 3 parts of the hull fit together with a series of small pegs plus the back panel is added.  Tracks are attached by 2 small pegs which are different sizes to make sure they go on to the right sides.

Other than the points where the parts were cut from the spru the only bits that needed mold lines cleared off were the tracks and the upper hull.

The turret is made up of a central cross piece which has the barrel on it.  The sides and top attach to this and it also has the peg to connect it to the hull.

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Now the turret is where I have 2 problems with the kit.  The first is that the turret sides are attached to the spru from one of the surfaces used to attach the side to the top.  If you aren’t careful cutting these out you will get a gap between the side and top.

The other problem is one that is common with Zvezda kits, a plastic barrel that is attached to the hull with a peg.  Its way to easy for the turrets to stick on the peg and for the barrel to get snapped off when turning it.

Luckily this kit can be easily magnetized fairly easily.

  • Cut the cylinder off the top of the upper hull and file flat.
  • Use a craft knife to remove the peg from the bottom of the cross piece.  You need to remove all of the detail from the bottom of this part.  Just be careful not to damage the barrel of the side pegs when you are doing so.
  • Add some of the standard 3 x 1mm magnets.  Care should be taken to make sure the  magnets are placed in the middle of the 2 parts.

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With this simple modification your barrels should survive many hours of happy gaming.

I wouldn’t let these 2 problems put you off this kit.  Yes the detail is a bit fine and there are some problems with the way the parts are cut off the spru but this is still a great kit for the price that you are paying and let face it that’s the main selling point with Zvezda kits.  If you are needing 20 plus of these kits for your Tankovy or even just 5 for you armored company I would recommend this kit especially at a price of only £3.50 per tank.

I hope you have found this useful, please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

Gazza

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Category: BritishFlames of WarJapanesePacificReviewsSovietsUSZvezda

One comment

  1. A little late, but the stuart shouldn’t have 16″ of night move; Envelopment gives Japanese tanks another 4″ of maximum move, which is a full 12″ for Standard tanks, but is still a speed limit on Light tanks, and would be an issue for things with Detroit’s Finest etc in the unlikely event they appeared in a sensha list. Appreciate the magnetisation tip, however!

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Article by: Mark Goddard