1/35 Tamiya M3 Stuart

Gallery Article by Rick Reinbott on Jan 23 2012

This is my Tamiya 1/35 M3 Stuart.  I purchased this kit many years ago (early 80s) after becoming interested in the Stuart by reading the "Haunted Tank" comic books, ha!  Well, it was in my "unbuilt inventory" ever since until just recently when suddenly felt like it was time to actually build this classic kit.   


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I did a simple conversion from a diesel to a gasoline-powered M3 by filling in the pre-drilled holes in the screening (plastic card & filler), drilling new holes farther back on the deck for the shorter exhausts (eyeballed the locations using the drawings from the Squadron In Action book) and shortened the kit-supplied diesel exhausts by cutting the middle section and carefully filing until each length fit into the corresponding new holes.  I also blanked off the holes for the sponson MGs as this was done on a number of vehicles and I liked the look better.  I cut a piece of mesh for the new engine screening and the whip antenna is brass wire.  Finally, the openings for the main 37mm gun and  MGs were drilled out.

The finish is Humbrol Olive Drab (airbrushed) followed by acrylic washes and drybrushing.  (The pictures don't show the weathering quite as much as the model itself although I kept it to a minimum.)  I wanted to do a US version so I used the kit supplied decals which the sheet states are for the 32nd Armored Regiment, A Company.  An online review of this kit states that these markings are completely bogus (http://www.usarmymodels.com/MANUFACTURERS/Tamiya/tamiya35042.html), which may refer to the unit itself rather than the markings per my internet research.  I also say that because there's a picture in the In Action book showing M3s training in Iceland in 1942 sporting the same number-type markings on the turret (the picture does not show this particular tank) and stating that they were with the 70th Tank Battalion, Company C.  Further internet research indicates that this unit was part of the  Operation Torch landings so perhaps this particular Stuart did see some action.  Links: (http://www.robertsarmory.com/70th.htm)  (http://usswashington.com/worldwar2plus55/dl10no42.htm)

I had alot of fun with this kit as it is easy kit to build with not real fit problems and looks the part when complete.  The "forest background" in the one picture was drawn by my youngest daughter who insisted on doing it after seeing the finished model; it actually looks like it's in scale!


  • STUART U.S. Light Tanks in action by Steve Zaloga, Squadron/Signal Publications (1979)

Happy Modeling!

Rick Reinbott

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Photos and text by Rick Reinbott