Tony, Urban, even the Academy kit has some tweaks!
The AFV Club M3A3/Stuart V and the M5A1, both early and late version are nice kits and I wondered why Tamiya re-re-re-iussed their terrible M2/M5/M8 kits last autumn! Does Mr Tamiya believe that the serious modeller will purchase this scrap? Only modellers not familiar with the defaults of these kits would buy them.
For example the M3 TANK, LIGHT, 37-MM GUN with the octogonal turret didn't use an integrated fighting compartment with a turret basket, as compared to the M3A1, TANK, LIGHT, 37-MM GUN.
The M3A1 had a gyrostabilizer and an Oilgear hydraulic power traversing mechanism that required the installation of an integrated fighting compartment with turret basket!
But the Academy kit of the M3 has the turret basket! This is not correct!
For the M3A1 TANK, LIGHT, 37-MM Gun, Academy neglected the correction of the upper hull, as the M3A1 has a welded hull and the rear engine plate shows a slight curve, as the armor plate was bend to shape and doesn't show an ankle, as the rivetted rear engine plate on the M3.
Correcting this default requires a certain amount of surgery. As cuttinng off the rivets will not solve this default!
The bogeys have wrong dimensions and are best replaced with AFV Club ones!
Years ago, Formations had a correction set for the M3A1 upper hull with the correct bended curved rear engine plate for the M3A1, TANK, LIGHT, 37-MM. And for pleasing modellers of US tanks, the produced a lower hull, designed to use the AFV Club bogeys. The problem, we face nowadays is that Rob closed Formations end of 2011! It's a shame! Rob made excellent resin kits!
Luckily I had ordered the Formation correction kits years ago!
3. January 2012, 22:02