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British M3 Stuart Questions
Klaus-Adler
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MODELGEEK
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 12:17 PM UTC
Hi all,

I was thinking about getting the academy M3 Stuart and i was wondering if there are any updates for it that would bring it line with a version that was used by the British in Normandy.

I have also seen some articles suggesting that the academy kit is/was in fact a re-pop of the old tamiya kit. I'm not sure if this true or not but it if is, would i be better off buying the new tooled version of the M3 by Tamiya?
m4sherman
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 01:00 PM UTC
Although the Academy might have been greatly influenced by the very old Tamiya M3 it was not a direct copy.

Over-all I think the new Tamiya M3A1 is a better model, and were used in Normandy and later. I was just looking at some used in Market Garden and contemplating building mine British. So far I have not found anything to make the model a British tank, only stowage, PE and gun barrels.

Also, if there was anything done to the M3A1's (aside from removing the hull MG's), specific to the British Army, I don't see it in any pictures. No turret bins added like you see on the Shermans as an example.
Klaus-Adler
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 10:40 PM UTC
from the small amount of research i have done it would appear that the British used the M5 updated version so the Tamiya and Academy kits might not be the best choice. Although AFV Club seem to have a version of this that could fit the bill.
m4sherman
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Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 - 03:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

from the small amount of research i have done it would appear that the British used the M5 updated version so the Tamiya and Academy kits might not be the best choice. Although AFV Club seem to have a version of this that could fit the bill.



British scouting units used M3A1, M3A3 and M5's in Northwest Europe. I read somewhere they preferred armored cars, but the light tanks were still common. M5's becoming more common after Normandy, but the M3A1's were there to the end of the war.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 - 03:45 AM UTC
The independent brigades were more likely to have the light tanks. At one point there was an organic light tank squadron as opposed to armored cars. The old Vanguard Stuart book had a photo and a color plate of British M3A1 in the ETO in a independent Sherman brigade.
RLlockie
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Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 - 05:44 AM UTC
Quite a few British mods to the M3A1 in 21AG. Radios are the obvious but I recall a bin too. About to do school run but can check the article I wrote about them.
m4sherman
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Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 - 06:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Quite a few British mods to the M3A1 in 21AG. Radios are the obvious but I recall a bin too. About to do school run but can check the article I wrote about them.



I will interested in any information you have, it would be a great help. Nothing stands out in pictures except ammo cans on the fenders and the usual packs and bags.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 - 07:49 AM UTC
Bins on front fenders like the Stuarts in the desert. An official pattern looking very like the grouser boxes on the rear fenders, but in front of the sponsons.

Jerry can rack in the back replacing the grouser box and the grouser box moved in front of the sponson.

Look at pictures of M3A1 in North Africa too.

And don't forget those ubiquitous British ammo boxes.
tankmodeler
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Posted: Tuesday, January 08, 2019 - 05:34 AM UTC
Be aware that the new Tamiya M3 is exactly that, an M3, not an M3A1. The number of M3s in Brit service by Normandy would be so small to be, essentially non-existent.

Luckily, converting it to an M3A1 isn't that hard and it certainly a much, much better place to start than Academy's M3A1, which, although not a direct copy of the Tamiya kit, is close enough to one that may parts are transferrable and most of the flaws of the Tamiya kit were replicated in the Academy ones.

If you have any skill at scratchbuilding, buy the new Tamiya M3 and retrofit the curved rear engine plate of the M3A1, remove the rivets and add the Brit stowage boxes and fittings. You'll be a LOT happier with the result.

Paul
Klaus-Adler
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Posted: Tuesday, January 08, 2019 - 10:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Be aware that the new Tamiya M3 is exactly that, an M3, not an M3A1. The number of M3s in Brit service by Normandy would be so small to be, essentially non-existent.

Luckily, converting it to an M3A1 isn't that hard and it certainly a much, much better place to start than Academy's M3A1, which, although not a direct copy of the Tamiya kit, is close enough to one that may parts are transferrable and most of the flaws of the Tamiya kit were replicated in the Academy ones.

If you have any skill at scratchbuilding, buy the new Tamiya M3 and retrofit the curved rear engine plate of the M3A1, remove the rivets and add the Brit stowage boxes and fittings. You'll be a LOT happier with the result.

Paul



thanks for the info Paul.

I've ordered the osprey/vanguard and hopefully that should give me a detailed view of the M3 that was used by the British in Normandy.

the other option is the M5 version by advertising club as it lists a British version that was possibly used during operation Market Garden/Anthem.
tankmodeler
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Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2019 - 09:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

thanks for the info Paul.

I've ordered the osprey/vanguard and hopefully that should give me a detailed view of the M3 that was used by the British in Normandy.

the other option is the M5 version by advertising club as it lists a British version that was possibly used during operation Market Garden/Anthem.


Well, there were a number of M3A1s (and a very, very few M3s) in Brit units at the time of Normandy as well as M3A3s and M5A1s (NO M5s!). The M3A1s would be getting long in the tooth by this time and have been subject to 2 years' worth of combat or training and the abuse/modification/refits that go with wartime service. The M3A3s would also be getting a bit old while the M5A1s were pretty new in the units that had them.

The _standard_ (a word I used advisably here) light tank in armoured tracked recce units by Normandy was nominally the M5A1, although the other Stuarts were still found, especially in units that had already seen combat and frequently not in the main frontline squadrons, but as hacks and observer vehicles.

So, other than the new Tamiya M3, modified to an M3A1, you do have the choice of the AFV-Club M3A3 as well as the early and late M5A1s, though it seems the Commonwealth M5A1s were mostly the later production variant with the turret MG shield and the extended real hull stowage basket.

HTH

Paul
RLlockie
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Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 09:07 AM UTC
The M3A1 was used in 21AG; the RAC six-monthly reports even tell us which units used it, at least as at 30/06/44 - after that the reporting does not differentiate between M3A1, M3A3 and M5A1.

Still, as it is unlikely that new M3A1s would be arriving, we can limit likely users to those who had them already, which were 4AB, 8AB, 27AB (which was disbanded in July), 33AB, 31TB and 34TB. So none in the armoured divs, just independent brigades with Shermans or Churchills.

I did write an article about British Stuarts in 21AG but as I canít see it in the journalís index, I may not have finished it. From what I recall, the main British mods were a 19 radio set, with the A set base mounted on the front face of the right sponson and the B set base (less Ďcageí) on the standard US bracket but mounted on the rear face of the same sponson forward of the air cleaner.

At least some carried a flat bin for the windscreens on the trackguard and one had a complete Sherman blanket box stowed on the left trackguard.

Some had one or both turret roof hatches removed - they can be spotted from ground level by the fact that when open they sat on top of one another, so if nothing is visible between the crewmen....

I donít remember seeing much in the way of the steel ammo box stowage but clearly they might be seen. Some had grouser racks on the upper hull sides. There are no doubt other things Iíve forgotten!
Klaus-Adler
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Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 10:41 AM UTC
wow you guys are amazing, thank you so much for all this knowledge.

the vanguard book arrived today and I managed a brief look at it before I left for work.

I see that the 1/35 afv club m3a3 has two options for British vehicles in Normandy as of tho the end of June, so this looks to be the most viable option
ALBOWIE
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Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 02:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

from the small amount of research i have done it would appear that the British used the M5 updated version so the Tamiya and Academy kits might not be the best choice. Although AFV Club seem to have a version of this that could fit the bill.



the British used M3A1, M3A3 and M5 and M5A1 in NWE. The units I have seen with M3A1 are 33 Armoured Bde (An M4 Sherman 1 equipped formation; 8 AB Sherwood Rangers (There first vehicle into Germany) and 34 TB a Churchill Based formations. A number of Photos exist in the IWM and National Army Museum collections
Al
ALBOWIE
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Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 03:02 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The independent brigades were more likely to have the light tanks. At one point there was an organic light tank squadron as opposed to armored cars. The old Vanguard Stuart book had a photo and a color plate of British M3A1 in the ETO in a independent Sherman brigade.



British Doctrine had Armoured Cars as a Corps or Divisional Asset in one unit such as the Household cavalry and in Infantry Divisional Reconnaisance regiments. In Armoured Brigades (Independant) they use the M3-5 series of Lt tank in the Regt Recon Tps

Al
tankmodeler
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Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 05:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

the British used M3A1, M3A3 and M5 and M5A1 in NWE.


Al,

Are you sure the Commonwealth got any M5s? I've never seen that before. I had understood that all we got were the M5A1s. I'd be interested to see a reference on that.

Thanks,

Paul
ALBOWIE
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Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 08:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

the British used M3A1, M3A3 and M5 and M5A1 in NWE.


Al,

Are you sure the Commonwealth got any M5s? I've never seen that before. I had understood that all we got were the M5A1s. I'd be interested to see a reference on that.

Thanks,

Paul



The M5 was an error on my part, should have been eraly M5A1 and late M5A1
tankmodeler
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 09:21 AM UTC
Thanks, Al!
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 07:55 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi all,

I was thinking about getting the academy M3 Stuart and i was wondering if there are any updates for it that would bring it line with a version that was used by the British in Normandy.

I have also seen some articles suggesting that the academy kit is/was in fact a re-pop of the old tamiya kit. I'm not sure if this true or not but it if is, would i be better off buying the new tooled version of the M3 by Tamiya?



If I were you, I would start with the new-for-2018 TAMIYA M3 Stuart as a BASE KIT, and then visit TIGER MODELS to get your after-market British components for your Stuart. Lots of modelers, (myself included), wound up buying the old ACADEMY US M3A1 Stuart and British "Honey" Stuart kits when they first came out, and "we" found that there were issues with those kits.

In my own case, using the ACADEMY M3A1, I wound up buying BOTH the Upper and Lower Hull Conversions, Turrets and other bits and pieces from TIGER MODELS, and the AFV CLUB M5 Suspensions, which feature beautifully molded Sprockets, choice of Rear Idler Wheels, along with the Rear Idler Suspension. This set also includes the Bogies and CORRECT Road Wheels. I STILL wound up buying the TIGER MODELS' M3/M5 Early Road Wheels sets because the resin parts were slightly better in definition than the AFV CLUB Road Wheels. But that's just me. Of course, I updated my Stuarts with VOYAGER PE sets. All M1919A1 .30 cal. MG Barrels were replaced with RB MODELS Metal Barrel and Cooling Sleeve sets. I used the fiddly AFV CLUB plastic indy-link Track sets because I am not a big fan of VINYL Track arrangements- IMO, they're more trouble than they're worth as far as trying to "economize" on how much one spends on A/M stuff.

Once I "get around" to buying my next US M3, it'll be the new TAMIYA kit, and I won't start it until the A/M companies have done with all of their "improvements", and what I should happen to acquire in that respect- Again, that's just me...