In my last post, I mentioned that I went crazy and started a new Flames of War army. I went with Old Glory Miniatures for my tanks and unfortunately their site had no pictures of the tanks, so I was taking a chance on ordering them. A few years ago I assembled and painted a few Old Glory German tanks for my buddy Tom, and I was not impressed with these models. They all looked like they had been stepped on and smashed. They just did not look right to me, but with Battlefront Miniatures getting ready to raise prices, I took a chance on Old Glory and hoped my previous encounter with the models was a fluke.
Now below is a picture of what the real M3A1 Stuart looks like.
And here is a shot of what you get from Old Glory, notice there is no instructions in the bag.
So when I got the minis I did what most people do, I went to the Internet to see if there was some sort of instructions for assembly. Guess what? There wasn't, so I decided to do one here on my blog. I also know a buddy of mine (Jerry) purchased these same models and will need help with them.
So lets take a look at what is in the bag, below is a shot with everything laid out, you get three vehicles per bag and most parts are pretty clear as to what and where they go. But there is a few pieces that I had no clue of what they were for.
Here are some of the pieces that were unclear, on the top right are some sort of barrels, on the top left are some sort of storage box and the center are the hatch's for the turret.
First up was gluing the tracks to the hull, this was pretty easy since they only go on one way. I used thick super glue and clamped the tracks to the hull while the glue set up. There was very little flash on the hull and some minor flash on the tracks that was easy to clean up.
Next up came the turret assembly with the main gun. The turret front has a hole for the gun & mantel to line up, although I did have to trim the mounting pin on the mantel down as well as file some of the front of the turret down to get a flush fit.
Here is a shot of the Hatch's and turret, you will notice that there are 6 hatch's, 2 for each turret. The hatch's on the left are for the left hatch and the 3 hatch's on the right go on the the right side.
Now next up is mounting the machine gun on the turret, you will notice on the right is the MG and you have to carefully cut it off the sprue. I also used a 1/32" drill to make a small hole for the MG to mount to. I had to look at real pictures on the M3A1 to find out where it has mounted. Come to find out it mounts to the back of the turret. The Drill bit is pointing at the spot.
Here you can see it better, it is the tube stuck on the back of the turret behind the right hatch.
Here is how it looks once mounted on the turret. I am not sure about the piece sticking off the bottom so I left it on.
After the MG was mounted I secured the gun mantle to the front. Something I had to look at real pictures was how the gun mounts. Did the MG on the mantle go on the right or left? Well it goes on the left side, also the gun mantle has a very unique front that is larger on the top than the bottom, if you mount it the other way it looks like it is too big on the bottom and to small on the top. It's hard to see in these pictures, so just mount it with the MG on the left if your looking at it from the front end.
So here is what you should have at this time, looks pretty much done, but wait there is more!
What are these parts and where do they go? Well it seems that the barrel looking things on the left are extra fuel barrels. Most pictures you do not see them on the tank, but early non war pictures and other scale models show them on the vehicles. On the right are extra storage bins that go towards the rear which I will show you.
First up the fuel barrels, I painted the areas where these mount too.
Here is what they look like mounted in place.
Next up the extra storage bins, well once again looking at real pictures, these mount to the rear on both sides in the area painted red.
So here is a shot from the rear showing you how they mount. You will notice that the storage box has a slant that should be facing towards the rear of the tank.
And here is a side shot with them in place towards the rear deck of the tank.
So there you have it, a quick lesson on how to assemble the Old Glory M3A1 Stuart Tank.
I have to say, that these Old Glory models did not have any of the same issues like the ones I did for Tom. In fact I like these better than the Battlefront minis M3A1's, I am very happy that I purchased these vehicles.
Next up will be the assembly on the M3 Lee tanks I purchased from Old Glory, so stay tuned...