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Australian Stuart Light Tank
Modelled by Chris Davis  
It was basically the Academy kit used for the hull and turret, with the Buna conversion. I wanted to show a worn and weathered Stuart that was straight from the Queensland training grounds and landed on the New Guinea shores before any battle damage.

AFV Club wheel set was used, and after that was installed I was 5 links short each side. Luckily I had another kit I bought in a toy store in Bali which donated the missing links, without having to break open a new AFV club T16 track set. The kit tack set was very fragile and didnít always clip together right, sometimes the outer track horn was tight to squeeze on, other times it fell off when moved. Luckily I left the main drive sprockets off to aid the track install after weathering with rust and gunmetal. Each rubber block was painted flat black both sides and then dry brushed with a slight grey.

The head light guards were hand made from brass strip and the lights drilled and cleaned out with Micro Kristal Klear added for the lens. Every vision slot was drilled and cleaned out, then a slide plate added behind with keeper plates each side. The front two hatches were from a Tamiya donor kit, with photo etch vision blocks added. All my research photoís showed the Buna versions with this type of front hatch, while different types of turrets were the norm.  I also noticed the lack of turret mounted 30 cal machine guns and personnel baggage and gear on the action photos taken in the rubber plantation shots.

A metal barrel was added for the main armament, and the 30 cal guns were drilled out, only after the front glacis plate was added to get a better fit and alignment. The turret shell ring  around the base of the turret was very fragile after a clean and actually cracked when I tried to turn the turret the first time. This install directions on the instructions could do with a clearer picture and/or actual photo of the real tank for reference.

 Basically a good kit that Iím happy with, and I consider it reasonably accurate. The decals and yellow rectangles on the turret were hard to reference, I couldnít find a clear photo anywhere. The Academy decals were a little bit too small or out scale in my opinion, the yellow rectangles were hand painted, Mouse House decals for the fist division black and white decals. The numbers under the grousers are actually N Gauge railroad numbers.

 The tank was painted with Humbrol enamels, matt 259 green with a few drops of black. Then a another light coat of the same green with a few drops of flat white on the flat panels. Weathering with streaks of very thinned enamel black, Humbrol rust and a few streaks of oil paints, burnt Sienna and the ever faithful Burnt Umber. A finish of dry brushing with the Humbrol green to blend it all together and to balance the paint job. I  broke the headlight guards three times when painting.

Modelled by Luke Stuart - I started with the Academy M3A1 kit and rebuilt most of the interior and all the extras ie: grouser racks down the side, armoured air intake and two new aerial ports were added and made from plastic card and rod. I added stowage from various kits including Tamiya, Academy, and Firestorm models. I added the markings from Archers dry transfers and the 1st Armoured Regiment symbol was printed out on paper and glued on. I painted the tank with Humbrol enamels and Tamiya acrylics and dusted/weathered it with pastel chalks.

The model represents a Stuart as used by the 2/10th Armoured Regiment of the 1st Armoured Division.  The 2/10th used the Stuart for training and was replaced by the more able Matilda before seeing active service overseas.

I used references from Paul Handel's book: Dust, Sand and Jungle.  I also received a lot of help from Mike Grieve and Shane Lovell, hats off to them both.

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