Observations on Building the AFV Club M5A1
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

First thing that strikes me, is the lower hull assembled from several plates. Most kits feature a hull tub. AFV Club provides quite a bit of interior detail, so this makes life easier for those wanting to add a complete interior.

The hull assembles quite well. Fit is a bit tight and you should take some care to get things square. The upper hull is also a multipart affair. The front plate and turret ring plate are separate, suggesting an M8 HMC is in the pipeline.

Suspension is great, and fits very well together. Kit tracks are adequate for my taste, but AFV Club has some aftermarket sets in link to link (T16 and T36E6) and vinyl (T36E6).

The turret is a bit fiddly, and some of the detail is not correct. Refer to Kurt Laughlin's write up on this website. Tiger Model Design supplies an "updated and corrected" turret, but from photos it seems they have left the front plate detail there, which is not correct. But it's easy enough to remove, so it's not a big deal. Overall, there's a fair amount of detail in the kit's turret, with a gun breech, turret controls, storage boxes and bustle mounted radio. This will be enough to see through the hatch for occasional viewer. TMs and walkarounds on the Internet can be used to add more detail. The most obvious to add would be the turret basket. I've got an old Verlinden Productions M5A1 interior set in my stash, to see how this will fit the AFV Club kit.

As can be seen from the photos, I need to paint the kit. And no, the putty on the lower hull is not filler. It's been stippled on to represent caked-on mud.

Stay tuned for more!

-Martin Dogger


Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2008 Timothy S. Streeter