a breather of a few years, AFV Club has once again done a new version of the later
production American light tank family and has now provided us with a super late-production
variant of the M5A1. With this kit and the announced M8 75mm HMC kit on the way,
they are only lacking the M5 light tank to complete the record on
the later production radial engined tanks.
new or modified parts have been added to this version of the kit. As with the
previous kit from early last year, it uses only the essential sprues from the
M3A3 kit from 2002 and even those have been touched up. These specifically cover
items like the new mounts and VVSS springs for the idler wheelsbut being
AFV Club, they provided nylon inserts so the springing action works!
Go figure. The modeler also has a choice of either welded spoke road wheels or
the welded pressed steel types (two versions and including separate
grease caps), as well as welded open spoke or patched spoke idlers.
lower hull is molded flat, but this is not a major problem as it actually permits
more accurate construction of the hull. The hull also comes with a firewall and
mounts for the twin fans at the rear of the compartment, but no engines or any
other lower hull innards are included. The crew escape hatch is also a separate
component. The engine access doors come in six partstwo folding sections
and two fixed sections. Fenders and the rear section of the sponsons are separate
parts, and the lower glacis is also provided with separate bolt heads molded on
one of the sprues for accuracy. This kit also comes with the later air deflector
package for the rear of the hull as well as the grilles for earlier production.
upper hull comes in a total of six basic partsupper sides, upper glacis,
turret roof, fuel tank covers, and engine deck. The bow gun is mounted so that
it can move and all of the hatches and periscope inserts are separate components,
and if carefully assembled the directions also indicate the hull periscopes are
moveable. Brass parts basically cover all of the big grilles at the rear for the
upper air intake and exhaust vents from the engine compartment and this time it
includes the lower grilles as well.
kit comes with one sprue24 linksof AFV Clubs T16 single link
track. This is only for the four spare links carried at the rear of the hull,
and it comes with two acceptable vnyl track runs for the main track; I daresay
most modelers will be very happy with these and will use them vice going for single
links. AFV Club indicates, like most other manufacturers, these can be cementedbut
in the fine print it says Instant Glue (e.g. ACC cements.)
turret comes with a complete 37mm gun and a turned aluminum barrel (no plastic
option.) A few other interior parts are included to include an SCR-508 radio set
for the turret bustle (no No. 19 set is provide for the Stuart VI, so Commonwealth
modelers are on their own here.) Two different sets of turret moldings are provided
for the M5A1 turretwith or without the bulged shield on the right side.
There are some small ejection pin marks inside the turret but nothing of major
note most places. Note the grousers are quite accurate but come in two pieces
each, and since there are 24 of them this may be the most tedious part of the
kit. Apparently the H flag on the directions means alternate
as the grousers require alternating installation to fit correctly (upper and lower
kit includes the late model sand shields complete in components so they can be
installed or left off as desired, and also provides a Cullen Device
for the bow of the tank. It also comes with the rear basket to include a section
of etched brass mesh for the bottom of the bin.
Club offers five finishing options:
Battalion, the Armor Brigade, ROC Army, Taiwan, January 1952
n Chips, 83rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Armored Division,
Belgium 1944 (mislabled as 113th Cavalry Regiment)
Irish, 92nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 12th Armored Division, Germany, March
- 24th Armored
Regiment, 1st Division Blindee, Belgium 1944
Joe, 92nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 12th Armored Division, Germany, January
this kit is the bookend to a collection of American light tanks, and
now AFV Club only needs to produce the M8 and M5 to finish off the later models.
to Miin Herng Tsueng of AFV Club for the review sample.