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1/35 Peerless / Airfix/ Italeri / Revell / Zvezda...... M3A1 White scout car - now with small Diorama

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Back again, more wheeled 1/35 stuff. M3A1 White Scout Car


This is total nostalgia build for me.


Back in 1978/9 I received this as the Airfix “new” boxing for Xmas. It wasn’t the first 1/35 I’d tackled (Tamiya’s early/awful Leopard 1 predated it), but it was one of the most complex kits I’d been given to date. This was back in the days of building with tube cement (no CA allowed) and brush painting everything with Airfix enamels. I seem to recall the Airfix boxing came with a crew of sorts as well, and could be done as several US or UK/ Kiwi versions. No pics of it exist, I recall being happy with the results, and it sat on the shelf for a number of years, being rolled into my obsession with recreating the Battle of the Bulge in 1/35 scale.  


So 40 years on, and those old moulds have been passed around from Peerless, to Airfix to Italeri, to Revell and finally the Ukrainian Zvezda. Until Hobby boss released theirs’s in 2010 it was pretty much the only show in town which is odd, given its popularity and plenty of survivors to copy. [ Correction Tamiya also released on in 2018 ]

I guess it’s not in World of #anks, so endless paper “uberGerman Tier 500” designs needed tooling ahead of it. Bit like its half tracked M3/5 counterpart, very old Tamiya offering or Dragon and not a lot in between, another ubiquitous vehicle being ignored ….unlike the good old Hanomag …300 variants all catered for...


OK my witch and binge over.


So for my £16.25 this is what came in the box.

Three sprues looking very dated now, dubious detailing, over scale armour & flashing, although the ejector pins seem to be not too bad.

Brief instructions in Russian, no dramas this is a simple kit but today’s standards

Some decals which are probably bin fodder / for a Russian vehicle, that’s not happening.


I’m a little undecided where to take this, it needs a little more research. Not interested in the Russian vehicle, US is OK, but will be nothing out of the ordinary, quite fancy the idea of making this more a UK spec vehicle . We used them, mainly only for liaison, as we preferred Dingos and Daimlers for reconnaissance.

Research suggests we replaced the headlights, often removed the MG skate rail and the ditching roller/ winch and used them as radio trucks / small unit command cars. The few pics I’ve been able to find support this. I am indebted to this website https://m3a1.co.uk/ , a restorer in the UK for the info available


So on with the show and off to do some glue sniffing …



British example outside a Danish Undertakers ( Mobler Ligkister - "coffin furniture ") presumably post May 45 











Edited by Panzerwomble
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very ......cheeeeeep ......:D


For some reason ( maybe because I thought of it as an Airfix release ) I had it in my head this was actually 1/32.......but later Airfix boxed it claiming 1/35 to fall in line with everyone else in the 1970's  ...... 


This is completely fallacious , as I have a battered Tamiya M3 to compare it to, and surprise they are both the same scale / size...it was all in my head for 40 years ...... another childhood nonsense crashed..............now  .....where did the Easter Bunny go again ? 









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One of my pet hates with US vehicles the the light guards , they always look way overscale . 


Not much I can other than cut out the grill and replace it with something more in scale , looks a bit numb but will be less obvious with some paint 


UK spec single headlight in as well . 







Edited by Panzerwomble
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Passenger seats getting similar treatment . Plastic part is very thick , so off with the backs replace with brass sheet ,and make some new seat cushions with milliput . Problem with a lot of kits if this age is that all the seats are all  identical mouldings , drawing attention to them .

Initial start - these will go in later post initial paint 





Edited by Panzerwomble
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So that's it for today , coat of primer tommorrow and see where we are . I need to find a nice 50 cal in the box of useful stuff , a bunch of ammo boxes and jerry cans , and make some hood sticks ....and decide on a cammo scheme, as they served for 1942 to 1945 a could sport a number of options . 









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So, some research courtesy of the HMVF forum, (they model in 1:1 scale :thumbsup:) …confirmed a lot of my guesses as to British changes to the US spec vehicles, even down to changing the pioneer tools on some vehicles . There were also some interesting airborne and command versions , even pamphlets describing their operation .


Colour options are interesting too. Since they were Lend Lease from 1942, they would have been shipped most likely in early war light OD, and repainted for theatre at unit level, until OD took over as the standard colour in April 1944. So all WSCs in Normandy were OD yeah? …No apparently not.


New kit issued (front line stuff:  tanks, armoured cars etc typically were, but older support vehicles less likely to be changed from their initial paint. There are examples of trucks in the Berlin Airlift 1948 still wearing colour schemes from 1942. And modellers flock to German stuff because "it can be so varied" ……pfff!


So as a change from OD, I’ve gone of the European standard ‘MPT 46’ (1942-4/44) pattern of SCC No 2 ( Brown/Green /Khaki) with SSC No 14 Black / Blue as disruptive pattern . Inside, and underneath is still factory OD.


So , today- build some accessories to mark it out as Brit and to fill up the inside , Nicer 30 cal , (will leave out the 50 ) Jerry cans , Sten and Bren….and a crate of beer .  


Painted the underside base OD… then Dark  Gray overspray… then more  OD & Black & Oil wash & rust then ….End .

Not getting carried way with a chunk of model that won’t be seen, plus there will be mud later over a lot of this work .  Just gives an impression of the underside if you glimpse it from above . 


Put down a custom mix of the "Standard Camouflage Colour no 2"


Black blue next , sort some decals and then the real work can begin .










Edited by Panzerwomble
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May have been optimisitic about done for Sunday , however we now have hard edged cammo , decals , and the start of detail painting

& so on to the bit I enjoy the most ....making it look like it's been dragged through a hedge backwards , when hopefully it stops looking like a toy and more like the vehicle . 


Despite my initial disapointment with the way this kit has not aged well , I still like the overall shape of the M3 . 


Also noticed that although this claims to be an M3A1 it offers the early spoked wheels not the later split rim variety. Not the end of the world - but yet to see a British one using them. Tyres on these were kept in place with a ring , whereas the solid ones could be unbolted, split apart and tyres changed in the field much easier ...just in case anyone wondered .









Edited by Panzerwomble
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  • Panzerwomble changed the title to 1/35 Peerless / Airfix/ Italeri / Revell / Zvezda...... M3A1 White scout car - now with small Diorama

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