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First Look: M5 Stuart Tank Platoon

shaun from s and s models writes:

you could make a turretless run around at least one was built in 44 in nwe


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31 October 2019page first published

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

Let's take a look at one of the D-Day: American releases from Battlefront for Flames of War: the plastic boxed Late-War M5 Stuart platoon.

M5 Stuart Tank Platoon

This boxed set lets you build five M5 Stuart light tanks or M8 Scott 75mm assault guns.

M5 Stuart Tank Platoon (back)

Don't throw the box away! The back of the box provides assembly instructions.

M5 Stuart Tank Platoon box contents

Inside the box, you'll find a roll of packing material, a ziploc bag full of stuff, one tank crew sprue, and five identical tank sprues.

M5 Stuart sprue

The hull consists of top, bottom, front (different for M5 or M8), back, and two track pieces. For the M5, there's also a hull machinegun piece. An optional spare wheel can be placed on the front of the hull.

The M5 turret consists of top, bottom, plug (to fit into the hull), gun and hatch. There are two alternate machinegun pieces, which also extend down the turret side. One machinegun is mounted on a post, with what looks like tread sections applied to the turret side; the other machinegun is mounted over added turret armor. The machineguns are not poseable. The instructions show an optional tread piece that can attach to the turret side; a different tread piece is shown in the M8 instructions, but I suspect the pieces are interchangeable. The turret includes the mounting bracket for an antenna (not provided).

The M8 turret consists of different top, bottom, gun, and machinegun pieces; both use the same plug piece. Optional tread pieces are provided for right and left turret sides.

Note that the M8 turret machinegun is shown facing rearwards in the instructions, but facing sideways in the photos.

It looks to me like the hulls and turrets are still compatible with magnets (not provided), if you want to use them instead of the plug pieces, but the instructions don't mention the option.

Provided on the sprue, but not mentioned in the instructions, are the side skirt/fender pieces. (I'm guessing these weren't used much in the late-war period.)

Tank crew

Also provided is one tank crew sprue with five figures: three waist-up figures (one with arms spread, one waving, one with helmet) and two shoulders-up figures.

The instructions make no reference to crew figures, or which to use for the M5 or M8. The M8 Scott photos show a helmeted figure in the turret, facing sideways (with the machinegun facing the same way).

M5 Stuart Tank Platoon bag

The box also includes a ziploc bag…

M5 Stuart Tank Platoon bag contents

…which contains a decal card, six cards, and one fold-out card. The unit cards are:

  • M5 Stuart Tank Company HQ
  • M5 Stuart Veteran Tank Company HQ
  • M5 Stuart Light Tank Platoon
  • M5 Stuart Veteran Tank Platoon
  • M8 Scott Assault Gun Platoon
  • M8 Scott Veteran Assault Gun Platoon
  • American Force Card (fold-out)

Battlefront has made available at their website an assembly guide for the M5 Stuart and an assembly guide for the M8 Scott. They provides some useful advice (i.e., don't install the gun upside down!), but do not illustrate crew or decal placement.