SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Tamiya M3A1 scout car

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale vehicle kit that comes with great figures
RELATED TOPICS: VEHICLE | ARMOR
FSMNP0119_20
FSMWB0419_Tamiya_M3A1_Scoutcar_02
FSMWB0419_Tamiya_M3A1_Scoutcar_03
FSMWB0419_Tamiya_M3A1_Scoutcar_04
FSMWB0419_Tamiya_M3A1_Scoutcar_05
FSMWB0419_Tamiya_M3A1_Scoutcar_06
FSMWB0419_Tamiya_M3A1_Scoutcar_07

The M3A1 was developed prior to World War II for the U.S. Army and while American military use was limited, Soviet, British, Commonwealth, and French units received thousands of them through Lend-Lease.

Tamiya’s all-new M3A1 marks the first time the Japanese manufacturer has kitted the scout car. Molded in olive drab plastic, the parts are crisp and free of flash. Features include: a detailed suspension and chassis, five Soviet soldiers, and clear parts for the windshield and headlights.

The armored radiator cover shutters can be posed open or closed and the windshield’s armored cover and the separate upper portion of the cab doors can be positioned up or down. 

All of the chassis parts including the drivetrain, exhaust, and suspension went together without issues and, once completed, looks very convincing.

Multiple parts form the hull sides, hood, and fenders and I was impressed with the fit. All of the numerous seats start with the frames to which are added seat cushions. 
Three machine gun mounts build from four pieces each and they are movable on the skate rail that runs around the inside of the rear armored compartment. The machine guns — one .50-caliber and one .30-caliber — assemble from multiple parts. They require a fair amount of time to assemble but the work is definitely worth the effort.

A skate-rail-mounted machine gun is made from four parts and the mounts themselves, once assembled, are movable. 

It’s easy to build the wheels with detailed hubs that hold noticeably treaded tires.

Tamiya knocked it out of the park with the figures; they are the best I’ve ever seen in a vehicle kit. The faces have distinctive features, the uniforms are sharp, and, despite the multipart composition, they assemble flawlessly.

I painted my M3A1 with Tamiya acrylic and spray colors. Decals provide markings for three vehicles: two Soviet and one American. With a touch of decal solution, they applied well.

My primary reference was M3A1 Scout Car by David Doyle (Squadron/Signal, ISBN 978-0-89747-614-0).

I spent 24 hours on my scout car, much of that on the figures. This is another great kit from Tamiya, highlighted by impressive figures and realistic machine guns. I hope Tamiya issues another version as the M3A1 used by Gen. George S. Patton along with a figure of “Old Blood and Guts” himself!


Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2019 issue.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of FineScale.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0
FREE DOWNLOAD

FREE DOWNLOAD

How to model Star Trek ships.
FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.