|KIT:||Zvezda 1/35 M3 Armored Scout Car|
|PRICE:||$22.98 (19.96 at Squadron)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
First created by the White Motor Company in 1938. It was based on a commercial truck chassis. Was designed for high speed scouting and called the T7. It was standardized in June 1939 as the M3 scout car.
Machine guns were on a skate rail around interior body and could be removed and placed on tripod mounts if needed.
It had a roller mounted in front of the bumper to help it not bog down in soft ground. Armored shutters protected the radiator and could be opened and closed by the passenger as there was a lever by their right foot.
The windshield was made of shatter proof glass and an armor plate of 0.5" could be swung down into place with slots for vision.
The fenders in the front were made from heavy sheet metal. The hood could be opened on each side. The battery was on the right side and had an armored cover.
On the outsider was placed an axe, a shovel, and a pick. There was storage over each rear fender that carried ammunition, tools, and spare parts. Doors had hinged upper halves that folded down with vision slots that had covers. The rear was a solid armor plate with no door.
A standard military taillight was installed on the left and on the right were blackout lights. There were 6 bucket seats behind the driver. There was a SCR506, 508, or 510 radio set with the antenna base in the center of the rear section. Fuel was under driver's seat.
The vehicle was rarely used in front line action and was mostly used in operations behind the lines where it wouldn't be shot to shreds by enemy action.
Upon opening the box, I was once again surprised by all the sprues being loose in the box. I guess that Zvezda doesn't believe in protecting the parts against scratching and damage. There are four sprues molded in OD plastic. This must be one of Zvezda's older kits or based on an older kit as there was some small flash on a few parts, the ejector pin marks were more readily apparent in areas where they will have to be removed or seen and there were a lot more sink areas than I've seen in some of their newer kits. Especially hard to eliminate will be those right next to the door hinges. It is also apparent that this is based on an older mold by the number of parts that are not used on this one!
Though this is a curbside, there is plenty of detail on the underside of the chassis to keep any modeler happy. One thing that many of us will like is that it uses plastic wheels. Rubber and vinyl are OK but they are hard to paint and weather. The lone clear bit is the windscreen and it is a bit on the thick side. The only real options are whether or not to include the canvas top and the ability to position the radiator grilles open or closed. There is the usual ton of 'stuff' included to make the model look properly loaded down!
Instructions are very good and include 21 construction step drawings. The builder will have to stretch sprue for the radio antenna, but that is it. Color info is provided using a Russian paint and ModelMaster references. Markings are given for three vehicles. One US Army, one French Army and a captured version used by the Afrika Corps in 1943. All appear to be in OD. Decals are nicely done, but near impossible to scan thanks to the near white background.
I like softskin military vehicles and so this is the type of thing that I'd like to build. Despite the few molding glitches, the detail level is excellent and this will make a super model when done.
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