Libye : Photos

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Libyan Airlines CRJ900 5A-LAM

@MRA HLMS





Shelling of the Migrant Shelter Center in Tajura




"13 Hours"-visit the movie trailer on the website ➡ movietrailer8.com

The film tells the true story of US Army soldiers carrying out operations in Libya. The film is so tense, where the soldiers must secure a secret CIA base not far from where the enemy is.




Bengazi_002

Zapisana




Darna_001

Czysta




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit) - WiP

Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit)

+++ DISCLAIMER +++
Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!



Some background:
In September 1939, the US Army was ill-prepared as far as armored vehicles, training and tactics went. Soon, it became clear that a new model, which could be favorably compared to the European models, had to be studied for mass production. The very early M1 Combat Car was nothing more than a very small tank with two machine guns. Its main purpose was scouting and as such ordered for “cavalry” units. This was in 1937, and became the forerunner of all light tanks to come.
In 1935, a new model, the M2 Light Tank, was designed. At first, it was an immediate upgrade of the M1, but with the heavier .50 (12.7 mm) caliber machine gun, immediately followed by the M2A2 with twin turrets equipped with .30 (7.62 mm) caliber M1919 machine guns. The “Mae West” gave way in 1938 to a small series of M2A3 37 mm (1.45 in) single turret tanks, and then to the final M2A4 in 1940, with improved armor, motorization and equipment. These fought at Guadalcanal with the US Marine Corps, and with the British Army through Lend-Lease, performing well in Burma and India against the Japanese, despite being obsolete.

The following M3 was built under the light of recent events in France. The quick fall of France, due to inadequate tactics, quickly led the US Army Corps to think about a new doctrine, which led to an independent US armored force. From the material point of view, the latest M2A4 and the M3 were both designed to be more effective than only infantry support units, their main duty was scouting and screening.
The M3 was, at first, a simple upgrade of the last M2, with a more powerful Continental petrol engine, a new vertical volute spring suspension system and up to four machine guns in addition to a main, quick-firing M5 (and later M6) 37 mm (1.45 in) anti-tank gun, with a new gun recoil system.

Most of the initial M3 tanks were provided to the British and Commonwealth forces through Lend-Lease. Some were immediately thrown into action in Northern Africa, where they immediately became popular for their speed, sturdiness and reliability. Although the official British designation was “Stuart”, paying homage to Civil War Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, they found themselves affectuously dubbed “Honey”, because of their smooth ride.
Beyond British and Commonwealth forces, the US Forces used many M3s in their first major operation in the west, the North African invasion in November 1942 (Operation Torch). They had some success against Italian tanks, but were butchered by German 88 mm (3.46 in) artillery and the up-gunned Panzer IIIs and IVs. It was clear that their high profile and the flat squared hull was too vulnerable. However, the M3 was popular, reliable and mobile, and the introduction of a diesel engine in the M3A1 made the small tank even more suitable for reconnaissance missions, so that the British Army asked by late 1941 for a dedicated scout variant that would trade-in the weak cannon armament (and the fourth crewman associated with it) for more mobility and range. This led to the M3A2, better known under the British name “Parsival”, because it was never adopted and operated by the U.S. Army.

The Parsival Mk. I used the standard M3 hull, but the lateral sponsons that formerly housed fixed machine guns were outright deleted in order to save weight and to reduce manufacturing effort as well as frontal area. Another major modification concerned the running gear: in order to improve speed and handling at higher speed, the M3’s vertical springs were replaced by a modified Christie running gear, which consisted of the standard drive wheel at the front, four large road wheels and three return rollers per side. The last pair of road wheels was mounted on trailing swing arms for increased ground contact and also acted as idler wheels. The M3A1’s optional 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel became the Parsival’s standard engine, and, beyond the internal tanks, two additional external fuel drums could be mounted to the rear hull, extending range from 100 to 150 miles.

A new cast turret, similar in shape to the airborne M22 Locust tank, was mounted, which had a much lower profile and offered better ballistic protection than the M3’s original turret with vertical side walls. The reduced height was a trade-off for firepower, though: the turret did not carry a full-fledged cannon anymore, only a medium 0.5” (12.7 mm) machine gun as well as a light, coaxial 0.303” (7.62 mm) machine gun, all operated by the commander. The machine gun in the front bow, handled by the radio operator, was retained, and another light machine gun could optionally be mounted on top of the turret against aircraft. The turret was furthermore equipped with a set of two smoke grenade launchers.

Through the different weight saving measures, the Parsival’s weight could be reduced from 12.7 to 10.8 tons, resulting in a slight improvement in overall performance but with a much better handling, esp. when moving off-road.

In the summer of 1942, the first Parsival Mk. Is arrived in the North African theatre of operations where they excelled in their dedicated reconnaissance role. Concerning the standard M3, the British usually kept the Stuarts out of direct tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance, too. In consequence, the turret was removed from some British M3 examples to save weight and improve speed and range, but these were inferior to the Parsival and became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers known as the "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted into command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command".
After the Africa campaign, British Stuarts and Parsival took successfully part in the liberation of Italy. About 500 were produced, 160 of them were delivered to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease, the rest was exclusively operated by the British Army in Europe. Parsivals, M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war.



Specifications:
Crew: Three (commander, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 10.8 tons
Length: 14ft 2in (4.33 m)
Width: 7ft 4in (2.33 m)
Height: 2.49 metres (8 ft 1 1/2 in)
Suspension: Christie system
Ground clearance: 16.5" (419 mm)
Fuel capacity: 54 US gal (200 l)
Armor:
0.52 - 2 in (13 - 51 mm)

Performance:
Speed:
- Maximum, road: 40 mph (65 km/h)
- Cross country: 22 mph (36 km/h)
Climbing capability:
- 40% side slope and 60% max grade
- Vertical obstacle of 24 inches (61 cm)
- 72 inches (1,8 m) trench crossing
Fording depth: 36 inches (91 cm)
Operational range: 100 ml (160 km) on road with internal fuel
Power/weight: 23.1 hp/t

Engine:
1 Guiberson T-1020 9-cylinder radial diesel engine with a 1,021 cu in (16.73 l) displacement,
delivering 250 hp (190 kW)

Transmission:
Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse

Armament:
1 0.5” (12.7) mm M2 machine gun with 900 rounds
3 0.303” (7,62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns
(co-axial in the turret, in the front bow and as an AA weapon on top of the turret)
with a total of 6,750 rounds
2 smoke dischargers on the turret’s right side


The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.


Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.


Even though the Hasegawa M3 was a simple basis to start with, the conversions, esp. the running gear, were quite challenging. But I like the result a lot: the Parsival looks like a slimmed-down race variant of the M3, just what I wanted to achieve, and the British camouflage suits the small tank well, too – the white contrast line adds an exotic touch.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit)

+++ DISCLAIMER +++
Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!



Some background:
In September 1939, the US Army was ill-prepared as far as armored vehicles, training and tactics went. Soon, it became clear that a new model, which could be favorably compared to the European models, had to be studied for mass production. The very early M1 Combat Car was nothing more than a very small tank with two machine guns. Its main purpose was scouting and as such ordered for “cavalry” units. This was in 1937, and became the forerunner of all light tanks to come.
In 1935, a new model, the M2 Light Tank, was designed. At first, it was an immediate upgrade of the M1, but with the heavier .50 (12.7 mm) caliber machine gun, immediately followed by the M2A2 with twin turrets equipped with .30 (7.62 mm) caliber M1919 machine guns. The “Mae West” gave way in 1938 to a small series of M2A3 37 mm (1.45 in) single turret tanks, and then to the final M2A4 in 1940, with improved armor, motorization and equipment. These fought at Guadalcanal with the US Marine Corps, and with the British Army through Lend-Lease, performing well in Burma and India against the Japanese, despite being obsolete.

The following M3 was built under the light of recent events in France. The quick fall of France, due to inadequate tactics, quickly led the US Army Corps to think about a new doctrine, which led to an independent US armored force. From the material point of view, the latest M2A4 and the M3 were both designed to be more effective than only infantry support units, their main duty was scouting and screening.
The M3 was, at first, a simple upgrade of the last M2, with a more powerful Continental petrol engine, a new vertical volute spring suspension system and up to four machine guns in addition to a main, quick-firing M5 (and later M6) 37 mm (1.45 in) anti-tank gun, with a new gun recoil system.

Most of the initial M3 tanks were provided to the British and Commonwealth forces through Lend-Lease. Some were immediately thrown into action in Northern Africa, where they immediately became popular for their speed, sturdiness and reliability. Although the official British designation was “Stuart”, paying homage to Civil War Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, they found themselves affectuously dubbed “Honey”, because of their smooth ride.
Beyond British and Commonwealth forces, the US Forces used many M3s in their first major operation in the west, the North African invasion in November 1942 (Operation Torch). They had some success against Italian tanks, but were butchered by German 88 mm (3.46 in) artillery and the up-gunned Panzer IIIs and IVs. It was clear that their high profile and the flat squared hull was too vulnerable. However, the M3 was popular, reliable and mobile, and the introduction of a diesel engine in the M3A1 made the small tank even more suitable for reconnaissance missions, so that the British Army asked by late 1941 for a dedicated scout variant that would trade-in the weak cannon armament (and the fourth crewman associated with it) for more mobility and range. This led to the M3A2, better known under the British name “Parsival”, because it was never adopted and operated by the U.S. Army.

The Parsival Mk. I used the standard M3 hull, but the lateral sponsons that formerly housed fixed machine guns were outright deleted in order to save weight and to reduce manufacturing effort as well as frontal area. Another major modification concerned the running gear: in order to improve speed and handling at higher speed, the M3’s vertical springs were replaced by a modified Christie running gear, which consisted of the standard drive wheel at the front, four large road wheels and three return rollers per side. The last pair of road wheels was mounted on trailing swing arms for increased ground contact and also acted as idler wheels. The M3A1’s optional 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel became the Parsival’s standard engine, and, beyond the internal tanks, two additional external fuel drums could be mounted to the rear hull, extending range from 100 to 150 miles.

A new cast turret, similar in shape to the airborne M22 Locust tank, was mounted, which had a much lower profile and offered better ballistic protection than the M3’s original turret with vertical side walls. The reduced height was a trade-off for firepower, though: the turret did not carry a full-fledged cannon anymore, only a medium 0.5” (12.7 mm) machine gun as well as a light, coaxial 0.303” (7.62 mm) machine gun, all operated by the commander. The machine gun in the front bow, handled by the radio operator, was retained, and another light machine gun could optionally be mounted on top of the turret against aircraft. The turret was furthermore equipped with a set of two smoke grenade launchers.

Through the different weight saving measures, the Parsival’s weight could be reduced from 12.7 to 10.8 tons, resulting in a slight improvement in overall performance but with a much better handling, esp. when moving off-road.

In the summer of 1942, the first Parsival Mk. Is arrived in the North African theatre of operations where they excelled in their dedicated reconnaissance role. Concerning the standard M3, the British usually kept the Stuarts out of direct tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance, too. In consequence, the turret was removed from some British M3 examples to save weight and improve speed and range, but these were inferior to the Parsival and became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers known as the "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted into command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command".
After the Africa campaign, British Stuarts and Parsival took successfully part in the liberation of Italy. About 500 were produced, 160 of them were delivered to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease, the rest was exclusively operated by the British Army in Europe. Parsivals, M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war.



Specifications:
Crew: Three (commander, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 10.8 tons
Length: 14ft 2in (4.33 m)
Width: 7ft 4in (2.33 m)
Height: 2.49 metres (8 ft 1 1/2 in)
Suspension: Christie system
Ground clearance: 16.5" (419 mm)
Fuel capacity: 54 US gal (200 l)
Armor:
0.52 - 2 in (13 - 51 mm)

Performance:
Speed:
- Maximum, road: 40 mph (65 km/h)
- Cross country: 22 mph (36 km/h)
Climbing capability:
- 40% side slope and 60% max grade
- Vertical obstacle of 24 inches (61 cm)
- 72 inches (1,8 m) trench crossing
Fording depth: 36 inches (91 cm)
Operational range: 100 ml (160 km) on road with internal fuel
Power/weight: 23.1 hp/t

Engine:
1 Guiberson T-1020 9-cylinder radial diesel engine with a 1,021 cu in (16.73 l) displacement,
delivering 250 hp (190 kW)

Transmission:
Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse

Armament:
1 0.5” (12.7) mm M2 machine gun with 900 rounds
3 0.303” (7,62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns
(co-axial in the turret, in the front bow and as an AA weapon on top of the turret)
with a total of 6,750 rounds
2 smoke dischargers on the turret’s right side


The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.


Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.


Even though the Hasegawa M3 was a simple basis to start with, the conversions, esp. the running gear, were quite challenging. But I like the result a lot: the Parsival looks like a slimmed-down race variant of the M3, just what I wanted to achieve, and the British camouflage suits the small tank well, too – the white contrast line adds an exotic touch.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit) - WiP

The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit)

+++ DISCLAIMER +++
Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!



Some background:
In September 1939, the US Army was ill-prepared as far as armored vehicles, training and tactics went. Soon, it became clear that a new model, which could be favorably compared to the European models, had to be studied for mass production. The very early M1 Combat Car was nothing more than a very small tank with two machine guns. Its main purpose was scouting and as such ordered for “cavalry” units. This was in 1937, and became the forerunner of all light tanks to come.
In 1935, a new model, the M2 Light Tank, was designed. At first, it was an immediate upgrade of the M1, but with the heavier .50 (12.7 mm) caliber machine gun, immediately followed by the M2A2 with twin turrets equipped with .30 (7.62 mm) caliber M1919 machine guns. The “Mae West” gave way in 1938 to a small series of M2A3 37 mm (1.45 in) single turret tanks, and then to the final M2A4 in 1940, with improved armor, motorization and equipment. These fought at Guadalcanal with the US Marine Corps, and with the British Army through Lend-Lease, performing well in Burma and India against the Japanese, despite being obsolete.

The following M3 was built under the light of recent events in France. The quick fall of France, due to inadequate tactics, quickly led the US Army Corps to think about a new doctrine, which led to an independent US armored force. From the material point of view, the latest M2A4 and the M3 were both designed to be more effective than only infantry support units, their main duty was scouting and screening.
The M3 was, at first, a simple upgrade of the last M2, with a more powerful Continental petrol engine, a new vertical volute spring suspension system and up to four machine guns in addition to a main, quick-firing M5 (and later M6) 37 mm (1.45 in) anti-tank gun, with a new gun recoil system.

Most of the initial M3 tanks were provided to the British and Commonwealth forces through Lend-Lease. Some were immediately thrown into action in Northern Africa, where they immediately became popular for their speed, sturdiness and reliability. Although the official British designation was “Stuart”, paying homage to Civil War Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, they found themselves affectuously dubbed “Honey”, because of their smooth ride.
Beyond British and Commonwealth forces, the US Forces used many M3s in their first major operation in the west, the North African invasion in November 1942 (Operation Torch). They had some success against Italian tanks, but were butchered by German 88 mm (3.46 in) artillery and the up-gunned Panzer IIIs and IVs. It was clear that their high profile and the flat squared hull was too vulnerable. However, the M3 was popular, reliable and mobile, and the introduction of a diesel engine in the M3A1 made the small tank even more suitable for reconnaissance missions, so that the British Army asked by late 1941 for a dedicated scout variant that would trade-in the weak cannon armament (and the fourth crewman associated with it) for more mobility and range. This led to the M3A2, better known under the British name “Parsival”, because it was never adopted and operated by the U.S. Army.

The Parsival Mk. I used the standard M3 hull, but the lateral sponsons that formerly housed fixed machine guns were outright deleted in order to save weight and to reduce manufacturing effort as well as frontal area. Another major modification concerned the running gear: in order to improve speed and handling at higher speed, the M3’s vertical springs were replaced by a modified Christie running gear, which consisted of the standard drive wheel at the front, four large road wheels and three return rollers per side. The last pair of road wheels was mounted on trailing swing arms for increased ground contact and also acted as idler wheels. The M3A1’s optional 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel became the Parsival’s standard engine, and, beyond the internal tanks, two additional external fuel drums could be mounted to the rear hull, extending range from 100 to 150 miles.

A new cast turret, similar in shape to the airborne M22 Locust tank, was mounted, which had a much lower profile and offered better ballistic protection than the M3’s original turret with vertical side walls. The reduced height was a trade-off for firepower, though: the turret did not carry a full-fledged cannon anymore, only a medium 0.5” (12.7 mm) machine gun as well as a light, coaxial 0.303” (7.62 mm) machine gun, all operated by the commander. The machine gun in the front bow, handled by the radio operator, was retained, and another light machine gun could optionally be mounted on top of the turret against aircraft. The turret was furthermore equipped with a set of two smoke grenade launchers.

Through the different weight saving measures, the Parsival’s weight could be reduced from 12.7 to 10.8 tons, resulting in a slight improvement in overall performance but with a much better handling, esp. when moving off-road.

In the summer of 1942, the first Parsival Mk. Is arrived in the North African theatre of operations where they excelled in their dedicated reconnaissance role. Concerning the standard M3, the British usually kept the Stuarts out of direct tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance, too. In consequence, the turret was removed from some British M3 examples to save weight and improve speed and range, but these were inferior to the Parsival and became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers known as the "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted into command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command".
After the Africa campaign, British Stuarts and Parsival took successfully part in the liberation of Italy. About 500 were produced, 160 of them were delivered to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease, the rest was exclusively operated by the British Army in Europe. Parsivals, M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war.



Specifications:
Crew: Three (commander, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 10.8 tons
Length: 14ft 2in (4.33 m)
Width: 7ft 4in (2.33 m)
Height: 2.49 metres (8 ft 1 1/2 in)
Suspension: Christie system
Ground clearance: 16.5" (419 mm)
Fuel capacity: 54 US gal (200 l)
Armor:
0.52 - 2 in (13 - 51 mm)

Performance:
Speed:
- Maximum, road: 40 mph (65 km/h)
- Cross country: 22 mph (36 km/h)
Climbing capability:
- 40% side slope and 60% max grade
- Vertical obstacle of 24 inches (61 cm)
- 72 inches (1,8 m) trench crossing
Fording depth: 36 inches (91 cm)
Operational range: 100 ml (160 km) on road with internal fuel
Power/weight: 23.1 hp/t

Engine:
1 Guiberson T-1020 9-cylinder radial diesel engine with a 1,021 cu in (16.73 l) displacement,
delivering 250 hp (190 kW)

Transmission:
Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse

Armament:
1 0.5” (12.7) mm M2 machine gun with 900 rounds
3 0.303” (7,62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns
(co-axial in the turret, in the front bow and as an AA weapon on top of the turret)
with a total of 6,750 rounds
2 smoke dischargers on the turret’s right side


The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.


Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.


Even though the Hasegawa M3 was a simple basis to start with, the conversions, esp. the running gear, were quite challenging. But I like the result a lot: the Parsival looks like a slimmed-down race variant of the M3, just what I wanted to achieve, and the British camouflage suits the small tank well, too – the white contrast line adds an exotic touch.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit)

+++ DISCLAIMER +++
Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!



Some background:
In September 1939, the US Army was ill-prepared as far as armored vehicles, training and tactics went. Soon, it became clear that a new model, which could be favorably compared to the European models, had to be studied for mass production. The very early M1 Combat Car was nothing more than a very small tank with two machine guns. Its main purpose was scouting and as such ordered for “cavalry” units. This was in 1937, and became the forerunner of all light tanks to come.
In 1935, a new model, the M2 Light Tank, was designed. At first, it was an immediate upgrade of the M1, but with the heavier .50 (12.7 mm) caliber machine gun, immediately followed by the M2A2 with twin turrets equipped with .30 (7.62 mm) caliber M1919 machine guns. The “Mae West” gave way in 1938 to a small series of M2A3 37 mm (1.45 in) single turret tanks, and then to the final M2A4 in 1940, with improved armor, motorization and equipment. These fought at Guadalcanal with the US Marine Corps, and with the British Army through Lend-Lease, performing well in Burma and India against the Japanese, despite being obsolete.

The following M3 was built under the light of recent events in France. The quick fall of France, due to inadequate tactics, quickly led the US Army Corps to think about a new doctrine, which led to an independent US armored force. From the material point of view, the latest M2A4 and the M3 were both designed to be more effective than only infantry support units, their main duty was scouting and screening.
The M3 was, at first, a simple upgrade of the last M2, with a more powerful Continental petrol engine, a new vertical volute spring suspension system and up to four machine guns in addition to a main, quick-firing M5 (and later M6) 37 mm (1.45 in) anti-tank gun, with a new gun recoil system.

Most of the initial M3 tanks were provided to the British and Commonwealth forces through Lend-Lease. Some were immediately thrown into action in Northern Africa, where they immediately became popular for their speed, sturdiness and reliability. Although the official British designation was “Stuart”, paying homage to Civil War Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, they found themselves affectuously dubbed “Honey”, because of their smooth ride.
Beyond British and Commonwealth forces, the US Forces used many M3s in their first major operation in the west, the North African invasion in November 1942 (Operation Torch). They had some success against Italian tanks, but were butchered by German 88 mm (3.46 in) artillery and the up-gunned Panzer IIIs and IVs. It was clear that their high profile and the flat squared hull was too vulnerable. However, the M3 was popular, reliable and mobile, and the introduction of a diesel engine in the M3A1 made the small tank even more suitable for reconnaissance missions, so that the British Army asked by late 1941 for a dedicated scout variant that would trade-in the weak cannon armament (and the fourth crewman associated with it) for more mobility and range. This led to the M3A2, better known under the British name “Parsival”, because it was never adopted and operated by the U.S. Army.

The Parsival Mk. I used the standard M3 hull, but the lateral sponsons that formerly housed fixed machine guns were outright deleted in order to save weight and to reduce manufacturing effort as well as frontal area. Another major modification concerned the running gear: in order to improve speed and handling at higher speed, the M3’s vertical springs were replaced by a modified Christie running gear, which consisted of the standard drive wheel at the front, four large road wheels and three return rollers per side. The last pair of road wheels was mounted on trailing swing arms for increased ground contact and also acted as idler wheels. The M3A1’s optional 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel became the Parsival’s standard engine, and, beyond the internal tanks, two additional external fuel drums could be mounted to the rear hull, extending range from 100 to 150 miles.

A new cast turret, similar in shape to the airborne M22 Locust tank, was mounted, which had a much lower profile and offered better ballistic protection than the M3’s original turret with vertical side walls. The reduced height was a trade-off for firepower, though: the turret did not carry a full-fledged cannon anymore, only a medium 0.5” (12.7 mm) machine gun as well as a light, coaxial 0.303” (7.62 mm) machine gun, all operated by the commander. The machine gun in the front bow, handled by the radio operator, was retained, and another light machine gun could optionally be mounted on top of the turret against aircraft. The turret was furthermore equipped with a set of two smoke grenade launchers.

Through the different weight saving measures, the Parsival’s weight could be reduced from 12.7 to 10.8 tons, resulting in a slight improvement in overall performance but with a much better handling, esp. when moving off-road.

In the summer of 1942, the first Parsival Mk. Is arrived in the North African theatre of operations where they excelled in their dedicated reconnaissance role. Concerning the standard M3, the British usually kept the Stuarts out of direct tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance, too. In consequence, the turret was removed from some British M3 examples to save weight and improve speed and range, but these were inferior to the Parsival and became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers known as the "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted into command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command".
After the Africa campaign, British Stuarts and Parsival took successfully part in the liberation of Italy. About 500 were produced, 160 of them were delivered to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease, the rest was exclusively operated by the British Army in Europe. Parsivals, M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war.



Specifications:
Crew: Three (commander, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 10.8 tons
Length: 14ft 2in (4.33 m)
Width: 7ft 4in (2.33 m)
Height: 2.49 metres (8 ft 1 1/2 in)
Suspension: Christie system
Ground clearance: 16.5" (419 mm)
Fuel capacity: 54 US gal (200 l)
Armor:
0.52 - 2 in (13 - 51 mm)

Performance:
Speed:
- Maximum, road: 40 mph (65 km/h)
- Cross country: 22 mph (36 km/h)
Climbing capability:
- 40% side slope and 60% max grade
- Vertical obstacle of 24 inches (61 cm)
- 72 inches (1,8 m) trench crossing
Fording depth: 36 inches (91 cm)
Operational range: 100 ml (160 km) on road with internal fuel
Power/weight: 23.1 hp/t

Engine:
1 Guiberson T-1020 9-cylinder radial diesel engine with a 1,021 cu in (16.73 l) displacement,
delivering 250 hp (190 kW)

Transmission:
Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse

Armament:
1 0.5” (12.7) mm M2 machine gun with 900 rounds
3 0.303” (7,62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns
(co-axial in the turret, in the front bow and as an AA weapon on top of the turret)
with a total of 6,750 rounds
2 smoke dischargers on the turret’s right side


The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.


Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.


Even though the Hasegawa M3 was a simple basis to start with, the conversions, esp. the running gear, were quite challenging. But I like the result a lot: the Parsival looks like a slimmed-down race variant of the M3, just what I wanted to achieve, and the British camouflage suits the small tank well, too – the white contrast line adds an exotic touch.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit) - WiP

The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit) - WiP

The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit) - WiP

Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit) - WiP

Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit)

+++ DISCLAIMER +++
Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!



Some background:
In September 1939, the US Army was ill-prepared as far as armored vehicles, training and tactics went. Soon, it became clear that a new model, which could be favorably compared to the European models, had to be studied for mass production. The very early M1 Combat Car was nothing more than a very small tank with two machine guns. Its main purpose was scouting and as such ordered for “cavalry” units. This was in 1937, and became the forerunner of all light tanks to come.
In 1935, a new model, the M2 Light Tank, was designed. At first, it was an immediate upgrade of the M1, but with the heavier .50 (12.7 mm) caliber machine gun, immediately followed by the M2A2 with twin turrets equipped with .30 (7.62 mm) caliber M1919 machine guns. The “Mae West” gave way in 1938 to a small series of M2A3 37 mm (1.45 in) single turret tanks, and then to the final M2A4 in 1940, with improved armor, motorization and equipment. These fought at Guadalcanal with the US Marine Corps, and with the British Army through Lend-Lease, performing well in Burma and India against the Japanese, despite being obsolete.

The following M3 was built under the light of recent events in France. The quick fall of France, due to inadequate tactics, quickly led the US Army Corps to think about a new doctrine, which led to an independent US armored force. From the material point of view, the latest M2A4 and the M3 were both designed to be more effective than only infantry support units, their main duty was scouting and screening.
The M3 was, at first, a simple upgrade of the last M2, with a more powerful Continental petrol engine, a new vertical volute spring suspension system and up to four machine guns in addition to a main, quick-firing M5 (and later M6) 37 mm (1.45 in) anti-tank gun, with a new gun recoil system.

Most of the initial M3 tanks were provided to the British and Commonwealth forces through Lend-Lease. Some were immediately thrown into action in Northern Africa, where they immediately became popular for their speed, sturdiness and reliability. Although the official British designation was “Stuart”, paying homage to Civil War Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, they found themselves affectuously dubbed “Honey”, because of their smooth ride.
Beyond British and Commonwealth forces, the US Forces used many M3s in their first major operation in the west, the North African invasion in November 1942 (Operation Torch). They had some success against Italian tanks, but were butchered by German 88 mm (3.46 in) artillery and the up-gunned Panzer IIIs and IVs. It was clear that their high profile and the flat squared hull was too vulnerable. However, the M3 was popular, reliable and mobile, and the introduction of a diesel engine in the M3A1 made the small tank even more suitable for reconnaissance missions, so that the British Army asked by late 1941 for a dedicated scout variant that would trade-in the weak cannon armament (and the fourth crewman associated with it) for more mobility and range. This led to the M3A2, better known under the British name “Parsival”, because it was never adopted and operated by the U.S. Army.

The Parsival Mk. I used the standard M3 hull, but the lateral sponsons that formerly housed fixed machine guns were outright deleted in order to save weight and to reduce manufacturing effort as well as frontal area. Another major modification concerned the running gear: in order to improve speed and handling at higher speed, the M3’s vertical springs were replaced by a modified Christie running gear, which consisted of the standard drive wheel at the front, four large road wheels and three return rollers per side. The last pair of road wheels was mounted on trailing swing arms for increased ground contact and also acted as idler wheels. The M3A1’s optional 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel became the Parsival’s standard engine, and, beyond the internal tanks, two additional external fuel drums could be mounted to the rear hull, extending range from 100 to 150 miles.

A new cast turret, similar in shape to the airborne M22 Locust tank, was mounted, which had a much lower profile and offered better ballistic protection than the M3’s original turret with vertical side walls. The reduced height was a trade-off for firepower, though: the turret did not carry a full-fledged cannon anymore, only a medium 0.5” (12.7 mm) machine gun as well as a light, coaxial 0.303” (7.62 mm) machine gun, all operated by the commander. The machine gun in the front bow, handled by the radio operator, was retained, and another light machine gun could optionally be mounted on top of the turret against aircraft. The turret was furthermore equipped with a set of two smoke grenade launchers.

Through the different weight saving measures, the Parsival’s weight could be reduced from 12.7 to 10.8 tons, resulting in a slight improvement in overall performance but with a much better handling, esp. when moving off-road.

In the summer of 1942, the first Parsival Mk. Is arrived in the North African theatre of operations where they excelled in their dedicated reconnaissance role. Concerning the standard M3, the British usually kept the Stuarts out of direct tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance, too. In consequence, the turret was removed from some British M3 examples to save weight and improve speed and range, but these were inferior to the Parsival and became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers known as the "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted into command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command".
After the Africa campaign, British Stuarts and Parsival took successfully part in the liberation of Italy. About 500 were produced, 160 of them were delivered to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease, the rest was exclusively operated by the British Army in Europe. Parsivals, M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war.



Specifications:
Crew: Three (commander, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 10.8 tons
Length: 14ft 2in (4.33 m)
Width: 7ft 4in (2.33 m)
Height: 2.49 metres (8 ft 1 1/2 in)
Suspension: Christie system
Ground clearance: 16.5" (419 mm)
Fuel capacity: 54 US gal (200 l)
Armor:
0.52 - 2 in (13 - 51 mm)

Performance:
Speed:
- Maximum, road: 40 mph (65 km/h)
- Cross country: 22 mph (36 km/h)
Climbing capability:
- 40% side slope and 60% max grade
- Vertical obstacle of 24 inches (61 cm)
- 72 inches (1,8 m) trench crossing
Fording depth: 36 inches (91 cm)
Operational range: 100 ml (160 km) on road with internal fuel
Power/weight: 23.1 hp/t

Engine:
1 Guiberson T-1020 9-cylinder radial diesel engine with a 1,021 cu in (16.73 l) displacement,
delivering 250 hp (190 kW)

Transmission:
Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse

Armament:
1 0.5” (12.7) mm M2 machine gun with 900 rounds
3 0.303” (7,62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns
(co-axial in the turret, in the front bow and as an AA weapon on top of the turret)
with a total of 6,750 rounds
2 smoke dischargers on the turret’s right side


The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.


Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.


Even though the Hasegawa M3 was a simple basis to start with, the conversions, esp. the running gear, were quite challenging. But I like the result a lot: the Parsival looks like a slimmed-down race variant of the M3, just what I wanted to achieve, and the British camouflage suits the small tank well, too – the white contrast line adds an exotic touch.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit)

+++ DISCLAIMER +++
Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!



Some background:
In September 1939, the US Army was ill-prepared as far as armored vehicles, training and tactics went. Soon, it became clear that a new model, which could be favorably compared to the European models, had to be studied for mass production. The very early M1 Combat Car was nothing more than a very small tank with two machine guns. Its main purpose was scouting and as such ordered for “cavalry” units. This was in 1937, and became the forerunner of all light tanks to come.
In 1935, a new model, the M2 Light Tank, was designed. At first, it was an immediate upgrade of the M1, but with the heavier .50 (12.7 mm) caliber machine gun, immediately followed by the M2A2 with twin turrets equipped with .30 (7.62 mm) caliber M1919 machine guns. The “Mae West” gave way in 1938 to a small series of M2A3 37 mm (1.45 in) single turret tanks, and then to the final M2A4 in 1940, with improved armor, motorization and equipment. These fought at Guadalcanal with the US Marine Corps, and with the British Army through Lend-Lease, performing well in Burma and India against the Japanese, despite being obsolete.

The following M3 was built under the light of recent events in France. The quick fall of France, due to inadequate tactics, quickly led the US Army Corps to think about a new doctrine, which led to an independent US armored force. From the material point of view, the latest M2A4 and the M3 were both designed to be more effective than only infantry support units, their main duty was scouting and screening.
The M3 was, at first, a simple upgrade of the last M2, with a more powerful Continental petrol engine, a new vertical volute spring suspension system and up to four machine guns in addition to a main, quick-firing M5 (and later M6) 37 mm (1.45 in) anti-tank gun, with a new gun recoil system.

Most of the initial M3 tanks were provided to the British and Commonwealth forces through Lend-Lease. Some were immediately thrown into action in Northern Africa, where they immediately became popular for their speed, sturdiness and reliability. Although the official British designation was “Stuart”, paying homage to Civil War Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, they found themselves affectuously dubbed “Honey”, because of their smooth ride.
Beyond British and Commonwealth forces, the US Forces used many M3s in their first major operation in the west, the North African invasion in November 1942 (Operation Torch). They had some success against Italian tanks, but were butchered by German 88 mm (3.46 in) artillery and the up-gunned Panzer IIIs and IVs. It was clear that their high profile and the flat squared hull was too vulnerable. However, the M3 was popular, reliable and mobile, and the introduction of a diesel engine in the M3A1 made the small tank even more suitable for reconnaissance missions, so that the British Army asked by late 1941 for a dedicated scout variant that would trade-in the weak cannon armament (and the fourth crewman associated with it) for more mobility and range. This led to the M3A2, better known under the British name “Parsival”, because it was never adopted and operated by the U.S. Army.

The Parsival Mk. I used the standard M3 hull, but the lateral sponsons that formerly housed fixed machine guns were outright deleted in order to save weight and to reduce manufacturing effort as well as frontal area. Another major modification concerned the running gear: in order to improve speed and handling at higher speed, the M3’s vertical springs were replaced by a modified Christie running gear, which consisted of the standard drive wheel at the front, four large road wheels and three return rollers per side. The last pair of road wheels was mounted on trailing swing arms for increased ground contact and also acted as idler wheels. The M3A1’s optional 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel became the Parsival’s standard engine, and, beyond the internal tanks, two additional external fuel drums could be mounted to the rear hull, extending range from 100 to 150 miles.

A new cast turret, similar in shape to the airborne M22 Locust tank, was mounted, which had a much lower profile and offered better ballistic protection than the M3’s original turret with vertical side walls. The reduced height was a trade-off for firepower, though: the turret did not carry a full-fledged cannon anymore, only a medium 0.5” (12.7 mm) machine gun as well as a light, coaxial 0.303” (7.62 mm) machine gun, all operated by the commander. The machine gun in the front bow, handled by the radio operator, was retained, and another light machine gun could optionally be mounted on top of the turret against aircraft. The turret was furthermore equipped with a set of two smoke grenade launchers.

Through the different weight saving measures, the Parsival’s weight could be reduced from 12.7 to 10.8 tons, resulting in a slight improvement in overall performance but with a much better handling, esp. when moving off-road.

In the summer of 1942, the first Parsival Mk. Is arrived in the North African theatre of operations where they excelled in their dedicated reconnaissance role. Concerning the standard M3, the British usually kept the Stuarts out of direct tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance, too. In consequence, the turret was removed from some British M3 examples to save weight and improve speed and range, but these were inferior to the Parsival and became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers known as the "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted into command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command".
After the Africa campaign, British Stuarts and Parsival took successfully part in the liberation of Italy. About 500 were produced, 160 of them were delivered to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease, the rest was exclusively operated by the British Army in Europe. Parsivals, M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war.



Specifications:
Crew: Three (commander, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 10.8 tons
Length: 14ft 2in (4.33 m)
Width: 7ft 4in (2.33 m)
Height: 2.49 metres (8 ft 1 1/2 in)
Suspension: Christie system
Ground clearance: 16.5" (419 mm)
Fuel capacity: 54 US gal (200 l)
Armor:
0.52 - 2 in (13 - 51 mm)

Performance:
Speed:
- Maximum, road: 40 mph (65 km/h)
- Cross country: 22 mph (36 km/h)
Climbing capability:
- 40% side slope and 60% max grade
- Vertical obstacle of 24 inches (61 cm)
- 72 inches (1,8 m) trench crossing
Fording depth: 36 inches (91 cm)
Operational range: 100 ml (160 km) on road with internal fuel
Power/weight: 23.1 hp/t

Engine:
1 Guiberson T-1020 9-cylinder radial diesel engine with a 1,021 cu in (16.73 l) displacement,
delivering 250 hp (190 kW)

Transmission:
Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse

Armament:
1 0.5” (12.7) mm M2 machine gun with 900 rounds
3 0.303” (7,62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns
(co-axial in the turret, in the front bow and as an AA weapon on top of the turret)
with a total of 6,750 rounds
2 smoke dischargers on the turret’s right side


The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.


Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.


Even though the Hasegawa M3 was a simple basis to start with, the conversions, esp. the running gear, were quite challenging. But I like the result a lot: the Parsival looks like a slimmed-down race variant of the M3, just what I wanted to achieve, and the British camouflage suits the small tank well, too – the white contrast line adds an exotic touch.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit)

+++ DISCLAIMER +++
Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!



Some background:
In September 1939, the US Army was ill-prepared as far as armored vehicles, training and tactics went. Soon, it became clear that a new model, which could be favorably compared to the European models, had to be studied for mass production. The very early M1 Combat Car was nothing more than a very small tank with two machine guns. Its main purpose was scouting and as such ordered for “cavalry” units. This was in 1937, and became the forerunner of all light tanks to come.
In 1935, a new model, the M2 Light Tank, was designed. At first, it was an immediate upgrade of the M1, but with the heavier .50 (12.7 mm) caliber machine gun, immediately followed by the M2A2 with twin turrets equipped with .30 (7.62 mm) caliber M1919 machine guns. The “Mae West” gave way in 1938 to a small series of M2A3 37 mm (1.45 in) single turret tanks, and then to the final M2A4 in 1940, with improved armor, motorization and equipment. These fought at Guadalcanal with the US Marine Corps, and with the British Army through Lend-Lease, performing well in Burma and India against the Japanese, despite being obsolete.

The following M3 was built under the light of recent events in France. The quick fall of France, due to inadequate tactics, quickly led the US Army Corps to think about a new doctrine, which led to an independent US armored force. From the material point of view, the latest M2A4 and the M3 were both designed to be more effective than only infantry support units, their main duty was scouting and screening.
The M3 was, at first, a simple upgrade of the last M2, with a more powerful Continental petrol engine, a new vertical volute spring suspension system and up to four machine guns in addition to a main, quick-firing M5 (and later M6) 37 mm (1.45 in) anti-tank gun, with a new gun recoil system.

Most of the initial M3 tanks were provided to the British and Commonwealth forces through Lend-Lease. Some were immediately thrown into action in Northern Africa, where they immediately became popular for their speed, sturdiness and reliability. Although the official British designation was “Stuart”, paying homage to Civil War Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, they found themselves affectuously dubbed “Honey”, because of their smooth ride.
Beyond British and Commonwealth forces, the US Forces used many M3s in their first major operation in the west, the North African invasion in November 1942 (Operation Torch). They had some success against Italian tanks, but were butchered by German 88 mm (3.46 in) artillery and the up-gunned Panzer IIIs and IVs. It was clear that their high profile and the flat squared hull was too vulnerable. However, the M3 was popular, reliable and mobile, and the introduction of a diesel engine in the M3A1 made the small tank even more suitable for reconnaissance missions, so that the British Army asked by late 1941 for a dedicated scout variant that would trade-in the weak cannon armament (and the fourth crewman associated with it) for more mobility and range. This led to the M3A2, better known under the British name “Parsival”, because it was never adopted and operated by the U.S. Army.

The Parsival Mk. I used the standard M3 hull, but the lateral sponsons that formerly housed fixed machine guns were outright deleted in order to save weight and to reduce manufacturing effort as well as frontal area. Another major modification concerned the running gear: in order to improve speed and handling at higher speed, the M3’s vertical springs were replaced by a modified Christie running gear, which consisted of the standard drive wheel at the front, four large road wheels and three return rollers per side. The last pair of road wheels was mounted on trailing swing arms for increased ground contact and also acted as idler wheels. The M3A1’s optional 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel became the Parsival’s standard engine, and, beyond the internal tanks, two additional external fuel drums could be mounted to the rear hull, extending range from 100 to 150 miles.

A new cast turret, similar in shape to the airborne M22 Locust tank, was mounted, which had a much lower profile and offered better ballistic protection than the M3’s original turret with vertical side walls. The reduced height was a trade-off for firepower, though: the turret did not carry a full-fledged cannon anymore, only a medium 0.5” (12.7 mm) machine gun as well as a light, coaxial 0.303” (7.62 mm) machine gun, all operated by the commander. The machine gun in the front bow, handled by the radio operator, was retained, and another light machine gun could optionally be mounted on top of the turret against aircraft. The turret was furthermore equipped with a set of two smoke grenade launchers.

Through the different weight saving measures, the Parsival’s weight could be reduced from 12.7 to 10.8 tons, resulting in a slight improvement in overall performance but with a much better handling, esp. when moving off-road.

In the summer of 1942, the first Parsival Mk. Is arrived in the North African theatre of operations where they excelled in their dedicated reconnaissance role. Concerning the standard M3, the British usually kept the Stuarts out of direct tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance, too. In consequence, the turret was removed from some British M3 examples to save weight and improve speed and range, but these were inferior to the Parsival and became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers known as the "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted into command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command".
After the Africa campaign, British Stuarts and Parsival took successfully part in the liberation of Italy. About 500 were produced, 160 of them were delivered to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease, the rest was exclusively operated by the British Army in Europe. Parsivals, M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war.



Specifications:
Crew: Three (commander, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 10.8 tons
Length: 14ft 2in (4.33 m)
Width: 7ft 4in (2.33 m)
Height: 2.49 metres (8 ft 1 1/2 in)
Suspension: Christie system
Ground clearance: 16.5" (419 mm)
Fuel capacity: 54 US gal (200 l)
Armor:
0.52 - 2 in (13 - 51 mm)

Performance:
Speed:
- Maximum, road: 40 mph (65 km/h)
- Cross country: 22 mph (36 km/h)
Climbing capability:
- 40% side slope and 60% max grade
- Vertical obstacle of 24 inches (61 cm)
- 72 inches (1,8 m) trench crossing
Fording depth: 36 inches (91 cm)
Operational range: 100 ml (160 km) on road with internal fuel
Power/weight: 23.1 hp/t

Engine:
1 Guiberson T-1020 9-cylinder radial diesel engine with a 1,021 cu in (16.73 l) displacement,
delivering 250 hp (190 kW)

Transmission:
Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse

Armament:
1 0.5” (12.7) mm M2 machine gun with 900 rounds
3 0.303” (7,62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns
(co-axial in the turret, in the front bow and as an AA weapon on top of the turret)
with a total of 6,750 rounds
2 smoke dischargers on the turret’s right side


The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.


Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.


Even though the Hasegawa M3 was a simple basis to start with, the conversions, esp. the running gear, were quite challenging. But I like the result a lot: the Parsival looks like a slimmed-down race variant of the M3, just what I wanted to achieve, and the British camouflage suits the small tank well, too – the white contrast line adds an exotic touch.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit) - WiP

The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.




1:72 “Parsival” Mk. I scout tank; vehicle "T28078" of the British Army’s 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Armoured Brigade; Tunisia, late 1942 (whif/modified Hasegawa M3 Stuart kit)

+++ DISCLAIMER +++
Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!



Some background:
In September 1939, the US Army was ill-prepared as far as armored vehicles, training and tactics went. Soon, it became clear that a new model, which could be favorably compared to the European models, had to be studied for mass production. The very early M1 Combat Car was nothing more than a very small tank with two machine guns. Its main purpose was scouting and as such ordered for “cavalry” units. This was in 1937, and became the forerunner of all light tanks to come.
In 1935, a new model, the M2 Light Tank, was designed. At first, it was an immediate upgrade of the M1, but with the heavier .50 (12.7 mm) caliber machine gun, immediately followed by the M2A2 with twin turrets equipped with .30 (7.62 mm) caliber M1919 machine guns. The “Mae West” gave way in 1938 to a small series of M2A3 37 mm (1.45 in) single turret tanks, and then to the final M2A4 in 1940, with improved armor, motorization and equipment. These fought at Guadalcanal with the US Marine Corps, and with the British Army through Lend-Lease, performing well in Burma and India against the Japanese, despite being obsolete.

The following M3 was built under the light of recent events in France. The quick fall of France, due to inadequate tactics, quickly led the US Army Corps to think about a new doctrine, which led to an independent US armored force. From the material point of view, the latest M2A4 and the M3 were both designed to be more effective than only infantry support units, their main duty was scouting and screening.
The M3 was, at first, a simple upgrade of the last M2, with a more powerful Continental petrol engine, a new vertical volute spring suspension system and up to four machine guns in addition to a main, quick-firing M5 (and later M6) 37 mm (1.45 in) anti-tank gun, with a new gun recoil system.

Most of the initial M3 tanks were provided to the British and Commonwealth forces through Lend-Lease. Some were immediately thrown into action in Northern Africa, where they immediately became popular for their speed, sturdiness and reliability. Although the official British designation was “Stuart”, paying homage to Civil War Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, they found themselves affectuously dubbed “Honey”, because of their smooth ride.
Beyond British and Commonwealth forces, the US Forces used many M3s in their first major operation in the west, the North African invasion in November 1942 (Operation Torch). They had some success against Italian tanks, but were butchered by German 88 mm (3.46 in) artillery and the up-gunned Panzer IIIs and IVs. It was clear that their high profile and the flat squared hull was too vulnerable. However, the M3 was popular, reliable and mobile, and the introduction of a diesel engine in the M3A1 made the small tank even more suitable for reconnaissance missions, so that the British Army asked by late 1941 for a dedicated scout variant that would trade-in the weak cannon armament (and the fourth crewman associated with it) for more mobility and range. This led to the M3A2, better known under the British name “Parsival”, because it was never adopted and operated by the U.S. Army.

The Parsival Mk. I used the standard M3 hull, but the lateral sponsons that formerly housed fixed machine guns were outright deleted in order to save weight and to reduce manufacturing effort as well as frontal area. Another major modification concerned the running gear: in order to improve speed and handling at higher speed, the M3’s vertical springs were replaced by a modified Christie running gear, which consisted of the standard drive wheel at the front, four large road wheels and three return rollers per side. The last pair of road wheels was mounted on trailing swing arms for increased ground contact and also acted as idler wheels. The M3A1’s optional 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel became the Parsival’s standard engine, and, beyond the internal tanks, two additional external fuel drums could be mounted to the rear hull, extending range from 100 to 150 miles.

A new cast turret, similar in shape to the airborne M22 Locust tank, was mounted, which had a much lower profile and offered better ballistic protection than the M3’s original turret with vertical side walls. The reduced height was a trade-off for firepower, though: the turret did not carry a full-fledged cannon anymore, only a medium 0.5” (12.7 mm) machine gun as well as a light, coaxial 0.303” (7.62 mm) machine gun, all operated by the commander. The machine gun in the front bow, handled by the radio operator, was retained, and another light machine gun could optionally be mounted on top of the turret against aircraft. The turret was furthermore equipped with a set of two smoke grenade launchers.

Through the different weight saving measures, the Parsival’s weight could be reduced from 12.7 to 10.8 tons, resulting in a slight improvement in overall performance but with a much better handling, esp. when moving off-road.

In the summer of 1942, the first Parsival Mk. Is arrived in the North African theatre of operations where they excelled in their dedicated reconnaissance role. Concerning the standard M3, the British usually kept the Stuarts out of direct tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance, too. In consequence, the turret was removed from some British M3 examples to save weight and improve speed and range, but these were inferior to the Parsival and became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers known as the "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted into command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command".
After the Africa campaign, British Stuarts and Parsival took successfully part in the liberation of Italy. About 500 were produced, 160 of them were delivered to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease, the rest was exclusively operated by the British Army in Europe. Parsivals, M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war.



Specifications:
Crew: Three (commander, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 10.8 tons
Length: 14ft 2in (4.33 m)
Width: 7ft 4in (2.33 m)
Height: 2.49 metres (8 ft 1 1/2 in)
Suspension: Christie system
Ground clearance: 16.5" (419 mm)
Fuel capacity: 54 US gal (200 l)
Armor:
0.52 - 2 in (13 - 51 mm)

Performance:
Speed:
- Maximum, road: 40 mph (65 km/h)
- Cross country: 22 mph (36 km/h)
Climbing capability:
- 40% side slope and 60% max grade
- Vertical obstacle of 24 inches (61 cm)
- 72 inches (1,8 m) trench crossing
Fording depth: 36 inches (91 cm)
Operational range: 100 ml (160 km) on road with internal fuel
Power/weight: 23.1 hp/t

Engine:
1 Guiberson T-1020 9-cylinder radial diesel engine with a 1,021 cu in (16.73 l) displacement,
delivering 250 hp (190 kW)

Transmission:
Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse

Armament:
1 0.5” (12.7) mm M2 machine gun with 900 rounds
3 0.303” (7,62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns
(co-axial in the turret, in the front bow and as an AA weapon on top of the turret)
with a total of 6,750 rounds
2 smoke dischargers on the turret’s right side


The kit and its assembly:
This M3 conversion was spawned by the idea of a dedicated recce variant of the popular Stuart tank. Originally, I just planned to use the chassis from a Hasegawa 1:72 kit and replace the turret with a smaller option (including lighter armament), I already had organized a resin turret for/from an American T17 “Staghound” WWII recce car. But, as always, you can drive a simple idea easily further, so that I also thought about a different suspension and other modifications that would improve the tank’s agility. This led to a Christie-style running gear and the deletion of the M3’s machine gun sponsons, which were in practice used as storage space after the machine guns had been deleted.

The Staghound turret came from a ModelTrans/Silesian Models conversion set, which also includes a nice commander figure as well as two fuel drums. The sponsons were simply cut away and the gaps filled with 0.5 mm styrene sheet – a small modification, and thanks to the M3’s boxy hull design a simple affair. Only some small PSR on the side wall implants as well as on the mudguards (which are segmented) was necessary, and this modification changes the M3’s look considerably!

The running gear was scratched and more complicated, in particular because assembly and painting had to go hand in hand. The eight road wheels actually come from a 1:72 T-72 tank from ModelCollect, their width perfectly matched the track’s and they had the same size as the M3’s large idler wheel at the rear. The road wheels’ depth just looks a little disturbing, but not implausible. The trailing idler wheel (using the original suspension arm) defined the stance and the other wheels were mounted on plastic rods to the hull, with simulated suspensions arms (styrene profile) behind them. Since the drive and idler wheels’ position effectively remained unchanged, I was able to use the OOB vinyl tracks, which are really smooth and easy to handle. However, this move necessitated to retain the return wheels – I wanted to omit them, for an even more Christie-esque look, but without them the track would have been too long and slacked through, with a lot of space between the tracks and the mudguards. Nevertheless, the return wheels’ position was slightly changed, in order to reflect the modified road wheels’ position. And the whole affair simply looks different from the original, so I am fine with it.

In order to liven the small tank up, I added the fuel drums from the Staghound set to the rear fenders and added some more boxes and folded tarpaulins (made from paper tissue drenched in thinned white glue) on the mudguards, somewhat masking the new side walls from sight. I also mounted the M3’s OOB AA machine gun to the turret.


Painting and markings:
I wanted a Northern Africa paint scheme and at first considered the iconic Caunter scheme, but then I thought that, since this livery was also used on the real British Stuarts, I rather wanted something different.
I eventually settled for a simple two-tone scheme, used on British cruiser tanks like the Crusader as well as on M3 Lee medium tanks of American origin. The basic colors I used are Humbrol 168 (Hemp) for the Light Stone tone, and Humbrol 98 (Chocolate) for the dull, dark brown.

As common practice, the basic colors were separated with thin, white lines in order to emphasize the contrast between them. Sometimes in practice, an additional black line was added, too, but due to the model’s small size I just painted a white line.
Another common practice of the British army, esp. on cruiser tanks with large wheels, was to paint the front and rear road wheels in a uniform, light color, while the wheels between them became dark – an attempt to mimic a lorry, esp. when a light “Sunshield” canopy was mounted over the hull that resembled a truck’s outline.

The model received a light wash with a mix of black, grey and brown, the decals (taken from the OOB sheet) were applied next. Over this came some dry-brushing with light grey and ochre and the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (from the rattle can). Once the tracks were mounted, the lower areas of the tank were finally dusted with a mix of sand and light grey pigments.


Even though the Hasegawa M3 was a simple basis to start with, the conversions, esp. the running gear, were quite challenging. But I like the result a lot: the Parsival looks like a slimmed-down race variant of the M3, just what I wanted to achieve, and the British camouflage suits the small tank well, too – the white contrast line adds an exotic touch.





Images automaticaly loaded from flickr with tags : (libye,libya)