Sunday, 25 May 2014

Plastic Soldier Company 15mm Stuart Light Tank

The Hereford Model Centre has a box around the back that contains a small selection of PSC single sprue kits for £5. The choice doesn't change too often, but a few weeks ago I spotted both the Stuart and Cromwell kits, so I grabbed them quick.
The Stuart sprue intrigued me as it contains no less than three different upper hulls and two sets of tracks. This got me thinking......
Some years ago at a Military Vehicle rally I saw a couple of Stuarts modified into turret less Recce Vehicles armed with just a .50 cal. This was a wartime conversion that made the vehicle silhouette lower and more stealthy, and as the 37mm was by then totally ineffective, the .50 cal was more than adequate for self defence. Now could I build one of these with the left over spares parts on the sprue....
My first plan involved making a copy of the lower hull using my magic mould stuff.
This stuff goes soft in hot water and the sets in the fridge. Now I can fill the mould with Green Stuff and I'll a new lower hull!
A good idea? Maybe, but I couldn't get the blooming new hull out in one piece! So back to the drawing board.
I was actually making life harder than I needed to. I opted to make my Stuart without dust guards so selecting the two track lengths with mud guards and the unwanted early style upper hull I assembled a "hollow" Stuart hull. When it was set, I very simply cut a new floor from plasticard and glued it in. Then I cut more card to fill in the front glacis and the rear engine doors....simples!
I trimmed the inner edge of the turret ring to remove the turret retaining lip and fitted a .50 cal from the spares box. The Culin hedgerow device from the kit was added to hide my home made floor.
The large storage box was added at the rear to hide the rear plate I'd added along with three jerrycans from the Sdkfz251 kit. And there you have it, your very own Stuart Recce Tank!

The Stuart itself went together very well. I built the turret first. The seven parts were beautifully engraved.
The kit included a commander figure but I opted to fit a spare Battlefront item. There is also a lovely little .30 cal mg.
The rest of the kit went together in a couple of minutes. With a little bit of work I had two kits for the price of one!
I made a crew figure for the Recce Tank with another Battlefront tank commander with PSC Russian officers legs.
Both Tanks were finished in a similar fashion to the T35. The white star decals came from QRF Miniatures.
The bases are mdf covered in Vallejo Pumice, painted earth brown and dry brushed Iraqui Sand.
Two cracking additions to the Allied cause. A bargain when you take into account you get two vehicles for £5 and a little bit of work that any one with a bit of modelling ability could achieve.

Very much recommended!



  1. Great stuff. For your mould, have you tried to put it in warn water so as to get the green stuff out? Would it work better

  2. I'd thought about that as well when I saw the box set. Well done, 2 models for a fiver not a bad result.

  3. Excellent work. They look very good.

  4. Wonderful scratch building work and a well written description. Great post!

  5. Thanks guys. I tried warm water, but this weakened the green stuff so it started to break up.

    Years ago I did something like this far more successfully with parts pushed into plasticine to make a mould and cast in car filling resin!