Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Some light armoured support for the US Paratroopers. An M5A1 Stuart light tank.

The M5 light tank was a replacement vehicle for the M3 light tank, and was introduced in September 1942. It boasted a 37mm main gun, and up to three .30cal machine guns (one for AA defence). The tank had a maximum speed of 36mph, maximum cross country speed of 24mph. ( A Panzer IVH max speed of approx 23mph (road)).

A US tank battalion consisted of four companies (1944), three companies A-C had M4 (Sherman) tanks and the Company D was equipped with the M5. The Light Company had  17 tanks, 5 in three platoons plus 2 command vehicles.

The M5 was itself replaced by the M24 (Chaffee). The M24 first saw service in November 1944, but the M5 was still in use by the end of the war.

This model is from Company B and I picked mine up from Wargames Command Post (excellent service, recommend WCP). The hull and turret are resin and the tracks, main gun, machine guns, and headlights are metal fittings. The stowage is a mix of Company B and Bolt Action (but they don't seem to do the same range anymore) and I think ebob. The decals are also from Company B.

The model was sprayed black and airbrushed with Tamiya colours (Olive Drab & Khaki Drab), then I applied a MIG filter, from the Allied set. Then the vehicle was weathered, paint chips applied with a sponge (the packing from a model blister pack), oil paints, GW washes, thinned GW paints, Forge World weathering powders. Stowage painted mainly with Vallejo colours. Several layers of varnish between stages, and a final matt varnish with Daler-Rowney matt varnish applied with the airbrush. This model was about 98% completed a month ago but only just got round to finishing it off.

The M5 may not be the sexiest tank from WW2, or the deadliest, but it was used by the USA, Britain and USSR. It saw service in Europe and the Far East, were it was probably better suited against the Japanese tanks. It also represents my preference for that bit of realism in games, I try and avoid the WW2 gamers (some of them anyway ( particularly German players!)) obsession with having the biggest and best tank, anti-tank gun etc..

Next up the M4.

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