Light Tank M5A1 Stuart (Late)in 1/56, 28mm scale...
...a model for the wargames market, from Rubicon Models
I had not been familiar with the range of plastic kits from Rubicon Models in the popular wargames scale of 28mm, which is 1/56 until I looked at their stand at the On Track show in Folkestone this year. I have to say the examples on display on their stand looked very impressive, with German, British, American and Russian subject all included.
Seeing them built is one thing, but best is to try one out, and this I have done with their US Light Tank M5A1 (late version). You actually have the option of building it as the Light Tank, or as the turretless T8E1, with ring mounted .50cal and .30cal machine guns. I opted for the gun tank in this case. The grey plastic sprues are beautifully done, first class I would say. The tracks and running gear are essentially moulded in one piece, though there are extra fittings for the inner drive sprockets idler support and the inner face of the suspension units. There is also an option to fit front towing shackles or the Cullin hedgerow device. As for the turret, you have options for the right side for the mid-production turret or the Late version, with the extra shield for the pintle mounted .30cal. The rear of the hull also provides options for the mid- or late-production back end. The other thing I like is that both hull and turret hatches can be fitted open or closed. No crew figures are included in the box but are available separately.
Fit of parts I found to be excellent and I rather enjoyed the build which was completed very quickly. A general set of Allied transfers are included in the kit, and these not only apply nicely but you are left with plenty of useful extras to add to your spares box. I painted mine using the Tank Spray US Olive Drab from the Plastic Soldier Company, and then a wash of Brown from the Ammo of Mig Jiminez range. The tracks had the connectors painted in Vallejo Gun Metal and then washed with Ammo Track Wash, while the rubber track shies were done with Lifecolour Tyre Black (a dark grey). I then chose to apply the transfers, the stage it is left at for now. The tools need to be picked out in colour and then some light weathering to apply to finish things off.
With 2 build options in the box, this is a good way of building up your wargame units. I must say I am now tempted to try more from the range, which will also look good in dioramas that will save some space compared to 1/35, even if you are not a wargamer.