M5A1 Light Tank

Manufacturer: NRC (# 72112)

Much better than earlier NRC kits, this is the first M5 Stuart kit available in 1/72nd. Although requiring a little extra care in building, it should produce a pretty good-looking model.

NRC has used a higher quality of resin for this kit, but it is a little brittle. There is a lot of paper-thin flash, and the extremely delicate sprockets on the drive wheels have broken off all four wheels except one. Hopefully, I will be able to repair the others with the sprocket fragments in the zip-lock bags. NRC needs to pack these delicate parts a little more carefully. The hull and turret are solid, so all of the hatches are molded closed. In the scan above, only representative wheels and track segments are shown.

The overall detail is really very good, and based on preliminary measurements, the kit looks like it scales out very well to 1/72nd (according the book British and American Tanks of World War II, by Chamberlain and Ellis). The pioneer tools are all molded as separate parts, and are very well made. No decals are included, and although the instructions are very limited, construction should be fairly easy. A few reference photos will help.

If NRC's future kits keep improving, they will soon be very competative with other top-run resin manufacturers. I like this kit a lot, and with the exception of the shattered sprockets, I look forward to building it.

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