Plastic Soldier M3 Stuart Honey Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

Plastic Soldier has released a series of simplified kits aimed at the wargame market. They come three to a box, and include parts to build multiple versions of the subject. They generally include some optional parts to help customize the builds to a degree. For me these are fun builds which allow for some opportunities at improving a basic kit and practice painting and weathering armor.
The parts are few but the molding is crisp. There are parts to build either the flat sided or round turrets, and both come with the option of posing the commander’s hatch open. The two partial figures represent either American or British uniforms, your choice.
The running gear comes as a single piece for each side, with or without dust guards. Some accuracy has been sacrificed for improved durability and ease of assembly. These don’t look bad under a coat of paint but compromises have been made here. You are given choices for the storage boxes, but these have sink marks which will need filling. The lower hull and rear plate are at the bottom right. This is a little puzzling to me as the only thing keeping you from building six Stuarts to a box is there is only one lower hull per sprue – all the other major components are there!
Here is the running gear. I have opened up the spaces in the idler wheel on the left, a quick job which improves the look. If you look closely at the top of the fender you can see another sink mark. I generally fill these with superglue, hit them with accelerator, and file them smooth. Only takes a minute.
The tracks don’t mate to the lower hull cleanly. Test fit and trim off some of the material on the key which slots into the hull until the dust guards mate with the hull properly. The headlights are just blobs on the fenders. Stuff like that bugs me and will have to be fixed.
The turrets needed a little filing and filling to eliminate the seams. Here I have filled the seams at the sides of the front armor with superglue and the top seams with Perfect Plastic Putty.
The kit includes a ridiculously out of scale .30 caliber machine gun for the turret. I used the guns from the accessories sprue included in the Academy deuce and a half truck kits which is a much better representation.
Assembly is complete, with various detail improvements. The headlights are Evergreen round stock with the backs tapered down, their brush guards were made from flattened solder. Replacing the kit machine gun barrels is also a simple but noticeable improvement.

Part II here: