AFV Club
M3/M5/M8 Stuart Vertical Volute Suspension
AFV Club Kit No. AF 35056
1:35 Scale
First Look Review
by Terry Ashley

Along with the excellent M3A3 Stuart kit AFV Club have released this suspension set for the M3/M5/M8 series of vehicles.

As you would expect this set contains sprues B and C from the M3A3 kit plus a surprise of an extra sprue with solid road wheels, solid drive sprocket and idler wheel with covered cut-outs. It should be noted that this set has the suspension only and no tracks are included.

The solid road wheels come in two styles with the large and small indentations for the lubrication points, although the nipples aren’t included but are easily added from sprue or small bolt heads, see images.

The M5/M8 Solid Road Wheels
AFV Club Road Wheel AFV Club Road Wheel
AFV Club Road Wheel Real Road Wheel AFV Club Road Wheel Real Road Wheel
The kit wheels modified with the addition of lubrication points
AFV Club AFV Club

The backs of the road wheels are open and this is probably the only drawback with the wheels as the shape of the bulges is spot on compared with the real wheels. The open backs would be hard to see under the hull of the finished kit but it would have been nice to have back inserts as Academy did with the solid road wheels in their M12 kit. There is also some minor sink holes around the centre of the rubber face on the wheels which will need filling.

The solid type drive sprockets have nice details and you are provided with final drive plugs to use on the Tamiya M3/M5/M8 kit hulls.
The M3/M5/M8 Solid Drive Sprockets
AFV Club Drive Sprocket
AFV Club Drive Sprocket Real Drive Sprocket

The new idler wheels are the late rubber tired type and have covers welded over the cut-outs as was often done in the field. The covers are raised on one side and the original cut-out shape on the other although there isn’t any weld beads but that is probably getting picky. Unfortunately there are also some sink marks in the centre of the rubber tire requiring filling.
Idler Wheels with covered cut-outs
AFV Club AFV Club
AFV Club Idler Wheel Front AFV Club Idler Wheel Rear

Click for additional images of the suspension units
AFV Club

The inclusion of the solid road wheels which were only seen on M5/M8 vehicles shorten the odds of these kits coming from AFV Club at some stage in the future but will also go a long way to improving the suspensions of the Tamiya and Academy M3/M5/M8 kits.

Highly recommended.

See a full construction article of this set HERE

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
Sprues from the M3A3 kit
AFV Club AFV ClubAFV Club
New Sprue
AFV Club

Page Created 18 March 2003
Updated 21 March 2003

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