1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build

This section is for builds that are not strictly Tamiya or Heng Long. For instance, replacing the electronics from a WSN or Matorro, or even a scratch-build.

Postby Model Builder 4 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:36 pm

You could also possibly modify the 1/24 sprockets to use with the tracks ? :thumbup:

Cheers, Lee.
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Postby lmcq11 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:44 pm

Hi everyone, thank you all for your interest in this build.

First, i would like to say that there is no such concept as stealing ideas from this build. I mean, the whole purpose of providing detailed steps of my experiences here is to provide this information to you so that it can be helpful for your builds, you can analyze my results, decide to reproduce as is or hopefully improve. The idea is to have a lot more RC M5A1 out there.

Exhibitedbrute wrote:I have a question. As the tracks appear to be roughly half the size of Sherman tracks what about something in a smaller scale like tamiya metal 1/35 Sherman tracks perhaps?

Good thinking, i had exactly the same thought last week. I have some leftover 1/24 VS M4 Sherman hard tracks from the BMP-1 build. As you can see below, there are a bit narrower with the wrong chevron but the main issue is the overall size of the connector pins and teeth, too small and not matching the sprocket. And i had a really hard time designing a BMP-1 sprocket for them. But of course, with a 3D designed and printed sprocket, they could be used, but won't look good in my views. And they are also long discontinued and extremely difficult to find.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Continuing with the build, here is the bow Browning M1919 machine gun.

Kit and Aber parts are assembled for the build with fiber optics for a similar arrangement used on the turret Browning, and a micro servo.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The Aber barrel is installed on the kit mount which is allowing for movement.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The fiber, LED and brass tube barrel are connected. Notice that the plastic of the LED has been drilled a few mm (without touching the element) and the brass/fibre are inserted and glued inside the LED for a more direct and solid connection for the flash.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The bow machine gun is mounted on the hull. The LED is taking the place of the complete and nicely molded kit M1919 Browning MG that will see better use on a future build exposed outside.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The use of MATO low panzer III gearbox leaves some empty space on the right side of the hull that is usually not available on a Sherman with Sherman gears.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


I took the opportunity to design a simple gizmo connection of the MG mount to a micro servo in order to create some movement. This was done in 20 minutes without much planning. A plasticard is glued to the MG mount, and a metal wire connects the servo arm to the MG mount for some irregular left, right, down movement like a wanted. It does work. I am providing a short video on the next post.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The bow machine gun servo is connected directly to an available channel on the receiver and assigned to one of the knob switch.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The finalized Stuart Browning bow machine gun. Casting and markings are exceptional.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build
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continuing on following post
Last edited by lmcq11 on Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:21 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:49 pm

Firing of the machine gun LED. The Clark TK-60 allow for two independent machine gun flash and sound, which is required here for turret and bow MG.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Short YOUTUBE video of the machine gun in action with sound, flash and servo movement.

phpBB [video]


The kit comes with optional side skirts. But i decided the model looks better without them. But it allows for another M5A1 to be built and look different.

The model as it stands today. With the Classy Hobby model kit being about $130, Mato gearbox worth $70 and the reuse of available control board, this whole build will end up costing about $250 in material. Its cheap for a fully functional RC tank and custom build of a rare model.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build

Regards, Louis
Last edited by lmcq11 on Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:33 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby Exhibitedbrute » Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:07 pm

It is a shame about the tracks, if the pins and connectors matched the would suit the early version with rubber pads, but the stock tracks look like they hold up pretty well

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Postby lmcq11 » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:45 am

Hi,
Continuing with the build

The kit plastic headlights are easily replaced by MATO Sherman metal headlights with LEDs, they are the same as the Stuart.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The kit plastic headlight guards are thin and fragile, they need care while handling the tank. Some parts are somehow not as well detailed as others, like the ventilator between the two hatches, lacking casting texture, needing correction.

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Others are exceptionally well made, such as the horn.

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The periscope guards are designed in 4 very thin and very small parts to be glued in a very difficult position and with no anchor points. Its easy to see that this design will create questionable results for most modelers. Classy Hobby could have done better to help the modeler.

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At first, i discarded the guards and was going to look for alternatives but then i decided to at least make an attempt. This is what it does. Its look ok when looking from a distance. Superglue was added as a filler for the joints for solidity and for the look.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


All the grills at the back are a real pain to install. They are made of extremely thin and weak Photo-etching. The designer did not provide any support for them. They will be ripped and destroyed by simply touching them with light pressure, not great for RC. As this is a "kit", i gave it a try to position them the best i could. For heavy RC users, I would recommend filling the holes with a plasticard support and then glue the grill on top, like Heng Long, Tamiya and others would have likely done.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The big box at the back is a storage bin for the crew, added to M5A1 late model to help the crew with the lack of interior storage space. Touch the grills and they will be ripped off... But they look very good as a static display. Putting them on is a most frustrating experience because they hold by the edge of the PE part with no plastic support at all. Do this with superglue on your fingers and the PE parts not holding in place, it gets ugly real fast. Same story for the exhaust grills. The grills should have been made of thicker PE brass, and with some gluing lines on the plastic.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The plastic kit tail lights were discarded but i kept a section of the base that connects to the hull. The new tail lights are modified MATO metal Sherman tail lights after cutting and filing all the Sherman mounting portion and gluing the remaining round portion to the kit plastic mount. The MATO lights lack fine details but it would have been difficult to modify the kit plastic lights to add a LED while keeping the lenses intact.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build
Last edited by lmcq11 on Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:46 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:46 am

the model as it stands today

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Regards, Louis

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Postby lmcq11 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:24 am

Hi,

This is the Culin hedgerow cutter coming with the kit, a nice optional feature. The brackets were redone in brass for more solidity because it will surely receive some hits.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The turret periscope guards are as exciting to assemble as the ones at the front. The mount parts for the larger periscope on the turret left are so tiny, i could not even hold them with my fingers or pliers trying to clean and prepare them.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The were easily replaced with 1mm brass rods with anchor going into the armor.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The rest of the kit assembly was uneventful but it has a lot of very small parts that are not really fun to manage. Only remaining items to install are the tools, machine gun and the grousers on the turret. These will be installed after painting. I just need to do one more walk around using my Squadron book to see if something should be added, then the construction will be finished and the tank can be painted.

Here is the model as it stands today prior to painting.

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After some practice on the first two, building the standard periscope guards on the next two for the turret proved easier, although they are still far from perfect. Thankfully, the kit is providing many spare parts for these because i did lost a few in the building.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Machine gun mount, minus the M1919 gun and ammo box to be installed after painting. The kit instructions for this part was fuzzy and weak, leading to a couple of mistakes. I strongly suggest studying references before putting it together. Some more advanced modelers will likely want to make it operable, it should be foldable into its armored protection when not in use, a bizarre tank design not seen anywhere else.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The Culin hedgerow cutter, a field modification made during the Normandy battle to plow through thick hedgerow bushes, is a cool addition to a rather small vehicle, making it look a bit more aggressive than it actually is.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


With metal tracks, suspension, sharper edges and stronger attachment points, it would be tempting to try the hedgerow cutter in the wife's backyard garden. But it would surely create a mess no matter what.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Some more pictures on following post
Last edited by lmcq11 on Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:28 am

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


All the tiny, minuscule and fragile plastic tie downs were replaced by ones from AFV Model in metal. They are a little bit larger than normal. I did file them to reduce their aspect but i least i can see them and put them on with my pliers. The tie downs are required because all the tools are held in place with PE straps between tie downs. The kit plastic tie downs below are very small and weak, great for static model but touch them while lifting the upper hull to put in the battery and they break right away.

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Its a good vehicle for some cat hunting inside the house.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


The 1/16 Classy Hobby M5A1 can be built into an impressive fully packed RC vehicle with all options enabled except a smoker that would be difficult to find a place for inside the hull.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Once the build is finished, we are left with a lot of spare parts, including prized ones like M1919 machine guns, US tank periscopes, periscope covers, SCR-508 US tank radio, complete US 37mm M6 antitank gun, and all kind of turret interior parts.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Superb M1919 Machine gun with ammo box and belt. Three of these are provided with the kit, only one being used for the turret top because the coax and bow MG were replaced by simpler Aber barrels.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


This absolutely unique 1/16 scale rendition of the SCR-508 US tank radio is perfect for installation into a US Half Track, replacing to totally useless WSN or Trumpeter junk radio part provided.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Example of a leftover part tree, showing all the available parts that will surely be useful for future build.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Next time you see it, it will be painted.

Regards, Louis

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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:25 pm

Hi everyone,

The RC M5A1 model is finished. I painted it with Vallejo Olive drab, and then with an application of black pigments in low areas, and then dry brushed with dark steel pigments. It took about 3 hours. I wanted this one to be really cute and clean so no dirt, dust or mud.. The only issue i encountered is when i discovered that Vallejo primer does not hold on metal (!!!), so i had to peal the Vallejo paint off the barrel and headlights and redo these areas with Tamiya Olive drab. It was a small shock when i noticed the Vallejo paint falling off the brass barrel... I will be careful in the future.

So, here is an extensive tank porn photoshoot of the M5A1, with a Youtube video of the model in action at the end of the last post. At this time, it seems to be a rare sight on the web as i could not find other 1/16 conversions. The high number of parts may turn off many RC enthusiast, but then, that's the price to pay to have an M5A1 Stuart on inventory. Hope there will be more soon. Get to work guys. Its worth it.

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Continuing on following post

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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:27 pm

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build

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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:31 pm

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build

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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:33 pm

Check out the markings on these grousers.

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Notice cast markings on the tracks as well.

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build
Last edited by lmcq11 on Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby BarryC » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:38 pm

Fantastic finish Louis and in only 21 days by my count! :O :thumbup: :thumbup:

Barry
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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:40 pm

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


Here is the 1/16 scale model next to its bigger (non upgraded) 1/6 brother. The small one packs as many RC features and is much more detailed. It is only now that i fully realize how simplistic the 1/6 tank really is. It needs to be totally redone...

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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


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1/16 RC M5A1 Stuart Light tank - build


And finally, here is a short YOUTUBE video of the M5A1 in action.

phpBB [video]


Thank you all for your interest. Hope you enjoyed the build and that it can help you with your own conversion. Can't believe it took only 3 weeks to build this model. It was a real pleasure.

Regards, Louis
Last edited by lmcq11 on Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Ad Lav » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:47 pm

Beautiful work!!
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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:05 pm

Ad Lav wrote:Beautiful work!!


BarryC wrote:Fantastic finish Louis and in only 21 days by my count!


Thank you Adam and Barry,
Yes, for 3 weeks of build time and a total cost of $250 for the whole build (Kit, Mato gear, servos... minus the TK60 that i reuse), it was a very time and cost efficient project. The kit is extremely well detailed, but fragile and needs some care when manipulating. Can't throw this one in a gravel pit or thick grass to see what will happen. But it can sustain a ride on a well maintained dirt path and any floor. It will be upgraded whenever some metal tracks comes on the market.

Louis
Last edited by lmcq11 on Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Model Builder 4 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:18 pm

That is exceptional Louis :clap: another speedy and very high quality build yet again, another credit to you :thumbup:

Cheers, Lee.
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Postby PainlessWolf » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:22 pm

Good Morning!
Realism in detail. The Stuart is enough of a handful in 1/6 scale to redo and detail. ( Yes, it is really simplistic in 1/6 scale...A big Toy as Bob Steinbrunn found out and myself as well ) That you have done such a wonderful job in 1/16 really says something. ;o)
regards,
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Postby Kaczor » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:04 am

Amazing build, paint job and pictures :D
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Postby FredtheFrench » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:54 am

Just need to set up a production line... :thumbup: :D :D
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