I really like the Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) 1/72 or 20mm kits. They balance a very high level of detail in an easy assembly model. IMHO they are the best value and quality on the market. In addition you get plenty of 'out of the box variation' with the models. For example the 20mm M5A1 kit comes in three different 'models' (early, middle and late production types), with or without the "Sgt Cullen" patent "bocage" hedgerow strimmer, therefore the 'basic' number of permutations is six without breaking into a serious modelling sweat (see below):
In fact there is so much extra kit included in each box means that there is almost enough to make "double the number of models" which stands at a generous three as it is. The only thing stopping the 'six models for the price of three' is the lack of a turret and a couple of 'simple' body parts, namely a basic squarish box to attach the hull cover and tracks onto.
However as a 'M5A1 Stuart' without a turret is in actual fact a 'M5A1 Reece Stuart' British battlefield modification, the lack of a turret is therefore not such a big issue after all. It is just a case of scratch building a box of a body and then "milliputting" a round "front end" on. From this musing struck a germ of an idea that grew and grew. Thus began a plasti-card missing body part production line (see below):
I did briefly think/experiment on casting a "household DIY sealant productbased" body but my "injection moulding" capabilities were sadly lacking, but at least the 'undefined' shape that resulted convinced me I could make a basic "plasti-card' chassis to drop the extra hull cover onto (see below):
Assembled together: the spare hull cover, spare tracks and 'custom' hull (see below):
The three M5A1 Stuarts in the background are fully complete and the three M5A1 Reece Stuarts in the foreground have the "outlined body construction" complete, needing just a little extra tidy up to the front and back "TLC modelling" (see below):
Concept proven to hold water methinks, Browning 50 Calibre HMG, sandbags, stowage and extra crew still needed.