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10Mar/182

Bolt Action M3 Grant medium tank with track guard

In addition to the M3 Lee review, this article will cover the british Grant variant of the M3 with track guards.

Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards

Unlike the M3 Lee, this kit is only available as made-to-order and therefore comes without a box in a simple bubble wrap bag.

As the M3 is already introduced in the other article, I'll focus here on the M3 Grant. Of the more than 6,000 Units the Americans build of the M3 Lee, 2,855 units were handed over to the British, who supplied them within the Commonwealth. The British had added modifications to their order, a different turret was designed with thicker armor plate, more space to house radio equipment and the machine gun cupola to be replaced with a simple hatch. The later was even done to some of the M3 Lee turrets in use by the British in China, Burma and India. And some of the M3 that were to be deployed in North Africa received sand guards, as this kit has as well.

The M3 Grant is a resin and pewter kit in 28mm / 1:56 scale and available at 24 GBP. It comes with no decals, the resin parts are bagged in bubble wrap with the pewter parts in a zip lock bag within. The instruction are available on the Warlord website.

As you can see from the spread of the individual parts, the kit consists of the hull, the two track sections and the grant turret casted in resin, and the two tank commanders (british and american), the hatch, towing hooks and guns. That this bag although contained the machine gun cupola is a packing error, as the Grant did not make use of these pieces.

Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards

After a quick dry assembly to see if the parts fit, the resin parts got cleaned with warm soap water and a tooth brush. You can use this step to realign any warped pieces if they need to. Casting was good, only small flash and bit of filling to the underside of the tracks was necessary. No air bubbles or other casting errors.

The tracks were glued to the side of the hull. If you are wondering about the leaflet. While super glue settles, it tends to create white residue on surfaces, so this is just to protect the cutting matt.

Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards

Next up the Grant turret. With the track guad body, this M3 Grant will be used in the North Africa campaign and with all the sand and dust, it is best to keep the hatches shut. Otherwise you can add the American or British tank commander. The gun can be glued directly into the mount, or pinned with a small piece of wire. I did the later.

Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards

Next up the towing hooks. This was a rather unpleasent step, as the surface to glue them to is curved and offers only a small contact area. So I filed down the slab on the back of the hooks and drilled holes where they would be glued as a mount. Makes this step much easier.

Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards

Last step is the hull mounted gun. You can glue it directly to the mount or pin it with a piece of wire, as I did the turret mounted gun. Just add the turret and the M3 Grant is done.

Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards

A side by side comparison of the M3 Grant to the M3 Lee. Both are the Mark I of the build, with the riveted hull. You can see that the Grant turret is minimal less taller than the Lee turret with the machine gun cupola. The track guards were mostly ordered as sand guard, but often fell off, so if you want to field them in the Italy campaign / late war, it might be the better choice to go with the other track variant.

Bolt Action - M3 Grant vs M3 Lee Bolt Action - M3 Grant vs M3 Lee Bolt Action - M3 Grant vs M3 Lee

And of course, the final shots from different angles.

Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards

Conclusion
The conclusion is the same as with the M3 Lee. Warlord offers a decent kit and quick to assemble. The M3 Grant is a good fit for mid war armies of the British Army and late war of the Commonwealth forces, like Chindits, Australia or Canada. Panzerserra covered a command variant of the M3 Grant, that can be seen here M3 Grant British Command Tank. These could be build on base of this kit as well.

Pricing at 24 GBP may not be cheap, but is around average for a resin tank that size. Blitzkrieg Miniatures is a bit cheaper at 22 GBP, Die Waffenkammer sets theirs at 32 CAD (roughly 18 GBP). Decals would have been nice, but I guess those will be added along with the stat cards and wound tokens in an upcoming re-pack of the M3 Lee / Grant.

As far as I know there are currently no plans on releasing the M3 Grant / Lee in plastic, but if they do, it is very likely that both variants will be covered in one kit.

Bolt Action is a brand of Warlord Games.

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