I had a day off, so I decided to work on a project that I have been thinking about for a long time. It has been noted that the Hasegawa M3 Stuart is 1/70 scale (maybe larger), but when I compared it with a Mirage M3, I was thinking that it might not be impossible to fix it so that it would come close to 1/72.
A comparison of the Hasegawa and Mirage hulls can be seen at On The Way! I'd say that the Hasegawa hull is almost 2mm wider, and 5mm longer than the Mirage hull, which is ostensibly 1/72 scale.
What really concerned me however, was the turret. It seemed gigantic when I first compared it with the Mirage turret. I was actually thinking about trying to find an appropriate 20mm turret as a replacement, but when I actually measured them, it was actually the same length, although almost 2mm wider and 1mm taller.
I decided I could live with the difference in width, though the difference in size between the hatch on the commander's cupola for the Hasegawa and Mirage kits is quite dramatic.
Here is what I did to adjust the dimensions of the Hasegawa kit:
1. Shorten the rear deck by 0.5mm
2. Shorten front glacis
3. Shorten fenders
4. Glue bar in new position
5. Sand down the sides of the hull (reduction of 1mm+)
I think that overall, the converted Hasegawa hull on the left matches the Mirage hull on the right very closely.
The left fender is missing in the picture because it fell to the carpet while I was trying to glue it in place. I looked for it everywhere, and then started to check if it somehow got stuck in my clothes. As I was shaking out my jacket, it reminded me of a scene from Ganota no Onna... I didn't quite get to the stage Utsuki did before giving up though.
Next, the walls and bottom of the lower hull were cut and assembled to match the length of the upper hull.
Some more assembly, and some putty work. I even found the missing fender and attached it.
Disaster! I had already figured that I would need to shorten the tracks, but I forgot to account for the size of the wheels when moving the bogies closer. Actually the fit is really tight even where I didn't adjust the spacing. The rear road wheel can barely fit because it is pressed right up against the rear idler assembly.
I walked away in disgust at that point, but now that I've had some time to think things over, I'll have to see what diameter the wheels need to be in order to not be jammed up. Maybe some 1/76 wheels might work out...