Recently, I began subscribing to the WWII series of models in 1:43 scale from the French company Atlas Editions. The models are assembled and painted and only needs additionally detailing and weathering to look pretty good.
My first vehicle was the US M3 Scout car, and as a model builder for many years, it was fascinating to buy an assembled model instead to the usual kits from Tamiya and others. Overall, I think the model looks rather good.
The proportions seems acceptable, the colors and decals look good, although the color seems to have be added in too heavy layers, slightly obscuring the smaller details.
On many of the small parts, which had been glued on at the factory such as jerrycan, stowage etc a lot of flash was visible, and the machine gun looked rather crude.
But the worst thing is the omission of the upper part of the hull. Notice on the image above how the top of the side of the scout car curves upwards, near the hanging helmet.
On the model, the upper hull is completely straight, giving the vehicle a rather different look.
Especially Atlas Editions makes a big deal out of providing a certificate of authenticity with each model, it seems like a glaring omission. I also checked the wheelbase, which measures to 7.7. centimeters on the model, which is 331 centimeters in 1:1, which matched the measurement on the Wikipedia page of the car.
Despite the faults of the model, I decided to improve it by first removing as much flash as possible and repainting the damage. Then I painted some extra details such as the metal of the straps of the stowage, varied the color of the seats slightly, and then went on to weather the model.
First I gave the car a couple of brown and grey washes, followed by creating highlights with a drybrush of a light tan. Then especially the lower part of the vehicle received some weathering powder, chalk pastel in light brown and tan to give the impression of a dusty summers day.
Despite its flaws, I am happy with my new model, and the level of detail has given me food for thought on the many hours spent on assembling plastic kits. With a full-time job and small children, just spending a couple of hours detailing the model seems alluring!