M24 Chaffee

Kit #: R72001M Construction review by Kris Carlier - kriscarlier(at)telenet(dot)be
Edited by Rob Haelterman

For a preview of this kit, see here.


In 2018 the Bulgarian company OKB Grigorov launched a new kit of the American reconnaissance tank M24 Chaffee. It is the first injection moulded production for this manufacturer, who is best known for its resin kits and high quality aftermarket series. Here follows a full-build review of this new kit, that renders the old Hasegawa kit from 1974 completely obsolete. I built mine in a late WWII version.

The M24 kit comes in two versions. There is the regular edition and the so called mammoth edition. The latter contains all the aftermarket detail sets that OKB Grigorov has manufactured for its own kit. This means an aluminium barrel, more detailed resin idler wheels, a photo-etched detail set, a photo-etched turret bin and a pair of photo-etched side skirts. The level of detail in the regular edition is already slightly beyond that of Revell or Model Collect, but with these update sets you can really upgrade your model to another level.
A good example is the .50 machine gun. The regular kit offers you four pieces, with which you can build a very decent representation of this impressive gun. In the mammoth edition, on the other hand, the machine gun has become a kit of its own. It consists of one plastic part and 22 (!) photo-etched parts. When you decide to tackle this one, you will need the concentration of a brain surgeon, but in the end it is really worth the effort. The machinegun is packed with so much detail that you shouldn’t be surprised if it could really fire!
Also the photo-etched turret bin is an interesting feature. Not only is it far more detailed, but it also allows you to model the turret bin in an open position. This gives you the possibility to add more personal stuff of the crew, which will make your model more vivid. I also recommend to use the metal barrel and the resin idler wheels.

On the other hand, I did not see the extra value of the photo-etched side skirts. They are difficult to make and hardly add more detail. Actually, the injection moulded side skirts are of such a good quality and are so finely cast that they can hardly be improved. Besides, the tank crews in the field often omitted these skirts to make track maintenance more easy.

I will not bore you with a description how I glued all separate parts together. The kit builds pretty easy and should never give a problem. All pieces nicely fit together; filler is never needed. Therefore, I shall only point out where things might get wrong.
First, you might encounter some problems with the drive sprocket. With the tracks provided in the kit, the teeth of the drive sprocket should enter the holes in the tracks. However, the teeth of the drive sprocket in the kit are too big. If you want to run the tracks smoothly around the drive sprocket, you should cut these down. Some versions of the M24 Chaffee also drove with more narrow rubber tracks. These are not provided with the kit. In this case, the teeth of the drive sprocket should grip into the outer rim of the tracks, much like the Sherman tank.

You also have to take care with the construction of the hull. The lower hull comes a little bit higher than the upper hull. Be aware that this is correct, so do not make the mistake (as I did) to level this out. The kit also leaves room for some improvements you can do yourself. With copper wire, you can add handles to the hatches. As such, I would advise to add the handles on the glacis plate. These were a striking detail on the real tank but are not represented in the kit.

Unlike the kit from Hasegawa, the Chaffee from OKB gives you the opportunity to open all hatches. As those hatches are quite large, you can easily see there is no interior. When you don’t want people look into an empty space, you will need to add figures. I used the US tankers set from Milicast and a splendid standing figure from the new company War Front.

As a conclusion for this review: the M24 Chaffee of OKB Grigorov is a fine little gem that will give you hours of modelling pleasure. And for those of you who like to participate into contests: the mammoth edition definitively gives you the cards to win the game!


This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 14 August 2019

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