In the past couple of weeks I’ve reviewed, built and now completed a pre-production example of OKB Grigorov’s first full plastic kit, the US light tank M24 Chaffee.
As I have demonstrated in the posts so far, the pre-release communication from the company and some of its friends and loyal customers has been 100% correct: what you see is a complete plastic kit with high level of detail, representing particular features of the actual vehicle, and with minimal compromise with fidelity despite the small scale.
I am particularly pleased with the way the upper hull rests over the hull tub – just like on the real vehicle. The kit parts mostly self-align, so despite the seemingly complicated breakdown my pre-production sample does not “limp”, and stands on all its 10 road wheels. Impressively, I only removed flash from 3 parts, meaning the factory is very well versed in kit molding. The sprue gates on parts, including individual track links, are really thin and easy to clean up. Yes, there have been some molding lines (you can see them on my idler wheels) you may have to take care of, but nothing you have not done before.
You can see bolts, panel join lines, hatches, periscopes, cooling louvres, etc. are all present, as are details such as the cooling vents of the two 30 cal barrels. The M2 on the turret is possibly the best in the scale I’ve encountered so far. Track segments and individual links are thin and feature uniform detail. Perhaps the only item I would replace are the headlamp guards, which are already available in the PE set from the previous article.
Without further ado – the finished article. Note I have not modified stock parts aside from drilling the gun barrel and cutting out the rear left segment of the side skirt, which was not completely molded on my sample. As no decals were available in my sample – I did not apply any.
Here is the M24 with its closest competitor (in my view) – a Pz III. This is an Ausf. L by DML I built a few years ago.
You can see the M24 is about the same size, but carries a 75mm (vs 50 on the Pz III) and an extra heavy MG.
In conclusion the kit has been a pleasure to build (it took me 3 evenings to assemble and a weekend to paint), and my next project would be the Mammoth edition, with all metal parts available from OKB.