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M24 Chaffee Light Tank

Bronco Models 1/35 M24 Chaffee Light Tank Kit First Look

By Dave Manter

Date of Review February 2013 Manufacturer Bronco Models
Subject M24 Chaffee Light Tank Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35139 Primary Media Styrene/PE
Pros New subject, amazing details, working suspension Cons Lots of very small parts
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) $69.95

First Look

M24 Chaffee Light Tank
M24 Chaffee Light Tank
M24 Chaffee Light Tank
M24 Chaffee Light Tank
M24 Chaffee Light Tank
M24 Chaffee Light Tank

The US entered WWII with the M3 Stuart, which worked well, but was tall and noisy. Not ideal features of a reconnaissance vehicle and not rectified in the later M5 series. A new light tank was specified in 1943 using the M5 powertrain, but with a sleek new hull and turret. This was to emerge as the Light Tank M24. The noisy VVSS was replaced with a new torsion bar suspension, and weight was kept to 20 tons. Firepower was greatly increased by mounting a light weight 75mm gun using the same ammunition as the M4 Sherman. The M24 was well received by its crews, but it arrived too late to see much action, the first tanks arriving in Europe by November 1944. A few were passed on to the British and Free French before the war ended. Armor was up to 25mm thick and the road speed up to 56k/mh, maximum road range was 161 kilometers. A total of 4731 M24's were built by the end of WWII.

The Bronco kit of the M-24 Chaffee Light Tank consists of 664 plastic parts and more than 60 photo etch detail parts. All of the parts are very well molded and all feature very high detail. There is no flash present and seam lines are very fine. There are hundreds of small parts in this kit! The suspension is fully workable as are the track links. The track links themselves just click together. Bronco has even designed the shock absorbers to work with the moveable suspension. Decals are provided for 4 vehicles. They are:

  • 24th Reconnaissance Company, 24th Infantry Division, Chonui, South Korea, 1950
  • 3rd Reconnaissance Company, 3rd infantry Division, Songbongdong, Seoul, South Korea, 1951
  • 187th Airborne Regiment, Yong Dong Po, Seoul, South Korea, 1951
  • 79th Tank Battalion, Han River, South Korea, 1950

Construction begins with the running gear. Take your time here as there are a lot of parts used. The detail really must be seen to be appreciated! The light guards are assembled from numerous pieces of photo etch and Bronco does provide a bending jig for the main part. The driver's windshield can be assembled in the raised or lowered position. Construction moves on to the upper hull and all grill work is supplied as photo etch. The periscopes can be assembled in the raised or lowered positions. All of the various hatches can be built opened or closed. Construction then moves on to the turret and main gun. A full breech and most of the turret interior is provided. Assembly finishes with the final details.

This is not a kit for a beginner! Some of the parts are very, very small. The upside to this is that the detail is simply amazing. Bronco has a definite winner with this kit! This one will be a real show stopper built right out of the box.

My sincere thanks to DML for this review sample!