M24 Chaffe was a light tank used by Allies since 1944.
The Chaffe (named after Adna R. Chaffee, so-called "Father of U.S. Armoured Forces") was introduced to replace the aging M3 and M5 light recon tanks. Compared to them, the new tank was very modern in design. Altough it's maximum armour thickness was just 25 mm, sloping it for 60* from vertical ment that the frontal plate gave the same protection as 68 mm vertical plate. It's main gun was developed from 75 mm howitzer used on B-25 Mitchell bomber and was very light compared to other guns of this caliber. All this was aimed at keeping the tank's weight below 20 tons. The final vehicle had just 18,5 ton of weight.
M24 Chaffee was the first Allied tank to use torsion bar suspension instead of VVSS (Vertical volute spring suspension; commonly known as Sherman suspension). It was very effective, and most (if not all) of today's main battle tanks use this type of suspension. However, it led to some tragic - and embarassing - incidents. During Ardennes Offensive American soldiers, unfamiliar with the new type of tank, were firing at Chaffees, thinking they are German Panzer II light tanks or even Panthers. Also on number of occasions soldiers mistook allies' stars on the sides for German crosses (especially when they were hidden in the bushes or in the forrests). Nevertheless the Chaffee proved itself to be the best light tank of Allies in WWII. It was very fast, mobile and it's 75 mm gun, while not very powerful, ment that the tank could fire back if attacked.
After the WWII the Chaffes were used in Korean War, where they performed well agains the infantry, but suffered heavy losses in combat with T-34/85s (note that they are medium tank, so the fight wasn't much of fair play). Nevertheless they remained in service for very long time, used for recon and infantry support missions. They were also often used in various media, due to the large numbers of them still aviable. They played both Allied and German tanks (an ironic twist of fate, considering the friendly fire incidents from Ardennes). One of the most famous Chaffee's appearance was in 1954 kaiju movie, "Godzilla". Chaffe's were deployed to protect Tokyo from the awaken monster, but they were effortlessly obliterated by King of the Monsters. They also appeared in other kaiju films until they were replaced by other, newer (and sometimes fictional) tanks (altough in some of the film they were replaced by RC models - this is especially visible in "King Kong vs Godzilla").
I bought this one in Pantera shop in Poznan. I was debating whether to take Chaffe or T-34/76 (both Revell's 1/76) when I was interrupted by a man who was looking for a present to his son and asked me whether I can suggest something. So when he said his son is 7 years old and this will be his first model I suggested the T-34/76 to him as an easy and inexpensive model (and also a piece of classic in Poland). He took it and I bought the M24.
Again, this is an old Matchbox set, the forms of which were later bought by Revell. It's finely detailed and well-made. There are no flashes and the plastic is perfect - not too hard, so you can cut it, nor too weak, so it won't break while assembling. However there were some holes left in the turret when I assembled it (I had no putty to mask them, so I applied some glue and used the molten plastic to cover them) and I think the hull machine gun is way too big. There was also an AA-machine gun on the top of the turret, but for me it looked rather bad, so I took it off.
Painted with single paint all over it, then decaled and dirted with old, thickened Pactra paint. Could have spent some more time on it, but I was to busy with university tasks
There's a stand coming with this set, presenting a piece of road and a small MG nest with sand bags. I painted it, but I won't use it, because I'm running out of space on my model shelf.
Paints: the green, panzergrau and dark brown are Humbrol, the rest is Pactra