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Monday, October 8, 2012

M24 Chaffees! (UBX33)

Ever since I saw The Bridge at Remagen many years ago, I've had a certain affinity for the M24 Chaffee.  At the time I watched the movie, long before I knew the ridiculous amounts of tedious WWII equipment knowledge I have now, I didn't realize the M24 was actually WWII vintage.  I assumed that the movie, like a lot of other movies made at the time, used more modern vehicles.  When I first discovered that the movie was actually historically accurate ( least in terms of vehicles...), I couldn't wait until Chaffees were available for Flames of War!  

When they did become available, I have to admit I was slightly disappointed.  With the later Shermans receiving "Detroit's Finest", and the relatively high cost of the chaffee, their awesomeness was somewhat diminished.  On the other hand, front armor 4 vs 6 in late war isn't much of a difference, and those extra 2" of movement can be the difference between a side shot or a front shot!
But most importantly- the chaffees just look damn cool.  I clearly mixed them up in The Bridge at Remagen because they look so modern!  They seem like a design ahead of their time, eschewing the art deco style of the other allied tanks.  They're low to the ground, squat, and curvy.  What's not to love?
The Battlefront Boxset comes with the 5 tanks and not much else.  I was a bit disappointed at the lack of inclusion of magnets and decals, however the price is pretty good compared to buying individually.  With an MSRP of $52(US), the tanks cost just a hair over $10 a piece, a significant savings over the usual $12.50 for individual blisters.  Combine the already lower cost with standard online discounts, and these are one of the better bargains for Flames of War minis.
I did have one QC issue- I was short one gun barrel.  My package included 2 extra .50 cals, though, so I suppose it balanced out.  Either way, Customer Service got me the replacement barrel in less than 48 hours.
Cleanup of the models was no more difficult than usual.  One of the tracks had a significant amount of flashing for some reason, but the rest of the box was fine.
Assembly and painting was straight forward.  I did what I always do for US armor: Spray coat black, Vallejo Olive Drab base coat, Vallejo Green Grey drybrush, black line using a Pitt Artist Series Superfine nib artist pen, and weather using a drybrushed cheap hobby paint.
In all, I'm happy with the box and am looking forward to getting them on the table.  I will avoid building out a full company of them until I see for myself how they behave on the table top.
But whether they shine or fall flat, one thing is certain: They will look cool doing it!

*Models provided courtesy of Battlefront Miniatures.

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