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In-Box Review
135
Leopard 2A4M CAN
Leopard 2A4M CAN with Barracuda Camouflage
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by: Anthony Sewards [ RECCEBOY ]

Introduction

The Leopard 2A4M CAN is the upgraded Canadian version of the Leopard 2A4 acquired from the Royal Netherlands Army surplus. It is specially designed for the war in Afghanistan based on experience gained by Leopard 2 operators. The first 20 were delivered in October 2010 and 5 Leopard 2A4M’s were deployed to Afghanistan in December 2010, and withdrawn from front line service in July 2011. Though originally planned to be up-gunned to the L55 for consistency with the 2A6M CAN, the longer barreled guns (optimized for tank-vs-tank warfare) were found to be less than ideal in Afghanistan, and therefore it was decided to retain the L44 shorter barrel. In addition, only small areas of slat armor were added, in contrast with the fully caged 2A6M CAN's. The protection of the Leopard 2A4M CAN has been further augmented with the addition of appliqué armor resembling that found on the most recent Leopard 2A7 variant, but modified to fit the turret configuration of the 2A4.

This kit from Perfect Scale Modellbau represents the latest Leopard 2 operated by the Canada in Afghanistan. There are a lot of happy modelers out there with all this new Canadian Armour kit.

Contents

There are 2 bags containing 89 grey resin parts, upper hull, turret, barrel and turret boxes covered in Barracuda camouflage in one bag, with the other containing turret hatches and stowage. The kit comes with two detailed sheets of photo etch, 30cm copper wire for tow cables, and a 15cm plastic rod. This kit is a excellent resin conversion for the Leopard 2A4 from Hobby Boss.

The instructions cover 7 pages. Page one gives you a parts list and the rest the building instructions with last page showing a finished and painted kit.

The review

Starting from the turret assembly which starts on pages 2-3, detailed instructions guide you through the process of bending the photo etch and mounts for the turret. On page 2 is a guide to bending and gluing the slat armor for the turret. With page 3 dealing with the rear turret baskets and mounting the turret top stowage boxes and parts.

Pages 4-5-6: Deals with the hull conversion slat assembly and the very detailed photo etch mounts. The instructions show the placement of the photo etch parts on the rear hull and upper hull, with detailed resin vehicle tools, like shovels, bow saw, pinch bar and track adjuster. On page 5 shows the detailed guide to the rear slat armor and the placement of the extra photo etch parts.

Page 7: Deals with the last bits for the turret with a detailed machine gun mount, for the Fabrique National General purpose machine gun (GPMG), and gives you the option of the sun shade umbrella to have it mounted open or closed.

Perfect Scale Modellbau provides three color photos of a finished kit. The Barracuda camouflage detail on all parts is crisp and very detailed. Throughout the instructions Perfect Scale Modellbau has included detailed photos of a completed kit to aid the modeler in the position of the slat armor .

Conclusion

This is a very welcomed kit of a operational and a unique Leopard tank, that has seen active service for only 7 months in Afghanistan.The kit gives you the chance to build the sun shade umbrella opened or closed. The open version has modeled on top a cover over the Barracuda camouflage, but not all of the deployed Leopards had this canvas type cover. The instructions are fantastic with the fully detailed building guide to add the photo etch slat armor, plus the addition of photos to show you “How-to” complete the part the right way. This kit is a real gem, and after working on and around Leopard tanks for a few years with a rotation in one overseas welcome this excellent resin kit.
SUMMARY
Highs: Crisp and detailed resin conversion parts and photo etch. Excellent “How-to” type of instructions.
Lows: The sunshade shouldn't have the cover on it, and give the modeler the option in the instructions to cover the Barracuda camouflage.
Verdict: An excellent resin conversion kit of a unique Canadian main battle tank.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID:  35082
  Suggested Retail: 109,95 EUR
  PUBLISHED: Oct 25, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Canada
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.12%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.69%

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About Anthony Sewards (recceboy)
FROM: ALBERTA, CANADA

Served with the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) for 26 years. Was chief gunnery instructor on the Lav-Recce (Coyote), Lav-3, Leopard C-2 / Leopard 2. And various small arms from pistol to .50 cal. and 84mm . Have been working behind the scenes with REALMODELS, BLACKDOG, MENG,LEGEND,HOBBY ...

Copyright ©2019 text by Anthony Sewards [ RECCEBOY ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thanks for the review Anthony. That rear slat looks shall we say, fidly, to assemble LOL. cheers
OCT 25, 2011 - 06:42 AM
Thanks. Nice review Anthony. Very nice model. Please tell me if PSM extended hull or if they have used as a basis narrower hull of the HB model. Miloslav
OCT 25, 2011 - 08:33 AM
Miloslav There are some hull issues when placed onto the HB 2A4 hull section, they don't match up on my sample.The front hull section comes forward and hte rear section dosn't fit into the rear back plate , Photos posted here: LINK Anthony
OCT 25, 2011 - 02:53 PM
That's some rather large fit issues, you sure it's for the HB kit LOL? cheers
OCT 25, 2011 - 03:34 PM
fark me.. "mind the gap" indeed!
OCT 25, 2011 - 03:43 PM
With no disrespect to Anthony intended I think the review could be expanded upon for the scope of this conversion. I have had this kit for several weeks now and studied it a great deal as well as compared it with the Y-Modelle conversion and multiple images of the real tank. With a price tag of $155.00 the conversion contains lots of high quality parts such as the resin Barracuda covered replacement parts but there are still basic details that are completely absent or inaccurate. The external housing for the driver's warning lights mounted on the top of the right headlight mount is not included. This is a clearly visible part on the 2A4M CAN. This will have to be scratch built by the modeller to make the conversion accurate.As a side note this part is also not included in the Y-Modelle conversion. At this stage of the game and with the price tag of Leopard 2 resin conversions we are still not seeing a replacement upper hull from any producer that includes the correct modified engine air intake grills bolt details. This refers to the recessed bolts/dampeners inset into the sides of the engine air intake grill housings. These feature is evident on the 2A4M CAN....and other later version 2A4s, the 2A5, the 2A6, and the 2A7. The PE slat armour is extensive and will not be for those not experienced with PE and aligning multiple parts. Lessons learned by Eduard and how they created the PE for the 2A6M with the "hinged" type slat assembly have not been learned or put to use with the PSM PE. Modellers will have to be very careful with lining up each individual slat section and attaching them to the frames. That being said the PE is very extensive and even includes the very unique Maple Leaf cut out in the foot holds on the side skirt...a very cool detail! The slat section retaining pins and wires and the bolt detail on the ladders are terrific but will need patience and planning. The hull and turret PE slat frames are very well detailed and will look great on the resin parts. Getting the mounts to properly line up with the slat sections properly will take prelanning and dry fitting. The Hobby Boss kit lower hull does need to be modified and trimmed by 2 mm and then adjust to fit with the resin upper hull. It would be interesting to know if the 2A4M CAN tool placement on the back deck has been modified like the 2A5 and 2A6....if so the back deck lifting device is incorrectly placed on the conversion. The folded and open umbrellas appear to be the same as included in the PSM Leo 2A6M conversion. The six sided open umbrella is still lop-sided in dimensions and the folded umbrella still appears to be larger it should be compared to images of the real folded umbrellas. The instructions are detailed but very crowded on the pages and some details showing the assembly are lost in the small B&W images provided. You will really need to study the instructions for both the resin parts and twice as much for the PE parts. This will be an impressive build once completed. Overall I think it is a great accomplishment for PSM given the fact that the tank only went into action less than a year ago. It would be very nice if PSM would correct the missing and inaccurate details and re-release the conversion to make it worth every penny it costs. Again, my intent is not to be critical of the review but to expand on it and provide additional information that I think is important for anyone considering this conversion and wanting to make it as accurate as possible. To quote PSM on the bottom of the last page of the instructions..."Happy Modelling".
OCT 25, 2011 - 03:59 PM
That's why the instructions clearly state and provide a diagram of where the HB lower hull needs to be trimmed and test fitted with the resin upper hull....about 2 mm and then test fit and adjust.....I think there will still be a gap but minimal if you test fit and trim several times.
OCT 25, 2011 - 04:03 PM
   

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