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Armor/AFV: Modern Armor
Modern armor in general.
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Leopard 1A5DK UNPROFOR mine plough
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 06:42 PM GMT+7
Hello Everyone.
I'm quite a passive member of this forum since I subscribed many months ago. I learned al lot from you all by reading your great posts/blogs/articles. I thougt it would be a good idea to show you one of my builds so you can see what you thought me in the past. Sorry by now for all my mistakes you will find - english is not my mother tongue - but I try to do my best;-)

I've a strong interest in un-vehicles, since I did military service in Austrian Bataillon UNDOF on Mt. Hermon/Syria. I always wanted to build a real big thing in white, not only AFVs like M113s. When I bought the book "Blue helmets under fire - Samuel M. Katz/Yves Debay" I found what I was looking for. The Leopard 1A5DK. After searching round the web I also got inspiration from Sven Young's great build of his Leopard 1A5DK SFOR with mine-ploug on track-link.net and from Jason Bobrowich's superb article "Albino Cat" in AFV-Modeller Issue 14. Last but not least I got some reference pics from UN-Veterans from Denmark - thanks to you all!

A little bit of history
UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection Force) in Bosnia-Herzegowina was in 1994 supported Denmark with 10 Leopard 1A5DK. These Tanks were modified german Leopard 1A3. For the mission on the balkans the Leos also got some typical modifications like XSW-Searchlights and storage-bins from abandoned M41DKs. 3 of these tanks were fitted with RAMTA Mine plough - I will go for one of these.

Preperation



It was not so easy to find the right parts for this project. The best kit around for this is still the 20 year old Italieri Leopard 1A4!It was really hard, but I could get one from the great e*ay. Also the M1A1 Kit from Dragon (with Mineploug) was found useful and won in an online-auction. Also the Aftermarket Kit C072 Danish Leopard 1A5DK from Accurate Armour was essential for my plan. Karaya Tow Cable, Eduard brass, Evergreen strips and some Decals will become handy.



When starting a project I alwas do the build in mind and make notices which parts of the kits will be used. I ususally spend a lot of time for this but it my help to avoid mistakes during the build.

Starting the project



Often it is the first thing to do - cleaning up the wheels. Danish Leo wheels typically don't have striation like the one from Italieri Kit. Here I used the resin-parts from the Accurate Armour Kit.




Blocks from resin-casting were sanded off with the use of a dremel and wet-sanding paper. (When sanding resinparts don't forget to protect yourself with a mask!)
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 06:43 PM GMT+7


The Vinyltracks look quite well - I cound't find any resin/metal aftermarket tracks.



On the front-plate I filled the needless holes with evergreed-tubes or stretched sprue with the right diameters. Then I cut them with a razor blade and sanded it smooth.



The drivers right optical square was cut away with a very thin tiger saw. Also the mirror mountings mirror were removed with a sharpened screwdriver they will be replaced with pe-parts from eduard.



On the hulls side - engraved "tool-shadows" are filled with Mr. Surfacer 500 and sanded smooth.



Mesh for the grill. The ugly thing on the top comes from the original Italieri Kit - that was mesh-standard 20 years ago ;-). Much better the pe-mesh from Accurate Armor. But it has an unrepairable damage caused by Accurate Armour - a little pe-part got stuck on the mesh. Like soldered - I was not able to remove it.
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 06:44 PM GMT+7


But the best to choose for this ist the peace from eduard pe-set.



Another damaged resin part - spare tracks. But very good casting of the phone-box with it's little extra light.



Now some Eduard pe-parts come in place .. locks, chains and the rear-light.



Nice Acc.Armour storage-bins for the tools are glued in place with CA-glue.

THE CHALLENGE - mine plough
Until now it was quite basic modelling. But now I face a real challenge. The RAMTA mine plough used on danish Leos is not available as a aftermarket kit. Sven Young from Track-Link.net has the idea to use the Dragons M1A1 mine-plough kit.
Well I was quite unhappy with the Dragon mine ploug. It's not the mine plough type wich was used on the Leo1A5DK. Happily I got some reference pictures from the RAMTA m.p. - not the best pictures, but worth to give it a try.



Now we need al lot of different Everegreen strips.
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 06:44 PM GMT+7


Also my punch and die set from rai-ro.com comes in handy.



A sharp tamiya saw cuts the styrene like butter :-)



And squared paper is also very needful. I first sketched the outline of the parts. Then I blakened the backside of the squared paper with graphite. Than I traced the outline on to styrene sheet by pressing outlines on the squared paper again.



After cutting the parts, cutting some other parts, little using of punch and die set, glueing them together put some hydraulic-cables in place and voila ... the mine-plough mount is ready.



I used the skier from the dragon kit. But they suffered heavy from some casting markings. I sanded them away with my little modified sanding-toothbrush. Very useful tool for this task!
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 06:45 PM GMT+7


After a lot of hours ... I mean really a lot of hours (sometimes frustrating fuzzeling) ... I ended up with all this parts for my mine-plough.



I started to glue the first parts together ... but do you know what I was tired of this mine-plough-thing ... I didn't want to work on it any minute more. I stored it away ... maybe I will give it another try later.



Next I worked on the turret front - the base for the EMES18 (Acc.Armour Kit) has to be put in place. First I marked the right position, then I drilled holes into the plastic (1) and cut it out (2). Then i sanded from the inside to the marking lines (3) and finally I glued the base in place with CA-glue (4).



After this notches on both turrent sides were filled with magic-sculp putty and sanded down to the turret contour.



On the turret rear the antenna mount was put in place and a cover was made for the storage area. Under this cover the whitelight/target-light battery was stored.
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 06:45 PM GMT+7



On the turret-top a channel for the cabeling was made by evergreen strips. I glued it in place with very thin plastic-glue (Botteled Äthylacetat from pharmacy). The commanders sight and periscope was again a good part from Acc. Armours kit.



A little bit more difficoult was the XSW-30V whitelight/searchlight. They were recycled from old M41DK tanks. I made it with parts from the Italieri-Kit and with some scrath building.



Also a storage-box was made from scratch. It is put on the turret-rear. Typically modification for the danish UNPROFOR Leos.



On the turret sides smoke grenade launchers are mounted. Some PE-chains from Eduard were glued in place. They were not so soft to bend, normally I like PE-chains from Aber for this ... but they were out of stock.



Sadly I was not able to get perfect barrel from modelpoint. They are out of production and in europe its not so easy to find them. Finally I glued and sanded the plastic barrel from the Italieri Kit .. I thought I give it a try.

This was the first part of my build ... more to read when I'm ready with translations and picture processing. I hope you enjoyed my report and hope to see you next time here.

Cheers
Walter
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: October 09, 2005
KitMaker: 2,556 posts
Armorama: 2,199 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 06:50 PM GMT+7
This is a really cool looking model. Really looking forward to watching it progress.

An Austrian friend of mine served near Syria as well, When were you there?
WayneB
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: July 22, 2008
KitMaker: 141 posts
Armorama: 130 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 07:12 PM GMT+7
Walter,

First of all - Wow. What a great subject for a build! Great works on the scratchbuilding.

You said your mine plow pictures weren’t that clear. Have you seen these? They are of Australian Leopard 1 mine plows but I think they are similar to those in DK service.

http://anzacsteel.hobbyvista.com/Armoured%20Vehicles/leopardph_2.htm

http://www.primeportal.net/tanks/azrael_raven/leopard_as1_mine_plow_assy/

Keep up the good work mate it’s a fine build! I will be watching this thread with interest.

W
ptruhe
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Texas, United States
Joined: March 05, 2003
KitMaker: 1,972 posts
Armorama: 1,504 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 07:21 PM GMT+7
Fantastic. Thanks for showing all the work. Never have enough Leopards.

I think you would be more pleased with the barrel from Perfect Scale. The Modelpoint barrel takes a lot of work.

Paul
LeoCmdr
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2005
KitMaker: 3,845 posts
Armorama: 3,680 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 08:22 PM GMT+7
Hi Walter,

Excellent project and great building skills.

Thanks very much for the compliment on my project.....I have a few more Danish Leopards planned...IFOR, KFOR.

Please tell my that you are going to make a mold of your mine plow and cast parts!!!

Thanks for posting the images. I look forward to seeing your project finished.
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 - 03:19 AM GMT+7
Hi guys and thanks for all your nice comments.

@Rob
I served in Syria 1989/1990 ... cant believe it, it seems to be yesterday ;-)

@Wayne
Thanks a lot for the reference links - especially the pics of primeportal are great, but too late for my project I wish I had them for use when I did the construction ;-)

@Paul
Thanks for the hint with the Perfect Scale barrel. Do you have a link for me where I can get perfect scale products?

@Jason
Thanks for commenting - I´m looking forward for more Leos of you. I like the great informations and technical insights you provide with your builds. Also your reference pictures are great. Sorry to tell you that I never had planned to do a casting of the mine-plough. There are too many mistakes and the model ist not really usable for recasting. Who knows, If I get better plans/pictures/measures of the real thing I may think of it one day ;-)

Cheers
Walter
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 - 03:22 AM GMT+7
Ok folks, lets go on with the project.

Mastering the beast

Well the model looks nice so far - but the impressive mine-plough could really complement it. So I will continue with this task. I thought it would be a good idea to make the complete mine-plough demountable - but I caused a lot of problems because the little plough was quite heavy! Also the chains and other connections caused mountingproblems. So I decided to fix it permanently on the model.




The measurements were not 100% right so I had to fix some issues. The skier caused problems - they always tended to do a stern-turn. But with the help of sticks from iced-lolly i could adjust them and glued them in place.



While the mount-construction glue was hardening I finished the blades. The original 12 blades from the dragon kit were cut off an replaces by only 10 blades - some made from scratch. To get them right was quite a lot of trial and error due to the bending of the blade. Also little chains from ship-modelling were used.



Finally I used chains in three different sizes. Also Tamiya tape was cut to stripes to fit the orignal. With a lot of fiddling around I got them all in place.



I hope the flexible chains will not cause problems when painting the beast ;-)
ptruhe
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Texas, United States
Joined: March 05, 2003
KitMaker: 1,972 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 - 09:36 AM GMT+7
Walter,

Perfect Scale's website is http://www.perfect-scale.de/ and here is the barrel:

http://www.perfect-scale.de/shop/d_35021_Leopard_1_L7_105mm_Kanonenrohr_mit_Warmeschutzhulle374.htm

Paul
Ruffus
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Guatemala
Joined: April 12, 2005
KitMaker: 299 posts
Armorama: 190 posts
Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 - 02:57 PM GMT+7
Hi Walter , you may be a passive member, but in no way are you a passive modeler; great work in that Leopard. I think that you could be interested in a UN campaign I am proposing. you would be more that welcome.

Happy Modeling

Byron
KoSprueOne
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Myanmar
Joined: March 05, 2004
KitMaker: 3,462 posts
Armorama: 1,273 posts
Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 - 07:41 PM GMT+7
Thanks for the detailed progress shots through out this build. Very inspiring to try this.





LeoCmdr
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2005
KitMaker: 3,845 posts
Armorama: 3,680 posts
Posted: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - 12:18 AM GMT+7
Very nice update and I think you are being too modest about your work. Well done and this is a terrific project for all those Leopard fans out there.
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - 06:31 AM GMT+7
@Paul
Thanks a lot for the link - the barrel looks good and the price is nice ;-)
I´ll keep it in mind for another Leo project.

@Byron
Thanks for your comment. I would be interested in an UN campaign - but give me a minimum of 12 months for that *joking* ... I´m a really slow-builder.

@KoSprueOne @Jason
Thx its fine too see people interestend in my build.



flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - 06:41 AM GMT+7
Let's continue with some colors...

Painting and Markings
While painting the Leo I had problems with my digicam so i couldn't document the different steps you´ll only see the finished paintjob. Sorry for that.



After a basecoat of Tamiya sufacer fine grey I brushed the entire model with a "broken" white (Tamiya Acrylics white and Buff). I'm not a big fan of percentage-formulas for color mixture and I don't write them down. I always mix it until it looks right for my eyes;-) Sorry for that - so I cant tell the exact ratios. After the white basecoat i sealed the model with Gunze clear cote. Next I worked on the decals. TL-decals were exact right for the great UN - letters on the turret sides - but the decals were "crap" and disintergrated when they got in contact with water. So i used Archer dry transfers for the turret sides markings.
The number plate for this tank UNPF 16112 (the real one was fitted with the mine-plough) was selfmade and printed on ACT-decal paper. Unfortunately these decals are a little too thick - on the real thing the marking is not a plate, it is sprayed on hull. The Marking on the hull front is also from Archer. On the rear storage bin is a selfmade Danish red/white cross. After the Decals were in place they were sealed again with Gunze clear Acrylic.

Tracks


The vinyltracks were primed with Tamiya Primer Spray Grey Fine. Then a base of Gunmetal Acryl from Gunze was brushed on. After drying I brushed on different MIG Pigments mixed with Cigarette Lighter Benzin (normally used with Zippos). Exceed was brushed away when the pigments were dry. Different metal parts were slightly rubbed with a smooth lead pencil.

Weathering
First I wanted to represent a fresh painted tank without heavy weathering. Say what ... I couldn't find referece pictures of clean Unprofor Leos ;-) - the danish guys seemed to be really often on the track and also did quite a lot of mine-clearing actions. Also the clean white model looks like a block of butter ... really boring! So lets do a little bit of weathering.



I did weathering with Oil colors - Umbra + little bit of Siena (like the earthcolor of the balkans area) and BlueBlack, thinned with Cig. Lighter Benzin. I like to use the benzin - because the oils dry a lot faster. Before mixing the oils, I let them bleed out on paper for a while. That helps tho keep them matte in the end. Before applying the Oils I moisten the model with pure Lighter Benzin otherways you may produce hard color-edges when the colory dry. I like the Oils because you have quite a lot of time to correct mistakes and find the right places for the dirt and mud.

Chipping was made with a litte peace of a sponge from my wifes kitchen and with different Humbrol enamels. Simply put a small piece of the sponge into the paint, dip away the color like you are drybrushing and finally put it on the model with the help of tweezers. I like the random placement of the chipping effect. It is a lot more faster than painting them all with a little brush. But be careful, painting with a brush gives you much more control. Last details were painted with a little brush and different Vallejo Acrylics.

As a last stage I gave the model a thin coat of xtracrylics flat and partially a very fine coat of very thin Tamiya buff to simulate dust. I don't really like Pigments for this. Some dust effect look nice but if the pigments are applied dry, you cannot move the model without leaving a lot of fingerprints. If the Pigments are used wet they look much darker when applied and dry a lot more lighter.



Last details were painted with a little brush and Vallejo Acrylics. Machine gun with black, drybrushing with gunmetal and several washes of very thin blue oilcolor. Antennas were made of guitar strings. They are available in different diameters from your local music shop ;-)
I had problems with the blue UN-Flag ... I used decals on Aluminium Foil, but when i shrinkeled the foil the decal chipped away, especially on the edges. I repainted the flag with blue Acrylics. Maybe someone of you have a good tip for me to do flags better way?

No Tank without a crew
I always like to see crewmembers around/on/in the tank. It gives much more life to the model and you can imagine what the size of the real thing might be. But it is not easy, an ugly painted figure can devalue your perfect built model. In fact people look first to persons and faces - not to mine-ploughs or antennas ;-) So lets do the figure.
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - 06:48 AM GMT+7


Of course, Danish Leo Crewmembers are not available as ready casted figures. We have to do some slight modificatons. Very useful for this was the Academy IDF Tank Crew Set. Shoulderepaulettes of the new danish flack-jacket were made of Magic Sculp and modelled with the help of a toothpick. The Head and the Helmet came from the Dragon US Tank Crew Set.



Then a primer coat of Game Workshop skull white followed. The ears were cut off to fit the Helmet - I hope its not common in the real world ;-)



Painting was done with a small brush and Acrylics from Andrea and Vallejo range - I mixes some flesh-tones, please don´t ask which one ... i cannot remember ;-). I seldom paint white eyes in 1/35 scale. Often it is enough to paint a darker shadowline for the eyes. Go away some meters from a person and try to see the white in the eyes ... ;-) The lips were later darkened also, can´t see it on the photo yet.



Microphone was scratchmade and a communication cable was added.



Now the commander is ready and can take place in his tank - looks quite happy this guy :-)

Also the white leo has dried und is finished.






Finally a long lasting project is finished. Like always modelling can be pure fun or some sort of frustrating. I had both with this project. In the end I´m very happy to show you an uncommon model and hope you will give some scratchbuilding a try to realize your dream. And don't forget to show us your model ;-)

Thanks for watching this build. Like to hear your comments and critiques.


Cheers
Walter
chrisj
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Newfoundland, Canada
Joined: February 04, 2007
KitMaker: 473 posts
Armorama: 467 posts
Posted: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - 09:18 AM GMT+7
Extremely nice Leopard. Great build and accurate paint. the mine plow is well done.

Chris
SGTJKJ
#041
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Kobenhavn, Denmark
Joined: July 20, 2006
KitMaker: 9,339 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - 09:52 AM GMT+7
Extremely nice Leopard, Walter. One of the best I have ever seen.

Consider this as an entry into model of the month. It would be a prime candidate.

Thanks for sharing your excellent work.
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
Joined: November 02, 2007
KitMaker: 550 posts
Armorama: 521 posts
Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2009 - 07:29 AM GMT+7
@ Chris, Jesper
Thanky you for your nice comments. Great to see you like the Leopard.

Cheers
Walter
LeoCmdr
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2005
KitMaker: 3,845 posts
Armorama: 3,680 posts
Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2009 - 07:32 PM GMT+7
Excellent finished project Walter...very nice to see more UNPROFOR Leopards.

The one thing I see missing on your Leopard is the control box for the searchlight. It mounts next to the commander's raised periscope....that is why the metal conduit runs to the front of the hatch.
kriegsketten
Vendor
ECHELON
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Singapore / 新加坡
Joined: November 12, 2007
KitMaker: 282 posts
Armorama: 176 posts
Posted: Friday, June 05, 2009 - 01:49 AM GMT+7
Hi there!

I hate to say this, but your figure gives me the creeps (compliment of course) - it looks remarkably like Agent Molder (X Files fame...) Just Look at that grin and the squinty eyes!

Well, I'm planning to cover these vehicles (in terms of specific markings) in the coming months, however you're way ahead of the game already - so, maybe too late. Nevertheless, extremely well-built 1A5DK you've got there! I don't know if I'd have time, but hopefully someday I'd build one for myself (minus the dozer - too much work for me, I'm afraid, even if I really wanted to...) And provided I can find myself a second kit which is pretty scarse these days.... Maybe Italeri/Revell ought to consider making a 1A5 DK specific mold - instead of re-releasing the old A4? That way, it isn't just a re-release but a new kit itself!... I know, wishful thinking on my part....

Cheers!

Lawrence
bulivyf
#076
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Praha, Czech Republic
Joined: April 03, 2006
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Posted: Friday, June 05, 2009 - 02:01 AM GMT+7
Walter,
Superb build and excellent finish. Very nice Leopard.
Miloslav