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Armor/AFV: Canadian Armor
Discuss all types of Canadian Armor of all eras.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Leopard C2 MEXAS Build
SgtRam
Staff MemberManaging Editor
ARMORAMA
#197
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 06, 2011
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Armorama: 1,452 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 03:03 AM GMT
Recently there has been a rash of new kits and conversions for the Canadian Leopard C2 MEXAS. The Leopard 1 has been in Canadian service since the 1970's. Over the years the tanks have been upgraded to meet modern battlefield requirements. In the 1990's Canada began to acquire Leopard 1A5 turrets, and began the process of upgrading the fleet to the Leopard C2. With the introduction of the Modular Expandable Armor System, MEXAS, Canada added this new armor to some of their tanks. These tanks were deployed to Afghanistan early, before being replaced with the newer Leopard 2.

This build will cover the building of the Canadian Leopard C2 MEXAS using the Italeri Leopard 1A5 kit as the base, and using the Legend Productions Leopard C2 MEXAS conversion. This update was recently featured in a video on Armorama here

Armorama would like to thank Legend Produtions for the review sample that will be used in the build

This looks to be an excellent conversion, with all the parts for adding the MEXAS armor to the Leopard.





Also being used in the build will be the new Leopard 1 track from Orochi. After a little hiccup with detail when the tracks were announced, Orochi went back and fixed the tracks with the correct detail. These new tracks look great. When I get to the track on this build I will provide a full review of the item.

Armorama would like to thank Orochi for providing the tracks that will be used in this build.






So off we go with the build.
vahleof
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: December 17, 2010
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Armorama: 105 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 03:56 AM GMT
Would be following with eyes wide open with interest
panamadan
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Minnesota, United States
Joined: July 20, 2004
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Armorama: 455 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 04:01 AM GMT
I'll be watching as well!
Dan
recceboy
#069
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: July 20, 2006
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Armorama: 509 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 05:14 AM GMT
Kevin

Good to see a MEXAS build, but you will need the Legend update set to model a combat version of this tank.
This builds into a pre/early deployment tank.
The Legend C2 MEXAS update set gives the modeler the correct parts to represent an actual tank that saw combat.

If you have any questions shoot me a message.

Anthony

Author Canadian Leopard Series Reference DVD sets
junglejim
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Bayern, Germany
Joined: February 18, 2003
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Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 07:42 AM GMT
There are plenty of photos on Combat Camera that show the early deployment vehicles "in the field", late 2006. It's up to you to decide if you need the update set. (I think this earlier version is better looking!)








Cheers,
Jim
LeoCmdr
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2005
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Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 08:48 AM GMT
Since this is a build review it should give modellers a very good idea of what to expect OOB with just the conversion and the new tracks.
SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 04:11 AM GMT
So off with the build. As with most armor models it starts with the running gear, and having built the Italeri base kit in the past, it went rather quick. While I find the Italeri kit a little soft on detail, it is still one of the best Leopard 1 kits on the market in my opinion.

I would like to give a big thanks to Scott at Elm City Hobbies, as the Leopard 1A5 kit is out of production, Scott sold me one out of his personal collection. Thanks Scott!




Onto the upper hull, and this is where the conversion really begins. One thing I have noticed about the Legend instructions is they only provide images of the assemble part, the is a little reading between the lines. This start with the intake vents, the Legend set contains a resin and pe replacement, and you will have to shave off the molded on ones. This was done with a No.12 blade, micro chisel, and sanding stick. You need to be careful as there is other service detail around that you don't want to remove.



There is a pe screen for the radiator as well, and it fits best if you removed the lip around the housing.



Up front, and not mentioned in the instructions, the front fenders will need to be removed as well. A good razor saw will make short order of this.



There with some stuff removed, we can move forward with starting to to add the MEXAS armor and some of the detail.



maxim37
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 14, 2006
KitMaker: 73 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 05:36 AM GMT
Nice to see another Leopard build!!.We cannot have enough for us Leopard fans!!!.Ive got the Perfect scale modelbau thermal wrapped c2.Think I like the unwrapped version.
Watching with interest.
Keep up the good work from Richard
SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 11:40 AM GMT
Time to start working on the MEXAS armor part of the conversion for the lower hull.

The Legend set is very nicely detailed on the surface, but I must admit, it has some of the biggest pour plugs I have seen. To remove the pour plugs, I went with my bigger razor saw, as I found it easier to keep flag against the part to ensure a better cut.



I cut the front plug off first, leaving the interior ones on the front glacis to ensure it did not snap while I was cutting it.




Remember to sand of the surface detail on the front upper glacis to ensure a good fit.



On to cutting some more of the lower hull plugs.




A little sanding will need to be done after the cut to smooth things out.

The side armor is no different for big pour plugs, and the bigger razor saw really helped out.



After cutting off plug and sanding, you will have to remember to cut the panel lines back into the piece.



Also remember to cut the small little piece at the back off too.



There is also a large area that will need to be trimmed out under the front fender, I will tackle this with the Dremel.



A note of caution

Resin dust is not good for your health, so always wear a dust mask when sanding and cutting. As you can see how much dust accumulated from just using my razor saw and sanding stick.



Be safe.

Next time will start fitting the front glacis and lower hull detail parts.

recceboy
#069
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: July 20, 2006
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Armorama: 509 posts
Posted: Friday, February 07, 2014 - 04:39 AM GMT
Great work so far, I have a C2 MEXAS DVD set for you, shoot me a message.

Anthony
SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 02:56 PM GMT
A little more work this weekend, including getting the road wheels assembled.

Back on the conversion, again the large mold plugs come into play for the rear side pieces. Again the larger razor saw was able to trim them off with little hastle.





A little sanding, and they will be all cleared up.

While doing some test fitting, I discovered that the front corner inserts needed a little more shaved off the bottom to clear the idler wheel and provide enough room for track. This is not mentioned in the instructions.




I now have the front glacis armor on and those corner inserts.



The next steps will be to prime the bottom and the inside of the MEXAS armor skirts and paint. I will also be installing the road wheels and track, as once the armor is on, it will make it a tad difficult. I am also doing this, so I can properly align the side skirt armor. I will mask off the track and wheels to be able to continue the build and move on.

SgtRam
Staff MemberManaging Editor
ARMORAMA
#197
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 - 01:39 PM GMT
So while the lower hull is being primed and painted, I decided to get a start on the turret. And this is the last of the giant pour plugs. The turret armor again if very well done, nicely detailed.



Due to the angles and small curves, I decided to best use the traditional scribe with an xacto knife method. I did cut the bracing with a razor saw, but scribe the areas mated to the armor.



I also found it easy to use the razor saw to cut up the pieces into sections.



There are three nubs on the inside of the turret armor that will need to be removed, side cutters and sanding took care of them.



Pour plug off, great looking piece of turret MEXAS armor.



The rear section was cut off with a razor saw, then in need of some sanding.




The mantlet cover is a nice piece of work, extremely well detailed, one on the turret I will add the lift rings.



And another lesson learned, when using a razor saw, always know where your finger is on the opposite side of your work when you can't see it.



With most of the pour plugs off, hopefully some serious building can take place. I do have the Legend MEXAS C2 detail set on the way from Hong Kong, so we will be able to look at that as well.

I leave this issue with a quick look at the pour plugs just from the turret armor. Can you recycle resin?
recceboy
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Alberta, Canada
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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 - 04:59 PM GMT
Good looking so far with the build.

Anthony
SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Posted: Monday, February 17, 2014 - 12:25 PM GMT
So I have airbrushed the lower hull bottom and wheels, and have started on the track. I am using the new Leopard 1 tracks from Orochi, and have to say they look great and go together great.





You can find a full review here

Also while looking at the turret armor and fit, I found a few notches on the Italeri turret that needed to be filled and sanded, as they will show after the MEXAS armor is applied.



You will also need to shave a bit of the mantlet cover on the sides.



Well to continue on the track and get the armour mounted onto the turret next.
marcjac
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Germany
Joined: September 18, 2012
KitMaker: 24 posts
Armorama: 24 posts
Posted: Friday, February 21, 2014 - 07:57 PM GMT
Nice MEXAS build. I'am watching with highly interest.
Sinne Nowak it's well done and exellently explained.

Marcus
mshackleton
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: December 16, 2007
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Posted: Friday, February 21, 2014 - 08:53 PM GMT
Orochi tracks - the end connectors have two faces. One is the side with the sprue gate. One has a more detailed side. This is the side that should go on the outside - at least on the visible side of the tracks.

I have a review and a build guide here: http://modelerssocialclub.proboards.com/thread/7084/orochi-leopard-1-tracks?page=1&scrollTo=203439

You will also find reviews of this same Legend conversion plus the upgrade kit on Leopard Club www.leopardclub.info.

Cheers
Michael Shackleton
www.leopardclub.info
mshackleton
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 12:42 AM GMT
Another point - the bolts on the end connectors go on the OUTSIDE of the track - as you have done.

I'm afraid the Orochi instructions are very lacking in any detail but you have noticed!

Cheers
Michael Shackleton
www.leopardclub.info
SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 01:36 AM GMT

Quoted Text

Another point - the bolts on the end connectors go on the OUTSIDE of the track - as you have done.

I'm afraid the Orochi instructions are very lacking in any detail but you have noticed!

Cheers
Michael Shackleton
www.leopardclub.info



Micheal

If you look again all the bolts on the end connectors are towards the outside of the track.

Thanks
Kevin
mshackleton
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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 04:25 AM GMT
That's what I said:-)
SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 02:43 PM GMT
The tracks are now assembled, painted and installed. I must say, I really like the Orochi track. They went together very well, and look great. I will be masking them off once assembly is done for the final painting. Weathering of the running gear and track was done with True Earth Dusty Desert and Vallejo pigments.





With the tracks installed I dry fit the skirt armor, and found there was a fit issue. I discovered there is another section on the inside that needs to be shaved down.



A razor saw made short work of this.

And my order from Hong Kong arrived, and I now have the detailing set from Legend to complete the build. As I am building a C2 without the thermals, I will not be installing the cooling unit that comes with the detail set.



Now on with the rest of the build.
SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 01:10 PM GMT
A little more of an update on mounting the side armor. You will need to sand of the tab designed to hold the kit skirts.



Also with more dry fitting, I found that the inside of the armor skirts required more sanding, especially the front fender over the track.



Also not that the Italeri kit marks the location of the tools on the side of the upper hull, and just to ensure they are not seen after painting I decided to fill them with a thin coat of filler prior to mounting the armor skirts.

SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 02:36 PM GMT
Time for the C2 to start to really take shape. The forward skirt armor is added, as I found the pieces just a little warp, a little force was needed to get them into the right place.



Working with the intakes, the resin pieces under the screen are two parts each and will need to be cut as per the instructions.



And the instructions are dead on with the measurement.



I used a little gap filling CA to close the gaps between the two parts.

Onto the front detail, and I found some extra molding on the parts that will need to be removed, or you will have issue mounting the parts.



Once clean up, the rest of the front detail goes on pretty straight forward.



Next, onto the drivers hatch and working my way towards the back.

SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 02:42 PM GMT
BTW - the lights look crocked in the picture, but when I double checked the are on straight, must be the angle the picture was taken.
sauceman
#044
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Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 02:13 AM GMT
Looking good Kevin!

I don't worry too much about things like straight headlights or guards and stuff, as military vehicles they do get out of wack quite regularly. Plus it tends to give the model some character LOL.


cheers
SgtRam
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ARMORAMA
#197
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Posted: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - 01:54 PM GMT
Well finishing up the hull working on the rear. The large shackles are great looking, but will need to be drilled out for the pins.




The air intake vents in place with tools strapped on. The pe parts in the Legend set look great.



When mounting the tools boxes on the hull side, some sanding of the back will need to be done for proper fit.



The tow cable ends will need to drilled out as well to get a good bond to the cable.



The Legend set comes with string to use as tow cables, I replaced the string with copper wire from PSM, which in my opinion looks much better.





Now on to the turret.