by: kenneth oestergaard [ ]
If a modeler wants to make a Leopard 2 of any particular mark the modeler has the choice between three producers, Tamiya, Revell or Hobby Boss. Each manufacture has its benefits in details, accuracy or price. However, whichever one you choose you used to have been satisfied with the supplied road wheels and idler wheels with details on the outside only. This is not that uncommon though and I can’t think of any standard kit that offers detail on the insides of the wheel. This kit offers just that.
This release from Leopard Club consists of road wheels and the idler wheels, these are detailed on both the inside and outside. All wheels are computer designed and produced from a 3D printed master and are cast in a cream colored resin. There is very little to clean and my samples had no air bubbles or flaws. A very thorough instruction is included. This provides instructions to both to Tamiya and Hobby Boss versions of the Leopard 2 tank.
The wheels look absolutely stunning they are accurate and provide highly detailed set of wheels for any Leopard 2 model. The inside wheels really show the difference between the kit supplied wheels.
Cleaning the wheels is easy and really doesn’t take long at all, but then problems start. When placed on the suspension arm a gap appears between the road wheel and the end of the axle this is clear as shown in the accompanying photographs. The problem is due to the shallow depth of the hole in the road wheel whereas both Tamiya and Hobby Boss’ are deeper and fit flush with the rim.
This could was dealt with simply by adding a spacer. I found a styrene tube that was 4.5mm outer diameter (inner 3mm) that fitted well. I cut spacer with my cutter 2.5mm in length. When I consulted my reference, however, it didn’t look quite right. I therefore started to focus on the suspension arm itself and found Hobby Boss to be inaccurate in its shape. I therefore started to reshape them to make them more accurate. This wasn’t easy as I didn’t have good references. If I managed to make it right or not is up to you the reader, however if anyone has photos of the real thing please post them as comments to this review.
I talked to Michael from Leopard Club about the issue, and spacers will be included in current sets until new remodeled wheels are released.
I really do not know what to think of these wheels. Of course it is a serious issue that the modeller has to adjust the suspension arms connection with the road wheels and idler wheels. But those wheel really are stunning