by: Mike Loewen [ ]
This is my first review, so please bear with me. Well without any further adieu, Iíll start.I got this kit as an early Christmas present from my wife last year. (She took pity on me at the start of my vacation) I was very impressed by this kit from the very start. As this model is a work in progress, Iím converting this to a Canadian Leopard C2, there will be no pictures of a finished project. When this is done, Iíll submit an article on the conversion. Hope Iím not blowing my own horn.
OPENING THE BOX
As I opened the box I was greeted with four, individually wrapped sprues molded in dark green, rubber band type tracks, a small square of mesh, decals and the instruction book. The kit contains 275 parts, with two variants of exhaust grills and the option to have the side skirts removed. There are four different versions of the tank shown on the box: three German and one Italian.
The cover of the instruction book has a picture of the Leopard 1A5 with a short history of the tank written in both German and English. All other writing in the book is provided in 18 different languages! The book continues on with the standard ďRead before you startĒ naus and symbols. There is a list of paints used, 15, some mixed. The names of the colours are given, but as to whose paints they are, are not specified. There is a page and a half diagram showing all the parts with their numbers. Believe me this comes in handy sometimes. The assembly of the tank is laid out in 38 diagrams. The diagrams are very well drawn and although a little vague in some places, is very easy to follow. The last four pages are the different paint schemes of the different tanks.
THE TURRET & THE CHASSIS
I always start with the turret when I build so Iíll start there. Like the rest of the model it went together very easily so I wonít go into detail there. There was one point where I was going to see if a tank could fly. (Hey Pigs can why canít tanks?) This part was the side add-on armor. The instructions tell you to put on the grenade launchers first and then the armor. Donít. I found out the hard way that the armor doesnít line up with where the launchers sit. I had to pry these off and fiddle with the armor till satisfied. Note: The conversion does not use the same bustle, so I had to phantom glue it on. The biggest problem with the armor is that some attachment points donít line up and there are no reference points on the model for this. All and all though, it is quite well done.The chassis (and turret) contain enough small pieces to challenge the semi-experienced builder and keep the experienced builder interested. The upper and lower halves were a bit rough in lining up and required some putty and sanding. Nothing major though. The turret lock is shown hanging open and should be closed. The underside of the chassis has some detail but is quite weak in that area. A lot of the joints have some weld seams but are not very noticeable. The sides of the tank have outlines of where the tools go; this could be a headache to anyone not putting tools on. A lot of sanding. Not too much detail is missing, at least not for us anti-rivet counters.
This is a very well done kit and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to build a Leopard 1A5. This kit is especially good because there is minimal scratch building required to convert this to a C2. Hope you enjoyed this review.Pros: Good detail and fit.Cons: Poor fit of the turret side armor.I would like to thank John who was a great help in improving my ďdigitalĒ pictures. Not bad for a scanner, eh.
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Copyright ©2020 text by Mike Loewen [ ]. All rights reserved.
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