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Leopard C2 MEXAS w/Dozer Blade Canadian Main Battle Tank - 1/35 MENG MODEL via Creative Models


Julien
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Leopard C2 MEXAS w/Dozer Blade Canadian Main Battle Tank
1/35 MENG MODEL via Creative Models

 

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In 1978 the Canadian Army selected the Leopard 1A3 to be its new Main Battle Tank. These would be called the Leopard C1 in service.  In 2000 it was decided to upgrade these tanks with the fitment of surplus German Leopard 1A5 turrets. At the same time armour protection was increased, and a new fire control system was added.  In 2006 some of these tanks were sent to Afghanistan where they would be fitted with an additional upgrade, the MEXAS system. This stands for Modular Expandable Armour System which was developed n=by IBD Deisenroth Engineering in Germany.  This is a new composite armour system which can be added to many vehicles include tanks to increase survivability in these modern conflicts where IEDs and RPGs feature heavily. The Canadians also fit a version to their LAVs. 

The Kit
This kit from Meng is a re-boxing of the standard Leopard 1 with different parts for the Canadian MBT, the original kit from Meng was highly regarded and this one looks to be as good. Its worth noting the kit does not feature the thermal blanket and cooler fitted at a later date by the Canadians in Afghanistan, though Meng do offer the thermal blanket as an aftermarket resin set, though call it a "sand cover" in error; it does not supply the cooling unit fitted to the rear of the turret though. 

 

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Construction starts with the wheels, the drive sprockets, idler wheels and main wheels are built up, these have poly cap centres to enable them to be pushed on, detail is a bit soft on these and the centre a bit too large to accommodate the caps. We then move onto the  lower hull. Various suspension components are fitted, and the main torsion bar system and its arms are fitted. The wheels can then be attached, followed by the tracks. For some reason Meng have included rubber tracks in this kit despite having a very good individual working track system for the Leopard 1 which they could have included?

 

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Next up the rear bulkhead is made up. Moving to the top main hull the engine deck is added, along with some side parts and the drivers vision blocks. The lower and upper hulls can now be joined and the rear bulkhead fitted. The additional MEXAS armour packs are added to the sides of the hull and the front. The exhaust grills are also added at the rear along with the rear mudflaps. The rear tow cables are then added. 

 

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For the front the attachment points for the dozer blade are fitted, alternative parts are provided if you don't want to use this. The blade mechanism and blade are then made up and added. 

 

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Work now moves to the turret. The gun and its additional armoured mantlet are built up, These are then added to the turret after it is assembled There is a canvas mantlet cover to add, this is a basic representative of the real thing and aftermarket detailed one are available to replace this one.  For the turret itself a multitude of attachment points for the MEXAS armour must be added, along with the usual aerial mounts, and vision systems. The hatches can then be fitted. Once assembled the MEXAS armour modules can also be added, along with the large rear mounted stowage bin. A couple of large aerial ad the top mounted machine gun finish off the turret and it can be mounted to the hull.

 

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Decals
Decals are provided for 4 tanks in Afghanistan. 

 

  1. Sqn HQ, Lord Strathcona;s Horse (RC), Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group. Joint Task Force, Afghanistan 2007
  2. 1st Troop, A Sqn, Lord Strathcona;s Horse (RC), Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group. Joint Task Force, Afghanistan 2007
  3. 2nd Troop, A Sqn, Lord Strathcona;s Horse (RC), Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group. Joint Task Force, Afghanistan 2007
  4. 3rd Troop, A Sqn, Lord Strathcona;s Horse (RC), Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group. Joint Task Force, Afghanistan 2007

 

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Conclusion
Despite a few errors this is a great looking kit from Meng and their attention to detail is to be commended. Overall Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of
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