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SLT 50-3 "Elefant" + Leopard 2A4 (03311) - 1:72


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SLT 50-3 "Elefant" + Leopard 2A4 (03311)

1:72 Revell

 

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The huge "Elefant" tank transporter was designed by Faun in the 1970s to meet a requirement for an all-terrain vehicle powerful enough to haul large tanks such as the Leopard. Over 300 have been produced and in the 1990s these massive machines were upgraded to the 50-3 standard represented in this kit. The Leopard 2 was developed in the 1970s as a replacement for the Leopard 1 MBT then in service with the West German Army. Throughout its service life, this highly capable tank has been upgraded through A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 and A6 variants. The A4 included some important changes over the earlier models, such as improved armour, targeting systems and crew protection systems. With over 2,000 on strength at the height of the Cold War, Germany sold off a number of this variant to other NATO countries, making it one of the most successfully exported MBTs of modern times.

 

This isn't the first time that either of these kits have been released by Revell as both have previously been made available as separate kits. Both are original Revell kits and both are relatively modern, although the Leopard is the slightly more recent tooling. The elefant is a significant kit for me as it was the very first kit that I reviewed for Britmodeller, over 10 years ago. Just as it did back then, the kits arrive in the usual end-opening box with the sprues for the two vehicles bagged up separately. The two kits are spread across seven frames of plastic. Thankfully Revell have used a nice, neutral grey plastic instead of the horrid dark green plastic they used in 2010. the parts are all nicely moulded and look just as good now as they did when first released. There is no transparent frame. Instead, Revell supply a thin sheet of clear plastic from which you must cut your own transparencies.

 

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The Elefant tractor and trailer occupies the most space in the box and is composed of well over 200 parts. The tractor unit is very detailed, with separate parts for the steering and transmission. The interior is equally well-detailed, with crew seats all moulded individually and details such as the steering wheel all present and correct. Construction should be straightforward, although the plastic sheet transparencies will present something of a challenge. Construction of the trailer unit begins with the chassis before moving on to the suspension and wheels and ending in the loading ramp. The modeller has the option of building the trailer on its own hydraulic feet or attached to the Elefant itself. The loading ramp at the back can also be finished in the fully deployed position for loading or unloading, or folded and raised for transport. The trailer is quite a complex beast, so it should keep the builder occupied for a good while.

 

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The Leopard is just as impressive, if not more so. The hull features separate parts for the suspension and running gear and the road wheels are moulded in their inner and outer halves. Needless to say some care will have to be taken during assembly in order to ensure that all the wheels are in contact with the ground before the tracks are fixed in place. Revell took an interesting approach to the tracks supplied with this kit, swapping their usual link and length tracks for thin plastic tracks moulded in two halves. These have to be bent around the wheels and drive sprockets and then glued in place. They are made from the same hard plastic as the rest of the kit and rely on being very thin for their flexibility. The hull and turret follow the usual method of construction and feature plenty of nice details. Pioneer tools are moulded in place but pretty much everything else is moulded separately.

 

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Two different options are provides for the Elefant, for vehicles named "Hannibal" and "Kraftwerk". Two options are provided for the Leopards as well, for vehicles belonging to PzBtl 84, Luneburg 4. Kompanie and PzBtl 124, Kummersbruck, 4. Kompanie. All of the vehicles are finished in the usual Nato black/green/brown scheme. The decal sheet is small but nicely printed.

 

Conclusion

 

Revell have produced small scale armour kits of consistent high quality for several decades now. Both of these kits are beautifully made and highly detailed - in fact it's hard to identify how Revell could have improved anything about these models. For fans of modern AFVs this set represents a tempting proposition and should provide many hours of modelling enjoyment. Recommended.

 

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Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit  logo.jpg t_logo-a.png or facebook.gif
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like they've sorted the biggest issue with the earlier releases of this kit, sinkmarks on the trailer load-bed (either that or the new grey plastic hides it better).

 

Hopefully tis might prompt Eduard to re-release the two large etched sets they do foe the Elefant kit.....Finding them at the moment is a nightmare, it took me almost six months to get a set.

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On 8/2/2020 at 9:07 PM, Paul A H said:

Revell took an interesting approach to the tracks supplied with this kit, swapping their usual link and length tracks for thin plastic tracks moulded in two halves. These have to be bent around the wheels and drive sprockets and then glued in place. They are made from the same hard plastic as the rest of the kit and rely on being very thin for their flexibility.

Err.....This text doesn't seem to relate to the photos of the Leopard kit above, which clearly has L&L.  :hmmm:

 

I think you cut & paste from the wrong Leopard review!  ;)

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