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Leopard 1A5 1:35 Revell


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Leopard 1A5
1:35 Revell

 

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The Leopard project started back in the mid 1950s with the goal of producing a modern tank to replace the M47 and M48 tanks which where then in use by the recently reconstituted Bundesehr (German Army). The specification called for a tank weighing no more than 30 tonnes capable of surviving 20mm rapid fire cannon and having a power-to-weight ratio of 30hp per tonne. The tank had to be capable of surviving on a nuclear/chemical contaminated battlefield. Armament was to be the then standard NATO 105mm gun. For this design Mobility was the primary concern with firepower secondary, and armour being seen as low down the list as it was envisaged there was little possibility of standing up to modern hollow charge weapons.

Three design teams competed for the Tank contract from Porsche, Rheinmetall and Borgward. The Porsche prototype was eventually selected as the winner. Production was set up with Krauss-Maffei in Munich and deliveries began in late 1965. In the 1980s research was done into upgrading the tank. The turrets were upgraded to store more ammunition, a new, and a new fire control system was fitted. Provision was made for bolt on Lexan armour, and the 120mm gun of the Leopard 2 (though this was never fitted) As well as the German Army the Leopard 1 would go on to serve with the Armies of Belgium, Holland, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Australia, Canada, and Turkey. The A5 with Germany, Holland and Chilie. 

The Kit
The kit is a welcome addition to the new tool from Revell of an important cold war tank.. The kit arrives on  sprues of plastic, one set of rubber band type tracks and a length of aerial wire taped to the instruction booklet (Revell seem to do this for every kit now). Construction starts with the lower hull of the tank. The sides are built up, and an internal bulkhead is added along with the rear of the tank.

 

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The next area for construction are the suspension components. 7 top parts are added to each sides along with 7 torsion bar parts. The main road wheels of two parts each, along with the drive sprockets and idler wheels are made up. An additional 7 parts add to the original torsion bar parts at this stage. The single part top idler wheels are also added at this point. The kit instructions have the modeller add the tracks now, these are of the rubber band type with each side being one section.

 

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The drivers vision blocks are fitted to the upper hull and then this can be fitted to the lower hull. The track side skirts are then added. The side mounted engine cooling louvres can then be added to the hull along with side lockers and various hull fittings and tools.

 

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The rear of the tank then receives some attention. Various fittings, lights, mud guards and tools are added to the back, and the rear engine deck. The front of the top deck then receives the same attention with hull fittings dependant on the nationality of vehicle being built.

 

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Construction then moves to the turret. The bottom section is built up with the gun mounting area, the top of the turret is then added. Various fittings are then added to the turret including the mounts for the machine guns. The gun can then be assembled and added to the mantlet, this assembly is then added to the turret. The turret baskets are made up and added, machine guns added to their mounts; and smoke grenade discharges are added. The side armour panels go on. To finish of the turret the mantlet cover is added, the front mounted light is assembled, then added; and lastly grab rails are added. The completed turret can then be added to the hull, the last items to be added are a few parts on the engine deck, the travelling gun mount, and the drivers mirrors are added.

 

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Decals
Markings are small and in some cases only consist of the vehicle number plates. Markings are provided for four German Army tanks. Decals are produced in Italy and up to the usual stands for these, they are crisp in register and have no colour issues.

 

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Conclusion
It is good to see a new tool of an important first generation modern Main Battle Tank. Highly recommended.

 

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Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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