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Leopard 2A4 - Revell / Italeri 1/35


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This is Italeri’s old Leopard 2A4, from the Revell re-box about twenty years ago.  It wears the markings of the Finnish Armoured Brigade in 2005 or thereabouts.

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The kit has been around for a while and in some places it shows.  The rear plate, for example, has almost everything moulded in, while more recent ones have far more parts and thus far more faithful detail.  And they’ll be sharper and better detailed everywhere else, too.  Still, this one has the presence you need to convey the bulk and boxiness of the Leopard 2.

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As you may know, Italeri’s tracks on all their Leopards are woeful.  These ones would have formed a perfect circle regardless of little things like hulls and wheels - except that they came in two sections, so they probably would have just split.  AFV Club to the rescue, with tracks that they got from the old Hong Kong Creation Workshop.  They’re not as user-friendly as some AFV Club designs, far from it; but they go together without glue and they’re workable if you’re very, very careful.  However, a slight problem is that they don’t actually fit the sprocket - you can get maybe three links in place but then the pitch is too short and the rest hang free.

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The only other additions are Echelon decals (that’s the other Echelon, from Singapore, not the mob that made those vacform Lightnings) and picture wire instead of the silly tow cables in the kit, which you’re meant to stick together an inch along their length.  (I do know why - I’m just not buying it.)

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Here’s a couple of building tips if you’re interested.  The kit’s tracks have 84 links, which is at least one too many.  Another good reason to buy replacements, and also to count them before you commit to fitting them.  The upper hull isn’t stiff enough because the little doors in the sides are moulded as part of the track shields.  The result is that it dips in the middle, which makes the shields impossible to line up.  The solution is to put a small spacer on each sponson blank (on the lower hull), next to the turret ring, which will slightly raise the middle of the upper hull when you fit it.

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The Finnish colours were the devil to pin down.  I had no confidence in Echelon’s recommendations, but I’m sure I could have done better than I did.  For the record, the near-black is Humbrol 32 (dark grey); the dark green is Tamiya TS-61 (NATO green); and the light green is Colourcoats ACJ04 (Nakajima interior grey-green) (!).  The challenge now is to find different colours for my Strv 103C, which isn't far down the line and promises to be even more of a masking job from hell.  The tracks are base-coated in Guild Materials dark earth, a fuel-proof paint for RC models.  It’s too orange for actual RAF Dark Earth but it makes an excellent rusty colour.  Then there’s dry-brushing, watercolour washes and chalk pastels for weathering.

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Hi pigsty,

Quite an oldie, I remember having made a couple of them, but the Italeri originals and only OOB, one in my first stage as a modeler, in green, and another when I returned to the hobby, after many years, in german tritone camo.
Really, the skirts, the wheels and the vinyl tracks were the worst I've ever seen, already with more awareness and maturity about the kits.
Your work is very good with something so basic and difficult to work with.
I really like the final aspect of the camo, the weathering that covers it is very nice, subtle but makes the details stand out.
Cheers and TC
Francis.👍

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you, all.

Really good job on the cam, nice and sharp

You wouldn't believe how much tape I expended over that, even with some of it cut in two lengthways - and the sticky out bits I still had to do by eye.  As for the weathering, well, I don't go for this over-weathered look.  Some of the work is stunning, but it's really more suitable for stuff that's been laid up in a field for years and years or been used to knock down buildings by driving through them.  In the war, little equipment was around long enough to get as knackered as it's often portrayed - and they didn't just use watercolours to paint the things, so it wouldn't come off if you drove past a bush.  In modern times, army equipment can easily be thirty years old before it's replaced, but it spends most of its time parked up - so again, not that much filth, not that much scuffing.  And most forces seem pretty keen on hosing tanks down after they come home slathered in mud.  The most interesting area from this point of view is often the tracks, which is why that Dark Earth spray was such a good find.

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  • 9 months later...
9 hours ago, rx79guntank said:

 

Very nice

Thanks!

9 hours ago, rx79guntank said:

the right side skirt is a bit hard to fit?

Sorry, can't help you there.  The basic hull parts are the same but the skirts on the 2A5 are new.  I have the Tamiya kit instead, so I've no experience of the Italeri version.

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8 hours ago, pigsty said:

 

 

Thanks!

Sorry, can't help you there.  The basic hull parts are the same but the skirts on the 2A5 are new.  I have the Tamiya kit instead, so I've no experience of the Italeri version.

Thanks for the reply, I see, anyway, just to ask did you have any difficulty fitting the sideskirts on your kit?

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6 hours ago, rx79guntank said:

did you have any difficulty fitting the sideskirts on your kit?

Oddly, no, not too bad.  Once I'd internally braced the hull (as in the top of this thread), they seemed to go on alright.  The common problem with any side skirt is that it's not as flat as you'd like, so I tacked them on gradually, working from the back.  The hinges for the armoured sections at the front can sit a bit high, but there's just enough give in the part to let you press them down to the right level.

 

According to Echelon's instructions I should have cut back the rearmost sections by the sprockets, but they weren't all that clear; and it looked from photographs as though the original shape was a valid choice too.

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On 1/25/2023 at 7:02 PM, pigsty said:

Oddly, no, not too bad.  Once I'd internally braced the hull (as in the top of this thread), they seemed to go on alright.  The common problem with any side skirt is that it's not as flat as you'd like, so I tacked them on gradually, working from the back.  The hinges for the armoured sections at the front can sit a bit high, but there's just enough give in the part to let you press them down to the right level.

 

According to Echelon's instructions I should have cut back the rearmost sections by the sprockets, but they weren't all that clear; and it looked from photographs as though the original shape was a valid choice too.

Hmm that means I got a lemon, in mine the panels at the rearside where you slot them in is like offset by a cm. Was wondering if all had that problem but looks like it was just me.

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