by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
Revell of Germany has released not one but two Leopard tanks recently, the Leopard 2A5/A5NL and Leopard 1 in 1/35th scale. The Leopard Tank has a dedicated number of followers in the modelling fraternity, and so I will be restricting my comments to what I like and dislike about this offering of the Leopard 2A5/A5NL from Revell of Germany.
Looking over the contents of this offering, I am pleased to say that despite a 2012 date stamp the parts are pretty much free of flash; however clean-up will need to be addressed as the gates between the sprues and parts are on the large side in some cases, but not excessively large. The common problem that Revell of Germany seems to suffer is shrink marks and I have observed some areas where this issue exists on this release. At this point I will say I am a fan of the new Revell of Germany instruction format. Releasing instructions in a colour booklet format makes following them easier for me as my eyesight gets older.
The hull of this offering is a multi-part assembly, having separate sides, bask, bottom and top parts. This approach by Revell of Germany I believe enables them to improve the moulded on detail, and of course it allows for changes to produce alternate variants while keeping tooling costs down. I am also pleased to see that Revell of Germany have supplied two support parts for the sides and lower hull panels, these will make assembly of a correctly orientated hull easier. The moulded on detail is fair for the part, but I suspect some will want more crispness to the details. Another high point for me is that Revell of Germany has supplied the engine deck openings as separate parts, and while it was not the reason for it, it will make using some after-market options easier.
The suspension units attach via a shaped pin and this will make it easy to insure that all of the wheels are level. If the modeller wants to display their finished model on an uneven surface some minor surgery will be required, but this will only take the most basic of modelling skills. The tracks are a weak link in the chain, which is a shame as Revell of Germany has put some effort into the accuracy of them. The issue is that there are quite a few and some deep ejector pin marks present and that is compounded further by sink marks being present on the road wheel side of the tracks. There are after-market tracks available for those that cannot live with the issue, or you could dirty things up to hide this issue.
The tools for this model are supplied as separate mouldings and that is something I like from an options viewpoint and the painting side of things. The hawsers I do not like as they have been supplied as vinyl rubber lines and moulded plastic eyes, this is better than string however clean-up will be a pain. Your opinion may differ and I would like to hear the opinions on this aspect. The vinyl rubber mudguards are something that I like the idea of and see how they look on the finished model. I would have liked to see clear parts supplied for the periscopes as I feel it lifts the model. I do like that the side skirts have been supplied as more than one long panel.
The turret is quite well detailed on this offering from Revell of Germany and it should meet the expectations of most modellers. The turret of course also suffers from the lack of clear parts being supplied, but otherwise I am happy. The machine guns will need the tips of the barrels drilled to improve them, but they are acceptable in other respects. The barrel is an issue with the sample of the model, and no it is not because it is split lengthways, which I donít like; the issue is sink marks present on the barrel which is very disappointing to see. Again there are after-market options available for changing this area of the model.
There are four finishing options supplied by Revell of Germany and these cover a wide period of time. While on the subject of finishing the model I really like the colour painting guide at the end of the instructions, Revell of Germany has even shown the upper hull painting minus the turret. The finishing options are;
Leopard 2A5, Bundeswehr, PzBtl 33, Bergen, 1996
Leopard 2A5, Bundeswehr, 2./Pzbtl 393, Bad Salzungen, 2010
Leopard 2A5, Bundeswehr, 5./Pzbtl 104, Pfreimd, 2006
Leopard 2A5, A Eskadron / 42 Tankbataljon, Havelte, 1999
It is disappointing to see the issue with the tracks, and especially so where the barrel is concerned; however it should be mentioned that these issues may not exist or be as severe as they are in this sample. Generally speaking I am quite pleased with the model and the details present, and as mentioned for those that want to spend the extra funds there are a number of after-market products available. For those who cannot afford, or do not want to spend extra money on the model, the barrel could be filled and with care brought to an acceptable standard. The tracks can only really be dirtied up to hide the issue I have highlighted.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell