by: Darren Baker [ ]
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 this being an all new kit of the Leopard 1 (itís even dated 2015) I will be leaving to the experts to pick up on the errors that may or may not be present. I will be restricting my comments to what I like and dislike about this offering of the Leopard 1 from Revell of Germany.
I should start by saying that the moulding of the plastic parts is of a good quality, and this should aid the modeller during construction. The direction that Revell of Germany has taken with this offering indicates that further releases of different variants are coming in the future and so provides us with more to look forward too, I believe.
The suspension and wheels look good in my opinion. The suspension arms have been designed in a way that the wheels should all touch the ground after constructions, and this means no need to get the ruler out to set them up. Of course it also means some minor surgery will be required if the model is to be displayed on an uneven surface. The wheels look good to me, but I am aware that negative comments have been made about the fine line present around the raised nipples of the rubber portion.
The tracks are a weak area of this model in my opinion. The vinyl rubber parts included with this offering are my least favourite aspect. The tracks have a large number of ejector pin marks and in this sample and some shrink marks are also showing. Replacements for the tracks are fortunately not hard to find and depending on your choice, not overly expensive.
The lower hull is a multi-part affair and I am pleased that Revell of Germany included a spacer to help the modeller during construction. Revell of Germany also added detail to the underside of the model and included the drivers escape hatch detail. The rear panel looks acceptable, and as there are two panels present is more proof of more models to come.
The upper hull is one area where I feel Revell of Germany could have done better. Donít get me wrong I am for the most part very pleased to see the effort that Revell of Germany has put into this area of the model. There are options provided for depending on what version the modeller wishes to build, but why when they are included as separate parts have they not provided the periscopes as clear parts! I know they can do better and I hope this aspect will be reconsidered in future releases. The hawsers are something I do not like as they have been provided as vinyl rubber parts with separate plastic ends, I accept that these are better than string however clean-up of them will be difficult; these have not even been cleaned up on the promotional images on the Revell of Germany website.
The turret is an area of the model I really like. The subtle casting texture is very nice and I believe is at a level most will be happy with. The details present look generally accurate to me, but as I said I am not an expert by any means. The barrel being split lengthways is disappointing, but in the case of this model not the end of the world. For those modellers who cannot live with this after-market options are available. The turret is another area that would have benefited from clear parts for the periscopes.
Authentic decals for the following versions:
Leopard 1 (2. Baulos), Bundeswehr, PzBtl 194, Handorf, 1969
Leopard 1 (4. Baulos), Bundeswehr, PzBtl 153, Koblenz, 1972
Leopard 1, 4th Lancers Reg, 16e Pantser Div, Soest, 1969
Leopard 1, A Eskadron / 41 Tankbataljon, Bergen-Hohne, 1977
The new formatting of the instructions provided by Revell of Germany is a big improvement I feel. These now being in colour are much easier to follow and I find them easier to use.
I may seem to have been quite harsh on this model; however that is by no means my intention. I am for the most part very pleased at what Revell of Germany has provided here, and it is available at a great price as well. The fact that future variants will also be available is another great thing in my opinion. I have two areas that really disappoint me, they are the tracks and the lack of clear parts, everything else I can live with and work with as required. So would I pay up and buy this model? Yes in a heartbeat as it is a great offering at a good price.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell