The Leopard 1 has served all over the world and with multiple nations from the 1960s to the present day. The tanks have operated in extreme heat, extreme cold, and over a vast array of terrain. It is a plain and simple fact that the rubber on the road wheels wears over time. The wear may vary from rub marks to chunks of rubber being removed. Wear occurs on the surface of the road wheel and along the edges. Tank crews must be very aware of wear and tear on road wheels as this can lead to track issues and possibly suspension problems as the rubber is not effectively running smoothly over the tracks. This is the reality of operating a tank, and something modellers forget about. Gone are the days of factory fresh T-34s and Tigers rolling off the assembly line and into combat only to be destroyed a few hours later literally brand new. The Leopard 1 is used by crews around the world for training and operational deployments and as a result there is damage and wear and tear on the road wheels.
For those inclined to add realism to their Leopard 1 project Mouse House Enterprises
(MHE) has released a complete set of road wheels and idler wheels with damage and wear and tear. This is an instant addition to any Italeri or Revell-Germany Leopard 1 kit.
The road wheels follow suit from MHE’s release of MA144 the corrected road wheels for Italeri and Revell-Germany Leopard 1 kits.
A complete set of road wheels and idler wheels are provided for a Leopard 1. The parts are cast in tan, in fours on a casting block.
As with the corrected set, the damaged road wheel set also incorporates the smooth surface without the grooves, and the improved bolt detail.
The damage on the road wheels consists of irregular chips and tears out of the rubber. It looks realistic and MHE got it right with not having as much damage and wear and tear on the idler wheels. The idlers commonly do not wear as fast as the road wheels and they are not in contact with the ground.
For the frugal modeller damaging a road wheel is possible on their own with some simply hobby tools, but the advantage of the MHE set is that you do not have to deal with the recessed grooves or the small bolt detail. MHE takes care of all that for you.
This is a great set to add something even more to a Leopard 1 kit. The damage and wear and tear is realistic. If modellers are frugal minded they can extend the use of this set by mixing both new and worn road wheels on their Leopard build. One other thing to note is that the MHE set of damaged Leopard 1 road wheels is the only one on the market as the Maple Leaf Models set is not currently available.
A review of the Corrected Road Wheels can be found here on Armorama