The Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank and associated variants have rolled track for over 40 years with pride and loyalty to the crews. The Leopard 1 is a very reliable tank and relatively easy to take care of from day to day. The mobility and firepower make up for the limited armour. The Leopard 1 is able to move fast over all terrains, even under water, and deliver a fatal blow to the enemy with accuracy. All of this action takes its toll on the tanks and one of the first things to visibly wear is the road wheel rubber surfaces.
Tamiya has produced three 1/35 Leopard 1 versions over the years. They are an early version Leopard 1, a Gepard, and a Leopard 1A4. With some elbow grease, aftermarket parts, patience, and attention to detail you can build some half decent models.
If you want to add even more accuracy and a greater aspect of weathering then the new release of damaged road wheels for the Tamiya Leopard 1 kits by Mouse House Enterprises (MHE) is the answer for you.
The road wheel set is cast in tan resin and comes in sets of four per casting block. The detail is very nice and clean up is limited to a thin resin casting block along the top quarter of each wheel. Packaged in a small plastic bag they are secure and obviously no instructions or decals are included.
The Tamiya road wheels are nice but they are also pristine. To give them an extra flare MHE has redone the bolt details just like their sets for the Italeri and Revell-Germany Leopard 1 kits. The wear and tear and damage is restrained, but visible, and adds a realistic dynamic to the set. There are some excellent small sections of rubber torn off and nicks and cuts in others.
The Tamiya road wheels are provided with the hub in place unlike the Italeri road wheels and this is an obvious recognition point for this set in case they get mixed up with other Leopard road wheels.
Cleanup of the road wheels was fast and just some light sanding was required.
Lots of detail is provided in this simple set. The enhanced bolt detail is a bonus to look at along with the damage and wear and tear. This is a terrific set for those modellers who want to take their build to the next level. This is the only set of its kind on the market specifically for Tamiya Leopard 1s. As with the set for the Italeri Leopard 1s modellers can choose to alternate between the kits new road wheels and these damaged road wheels to make them stretch further. Bear in mind that you will encounter different bolt details.
Highs: Excellent detail and very realistic damage.Lows: Including spare damaged road wheels would have topped off this set.Verdict: A great aftermarket set for making your own special Tamiya Leopard.