Leopard 2


I believe that the Matchbox, Monogram and Revell Leopard 2A4 kits are identical, except for decals. The Leoprd 2A5 kit is basically a modified version of the earlier Leopard 2A4, and includes the entire A4 model in the box, with an additional sprue of parts for the new turret. Molding quality is typical of Revell, with no flash or sinkmarks in my sample.

This first sprue includes the main hull parts. Again, this is the same hull as in the A4 kit. Detail is very fine, everything is well-molded. My typical complaints are the closed driver's hatch, and the pioneer tools molded onto the hull. The configuration of the driver's hatch is incorrect for the A5. When upgrading the A4's to the A5 version, the driver's hatch was redesigned to slide open to the side, instead of lifting and twisting open. The kit includes some additional armor parts to be glued in front of the hatch, which will help in reshaping the hatch a little bit, but more work is necessary to make it correct. (Note that one side skirt is missing in the scan; of course, two come with the kit.)

Sprue 2 has the lower hull, and the old A4 turret. Notice the smaller detail parts cast alongside the lower hull piece, i.e., the smoke launchers and turret handrails. These parts are missing from the early Monogram release of the Leopard 2A4 model. I do not know if they are included in the Revell issue of that version, or if they were only added for this A5 version. If anybody can let me know, I'd appreciate it.

Wheels and tracks. This was the first modern MBT kit to include separate wheels, instead of having each wheel pair molded as one. The wheels are not quite as highly detailed as the wheels on their later releases, but they are still pretty decent nonetheless. The link-and-length tracks are nicely done, with individual track teeth molded on the reverse side.

Here is the new sprue for the A5 kit, with the new turret. It also includes a new style of side armor skirts, a new gun, and additional armor pieces for the hull front. Notice the open hatches. Revell seems to have regressed some with their later releases by now molding all hatches closed.

Markings are included for two German tanks. The decals are thin, matte, and well-printed. Regarding kit dimensions, according to Jane's Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition Guide, and Osprey New Vanguard No. 24 - Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank, the model is a little short, close to 1/74th, but otherwise correct.

Overall, this is a very good model, with excellent detail and accuracy (except for the driver's hatch). I have seen it built remarkably well by numerous modelers, and I highly recommend it.

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