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Marek Halas
28 articles

Tamiya’s 1/35 Leopard1 A1

November 6, 2017 · in Armor · · 15 · 3.6K

's very ancient & venerable Leopard1 A1 completed in February 2017.

Though not a patch in terms of detail & perhaps accuracy compared to today's kits (I'm thinking of the Revell offering) - it does to my eye still look like a Leopard1; & it's a pretty good kit all things considered.

The kit I think first saw the light of day around 1970, though it was made at the time when Tamiya couldn't make up it's mind whether it was a radio controlled toy or a serious construction kit.

It nevertheless builds up well, with reasonably good fit.

The legacy from it's radio control days are still present and the corresponding slots & holes for that piece of gear needs to be taken care of & filled.

Incidentally, I can see how Tamiya achieved it's peerless reputation for quality.
One just has to remember the quality of kits from that era, if you're one of those old enough to remember!

This was an old second-hand kit I managed to score as a "third place" raffle prize a good while back and to be honest I didn't really have very high expectations. It did win me over during the course of the build.

It is out of the box and the second 1/35th tank built at that point.
I've kept the finishes clean as I was advised by those more expert in these matters that the Bundeswehr kept their tanks in good nick.
Light weathering only.

Thanks for looking.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

15 responses

  1. VERY nice job, Marek...I like that base, too. 🙂

    • Hi Craig, thanks for the comment. The base was an mdf offcut salvaged from an architectural model, which was then sealed and sprayed with some black enamel. The grass is that old familiar staple of scenic railway modellers and architecture models with some scatter thrown in for good measure. As this is fixed with pva, I've found it none too permanent & in places has a tendency to moult. I guess some more spray fixative is called for. The mud is from the AK range.

  2. One of the best looking modern tanks, and well modelled here. Very nice, Marek.

    • Thanks Rob, & spoiler alert...there's another Leopard in the offing and a Gepard in the stash, so I guess watch this space!

    • The Leo I is not only a good looking panzer, but it performed quite well. Germans have usually excelled at making tanks. The Leo II is one of THE top 2 or 3 tanks in the world. As an ex M60 series & M1 series tanker, I have a LOT of respect for German tanks AND their crews. I'm glad they're on OUR side now!

  3. Marek, this is a very nice build - and it shows even old (veeeery old) kits can be built into something special.

  4. Very nice build, a real Gerry!

  5. Hello Marek.
    That's a fine Leopard I panzer. Old kit or not, Tamiya makes good models.
    When I was in the Army and stationed with the 11th Cavalry in Fulda (then) W.Germany, I had the pleasure of spending a few times with a platoon of Leo I tankers & tanks, back in the mid-1980s. Their crews are well trained & very professional. The tanks work quite well. In one 2-week maneuver exercise (REFORGER, Winter 1984) we were paired with a German platoon and only one of their tanks broke down and they fixed it by the end of the day. The person who told you that the Bundeswehr keeps their tanks as clean as possible was right, although ALL our tanks are kept as clean as possible. However, some weathering always occurs over time. Out in the field, they ALL get filthy and show wear. One of the most fun (to me) duties a tanker has is at the washrack. On a hot day standing there washing off a ton of grime from your tank can be enjoyable, but the same job when the dirt & grime is mud and the outside temperature is near or below freezing, it is a real chore and no fun at all! The LEAST enjoyable weather, in my most humble opinion is when it is just above freezing & raining. (Pretty much the weather almost all winter where I was in Germany and much of Europe & the UK, it seemed to me.) Hot weather is OK, cold weather is bearable, but wet & cold really sucks.

    Your work is excellent and this tank is a beauty. Bravo!

    • I forgot to mention that the tanks they used then were Leopard A5s, which I think was the last version of the Leo I series. As good as the Leo I series was, the Leo II series is even better. I would compare the Leo I series tanks as being comparable to the final M60 series, the M60 A3 tanks. They were probably a bit better than the M60, the M60 A1, & the M60 A2 tanks. The M60 A3 had our first thermal primary sights which was a real improvement. The thermal sight was a serious "game changer" - a vast improvement. The Thermal sight is often referred to as an IR (infrared) sight, but it is MUCH better than the early IR sights. I think that most of the best tanks in the world have Thermal sight systems. It can be used day or night. It was my personal preferred sighting/aiming system.

      • Great anecdotes and very useful to know, thanks for sharing. As a former U.K. resident now living in sunnier & warmer climes I can certainly appreciate the other comment re. having to wash vehicles down in near freezing cold wet weather...something I don't miss.

  6. Looks good to me - likely more due to you than the kit.

  7. Nice to see a clean tank for a change, neat work on a classic kit.

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