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Wes Pennest
22 articles

Meng 1/35 Leopard C2 MEXAS + Dozer

The is an upgrade of an upgrade of an upgrade. No, really! tanks in Canada began with the C1, which was essentially the 1A3. The C1 was upgraded to C2; several C1s were fitted with the Modular Expandable Armor System (MEXAS) and then upgraded to C2 standards. Some of these were fitted with a dozer blade. All of these served in Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians). By now, all of the Leopard 1 family has been mustered out of the Army, replaced with members of the Leopard 2 family.

The kit is an absolute pleasure to build, in stark comparison with the Takom kit, which is merely delightful. The rubber band tracks are fine, since you have these massive side skirts hiding most of the suspension and tracks. Just be very, very careful removing the long whip antennas from the sprue because they will snap. The best thing to do is to either saw or snip the sprue far away from the attachment point and then whittle it down. Not even that will save you, as you can see by the little kink in one of the antennas. If you're careful with your gluing, the dozer blade will work. Specifics about accuracy are better left to folks like Leopard Club. The tire is out of the spares box. It's not glued on, I just felt like it needed some sort of external stowage. I've seen a lot of photos of these tanks with jerrycans left off, so I did that as well. If I had to do anything differently, I'd have figured out how to add those plastic bottles people seem to like to tape to their aerials, but this is fine.

I made one glaring error, which I won't point out but should be very, very obvious in these photos. 🙁

Painting steps:
Black-based with stynylrez primer.
Zenithal highlights with gray stynylrez primer.
Greens were worked up from a warm olive closer to the ground, to a cooler dark green closer to the roof. Optics were picked out with the greatest thing I've ever come across: GUNDAM MARKERS. These are paint markers with fine tips, and the paints are opaque metallic colors-- metallic green! metallic purple! metallic pink! Every color that appears in modern coated optics is there!

vehicles can be fun because you can ding parts, dent them and get a little sloppy with the glue and it will look "in character." Engineering vehicles can be an UTTER NIGHTMARE because you have to deal with mud. Tanks are dirty to begin with, but engineering vehicles kick it up a notch. Photos of these tanks showed mud EVERYWHERE, in places you'd never think it'd show up, like on the sides of the mantlet. Since I have no experience with doing mud, this is as good of a place as any to start to learn. My rationale is this: mud and dirt dry light, and the wetter and fresher it gets, the darker it gets. I put down a few thin mists of various buff and tan shades, then started stippling on MIG wet mud and heavy earth. Back and forth with the enamel muds and heavily thinned buffs, and I have what you see here. After all that dried, I used Tamiya black panel line accent on the barrel and around the engine deck where soot and oil would accumulate the most. Exhaust stains are 1:10 black primer to water. A quick run over the gun's muzzle with a silver sharpie marker and there it is.

7 responses

  1. I have seen numerous Leopards in Germany during the early 1980's, but never saw an engineer vehicle like this one. You have the mud effects down to a science. It looks very convincing. The only flaw I can see is how the turret mounted 7.62 coax is installed. By the looks of things, the hatch would be hard to open where it's currently placed. If it's something else you did, I don't see it... This is a great looking model. You did a fine job with it.

    As far as the antenna's...and how yours broke. Ours were a two piece arrangement with an upper half and a lower half that screwed together. They had a small bulge where the two sections were screwed together. I had an A-10 driver remove the top section of mine once... but that's another story. He (or she) was flying very low.

    We often pulled them down to help lower our silhouette when in the field. But this had an effect on the range of the radio. Believe it or not, it's often the antennae you see first in the desert. That and a dust plume, and sometimes exhaust smoke. The sand dunes tend to hide things very well. Sound and light travels great out there too, especially at night.

    Well done my friend and a great big "liked".

  2. Nah, the glaring error was that I put the side skirt decals on AFTER I applied the weathering! Derp

    The bulges midway up the aerials are there! They're extremely subtle, but you can see 'em.

    Interesting thing about the aerials is that bending them forward actually changes the orientation of the signal, from a horizontal polarization to vertical. Your range suffers, but you're able to reach closer receivers that would otherwise be weak due to poor line of sight. Like if you were trying to use a garden hose to squirt someone who was hiding behind a wall, you just spray upwards and the water falls down, not out. Or something like that, I think that's on the general ham test and I'm only studying for the tech exam.

    I didn't bend them because these are SO FRAGILE I didn't want to tempt fate. Cheers!

    • Hello again Wes,@avispa93

      Very cool information... I learned something here, so thank you ! As far as your side skirt decals, if it bothers you badly, you could always go back over the decal on the skirt with some pastel chalks or something like a Tamiya weathering deck. It's an easy fix and it will take less than a minute or so to do. To be honest with you, I didn't notice it until you said something. I think that most people wouldn't notice it either. I don't blame you for the caution taken with the ultra thin antenna's...

  3. Your model looks great, Wes. To be honest, side skirt looks are pretty good, the glaring error not so glaring (at least in the photos).
    I liked reading yours and Louis @lgardner stories of those machines.
    All the best!

    • Spiros, @fiveten
      Thanks my friend... I could probably write a book about my experiences in tanks. I'm sure that you could too as a pilot. Our A-10 pilots were very, very good. I'm glad they were on our side... To see an A-10 firing it's cannon in real life is something you will never forget. To look at the armor they fired upon afterwards is also something you will never forget... ever.

      It's always great to hear from you !

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    said on June 11, 2020

    I don't get time to build these days but great to see nice armor ?

  5. Wes, that's a superb piece of work. The weathering is spot on.

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