Reviewed by Glen Porter
|Stock Number and Description
||Italeri No 7031 Leopard 1A2
|Media and Contents:
||124 Olive Drab plastic parts on three
sprues, decals for four vehicles, 4 page double sided fold out
instructions with history, parts plan, 9 build diagrams and 2 pages of
||Good detail, link and length tracks,
||Sink marks on the inside of tracks and one
piece road wheels where there should be two and no tow cables.
last couple of years, Italeri has been re-releasing some of the old
1/72 scale Esci armour range. This has made many modellers very
happy, as the range was vast and many of the vehicles have never
been offered by any other manufacturer (and are not likely to be).
they might not be quite as good in detail and accuracy as more
recent releases from the likes of Revell, Dragon and Trumpeter, most
of them are still acceptable. Italeri has added some brand new
moulds into the series such as the six and eight wheeled armoured
cars but this is one of the ex-Esci kits.
Designed and built for the Bundeswehr (West German Army) in the
1960s to counter Soviet armour, it was so successful that it was
adopted by other Western European armies including the Belgian,
Dutch, Norwegian and Italian forces. A later model, the A3/A4
(earlier released in 1/72 scale by Italeri/Esci) was also used
extensively by Canada and Australia.
I believe this, and the A3/4, were among the later models produced
thumbnails below to view larger images:
are still in very good shape with no flash and only minimal sink
marks. In fact the only sink marks I could find were on the inside
of the tracks where they will be hard to remove. There are no guide
horns on the tracks either but you get a host of ejector pin marks
on the outside rubber blocks which will be easily removed. I'm told
the slot between the pared road wheels can be made by spinning each
wheel against a hacksaw blade or something similar. I haven't
actually tried this but it doesn't sound too hard.
No tow cables are supplied and this is a pity as all Leopard 1s had
them. Even so, they shouldn't be much trouble for any experienced
modeller to scratch build.
The two hull sprues in this kit are exactly the same as those
supplied in the A3/4 offering with only the turret sprue being
different. Only the right hand hatch in the turret can be left open
and the hull driver hatch is also moulded closed. Turret detail
looks good on the sprue with fine equipment bins and a good A/A
machine gun. Tools on the sides of the hull are moulded on and are a
The decals, as you would expect from Italeri, are far superior to
anything that Esci would have giver us with perfect register, good
colour density and minimum carrier film but they are a little on the
matt side. There are markings for four vehicles, one German, two
Italian and one Belgian Army. Oddly, only the Belgian example wears
the 40 Tonne Bridging marking. The others wear a 44 Tonne marking.
I'm not sure what the difference is.
With a little bit of extra work, this kit, along with the A3/4, can
be build into an excellent Western European Main Battle Tank from
the sixties and seventies. I just hope that some day, someone will
do an AS1(the Australian version of the Leopard 1A3). I tried to do
one a couple of years ago and then discovered that no-one, but
no-one, produces decals for them. Bummer!
Italeri for the review sample.
Text by Glen Porter
Page Created 09 January, 2006
Page Last Updated
12 March, 2006