Home > Reviews > Small Scale > Italeri 1/72 Leopard 1A2 (7031)

Leopard 1A2

Reviewed by Glen Porter


Stock Number and Description Italeri No 7031 Leopard 1A2
Scale: 1/72
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 paint/decal drawings.
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Good detail, link and length tracks, desirable subject.
Disadvantages: Sink marks on the inside of tracks and one piece road wheels where there should be two and no tow cables.
Recommendation: Recommended



Over the 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).

Although 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 by Esci.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The moulds 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 bit shallow.

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!


Thanks to Italeri for the review sample.

Text by Glen Porter
Page Created 09 January, 2006
Page Last Updated 12 March, 2006