1/72 Revell Leopard 1A5
This is another great small scale kit from Revell. All the parts were well
moulded with crisp detail and no flash or sink marks. The following is an in-the-box
review based on my first impressions, along with a comparison with the Esci Leopard 1A2
(where applicable). The kit was also checked for scale against a set of plans taken from
MAFVA magazine (increased from 1/76th to 1/72nd scale).
Lower Hull and Running Gear
The kit features excellent link and length plastic tracks. These are slightly narrower than those of the Esci offering and much better detailed (and include the guide horns unlike the Esci kit). The wheels scale well with the plans and are slightly larger diameterise than the Esci versions. They are also much shallower - I'm not sure whether they are slightly too shallow as it's hard to tell from photos alone. A major improvement over Esci is the fact that they are moulded as separate pairs.
The main hull scales very well with the plans and is slightly shorter and narrower than Esci's. The detail is very good and again an improvement over Esci's version. My main gripe (and one which is a common one!) is that the tools are all moulded on and thus look a little on the 2 dimensional side. The option of early or late pattern exhaust grills is provided. Also the option of either square or round intercom boxes on the hull rear plate to allow some choice as to which batch of vehicles is modelled. The side skirts are well done and also scale well, although they could benefit from a little thinning.
The main turret casting is considerably different dimensionally to Esci's. It is much smaller, particularly length wise but again scales very well with the plans. The extra turret armour is very finely detailed and includes all the bolts and recesses present on the full size version. Even though this detail is finely done, it looks slightly too prominent. This may change under a couple of coats of paint so only time will tell. The remaining turret details are good. The main gun is nicely detailed but appears to be a bit 'scrawny'. A modified Esci gun might be a better substitute.
Markings are provided for 2 vehicles, both in the current 3-tone scheme and were in register in my example.
In summary, this is an very good kit that with some detailing will build into an excellent model. My main reservation so far would be the moulded on tools. There is a lot of conversion potential ranging from a multitude of other MBT versions to recovery and training vehicles. Maybe Revell plan to expand on this at a later date. I'm already considering using an Esci A4 turret with the hull of this kit.
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