Leopad 2 A7 +
Meng, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Andrew Judson
B a c k g r o u n d
The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s for the West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army. It is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore cannon, and is powered by a V-12 twin-turbo diesel engine. Various versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and 12 other European countries, as well as several non-European nations, including Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Singapore, and Turkey. The Leopard 2 was used in Kosovo with the German Army, and has seen action in Afghanistan with the Dutch, Danish and Canadian contributions to the International Security Assistance Force, as well as also seeing action in Syria with the Turkish Armed Forces against ISIS and the YPG.
There are two main development batches of the tank: the original models up to Leopard 2A4, which have vertically faced turret armour, and the improved batch, namely the Leopard 2A5 and newer versions, which have angled arrow-shaped turret appliqué armour together with other improvements. All models feature digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders, a fully stabilised main gun and coaxial machine gun, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment (first vehicles used a low-light level TV system or LLLTV; thermal imaging was introduced later on). The tank has the ability to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrainAs always, it is always an exciting time when a kit manufacturer releases a new kit, and Meng are never one to disappoint in that department, with constant surprises such as this ripper.
The Leopard 2A7 is the latest version of the tank, which entered service in a small initial batch of 20 tanks in 2014.
Already before the first Leopard 2A7 tank was handed over to the German Army, plans for future upgrades were already made. At this time an "extensive" increase in combat value while retaining the original mobility of the Leopard 2 was planned. The optics of the tank also will be improved.
F i r s t L o o k
This new offering from Meng is the Leopard 2A7.
This new beast is equipped with new armour offering the crew far better protection, and on top of the turret, an all new Remote Weapon System to provide heavier fire support to closer threats.
So let’s have a look at what’s in the box - a lot!
Inside are twelve tan coloured sprues, four black coloured spurs, a clear sprue, two frets of photo etch, the main lower hull halves and the upper turret half. Also included is a small decal sheet, a double sided colour profile sheet giving two options and a 20 page instruction book.
Total pars, a whopping 937 in total, but i have to admit, a lot is in the tracks, which are workable.
Looking at the parts, they appear to be the usual Meng quality, well moulded, and well detailed. The etch is mainly the rear engine screens, though there is also a feed chute for the Remote weapons system.
Looking at the instructions, the kit build sequence starts with the drive line, including workable suspension, then onto the lower hull,Turret and finally the Remote Weapon system, which in itself looks tone a mini kit of its own.
I believe this is going to be one great build, but don’t expect it to be a weekender, you may be pushing it there.
Colour options on this, gives you 2. One is the standard tri pattern, and the other, the Desert tri pattern, which looks fantastic. Either variant will look fantastic.
C o n c l u s i o n
Overall, out of the box, one will not be disappointed at all, with a whole heap of kit in one box. I for one am very keen to make a start on this one in the near future.
Thanks to Meng Models for the sample www.meng-model.com
Text by Andrew Judson