In-Box Review
Leopard 2 A5/A6 NL Conversion set

by: Pawel Krupowicz [ VODNIK ]

Conversion set from Legend is designed to modify Bundeswehr Leopard 2A5 or 2A6 kit into a Dutch variant. Differences between Dutch and German tanks are relatively small and most important of them are: different smoke grenade launchers, different machine gun on the turret and different antenna bases. Dutch tanks also have different racks for track chocks installed at the back of the turret. Legend set includes resin and photo-etched parts to modify all mentioned parts in Tamiya kit plus some other smaller details specific to Dutch tanks, but also some parts that are useable for both Dutch and German tanks, i.e. Leopard 2A4 style side skirts, brass screens for storage racks and turret side armor panels with interior details added. Legend set is described "for Tamiya/Revell kits" on the box, but Revell kit is just a reboxed Italeri model and is quite different from Tamiya product. Instructions show resin and PE parts attached to Tamiya model and I think it is safer to use the set with this kit, as some parts may not fit equally well to Italeri/Revell model, which actually already includes some Dutch variant parts. Also Tamiya kit is much more detailed and accurate making it a better base for conversion.

In a small box we get two plastic zip bags, one with all the resin bits (56 parts not including tiny bolt heads cast on a surface of resin block) and one with photo-etched parts fret and two lengths of 0.5 mm diameter brass wire. Instructions are provided on one side of A4 size sheet printed in full color on smooth glossy paper. As resin parts do not have numbers on them in instructions we get a photo of all resin pieces (shown attached to their resin pouring blocks, just like we get them in the set for easy identification) with numbers assigned to them. Only construction of the smoke grenade launcher's mounts is shown in a few steps and other parts are shown already assembled and attached to the unpainted model on very clear color photos.

As already mentioned resin parts come attached to casting blocks. These should be quite easy to remove, particularly that the resin used by Legend is rather soft and easy to work with. Parts are quite cleanly cast with crisp details on them. There is some flash and resin film on some more complex parts, but not much. I haven't noticed any air bubble holes in parts in my set, but unfortunately some smaller bits were broken off from some parts during transport. It shouldn't be too difficult to repair them however. I also noticed that there are some parts missing from my set. Instructions show that there should be a small resin block included with six tiny wing nuts cast on it. Only two of these nuts are needed, but unfortunately in my set the whole resin block and all nuts were missing.
set contents
- Dutch style grenade launchers and detailed mounts for them made of resin and PE parts and also some handles that have to be made from brass wire using photos in instructions or other references to get the right shapes.

- very detailed FN MAG machine gun and mount, composed of eleven resin parts,

- resin antenna bases with small sections of turret body to attach them to. There are access panels details on these turret pieces relocated to represent Dutch type panels. These pieces require some surgery to Tamiya turret part to install, but the task does not seem to be difficult. In the set we get one US style and one German style antenna bases. My references however show only US style antenna bases on Dutch tanks. While it is possible that German style bases are also used, US ones seem to be standard, so it would be better to get two of these in the set, particularly that Tamiya kit already includes two German style bases...

- photo-etched brass mesh screens for turret storage boxes,

- large resin storage box for the turret top (my references don't show such box on Dutch Leopards, so this can probably be considered an optional part only carried on some tanks),

- resin armor panels for turret sides with nice interior details added to them. These parts are basically modified kit parts, but unfortunately pins that made hinges workable in Tamiya kit were not cast. This means that resin parts must be modified if panels are to remain moveable as they were in original kit.

- resin Leopard 2A4 type side skirts. These are carried on both Dutch and German tanks, as new armored Leopard 2A5 skirts are too expensive to risk damaging them during peacetime training. These parts are not copies of parts from Italeri Leo 2A4 kit, but Legend's own design. Unfortunately they are slightly less detailed than Italeri parts. Some bolt heads and details of latches holding skirts together are missing. These parts are also slightly warped, but should be easy to straighten with some hot water.

- two small resin racks for the turret rear. They are used to four carry track chocks and we get two resin chocks in the set for one of the racks. The other rack has a piece of canvas covering it cast on, so no chocks are provided for it. I would personally prefer to get all four chocks.

- barrel cleaning rods cast as one resin piece with additional pieces for mounting bracket and wing nuts (missing from my set). My references show that Dutch tanks carry at least two more rod segments than German tanks attached with modified brackets. In Legend set brackets are indeed modified, but it looks like only one rod segment was added to the original Tamiya cleaning rods parts. Unfortunately the cleaning rods resin part suffered most in transport and most of the thin rod tips broke off.

- resin front turn signals on square bases, with guards to be made from provided brass wire. I suggest using photos of real thing to properly bend the wire, as shapes shown in instructions are not exactly correct. These turn signal lights on modified bases are correct for Dutch tanks, but these tanks also have modified cable conduits leading to these lights. Legend missed that detail, but it is barely noticeable, so it isn't really a problem. Actually instructions show cable conduits completely removed from Tamiya hull surface, what isn't correct. It's better to leave incorrect German style conduits than to remove them completely. By the way, German tanks now also have the same type of wire guards around turn signals, but on round, not square bases.
Legend set has some minor flaws, but I highly recommend it anyway to anyone who wants to build a model of Dutch Leopard tank. Tamiya excellent kit with this set added should produce accurate and detailed model, noticeably better than Italeri Leopard 2A5 or A6 kits, which include rather simplified parts for Dutch variant.

A special thanks to Ian Hanratty of Friendship Models for the review sample.
Legend set has some minor flaws, but I highly recommend it anyway to anyone who wants to build a model of Dutch Leopard tank.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: LF1121
  Related Link: Legend Productions website
  PUBLISHED: Mar 02, 2006
  NATIONALITY: Netherlands

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About Pawel Krupowicz (Vodnik)

As first lines of this bio appear under all my reviews, I feel it is important that I start with this information: In March 2005 I ventured into the other side of modeling "industry" - I was not only building model kits, but also helping design them as a consultant for Dragon Models Ltd.. These days...

Copyright 2021 text by Pawel Krupowicz [ VODNIK ]. All rights reserved.


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    Contents of the set.
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    Close-up of some of part.
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    Close-up of some of parts. Note broken off tips of barrel cleaning rods.
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    Comparison of Italeri side skirts from Leopard 2A4 kit and Legend parts.
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    Comparison of Legend and Tamiya parts.
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    Plastic surgery is needed to install this resin part.
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    Tamiya turn indicator and resin replacement parts.