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In-Box Review
135
Leopard 1A5 MBT
Leopard 1A5 MBT
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

The Leopard tank has been in service with the German Army since the 1960ís, and has proved to be an export success across a very large number of countries. This offering from Hobby Boss in 1/35th scale of the Leopard 1A5 represents one of the tank variants that has the aggressive look due to the turret and that stand off armour.

Review

This offering from Hobby Boss of the Leopard 1A5 MBT arrives in a robust cardboard tray, with a segregated area to protect the hull, turret and easily damaged parts, this is then finished with an equally robust cardboard lid. Looking over the contents of the model, there does not appear to be any obvious issues with the mouldings, and so the packaging has done its job.

The lower hull of the model, is provided as a single piece with just the rear plate being needed to finish the area. The detail on the underside is fair, and I see no obvious issues with it. The suspension swing arms are not movable, but from what I can see may be set in a position allowing display on an uneven surface. The return rollers are quite basic, but do the job. The road wheels have good detail on both faces and should meet the requirements of all but the most discerning modeller. The drive wheels have good detail present and the construction of it follows a logical progression. The track links are individual links, but not workable, the lugs on both ends of the tracks which would normally attach one link to the next are moulded as part of each link, and so while they could be assembled to match an uneven surface they will never be 100% accurate due to the lugs being fixed. Hobby Boss has provided a jig on each of the track link sprues, but avoiding the links becoming glued to the jig may be difficult; I was considering covering the jig with tin foil to avoid the issue.

An interesting inclusion within this model kit, is a nicely detailed power pack with a great deal of detail provided for it. Unfortunately no internal fire wall between the crew compartment and the engine pack has been provided, and also there is no obvious way for you to display it either as no hatches are separate pieces. As such this element of the model maybe something worth building and displaying outside of the model or for another purpose such as a lorry load or on a heavy lift vehicle.

The upper hull is provided with separate tools with moulded on clamp detail, photo etch for the large rear opening for the engine which once assembled and added to the model should give it a good look. The tow cables are provided with separate eyes, and a piece of copper cable. I personally would dump the copper cable and seek out a better replicating media for this purpose, as I believe it will result in a much more appealing finish. A nice touch in this release is that an engine cradle has been provided for mounting to the engine which could then be used to a suitable lifting vehicle for a diorama display.

Moving on to the turret, shape and form appears to be good. The periscope lenses have been provided in clear plastic. The stowage baskets at the rear of the turret looks fair for three parts that make up this area of the model, the large bolt locators for securing the external armour of the turret have been well replicated and will give the turret, the meaty look that this type or armour provided. The turret hatches are separate parts with good detail that would appear to meet the details of the real vehicle well. Smoke grenade launchers, aerials and the like have been provided as separate parts and I like that the smoke grenade launchers can be fully assembled prior to attachment to the turret itself.

The gun mantlet is fixed in that the gun cannot be elevated or depressed and this has allowed the canvas waterproofing to be replicated on the model. Hobby Boss has provided two separate gun barrels but I am unsure as to what the differences are, with that said, one of them is clearly pointed out as the one to use, and good use of photo etch and plastic parts has been made to dress it up. Due to being slide moulded both of the barrels have recessed openings at the muzzle end. The MG mounted on the turret, has also been slide moulded and so has a good level of detail provided. Hobby Boss has unfortunately only covered a lone finishing option in this release, and no specific details have been provided on the finished model which is one of my pet hates. Fortunately plenty of online reference can be found to make this model represent a specific vehicle.

Conclusion

This offering from Hobby Boss in 1/35th scale of the Leopard 1A5 is a fair representation, but I have learnt to avoid committing myself to pure accuracy. The detail provided on the model is fair at worst, and good at best. The individual track links are nice to see, despite the issue of the end caps being secured to each link. I also wish that they had covered a specific vehicle in the finishing option. On the plus side I was very pleased to find a full power pack included in the model. With good detail present and the cradle for lifting that power pack, but it was a little short sighted not to cover a way of showing off the engine in the model.
SUMMARY
Darren Baker takes a look at the Leopard 1A5 MBT from Hobby Boss in 1/35th scale.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 84501
  PUBLISHED: Nov 06, 2020
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.94%

Our Thanks to Hobby Boss!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thanks for the review. Odd how they chose to have the mantlet assembly.
NOV 06, 2020 - 09:44 AM
I'm thrilled that the kit comes with a complete power pack as this allows me to model the kit during an engine swap with a Buffalo's crane hoisting it out as I've seen done so many times in the past here at CFB Shilo years ago.
NOV 06, 2020 - 01:16 PM
Two barrels are included as Hobby Boss has repurposed generic sprues from previous Leopard kit versions. In this case one barrel is the proper one for a Leopard 1A5 and the other is from the Canadian Leopard C1 MEXAS kit. I suspect with that carry over of sprues comes the same issues of previous Hobby Boss Leopard 1s with accuracy of the turret hatches, suspension arms, and hull weld seams. Some details can be added with some elbow grease if desired and some need parts replaced if you want accuracy.
NOV 07, 2020 - 11:59 AM
   
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