Book Review
Leopard 1 MBT in German Army Service – Early Years

by: Pawel Krupowicz [ VODNIK ]

Leopard 1 by many is seen as the first truly modern tank developed after the World War II. New Tankograd book covers early years of service of this tank in German Army. It is the first volume of short series and second book covering later years of Leopard 1 tank development will be released soon.
“Kampfpanzer LEOPARD 1 in der Bundeswehr – Fruehe Jahre / The Leopard 1 MBT in German Army Service – Early Years” by Frank Lobitz is a bilingual German/English publication, printed on high quality paper in typical for Tankograd A4 format. The book contains 64 pages with a lot of high quality black and white and color photographs and also several sketches, illustrations from technical manuals and scale drawings. All text in the book, including photo captions is printed in two languages. Majority of photos in the book are black and white, but nice selection of color photos is included as well. English version of the text is a bit “rough” in places and I had to read some parts a couple of times to understand them. But native English speakers may not have this problem.
in detail
There are ten main chapters in the book and most of them are purely photo collections with long captions, but without paragraph text.

The Leopard 1 MBT in German Army Service – The first chapter, the longest in the book and the only one with paragraph text, in 15 sub-chapter covers the history of development and service of Leopard 1 tank in Bundeswehr from first prototypes built in 1960, through all production batches, versions and upgrades, to the Leopard 1A4 variant which was the final “new” version manufactured for Bundeswehr with last tanks delivered in 1976. In this chapter all early Leopard 1 variants are described in details with a lot of technical information. Basic information on crew uniforms and communication equipment is also included, as well as short paragraph about organization of Leopard units.

Following chapters are photo collections only with a lot of “in-action” pictures, but also many detail photos:
Development and Prototypes
Pre-Series Production / 0-Series
Production and further improvements
– Here and in following chapters we get several sketches of parts, illustrations from technical manual and a lot of “walkaround” style photos.
Leopard 1 Production Variants – 1st to 4th Production Batch
Leopard 1A1 (Conversions 1st to 4th Production Batch)
Leopard 1A2 (5th Production Batch – Cast Turret)
Leopard 1A3 (5th Production Batch – Welded Turret)
Leopard 1A4 (6th Production Batch)
First improvements and conversions in detail

The book ends with twelve pages of scale drawings in 1/35 scale of all early Leopard 1 production variants.
Although no new tooling Leopard 1 kit can be seen on the horizon, old Italeri kits are still quite good and definitely worth building. They were designed in Italeri’s “golden years” when this company manufactured some of the most detailed and accurate 1/35 kits on the market. While currently all are out of production, they can be relatively easily found on eBay and from other sources of second hand kits. Revell of Germany also offered some of these Italeri kits in their boxes with new parts added. New Tankograd book is excellent reference for all modelers building Italeri Leopard 1 models, but also can be used as source of inspiration to improve inferior Tamiya and Heller offerings.
Thanks Tankograd for supplying this title for review.
New Tankograd book is excellent reference for all modelers building Italeri Leopard 1 models.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 5013
  PUBLISHED: Jun 27, 2006

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.


Click image to enlarge
  • leo1_00
  • leo1_01
  • leo1_02
  • leo1_03
  • leo1_04
  • leo1_05