Building the Leopard 2A7 R/C from the Tamiya kit 1/16 scale
by Mario Covalski © Modeler Site
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The goal of this short tutorial is to share with the reader the construction of the 1/16 RC Leopard 2A7, based on the Tamiya 2A6 and trying to copy the Meng 1/35 kit, which is an excellent reproduction of the real tank. To avoid creating false expectations about this tutorial, I’ll not make any reference to the assembly of the Tamiya kit, or the painting of the model, I just will focus on the modifications. During the construction I took some artistic license (as I use to do).
Since I built the Tamiya Leopard 2A6 in 2010, I was always interested in the evolution of the tank.
I've been a little confused about the nature of the Leopard 2A7. A few months ago I finished the build of what I thought was the 2A7 but it’s actually a Leopard 2A7 + and not the 2A7 of the Bundeswehr (Federal Defense Force of Germany).
When I analyzed the Meng kit, I realized that it’s a regular Bundeswehr’s 2A7, at least until a few years ago. The fact is that Leopard 2 is a tank widely used by the NATO forces and has undergone modifications and updates in different countries, and this led to confuse me. Read more about this at the end of the tutorial
Analyzing the Meng kit, and comparing it to Tamiya's magnificent 1/16, some changes were obvious, namely:
The back of the turret.
The right rear area of the upper hull.
The smoke launchers.
Minor changes in the hull sides.
New hinges for the reinforced front skirts.
Change in the route of the towing cables.
LCD display added to the turret for the commander use.
Other small changes.
A couple of years ago, I discovered a web site where Christian Ludwig offers his kits mostly made of plastic, cut with the CNC technology.
I consider these kits, like garage ones. They’re are called this way cause they’re hand-built by brilliant modelers and in general manufactured using no conventional methods for the industry and in limited quantities. Most of the garage kits, don’t come with instructions and in the best of the cases, several pages with drawings or a PDF with pictures of a prototype in construction.
I started buying parts for the 2A7, the following according to their website, and in the rest of the text I'll name them as CNC parts.
There are other parts that could be bought, I didn't to limit the expenses, but also to simplify the construction:
With these parts, almost all the needs of the conversion were covered.
The CNC parts to modify the rear of the turret were designed to be used in the Heng Long 2A6. When I received them, I realized that I couldn’t, or would be very difficult, to adapt them to Tamiya's model, because Tamiya's MFU takes that place and once assembled, this conversion doesn’t allow that possibility.
So I had to turn to the plan B. I asked Carson, DKLM owner, for selling me only the red marked parts in the next image. He agreed to send them for less than a quarter of the total value of the OKMO’s conversión, that he sells on his website.
I had used the conversion when last year I built the 2A7+. Notice that there are more necessary parts than the four I bought, but I didn’t order them because the CNC parts can supply them.
Here the 2A7+ I built with of OKMO conversion.
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