Building the RC Leopard 2A4 1/16 scale
by Mario Covalski © Modeler Site
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Some years ago, I decided it was time to give the Tamiya Leopard 2A6 a chance, I had got an offer and the model was tempting. Having taken over a month to build and paint the RC model, let me know a lot about the Leopard 2, which I only knew through pictures of 1/35 models, not paying any attention to them.
Thus, my interest for the Leopard 2 grew, and in spite of having the model finished, I went on reading a couple of books about it. This way is how I knew the 2A4, which was never manufactured in this scale. My anxiety about the model grew and grew. You know is like offering a child a candy and deny it to him then.
A couple of years ago, I discover www.Ludwigs-Hobby-Seite.de, a web site where Christian Ludwig offers his kits mostly made of plastic, cut with the CNC technology. So, I found a kit to convert a Heng Long 2A6 to the 2A4, that is to say a previous version.
How to build a Leo 2A4
If you like me, want to get a model from the Leo 2A4, there’s no other way than modifying a 2A6, the Tamiya or HL’s. I’ve seen some forums where somebody intended a conversion from the Tamiya to the 4 version, it sounds logic, the 6 is an improvement of the 4, apparently the effort never brought to concretion.
On the other hand, Christian, offers his conversion kit, which comprises:
A turret that have to be build from plastic die-cut sections that more or less match to the shapes of the armoured plates in the real tank, which are welded in it.
All the front hull plate, that includes the old driver’s hatch. Here it could have been simplified, but probably he thought that it was easier to cut a rectangle than a section with complex shapes, as you’ll see in this tutorial later.
The front armoured skirts, and the rear skirts.
And finally a 3D printed periscope visor for the turret and some plastic tubes and steel rods for the skirts hinges.
I consider this conversion kit, like a garage one. The garage kits are called this way cause they’re hand-built by brilliant modelers and are in general manufactured using no conventional methods for the industry and 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 work in progress prototype.
I’ve built several garage kits, some of them were very complex, You can love them or leave them, but without any doubt, you’ll find in them something that industry doesn’t offer, and for my own part, I’m not capable of building them from scratch.
Building the 2A4
A warning you should have into account before reading this tutorial. During the model assembly, I’ve made mistakes, some of them were corrected and others not, but in general they don’t affect the model aspect. The good news is that now I can tell you about them. I also took some artistic license due to different reasons, so if you’re a rivet counter modeller, be patient with my 2A4. What I aimed at for in this difficult project was to achieve a model looking like a Leo 2A4, beyond some details or minor mistakes.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of the turret first assembly steps, so I’ll take as base the pictures from Christian, have this into account, there are differences between the first batch and what the kit provides currently.
I didn’t focused on adding to the HL lower hull, expensive parts such as wheels and metal tracks, I used what I had at hand to reduce the cost, so if you decide to build a 2A4, you may include all you want, even a metal interior reinforcement so as to get a more rigid hull.
It’s convenient to have some blueprints about the 2A4, a lot of pictures of course, and if possible the 2A4 from Meng in 1/35 scale, or images of it taken from the web.
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