Takom has recently produced a Canadian specific variant of a Leopard I MBT, a C2 MEXAS (Modular Expandable Armor System) version which was, up to now, only available through resin conversion sets(which there are a few, Legend including). Enter Takom, with their plastic 1:35 scale kit. While it's a very fine kit out of the box, it has some errors and room to upgrade and enhance. Takom has decided to release a "proto" version of the kit, which is to say, not combat deployed and this set can be used to update them to various stages of their combat record in Afghanistan from October 2006 to July 2011.
Leopard C2 MEXAS update/detailing set (LF1285)
from Legend Productions is very similar to Legends previous C2 MEXAS update set (LF1273), which was a follow up on their own conversion set (LF1272) designed to convert Revell/Italeri Leopard kits to C2 MEXAS configuration.
Leopard C2 MEXAS update/detailing set (for Takom) (LF1285) contains 60 resin parts, 3 PE frets with 78 parts, 3 brass rods, wire, rubber tubing and instructions.
Resin parts look good with the superb quality of moulding. I found no air-bubbles or warping. One piece, however, fell victim to a large number of parts in a box: a MG bipod broke but luckily Legend provides 2 of the bipods. The resin parts add the missing things from the Takom kit - antenna bag (although of correct length, most antenna bags had opening on one side, not on both as depicted in this set) and the ECM unit (shame it will be mostly hidden behind the shield). The resin parts also replace the smoke dischargers (we get the full upgrade withthe tubes, chains, mounts and railing), new EMES 18 with PE cover, clevis hooks and tow eyes (Takom`s are a really underwhelming attempt), bore brush tubes, signal wire container, corrected 2 types of Jerry cans, new MG mount with magazine box and barrel handle, side tool boxes (replacing the fiddly plastic 3 piece affair), new and correct antennae mounts, rear side skirts brackets and a set of resin bolts (handy for those who don't have a punch-and-die set).
PE parts are supplied on 3 frets. These parts are designed for updating the base kit to a combat deployed variant - a set of front dust/mud guards (attached early on when deployed), ECM shield and thermal cooler (which seems to have proper dimensions, but a fair warning for the modeler - it was used with thermal covers, so you will need to do some creative stuff to do the covers). Rest of the etched parts replace plastic parts which could use the upgrade (rear mud flaps, Jerry can mounts, etc.). Included are also the chains needed to properly represent the smoke dischargers, MG gun travel lock, a copious amount of padlocks for the rear bin and storage boxes, new netting for the racks on the side of the bin and engine grille.
Also found here is a 10 cm of 0.5 mm and 0.3 mm brass wire, 20 cm of 0.7 mm brass rod and 10 cm of 1.0 mm brass rod. The rods will be used for the smoke discharger railing, various grab handles and antennae. The rubber wire provided is used for the tubing of the thermal cooler.
Instructions come on a 2 sided color paper sheet, no issues with parts placement and assembly.
Leopard C2 MEXAS update/detailing set is a nice multimedia set providing everything a modeler needs to correct the Takom`s kit errors and an option to update it to a chosen combat deployed variant. The only omission of this set is the lack of a muzzle reference sensor located on the tip of the barrel, a piece Legend includes in their original C2 MEXAS conversion for Revell/Italeri kits (LF1273).
As a side note, Anthony Sewards has a DVD which will greatly help with anyone wishing to truly make a correct setup for any given MEXAS at any time of its service in Afghanistan. Anthony also wrote a tweak list for Takom`s kit which can be seen here: link
. This list will also help with choosing which parts of this set to use if you desire to represent a particular Canadian cat.
EDITOR's NOTE: This update set will be used in a build log started by the author of the review. See the build log thread here: link