When the Leopard 2 was developed the Rheinmetall 120 mm L/44 smooth bore gun was selected for the main armament. First developed back in 1974 the L/44 remained the mainstay firepower of the Leopard 2 series until the introduction of the even more powerful L/55. Modified versions of the L/44 are used in the Abrams, the K1A1, and the Type 90. The L/44 has been used in the German Leopard 2 from the first production batches to the Leopard 2A5. The L/44 has been produced for both German Leopards and the Leopard 2s used by many nations. Additions to the barrel over the years have included the bracket and the collimator mirror mounted on the right side of the muzzle for the muzzle reference system.
Given the increase in Leopard 2 variant kits over the past few years there have been several aftermarket replacement barrels produced. These have included barrels produced by both Model Point and Barrel Depot. Those barrels were turned aluminum with either resin and or brass detail parts and for the most part they were very nicely produced. What left some modelers weary were both the price and the availability of the barrels.
The ability for modelers to deal with the seams on two piece injection molded barrels appears to be an endless issue. Barrels with multiple sections or distinct features such as on the L/44 can cause problems in blending the mold seams after assembly.
Following up the successful production of their Leopard 1 L7 resin barrel Perfect Scale Modellbau follows suit with their new 120 mm L/44 resin barrel. The resin barrel is cast in one piece and can be used to replace with Hobby Boss Leopard 2A4 barrel without modification.
The barrel is simply packaged in a zip lock style bag. Upon initial inspection of the resin barrel it is without any warping, no air bubbles, and no clean up appears to be required.
Comparing the barrel with the Hobby Boss Leopard 2A4 barrel it is evident that the level of detail in the Perfect Scale Modellbau barrel is far improved. The recessed bolt detail is very clearly defined on either side of the fume extractor and near the muzzle. The muzzle is hollowed out and is approximately 3 mm longer than the Hobby Boss kit muzzle. The increased length of the muzzle looks correct when compared to reference images and to the Hobby Boss kit barrel.
There is no mirror mount for the muzzle reference system included with the barrel. This is not a must have for a Leopard 2 as they were not retro-fitted with the muzzle reference system until about 1992. It would have been a nice detail to have included with a separate muzzle in order to provide the modeler with a further upgrade possibility.
I compared the resin barrel with Model Point L/44 barrels designed for the Italeri and Tamiya Leopard 2A5 kits and found the level of detail to be equal if not better to the metal barrels.
The rubberized dust jacket near the mantlet end of the barrel is nicely formed around the barrel and looks accurate when compared to reference images.
I would think with very little modification the barrel could be used on both the Italeri and Revell-Germany Leopard 2A4 kits.
In a time of economic conservation modelers are looking for ways to continue building detailed projects without spending all of their money. Perfect Scale Modellbau provides the modeler with another high quality product at a very good price. The L/44 barrel is for sure an upgrade in detail from the Hobby Boss kit barrel. The level of detail is very good and even without the inclusion of the muzzle reference system mirror mount it can be used on a variety of Leopard 2 projects. An inexpensive accurate and well detailed barrel such as this one should not be passed up if a modeler is looking to improve a kit and avoid dealing with barrel seams.