by: Anthony Sewards [ ]
The Leopard 2A4M CAN is the upgraded Canadian version of the Leopard 2A4 acquired from the Royal Netherlands Army surplus. It is specially designed for the war in Afghanistan based on experience gained by Leopard 2 operators. The first 20 were delivered in October 2010 and 5 Leopard 2A4M’s were deployed to Afghanistan in December 2010, and withdrawn from front line service in July 2011. Though originally planned to be up-gunned to the L55 for consistency with the 2A6M CAN, the longer barreled guns (optimized for tank-vs-tank warfare) were found to be less than ideal in Afghanistan, and therefore it was decided to retain the L44 shorter barrel. In addition, only small areas of slat armor were added, in contrast with the fully caged 2A6M CAN's. The protection of the Leopard 2A4M CAN has been further augmented with the addition of appliqué armor resembling that found on the most recent Leopard 2A7 variant, but modified to fit the turret configuration of the 2A4.
This kit from Perfect Scale Modellbau represents the latest Leopard 2 operated by the Canada in Afghanistan. There are a lot of happy modelers out there with all this new Canadian Armour kit.
There are 2 bags containing 89 grey resin parts, upper hull, turret, barrel and turret boxes covered in Barracuda camouflage in one bag, with the other containing turret hatches and stowage. The kit comes with two detailed sheets of photo etch, 30cm copper wire for tow cables, and a 15cm plastic rod. This kit is a excellent resin conversion for the Leopard 2A4 from Hobby Boss.
The instructions cover 7 pages. Page one gives you a parts list and the rest the building instructions with last page showing a finished and painted kit.
Starting from the turret assembly which starts on pages 2-3, detailed instructions guide you through the process of bending the photo etch and mounts for the turret. On page 2 is a guide to bending and gluing the slat armor for the turret. With page 3 dealing with the rear turret baskets and mounting the turret top stowage boxes and parts.
Pages 4-5-6: Deals with the hull conversion slat assembly and the very detailed photo etch mounts. The instructions show the placement of the photo etch parts on the rear hull and upper hull, with detailed resin vehicle tools, like shovels, bow saw, pinch bar and track adjuster. On page 5 shows the detailed guide to the rear slat armor and the placement of the extra photo etch parts.
Page 7: Deals with the last bits for the turret with a detailed machine gun mount, for the Fabrique National General purpose machine gun (GPMG), and gives you the option of the sun shade umbrella to have it mounted open or closed.
Perfect Scale Modellbau provides three color photos of a finished kit. The Barracuda camouflage detail on all parts is crisp and very detailed. Throughout the instructions Perfect Scale Modellbau has included detailed photos of a completed kit to aid the modeler in the position of the slat armor .
This is a very welcomed kit of a operational and a unique Leopard tank, that has seen active service for only 7 months in Afghanistan.The kit gives you the chance to build the sun shade umbrella opened or closed. The open version has modeled on top a cover over the Barracuda camouflage, but not all of the deployed Leopards had this canvas type cover. The instructions are fantastic with the fully detailed building guide to add the photo etch slat armor, plus the addition of photos to show you “How-to” complete the part the right way. This kit is a real gem, and after working on and around Leopard tanks for a few years with a rotation in one overseas welcome this excellent resin kit.