by: kenneth oestergaard [ ]
Originally published on:
With the stream of Leopard kits being offered at the moment it is only natural that AM products follow too. Among these kits, Legend have offered two conversions kits for Danish Leopard versions, the DK1 version (LF1282) and the UN A5 version (LF1283). Both of these kits are great. One of the real disappointments in the Meng kit and that has not been dealt with in the Legend conversions kits is the road wheels. This is where Leopard club have come to the rescue. They initially made a set of replacements wheels, kit no LW001, which is by far the best kit of road wheels around for the Leopard tank. Now they offer 4 sets of road wheels to complement their first set.
All deployed Danish Leopard tanks in the Balkans had refurbished road wheels of three different kinds. To make the best of Legend conversion kits the modeler would have to tackle this issue, however, this is not an issue anymore thanks to Leopard club. The refurbished road wheels are also used by both the Canadian army and the Norwegian army, so the potential for these kits is vast.
The kits are sold in bags of four, for kit no -3 and -4 and in bags of two for kit no -5 and -6. The two first versions, bolted and recessed Allen bolted, are the most common ones and therefor sold in bags of fours. Only two idler wheels are needed and the Allen bolted road wheels which are rarer, and therefor they are each sold in bags of two. Each bag for all types only contains the front face wheel.
These wheels are designed to fit with Leopard club’s own set of road wheels (kit no LW001) and a future set of road wheels arms (coming later this year). They also fit Italeri, Revell and Perfect Scale Modellbau’s road wheels as shown in my picture. This does, however, give the modeler a minor issue with aligning them with the road wheels nearest to the hull; they have to be eye balled in place as there are no connection marks/pins to aid. But I hardly think this would stop any modeler. Some might have found it convenient if they had fitted Mengs’ road wheels. This is not an easy task to do. If placed on the inner road wheel directly there‘ll not be enough space for the guide horns. To solve this a 10mm disk made from 0.5mm plastic card has to be made as a spacer; however, the inner wheel would then show off its over scaled thickness. But as previously mentioned they are best replaced anyway. They are far too thick, poorly moulded and have a ridiculous drum brake like disk on the inside.
The road wheels have been designed using CAD technology and 3D printing. As such they are highly detailed and will give the modeler some very impressive road wheels. There is no casting block to deal with and therefore the preparation is minimal. My copies have been absolutely flawless and almost ready for use as are. For modelers wishing to make a Danish Leopard in the Balkans I would urge you to study your reference closely as these road wheels replaced the original ones over the years. No two tanks are alike nor would the same tank have the same kind of road wheels during the entire period. To make the details of the wheels stand out more clearly I have given the wheels a coat of Tamiya Panel line Accent color. The “block” seen in the back ground is one I placed to lift the wheel a little for the picture.
There is also a set of spare wheels in the line.