The following introduction is as supplied on the products instruction.
The German Army LeFlaSys (Light Anti-Aircraft System) is one of the most up to date anti-aircraft systems in the world today for very close and close ranges. Airborne targets can be tracked, identified and acquired up to a distance of 20.000m and an altitude of 5.000m and successfully engaged up to a distance of 6.000m and an altitude of 3.500m. in addition it is highly mobile and can be transported by air in the CH 53 or C160 Transall. The system consists of different vehicles, which together form the LeFlaSys. The vehicles are based on the Wiesel (Weasel) 2 and the light Lkw gl Wolf truck. The Wiesel 2 is lengthened and modified version of the Wiesel 1, a lightly armoured tracked vehicle that offers protection against hand weapons and shrapnel. For self-defence the Wiesel 2 has an NBC protection and ventilation system, a 7.62 mm MG3 and a smoke grenade discharger. It is powered by a 4 cylinder TDI engine.
The AFF (Reconnaissance, Command and control vehicle) on the Wiesel 2, is the eyes and brain of the system. Its 3d radar acquires targets and transfers target data to via extensive tap proof radio equipment to the Ocelot weapons carrier, which the launches up to four guided missiles. The AFF is capable of coordinating the fire control of up to 8 Ocelots. The ocelot weapons carrier, also on a Wiesel 2, has a turret that traverses through 360 degrees, MLS (Multi- Launcher Syatem), that carries four type FIM 92 Stinger” or “Igla” guided missiles. In addition the MLS carries a sensor block with a high powered TV camera, a temperature entropy device and a laser range finder. It also has available an IR panoramic search system. Should the connection to the AFF be interrupted, the Ocelot can independently seek and engage enemy aircraft with this surveillance and targeting equipment. Four other guided missiles are carried as an ammunition store in the rear stowage container.
Five Ocelots and one AFF form a convoy, three convoys form a battery which includesthe two battery command/support cell vehicles(BF/UF) also on Wiesel 2. An interface vehicle and maintainance vehicles, likewise on light Wolf Lkw gl trucks, complete the equipment. The first system was handed over in 2001. The German Army procured 50 Ocelot platforms, 10 AFF’s and 7 BF/UF’s. Wiesel 2 is produced by Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmBh, a sister company of Rheinmetall AG, in charge of development and production of armoured tracked vehicles as well as of turret systems. The LeFlaSys has been developed in collaboration with Rheinmetall Defence Electronics and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
Inside a very large end opening box you will find;
- 13 green sprues
- 3 lengths of fine wire
- 6 lengths of vinyl rubber tracks
- A decal sheet
- A multi-language safety advice sheet
- An instruction booklet
Starting at the beginning and where everyone should look first, the instructions. The instruction booklet is A4 in size and has impressive an 24 pages in it; although I suppose not really surprising considering there are three models in the box. The instructions begin with a fairly long introduction in German and English and which provides a good level of information. This is followed by the warnings in an impressive number of languages and finishes with a guide to the icons called out during construction of the models. Next you will find a guide to the paint colours used in again an impressive number of languages and utilising the Revell
paint brand. You are then confronted with a sprue guide and the various stages for building each of the three models. The models are all separated into their own areas to avoid confusion, and two finishing options are supplied for each of the models which are;
- LeFlaBttr, 300, Hardheim, 2009 (HEER)
- Flugabwehrraketengruppe 61, Todendorf, 2013 (Luftwaffe)
The construction stages guide you through construction using the black and white line drawing approach and while there are a number of stages on each page, each stage has been kept to a level that is or should be easy to follow.
An inspection of the sprues did not reveal any real causes of concern. The sprues are laid out in a logical manner, which should make finding parts easy. The gates between the sprues and the parts are of a reasonable size and not excessive in number. There are a number of flow lines or cooling lines on some pieces, but none of these look or feel to have left any deformation in the finished plastic parts. There are a number of quite large ejector pin marks, but it is my belief that Revell of Germany
has done a good job of placing these where they cannot be seen. I did find a single piece in this review sample that has a sizeable sink mark on it, however this part is featureless other than the shape and should be easily remedied with filler and a light sanding.
The tracks for the three models are the rubber band type made with a vinyl plastic; each of these track lengths has eight nodes along the length which should be easy to remove, but they do detract from the product when looking over the parts. There are also 3 length of wire attached to the instruction booklet; however no mention is made of these in the instructions, however I believe they are supplied to represent the aerials on the vehicles.
This vehicle is the fire power of the LeFlaSys, and Revell of Germany
have made this model available not only as a part of this product but also as a standalone kit No 03089. It is this model that has the sink mark on part 101, this part being one half of the arms that support the missile cradle.
Wheels and Suspension
In this section I will cover the wheels and suspension for all of the models as they are all identical. Starting with the road wheels; they all have holes in them in order I believe to reduce weight. Searching through online images reveals two possible patterns to these holes; one of the options is five perfectly round holes in each wheel as replicated in the models supplied by Revell of Germany
in these kits, and I have also seen images where the holes are more teardrop shaped. I bring this up as depending on your reference material you may believe that Revell of Germany
had got it wrong when it is an accurate pattern.
The drive wheel is an area I cannot confirm or deny accuracy on, as all of the images I looked at depicted the holes in them to be elongated slots with rounded ends; with that said I believe there may be more than one pattern to these holes due to there being two patterns on the road wheels. and I was just unable to find images to support that belief. The suspension on the vehicle looks to match my reference material; the arms and shocks supplied are sufficiently detailed but are set in place.
The tracks once the nodes are removed should be much easier to appreciate the detail that has been moulded on them; the road blocks and teeth appear to be a good match for my reference. My only concern about the tracks is due to how thin they are and how well they will fit once the models are assembled; this possible concern may not be warranted, but I will not know until one of the vehicles is assembled and the tracks fitted.
Upper and Lower Hull
The hull of this vehicle is very much a multi-part affair; made up of separate side, top, bottom back and rear. This approach looks to have enabled Revell of Germany
to incorporate some very nice detail on the model; detail such as some very finely detailed anti-slip texture, which while I cannot say it is perfectly placed it certainly looks very good and will require careful painting to avoid flooding the fine detail. |It is of course alos the muli-part approach that has made it easier for Revell of Germany
to make alternate vehicles on the same basic hull.
If Revell of Germany
decided to include photo etched parts in their models this next part of the review would be a good place to start. The exhaust that runs down the left of the vehicle is nicely replicated; however the exhaust is covered by a vented screen, it is that vented screen that cries out to be supplied as a photo etched part. Don’t get me wrong as Revell of Germany
has done a fair job of replicating this shield but a better alternative would have been a very nice inclusion.
The lights and wing mirrors for the vehicle are very nicely moulded and should look the part once attached. There are areas of the model where scratch work will improve the overall look of the model; Areas such as the rubber mud guards could be replaced for a thinner material more representative of the real thing. Revell of Germany
has done a pretty good job of replicating the aerial bases for the vehicle, and to which the wire supplied will be inserted; the wire is about 0.4 or 0.5mm which is a reasonable thickness; however the down side is that due to no instructions I have no idea how long to cut the wire, aerials on British vehicles seem to mostly be either 6 or 8ft with I believe 6ft being the most common. I hope some of our German members will jump in here and clarify that.
Starting by taking a look at the defensive weapons which are an MG3 and smoke. The smoke grenade launchers look very good detail wise, the frame is finely moulded and should look the part depending on how steady my hands are. The MG3 looks to have reasonable detail; but you will need to drill the tip of the barrel to improve appearance.
The offensive weapons are supplied in the form of stinger missiles. The launching system is reasonably detailed and with the use of some filler should look right. The missiles can be moved after assembly both rotationally and elevation wise, however if you are like me, glue the assembly in your chosen position. The missiles can be depicted either in a ready to fire mode or covered as the cover can be fixed in either position. The four spare stinger missiles that are stored in a bin at the rear of the vehicle are present; however I cannot find reference on this area of the vehicle to comment on accuracy.
The AFF is the eyes of the leFlaSys and this is again a model that was available as a separate item under the kit number 03094.
Starting with the hull which as mentioned earlier is a multi-part affair, consisting of 6 pieces which again due to how Revell of Germany
has tackled the hull has a good level of detail, with the anti-slip detail being an eye catcher for me again. The weaknesses such as the exhaust guard are shared with the previous model, but these problems can be overcome.
The defensive weapons are present and have the same highs and lows of the previous model. One other thing that has caught my eye are the convoy lights which are moulded as part of the track guard, I would have liked to see these supplied as clear parts or at the very least moulded separately, as that would have made it easier to dress the model up a bit rather than resorting to surgery.
The tracking radar supplied with this model is reasonable and can be posed in a number of orientations or if preferred left moveable. The parts are cleanly moulded in my sample and the addition of the supplied cabling ads nice detail.
This vehicle has not to my knowledge been available in its own right previously, and it is good in my opinion to see it offered to finish off this particular family of vehicles. You can think of this vehicle as the brains of the outfit, even though this vehicle has nothing special about it; which makes sense really as it does not want to attract attention.
This vehicle shares the same wheel and suspension design as the previous 2 vehicles, and again has a multi-part hull; in this case 6 parts. It shares the same highs and lows as the other two vehicles in the box as you would expect; with again a good anti-slip detail being present.
The smoke grenade launcher and frame work mount are again well replicated, but could be further enhanced by the addition of some very fine chain attaching the caps to the bodies. The MG3 can again be further improved by drilling out the tip of the barrel, but is otherwise of a reasonable detail level.
Two of the three vehicles offered in this set are I believe about 4 year old productions, the moulds appear to be standing up quite well with no real issues other than the sink mark I located in an easy to fill area. One benefit of the older kits being in here is that some of the aftermarket companies have products available to update them; I can already hear the groans about “why should I buy an aftermarket kit for a new product?” the simple answer to that is you don’t have to, the models are of a reasonable detail level and I feel Revell of Germany
offer fantastic value for money with this product. After all when was the last time you got three new vehicle models for £9.oo a piece?
There are areas of the vehicles that will benefit from the aftermarket offerings; these areas are in my opinion the exhaust cover, the engine deck grill and the more realistic thickness that photo etched parts offer for the mud guards. If you can live with your models not having those parts improved, then you have good models straight from the box. There are other items/areas that are tackled in photo etched parts, but those three are the main areas of interest to me.
It is a little disappointing to find a sink mark on one of the model parts, but its location makes it a none issue. If it had been on the hull top it would have been a different case; however again the low cost is helping to keep the hobby within reach of the youngsters and I look forward to building this set of vehicles from Revell of Germany
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For
details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell