Leopard 2 A6/A6M
The Leopard 2A6/A6M is the newest of all currently fielded German Leopard tanks. This kit is one of three current Revell 35th scale Leopard tanks on the market. The other two kits available from Revell the Leopard 2A4/A4NL and the Swedish Leopard 2 (Strv 122A/122B).
The Leopard 2A6/A6M comes in the standard Revell end-opening box. Quite frankly, the box is a little too small for all of the plastic inside; more on this later. The 222 parts come in three separate bags on seven sprues molded in the standard Revell green plastic and black vinyl tracks. In addition, there is a piece of fine wire taped to the front of the instruction booklet. The 19 page instruction booklet is easy to follow but be forewarned that in the early steps the instructions already show some parts in place. These parts are labeled, but could be easy to overlook.
The molding is crisp with little to no flash. Parts such as the engine cooling fans have really fine detail; it’s so fine that it might get lost under a heavy coat of paint. The kit also represents patches of the anti-slip coating on the appropriate areas of the tank.
Although the kit is crisply molded, there are some significant sink marks. Parts 102 and 117 through 119 all have some sink marks that will need to filling and sanding. Two other parts that show major sink marks are parts 112 and 113, the cannon barrel. You can see in the photos the severity of these sink marks. In addition, there these parts are slightly warped. Speaking of warped parts, and going back to the bulged box, the top deck (part 7) is significantly warped due to the packing. Unlike the cannon barrel warpage, the hull is warped in multiple directions. You’ll get plenty of practice using your favorite method of un-warping parts with this kit. However, it shouldn’t be a showstopper, merely an additional step that you’ll have to do.
The vinyl tracks come in two pieces per side and look to be well molded. Also included is a rectangular sheet of clear plastic to make the windows for the tank commander. There are only a few options with this kit. The addition of the anti-mine plate on the bottom hull (A6M), an open or closed cupola, and an open or closed turret sensor windows are the only options that caught my eye.
The kit provides markings for four different German Leopard tanks, all of which are painted in the NATO green/brown/black scheme. The decals are in perfect register with enough spare numbers to model just about any German Leopard 2A6, provided there are no other unique markings on the real tank.
This is a beast of a tank. However, the 222 parts count is not that intimidating once you have the sprues in front of you. The sink marks and warped parts will need special attention but nothing that a seasoned modeler cannot handle. The kit captures the sharp angles of the Leopard 2 turret well and is finely molded overall, barring the few sink marks. The instructions are logical and I don’t foresee any significant building issues.
My sincere thanks go to Revell for providing the kit and to IPMS USA for allowing me to preview it.