Tamiya leopard 2a4

This section is for you to give a commentary / build log of your Tamiya tank. Remember - lots of pictures please!

Postby tomhugill » Sat May 29, 2021 10:04 am

Hey folks, I've wanted an Leo 2a4 for a long while now but the conversion always out me off.

Last year I was lucky enough to pick up a part completed conversion off a good friend in canada, this was my starting point. The turret shell wasn't fully completed and wasn't yet properly mated to the lower half of the turret (which still needed to be cut to size). Quite a lot hadn't been glued together and and some of the panels weren't quite in the right place. But it was a very good start and gave me something to work with. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Postby tomhugill » Sat May 29, 2021 10:12 am

First order of business was the l56 barrel. On the a4 this is only an l44 barrel so some surgery was needed. Luckily this all comes off one end.

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Next up was tidying up the various flat elements that make up the turret shell. To do this I used the same.epoxy wood filler I used on the chieftain. It was trowelled on the joints and left to dry before being sanded back.

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At this time I also refitted the mantlet to get it correctly lined up and sanded it internally to it didn't foul the barrel recoil.

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Several passed of thick Mr surfacer were then applied, sanded and reapplied to get a smooth joint

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Postby tomhugill » Sat May 29, 2021 10:19 am

On of the most challenging parts of this build have been trying to shoe horn the original electrics into a much smaller turret. I had to delete the original battery tray and do a lot of rerouting cables, cutting down cables moving things around etc. I'd also had to use a much smaller lipo and a small form Rx. ImageImage

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Postby tomhugill » Sat May 29, 2021 10:39 am

The next stage was to add details to the turret shell. I used a lot of the separately fitted details from the henglong leopard 2a6. The side grab rails.are much longer and were scratch built from brass rod. The mantlet some how was too low so I added another styrene piece on top to bring it to the correct level. Lifting hooks, bolts, antenna, smoke launchers etc have been added at this point.

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I realised that the luggage compartment was modelled in the wrong place on th rear of the turret. I made a new roof part of the left hand side and used the existing bit that would have been a removable roof to make the floor for the stowage bin. This is much higher than in real life due to the positioning of the dmd. However I'll cut down some stowage to complete the illusion! To neaten this up I clad the inside with really thin styrene which was sanded back to fit nicely. More grab handles were added from the HL leopard fittings.

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The rain cover gave me some headaches. I tried think silicone rubber but that didnt look right. Lead foil looks the best but will break if continually flexed. In the end I settled in a cheat. I added a thin flat piece of styrene extending back from the mantlet. This would be fixed. To this I attached the lead foil. This gives a nice effect when the models static but allows the cover to move when it's in use. I realised that the rain cover extended back around the lifting hook in reality. Drat! I applied a bit of a fudge here and added a static piece around here which when painted should hopefully look like the signal rain cover (ish)

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I also reworked the gunners sights at this point to tidy up the joints and added some doors which cover them (in the open position). ImageImage

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Postby tomhugill » Sat May 29, 2021 11:00 am

More turret detailing. Adding the fine chain to the smoke dischargers, a fiddly job but ultimately very rewarding.

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Next is various bolt details, some more handles, simulated hinges etc etc. Hex profile styrene is invaluable here as the proper knuffler bolts would cost a small fortune (plus vat) nowerdays. Image

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The original rods is added to the commanders site were too thick but I had some fine styrene rod which is much closer.

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Lastly I realised that the front armour on the a6 is much different to the a4. There's a buldge aft of the camo tent rods which isn't there on the a4. So it had to go, dremmel and a cutting disk made short work and it's infilled with styrene. There's some other elements to add back now thats done but that's a job for another day.

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Looking at the reference material I saw that around the mantlet mg opening (s?) There's a raised lip. One smaller and one larger. I cut down some brass and aluminium rods to make these. A bit fiddly but more detail down.

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And here's how she stands now:

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Postby abramsky » Sun May 30, 2021 5:43 pm

I love modern stuff so I support you with all my heart. We have over 100 Leo 2a4 in Poland - currently under modernization to the 2PL version. Maybe someday I will also be able to buy a suitable upgrade package to build my own Leo2PL?
Good job. Keep doing...
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Postby r32 » Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:02 am

My completed build is in the modern subsection of Tamiya. Hi Tom, Glad to see more photographs of it here.

viewtopic.php?f=200&t=31685

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Postby tomhugill » Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:22 am

r32 wrote:My completed build is in the modern subsection of Tamiya. Hi Tom, Glad to see more photographs of it here.

viewtopic.php?f=200&t=31685
Such a brilliant build! It's a big source of inspiration


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Postby tomhugill » Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:30 am

In the spirit of trying to domrighr by the model I folded and got the Ludwig front armour skirt set.

It's a bit fiddly to make hinge. More so because I've run out of activator . But I think the results are worth it.

I've also added some missing periscopes and vision blocks to the commanders cupola.

There are just a few small details on the turret before I can get some paint on finally.
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Postby Jimster » Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:28 am

I always enjoy your build threads and consider them to be among the best. Of course this one follows suit. :thumbup:
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Postby tomhugill » Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:31 pm

Thanks for the kind words Jim!

Not big progress but a shot of primer to see what's what. White bits are fine miliput to fill blemishes ImageImage

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Postby r32 » Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:50 am

As you may know, I have the Ludwig kit and (briefly) considered building it the way it was intended, and then realized the hinges were never going to stand up to bush-bashing and collisions with other tanks in IR gaming. In addition, the actual tank's hinge mechanism is a little funky so I was concerned with the styrene channels' durability.

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Credit: Primeportal - http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/ulri ... _of_18.jpg

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Postby tomhugill » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:47 am

r32 wrote:As you may know, I have the Ludwig kit and (briefly) considered building it the way it was intended, and then realized the hinges were never going to stand up to bush-bashing and collisions with other tanks in IR gaming. In addition, the actual tank's hinge mechanism is a little funky so I was concerned with the styrene channels' durability.

Image
Credit: Primeportal - http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/ulri ... _of_18.jpg


It will be interesting to see how they stand up. They feel pretty tough but worst case I'll just glue the whole assembly down
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:20 am

"I've run out of 'activator' ?? :shifty:
Cant you just ask the Mrs to zip out to the nearest pub & get some more,um, 'activator' eh :lolno:
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Postby tomhugill » Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:32 am

Blimey, with that sort of activator I'd get nothing done!

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Postby Sub » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:47 pm

Hey Tom,
That's looking really good, it would be nice to see it side by side with my Leopard 1A4, and see the evolution of the Leopard tank, with a Leopard 2 A5 next to that, they would look great.
Regards
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Postby tomhugill » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:09 am

Fill, sand, prime, repeat. Tbh once the NATO camps on the blemishes would probably be invisible but gotta do right by the ol'girlImageImageImage

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Postby tomhugill » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:10 am

Sub wrote:Hey Tom,
That's looking really good, it would be nice to see it side by side with my Leopard 1A4, and see the evolution of the Leopard tank, with a Leopard 2 A5 next to that, they would look great.
Regards
Sub.
Absolutely! Maybe next Granth meet? Or Blackpool!

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Postby Raminator » Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:36 am

Coming along spectacularly, Tom. I've always thought the big slab-sided turrets looked better than the pointy spaced armour on the A5 onwards, and the extra details on the skirts really make it pop. It's going to look gorgeous once it's all coloured in!
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Postby jhamm » Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:40 am

Hello Tom,
i recommend this website:
https://www.scalenews.de/leopard-2a4-walkaround-316/

there are some minor details in your model that could be corrected now.
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