The Leopard 1 has been a mainstay of Western developed main battle tanks since the first production version was handed over to the German Army on September 9, 1965. The Leopard 1 series has gone through many modifications and upgrades over the years to bring it into the 21st Century. It traded masses of armour protection for speed, mobility, and a very effective main gun. Was the tank perfect... no, but it got the job done and continues this very day.
Multiple model companies have produced their versions of the Leopard 1 over the years. Were the kits perfect...no, but they looked the part for the most part and with some great aftermarket parts they can be built into very accurate models. In my opinion at the current time the best Leopard 1 kit s on the market have been produced by Italeri. One of the most visible issues with the Italeri kits are the road wheels. The kit road wheels have a series of recessed lines running across the road wheel surface around the entire circumference. The modeler can choose to ignore this or take the time to fill all the recessed areas and sand it flat, or sand the road wheels to take down the surface. These are all time consuming and may result in damaging or melting the road wheels if a motor tool is used.
Enter Mouse House Enterprises
(MHE) with their brand new set of corrected Idler wheels and road wheels for the Italeri Leopard 1s.
The tan resin road wheels are packaged together on strips of casting blocks (four per block) in a small plastic bag. A complete set of replacement road wheels and idler wheel for one Leopard 1 is included. The road wheels and idler wheels are attached to strips of casting blocks and this should be easy enough to remove.
The road wheel surfaces are void of recesses and show excellent bolt detail. The bolt details have been redone on all of the road wheels and are slightly larger and more to scale with the actual road wheels. The detail of the casting is very crisp and clean. The Italeri road wheels had nice bolt detail but it appeared slightly smaller than it should be. Not really a big issue overall, but when you compare them to reference images, and the Italeri parts to the MHE road wheels, the differences can be seen.
As a comparison, the only other corrected road wheels available are from Accurate Armour (AA). The AA bolt detail is the same as the Italeri kit and the price is basically the same for export customers.
This set will also work on all Revell-Germany Leopard 1 kits as well, as the Italeri Leopard 1 kits share the same parts.
Clean up is simple and faster than the standard Italeri road wheels.
The Leopard 1 continues to soldier on around the world and so do Leopard 1 kits. The Leopard 1 series are very popular kits with the “informed modern modeler” and so with MHE’s new corrected road wheel set it makes it even easier to make your build a great Leopard 1. It is a trade off to spend time and effort to remove the recessed grooves on the road wheels or to spend money on a corrected set. In my opinion Mouse House Enterprises has done Leopard 1 modellers an excellent service by producing this small but important set.
A review of the Damaged Road Wheels can be found here on Armorama