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135
Leopard Artillery Observation tank

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The Beobachtungspanzer (Artillery Observation Tank) version of the Leopard 1 came about as a replacement for older observation vehicles based on the M113 and KanonenJagdPanzer (“KaJaPa”) hulls that served with mortar regiments. Built on surplus Leo 1A5s, the two prototypes were tested in the mid-90s, but shelved as a sudden wave of disarmament swept the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I built this for the Leopardmania 50 campaign using the Revell Leo 1A5 kit, which is based on the old but good Italeri moulds. Mike Shackleton kindly sent me page-images of the vehicle from his Leopard Trilogy books (thanks Mike!), and I found a walk-around of the other prototype online, so I could in theory model the differences. But the image that got me started was in the Tankograd book on the Leopard 1 “Late Years”.

Leopard Club supplied aerials and mantlet plugs, I got several other parts 3D-printed at Shapeways, the tracks came from Meng, and the rest was good old scratch-building to match references. Weathering was kept to a bare minimum, as befits new equipment.

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About the Author

About Tom Cromwell (barkingdigger)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

A Yank living overseas on a long-term basis, I've been building tanks since the early '70s. I relish the challenges of older kits (remember when Tamiya was "new"?...) because I love to scratch-build.


Comments

Love it ! Really great job and outstanding scratch work. I have actually got some video footage of the prototypes participating in an EX in Hohenfels (think winter 1996) with PzBat.214 with their Leo 2A5s. Now you got me looking for it over the weekend. Cheers Christopher
FEB 03, 2017 - 08:02 AM
Tom, loved it when you were building it on the campaign.... still a striking looking build. Looking forward to your tug..... Bob
FEB 03, 2017 - 09:20 AM
Thanks guys! @Christopher, I'd love to see that footage! Not sure how you'd load it up though - YouTube? @Bob, I started on the tug - the turret is nearly finished. Time has been lacking, but the hull is on the bench! I need to grab some pics soon.
FEB 03, 2017 - 11:17 AM
Hey Tom, here you go from 1.00 mins onward: LINK Cheers Christopher
FEB 03, 2017 - 07:33 PM
Thanks Christopher - that's great! Any idea what that doo-dad is in front of the loader's hatch? If I was doing it again I'd definitely do it "in testing" covered in mud...
FEB 04, 2017 - 04:48 AM
Hey Tom Not sure if you had a look at this site yet: LINK The "pole" on the turret roof is for the GPS receiver, the "doo-dad" mounted at the loaders hatch seems to be a portable "Target acquisition device" also used later on the Marder, I'll try to get the specifics from a good friend. Cheers Christopher
FEB 04, 2017 - 08:26 PM
Interesting artillery observation concept, different from the IDF one...
FEB 04, 2017 - 09:28 PM
This kind of build is what the hobby is all about in a nutshell: original ideas, research, scratch building and kit-bashing, and the usual follow-through including this masterfully-done paint job. Good stuff!
FEB 05, 2017 - 02:16 AM
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