Leopard 2A5
Ref : Tamiya 35242

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The Leopard 2A5 is the current version in service with the Bundeswehr. It mainly differs from the A4 version by a wedge-shaped front turret, the modifications of the hull being hardly visible (mainly the front glacis and side skirts).

The kit is manufactured by Tamiya and has no building trouble. The fitting is very fine and the only parts needing some attention are the front turret protections. The engraving is sharp, the engine grilles are so finely molded that the possible photoetched replacement parts are of no use there. The turret bins are definitely the parts needing to be patient. In fact, the nylon mesh provided in the kit is uneasy to cut and glue. One trick I found on the web is to apply masking tape to the mesh and draw the template of the pieces to cut. Gluing is done with trichlo, thus providing with an efficient solution. You just need to moisten the cut mesh and its support with trichlo. The melting plastics merge without any trouble. You just may have to tap on with a flat brush to ensure the gluing.
The soft vinyl tracks are correct but might be replaced with link-by-link ones.
The decoration scheme is the one published in the special issue of Raids dedicated to the Kosovo. Tamiya provides a comprehensive decal sheet. The chevron decals have been replaced by masking tape markings which prove more realistic. Likewise, this technique is used to camouflage the NATO unit symbols, the masking tape being painted NATO green. Unlike French army vehicles, Bundeswehr ones KFOR marks were stickers which explains their very regular aspect.