Leclerc serie2
Ref : Tamiya #35279

Model and texts by Didier Lecru

The building

It follows the kit instructions. Here is the list of the main modifications and additions I made :

1 / the side skirts are redone in particular, the rubber flaps and the retaining rings.

 2 / the gun muzzle is redone.
 3 / the exhaust is detailed as well as the fuel drums supports.
 4 / the rear mud flaps are redone.
 5 / the rear bin is completed with a tarp, some straps and rings.
 6 / the schnorkel elements get their straps.
 7 / the fuel drums piping system is redone as well as the grounds.
 8 / the front lights get their wiring.
 9 / the smoke dischargers caps get their securing cables.
 10 / the turret hatches are detailed with the opening handles.
 11 / the turret vision blocks are detailed and get their glasses.
 12 / addition of locks to the side bins.
 13 / the MG is detailed on its support.
 14 / creation of the coax MG burnt gas evacuation system.

The painting

I sprayed a first coat of white. The recesses have been painted black as well as the areas where are applied the letters UN. Then I made these letters in the correct sizes with a computer. Once printed, I cut them. Before applying the last coat of white, I soaked them in water and then apply them of the black areas. Just after this application, I painted the white coat. The letters dry pretty quick and can be removed thus revealing the  markings UN. This is easy, not expensive but a bit tricky.

To simulate the mud, I applied some putty to the key spots. The whole thing got a layer of earth shade. I got inspired by the issue of the magazine  "Assaut"  dedicated to the Leclercs deployed in Lebanon.
Then, I used a thin brush to create at the most probable areas some spots in the initial green, due to the frequent passages and also to the use of high pressure cleaner. Beware of not overdoing it.
I also used earth shade pastel chalk. Finally, I used a pencil to create some scratches on the sides, particularly on the front panels of the side skirts.

Reference : Assaut #14 ISSN1777-2958