Saturday, 28 March 2015

1/35 HobbyBoss VK1602 'Leopard' Part I

The box-art really grabbed my attention and after some research I decided to purchase it.  

I can tell you now it's a beauty of a kit; the quality and detail is excellent, the fit is as near to perfect as I've experienced thus far, and if you like photo-etch there's even some of that, too.  All in all, a very reasonable kit for the price and what's best, it's a unique subject matter.

Now, there's nearly always a 'but', and this kit is no exception - with this one the downside would be the tracks.  Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the individual links supplied, but having to attach two guide-horns to each track link was over-kill! 

A little bit about the tank: in reality this machine never saw any combat, and I believe only one prototype was ever completed in around late 1943.  The truth was, it was just too expensive to manufacture this tank for its intended purpose - reconnaissance.  It was a version of the already tried and tested MkV 'Panther' that instead took on the 'Leopards' role.

There are two options when putting together the lay-out of the road wheels, and also two styles of idler wheel.  The fitting of the torsion bars is straight forward, and in my kit's case, a perfect fit. These bars are very delicate so there's a spare in the box; a nice touch from Hobby Boss.

And here's a mock up with my trusty yellow tack holding on the spare track links.  As you can see, leaving off the front fenders gives this little beast an aggressive look. 

The photo etch grills for the engine deck are an excellent feature and really make the model 'pop'!  As you can see there are no pioneer tools with this kit. I wanted a minimal look so this suited me just fine. If you wanted to add some extras there are plenty of after-market options for this kit and generic German tools from the spares box could be added with minimal fuss.

See part 2 HERE


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