Revell’s Leopard 1 Review

Specs

Pros

This kit is extremely detailed for the price, with a full 260 pieces. However, not all of these parts will be used thanks to this tank’s customisability – this kit allows you to choose between building a German, Belgian, or Dutch tank.

The instructions are in colour, a refreshing change from Tamiya’s IKEA style instruction sheets. Additionally, Revell has provided detailed advice on painting all the parts. Unfortunately we were unable to follow this advice as we don’t own the colours they called for.

There were some small finicky parts, but they weren’t unmanageable.

Cons

As I’ve mentioned, the instructions are incredibly detailed. However, they suffer from poor layout that makes them cluttered and hard to read.

17122315_10208433233379638_624021041_o

The part numbers and sprew letters aren’t in the same bubble, and the amount of lines makes it hard to read.

Some parts, notably those that created the lower hull, and the flares in steps 46-47, didn’t fit together as well as more expensive kits.

The cables, and tracks are made of rubber, and were very difficult to attach using Tamiya’s extra thin cement. I would recommend trying superglue instead.

The sprews are also disorganized, and parts aren’t in numerical order. I can appreciate that this was done to save space, but it makes it inconvenient to go hunting for some parts. Additionally, at least 2 parts are listed as being on incorrect sprews. For example, step 54 calls for J187 – however, piece 187 is on sprew C.

One of our pieces was damaged on the sprew, but fortunately it wasn’t visible on the final product.

Some parts were hard to remove from the sprew as the connections were thick.

Lastly, the gun barrel didn’t swivel to the back and thus didn’t fit the gunlock which diminishes the tank’s versatility.

Final verdict

For the price and level of detail, I would recommend this kit for people seeking more of a challenge. However, the instruction and sprew design is impractical and searching for correct parts quickly becomes monotonous.

 

Advertisements

Painting and weathering Tamiya’s French Light Tank AMX-13

For the tank’s camo, we used the following paints from Vallejo’s WWII German Camouflage set:

  • German Camo Extra Dark Green
  • Park Green Flat
  • Field Blue

We coated the entire tank in the extra dark green, and then added park green and field blue.

This simple camo didn’t take too long to do, and we supplemented it with weathering, using the following:

  • Leather Brown
  • German Camo Orange Ochre
  • German Camo beige

Mixing these in varying ratios created the illusion of different kinds of mud (more ochre and beige) or grease and dirt around the hatches (leather brown).

We then dry-brushed orange ochre onto and behind the tracks, but I don’t think this would be as successful as using some of Vallejo’s dry pigments.

As you can see, the lower hull looks more dusty than muddy. However, we did spatter the paint onto the front drive sprocket, which created a more realistic effect.

Although it doesn’t show up too well in photos, we used pure leather brown on the edges of the vehicle to mimic chipping, and then spread around various hatches to look like they were covered in grime. If I can find some red paint, I’ll try mixing it with some orange ochre to create more of a rust effect.

And a short note on paintbrushes: we used larger, flatheaded brushes to paint the body to get smooth coverage. For weathering, we used some cheap brushes from W. H. Smith. Their harder texture and more rigid bristles were excellent for the spattering technique.

 

Tamiya’s French light tank AMX-13 Review

Specs

Pros

As is typical of Tamiya, this tank is well-engineered and many of the larger pieces just snap together.

The instruction manual was clear and straightforward, and enclosed in the box was a small pamphlet giving the tank’s historical background.

Cons

For unexplained reasons, some holes for smaller parts are left for you to create yourself using small screwdrivers. We tried to do this but ended up damaging the tank’s body and had to resort to cutting away the piece inserts and simply glueing them to the side.

There are some very small pieces that broke while we tried to place them onto the upper front plate. Other small pieces were hard to put on as we didn’t create extra holes for fear of damaging more of the plastic.

Final verdict

Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend this tank for absolute beginners. I wouldn’t expect them to have to shell out for extra tools for what is already a somewhat pricy tank.

But everyone else? Go for it.