Leopard Club : Reader's Models - Diethelm Berlage
Reader's Models


Diethelm Berlage

Translated from Modelling Magazine Modellversium.

Leopard 1A6

The Leopard 1A6 is a prototype from 1987 to allow Leopard 1 to be armed with a stronger weapon, as well as additional armor. There were apparently two prototypes, VT-2, and a VT-5, which both had the 120 mm gun and the side turret armor. The exhaust hoods of VT-2 were for infra-red suppression, since the hot exhaust gases were passed rearwards. I only had five photos to build my model from. As a result, I had to improvise, especially with the roof armour as I had no reference. I do not know whether there exists a vehicle and could be visited. (Editor - the turret exists at Unterluss)

The idea for the reconstruction I had in 1995 when I saw a picture of this tank in the then new book from Motorbuchverlag about the Leopard. For many years, the idea stayed because of the absence of further images. I used the Revell Leopard 1A5 as a base.

Showing the model in 2009 exhibitions, other hobbyists said they would like to build it once, so I went to the project and made resin casts.

The building steps of this model are mostly identical to the basic kit. Some parts are simply omitted, for example, the gun mantlet, exhaust grilles and front part of the turret armour. Some things were cut out and used again like the hatch rings and periscopes and lights at the rear. The gun is from an Italeri Leopard 2. The painting was done with Revell 46 because of all this I see pictures of the tank from a solid color.

If you would like to build your own 1A6, resin parts were available from Diethelm for €13. However, the moulds have come to the end of their life and Diethelm is deciding whether to remake them or remaster the parts. We will let you know. Contact him at Berlage4@t-online.de.

                   

Leopard 1 Bridgelayer Prototype

Apparently this Leopard 1 chassis was used in the development of the Swiss Brückenpanzer 68 bridge-laying tank. Developed by a company called SW Swiss Ordnance Enterprise Corporation in Thun. It is now operated by a private owner in Germany.

The model is based on the Revell Leopard 1A1.

           

Leopard 1 Tug

Translated from Modelling Magazine Modellversium.

Life after retirement - a Leopard 1 tug used in a military scrapyard towing the hulk of a Leopard 1 hull.

The idea to build tank wrecks came after I had a report on TV about a German Panzer scrapping operation. The 'Leopard-tug' shown there appealed to me so much, because of its reverse engineering, that I had to visit the business. I took many pictures and built this faithfully, as usual based on the Revell Leopard 1A1 kit.

My first attempt was a wreck of a Leopard 1 tank hull. It is not easy to build only by omitting parts of a tank. If nothing is fitted, at least the holes for the bolts need to be there. Since I had no desire to detail the inside of the hull, I covered a tarp over it.

The old Tamiya M41 I built before I knew about the AFV Club Bundeswehr version. This should represent not scrap, but rather an old baby, which stood outside a museum or a 'gatekeeper' in front of the barracks.

The Heller AMX-13 I bought years ago because I needed the turret for another project. In this plan I wanted to overdo it and represent it as a shot-up hard target from a practice site. The diorama for him is not finished yet. It is in the junkyard and waits for restoration to the museum.

             

Leopard 2A4 Chile

This is the Leopard 2A4 from Chile. The roll-out was on 14 November 2007 at Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann in Munich. I built the model after seeing photos about the delivery there.

It is the old ESCI model with turret and tracks from Italeri. The ESCI kit is not very well detailed. I build it in December 2007, before the Hobby Boss kit was on sale.

               

Leopard 2A4 Indonesia

As one of the newest users of Leopard 2, Diethelm was inspired to make a model of Indonesia's new main battle tank.

Since September 2013 Indonesia has been equipped with old Leopard 2A4 and Marder. My model shows a vehicle that was shown on military parade at the beginning of October 2013. I found the camouflage pattern interesting. These leopards are Swiss licence-built Panzer 87s which are slightly different to the German Leopard 2A4.

The soldier is the commander from the old Revell Leopard 1 kit. I gave him a tropical hat. He has a mobile phone in his hand and wants to take a picture of his new vehicle.

I chose the name Leopard 2TNI because TNI is the abbreviation for the Indonesian Army. I used the Hobby Boss kit. The colour is Tamiya XF-67 and Revell 66.

             


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