By Dan Hay, Peter van Iren, Anthony Sewards and Matthew Worth
2015, Trackpad Publishing, 80 pages, full-colour photos. 250 photos
Available from Trackpad Publishing
This attractive photo album, the second Model Foto Focus from Trackpad Publishing includes colour full-view and walkaround captioned photos of Canada's latest battle tank. Using photos taken by Dan Hay, Peter van Iren, Anthony Sewards and Matthew Worth, compiled into an attractive album, this Model Foto Focus includes colour full-view and walkaround captioned photographs making for a compelling collection of photos. In the 80 pages are well over 250 photos, some of which are full-page size.
In July 2009, Canada commissioned KMW to upgrade twenty second-hand Leopard 2s for deployment to Afghanistan. The new version, the Leopard 2A4M CAN, was specifically designed for operations in that theatre. Knowledge from the previously-used Leopard 2A6M CAN, plus state-of-the-art technology developed by KMW, was used in the development, conversion and overhaul of these former Royal Netherlands Army tanks. This was successfully carried out in less than one year, converting them into modern operational units.
They were delivered in October 2010 and five Leopard 2A4Ms were deployed to Afghanistan the following December. With the cessation of Canadian combat operations in Afghanistan in July 2011, all Leopard 2s were brought back to Khandahar airport, before returning to Germany for repair and maintenance, and then home to Canada.
The protection of the Leopard 2A4M CAN was augmented with appliquè armour developed by KMW which resembled that found on the then-recent Leopard 2A7+ demonstrator, changing the look of the 2A4 considerably. In addition, small areas of slat armour were added around the rear quarters, in contrast with the previous fully-slatted 2A6M CANs.
Mine protection was enhanced with belly armour under the forward hull to protect the crew. Other modifications included an all-electric digital turret, a digital central logic/main distribution system, a new commander system control unit, enhanced brakes, an upgraded suspension and driver viewing aids. Environmental enhancements included chilled cooling vests for the crew and new camouflage nets.
Though originally planned to be up-gunned to the L55 for consistency with the 2A6M CAN, the longer-barreled guns (optimised for tank-vs-tank warfare) were found to be less than ideal in Afghanistan, and therefore it was decided to retain the shorter L44 barrel.
Leopard 2A4M CAN has now become THE main battle tank of the Canadian Forces alongside the 2A6M CAN (the subject of our first Model Foto Focus) which has been retained and upgraded.
Competition for this book is provided by Tankograd Publishing with a book of the same title. Trackpad's book is more expensive, but in its 80 pages you get 250 photos. Where the Tankograd book concentrates on the tank in Afghan guise, the Trackpad book looks at the tank in service in Canada without the slats and without the Barracuda (though Afghanistan is also well covered). The Trackpad book also takes a brief look at the 'ordinary' 2A4 in Canadian service. With the upcoming model from HobbyBoss due any time now, both books should have room on the bookshelf of any Leopard fan. In our opinion, the two books do not clash with each other, but compliment each other nicely.
The following is an excerpt from a review on Military Modelling Info:
"Now only the right model for Leopard 2A4M CAN is missing. Trackpad Publishing already offers a readable, informative and visually, absolutely top-spec reference. The price justifies the illustrated book and it is worth my recommendation!"
The following is an excerpt from a review on MSC Review Connect:
"Trackpad Publishing has presented us with a highly detailed, photographic reference. From cover to cover, the book is a complete visual indulgence of around 250, highly detailed and topic focused color photographs showing us this Canadian 2A4M CAN Main Battle Tank. The photographic contributions to this publication leave virtually no stone unturned allowing the reader to see this tank from basically every angle; not only with static walk around views but a fine display of this tank in her natural battlefield environment. Simply put, if you are into Leopard tanks ... specifically the 2A4M CAN, this is the book for you!!"
The following is an excerpt from a review on Track-Link:
"The Leopard 2A4M CAN is a mean-looking machine. It certainly ranks among the most bad ass tanks ever put into service. But it is also a highly intricate combat vehicle. Parsing through the book, you really get a sense of just how many details it is made of, and I think this is its primary appeal from a modelling perspective.
This book is the perfect reference to model a Leopard 2A4M CAN. And when I say perfect, I mean all pictures are crisp and of excellent quality, it has close-up pictures of the numerous details the vehicle is made of, from a wide range of angles, and it shows a good selection of pictures of vehicles in their training and operational environment, which is super useful as it provides excellent weathering references. A niche offering, but a highly recommended one."
The following is an excerpt from a review on Armorama:
"This really is a first class book on the subject, the photographs are first class and from reading through this book the captions are accurate. The photographs show the these vehicles on exercise and show that the tanks move through the landscape rather than over it. If the modeller is building the recent release from Hobby Boss will find this title indispensable for adding the Velcro decals. The kit is not without its faults and this book will aid the modeller adding details to the kit. It will prove very useful if the modeller attempts to replicate the Barracuda HTR."
Canadian Leopard 2A4 CAN is available for purchase from Trackpad Publishing.