A conversion set designed for use with any Leopard 1 (with provisos)
This conversion has been primarily designed to be used with the Italeri Leopard 1 (below) or the older Revell Leopard 1 kits. They are the only kits to accurately depict the actual turret ring diameter. However, Takom and HobbyBoss kits can be used if their 'inner' ring is cut away. The 'outer' rings in their hull tops are correct. The other more recent kits from Meng, Revell or HobbyBoss will need to have their rings enlarged. Remember that the Trainer Cab DOES NOT rotate like a conventional turret.
The training of drivers for a modern main battle tank requires a large amount of resources. Most driver training is done in the classroom and on simulators. However, there is no substitute for the real thing. Lack of space in the driving compartment of an actual tank led to the development of a driver training tank. In place of the turret, these vehicles were equipped with an instruction cab with space for two observing trainees seated either side of the instructor. To maintain the characteristics of the original vehicle, the turret weight was compensated for by an 8.5-ton ballast weight. A dummy gun was attached to the front of the cabin to increase realism for the driver (though these were not fitted initially). The original Bundeswehr trainers also did not have air-conditioning. The instructor has a system which makes it possible to override the driver under instruction (seated in his normal hull position) when necessary. Most Bundeswehr Fahrschulpanzer hulls had their external boxes and their tools and fittings removed.
Similar Cabs have been used in other armies: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Norway. All are slightly different in their equipment levels. For example, some have dummy guns, some don't. Likewise, with air-conditioning units, which can also vary from country to country. The 'foreign' tank hulls used with the cabs sometimes retain all of the tool clips on the hull sides (though the tools are normally removed), or hull boxes if the MBT was equipped with them. Different foreign versions are illustrated on pages 8 and 9 of the instructions.
This conversion represents a Bundeswehr Driver Training Cab with some options for other countries. Reference photographs have been added to theLeopard Workshop Spotlight page to help you out.
Many thanks go to Tom Cromwell for his fabulous CAD-design work.