Leopard Fibel ~ Afghan Guardian: A Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN serving in Afghanistan, 2009

Passing in Review … a series of modeling reviews by Ned Barnett


Build and Article by Mike Shackelton

Publisher: Leopard Club, © 2014 

SRP – € 2.00 UK/$2.72 USD 

14 pages – 33 Pictures



The Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN received its baptism by fire in Afghanistan as soon as it entered service, and proved very effective in combined arms operations providing over watch from high ground positions, as an immediate reaction force for securing sensitive areas, or in close combat in the fields and villages.

Under a Canadian ‘Tank Replacement Project’ for the Canadian Leopard C2, twenty Bundeswehr Leopard 2A6s were leased from Germany, modified before delivery, then given additional modifications in the field.

Their initial modifications were made in Germany at Krauss-Maffei and Rheinmetall Landsystemes, and included new T-shaped antenna mounts, additional glacis plate armor, slat armor on three sides, and increased mine protection in the form of belly armor and reinforcement bars under the rear hull. However, not all vehicles received all armor upgrades.

By February, 2008, they had received field modifications that included a turret-top C-8 rifle box, a turret ventilator and turret electronics boxes. Later, the tanks were dressed in the Barracuda mobile camouflage system to cool the tank’s interior. In addition, the armor slats were shortened because of continual damage.

Afghan Guardian, By Michael Shackleton – A Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN serving in Afghanistan, 2009



This is a kit-build of the Hobby Boss Canadian Leopard, with after-market by Perfect Scale Modellbau. It was an early build of a flawed kit, and the monograph provides recommendations for additional after-market items that came available after the build that will help modelers create a more realistic Canadian Leopard. A great deal of the Hobby Boss kit was replaced by after-market resin items, and the build points out each substitution – a “gift” for modelers. Also, while the build used early-available updates, the author comments on several of the current after-market items, and how they might have performed more or less effectively.


Like all the Leopard Club builds, this is a labor of love, and no detail is spared – the author noted that this was by far the most difficult and complex model he’d ever built. Each track link is made up of three parts, which demands the same level of devotion as rigging a three-masted sailing ship. You have to want to super-detail it to put in that level of attention, but the results sure show the effort. Another area where detail work would try the patience of a saint was the anti-RPG slats, and their mounts. After considering and rejecting several solutions, the author scratch-built plastic mounts for Eduard brass slats, making use of a home-made right-angle jig to form the mounts. To help modelers master this Herculean task, the author identified nine specific problems with the hull and turret slats, as well as how he found solutions for each of these problems – including the sag in the upper hull which is common for Leopard kits. The solution (I won’t give it away) is remarkable.
The painting was another labor of love. The tanks arrived in NATO three-tone camouflage, but the Barracuda covering was in tan. Then the vehicles got very dusty, very quickly, and the author builds this up, layer by layer for a remarkable effective appearance.

A final note – the tank comes complete with a beach umbrella for the tank commander, reminiscent of a Sherman used in Italy, which had a (literal) beach umbrella in the pintle mount. Photos and color plates of this are in the original Squadron in-action book, and I built that beastie 30 years ago, and was glad to see the idea had come back.

The monograph concludes with some great references and information on the current (at this writing) list of applicable after-market items.



The author admitted that the level of work required for this build rendered the modeler certifiable – it is indeed a remarkably complex build. But he pulled it off – and the monograph describing that build – with remarkable skill and more than a little humor at his travails, and if nothing else, this makes excellent reading for those who want to consider the extent some of us will go to creating the (near) perfect model. I really enjoyed this monograph as one of the better ventures into describing a complex model build without “losing” the reader. Strongly recommended.

Passing in Review” is a series of modeling kit, accessory and reference material reviews, written exclusively for the MHISC Forum by Ned Barnett – IPMS Life Member and Former IPMS Quarterly Journal Editor.


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