Passing in Review … a series of modeling reviews by Ned Barnett
Taurus ARV, Beaver AVLB, Badger AEV, Leopard 2 ARV, Wisent 2, Canadian Engineer Regimental Histories, Anthony Sewards
Publisher: Leopard Club, © 2014
24 pages 42 photos
Price: € 3.00
This monograph brings to mind the famous Rocky-and-Bullwinkle line, “And Now For Something Completely Different.” In this case, different is also good. This 22-page monograph is more-or-less all history – including the history of the Canadian Engineer Regiments, and of the Leopard-based “Funnies,” the engineering vehicles that support combat armored regiments.
This monograph begins with photos of those Leopard-based engineering vehicles, along with a brief history of Leopards in Canadian service, starting with 32 rented German Leopards – acquired in 1976 to replace long-obsolete Centurions – that were used as training vehicles while Canada’s own Leopard C1 tanks were under construction. These rented tanks were supported by two Leopard Bergepanzer 2 ARVs, and all were returned to Germany before 1980.
Once Canada began receiving their own Leopards, they also received eight ARVs, known as Taurus, and six AVLBs, known as Beaver. All initial Leopards were painted Bundeswehr Green. A decade later, additional support Leopards were purchased, including Badger AEVs, as well as more Taurus ARVs and Beaver AVLBs, painted in the new three-tone NATO scheme. Some of those based in Germany were deployed to the former Yugoslavia in 1992, and – under UN auspices – were painted gloss white. They were later deployed back to Germany before ultimately being sent home to Canada, where they were repainted in NATO three-tone. They were later upgraded, including the addition of MEXAS add-on armor kits.
Some Leopards and support vehicles deployed to Kosovo in 1999, and were again deployed, this time to Afghanistan, in 2006. Those tanks and their support vehicles were upgraded with mine protection armor, SAAB Barracuda thermal covers and slat (“bird cage”) armor and an umbrella over the tank commander’s position. Canada’s armor force returned home in 2011, and is currently being upgraded.
The monograph goes into significant detail about each of the engineering vehicles – which, coupled with many photos – make this an ideal resource for those who model engineering vehicles.
Following the sections on Leopard-based engineering vehicles, this monograph contains a concise but detailed history of the Canadian engineering regiments which have used Leopard-based equipment, starting in the First World War and continuing through Afghanistan. For the historians among us, it makes for informative reading.
If you model engineering vehicles – or even if you’re just interested in their use and development, I can’t recommend his highly enough. It’s a specialized title, with none of the modeling references found in other Leopard Club titles, but it is remarkable for its depth of coverage and great in-action photos.
“Passing in Review” is a series of modeling kit, accessory and reference material reviews, written exclusively for the MSC Forum by Ned Barnett – IPMS Life Member and Former IPMS Quarterly Journal Editor.