Photographs by Anthony Sewards and Rick Saucier
MSRP – £18.50 / $29.30 US
Trackpad Publishing is a relatively new publisher specializing in limited run books on all things military. Up to this point, Trackpad has published two amazing previous titles; Dutch Leopard 1 and Vlieland. Both of these publications are incredible looks into and around the Leopard one tanks in service, and in the case of the Vlieland book, an astounding look at some rusty hulks that have been all but forgotten.
Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN in Afghanistan – Model Foto Focus
“The Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN had a baptism by fire in Afghanistan as soon as it entered service. Under a Canadian ‘Tank Replacement Project’ for the Leopard C2, twenty Leopard 2A6s were leased from Germany. They received a variety of modifications in Germany at Krauss-Maffei and Rheinmetall Landsystemes. External modifications made in Germany included new T-shaped antenna mounts, additional glacis plate armour, slat armour on three sides, and increased mine protection in the form of belly armour and reinforcement bars under the rear hull (but not all vehicles). More modifications were applied while they served in Afghanistan.”
By August 2007, they had been fitted with a turret-top C8 rifle box, a turret ventilator and turret-top electronics boxes. Later, the tanks were dressed in the Barracuda HTR/Mobile Camouflage System to cool the tank’s interior and the slats shortened because of continual damage. By February 2008, all modifications had taken place. The tanks were very effective in combined arms operations providing over watch from high-ground positions, an immediate reaction force for securing sensitive areas, or in close combat in the fields and villages.
The 2A6s were joined by five Leopard 2A4M CANs, all equipped with Barracuda and slats, in December 2010 until mid-January 2011, to bring the tank squadron strength back to twenty Leopard 2s in service.
With the cessation of combat operations in Afghanistan in July 2011, all Leopard 2s were brought back to Kandahar airport, before returning to Germany and then Canada. ” – Trackpad Publishing
Expanding the list of offerings from Trackpad Publishing, they have released one of their latest titles; Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN in Afghanistan – Model Foto Focus. This is an eighty page pictographic manuscript on the Canadian Leopard 2A6M tank as it was used in Afghanistan. There are over 200 color photographs showing every aspect of the Leopard 2A6M tank. These pictures were supplied by Anthony Sewards and Rick Saucier, both whom had served in Afghanistan working on or with these beasts. Their unlimited access to these tanks allowed them the complete access to every facet of these Leopards. This giant photographic walk around book highlighting the Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN tank during its deployment in Afghanistan. This book can be broken down into eight chapters.
- Chapter 1 – Leopard 2A6M with Slat Armour
- Chapter 2 – Training and Combat
- Chapter 3 – Leopard 2A6M with ‘Barracuda’
- Chapter 4 – Forward Operating Base
- Chapter 5 – Engine Pull
- Chapter 6 – Final Slat Armour Version
- Chapter 7 – Mine Roller
- Chapter 8 – The Last Year
The first chapter of this book, Leopard 2A6M with Slat Armour, takes and incredible up-close look at newly deployed Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN and it’s Slat Armor. While the focus of this chapter is the slat armor itself; attachment points and layout, there is side emphases on various parts strewn across the top of the tank such as hatches, armament, cooling units, vision blocks and more.
The second chapter titled Training and Combat show the Leopard 2A6M CAN out in the field on various training and combat missions. As with all sections of this book, each photograph is support nicely with text pointing out points of interest. Whether the tanks are parked awaiting orders, test firing smoke grenades or even firing the powerful 120mm Rheinmetall main gun, it’s all in here.
Chapter 3 of the book, Leopard 2A6M with ‘Barracuda’, gives us an in depth look at a little ‘Cuda Cam’. Barracuda, as listed in the title of this chapter, is Heat Transfer Reduction (HTR) which is more or less a blanket applied to the surface of the Leopard tanks to prevent solar loading. The design of the HTR makes for a perfect set of camouflage clothes for the Big Cat. Throughout this chapter we see the ins and outs of the HTR and its interaction with the tank and armor with a virtual 360 degree walk around photo display.
Chapter 4 allows the reader a brief glimpse into the deployment of these Leopard tanks just as the name suggests, Forward Operating Base. These are not museum tanks in this section; the dirt, damage and pictures of the beats in their run-up position tell the tale. The walk around photo-array continues in this section as well along with the supporting text.
Chapter 5, Engine Pull is for not just for the gearhead but the modeler as well. This chapter give us an up close and personal look inside the engine bay of the Leopard 2A6M with its power plant removed. There is a great walk around display of the engine outside its normal habitat which is an excellent reference for scratch building or hyper-detailing of the engine. To help get the “full picture”, this chapter provide a 360 degree incursion of the engine bay; essential for detailing a Cat with her engine hatches open.
Moving onto Chapter 6, Final Slat Armour Version, we get a look at a modified version of the slat armor installed on these Leopards. This chapter is loaded with detail shots of the revised armor as well as some awesome pictures of the ‘Cuda Cam’ and operational damage of the new slats.
The fifth chapter of the book titled Mine Roller is an incredible walk around look at the mine rollers employed by the 2A6M CAN’s. Along with the rollers themselves, a detailed look at the attachment mounts. Another essential reference when building these tanks in model form.
This book culminates with the chapter, The Last Year. In this section we get some points of interest around the outside of tanks. Judging from the title of the chapter I would think hese might have been taken in the final year of deployment. More damage to the slat armor is noted in this section along with stowage, more camouflage pictures and even some deployed sun-shades.
Well I would say Trackpad Publishing hits the mark with their latest book, Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN in Afghanistan – Model Foto Focus. Who better to provide detailed walk around photographs of a Leopard tank other than the fine military personal who worked in and around these machines in the field! This book is a fantastic pictographic breakdown of these beasts of the battlefield in over 200 high resolution color photographs. The pictures are highly detailed supported by informative text giving a completely comprehensive view of the exterior and engine compartment of these Canadian Leopards. I highly recommend this book to any fan of the Leopard tank, more specifically the Canadian 2A6M CAN version, as well as any modeler needing a one-stop reference tool to help on their build a Canadian Leopard tank.
MSC and Modelers Social Club would like to than Trackpad Publishing for providing a copy of Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN in Afghanistan – Model Foto Focus for review.
Please stop by Trackpad Publishing and check out this and other great publications they have to offer!