Leopard Workshop – 105mm L7 Barrel Replacements For Leopard 1 Tanks And More

1

 

One of the newest and most exciting offerings form the Leopard Club’s Leopard Workshop is a line of 1/35 Scale tank barrel replacements. The Leopard Workshop has six new barrels covering the entire spectrum of Leopard 1 and 2 tanks. For the purposes of this review, I will be looking their three L7 barrels replacements designed for the Leopard 1 models. I will first look at how these barrels shape up for replacement of barrels for the Leopard 1 model kits; after which I will try and show how these barrels might also be used as an aftermarket sourcing to replace barrels for other scale tank models.

real-1 (800x322)

It is as good a time as any to mention that the British made L7 tank barrel design is not exclusive to the Leopard 1 tanks. The design licensing was sold to numerous defense contractors around the world including the United States, Israel, Germany, Republic of Korea and more all paving the way for the L7 gun to be manufactured and used on variety of tanks. While the breaches of the guns, some minute surface details as well as some base mountings may differ from model to model, the barrels, for all intent and purposes, remained fairly consistent.

 

Leopard 1 – L7 Replacement Barrels

The Leopard 1 used around the world were and are equipped with either the Royal Ordinance L7 gun or some close variant for the main armament for this tank. As mentioned above, basic fact remains the same that the barrel for all of the variants were essentially the same with the exception of a few minor details such as the breech side of the gun where attachment points might have been different, collimators, spacers and the fume extractors. Some of these guns were fitted with thermal sleeves as well.

Leopard Club branding

The Leopard Workshop has now produced three versions of the L7 gun in 1/35 scale for replacement of the poorly designed and manufactured barrels supplied in most kits. Each of these gun barrel replacements come sealed in clear Ziploc-type baggies. Each of these sets come complete with a turned aluminum barrel, resin parts and a two-page instruction sheet. I will run through each of these barrel sets and discuss what each comes with as well as explaining which kits they were intended for.

 

LW019AC – Leopard 1 L7 Gun Barrel – Australian/Canadian Thermal Sleeve

AC1

MSRP – €14.00 / $16.15 US (plus shipping)

http://www.leopardclub.ca/workshop/LW019AC/

 

 

The LW019AC Leopard 1 L7 Gun Barrel set was designed for direct replacement of the Italeri, Revell, Meng and Takom Leopard 1 model kits. There are a total of nine pieces to accurately assemble one of two versions of the gun barrel; both Australian and Canadian versions.

LW019AC_instructions (652x800)

Contents of set LW019AC

 

  • 1 – Turned Aluminum Barrel
  • 1 – Base Unit
  • 1 – Sliding Collar
  • 1 – Fume Extractor
  • 1 – Locking Ring
  • 1 – Thermal Sleeve Rear
  • 1 – Thermal Sleeve Front
  • 1 – Counterweight for the AS1 and C1 Versions
  • 1 – Collimator for the Leopard C2 Version

AC2

In this set is included one turned aluminum barrel. This, like all of the L7 barrels included in these sets, is riffled inside of the muzzle end of the barrel. The barrel is adequately tapered and the length and bore are indicative to what is seen on the original tank barrels being used on the tanks. All of the resin pieces included with this kit are cast in cream colored resin and each part has its casting block still attached. There were three tiny air bubbles present.  However, these were approximately 0.5mm in diameter and do not pose a problem with the construction or overall final look of the barrel.  There were four pieces with casting flash present, this is common due to the casting process and is easily removed with a sharp number 11 blade and will require a light sanding to smooth things out.

AC3

Per the instructions the barrel parts simply slide over the muzzle end of the barrel and can be secured in place with cyanoacrylate adhesive. The instructions show the position of the individual parts quite well. Some of the parts have a particular have a particular orientation as to depict welds and straps in the correct direction. There is mention there is a small spacer that is not possible to cast due to the thickness of the part. A suggested method from the manufacturer is to cut a small piece of paper (sticky label possibly) and glue this into place between the #5 and #6 thermal wraps leaving a small space at the bottom joint as seen on the original barrel. Another quick and easy solution would be to use foil tape such as the type used in some HVAC installations. Cut to size and install. The tape already has a strong adhesive back.

AC4

The The Australian AS1 and Canadian C1 and C2 Leopards had the thermal sleeve installed on the barrel and are slightly different than the German made version as depicted in all kits. This is a more realistic look to the barrels. Also, there is a choice of either using a collimator or counterweight over the muzzle end of the barrel. The counterweight would be used to depict the AS1 and C1 versions of the tank. The supplied collimator was only in place on C2 Leopards tanks.

 

LW019E – Leopard 1 ‘European’ L7 Barrel

20150823_143314 (629x800)

MSRP – €14.00 / $16.15 US (plus shipping)

http://www.leopardclub.ca/workshop/LW019E/

 

 

The Leopard 1 ‘European’ L7 Barrel set was designed for direct replacement of the Italeri, Revell, Meng and Takom Leopard 1 model kits. This set comes complete with ten pieces to accurately construct a few different variants of L7 covering the range of tanks from the Leopard 1 to the 1A5 variants.

LW019E_instructions (650x800)

Contents of set LW019E

 

  • 1 – Turned Aluminum Barrel
  • 1 – Base Unit
  • 1 – Sliding Collar
  • 1 – Fume Extractor
  • 1 – Locking Ring
  • 1 – Thermal Sleeve Rear
  • 1 – Thermal Sleeve Front
  • 1 – Counterweight Leopard 1 to 1A4
  • 1 – Collimator For Early Leopard 1A5
  • 1 – Collimator For Late Leopard 1A5

 

E1

The LW019E set is very similar to the LW019AC set with two main changes. With this kit there are two supplied options for collimators. These are specific to the Leopard 1A5 early and late models of the tank. The barrel is adequately tapered and the length and bore are indicative to what is seen on the original tank barrels being used on the tanks. All of the resin pieces included with this kit are cast in cream colored resin and each part has its casting block still attached. There are no visible bubbles and other than the ends where the parts meets the casting block, there is no evidence of flash.

AC4 - E - N 1

Similar to the previously viewed set (LW019AC), the barrel parts simply slide over the muzzle end of the barrel and can be secured in place with cyanoacrylate adhesive. The instructions show the position of the individual parts quite well. Some of the parts have a particular have a particular orientation as to depict welds and straps in the correct direction. There is mention there is a small spacer that is not possible to cast due to the thickness of the part. A suggested method from the manufacturer is to cut a small piece of paper (sticky label possibly) and glue this into place between the #5 and #6 thermal wraps leaving a small space at the bottom joint as seen on the original barrel. I will mention another quick and easy solution which would be to use foil tape such as the type used in some HVAC installations. Cut to size and install. The tape already has a strong adhesive back.

As mentioned above, this set comes with one counterweight and two different collimators which can be used on this gun barrel replacement. If you are depicting the Leopard 1 to 1A4 tanks, the counterweight will be needed to construct the correct barrel. The collimators offer two separate options for either depicting the Leopard 1A5 early or late versions of the tank. The parts are labeled clearly in the instructions but these two parts are similar in nature. It is best to check and double check which part you will need before completing the construction.

 

LW019N – Leopard 1 ‘Naked’ L7 Barrel

20150823_143323 (557x800)

MSRP – €10.00 / $11.55 US (plus shipping)

http://www.leopardclub.ca/workshop/LW019N/

 

 

The Leopard 1 ‘Naked’ L7 Barrel set was designed for direct replacement of the Italeri, Revell, Meng and Takom Leopard 1 model kits; however, the alternate usage of this barrel for several different models was planned due to the numerous vehicles that this gun was mounted to; More about this later in the review.  This set comes complete with ten pieces to accurately replace the barrel on many versions of the Leopard 1 model kits (and more).

N1

Contents of set LW019N

 

  • 1 – Turned Aluminum Barrel
  • 1 – Fume Extractor
  • 1 – Lock Ring
  • 1 – Counterweight

N2

As you would figure, the “Naked” version of the L7 barrel would consist of the least amount of parts comparably to the LW019AC and LW019E sets. Basically this is the stripped down version of the barrel sets that comes with the same turned aluminum L7 Barrel with riffling in the muzzle an has three cream colored resin parts included. The fume extractor and locking ring seamlessly fit onto the barrel.  The Leopard Workshop has included a measurement from the breech of the gun to the back of the fume extractor for a precise fit. Also included is the counterweight sleeve which slide right over the muzzle of the gun. All of the resin parts still have their casting blocks in place and there are no visible air bubbles and/or flash.  This leaves only the casting blocks to be removed in order to construct the barrel.

N4

For more than Just the Leopard 1

 

As I alluded to in the beginning of this review, there are a number of vehicles that were equipped with the L7 barrel including:

 

  • Israeli Sho’t Kal
  • Israeli Merkava 1 and 2
  • Israeli Tiran 5
  • Centurion
  • Olifant
  • M1 Abrams
  • Japanese Type 74
  • M60 series
  • Swedish Stridsvagn 103
  • German Leopard 1
  • Swiss Panzer 58, 61 and 68
  • Some upgraded M47s
  • Some upgraded M48s
  • Korean K1
  • OF-40
  • Argentinian TAM
  • Stingray
  • Vickers MBT Vijayanta

…and more!

The barrels associated with these tanks are licensed versions of the Royal Ordinance L7 barrel and are listed under different barrel names and type classifications; L7, L7A1, L7A3, M68, M68A1E4, KM68A1, Type 79/81/83, FM K.4 Modelo 1L, GT-7 and so on….

Some of these tanks may have had thermal sleeves and slightly different features to the fume extractors, welds, weep holes end caps and sights, but for all intents and purposes the barrels were the same. The Leopard Workshop L7 barrel replacement is suitable for replacing the barrel on a number of kits associated with the list above.  Best to research thoroughly to check to see if the barrel is a match.

 

Conclusion

 

I feel the Leopard Workshop has hit the nail on the head with their new sets of 1/35 scale Leopard 1 Replacement Barrels. Each of these sets are designed for specific replacement of kit supplied parts covering basically the entire spectrum of Leopard 1 tanks from Italeri, Revell, Meng and Takom. Each of the sets I looked at consisted of cleanly turned aluminum barrels and high quality cast resin parts. There were a couple of tiny air bubbles noticed on 3 of the parts of one of these sets.  I do not feel this as a major issue due to the fact that the air bubbles were approximately 0.5mm in diameter happen often in the casting process.  All of the resin parts fit smoothly into place onto the aluminum barrel resulting in a highly detailed replacement for the soft generic offerings included by the manufactures. I further noticed while there is detail of the riffling of the barrel, this is more groves that project straight in rather than with a slight twist to the grooves.   do feel though, that mere appearance of the grooves alone is enough to give the detailing needed to make the barrels look realistic.

In addition, being able to use of these barrels outside the realm of the Leopard 1 tanks is a bonus feature. While there are some other L7 barrel replacements on the market today, some detailing is not present as foundSuch as individual thermal sleeves, the counterweight and collimator options as well as the small welds in place under the fume extractor as seen on the original tank barrels. The Leopard Workshop L7 Leopard 1 barrels, LW019AC, LW019E and LW019N, are an excellent choices when considering replacement barrels for you Leopard 1 tanks as well as for possible other models of tanks that have the 105mm L7 Barrel installed. After factoring my rating on Quality of the barrels, Customer Service upon dealing with the Leopard Workshop and Shipping of the parts to me, I highly recommend any of these L7 Leopard 1 Barrel Replacements for anyone looking to improve the detailing of their builds that include the L7 gun barrel.

 

Highly Recommended!

 

Modelers Social Club and the MSC Review Connect would like to thank the Leopard Workshop for providing samples of their L7 Leopard 1 Replacement Barrels for review.

Leopard Club branding

 

MSC 1 Bullet-Reloaded-Military-Wallpapers - Copy - Copy

Advertisements

One thought on “Leopard Workshop – 105mm L7 Barrel Replacements For Leopard 1 Tanks And More

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s