Model Numbers – LW017M & LW017R
Scale – 1/35
MSRP – €14.00 / $15.70 US (plus shipping)
The Leopard Club and Leopard Workshop offer the modelling community the largest selection of information and aftermarket products focusing on the family of Leopard 1 & 2 Main Battle Tanks and their variants. From books and downloadable PDF periodicals to a large assortment of walk around photo sets of Leopard 1 & 2 vehicles as well as a huge selection of detailing accessories for 1/35 scale models, the Leopard Club and Leopard Workshop are the Go TO source when it comes to the Leopard tanks.
Most recently, the Leopard Workshop expanded their line of aftermarket accessories by jumping into the barrel replacement playing field with their release of a line of 1/35 scale barrels used on all types of Leopard tanks. Recently I had the opportunity to review two more barrels on the Leopard Workshop’s list; the Leopard 2A4 Barrel Sets, LW017M & LW017R.
120mm Rh-M-120 L/44
The 120mm Rh-M-120 L/44 is a smooth-bore tank gun designed by Rheinmentall-De Tec AG, a German based auto parts supplier and European defense contractor. In 1974, Rheinmentall answered to the call for the creation of MBT (Main Battle Tank) gun that could support the needs of the German military and European nations to keep up with the improvements the Soviets were making in armor development. The 120mm Rh-M-120 L/44 was that answer. The L/44 would be used in the Leopard 2 MBT’s and later licensed to the US for use in the M1A1 and A2 Abrams tanks. One of the more conspicuous features of the 120mm L/44 is the bore evacuator bulging up in the middle of the barrel and the added thermal sleeve; both designed for the regulation of the barrel temperature and extend the life of the barrel.
Leopard Workshop 2A4 Barrels (LW017R & LW017M)
For all intents and purposes both the LW017R and LW017M versions of the Leopard 2A4 replacement barrels from the Leopard Workshop are the same. Technically the only difference is the base mounting. The LW017R 2A4 Barrel was designed for the direct replacement of the manufacturer’s meager offering with Revell’s 03193 Leopard kit. The LW017M was designed to replace Meng’s version of the barrel in their Leopard 2A4 kit. Each of these barrel sets are cast in resin and are provided in a small Ziploc-type baggie. Inside the bags there are seven pieces of barrels parts and a small two-page instruction sheet for constructing the barrels.
Both of these sets contain options for various configurations of the gun barrels for the builder. The barrels are basically a four-piece construction; lower tube for the breach end, fume extractor, upper barrel tube and muzzle fitting (collimator/counter weight). The upper and lower end tubes to each of the barrels have been cast crisply and are free from flash and air bubbles. All of the typical detailing seen on the original barrel has been nicely replicated on the replacement. The base dust cover to the breach end of the barrel has been represented very well adding much detail which is provided softly in the kit parts.
One of the nicest features to these replacement barrels is the fume extractors. There are three to choose from in the set. The fume extractor on the L/44 Leopard barrels are seen with varying degrees of texture to the surface from smooth to the heavier fiberglass wrap look. Both sets of barrels come complete with a smooth, fine fiberglass texture and a rough fiberglass texture. Depending on the version of tank or personal preference this is a welcomed addition to barrel sets.
Finishing out my look at the barrels, there are two different muzzle attachments that can be used. First there is a collimator which has been cleanly molded with sharp detailing closely representative of the original part. Also included is the counterweight version. This is essentially a sleeve for the muzzle but needed depending on which tank you are modelling.
I have to say the LW017M and LW017R Leopard 2A4 replacement barrels from the Leopard Workshop is a huge advancement in aftermarket accessories. Until now there were not much in the way of barrel replacements offered to the Leopard tank modeler. The best one while consisting of aluminum barrel and brass fitting, still incorporated a smooth finish only to the resin fume extractor and did not come with a specific replacement for the dust cover and breech end to the barrel.
For me this is simple, these sets are the best way to step up the look of the barrel on your Leopard 2A4 kit. The LW017R replaces the poor offering within the Revell Leopard 2A4 kit and the LW017M replaces Meng’s version on their kit. Both barrels are the best representation that will be found to replace the scale barrels of these kits. The resin parts are cast exceptionally well and the price is more than reasonable for the quality of the parts and the options these two sets come with; add the great service of the Leopard Workshop’s shipping and support and I highly recommend these barrels to anyone looking to greatly improve the look of their Leopard 2A4 models as well as making life a lot easy for the installation since there is no barrel seams to contend with.
Modelers Social Club and the MSC Review Connect would like to thank the Leopard Workshop for providing samples of their LW017R and LW017M Leopard 2A4 barrel set for this review.
Please stop by the Leopard Club and Leopard Workshop and check out more Leopard 1 and 2 products they have to offer.