Leopard 2A6 Main Battle Tank
Model Number: 56020
Nice review by Morpheus, and good 'ideas' from Stefan also.
Finally, i got myself together, and built mine also, and here is my impression of the Leopard 2A6 Full-Option kit..
First of all, the kit box is VERY big and quite heavy.. Nice start. bAll the bits are nicely packed, and it gives that 'Build me, build me impression' right from the start..
As we are unable to acquire Tamiya paints here in Denmark, i chose to use the Humbrol Enamel series instead, and went to buy a few cans of the 3 colours i wanted.. Dark Green, Flat Black, and some brownish colour to match to instructions (sort of).
I airbrushed all the green parts green once again, and started the build. As usual, the Tamiya-kits go together without any problems, simply because of the usual amazing quality and instructions. I also was a bit puzzled about the gearbox-assembly, as there are 2 types of gears, which look VERY similar, and i actually had 1 gear leftover? (Perhaps just 1 gear too many in my kit, as it runs perfectly).
I did use Orion 'Lockdown' super / tyre glue to attach the guide wheel and shocks to the hull, and have not had any problems sofar (not having run the thing much either though). Still, everthing lined up just beautiful, but quite boring building that many wheels, shocks etc. in EXACTLY the same manner, LOL..
I also think that the fibre-optics to the lights were a bit tricky to fit, as they have a tendancy to 'seek the original form', making it hard to fit them all through the small grommets into the light-boards, and make them STAY there, while fitting the rest of the optics,
The, in my opinion, most annoying thing about the kit was building the smoke-'thingys' that attach to both sides of the turret, but they build of them is quite clever, as the little metalchains on them are connected by a thin staple used as a 'lock'.. I did not have any staples at hand, so i used the ones from the parts bags.. Perfect fit.
Also, the fitting of the wiring is a bit fiddly, as the room inside the turret, which stores more or less all the electronic components, is NOT too large!. And as Stefan says, you will have to be very careful when fitting the battery, as it wont leave much space when fitting the turret top before running. Some of the wires seems way too long, and hard to 'stow away'' inside the turret, and the CAN jam the top when attaching it. Furthermore, the top of the turret is 'connected' to the elecs by the cable to the rotating light and the antenna cable, which also has to be remebered when fitting the top, so they wont get 'sandwiched' and perhaps destroyed when locking the tabs behind the side armor plates..
I waited with my camo-painting untill i had finished the build, and did it by brush.. VERY time comsuming.. It actually took me no less then 9 hours, over 2 days to finish the paintjob to my satisfaction..
Pros and cons about the tank as i see it:
WAY too expensive
Fragile, due to the many details on the bodywork
Heavy, uses a lot of power / not much runningtime from a 3300 mAh battery
The sound does not totally follow the movement of the sticks, if you move them fast
Very nice kit / exciting build
Interesting design of the drivetrain
Runs very realistic
Very offroad-capable (Better than i thought)
Nice light and sound effects..
Kit rating as i see it:
Kit quality: 8,5 out of 10 (i think Tamiya could have thrown in FULL ballbearings at that price, also for the suspension and road wheels)
Build: 9 out of 10
Realism of finished kit: 9,5 out of 10
Driveability: 9 out of 10
Realism of light and sound effects: 7 out of 10
Fun Factor: 9 out of 10
So, all in all a nice kit, but NOT suitable for a newcomer into RC, due to MANY very small parts. (Like the 1,2 x 2,5 mm screws used in this kit)
Morpheus already made a great review about the Leopard 2A6.
So, here are only a couple of building hints to get more joy out of your 2A6
Lessons learned after a lot of running with the Tamiya master piece.
# Don’t use second-glue on the guide wheels and shocks to glue them on the hull
But Zap-A-Dap-A-Goo II , or Bison Kit
As regular model glue won’t hold up the punishment and they will come lose.
# make battery holder fit / make battery smaller as it is a tight fit! And a not laying down
enough battery will cause trouble with wires & closing the top cap
# Cut the little side tabs off the mud flaps on the inside, or else they will give trouble
then removing the top section if needed.
# Fit aftermarket chain tension set, the Tamiya provided stock one is not sufficient
It will be hell to fit later on, so do so on “first build”
# If on a budget, splash some extra cash on good ball bearings, forget about the GBS unit
That GBS is a nice toy, but response is a bit slow & a real gimmick, nothing more
Building the A2 6 Leopard
The first thing that strikes you about the kit is the box. Its huge, not just long, but deep and heavy, the box art work is superb, just inviting you to open up it and go mad inside. I could not get over how big it all was. You open it up and the special parts are in their own boxes like other Tamiya kits but they look more posh, the extra photo etch parts are a new thing in the tank range and they lend an extra air of professionalism to the entire kit.
The instructions and paint chart, DMD user manual and decals are all in their own special Leopard clear plastc folder, and thats just an excellent touch to the kit. The plastic parts for the kit are underneath all the posh parts and there are loads of them. You need a big area to unload it all and go through it and make sure your familiar with where things are.
This is the second tank full option kit I have built, the first being the Pershing. I have read the Tiger 1 instructions, and the Leopard being the 5th in the sereies so far, lends itself to having the most sophisticated build and the evolution of Tamiya making better what they had started. Its an interesting thing to see how these kits have evolved from the what I would call basic Tiger kit, and the Leopard kit is just full of advancements made from the others.
First up is the gearbox. You need to get this right, it took me 3 goes, as on the first 2 attempts it just did not seem right, and for ages I was wondering if it would ever work correctly. The thing to understand is that one motor drives the tank forward. The second motor alters the differential speed and therefore either adds or takes away power from the drive motor differentials allowing it to turn. This marks a major change from the previous tanks where by each track had its own motor.
Get the gear box build wrong and it won't go anywhere. Its then into the bottom of the hull and screwed in. Prior to this the bottom was spray painted the Nato green, as required. After this, its onto the wheels. Here the instructions for fitting the wheels into the chassis seemed odd, and after a few hours decided that the instructions for attaching the cams which hold the wheels were wrong, I decided to do opposite to what it said. All sorted !
Speaker unit next, some additional details on the hull bottom, and then on with the hull lid. The lighting of the unit is superb. Gone are individual light bulbs and instead we have lighting units that project the light to the fittings via fibre optic cable. A superb improvement, coupled by the fact that it all sits so neatly on the under side of the hull. The building of the front headlights is a typical Tamiya gem, and has to be seen to be believed.
The hull, once finished was painted here with Nato green. The kit is definately in 2 halves. You have the hull and then the turret. To make painting easier, the bottom half of wheels and tracks were masked off, and then the bottom hull was painted in the camoflague scheme as per the instructions. Don't forget to mask off the clear plastic areas, for this I used maskol, which worked a treat.
The reason I did it this way because when the turret was on, you would not be able to get to the entire hull section. Unlike the other kits the turret is screwed onto the hull, with a portion of it being able to turn.
The turret is a simple affair, but by simple I do not mean unsophisticated. You paint it prior to assembly and then just keep adding the electrics to it, as per the instructions. Here again there have been advancements. The TF unit and DMD unit are now in the same unit, this is not only easier but space saving. The turret motor is much smoother and compact than the previous tanks, and the recoil movement is so simple but effective. Barrel has it own servo this time rather than another motor and it all fits in the turret. The major improvement over the earlier tanks is the fact that changing the battery is simply 2 clips under the armour sidings, rather than unscrewing and easing out like on the Pershing.
After a few days you will finish, lots of detail in the hull and turret, you will complete the painting, add the decals, weather a little and there you have it.
Running is a treat, quite fast, great sounds and great manoverability. Its a joy to drive and watch. You can even hide it in the bushes, turn the engine off from the transmitter, leave the lights on, and then turn it on when your ready, great fun for the dark nights !
After building it, painting it, it truly amazes me how Tamiya, not only build kits of this nature but design them to house the stuff make it radio control, with sound and lights its a wonder to behold and just shows how clever these people are. I just wonder if the 5 full option kits will be the last or whether there will be anymore. There was a big Abrahams tank at the TamiyaCon, maybe a hint there?
Cheap? No, but your not getting a small little model that tootles around. Your getting a scale replica, capabale of being driven like a tank. Expensive but worth it, they're sure not to disappoint.