LeClerc Series 2 – Full Build
This is the full build review. The first look can be found here:
As I mentioned in the first look review, this kit is really just a re-release of the original kit with the road wheels now molded in plastic instead of cast metal as was done in the original kit.
Like the original kit, this kit really needs the additional photoetch set (35280) so I will be including that in the build of this kit.
Since the original kit has been extensively reviewed, I will keep this full build review short and just cover the highlights of the kit.
Most of the initial construction steps involve assembling the main hull parts and the suspension. No surprises here. All of the parts fit quite well and the new roadwheels are nicely molded and fit right on with the typical Tamiya polycap arrangement.
Once this is done, the rest of the hull can be completed. One nice advantage of the change to the plastic wheels of this release is that you can glue the tracks to them and be sure of their position.
As you can see from the photo below, it is in these steps that the use of Tamiya’s additional photoetch really comes into play. Besides the screens on the engine deck, the straps on the fuel tanks are crucial. If you don’t use the photoetch, I’d recommend not mounting the fuel tanks. There are plenty of photos of LeClercs without them anyway.
With the hull done, next up is the turret. Again no surprises. The fit is really good, especially between the barrel halves which makes cleaning it up an easy job.
One change I did make is to replace Tamiya clear acetate for the periscopes with sheet plastic. I’ve found it hard use and attach so for me it’s just easier to use styrene and paint the periscopes later.
I followed the painting guide on the instructions and used the Tamiya colors called out. But I also panel faded in a lightened version of each color for a little depth to the finish. The decals went on without issue and I gave the model a light weathering since these tanks haven’t been in extended combat and the reference photos I’ve seen don’t show them too dirty.
As expected with this kit being more of a re-release, it remains the best Leclerc kit on the market. Switching from metal to plastic roadwheels doesn’t really change much from a modeler’s perspective and in many ways makes building the model easier. So if you don’t have the older release, then buying this one is a good option.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Tamiya for this review kit.
Reviewed by James Wechsler, SoCal AMPS
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