R.O.K. Army K2 "Black Panther"
The development of the modern South Korean counterpart to the American M1 Abrams, French LeClerc, and German Leopard II began in 1995 as an effort to replace the existing tanks in the R.O.K. Army's inventory and to better enable the country to defend itself. The statistics on this impressive vehicle are as follows:
- In service: 2014-present
- Manufacturer: Hyundai Rotem
- Weight: 55 tons
- Crew: 3 (commander, gunner, driver)
- Armor: classified type of composite armor with ERA and NERA modular add-on armor.
- Main Armament: 120 mm smooth bore gun
- Secondary Armament: 1 x 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and 1 x 7.62 coaxial machine gun
- Engine: 4 cycle, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel - 1,500 hp
- Speed: Paved road: 43 mph, Cross country: 31 mph
That the K2 requires only a 3 man crew is due to the fact that it is equipped with an auto-loader designed for the French LeClerc tank. The tank can fire 10 rounds a minute and the ammunition for the main gun is loaded in a 16-shell magazine. However, the K2 has an ammunition capacity of only 40 rounds.
The Fire-control, optics, and munitions features are similar to those used in U.S. and European tanks. Other state of the art systems are designed for protection and survivability.
What's in the Box
Surprisingly, this large box includes only six dark yellow sprues containing individual parts for the model in addition to two turret halves and an upper hull. The gun barrel found on Sprue B sprue includes three parts which are all slide molded so no halves have to be glued together. I might add that this is a major plus for this kit. Kit tracks are individual links which consist of four parts each plus two end connectors. This will probably present the biggest challenge of building this model. These tracks are workable but no track forming jig is provided. Also included are photo-etch screens for the bustle rack, a colorful set of decals giving several options, and red Polaroid stickers to attach to periscopes which will give them the right color. This is a new feature I have not seen on many kits in the past.
Instructions are divided into Manual 1 and Manual 2, which is another unusual feature. The instructions appear to be well illustrated and clear and are not too complex.
Sprue E (X 2)
Individual Tracks Sprues (x 11)
Color and Markings Guide
Pros: The subject matter is particularly timely but we hope this vehicle will not go into action any time soon. As said before, this kit has a lot of attractive features such as a relatively low parts count, workable individual tracks, clear periscopes and view ports, a slide molded barrel, and clear instructions. Needless to say, I can't rate the fit and alignment until I start building the model but I feel like this will be entirely acceptable.
Cons: The main concern is the complexity of building the tracks. The instructions give you good guidance on how to approach this but until I build a few links, I really won't know how this might go. Construction includes two pads to go on one side of each link plus a center guide. End pieces can be attached several at a time if they are left on the sprues. This will probably slow me down a bit but I should be able to handle it. Aside from the bustle rack screens, there are no other photo-etch detail parts but this could be as much of an advantage as a drawback depending on your preference.
Overall this looks like a fun build and I am anxious to start on it.
Highly Recommended for Intermediate to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Model Rectifier Corp for this review kit.
Reviewed by Alex Valz
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