Friday, 27 July 2012

Le char français

The LeClerc is the main battle tank of the French amry at this moment and was introduced in 1985. It is in full use by the French army since 1992 and also by the United Arad Emirates. 6 versions exist named designated T.1 too T.6 which differ on the outside only in detail. The tank is armed with a 120mm gun, a 12,7mm machine gun mounted co-axialy too the main gun and a 7,62mm machinegun on the turret roof. The tank has a crew of only 3. A unique feature of the LeClerc is it's modular armor which can be easily replaced and adapted. The only other tank which has such a 'flexible' kind of armor is the Japanese Type 10 introduced in 2010. My guess is this system will be followed more in the future.

Revell is the only manufacturer producing a 1/72 plastic scale model of this warmachine, kit no. 03131 which is currently out of production. Perhaps they will release it later this year, any way I was able to buy the last one from an old stock at the revellspecialist.

The model is one of Revell's top products in my vieuw, the fit of the parts is flawless and detail outstaning. No model is perfect ofcourse and same goes for this one; 6 bolts on the side of the 'box' on the barrel are missing but that is about it. I hardly made any ajustments during the build, I only added a paper between the turret and the barrel to simulate the rubber seal placed there on the real vehicle. I also sanded the rubber side skirts too a more realistic, narrow, width, after this I bended them so make them look a bit warped. The antenna's are made from plastic rods. Three very basic ajustments done in a few minutes. Very nice to build a simple model after the 3 months I spend on the 'Black prince at Crècy' diorama. I painted the tank white to represent a UN vehicle. Revell provides no markings for this version so the UN signs had to be painted by hand. The final though was the application of pastels to represent sand and sooth from the exhaust.

A few pictures of the real vehicle. There doesn't seem to be a standard places where the 'UN' marks must be placed on the tanks but they are mainly concentrated on the turret.

On too the pictures of the model, as always click on them for a larger version:

A close of the turret

The sideskirts sanded and warped.

This is a very attractive modelkit of a futuristic looking tank, especially when it comes to the the turret. I hope Revell will release it again in the near future. It is released by their asian branche however. Recommended for all fans of modern armor, absolute beginners included.