The Netherlands Army had the Leopard II A4 NL in service from 1981. Starting with 445 vehicles they where upgraded to the A5 standard and A6 standard subsequently. Before every upgrade more where sold. Finland is the latest buyer of the last Dutch Leopard II's. The choice to scrap all tanks of the Dutch army was made by budget considerations following the crisis of 2008. This was an extremly unpopulair decision and the Dutch government decided to put back in use the last 18 Leopard II's after a last upgrade this year. This rediculiously small number is to make the Dutch army compatible with the airforce which will have no less then 37 JSF's in the near future. Who needs an army when you we have financial weapons of mass destruction? Needless to say the budget need to up.
But back to the 80's and the dutch Leopard II A4. This version doens't differ a lot from the german version, only the smoke launchers are different. The are fitted in a 3 x 2 combination instead of a 2 x 4 combination. Revell released a Dutch Leopard A4 in 1/35 scale (and a A5 version as well). Both feature a box on top of the turret. I didn't recreate it because it just doesn't seem to be there in reality. On the pictures below we see the Dutch leopard II A4. They where all painted in olive drab. The third picture is an ex-Dutch Leopard II A4 after it was sold to Austria. On the last picture we see an Austrian modernised version, note the smoke launchers are rechanged to a 'German' 4 x 2 configuration.
The model is the Hasegawa MT34 offering reviewed before. This model has a limited number of parts and can be build fast. The details are very good however. Only the grabhandles on the turret need replacement. This the 4th model I've build from the MT34 kit and it is pleasure every time. The model is also easy to convert so all 4 versions are a bit different. The articles can be found here:Canadian Army Trophy 1987 exersize.
Just like the last three times highly recommended, for beginners and for modellers wanting to try out making a small or large conversion.