The Leopard I was developed in the early sixties as a tank with an emphasis on good mobility. The Canadian Army deployed 127 of these tanks. 6 of them where modernized in the eighties receiving additional 'MEXAS' armor. MEXAS is short for Modular EXpandable ARmor. A total of 66 of these tanks where given this upgrade and are known as 'C2 Leopard MEXAS'. The difference between a standard leopard and a C2 MEXAS is huge. These upgraded models have been deployed on the Balkans and Afghanistan. The latter experience made the canadian army rethink it's decision to scrap all it's tracked tanks in favor of the M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System which is basically a tank on wheels. The C2 is being phased out but replaced by the Leopard II.
There are no plastic models of the C2 MEXAS but Silesian Models makes a resin conversion for the Revell Leopard I kit. This is a very good conversion kit. There are a few little holes caused by air bubbles in the box on the back of the turret but these are barely visible and easily filled. The resin parts fit very well to the plastic parts of the Revell kit. The conversion kit is missing two dust slaps for the front of the tracks although these tent to fall off in reality as I have seen photo's of these slaps missing from one or two of the tracks. Also missing from my kit was the lower front armor plate but this one easily replaced by a rectangular plastic plate. The gun barrel seems to be a copy of the Revell item I used the original plastic part for my kit. In the photo below the green parts are the Revell kit, the grey ones are from the conversion set. I added two protection bars from styrene rod in front of the smoke dischargers as these are to fragile to be made from resin:
After I painted the model for a first time I added an extra course layer on the places where there is an anti-slip coating on the real vehicle, 3 jerrycans on the back of the turret and some stowage as I've seen these on many photo's. The anti-slip coating is a bit over scale, it would fit better on a 1/35 vehicle or a Merkava but it looks good non the less:
Finally the photo's of the finished model:
The conversion kit certainly en changes the appearance of the model. The detail is good and the fit of the parts as well. It is well suited if you have no experience with resin. At a price of €21,00 it is well worth the money since you almost get a completely new tank. One final remark, resin needs to be glued with superglue, simply the one available in Do It Yourself stores.