Voyager Models
Leclerc Series 2
Voyager 1:35 Set # PE 35073
Review by Terry Ashley
Voyager have released this update set for the recent Tamiya Leclerc Series 2 (kit #35279) which is more than just an etched set with the inclusion of resin parts and a turned aluminium barrel.

The set consist of three frets of finely etched parts, two in brass and one in thinner alloy plus two turned aluminium parts for the barrel and three cast resin parts as well as a short length of 0.5mm and 1mm plastic rod, three lengths of 0.3mm steel wire and one length of 0.5mm copper cable plus the two page instruction sheet.

Quality of the etchings is again superb with clean crisp etching that includes good relief and the usual engraved bend lines to make assembly easier. The resin parts are crisply cast with just the usual casing blocks to be removed along with some minor resin film and minor casting seam under the larger part while the turned metal barrel parts are also cleanly machined with a smooth finish without any blemishes.

The main part of the set is the replacement barrel made up of three resin and two metal parts, the rear barrel section with canvas cover and upper box and the muzzle reference system are in resin with the barrel proper and muzzle tip in turned metal.

The rear resin part is a reproduction of the Tamiya part with the same canvas creases and contours with the only difference being the height of the upper box which is slightly less in the resin part. This part simply replaces the kit part but there is a minor casting seam on the underside and rear that will need careful removal.

The metal barrel has the two groups of fine engraved lines indicating the separate sleeve sections while the at the tip is the resin barrel section with separate muzzle reference system part which is glued to in place, there is a small indentation in the end of the barrel which should be aligned with the reference system. The metal barrel tip is then slipped through the resin part to form the completed barrel and of course there is no rifling in the barrel as it a smoothbore.

There should be a series of holes along the underside of the barrel thermal sleeve which are not included but these are not really visible unless looking at the barrel from an insect’s viewpoint and would be very difficult to include in the metal barrel.

Another major part is the drive sprocket centre hubs which are made up of 12 etched discs sandwiched together to form the intricate groves of the real thing and some care will be needed assembling these parts.

The main hub has ten identical discs to form the body and you must ensure these are all lined up correctly to get the right orientation of the grooves, there is a small hole in each discs which assists in lining these up and you could also slip a length of wire through the hole to keep them lined up as you glue them together.

On the inside is the mounting disc with bolts around the outer rim and these should be lined up so the bolt head is between the larger gaps in the main hub grooves and there is an inner disc used to mate the etched hub to the Tamiya drive sprocket. On the outside is a face disc with engraved detail with the instructions showing to use a section of plastic rod for the central hub retaining bolt. This is fact should have a round washer and hex retaining bolt and you would be better served adding these from thin card and any available hex bolts.

While the assembled hub looks very good there are a couple of issues as the depth is slightly shallow and another middle disc would correct this, also the depth of the outer face disc is also too shallow which would be rectified with a second outer disc to sandwich over the one supplied. These small issues aside the new hub has considerable more detail that the kit supplied hub and you can always add additional discs from thin card to attend to the depth issues.

Other etched parts supplies are the complete large storage box mounted on the turret rear with separate mounting brackets, hinges, latches and padlock which completely replaces the kit supplied box.

The engine deck intake screens are supplied to fit over the kit engine deck grills as well as the screen for the rear of the turret mounted air conditioned unit, this also gets additional side panels with bolt head details as well as the mesh for the bottom of the turret basket.

The lip for the driver’s hatch is also supplied as are the rear fuel tank retaining straps and latches made up of three parts each plus the rear mud flaps and face plate details for the main commander’s sight and the panel on top of the panoramic sight. There is the ammo box for the roof mounted MG plus all the lifting handles on the many storage boxes and panels included which require you to cut off the moulded on handles plus there are the fire extinguisher brackets and mounting clips for the rear tow cable plus the latches inside the turret crew hatches

This set gives you many fine detail parts as well as the full resin and metal barrel parts to replace the kit items with the drive sprocket hubs adding considerable more detail despite the minor issues.

An excellent update set to add those extra details to the Tamiya kit.

Highly Recommended.
Metal and Resin parts
Voyager Models
Voyager Models
Close up of muzzle reference system
Voyager Models
Assembled barrel
Voyager Models
Views of the assembled Drive Sprocket hub
and as fitted to the Tamiya sprocket. (note missing bolt heads also added)
Centre hub bushing added for a better appearance although this is slightly too shallow
and could do with an extra couple of discs supplied to remedy this.
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The etched frets
Click for larger view
Voyager Models
Instruction Sheets
Voyager Models
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Book LECLERC - The French "Ground Dominance" MBT
by Stefan Marx.
Tankograd French Special No 8001
Soft cover, A4 size, 64 pages
Ground Power

Ground Power Magazine #135 - 8/2005
Published by GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
2-2-13 Misaki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Includes a 55 page detailed article on the Leclerc.

Ground Power Ground Power Magazine #136 - 9/2005
Published by GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
2-2-13 Misaki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Part 2 of the extensive article on the Leclerc.

Ground Power Ground Power Magazine #137 - 10/2005
Published by GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
2-2-13 Misaki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Part 3 of the extensive article on the Leclerc.

Thanks to my credit card and Hobby Easy for the review set.

Page Created December18, 2005

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