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Leopard 1 updating build

Old 08-19-2021, 09:02 PM
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RichJohnson
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Default Leopard 1 updating build

Hundreds of Leopard 1a3 and 1a4 tanks languish, abandoned in fields around Germany out in the country. They are loosely protected by security and explored by many civilians out to see them on an adventure. Check out the videos on Youtube.
Well many countries still use Leopard 1 tanks, mostly the 1a5 variant which is an earlier round cast turret with additional armor plates surrounding it with an updated electronics package of the Leopard 2a4/6. However some tier 3 and lower countries are still using early variants like the Leo1a1 such as Chile, which got them in the early 2000s to begin to phase out their aging former IDF Super Shermans.
Just a couple years ago, Jordan almost bought the 100 plus Leopard 1a5 C2 Mexas tanks that Canada has put out to pasture when they replaced them with Leo2s.

Well, aging as they are the the 1a3/4 tanks with their welded turrets, once considdered the most technologically advanced tanks have been abandoned and forgotten. But what if there was a need, a financial benefit from refitting these old tanks with newer engines, new computers and targeting sytems, a 120mm gun and an add on armor package similar to what the IDF has done for M60s with their Magatch including the Sabra package. That could make for one fast lethal tank for a tier 2 or 3 country.

So I pulled this old very beat up Leopard 1a4 out of a field and sent it to the mad scientist shop to begin working on plans for an overhaul and modernization program for the series.
Here is where we are at so far.
I have gotten it running and driving. Replaced the old metal track with pershing for the moment until I can pick up the correct track from someone locally and then got the turret rotation set up.
I also had to do extensive repair to the rear hull and brace it and along the way parts came off which is fine, they needed to for a new engine package any way.






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Old 08-21-2021, 11:45 AM
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Old 08-21-2021, 06:51 PM
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Can’t wait to see your Leo on the trials course this week. Should get some awesome photos and videos!!!
Old 08-22-2021, 06:28 AM
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I think that only the 1A0, A1 and A2 had the cast turret, the A3 and A4 started having the larger welded turret. The A5 was based off the earlier versions and thus had the cast turret.

In any case the cast-turret Leopard 1 is one of my sought-after tanks, except that it cost too much to locate a 1A4/Gepard, an aftermarket cast turret from Germany and finally outfit it with electronics.
Old 08-22-2021, 05:24 PM
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Wait until you see what Rich has done to this Leopard 1. This thing is a monster!!!! So simple yet effective. This tank is not only super tough but super fast. Easily hitting a scale 60mph. Yes Rich says he is going to slow it down in its final form, but was leaving it fast during testing.

We shot a bunch of videos of it in action and I am sure Rich will be posting them here and on his IG page.



Airborne with ease!!!


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Old 08-22-2021, 08:31 PM
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You guys see what happens when you loan your tank out and let anybody drive it....
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Old 08-22-2021, 08:48 PM
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edoubleaz
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Hold on to those skirts, that's the first thing that began to detach on mine...
Old 09-03-2021, 09:56 AM
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Old 09-04-2021, 07:53 PM
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Sounds great! John
Old 05-13-2022, 09:10 PM
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So, since all the abuse at Fsttanks test track where the Leopard went airborne a few time, I converted the insides to full option with a tamiya Sheridan MFU DMD11 system as seen in the video above.
What I did not show was what I did to overhaul the old clutch system to make it run so good. It ran for a while, quite fast too. I had it in one LA Tank battle event and then something in my modified transmission locked up. And I mean locked up i started burning up a motor very quick. I took it home and when I would get the system freed up it would bind again right away. I spent many hours going through the rebuilt transmission but could not find where the bind was occurring. I did it mostly with the sprockets off and then out of the tank completely and still could not find the bind. I eliminated the right angle bevel gears and it ran smooth but one of them would bind up as soon as I reassembled it so I gave up on my redesign. I have alot of time in it and was sad to give it up but it was a tad too fast with little low end torque for maneuvering.
Here I will show what I did. I had kept it a secret to the world with only Fsttanks aware of what I did.
I have now removed this modified unit and installed a pair of regular transmissions into the tank. Below is a test run video I did the other day.






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Old 05-14-2022, 04:48 AM
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You could install the Bearing Raced Turret Ring from the Tamiya #56020 Leopard 2A6 like how I did with my Tamiya #36208 Gepard 1A2 when I converted it from a Display Stand model to a Full Option one.
Available on eBay by sarching for "tamiya 56020 turret ring" - You'll also be needing some selftapping screws and 16x ball bearings ( they come in another bag so not included in the main one ).
The Turret Ring originated with the Tamiya #56020 Leopard 2A6 but it has since also found its way into the Tamiya #56036 JGSDF Type 10 and the Tamiya #56040 M1A2 Abrams in case of shortage.
To drive it you could go one of many ways like using the official Tamiya Turret Ring Gearbox assembly, a simple belted approach using the toothed gears from the Turret Ring or a 3DP solution.
Old 05-14-2022, 07:24 AM
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In the photos and video above I already built a henglong style traverse into it, but thank you for the tip. I looked into that turret system. I have a few more leopards so maybe the next one.
Old 05-24-2022, 06:15 AM
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Mr Tank A Lot
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I wish heng long or haya would come out with a Leo 1, i think it would really sell

great model by the way!
Old 05-24-2022, 06:29 AM
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Oh this thing doesnt look at al like that any any more. Its going through a modernization program to compete on the battlefield with modern tanks.
New engine upgrade.
New 120mm main cannon
New optic sighting system similar to Leopard 2
Composite blister armor kit around turret similar to Magatch 7D or Sabra M60
Applique armor on hull glances
ERA on side skirts

I havent posted any updates because what im doing is crazy and will either ruin the model completely or produce something very cool and inique that Im calling the Leopard 1a4a2 or 1a7.
Ive taken photos as I go but its been a very painful process getting my vision fabricated in 3 dimensions.

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Old 05-24-2022, 10:05 PM
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As I have shown in this build log, I have taken the old clutch drive non option Leopard 1a4 and used a Tamiya Sheridan DMD MFU system and made it "Full Option" and IR battle ready including a 3d universal recoil from DAK RC.
I rebuilt the original Clutch unit first into a dual 540 motor system then down to a dual 390 motor system which was still quite fast and ran great though low speed maneuverability suffered from loss of low end torque. It died from wear I believe causing it to just lock up and burn up a motor. I could not solve it and didnt really care to, it was a test project just to see if I could do it. But it was sure fun being that fast.
I retrofitted in HL tranys which took some work and then moved forward with the modern updating of its fighting capabilities.

As I said what I was planning to do was already being drawn up before the war against Ukraine broke out. With the massive loss of tanks in Ukraine and all surrounding NATO allies offering their old Russian armor to Ukraine then sourcing more modern equipment from the US, Germany and also South Korea.
Still NATO anticipates a shortage of old Russian armor to supplant expected losses in Ukraine (though I dont think they are giving enough credit to the tractor force) so Germany announced it was considering giving Ukraine Leopard 1 tanks.
Now nearly all the Leopard 1a5 (moderized 1a1-1a2 round turret) tanks are basically gone from Germany. They have sold them off to friendly countries long ago with the last lots going to Canada when they rebuilt their Leo1s into the C2 and eventually the MEXAS monster and then the last group to Chile to replace the aging Sherman fleet.
Still, Germany does have a few depots (grassy fields) filled with stored (abandoned) Leopard 1a3 and 1a4 (welded turret) tanks that were never upgraded much past their 1970s technology.
Rheinmetall stated they could delvier 50 tanks in 6 weeks to Ukraine with another 100 to follow at an unknown timeframe. I surmise these would be those abandoned welded turret Leopard tanks.
So with the upgrade package I outlined above here are some smuggled out photos of the upgraded Leopard 1a7. It looks like the turret has taken a whole new shape using spaced composite armor. The hull doesnt seem to have been upgraded yet but Im sure engineers are working on it.








Old 06-03-2022, 09:02 AM
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Visual progress has been slow but Iíve been working on the Leo1a7 a lot.
I completed the ECU in the stowage well in the turret and have been playing with mounting the CITV either in place of the old sight in front of the TC hatch or in between the two hatches, not sure yet.
also decided to build the APU onto the rear of the tank probably on the left, opposite how the Abrams originally had it. I have an Abrams unit stuck there right now as a place holder.
The armor package is coming along. Almost done snapping it the I have to decide on fastener hardware texturizing etc.
Not mounted yet are the dual rows of smoke dischargers similar to a Leo2 design and the new stowage basket Iím working up.
plans are moving forward with uparmoring the hull as well.





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Old 06-06-2022, 07:32 PM
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I have made alot of progress on the Leopard 1a7 lately. The ECU is built into the turret, the APU is built and added onto the rear of the tank.
The turret basket has come together with some stowage and roof details etc are coming together.
Also got all the frontal composite armor made up and laid on. What a job that was. The glacis armor is done the same way as the Leopard 1a6 was done with the lift/tow rings penetrating through the armor. Though, with that prototype they were unusable as they just peeked through, the armor would have to come off to use them. Since it was a protoype I think they didnt care. I raised up the welded lift/ tow lugs and made them usable still welded to the hull.
The frontal upper glances lead into the composite armor on the sides. I have a Henglong part sitting there taking the place of the armor that will go down the length of the tank on the hull and then there will be ERA mounted on the side skirts for added protection there.
Also I dont care for the grousers on the glacis, and it would not make sense with the modular armor now probably so I came up with a way to use the ones that came with my marksman turret I mounted on the M50 sherman. No grousers needed in the Siani so I placed them on the Leopard below the turret for storage. They are just sitting there right now but they are growing on me.











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Old 06-09-2022, 05:32 PM
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VERY cool build so far!
Old 06-24-2022, 04:29 PM
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Further progress on my Leopard 1a7 moderizing project.
The armor plates added to the hull sides are only temporarily attached, when I have better parts made up I will change them out. Many parts are held on with temporary glue as well for palcement testing etc. Like the APU on the rear, its crooked I know, its just tacked on.

I had to make some castings to repair the rear of the tank, thats the black parts on the white plastic where the original rear had broken away and was gone when I got it. Overall Im liking how it looks and is coming together and how it drives now. It battles pretty well and is fun to drive.













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Old 06-24-2022, 05:40 PM
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Always follow your build's and/or mods, curious on the "temporary glue" you mention. What is it?
I use hot melt, great for prototyping but not for long last adhesion if there is any stress on the joint.
Superglue is good for "pull" but not shear stress. I had a lot of trouble with a good PLA+ adhesive that would be a "solvent" and make the joint strong as opposed to "glued" which to me means not so strong. If I could pull the joint apart and it breaks at the seam; no good. If I can't break or pull it apart at the seam; great, its a "weld".
Old 06-24-2022, 09:42 PM
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You are correct with glues.
I used hot glue, that nasty stringy stuff that comes in sticks for low grade craft projects. It was my wifes glue gun for projects with the kid. I dont usually temporary glue stuff on my tanks. But with this project I am prototyping a theoretical updated tank so I have moved stuff around here and there and Im glad nothing was permanent at the time. So far the glacis armor comes off if I pull the pins on the tow hooks. All the armor on the hull is hot glued, the track grouser plates are hot glued on the rear deck, so is the APU. The other rear details are permenant as I generally copied the 2a5 update layout. The side skirt armor is now permanent, its done. Turret armor is mostly done and solid though smoke launchers and other bits are still hot glued.
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Old 07-10-2022, 08:20 PM
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Some pictures of how it looks with the fresh paint on it. Still going to do some detail painting and highlighting but not planing on any camouflage





Old 07-10-2022, 09:15 PM
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Got to fight against this tank at the July 2022 LA Tank Clubs battle day. Rich has done a super job with the overall mechanical functions of this tank. It’s a clean design yet looks mean at the same time.

Shown below in a close range duel with my M551.



Last edited by Fsttanks; 07-11-2022 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 07-11-2022, 04:00 AM
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The old gal looks great!
Old 07-11-2022, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Fsttanks View Post
Got to fight against this tank at the July 2022 LA Tank Clubs battle day. Rich has done a super job with the overall mechanical functions of this tank. Itís a clean design yet looks mean at the same time.

Shown below in a close range dual with my M551.

Very nice Rich looks more modern cool looking Tank

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