Military Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale military vehicle models.

Clouded Leopard ROC TIFV CM-32/33

Published: August 19th, 2019     
Clouded Leopard ROC TIFV CM-32/33
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves, IPMS# 51129
Scale: 1/35
Company: AFV Club

When I was asked to review this kit, I have to admit to feeling a bit daunted. I have only done a handful of modern armor pieces, and even those were really restricted to IDF tanks and vehicles. There's not a whole lot of information out there on this specific vehicle either--a cursory Google search brings up primarily pictures of the actual animal known as the Clouded Leopard.

So to quote the introduction from the instruction sheet, after having used second-hand armored half-tracks and Vietnam War-weary V-150s, the Republic of China (ROC: Taiwan) engineers were urged by the US to receive training on designing their own wheeled IFVs. In 1992 as a result of this, the prototype six-wheeled CM31 was born. In the course of this, however, it was soon realized that eight-wheeled IFVs were the new norm. So using the CM31 as a base, development of a more versatile eight-wheeled IFV began in 2001. In 2005, the new design- the CM32, was finalized and given the name "Clouded Leopard". Production began in 2007 and featured an automatic 40mm grenade launcher and coaxial 7.62mm machine gun. Various versions have been created and production of the CM32/33 totaled 368 units.

M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle

Published: August 13th, 2019     
M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle
Reviewed by: Ben Morton, IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/35
Company: AFV Club

From my new, best friends at Wikipedia: The M728 is a full-tracked combat engineer vehicle designed to provide maximum ballistic protection for the crew and is a heavily armed derivative of the M60 series tank. Modified to provide a mobile and maneuverable weapon for combat support of ground troops and vehicles, the M728 vehicle is used for breaching, obstacle removal, transportation of demolition teams, and pioneering operations.

OKB Grigorov German Heavy Tank VK 30.01(h)

Published: August 12th, 2019     
OKB Grigorov German Heavy Tank VK 30.01(h)
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1/72
Company: OKB Grigorov

OKB Grigorov is a small model company based in Bulgaria that you may not be too familiar with. The company focuses primarily on AFVs, tanks, and naval ships in 1/72, 1/350 and 1/700 scales, and they have an extensive list of products available. They produce full resin kits with photoetch enhancements, as well as resin, photoetch and white metal conversion pieces for other models. More recently, they began producing some plastic AFV kits.

Soviet Ball Tank "Sharotank"

Published: August 7th, 2019     
Soviet Ball Tank "Sharotank"
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1:35
Company: MiniArt

The normally super-realistic folks at MiniArt have loosened their imagination and wandered into the hypothetical with the first kit in their new What If...? Series, the Soviet Ball Tank "Sharotank". Possibly based on the Kugelpanzer, that Wikipedia describes as : "The Kugelpanzer (lit. "spherical tank") is a one-man tank built by Germany during World War II. It was captured by the Soviets in Manchuria and is on display in the Kubinka Tank Museum. There is no record of it ever having been used in combat".

MiniArt has a video on their website about the Sharotank, and cleverly inserts their kit model into period photos (or are they real?) showing the Sharotank after capture by the Soviets.

MiniArt also produces other versions of the ball tank:

Meng Leopard 2 A7+

Published: August 4th, 2019     
Meng Leopard 2 A7+
Reviewed by: Bob LaBouy, IPMS# 3064
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models

A Very Brief History of the Leopard

During the late 60's Germany began to plan for new primary main battle tank which would replace the M48 Patton tanks purchased from the US (in service through 1993). Early designs were grouped around the initial concept called the MBT-70, though it never got past the initial design with only a wooden hull constructed. For several years numerous prototypes were designed leading to the Leopard I design in 1965, which used a German built 105mm Royal Ordnance gun. These tanks continued in use through 2003 and included 4744 main battle tanks.

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