After a visit to the Gunfire museum in Brasschaat, Belgium, I was very impressed by the Leopard 1A5BE with MEXAS armor present there. This vehicle was a prototype for the use of this armor package by the Belgian Army. The Leopard is a beautiful tank anyway, but with this armor package even more impressive.
I have built this vehicle based on Takom’s Leopard C2 MEXAS in 1:35 scale. Because Canada actually implemented this armor package for their Leopards in Afghanistan (unlike our southern neighbors), there are several kits of the Canadian variant on the market. Luckily, the Belgian version is almost identical. The main difference is that on the 1A5BE MEXAS, the armor is only applied to the turret and the front of the hull. The sides have remained unchanged, unlike on the Canadian variant where they also received extra protection. The 3D printer had to be used to make new fenders, which saved me a donor kit.
For the basic 1A5BE conversion, I used the conversion set from Legend Productions. The model is painted with NATO green and brown from AK Real Colors and NATO black from MRP. I find the latter more convincing than the rather gray AK Real Color variant. Also, instead of painting the camo freehand, I tried using MiG Masking Putty instead. Certainly much easier, and with a pretty good result!