ACHTUNG, BABY! New Flatcar with Leopard tank load from Menards

Posted by Bob Keller
on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The no. 279-3989 features a flatcar with a pallet of ammunition, a tool box, and of course, a Leopard 2 tank!

Menards continues to win the O gauge arms race with the release of the no. 279-3989 Military flatcar with Leopard tank. The 11 1/2-inch flatcar has a hand-painted deck, a skid of cannon shells, and a rendering of the German Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank. Leopard 2 tanks are currently used by at least 18 armies and is cutting edge combat gear.

This model has an interesting feature: Press one of the exhaust fans and you hear "Fire, fire" and the sound of gunfire and flickering front and rear LEDs simulating gun fire. The sounds run on battery power (included) and costs $29.99. It is also available in the no. 279-3990 four-pack for $99.96 plus shipping. Order online at and opt for free shipping to your local Menards store.

Here is a photo of a German Leopard 2A6. Bundeswehr photo via Wikipedia.

The tank is held to the flatcar with screws and can be easily removed. The trucks came with tie-straps holding them in place for secure trans-Pacific shipment.

The rendering of the modern German tank is compressed, but it catches the style combining sharp angles and boxy edges. The 2$5 and above models have a more streamlined front by the main gun. The earlier Leopard 2A4 has a boxy turret, more akin to a World War Two Tiger.

The tank turret can be manually rotated, so you could put this ahead of your lead locomotive and keep an eye out for Pennsylvania RR commandos trying to sabotage your right-of-way.

When the sound effects are triggered, flashing LEDs on the front and rear simulate machine guns. The flatcar with tank load clearly demonstrates that the folks at Menards are continually looking for new and innovative ways to liven up freight movement on your O gauge railroad.

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