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Discussion Thread: Heng Long 1/16 Scale "Panther G" German WW2 Tank

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  • Discussion Thread: Heng Long 1/16 Scale "Panther G" German WW2 Tank

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    Heng Long 1/16 Scale "Panther G" German WW2 Tank, "Upgrade" Edition

    Overall score: 90/100
    Read below to see how I arrived at this rating. This review is supplemented by the Build and Overview video visible here:

    Introduction

    The Panther is considered by many to be one of the best tanks that saw action during World War II. At nearly 45 tons and mounting a 75mm KwK 42 L/70 cannon with one of the highest muzzle velocities of any tank in the war, the Panther was a fearsome weapon on the battlefield. Indeed, its own engine was often a more formidable foe than any enemy tank.

    Subject Matter:
    Heng Long has depicted the Panther "G" version in 1/16 scale. The "G" version is most readily identified by the "chin" on the lower mantlet, which is the area of armor where the barrel meets the turret. There are "Late" and "Early" variations, and many field modified examples that include side skirt armor, zemerrit anti-magnetic coating, and spare tracks arrayed along the turret for added protection.

    Assembly:
    The tank arrives RTR, with a radio, tank, accessories, 2s 7.4v 1800mAh tank battery, tank battery charger, and plastic BBs. The glycerin needed for the smoker may not be included depending on your area's local shipping restrictions, but it's cheap enough to source locally. The main thing you'll need to run the tank out of the box is six AA batteries for the tank's radio.

    Assembly of the tank itself is complete, and the tank can be running literally within a couple minutes of opening the box and inserting the batteries.

    Once you're done verifying everything works, plug the tank's battery into the charger, since it only arrives with a storage charge.

    While the tank's battery is charging, attach the plastic cosmetic parts. In the case of the Panther G, this took me about 15-20 minutes. The instruction manual includes clear diagrams to locate every cosmetic part.
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    Apply the decals, as desired, on a cleaned and dried surface, using the instruction manual's clear diagrams. These are simple adhesive vinyl decals. They are NOT water slide decals. After applying them, you may want to seal them in with a clear coat. I didn't, and the decals continue to hold well to the surface.

    By the time you've finished detailing your tank with the parts sprues and decals, your tank's battery should be fully charged and you're ready for your first full run.

    Scale Fidelity:
    Heng Long's Panther G's lines are reasonably accurate, including the interleaved road wheels, and overall the tank's proportions are accurate. For super discerning scale buffs, the glacis' angle is slightly shallow, but most won't notice (and if you're the guy who does, you're probably also the guy who can fix it with sheet styrene in less than an hour). The barrel is also importantly within scale of the tank, and is not oversized like Heng Long's Tiger I. Note the Panther G's two functioning exhaust stacks, out of which can be see the "exhaust effect" created by the onboard glycerin smoking unit. I'm drawn to the forward sloping visual angle of the hull and turret, as if the tank is ready to pounce!
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    Exterior Quality:
    The camo paint scheme is applied nicely, without significant paint bleeding. The colors contrast sharply but are acceptable. This is the perfect model for a pin wash or basic weathering to dull down and dirty up! There are many panel lines, bolts, and even weld seam details in certain areas. The single headlight looks good once the overspray is scratched off the LED lens with a fingernail.
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    Details:
    All of the common stowage associated with a real Panther G is included in the box, mostly as sprues that the modeler cuts out and installs, much like a Snap Fit model. A dab of ABS glue helps secure certain parts in cases where the snap fit is looser than desired. Shovel, axe, pick axe, jack, jack block, jack crank, and spare cosmetic tracks are mounted alongside the hull. Flexible tow cables are also a nice touch! On the commander's cuppola, a machine gun is also mounted. On the glacis, a machine gun is also housed, using a clear acrylic barrel that illuminates via a red LED at its base whenever the machine gun button is pressed on the radio. It flashes and plays back a machine gun sound. The machine gun barrel inside the glacis (sloped area of the forward hull) is positionable by hand. I imagine an intrepid modeler would mount it to a servo of some kind.

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    The engine deck lacks intake screens, however the overall detail is acceptable for this price point.
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  • #2


    Functions:

    Featuring the latest TK6.0 MFCB, this tank is full of features:

    1) Proportional acceleration, steering, turret traverse, and gun elevation/depression
    2) Programmable radio settings for the amount of recoil, the sensitivity in turns, the overall sensitivity in acceleration, etc
    3) Smoke (On/Off)
    4) Volume (five settings including Off)
    5) Four different Sound Sets. Each Sound Set contains a unique engine start sound, idle sound, accelerating sound, traverse sound, elevate sound, machine gun, cannon, and shutdown sound.
    6) Track Recoil (Three settings from low, medium, and high) -- Low or Medium are the most realistic.
    7) Fires a 6mm plastic BB
    8) Fires an IR signal to be used as part of Heng Long's Infrared Battle System

    Running the tank:

    The Upgrade version available from Motion RC does not use Zinc Alloy gears like Upgrade versions of years past. Rather, as of 11/2019, all of Motion RC's Upgrade version tanks include Steel gears, which are superior to the old Zinc Alloy gears in every way. While the remainder of the tank's running gear is ABS plastic, I prefer this Upgrade version because the steel gears in the gearbox are very durable, yet the plastic tracks keep the tank light and maneuverable.

    The tank can climb comfortably at 35 degrees with good traction. The plastic tracks grip most surfaces well, although it tended to spin out sometimes on tile floor.
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    Indoors, the sound is very loud, the LED headlight is bright, and the smoke is easily visible. Outdoors, the sound is still readily audible and the LED is also visible in daylight, but the smoke becomes difficult to see. This is just as well, since the real tanks weren't constantly venting smoke as if they were on fire, so I don't mind the reduced visible volume in daylight.

    "Send It!" Firing the cannon

    Firing the machine gun scares away the neighbor's cat lurking in the bushes. Firing the main cannon is accomplished by holding down both the cannon button and the machine gun button, resulting in a cannon firing sound and a track recoil and a 6mm Airsoft BB going flying 30 feet out of the tank's cannon barrel. It's all synchronized very well, so that the overall effect is convincing. I prefer the lowest or the middle setting for track recoil, because the highest setting is too exaggerated and unrealistic in my opinion. I appreciate the need to push and hold two buttons to fire the main cannon, as this prevents accidental firing of the 6mm BB. The BBs don't hurt, but they are projectiles nonetheless, so all precaution should be taken for safety. I normally don't load any BBs, and after a hundred or so shots at the included target paper, I taped over the BB loading hole so that there's no risk of any further BBs firing from the main cannon.
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    The most fun I've had with this tank is IR Battles with other tanks equipped with the same TK6 MFCB. Whether a BB is loaded or not, firing the main cannon will always trigger the cannon sound and the track recoil, and will also always trigger the IR (infrared) emitter that's hidden in the mantlet, facing forward. This IR emitter is detected by the IR mast that connects to any other TK6-equipped tank. The mast connects magnetically to the turret, and receives "hits" from other tanks. Registered hits result in the tank shuddering for a split second. After five hits, the tank plays back an "explosion and burning sound", then shuts down for five seconds, before powering back up automatically so you can resume battling your friends. A backyard brawl with four or five tanks is serious fun! Maneuvering and angling for a shot while driving for cover, all the while shouting taunts to your friends, becomes very competitive very quickly.

    Power and Handling

    The Panther G is quick at full throttle, and with the proportional steering controls, can really be slowed down for "creeping" maneuvers that look very scale. This is where the TK6 MFCB shines, in giving excellent proportional control to everything that moves on the tank. Older versions only cycled their cannon barrel up/down in a loop, but now with this TK6 version I can elevate or depress the gun at any time along its path, and I can do so quickly or slowly in proportion with my stick inputs. For this and other reasons, it is clear that the previous ten years of Heng Long's MFCBs are completely obsolete, and this new MFCB is the way of their future.

    Motion RC stocks the "Upgrade" edition and the "Professional" edition. The two tanks are identical except that the Upgrade edition's external running gear is plastic, while the "Professional" edition's running gear changes its tracks, drive sprocket, and idler wheel to cast metal, which nearly doubles the tank's weight. Both editions have steel gears in the gearboxes. I'm so glad that Heng Long finally cancelled their weak Zinc Alloy gears! Visually distinguishing the two editions is simple --the Professional edition's tracks are unpainted, bare case metal, so they appear silver, compared to the black plastic tracks on the "Upgrade" edition. The plastic tracks are better for longer drive time and more suitable for driving indoors on hardwood floors, while the metal tracks are good for trampling through grass or rough surfaces without wearing down as quickly.

    Upgrade edition on the left, Professional edition on the right:

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    Upgrade path and "Wrenchability" --how easy is it to service, maintain, and upgrade this tank?:

    Speaking of the TK6 MFCB, I was pleased to see that it has several unused ports. There is a brake light port, and also turn signal ports. There is even a "Main Cannon Barrel LED" port, that flashes in sync with the cannon sound. If you were okay with running an LED into the barrel and cancelling the airsoft BB firing function, you could within minutes have a neat simulated "flash" at the tip of the barrel every time you fired the main gun.

    In terms of overall ease of working on the tank, I'd give it a 9 out of 10.

    Things to watch out for:

    1) The plastic BBs included in all of Heng Long's tanks aren't the best. Their instruction manual recommends visually sorting the BBs and removing any BBs that are deformed, flat, broken, or oblong. About 5% of the BBs in my bag were throwaways. Still, there were at least 75 or so BBs that were sufficiently smooth and spherical.

    2) Don't flood the smoker. There is one smoker in the tank, with two exhaust tubes. Those tubes in fact function as both the exhaust for the smoke and the intake for the smoke oil, so it's imperative that you only put one drop in each of the tubes every hour of smoking. Less is more! If you overflow the tubes, the smoke can't exit, causing the smoker unit to clog and die.

    3) The various intakes along the rear engine deck may be prone to debris. Inspect inside your tank from time to time and remove any globs of dirt of foilage that might work its way into the exposed gears in the two gearboxes.
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    Attached Files
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    • #3
      Conclusion

      The Heng Long Panther G is a solid tank and I can recommend it for any beginner. It's scale fidelity is high, its tracks are wide giving it a stable running posture with good ground clearance, its details are sufficient for Out-Of-The-Box tankers while also serving as a worthy base for customization by scale modelers. The Panther G is also easy to work on, with lots of space inside the hull, a large battery bay like most Heng Long tanks except the T-72 and T-90, and despite its large size is still relatively transportable. I love its stance on the ground, almost as if it is already ready to fire! Finally the vast modernized feature set provided by the TK6 MFCB truly unlock the potential of this tank that it hasn't realized in previous versions of this tank.

      90/100

      Pictured below is the more expensive Professional version, which features metal tracks, idler wheel, and drive sprocket. This increases the weight from ~5 pounds to ~9 pounds!

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      • #4
        I don't think any collection of Tanks would be complete without a Panther. Once again match this up with a Tank from the Allied side for some nice diorama scenes and battle reenactments. It's amazing how modern the German Tanks appeared when compared to their counterparts of that era. Once again some weathering would have this one really looking the part.

        Comment


        • #5
          One of the benefits of the TK6.0 MFCB is that out of the box it has six unused LED ports. Port #1 flashes for a split second whenever the main gun is fired. Wiring an LED into the barrel's muzzle brake, therefore, provides a satisfying flash in sync with the cannon firing sound and the track recoil. Doing this bypasses the airsoft BB firing action, of course, but I have enough tanks with that function.

          I drew up a new muzzle brake that had the same external dimensions as the original part, but with an inner base that was large enough to accommodate a 5W amber LED. Installing took me 20 minutes start to finish and required zero cutting. It's all screws. Tutorial video to come, eventually!


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          The muzzle brake is three parts, to facilitate installing the wider LED that the original 6mm inner diameter barrel could not accommodate.

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          To the paint booth after this quick test! Easy to do and now I don't need to worry about accidentally shooting a BB in the house.


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          • #6
            Hey Alpha

            It says on Motion RC that the Upgrade version and Professional version have cannon barrel recoil. Can you tell me if that's true? You never specify that this one has gun recoil, but both editions feature it according to Motion RC

            Comment


            • #7
              TANKSARECOOL Hey there, only the Professional Edition of the Panther G has Cannon Barrel Recoil in addition to Track Recoil. The Upgrade Edition only has the Track Recoil. I'll have the website team correct the page. In the meantime, here is my post that covers the two types of recoil in more detail:

              I may be known on this forum as an "RC Airplane" guy, but I prefer to think of myself as an "RC Everything" guy. It shouldn't be any surprise that I yearn for an RC dirigible as much as I want an RC Horten, RC Centurion, or RC Gato. Now that we've revealed our expansion into the Tank segment of this RC
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              Comment


              • #8
                Can someone tell me the voltage output of the 6.0 board for additional L.E.D.'s?

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Heng Long PANTHER G is a beautiful model of this German WW2 tank. I like the suspension and the the latest TK6.0 MFCB. My changes are the color of the wheels and a few additional custom parts.

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                  • #10
                    Nice work! Really love the last picture.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wbf29,
                      Beautiful pictures and a terrific tank! I do think the track tension is too high though. It is pulling the Kitty's nose down. Take a look at this picture. The Sd fkv 171 Panther had a 'dead' track design. The nose should sit up when neutral (on a flat surface) and track should first touch the 2nd or 3rd road wheel. Click image for larger version  Name:	panther.jpg Views:	0 Size:	18.5 KB ID:	247081

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                      • #12
                        I just wish I'd been paying attention to these tanks earlier. Stuck at home with a backyard that would make running a Panther around it a real hoot. Can't/Shouldn't be at Apollo flying. (and I'm done painting the kitchen for the wife, so I have brownie points for a new toy)
                        Hopefully back to work before the May restock of these beauty's. OK, enough whining for the moment.
                        So far I set my mind that a Panther G Pro is going to be my first choice.
                        Yield to temptation. It may not pass your way again.
                        R. A. Heinlein

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Help. I just received my Panther Type G professional edition. Following the guidelines I tried to do the 2 minute check. After hitting the start button, the motor sounded for about s5 seconds and then turned off. The battery, upon checking was completely dead. I put it on the included charger and for about 1 1/2 hours the only light on the charger to be seen was a flashing red light. I checked the battery and the charge was 1%. I connected it back to the charger and the red light was solid and I see a flashing green light. I cannot tell from the instructions if the battery is now charging correctly. Can anyone tell me. I have also emailed motionrc regarding the issue.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by desertdrifter7 View Post
                            Help. I just received my Panther Type G professional edition. Following the guidelines I tried to do the 2 minute check. After hitting the start button, the motor sounded for about s5 seconds and then turned off. The battery, upon checking was completely dead. I put it on the included charger and for about 1 1/2 hours the only light on the charger to be seen was a flashing red light. I checked the battery and the charge was 1%. I connected it back to the charger and the red light was solid and I see a flashing green light. I cannot tell from the instructions if the battery is now charging correctly. Can anyone tell me. I have also emailed motionrc regarding the issue.
                            The stock batteries are know universally to be junk. Myself and many other just grow them away first thing. Your best bet is to buy one of the upgrade batteries and chargers sold by Motion RC or struggle for the next two days trying to charge the stock battery. This has been a continuous problem ever since HL switches over to the Li-ion packs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Rubicon, thank you. I have already purchased an Admiral 3500mAh battery and have a very nice G.T. Power 4 battery bay charger with a B40 400 watt power supply. Unfortunately my battery was out of stock and has just been shipped so I am stuck with the stock battery. I think after it charges I will use my charger to charge it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Ok, I have gone over the instruction sheets for attaching the miscellaneous parts. However, I find that parts 8 and 9 were omitted. Can someone please tell me where these two parts are supposed to go?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Without our own manuals to know which are 8 and 9, or descriptions, it'd be hard. Any pics?
                                  Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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                                  • #18
                                    Got my new target tank in today( Panther).

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Well, I was trying my first foray into weathering. Here are a couple of shots of my attempts with my new Panther Type G. I am afraid the picture of the commander I painted is regrettably a little fuzzy. But here they are.
                                      Attached Files

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                                      • #20
                                        Okay, I have three plastic parts left over and I have, to the best of my knowledge, gone through the instructions and I do not see where parts #8, 9, and an unnumbered part should go. I have attached pictures of the parts in question. On page 6 of the manual parts 8 and 9 are shaded. Part #8 (item on the left in the picture) looks like a periscope. Part #9 (item on the right in the picture) looks like a rangefinder. I have no idea as to what the third part is (center). Click image for larger version

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