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My Review of the Heng Long 1/16 Scale Challenger II Tank

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  • My Review of the Heng Long 1/16 Scale Challenger II Tank

    Heng Long 1/16 Scale "Challenger II" Main Battle Tank
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    Introduction:

    The Challenger II is the British Army's modern Main Battle Tank. Having distinguished itself in the Gulf War, the Challenger II remains the apex of British tank technology. Reliable, powerful, and well armored, the Challenger II is reputed as a "tank that wasn't made to win competitions, but to win wars".

    My Personal Averaged Total Score for the Heng Long 1/16 Scale "Challenger II" UK Main Battle Tank: 90 out of 100

    Heng Long's Challenger II is a faithful representation of the UK's most fearsome modern tank, in all its rifled barrel glory! Read below to see how I arrived at this rating, as I evaluate the "Upgrade" version of this tank. "Upgrade" means that its exterior is plastic but its interior gears are steel. Note, where shown, the metal tracks denote a "Professional" version which includes more external metal parts at higher cost.
    As a visual companion to this written review, our Overview and Build Summary Video can be found *here*
    Functions:

    Featuring the latest TK6.0 MFCB (Multi-Function Control Board), 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 invisible IR signal to be used as part of Heng Long's Infrared Battle System to disable other tanks during simulated combat between up to 20 tanks at the same time


    Scale Fidelity:
    The Challenger II is one of the more recent tanks to be produced by Heng Long in 1/16 Scale RC, and it shows. The overall lines of the tank are accurate and the proportions don't leave any glaring issues. Being a very large tank in real life, the Heng Long 1/16 scale Challenger II is the longest tank offered by Heng Long. Two sets of decals are included to depict accurate markings from real units that were in
    active service.

    What's In the Box:

    As an RTR or "Ready To Run" RC model, everything is included in the box except six AA batteries for the radio transmitter. In areas where shipping liquids is restricted, the glycerin used for the "smoke effect" is absent, but can be found locally at hardware or convenience stores that sell glycerin oil.

    The radio, tank, cosmetic accessory parts, tank battery, tank battery charger, and plastic BBs, don't require any "assembly", other than installing the aforementioned "cosmetic accessory parts".


    Initial Two Minute Function Test:

    Because the tank itself is functionally complete and it doesn't require the cosmetic accessory parts to run, I recommend testing your tank's basic functions immediately after unboxing the tank, before you install the cosmetic accessory parts. If there happens to be any problems, it is better to report them to Motion RC for warranty support before the tank has any cosmetic parts attached to it.

    To conduct this initial two minute test, insert six AA batteries in the radio and turn it on. Plug in the tank's included 2s battery and slide the tank's switch to On. The radio and tank are already "bound" to each other via 2.4Ghz signal, so simply press the Key button on the radio and your tank will activate. Move all the tank's controls in every direction to evaluate their function. Refer to the Manual for all controls. Note that the turret and cannon barrel will produce a "clacking" sound when they reach their maximum travel points. This sound is normal and is a warning for you to stop moving it in that direction. Importantly, DO NOT run the tank more than two minutes for this initial test, since it arrives with only a storage charge.

    Once satisfied that your tank is operating normally, plug the battery into the included wall charger. While it's charging, turn your attention to the installation of the "cosmetic accessory parts", covered in the Details section, below. Installing the cosmetic parts onto the exterior of the tank result in the finished result:

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    Exterior Quality:
    The tank is primarily composed of ABS plastic, which is nicely molded. There are a couple small sunken areas, but these are barely visible. The fit and finish of the tank is superb, considering its price, and I consider it a very good value. This version of Challenger II arrives fully painted in a base desert color and a factory-applied shading. The shading varies in weight at different areas of the tank, resulting in a nice, inconsistent shaded appearance. Some people may prefer an unshaded version, but in my case I plan on eventually using the factory shading as pre-shaded base for a custom airbrushed paintjob.

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    .

    Details:
    Several sprues of plastic parts are provided for the modeler to install on the tank. These all plug into pre-drilled holes, and are nearly "snap fit". A few of the parts were loose, so I bonded them with ABS glue. But otherwise, I prefer to keep the parts unglued so they're easy to remove or replace if needed in the future. Installing the plastic "accessory parts", from the smoke grenade launchers, 7.62mm MG, fuel drums, tow cables, shackles, and various other surface parts took me about 45 minutes. I wish there were more, but the real Challenger II's exterior is fairly plain so there isn't much work to be done. The tank's engine deck is nicely detailed and pre-painted as shown below. The smoke grenade launchers could use a bit of touch-up paint, as could the bottom of the fire extinguishers.

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    Assembly:
    The tank arrives RTR, with a radio, tank, accessories, 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, or "accessory parts" as they're called on the website. This took me as mentioned about 45 minutes to complete.

    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. See the Build Video for tips on how to install the decals on the fire extinguishers which are mounted on the front glacis. I chose to paint the bottom of the fire extinguishers red, rather than use the included red circle decal.

    By the time you're done 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.
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  • #2
    Pre-Drive Checklist

    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 now ready for your first full test run!

    Plug the battery back into the battery bay under the tank. I like how Heng Long designed the screw to always stay connected to the battery bay door, so it's impossible to lose that little screw. The 2s battery uses a Tamiya-style connector for main power, and also has a conventional three wire balance plug. I've found this to be convenient for checking the battery voltage with my battery voltage checker, just as I do with my larger airplane batteries. Heng Long's system will automatically shut down when the battery is depleted, although I prefer to use a low voltage alarm to notify me before that happens.
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    If you plan on battling your friends with the included IR (infrared) system, plug in the IR apple and locate its magnetic anchor spot in front of the hatch. Heng Long's magnets are concealed inside the turret and thus there isn't any unsightly mount visible from the outside of the turret. The IR apple is low profile, and reasonably sensitive in overcast conditions out to ~10-15 meters. Due to the mostly flat and uncluttered upper surface of the Challenger II's turret, however, its IR apple stands out more than some of the other tanks from Heng Long.

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    Note the metal suspension arms and metal idler wheel mount, that incorporates an adjustable idler. This allows very easy adjustments to loosen or tighten the tracks to best suit your driving style and terrain conditions. The Challenger II and T-72 are recent tanks from Heng Long that feature this mechanism. While it is not a daily use element, it is still nice to have if/when the need arises, and is simpler than adding or removing track links to adjust the overall track tension, as is required with models like the M1A2 Abrams, Panther G, T-90, and King Tiger.
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    Running the tank:

    Driving Heng Long tanks is easy to learn. The right stick controls forward and reverse, and left and right travel of the tank treads. The left stick controls the turret's traverse (side to side) and elevation/depression (up/down) of the main gun. The trick is to synchronize your movements so that the tank moves realistically, and points the gun as the tank moves in a different direction. All Heng Long tank turrets can traverse 320 degrees, and the barrel elevates and depresses through a range of 20 degrees or so. When you hear a "clacking" sound, the movement has reached its maximum limit and you must stop pushing the stick in that direction. Perhaps in the future Heng Long will be able to implement a limit cutoff switch.

    Refer to the manual for how to fire the machine gun, the main gun sequence, load 6mm BBs, and conduct IR battles. The TK6 also allows the user to program a range of features by means of pressing down a combination of buttons and moving one or the two control sticks. The amount of recoil can be adjusted higher or lower, the top speed can be set to two limits, the sensitivity in forward turns and reverse turns, and other actions are programmable in mere seconds. The forward turning was too fast for my liking, more akin to an RC truck, so I reduced it down to turn more slowly and react to my inputs more sensitively like a real tank. RC Airplane pilots would recognize this feature as adding "Expo" or "Exponential". It's a neat feature that Heng Long has included in this latest generation of TK6 MFCB.

    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 Challenger II is already such a large tank that it has a good weight without extension metal parts. The Professional version replaces the plastic tracks, drive sprocket, and idler wheel with metal versions. This nearly doubles the weight of the tank, and increases the cost as well, so I recommend the Pro version for tankers who don't mind having a shorter drive time or having to buy a couple spare batteries. The durability and heft of the Pro version will appeal to those who want weight above all other considerations.

    The Upgrade configuration of the Challenger II can climb comfortably at 35 degrees with good traction, but begins to slip nearing 45 degrees. Like other tanks at the Upgrade level, the plastic tracks grip most surfaces well, although it tended to spin out sometimes on tile floor.

    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. The Challenger II has two exhaust ports, just like the real tank, and these are easily accessible under plastic grates. This makes refilling them with smoke oil very easy to accomplish.
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    "Send It!" Firing the cannon

    Firing the machine gun by pressing the labeled button triggers a machine gun sound and a bright LED at the base of the coaxial mount located in the turret alongside the main cannon. 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 BB going flying 30 feet out of the tank. 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 inside the hatch so that there's no risk of any further BBs firing from the main cannon. Another method would be to disconnect the plug from the MFCB.
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    The most fun I've had with all these recent Heng Long tanks is engaging in 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 sends an invisible beam that is detected by the IR mast that connects to any other TK6-equipped tank or Tamiya IR battle system 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. The Challenger II's taller profile does expose it to incoming fire compared to the lower profile of the T-90, shown below. Note the relative height of their IR apples.
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    As with all other Heng Long TK6 series tanks, I found the Challenger II's IR emitter's sensitivity to be acceptably consistent in overcast conditions out to ~10-15 meters. In optimum conditions, a hit can be registered out to 25 meters or more, but in my experience this was rare, and in local RC tank engagements, the range to target tends to be much shorter. It should also be noted that IR technology is susceptible to decreased performance in direct sunlight, which is why IR Tank Battlers often use sunshades on the IR receiver ("apple"). IR receivers can also be masked by obstacles, even those on the turret. Additionally, it appears that turning the turret can create less than consistent results when registering hits, so it isn't a perfect science. Chalk it up to simulating real life misfires?

    Power and Handling

    The Challenger II moves at a walking pace at full throttle on the High setting and about 25% slower on Low setting. Hold G and move the left stick up or down to select the High or Low setting, respectively. 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, I consider the previous ten years of Heng Long's MFCBs to be completely obsolete, and this new MFCB is the way of their future. I wouldn't recommend buying the previous versions that came before the TK6.

    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 Challenger II, I'd give it a 10 out of 10 because its hull and turret are both very large. This makes accessing the tank's internals very easy, and there is a lot of space for adding a larger speaker, for example, or implementing a recoiling barrel or other DIY upgrades.

    As mentioned previously, my Challenger II is the "Upgrade" version, meaning its exterior components are all plastic, while the gears in the gearbox are steel. I find this to be a great balance between cost, driveability, and weight. The more expensive "Professional" version features metal tracks, idler wheel, and drive sprocket. The increased weight provides better durability in certain conditions, and of course it feels more tank-like (i.e. a brick), but the trade-off for this weight gain is lower drive time. For anyone operating the heavier Professional version, I recommend buying a spare battery. I like that the Challenger II's Pro version doesn't use metal road wheels, since those seem to be a waste of weight on an already large and heavy tank.

    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. Almost 8% of the BBs in my Challenger II's bag of BBs were throwaways. Still, there were at least 70 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) Read our "Do's And Don'ts of RC Tanking" article *here* and watch its accompanying video *here* for all relevant tips, tricks, and warnings that pertain to any RC tank. Most importantly, do not attempt to run the tank into obstacles larger, in 1/16 scale terms, than what the real tank was subjected to. These tanks are not scale crawler trucks, so don't expect them climb over rocks and boulders taller than the tank's ground clearance, which is typically around 1" from the underside of the hull. Also, do not attempt to drive in water or mud. In their stock form, RC tanks are not intended to be used in wet or muddy conditions. Extensive waterproofing and cleaning is just the start of upgrades required to make such operation repeatable without irreparable damage.
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    • #3
      CONCLUSION


      As with all Heng Long 1/16 tanks, I assess a rating for each of seven key areas. To be fair, my ratings are given in the context of the Challenger II's own price point and intended audience, which is the entry level and mid-level RC tank enthusiast looking to get started in the $150-$200 RTR range. From that vantage point, here is how I rank the Heng Long 1/16 Scale "Challenger II" British MBT:


      Initial Quality: 94/100
      My Challenger II arrived in perfect condition and was securely packaged. Like all Heng Long tanks, the Challenger II is primarily constructed from ABS plastic. The "Upgrade" Version I have is mostly plastic externally with metal suspension arms and adjustable idler mechanism, while internally the tank's metal gearboxes feature steel gears.

      The paint work from the factory was evenly applied, and the shading was thick but not overly garish.

      Despite being such a large tank with a long hull and tall side walls, the lower hull and upper hull didn't exhibit much noticeable flexing. I think a casual tanker would agree that under reasonable conditions, it is not necessary to reinforce the Challenger II's hull out of the box. Internally, the steel gears were nicely greased. I did notice that some of the grease residue began to accumulate in a streak in line, having been slung off by the centrifugal force of the rotating gears.

      User-Friendliness and Transportability: 88/100
      The convenience of Heng Long's RTR package really makes it easy to get started in the world of RC tanks. In that sense, all of Heng Long's tanks excel in lowering the cost of entry into this segment of the hobby, and I think many scale enthusiasts would appreciate a scale tank as much as they would a scale airplane, car, truck, or boat. Heng Long's included radio does the job, without being overly flashy. I tend to prefer a cheaper overall package with this basic radio than one with super low latency and 1km range and hall effect sensored bearing gimbals. This isn't a jet flying at 100mph away from me at a thousand feet. While other manufacturers dominate the higher scale and higher featured market, the price is often prohibitive for someone starting out with their first tank to see if it's even something they're interested in.

      Like the other "Big Five" tanks in 1/16 scale from Heng Long (Abrams, Leopard 2A6, T99, King Tiger), the Challenger II's large size can be arguably as much of an advantage as it is a liability. Its long barrel is prone to hitting things like my car door, so be careful when carrying it around. The machine gun on the top of the turret is best removed during transport because its position is so exposed.

      The Challenger II weighs over six pounds despite being the "lighter" Upgrade version. The Professional version with metal wheels and tracks weighs about 11 pounds! So, persons wanting a lightweight, easy to transport tank should probably look elsewhere.

      Perhaps the most user-friendly element of the Challenger II is its adjustable idler mechanism. Easy to access, convenient to adjust, if ever needed.

      Mobility and Drive Experience 90/100
      The Challenger II has surprisingly good mobility despite its size, owing to its wider area of track contacting the ground and thus lower ground pressure. In practice, the plastic tracks have enough bite over short grass and packed dirt surfaces, or loose gravel surfaces. However, owing to its speed, I could force the tank's tracks to sometimes slip on smooth surfaces like cement, tile, or wood flooring.

      The aforementioned flex inherent in the plastic tracks found on the Original, Upgrade, and Upgrade-A versions, however, are prone to skipping a tooth if the user tries to do a fast "super spin" maneuver because the outer edge of the track cleat can dig into softer surfaces and gradually work its way out. In scale maneuvering speeds, however, the plastic tracks functioned flawlessly. It's a tank, not a drift car.

      I preferred the third sound set for the Challenger II. Out of the box, it was programmed to the second sound set. Tap the G and K buttons at the same time to switch between different sound sets.

      Durability 87/100
      Metal suspension arms and a mostly flat underside hull rank high for long term durability. I find that the Challenger II doesn't get stuck on many obstacles, and there aren't any deep gouges in the suspension arms or the raised protective areas, despite their vulnerable position when driving through rubble. The road wheel layout also resists debris, unlike the interleaved road wheels of the King Tiger, Panther G, or Tiger I Early.

      I do however recommend using ABS cement to adhere the front lower hull's tow shackles, and the lower rear hull's shackles and tow hitch, because they are susceptible to breaking off if you run into obstacles taller than the 38mm ground clearance. Depending on how you carry the Challenger II, it may also be a good idea to glue the rear fuel tanks onto the hull.

      Customers wanting the added rigidity and durability of metal tracks, metal idler wheel, and metal drive sprocket should consider purchasing the more expensive "Professional" version, pictured below. Note the metal parts are easily identified by their lack of paint out of the box.

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      Scale Fidelity 90/100
      Several sprues of plastic parts are provided for the modeler to install on the tank to enhance its overall scale appearance. These all plug into pre-drilled holes, and are nearly "snap fit". A few of the parts were loose, so I bonded them with ABS glue. But otherwise, I prefer to keep the parts unglued so they're easy to remove or replace if needed in the future. Installing the plastic "accessory parts", including the fuel tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke grenade launchers on the forward turret area, rear view mirrors, and many grab handles, took about 45-50 minutes from start to finish. Plan for an hour if you want to take your time cutting the parts out of the plastic sprues. I recommend a sharp clipper designed for this purpose, as it makes cleanup much easier. The accessory parts are pre-painted and really enhance the tank's overall surface detail.

      Some areas of detail are necessarily softened at this price point and acceptable for a mass production RC tank, but overall this 1/16 scale Challenger II looks good from almost any angle. It feels like an imposing machine that means to do bad things to bad people.

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      Ease of Maintenance and Upgrade Potential 94/100

      Unsurprisingly, the Challenger II is easy to maintain, and offers abundant space inside its hull. Drivers wanting to upgrade to larger speakers, or devise an on-board charging system, are better served with a spacious tank like the Challenger II rather smaller hulled tanks.

      There is a main shaft bearing block upgrade available for the Challenger II, but currently it is not easily installed unless/until we make a change in the factory's assembly process.

      Another "upgrade" worth the cost would be Tamiya's 1/16 German Tank Crew figures, which were the closest I could find for the Challenger II. I'm using the figure shown below on my Leopard 2A6, but with a repaint and some tweaking, I think they'd make a suitable stand-in on a Challenger II model. Hopefully in the future someone out there designs a 3DP file for figures for printing or casting in resin.
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      Overall Value (Cost, Size, Performance, Quality) 90/100

      Overall, the Challenger II is a good value. It's the only British tank in Heng Long's current portfolio, although I look forward to the day that changes. As a modern MBT currently in service, Heng Long's 1/16 model gives RC Tankers the opportunity to operate a living legend. If you don't mind its large size and rather bulky proportions, and want to field a modern tank at your next club event that is less common than a T-90 or Abrams, the Challenger II is worth considering.


      My Personal Averaged Total Score for the Heng Long 1/16 Scale "Challenger II": 90/100

      The Heng Long Challenger II backs up its large size with metal suspension arms and the convenience of an adjustable idler, wrapped in a tank that represents the pinnacle of British tank design.
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      • #4
        Update
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        • #5
          Reserved for 3DP
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          • #6
            Great to see the British Tanks being covered. You don't hear too much about them but considering they were the first to use them in WWI they need to be included. Maybe even do a model of the first tanks ever would be a fitting entry.

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            • #7
              Being honest I have never operated a model tank and I realize it not quite the same as an aircraft, however, I can see it being a lot of fun with others carrying out tank battles. As a sideline of information, my brother has a license to drive a tank and I believe he has driven the Challenger tank.

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              • #8
                The Challenger 2 is one of my favorite R/C tanks. It's huge for a 1/16 scale tank, looks mean as heck and has superb suspension articulation that make for one smooth cross country running tank. With the new 6.0 version now coming with an adjustable track tensioner it should be even better then before.

                Here are a few photos of my Challenger 2 tackling an off road tank obstacle course.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PappaBear View Post
                  Being honest I have never operated a model tank and I realize it not quite the same as an aircraft, however, I can see it being a lot of fun with others carrying out tank battles. As a sideline of information, my brother has a license to drive a tank and I believe he has driven the Challenger tank.
                  I am in the same boat, er, tank, lol. Never operated an RC tank before but I absolutely love the scale realism and appeal of these models!
                  My YouTube RC videos:
                  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDZ..._bdGEJBmtV7YUw

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                  • #10
                    I think this Challenger II will be my first tank (when they get back in stock), although the M1A2 has my eyes too, ha-ha. For what you get, I think the price is phenomenal. I'm really looking forward to trying something different. Aircraft are always my #1, and Cars #2 (I love the Armma bashers), but tanks are extremely cool. The sound, the smoke, the BB's, etc., everything has a massive cool factor. I'm totally impressed.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by T-CAT View Post
                      I think this Challenger II will be my first tank (when they get back in stock), although the M1A2 has my eyes too, ha-ha. For what you get, I think the price is phenomenal. I'm really looking forward to trying something different. Aircraft are always my #1, and Cars #2 (I love the Armma bashers), but tanks are extremely cool. The sound, the smoke, the BB's, etc., everything has a massive cool factor. I'm totally impressed.
                      And these are more less still basic entry level tanks. With upgrades it gets even more cool with barrel recoil, high output muzzle flash, a quality IR battle system and on and on....

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rubicon99 View Post

                        And these are more less still basic entry level tanks. With upgrades it gets even more cool with barrel recoil, high output muzzle flash, a quality IR battle system and on and on....
                        That is truly incredible, and it's definitely something I'm interested in reading about and experiencing first hand. RC Tanks are completely new to me.
                        Instagram: @tcat.rc.creations

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rubicon99 View Post

                          And these are more less still basic entry level tanks. With upgrades it gets even more cool with barrel recoil, high output muzzle flash, a quality IR battle system and on and on....
                          What's your thoughts on the pros and cons of the "Professional" version?
                          Instagram: @tcat.rc.creations

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by T-CAT View Post

                            What's your thoughts on the pros and cons of the "Professional" version?
                            I vote to go with the Professional version it is a great starting point and dollar for dollar the best value. Adding the upgrades it comes with later will end up costing more in time and money.

                            About the only thing I do not like about it is the ALL metal tracks. Their design has NO grip and are only single pin not the double they should be. Single pin design on what should be a double pin track do not run as smoothly.

                            With the addition of the new idler wheel track tensioning system I would recommend dumping the all metal track and buying a set of dual pin DKLM or Mato “Abrams” metal/rubber padded tracks. HUGE improvement in running smoothness and off road grip. They are heavy and work best with upgraded motors which are another story.



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                            • #15
                              Excellent information, thank you. I'll definitely keep that in mind.

                              Some pictures I've seen of the tanks are showing what looks to be a professional version because the tracks and wheels are unpainted metal. The unpainted wheels (if it comes that way out of the box) on the professional version does not look nearly as nice as the painted plastic on the Upgraded version, but those can be airbrushed. It would be great to see them color matched out of the box, and maybe they are, but I'm not sure.
                              Instagram: @tcat.rc.creations

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by T-CAT View Post
                                Excellent information, thank you. I'll definitely keep that in mind.

                                Some pictures I've seen of the tanks are showing what looks to be a professional version because the tracks and wheels are unpainted metal. The unpainted wheels (if it comes that way out of the box) on the professional version does not look nearly as nice as the painted plastic on the Upgraded version, but those can be airbrushed. It would be great to see them color matched out of the box, and maybe they are, but I'm not sure.
                                Sadly they do come in raw metal color. It is to show they are metal is what I was told long ago? I repaint all my tanks so having them come in raw metal is not an issues for me.

                                If you paint the wheels and the color is off a little don’t worry to much because after a short time of running outdoors in dirt, sand, grass and such the wheels will be covered with a nice grimy natural dirty look that really adds to the overall appearance of the tank and will hide any minor color tone differences.

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                                • #17
                                  Rubicon99 is right, the factory leaves the metal parts in bare metal finish to show that they're metal. The plastic parts are molded in their respective colors then painted where needed (such as simulating the rubber tires on the road wheels).

                                  I'd also agree that its preferable to paint one's own metal wheels without too much concern about color matching because as long as it's close, the real world dirt and grime that will inevitably accumulate on the tank's running gear will blend everything together.

                                  I've also found that the metal parts chip realistically with paint. As cast directly from their foundry, there is a casting texture on Heng Long's metal parts that is more conducive to paint. I will often use aggressive enamel paints like Rustoleum primers which greatly improve the adhesive of the upper layers.

                                  The key before painting them is to clean them. I use isopropyl alcohol. If you're super persnickety, you could also first etch the metal parts with an acid etchant. This further texturizes the metal before the alcohol bath and eventual Rustoleum primers, paints, and lacquer clear coats.

                                  Even the most hardy paints will still chip off the tracks over time in high wear areas, but as Rubicon99 said, this just adds to the realistic effect.

                                  T-CAT Knowing you my friend, you'd be happier with the heavier Professional edition. The Leopard 2A6, Abrams, T-72, and Challenger II are all heavy, beefy modern tanks that might suit your style whose Professional editions have full metal running gear (tracks, idler wheel, road wheels, and drive sprocket). The Leopard and Abrams' metal road wheels include rubber tires for added realism and smoothness.

                                  Camp My Instagram @Alpha.Makes

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                                  • #18
                                    Thank you gentlemen . I appreciate the detailed responses. Thankfully, I enjoy painting and customizing, so I don't mind the added process to complete the look of the Professional version.

                                    I was finally able to catch up on the latest livestream with the tank unboxing. These tanks really look great, will be fun, and for the price it seems like a home run. I can't believe I'm saying this, but compared to what I've been paying for RC airplanes lately, these tanks seem like a steal of a price. LOL
                                    Instagram: @tcat.rc.creations

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                                    • #19
                                      Really like the Challenger which arrived two days ago. Assembly went as expected - some pieces I glued in, others needed sanding. But it looks and runs like the videos on line.

                                      in the event I need to, does anyone have a service manual or can provide info on how to get inside the vehicle?

                                      Also, when I finished I stopped reading the instructions and put a few BBs through the small hole under the turret hatch. Then realized I was just supposed to drop them in and they roll forward. Anyone know where the first ones would have gone? Do I need to disassemble turret and find them?

                                      Thanks!






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                                      • #20
                                        I have a Challenger 2 arriving in a couple days time. I have one question ref power supply. I note that it’s using. 7.4 lithium ion battery. I have a few 2s 2200 lipos. Can these be used instead or will they be too over voltage?
                                        Looking forward to using it in my garden as we are under lockdown here in Scotland and banned from flying rc planes even on our own, as the insurance companies have withdrawn cover for non essential activities.

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