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Review and Discuss: Heng Long 1/16 Scale "M4A3 Sherman" Tank

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  • Review and Discuss: Heng Long 1/16 Scale "M4A3 Sherman" Tank

    Heng Long 1/16 Scale "M4A3 Sherman" WW2 Tank, Upgrade Edition
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    Introduction:

    Recognized as a war winning weapon that helped secure victory in World War II, the M4 Sherman was a light infantry support tank that evolved into a multi-role, history-making force multiplier.

    My Personal Averaged Total Score for the Heng Long 1/16 Scale "M4A3 Sherman" WW2 Light Tank, Upgrade Edition: 85 out of 100

    Read below to see how I arrived at this rating while evaluating the "Upgrade" version of the Sherman. "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 below


    Functions:

    Featuring the latest TK6 MFCB (Multi-Function Control Board), all of Heng Long's other TK6 series 1/16 scale tanks are 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, high speed and low speed modes, etc
    3) Smoke effect (On/Off)
    4) Headlights and Brake lights (On/Off)
    5) Volume (five settings including Off)
    6) Four different Sound Sets. Each Sound Set contains a unique engine start sound, idle sound, accelerating sound, traverse sound, elevate sound, machine gun, cannon firing, and shutdown sound.
    7) Track Recoil (Three settings from low, medium, and high) --This shudders the tank briefly rearward to simulate recoil when firing the main cannon. The Low or Medium settings are more realistic.
    8) Fires a 6mm plastic BB (~10 meters with minimal accuracy and limited velocity, but should still be treated with caution and with adequate eye protection)
    9) Fires an invisible IR signal to be used as part of Heng Long's Infrared Battle System, which disables other tanks when hit five times during simulated combat. Up to 20 tanks at the same time can battle each other!
    10) Independent suspension on all road wheels

    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" and applying decals if you choose. After installation, the result looks like this, before decals:
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    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".
    Details:
    Nine "Cosmetic Spare Parts" sprues and a few loose parts are provided, as shown below. Several of these are designed to plug into pre-drilled holes, and for the most part are "snap fit". ABS glue can be used to adhere the parts permanently, but I prefer to keep them unglued, except in areas where I don't expect to ever have to remove the part for painting or transport. The Sherman's engine deck and front glacis are where most of the "snap fit" parts attach, such as the pioneering tools and ammo storage rack. However Heng Long chose to minimize the number of pre-drilled holes, opting instead to attach the stowage parts (ammo cans, bags, boxes, fuel can, spare wheels and tracks) with double-stick tape.

    Recognizing the wide variety of Sherman loadouts and configurations that a modeler may want to depict, it makes sense to me why Heng Long did not want to drill so many holes in areas where some users may not want a hole. This is good for versatility, but not so good for longevity, because some of the parts may fall off when the double stick tape dries out. I would recommend deciding upon a final position for your stowage gear, and either use the double-stick tape, or glue the parts into place. It wouldn't be too difficult to glue magnets along the inner wall of the hull, and to the larger stowage boxes and bags, to make them magnetically attachable.

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    A glycerin based "smoke effect" is expelled downward through the same exhaust location as the real Sherman. Adding a couple drops of glycerin oil every hour or so is a minor hassle since you need to invert the tank at a 45 degree angle, but the Sherman is light enough to pick up with one hand to accomplish the task.
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  • #2
    Decals:

    Heng Long includes an adhesive vinyl transfer decal sheet --do not use water on these! Stick the decal to the surface using the clear diagrams as reference, then use the back of your fingernail to firmly burnish the decal onto the surface, then carefully remove the clear upper film off of the decal itself. Some of the markings are accurate and some of them are marketing text, such as "HL". Contact Callie at Callie-Graphics.com for a custom set to match your desired tank's accurate markings.

    After applying the decals, you may want to seal them in with a clear coat such as a spray can of Testors Dullcote or WBPU ("Water Based PolyUrethane") from either Minwax or Varathane. I didn't apply a clear coat, but the decals continue to hold well to the surface, so I do not consider a clear coat absolutely necessary for casual use. If you do decide to apply a clear coat, always test under the tank first to ensure the colors do not react adversely to your chosen clear coat product.
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    Two headlights and two tail lights are included on the M4A3 Sherman that can be turned on and off using the radio transmitter via a button sequence as stated in the manual. I leave them on.
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    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 Sherman. 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 1800mAh 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. The Sherman is light enough to turn over and access its On/Off switch.

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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 behind the hatch. This apple receives incoming IR signals from your opponents, and registers a "hit" on your tank if the IR signal is properly aligned from the opponent's barrel. 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.
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    As part of your pre-drive routine, inspect the Sherman's running gear for any debris from previous use, especially if you run it outdoors in dirt or gravel. Check the suspension travel and rocking side to side, to ensure each road wheel moves smoothly. Heng Long's representation of the real Sherman's VVSS (Vertical Volute Suspension System) is fair, but lacks the travel of more modern tank suspension systems like torsion bar suspension. Some of the screw caps needed sanding to fit flush against the bogie pillar.

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    • #3
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      Driving the Sherman:

      Driving a Heng Long tank these days is easy, especially with the smooth proportional controls of the TK6 MFCB! 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.

      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. Out of the box, I reduced the turning sensitivity, so it reacts more less "jumpy". 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.

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      Gears, Driveability, and Run Time

      Thank goodness Heng Long has brought its steel gears down from the Professional Edition and into all Upgrade Editions of their tanks. Previously, the zinc alloy gears they used were prone to early failures, and users would need to buy the steel gear hop-up sets separately. But now, as of 11/2019, all of Motion RC's Upgrade version tanks will 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, this Upgrade version is the better choice for a budget-conscious RC tanker because the steel gears in the gearbox are very durable, yet the plastic tracks keep the tank light and maneuverable. That being said, the Professional Edition of the M4A3 Sherman replaces the plastic tracks, drive sprocket, and idler wheel with metal versions. This roughly doubles the tank's weight to over 8 pounds, and increases the cost as well, but the overall durability of the system is worth the investment if you plan to run your tank on grass or in rough conditions.

      Another advantage of the cheaper Upgrade Edition is that its plastic tracks are kinder on interior wood floors. If you're someone who prefers a lighter weight, lower cost, indoor friendly, occasional runner kind of tank, the Upgrade Edition is a good choice. If you want tough metal tracks that won't degrade over time running on paved or rocky terrain, consider moving up to the Professional Edition.

      Either version of this tank can easily climb a 40 degree incline on hard packed dirt. Avoid muddy conditions or wet grass, as it tends to clog the idler wheel rather quickly. 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.
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      The stock battery is 2s 7.4v 1800mAh, with a Tamiya connector. With the smoke running, sound to maximum volume, and moving constantly, I run for an average of 20-25 minutes, or longer if I manage throttle and turn off the smoker. Spare batteries are inexpensive, so it's easy to keep running. On average, my stock batteries balance with the included charger to within ~0.1V between both cells. Without the smoker running and leaving the tank on idle with occasional movements, an hour of standby time is achievable.

      "Send It!" Firing the Airsoft BB Cannon and the IR Battle System

      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. Don't expect pinpoint accuracy, but overall the Sherman is fun for occasional plinking outside.
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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. The Sherman is a well matched opponent to the Panzer IV. They have similar advantages and limitations in terms of mobility with their similarly narrow tracks.
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      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.

      All of Heng Long's TK6-equipped tanks can battle each other. Pit a modern Challenger II against a WW2 Panzer or any combination with the more than 15 tanks in Heng Long's lineup. Older iterations of Heng Long tanks that are not TK6 equipped cannot participate, however. This is another reason why I don't recommend buying the older generation TK5.3 or RX18 versions of Heng Long's tanks --they're simply obsolete unless you're just looking for a shelf queen or shell to gut and customize.

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      Like most Heng Long's recent tanks, I found the Sherman'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 actual range to target tends to be much shorter, around 6-10 meters. It should also be noted that all 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. It is not an exact science, but some devices like sunshades can be tried to reduce glare and interference.

      Power and Handling

      Simply stated, I wouldn't recommend buying the previous versions that came before the TK6. This TK6 MFCB makes the tank so much more enjoyable to drive and operate than all previous iterations of Heng Long's controllers that you've probably read about elsewhere online over the past 15 years or so. Even their tanks from two years ago don't drive like this new TK6.

      The Sherman can be driven 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. Fast or medium or very slow movements can be achieved, which to me is part of the fun in driving an RC tank. 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. Even the turret traverse is proportional -- slow rotation with small control stick input, or faster rotation with larger stick input.

      To summarize the TK6 MFCB in one word: "Smooth".
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      Upgrade path and "Wrenchability" --how easy is it to service, maintain, and upgrade this tank?:

      As mentioned previously, my M4A3 Sherman 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, road wheels, idler wheel, and drive sprocket --essentially all the moving drive system parts outside of the tank--. This significantly increases the weight, which some tankers may enjoy, and also the durability in certain conditions, 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 or two. Between the Upgrade and Professional, I prefer the Professional.

      The metal parts also arrive unpainted, making it easy to visually distinguish in product photos which version is which. If the road wheels are green and the track is black, they're plastic and that's the Original or Upgrade Edition. If the road wheels are metal colored and the tracks are as well, then they're metal and that's the Professional Edition. The metal wheels would need to be painted by the user, if he/she prefers. The Upgrade Edition is pictured to the left and the Professional Edition is pictured to the right.

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      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.

      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 8% of the Sherman's BBs were unusable.

      2) Don't flood the smoker. There is one smoker in the tank, with one exhaust tube exiting in the same location as the real tank. 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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      • #4
        CONCLUSION

        As with all Heng Long 1/16 tanks, I assess a rating for each of seven key areas. Having driven all of Heng Long's 20+ tanks, my ratings are in the context of the M4A3 Sherman's own cost and intended audience, which is the entry level and mid-level RC tank enthusiast looking to get started in the $150-$300 range without breaking the bank.

        From that vantage point, here is how I rank the Heng Long 1/16 Scale "M4A3 Sherman" light tank:

        Initial Quality: 94/100
        Like all Heng Long's RTR tanks, the M4A3 Sherman is primarily composed of ABS plastic, and arrives completely painted in olive drab with an airbrush applied shading. The factory does a fairly good job in keeping the shading minimal and not too jarring. The packaging was secure, and nothing was missing. During the two minute test drive, everything functioned as it should. Aside from a few poorly molded airsoft BBs, which I expect with all Heng Long's bags of BBs, the rest of the overall RTR package's initial quality as perfect. I especially liked the spare track links that are provided to adjust the track tension if needed.

        User-Friendliness and Transportability: 91/100
        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.

        The Sherman lacks an adjustable idler like the newer Challenger II or T-72, which means fine adjustments cannot be made to track tension. As it was delivered out of the box, my Sherman did not need adjustments to the track tension, but if it ever did, a tanker would need to learn how to remove or add track links. This simple task is still technically less friendly to new tankers than if the Sherman had included a built-in adjustable idler mechanism.

        Just as with similarly compact light tanks such as the Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks, the Sherman is very easy to carry around with one hand while firmly gripping the front glacis. It fits in a backpack or small duffle bag, although I recommend removing the machine gun and its pintle mount from the turret to avoid it being crushed during transport.The Sherman is a tall tank, compared to many other 1/16 tanks, but it is not long. Its distinctive short barreled 75mm cannon, which is metal on Heng Long's 1/16 scale model here, makes the tank easy to move around without fear of hitting a car door or other obstacle.
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        Mobility and Drive Experience 80/100

        Heng Long's simplified representation of the real Sherman's VVSS suspension does its best tackle terrain, but like the real tank, this 1/16 scale model's suspension does not have a lot of travel to absorb deeply uneven terrain. On more firm surfaces like packed dirt, the Sherman runs great, but turning in place while on carpet or grass may eventually work out the idler wheel screw or otherwise fouling the track system. This is a tank that is happiest running on pavement, packed dirt, or roadway, but not on grass or soft sand due to the higher rolling resistance. Metal tracks increase the ground pressure (total weight divided by square area of the track's footprint touching the ground), which means it can bog down in soft sand more easily than, say, a King Tiger that is ~30% heavier but with lower ground pressure due to the King Tiger's much wider tracks.

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        Durability 85/100
        I have had no problems with my Shermans, although over time I expect the suspension may not be as robust as simpler idler arm-type implementations. Much of this has to do with the 1/16 scale and the fact that earthen obstacles usually don't scale down to 1/16.

        Scale Fidelity 83/100
        Heng Long's Sherman does not have any major glaring issues with its scale proportions. I don't expect tanks at this price point to have textured surfaces to simulate cast/rolled steel, or perfectly accurate accessories. To be fair, even tanks twice the price (or far more) seldom have textured surfaces. There are areas such as a bogie pillars where concessions where made to make the tank serviceable for the mass market RC segment that Heng Long is targeting, so again I accept those decisions in the context of cost and RC practicality. The included sprues of "cosmetic accessory parts" are pre-painted, and attach with a mix of "snap-fit" pins and double-stick tape. For me personally, I think the less pre-drilled holes, the better, but I understand that many modelers may prefer the convenience and security of having every single cosmetic part snapped into place.

        Ease of Maintenance and Upgrade Potential 81/100
        The Sherman has several upgrades for it, and it is well supported by the aftermarket crowd and I believe overall well regarded in the RC tanking community as a good tank for its intended audience. It's relatively easy to maintain, although the interior is not nearly as spacious as larger tanks.

        Overall Value (Cost, Size, Performance, Quality) 87/100
        As a historian, I always need a Sherman in my collection. Any variant, any configuration, any period. I cannot see a better value on the market for a Sherman in the Heng Long M4A3 Sherman's price range.
        My Personal Averaged Total Score for the Heng Long 1/16 Scale "M4A3 Sherman", Upgrade Edition: 85/100
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        Comment


        • #5
          Should be number 1 on everyone's list

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by StormyDog1962 View Post
            Should be number 1 on everyone's list
            Especially if you got a Flightline 16th scale B-24!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by James View Post

              Especially if you got a Flightline 16th scale B-24!

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              That leaf isn't scale...
              TiredIron Aviation
              Tired Iron Military Vehicles

              Comment


              • #8
                I will have to get the m-4, I have a 1:16th Franklin Mint E8.
                TiredIron Aviation
                Tired Iron Military Vehicles

                Comment


                • #9
                  TiredIronGRB , I was going to put a banana for scale, but that would throw off the entire shot

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by James View Post
                    TiredIronGRB , I was going to put a banana for scale, but that would throw off the entire shot
                    Lol...
                    TiredIron Aviation
                    Tired Iron Military Vehicles

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TiredIronGRB View Post
                      I will have to get the m-4, I have a 1:16th Franklin Mint E8.
                      The Sherman is definitely a smart looking tank!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think the Sherman will complement my fleet of B-17s and B-24 very well! On my list to buy!

                        Bob

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Get the Panzer Bob. we need moving targets.
                          Don't just fly--WREAK HAVOC!!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by quitcherbitchen View Post
                            Get the Panzer Bob. we need moving targets.
                            Well, maybe I will have to get both!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Im going to add to this review and I hope I dont ruffle any feathers with the management but there is one, drawback to the henglong Sherman.
                              Now I am a sherman fan, more like a shermanholic lol. I have custom built many sherman variants on top of henglong, tamiya, mato plastic, mato metal, and taigen sherman lower half chassis.
                              I have had many of each and still do. My first or second, major build up of a custom sherman was on an older model henglong, not the current 6.0 version.
                              Below I will show you my remodeled henglong and my sons henglong.

                              Lets start with my sons. First off, I have it to him when he was two and half.... yeah I wanted to get him started early lol. It held up very well as I knew it would from battling mine alot for several years. The thing that kept breaking was the the transmitter. He would drop it and such so I kept scrounging systems to put in it and keep it working.
                              Well when he was 3 he was pushing it, yes when the battery would die or if I wasnt supervising he would push it. He got a rock caught in the rear idler and broke it off the hull. Now normally I dont think an adult would have this problem, the electronic system would see the current draw from the track jam and shut down before any damage would occur. Still, he busted it off. I was at a loss to fix it that would be strong enough to keep working so ordered another empty hull. Just days later it hit me to use the metal adjustable idler from a mato all metal sherman. While I do not like the mato all metal sherman after owning two and still one, I knew this part would likely solve my problem. I ordered the pair of adjustable idlers and when I got them, I just used the dremmel and ground off the plastic detail from the idler mount on the henglong hull and then mocked up and drilled the holes for the mato metal unit and then installed it. The tank is on its 6th radio system from other friends tanks that upgrade to after market boards, but its still running.
                              All is not lost when your working with a plastic tank if its good enough and worth fixing. I do have to say I am quite impressed with how strong the sherman is even though its all plastic.

                              Now on to my reamining henglong sherman. California Girl as I named her is still one of my favorites. When you BUILD an IR battle tank, some perform ok, some just rock, and she rocks. She shoots straight and runs great. I installed tamiya motors on the original trannys because back then they had 280 motors in them. I changed hulls for a cast hull and did a bunch of other remodeling incluidng making a servo recoil. I have used a couple different TCB systems to run the tank and currently have an old IBU2 in it which is no longer available.
                              Now since I have litterally run the wheels off this tank, that is where I feel the only problem with the plastic bogies lies.
                              The plastic wheels roll on plastic axles that have a screw through the middle of them. Eventually with lots of dirt driving, the holes in the wheels get really big, and the plastic tubing that is the axle, develops into an eye shape rather than a circle. I put California Girl on the shelf for a while to decide what I wanted to do with her.
                              Henglong has released newer all metal bogies with metal wheels that I think have rubber tires. I do not know if they have bearings in the wheels but I suspect they probably do.
                              I have many boxes of sherman parts here from all my bashing and so for expediancy one afternoon I just installed tagigen metal wheels that use a brass tubing bushing. THey seem to have worn well on my other battle tanks. California Girl is back on the field and battling once again. However, I am gonna need those wheels back for a taigen chassis sitting on my shelf, or order up the newer henglong metal bogies and install them on California Girl. I still havent decided yet.
                              I like to say I will try anything sherman in 1/16, and I litterally have, bought just about every offereing of parts or whole tank or after market kit made for 1/16 shermans with the exception of a new hull on shapeways, which I will get soon.... and these metal bogies. They are on my list to get to and check out and see if they are suitable for a battle tank or if I will stick with the taigen wheels.

                              Any way review the photos below after reading this and you will see what I am saying.

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                              Attached Files
                              RC tank parts and accessories I make
                              www.RichardSJohnson.net/id28.html

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                              • #16
                                I'll need a Sherman for sure, I may have to retrofit my Franklin Mint M4A3.

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                                TiredIron Aviation
                                Tired Iron Military Vehicles

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                                • #17
                                  Wow nice.... I wouldnt convert that model to RC its too nicely detailed for display. Do you have to skills to build an RC model? I can teach you how to build an RC M4a3 E8 if you wish.
                                  RC tank parts and accessories I make
                                  www.RichardSJohnson.net/id28.html

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by RichJohnson View Post
                                    Wow nice.... I wouldnt convert that model to RC its too nicely detailed for display. Do you have to skills to build an RC model? I can teach you how to build an RC M4a3 E8 if you wish.
                                    Yeah, I might be able to pull it off ;)

                                    Here's some I did back in the 90s..

                                    M5 Stuart

                                    M3 Scout Car
                                    TiredIron Aviation
                                    Tired Iron Military Vehicles

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by TiredIronGRB View Post

                                      Yeah, I might be able to pull it off ;)

                                      Here's some I did back in the 90s..
                                      That's a tremendous understatement just based on what I've seen ya do with the aircraft in the past couple years.
                                      The Stuart and M3 just nails the case on your skill set my friend(as well as the full scale TI stuff)
                                      Warbird Charlie
                                      HSD Skyraider FlightLine OV-10 FMS 1400: P-40B, P-51, F4U, F6F, T-28, P-40E, Pitts, 1700 F4U & F7F, FOX glider Freewing A-6, T-33, P-51 Dynam ME-262, Waco TF Giant P-47; ESM F7F-3 LX PBJ-1 EFL CZ T-28, C-150, 1500 P-51 & FW-190

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                                      • #20
                                        Honest opinion and thoughtful experience will never ruffle the feathers of management around here, RichJohnson, we're all hobbyists and eager to learn. Knowledge is power!

                                        There is an Upgrades thread, stickied, please feel free to post any aftermarket parts or components from other manufacturers that fit this or any other tank. I'll gradually be updating the first post with collected information from the community. If stocking those components helps others, we can add to the Upgrades tab on our product pages over time.

                                        As patterns emerge, this is precisely the kind of data that I can also take to the factory and discuss implementing over time in future production. We aim to do our part to make this segment of the hobby better.
                                        Live Q&A every Tuesday and Friday at 9pm EST on my Twitch Livestream

                                        Live chat with me and other RC Nuts on my Discord

                                        Camp my Instagram @Alpha.Makes

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