A little about myself would be in order I suppose. I’m recently retired, but then retirement became boring and I have gone back to full time employment, I live just outside Hull and also have an orchard in Lincolnshire – my retirement plans involved making cider but watching trees grow is a lot less exciting than watching paint dry, believe me!
I’ve toyed with the idea of buying and operating a RC tank and decided to dip a toe in the water by buying the ubiquitous Heng Long Tiger 1. (I can hear the groans from here!) It is presently sat on the table alongside my laptop as I type this. Presently, it is unpainted and bog standard, I intend that it remain in such a condition until I can control it with some skill.
Having spent many years serving in small groups of close knit colleagues who live sleep and work from a cramped vehicle I have some ideas how my tank would be customised. My experience tells me that a crew would scavenge parts and extra armour and tracks etc. The vehicle I remember from my past had homemade weapon racks and stowage systems on the inside and as many non-standard modifications as could be got away with on the outside.
With this in mind, I have already ordered extra grills, jerry cans, helmets, extra track links, shackles and strops. I am contemplating the addition of a scrim net that at the 1/16th scale will probably do a good impression of several camo nets.
Eventually, I think I’ll be replacing the plastic hull with a metal one, metal tracks, gearbox, motors and new circuit board. I’ve already ordered a replacement steel barrel (does the cost ever end?).
Where I do need a little help is with the eventual colour scheme. I’m undecided between a western desert scheme (my father fought in Trobuk and then up through Italy), or doing my take on Michael Wittmann’s Tiger in Normandy June 1944. Does anyone have any comments?
Your colour schemes one for North Africa 1943 and one for Wittmann Normandy 1944 during this time period Tigers changed a lot the late model Tigers had Steel wheels and opposed to wheels with rubber tyres not to mention they had less of them, all the tool stowage changed as did a number of features on the turret such as the cupola, the vent was changed, a close defence weapon was added the turret roof was thickened from 25mm to 40mm first type was bent in the middle the second type was a two piece welded affair the rear idler wheel was reduced from 700mm to 600mm and there was the addition of zimmerit which was an anti-mine past there are a number of other differences in fact Tiger was continuously updated sometimes each week there were changes.
UKTC European Coordinator
They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
I've had a quick search on the internet but the correct colour schemes for the two time frames have eluded me, finding the correct '007' decals is proving a problem. Any help would be appriciated.
Heng long now have a good range of german tanks. You can try welsh dragon and forge bear on ebay for many after market items that will make your tank more realistic,but the down side is you could lose some of them when running it. I'm still in the process of converting my tiger one to a late steel wheel version along with 2 jagdpanthers,a panther and 4 king tigers.Heng long with smoke and sound are value for money(metal gears and tracks are ok but these I only use on concrete and not grass) but extra parts do start to add up I'm afraid.
Battery life was as expected, it came with the tank so it never was going to be the very best, I'll have to buy a couple of bigger ones when I get around to it, any suggestions on make etc would be greatly appriciated.
The biggest concern was the range of the transmitter. Antenna fully extended and approximately 12 feet!!! Again, I know that for the price it was goind to be bottom end but I did expect a bit more. Another trip to the model store I suppose, again I welcome suggestions.
Then, I only went on Ebay to purchase a couple of metal mudflaps and saw that a scratch builder was selling a whole box of unwanted spares (Tracks, metal wheels, transmitters, metal suspension arms etc), I bought the lot for £10.
Is there a cure for this addiction? I'm running out of room.
Sorry, your doomed.
Run! zig zag if you still have the chance and don't look back.
Heng long nice models, detail and paint well. but will you be satified?
007, late Tiger, Heng Long early version Tiger. difficult and expensive to convert (running gear etc).
Otto Carius, First Tiger 213, Early version Tiger easy conversion, Killed more tanks than Wittmann and survied.
If you have space, go big, more fun, 1/6 run far better.
Have fun and enjoy
I now own two Tigers!!!
£30 bought me a working Heng Long with sound and smoke. It seems an early version of the model as the tools are moulded on the hull and the barrel is in the recoil position. There appears no hope!
After seeing and then buying the second Tiger in the charity shop I took it back to my office and then the secret was out. The female side couldn’t understand my purchase but the male side did and I began to get the male staff members sideling up to me (an old Lincolnshire term for approaching someone in a sideways and furtive manner) and asking questions about ‘Tanks’.
Then in mid September a member the works TSU (Technical Support Unit) came into my office with a now familiar box. ‘This has been in our attic for months gathering dust, I was going to throw it out but thought you could use it.’ And with that, I became the owner of a third Tiger!
The first Tiger I bought has been put through her paces on an almost daily basis and now it has reached its limitations. A couple of weeks ago the right rear idler wheel and axle fell off. On examining it I think what has happened it that the stub axle is slightly bent causing the wheel to wobble, this in turn has repeatedly flexed the plastic hull where the stub axle joins it. The result is an unrepairable ½” hole in the hull side. The rear road wheel on the same side is also showing cracks , these wheels are plastic and hollow leaving the join between axle and wheel relatively and again I think that the flexing by the idler wheel has caused fatigue in the plastic.
I ordered a new hull last week and have since stripped it down. I intend to reinforce the interior with fibre glass and bond two 2mm MS plates to the interior to support both rear idler axles. I also intend to cut the battery box out and plate the underneath with a sheet of the same steel (it has already been cut for me). My kind colleagues in the TSU have provided me with two 5300mAh lithium batteries wired in parallel which I am going to try and shoe horn inside. I have also fitted metal suspension arms and up rated springs after I grabbed a bargain box of ‘bits’ off Ebay for £10.
I was going down the metal wheel route but finding metal early production wheels to fit was a little bit of a problem so I decided to have a second look at the plastic ones. I when to our local metal fitting supplier, it’s a big place and they have every nut, bolt and washer you can think of and some you can’t. Taking a couple of wheels with me for size I eventually left with a hundred washers which slip over the axles and neatly fill up the hollow wheels, I have bonded these in with epoxy liquid metal, each of the wheels is now a steel wheel with a plastic exterior. I haven’t fitted these let but I am interested to see how the tank rides with the added weight.
New metal sprockets and idler wheel came yesterday (Thanks forgebear) and will be fitted once I’ve sprayed them with a coat of grey undercoat.
Now a question. Was the anti magnetic paste applied to all Tigers? – Is it possible for an early Tiger to have had it applied in the field had it survived into 1944/45?
Second question. I have bought a metal barrel and a Mato mantlet, everything fits perfectly but when I come to fit it into the turret I find that the barrel isn’t long enough to fully mate with the BB unit. When I measure the barrel and compare the figures against the original it is too long and it appears that the barrel needs to be turned down at the end so that shoulder is further forward allowing the barrel to protrude further into the turret and fully engage with the BB unit. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
Thanks for all your patience.
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