Heng Long vs Taigen Leopard 2A6

Feel free to discuss anything and everything to do with tanking here!

Postby Leo Part 1 » Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:50 pm

First, a little background:
After the initial excitement of buying the Taigen Leopard 2a6 V3, I got a bit frustrated by a few things that were not so good. I do want to upgrade it with several Clark items and that will fix some of the shortcomings. What is unclear yet though, is whether the Clark recoil kit will fit the Taigen IR version gun. Strangely enough, the barrel of this tank does not fully retract as part of the recoil The smoke extractor remains stationary, while the front end of the barrel moves. Not sure if we can fix that with the Clark kit. But I'm in contact with Maxmekker about that.

Anyway, as I said I got a bit frustrated. Up to the point that I thought I would go back to modelling 1:35 tanks (ok, I do have a almost untouched Trumpeter 1:16 King Tiger waiting but that's not RC). But while working on the Taigen it slowly grew on me. I just wanted to understand the thing, see how it works and what could be improved. In fact, I wanted to know what the Taigen offered extra when compared to the Heng Long. And vice versa. Just before the Holidays I had spotted a good as new HL 3889 MS (v6.0S) and it was still for sale. So I convinced the wife I needed it (.....). And today I bought it.

So long story short, here's my initial compare:

They are definitely not the same tanks. Though many parts are presumably from the same molds, overall there are a lot of differences.

Taigen pro's when compared:
    Very good and strong metal lower hull and upper turret
    Tracks and wheels full metal and also very strong
    360 turret rotation (though to be handled with some care)
    Paint work is much better. Less toy like when compared to the HL
    Suspension is very sturdy. Much better damping and rebound. Less prone to parts breaking off
    Due to the overall weight the tanks moves less like a toy tank. Some may argue that it is too heavy or underpowered (sounds like the real thing...) but it drives more stable

Taigen cons when compared:
    Outdated electronics (Taigen v3 vs HL v6.0S)
    Very noisy turret and gun rotation (mechanical noise from rotation motors)
    Gun only goes up or down fully (cyclic)
    Smoke machinery is really bad.
    Sound is bad, it is overpowered by the noise of the electro motors

Heng Long pro's when compared:
    Turret and gun movement is very smooth and less noisy
    Gun moves up and down as desired
    Sound is much better
    Smoke is much better
    V6.0S is way more advanced

Heng Long cons when compared
    Suspension is very soft and flimsy
    Road wheels, hull and turret made out of plastic
    No 360 turret rotation.
    Idler and sprocket wheels are bare metal out of the box (of course, one can fix this)
    BB gun (really not for me....)
    Paint is not very well done. The green plastic is just the bare green plastic, whereas the Taigen is fully painted
    Overall driving, handling and feeling is more toy-like

Basically, what is a strong point for one is a weak point for the other.

Oh how I would like the Taigen to be updated with better electronics and sound. Than it would be my preferred one. But there's a big price difference between them. In the end it is all about how much you can/are willing to spend on a RC tank.
Let's see how far the Clark updates will improve either one of them.

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Postby abramsky » Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:58 pm

Well. Some work awaits you, but a realistically functioning Leopard is worth it.
If I were in your place and in such a comfortable situation (having two Leopards) I would sell the Leopard HL, but first I would swap all v6.0 MFU including the better speaker from the HL to the Taigen. I would do the same with the smoker and the metal barrel from HL ( it's one piece metal tube ) . Trying to match the HL one piece metal barrel the Taigen's recoil ( it's just a bit of a plastic mechanism that should be easily adaptable to the new barrel with a little persuasion and a few tools), if not I would have rebuilt the ASG from HL to recoil ( but first I would check if it fits the Taigen tower ). It's not that hard. There is a lot of videos on youtube about it. You can do the same with the quieter HL turret rotation drives. However, I do not know if the elevation drive will fit, but you can try to mute the Taigen one.
And then ( when you get bored with HL v6.0s electronics ), you can use the experience gained and install CLARK MFU.
Last edited by abramsky on Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jimster » Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:15 pm

I will share a quick thought or two. Begin with a tank that offers a good metal lower hull with quality metal running gear/suspension like Taigen offers. See if your interested in continuing in the hobby and then if you do, plan on replacing almost everything else. Especially the mediocre electronics that come in RTR tanks and many detail parts. Sometimes a different new turret and upper hull are called for. But always begin with a solid foundation first.
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Postby jarndice » Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:38 pm

The single most important difference between Taigen and Heng Long is nowhere to be found in your lists,
The fixtures and fittings on Heng Long Tanks come separately on sprues for fitting after detailing is complete thereby allowing for a decent no compromise painting and weathering job unlike the Taigen Tank bodies which come with everything moulded in place which gives you the choice either bodge around everything or physically scrape everything off, neither alternative being my first choice :thumbdown:
And that is why where a Taigen metal hull and a Heng Long plastic body for a particular Tank are available that is always going to be MY first choice.
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Postby Kaczor » Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:57 pm

To be honest would buy Taigen without electronics and buy clark or elmod. HL even with newest board runs still like a toy.
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Postby Leo Part 1 » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:03 pm

abramsky wrote:Well. Some work awaits you, but a realistically functioning Leopard is worth it.
If I were in your place and in such a comfortable situation (having two Leopards) I would sell the Leopard HL, but first I would swap all v6.0 MFU including the better speaker from the HL to the Taigen. I would do the same with the smoker and the metal barrel from HL ( it's one piece metal tube ) . Trying to match the HL one piece metal barrel the Taigen's recoil ( it's just a bit of a plastic mechanism that should be easily adaptable to the new barrel with a little persuasion and a few tools), if not I would have rebuilt the ASG from HL to recoil ( but first I would check if it fits the Taigen tower ). It's not that hard. There is a lot of videos on youtube about it. You can do the same with the quieter HL turret rotation drives. However, I do not know if the elevation drive will fit, but you can try to mute the Taigen one.
And then ( when you get bored with HL v6.0s electronics ), you can use the experience gained and install CLARK MFU.


Yeah, I will definitely go down that path. I'll try and make 1 very good tank and the other one....well, it will have to do with whatever parts remain....

Jimster wrote:I will share a quick thought or two. Begin with a tank that offers a good metal lower hull with quality metal running gear/suspension like Taigen offers. See if your interested in continuing in the hobby and then if you do, plan on replacing almost everything else. Especially the mediocre electronics that come in RTR tanks and many detail parts. Sometimes a different new turret and upper hull are called for. But always begin with a solid foundation first.


It's gonna costs some money....... :haha:

jarndice wrote:The single most important difference between Taigen and Heng Long is nowhere to be found in your lists,
The fixtures and fittings on Heng Long Tanks come separately on sprues for fitting after detailing is complete thereby allowing for a decent no compromise painting and weathering job unlike the Taigen Tank bodies which come with everything moulded in place which gives you the choice either bodge around everything or physically scrape everything off, neither alternative being my first choice :thumbdown:
And that is why where a Taigen metal hull and a Heng Long plastic body for a particular Tank are available that is always going to be MY first choice.


The Taigen comes with parts in sprues as well. Nearly identical parts as the HL.

I made some quick videos to compare. The quality of the videos is quite bad but I was in a hurry.....

Turrent rotation (left one is the HL):
phpBB [video]


Sound (sorry, the fan of the Taigen is not good audible, but trust me, irl it is definitely noisy)
phpBB [video]


And the smoke (or lack of it). First one is the Taigen.
phpBB [video]

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Postby Exhibitedbrute » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:24 pm

May I throw a spanner in the works

My first tank was a Taigen Pershing plastic hull is all that is available from Taigen or hl with these but it does have metal tracks and so on, it’s elevation was and still is terrible.

My second tank was the henglong Sherman again all plastic apart from tracks etc, much better elevation

Both of them had the stock bb system in and they are that old that they were version 1 2.4g boards

At the time the Taigen/toro board was leaps and bounds better than the HL but from what you say it seem that HL has overtaken Taigen with their stock boards as there doesn’t seem to be any improvements from the version 1 to the version 3 other than you can bind to an aftermarket transmitter.

My third tank how ever was somewhat of a hybrid it started as the hl t34, but like you I got to trying different upgrades and so on, so as it stands now it’s still a t34 but it has the toro lower hull tracks and road wheel etc with the henglong upper hull and turret
Ther elevation and recoil unit is henglong but has been modified to work on a servo rather than a spring system offering better recoil, this was build in a time when aftermarket servo recoil didn’t exist
It also uses an aftermarket board which several years old now is still quite a good board
And offers just as much at slow crawling speed as it does at full chat it’s not all or nothing.

So if you decide the hobby is for you, upgrading your tanks will certainly give you a more rewarding experience, even if it’s just the upgrading that you enjoy

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Postby tankme » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:02 am

The latest HL 7.0 board looks like you can now turn off neutral turns and adjust the turn radius in 20 steps. There are some new vids of it in action on Facebook under the "RC Tanks Cold War to Present Day" group.

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Postby Kaczor » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:16 am

Did they add possibility to turn off track recoil?
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Postby Leo Part 1 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:42 am

Kaczor wrote:Did they add possibility to turn off track recoil?
That is already possible with v6.0S.

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Postby abramsky » Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:53 pm

I will worry you a bit but HL v6.0 / 6.1 MFU does not disable this option completely. You have a choice of 3 levels and at the minimum it actually looks like you turned off this idiot bouncing after each shot ... unfortunately not quite. Just fire the gun while driving to know what I'm talking about ... your modern tank will stop for a moment while driving after each main gun shot. The only option to turn it off is to change the MFU circuit by some electronic ninja adding a circuit that completely bypasses the drive cut-off signal while shooting.
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Postby Leo Part 1 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:14 pm

abramsky wrote:I will worry you a bit but HL v6.0 / 6.1 MFU does not disable this option completely. You have a choice of 3 levels and at the minimum it actually looks like you turned off this idiot bouncing after each shot ... unfortunately not quite. Just fire the gun while driving to know what I'm talking about ... your modern tank will stop for a moment while driving after each main gun shot. The only option to turn it off is to change the MFU circuit by some electronic ninja adding a circuit that completely bypasses the drive cut-off signal while shooting.


I have actually 4 levels on the Heng Long, from zero recoil to very heavy (bizar) recoil.

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Postby abramsky » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:14 pm

We are both right :)
In fact (and according to the HL manual) there are 3 levels plus OFF. My point is that a noticeable recoil has 3 levels and additionally (in theory) it can be completely turned off. However, do a simple test. Turn off the recoil completely (K + S button), give your tank full throttle and fire the main gun. You'll see what I'm talking about. The tank stops for a moment while shooting. This behavior is undesirable in modern MBT's models. However, the HL 6.0 / 6.1 electronics are still way better than what HL has offered so far, so at the beginning of the adventure with RC you can accept a few imperfections.
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Postby Leo Part 1 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:14 am

Yes, indeed. There is a brief moment where the tank stops and fires. Not really very realistic.

Anyway, after giving it a lot of thought, I decided I had to make a choice: which Leopard to upgrade and with what?
The Taigen is a sturdy metal tank but I think that upgrading it will be a bit more difficult since many upgrade sets are made for HL tanks. The Clark board will work in the Taigen, but since the barrel construction of the Taigen really differs from the HL construction, it might become a challenge to make it all work.

The HL tank is mostly made op plastic (gear, idlers, sprockets and tracks are metal). And the paint is not that good. BUT: Clark makes very nice updates (recoil, deck elevation, etc).

So here's what I think is best for now:
I'll upgrade the HL with Clark stuff. Make it more realistic by adding recoil, deck elevation, GBS.
The Taigen will be upgraded at a later point, probably with IBU or Elmod and some different parts like the recoil and rotation engines (they are really loud). Updating the Taigen with Clark might prove a bit difficult to start with. And maybe I'll look into upgrading the Taigen with the HL v6.0s that will become obsolete in the HL tank.

Just two things I would like some advice on:
    - Will the HL barrel smoke unit work with the TK80G2?
    - The current setup of the HL transmitter is somewhat strange. I would like 1 stick to move the turret and gun, and 1 stick to move the tank. Right now the left stick moves the tank forward/backward and the gun up/down. It would like it to move the tank forwards/backwards and left/right. Or is this something that will be possible only with the Clark board?

So much to discover.....

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Postby Jimster » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:13 pm

I can’t help you with barrel smoke units.
You will be replacing that HL radio when you get a a Clark board. Then, with your new programmable radio you can program your sticks exactly how you want them. Makes things much more fun and customizable.
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Postby abramsky » Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:09 pm

Leo Part 1 wrote:Just two things I would like some advice on:
    - Will the HL barrel smoke unit work with the TK80G2?
    - The current setup of the HL transmitter is somewhat strange. I would like 1 stick to move the turret and gun, and 1 stick to move the tank. Right now the left stick moves the tank forward/backward and the gun up/down. It would like it to move the tank forwards/backwards and left/right. Or is this something that will be possible only with the Clark board?

So much to discover.....

Hello
Check it out here viewtopic.php?f=201&t=30903&start=20
I think you have the same problem ( drive cables swapped - if you unplugged them earlier ), or your remote (RX) has switched to dual stick mode ( if you are using HL TK 6.0s/6.1s ). Such switching causes the throttle to be on the left stick and turning on the right stick.
Good luck :)
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Postby Leo Part 1 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:48 pm

You Sir, deserve a big thank you! :clap:
With the combination of keys described in the linked post I managed to change it. It was nowhere to be found in my HL manual......

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Postby abramsky » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:14 pm

I am glad that I could help :)
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Postby Leo Part 1 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:40 pm

Soooo, note to self: never buy any el-cheapo battery from AliExpress again!
Today I was driving around with my HL Leopard 2a6 when suddenly the smoke unit started working. "That's weird, I didn't turn it on", I said to my self. And it never smelled so weird. Than I realized my tank was on fire....! :wtf:
I picked it up immediately and brought it outside. With the belly of the beast facing away from me I opened the battery housing and saw the battery had exploded 8O 8O

I'm glad I had put it outside before anything worse happened. The damage to the tank itself is repairable. Most of the damage was done in the battery housing, so nothing to see from the outside. But it ruined my HL v6.0s board. All other electronics seem to be ok. The wires from the battery fully melted and it looks like that caused the board to burn as well.

Thanks for delivering good batteries, AliExpress.....It could have burned the whole place down. @)

So now I'm contemplating what to do. I'm looking into Clark boards etc. But in the meantime I do want to be able to run the tank. So a replacement HL board needs to be ordered. The question is, do I go for a v6.0S or a v6.1S. I would at least need a different connector to hook (good) batteries to the v6.1S, but I wonder if anything else needs to be done or if the v6.1S is worth the little extra money.

At least I can say that my Leopard had it's baptism of fire.

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Postby abramsky » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:09 pm

Wow !!! I also had a fire on board once, because of stock HL wires from the battery to the MFU (old HL 2.4Ghz v3) burned out from the circuit overload (too high current due to frictional resistance of the tensioner wheel).
phpBB [video]


Was the fire caused by a short circuit of the crappy Tamyia connector in the battery? I remove them immediately and changed to T-Deans because my son's Leo pins fell out of the Tamyia connector. It almost didn't cause a short circuit like you did.
You can go in TK 6.1s. You will save several dozen dollars ... You already have the HL remote control and binding with the new MFU will not be a problem. The 6.1s has some features - I can show you how to add the feature of raising the cannon above the engine deck (it's very simple).
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