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Old May 03, 2013, 04:32 PM
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My Hobby Engine M1A2 Review

Where to begin?...................well for one thing it's not 1/16 scale and the cosmetic detailing is what one might expect for a toy......thankfully both are the basic units and I am only out a couple hundred dollars total. Comparing it to a Heng Long would be like comparing Heng Long to a Tamiya or something like that. I did read a number of "way too generous" opinions before buying and because others were upgrading the innards and talking up the looks I figured it might be worth a closer look. Unfortunately, I did also purchase the Leopard as a knee-jerk so I have one more disappointment on it's way here but thank goodness I didn't buy a bunch of stuff to make a project out of either one. The price is just plain silly and a more realistic price for a poor quality toy like this should be around $35 - $40 and marketed towards the 5 - 8 age group. Can you imagine paying the $200+ for the premium version? I have 14 grand kids and hopefully the ones that receive these two toys won't hold too much of a grudge. A lesson well learned here and the reason I am reviewing it at all is to make it clear that it is a way-over-priced toy barely resembling what most would expect when they pay for an RC tank. I am toying with the idea of providing scads of pictures of every component shot from every angle but my enthusiasm level is nil and besides there are a number of pictures out there already. I have mentioned on several occasions and on several posts here that a Tamiya Pershing is on my get list and have come close twice now. I still intend to do that but in the mean time I seem to have a need to humiliate myself while learning some painful lessons getting there.
Now, for the folks that like the HE tanks and are being creative with their upgrading process......more power to ya' because that is what makes this an interesting hobby. (Long Pause............).....I just took another close look at the HE M1A2 and must admit that I have a new found appreciation for my Heng Long tanks and this experience has only moved me closer to that Tamiya Pershing I mentioned. In the mean time I have a pile of Mato metal upgrade parts coming for my HL Panzer III..............and the beat goes on!

EDITED: 02:29 P.M., 05/04/2013

I slept on it and before dropping off last night I started feeling like my review might be a little harsh and by this morning I was sure of it. I put myself into the shoes of someone craving a large scale, affordable M1 Abrams and do now see the attraction. I dug a little deeper and found a number of ways to upgrade almost every part as well as quite a few metal upgrades made specifically for the 1/16 Abrams. Collectively all of what I read has given me some ideas of my own so maybe I will just sit it in plain view for a while until something inspiring kicks in to my little pea brain and I set about doing my own mod.
I also calculated scale and it is indeed 1/16 or close to it even though when placed next to the HL King Tiger things look a little odd. So I was wrong about the scale and about the tanks potential to go from toy to fighter....................SORRY!!!
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Last edited by SpookyNumber1; May 04, 2013 at 03:34 PM.
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Old May 05, 2013, 02:49 PM
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towcester uk
Joined Dec 2010
218 Posts
I have to say your 1st opinion was a little harsh. but i do agree about the premium version.
as a "hobby" tank out of the box , it is a major let down but as a base for something to improve and make your own i think it is a good start, and the Leopard is by far a better model out of the box. I have both the A1 and A2 Abrams as well as the Leopard. and am fairly happy with what I got, saying that I was well aware of what i was getting, these were not my first 1/16th tanks.

And that is where the good/bad comes in i guess. If these were my first "hobby" tanks It could have put me off a bit. Glad your gonna take the bull by the horns and upgrade them, that for me is the best part of the hobby
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Old May 05, 2013, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for responding.
I think that once I shoot the tank with desert yellow to eliminate the plastic look I will be able to start seeing the possibilities. I can see the gun action being impressive with an Asiatam or Tamiya recoil unit installed.............but I gotta get that guy out and close the cupola. Now I need to collect lots of pictures of the current Abrams so I can plan the mods. I am laying in lots of brass so I can recreate the turret gear stowage area and anything that I can't find in metal.
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Old May 05, 2013, 04:13 PM
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towcester uk
Joined Dec 2010
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yep!! the gunner/commander is a pain and I hate the M/gun fire with turret movement, but heng long stuff sits in real nice. I'm sure that you will have a great tank by the time you have sorted it all out. as for paint my A1 in Camo paint looked awful, all i did was give it a very fine coat of mud brown and it looks 100x better just for that. when you find a good source for parts, let me know as in the UK its hard to find bits
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Old May 05, 2013, 11:07 PM
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The only metal parts I have found so far are here, maybe you could name some of the more obscure ones since the seller assumes we all know.
http://www.chunwai-model.com/Shop/Sh...asp?ClassID=13
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