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  1. #1
    Chris Nicastro's Avatar
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    Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    With Tamiya tanks being so expensive and the clones and new Chinese tanks available do they make Tamiya tanks worth the investment?

    I have owned 3 Tamiya tanks and they just dont seem to be worth anything anymore. I'm selling my new Tiger full option kit and I cant get half of what its worth because you can buy the clone for less than $200. So I guess I may as well keep it because Im not going to give it away.

    So what about the prices on the rest of the Tamiya line up? I would love the Leopard 2A5 but at $1000 its not an option.
    More guys are modding HL and other tanks with detail sets, mechs, and wheels and I see less going on with Tamiya tanks. I see guys cheer when Tamiya announces a new tank but is that just because of a new model option? Or was is it because you know it will be copied sooner or later, lol?

    Just a conversation topic, why buy Tamiya?
    Like a midget in a urinal I knew I had to stay on my toes...

  2. #2

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    Well they sure look cool sitting on a shelf collecting dust....just like my collection of the cheapy models.

    BIGMIG

    P.S. had 42 or 43 misc scale tanks at one time and about $2300.00 invested.....just sold three tigers to one of my nephews still new like out of the box for $60.00 dollars each........slowly selling them off... (still had the boxes ).......

  3. #3

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    The economy is bad......at least here in Europe.

    Its getting very hard indeed to justify,on any grounds,spending a grand on, what is in effect, a plastic kit (no matter how nice it is) when people are being thrown out of their houses or cannot buy food.

    I at least am grateful for the Heng Longs of this world. Otherwise there would be no tanks for some of us.

    p


  4. #4
    Panther F's Avatar
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... so they say.

    It really all depends on what you want. If you want to spend as you go, then the HL is a worthy advocate. If you want it to be complete at the beginning of your purchase, then you know what to do.














    ~ Jeff
    STILL building 1/16 scale RC tanks.

  5. #5

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    I would make the point a Tamiya tank is a kit. Kits when built are massively diminished in value as a big draw of a kit is building and painting it. I
    Probably spend more hours building painting and tinkering with my Tamiya kits than actually playing with them. If you want a Tamiya but don't like the price buy one second hand, rebuild it etc. I don't know what the US.second hand market is like but in the uk there are good bargains to be hand. If you want a Leo check the uk eBayx they come up often and sell for under £300 GBP. So your talking $500-600 dollars shipped. The price for a new Tamiya kit is still reasonable as a similar spec upgraded henglong is comparable. There's a reason there are less upgrades for Tamiya tank, they're generally not needed! A lot of over engineering goes on here but IMO in many cases it's not essential on a Tamiya. With a henglong that's different!

    Tamiya:leopard 2a6, king tiger, Porsche king tiger, panther g, jagdpanther. Hooben: elefant, t-55. HL panther f, Jagdpanther

  6. #6

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    In my opinion, the answer depends on what you want to do with them.

    I have been using mine at Danville Battledays for the last 2 years.
    For most of that time I only had one Tamiya Pershing with a 5000 battery.
    I could battle for 8 hours on Friday, 10 hours on Saturday, and 6 hours on Sunday, with one tank!
    Of course there were 1 hour breaks for lunch/dinner and recharge.
    I have yet to have a problem, not a single thrown track or gearbox issue.
    There are guys who run highly modified HL tanks at the battle days, and they do great.
    However, I have never seen one go a whole weekend. They are much more commonly rotated in and out of action.

    So, I think a Tamiya is totally worth the money if you are going to regularly battle with it.
    It becomes harder to justify if you are building a shelf queen or the occasional backyard battler.

    Just my opinion.

  7. #7
    ausf's Avatar
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    I felt the same way when I first got a HL StuG. I thought that I could have a Tamiya quality after the appropriate amount of cash and time was invested. I eventually ended un building an aluminum hull support, installing a traverse servo, quick disconnect hull, 2.4 system, DBC and Benedini with Visation speaker, as well as a whole host of upgrades and custom work, including brass schurzen and waffle zim.

    It's nice, fully Tamiya compatible but probably cost the same or more than Tamiya when all is said and done. It's usually in need of some tinkering or maintenance and is certainly tempermental. By contrast, my kids use my 10 year old Tamiya Tiger I and M4 which mechanically I have done nothing to since building (inot even greasing the gears) and they still just go. Put in a fresh battery, stick on the TBU a drive away using the same Futaba Attack Tx.

    To me, it's like a sports car. You can go out and buy a new killer car and drive around enjoying it or you can buy an older one and build it the way you want. But if you want it to as good as a new car, you're going to spend a lot of time and money and it'll still never be as reliable or worth as much.

    Either way is cool with me, Aston Martin or a '66 Malibu SS convertible.
    What, me worry?

  8. #8

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    Fair points all.........

    In terms of teh future of the hobby however, battling or not, we better hope that Heng Longs stick around....because an entry price point to a hobby of close to a grand is surely a death sentence.

    Nobody takes up tennis and decides to buy the best racquet they can lay their hands on.

    p


  9. #9
    ausf's Avatar
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?


    ORIGINAL: lposter


    Nobody takes up tennis and decides to buy the best racquet they can lay their hands on.

    p


    No, but many would be musicians are turned off by 'entry' level instruments that are unplayable.



    It's really about quality control for HL. Same thing happens with RC planes. Tons of people fall for the cheap 'beginner' planes that inevitably end in disaster, driving potential enthusiasts away. Out of 4 HLs, I have yet to have one in perfect condition or function properly out of the box. It's okay because I can deal with it, but I bet for every one of me, there's 10 out there that either return it or stick it on a shelf, never to try again.
    What, me worry?

  10. #10

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    If Tamiya makes a particular model, I will hold off and buy Tamiya. If they dont, such as the PZIII, Sturmtiger, ect, then I will look into HL or Matorro and then build them up. The cheapest I have ever seen a Tamiya Tiger go for, even built, is $400. Usually they hold around $500 as everybody knows the electronics is where the cost is. Just looking at a Tamiya and the HL in a side by side comparo, it is obvious that Tamiya is 10 times better. I have heard, "Tamiya is a kit, HL's are toys"....My sons have HL's, I have Tamiyas.
    Tamiya-King Tiger (H), Tiger, Pershing, Sherman, Panther G, PZIV, Leopard 2A6. Hybrid Tamiya/Matorro-Jagdtiger, Sturmtiger. Taigen-PZIII (metal). Hooben-Elefant. In the works-Lowe and E-100

  11. #11
    Panther F's Avatar
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?


    ORIGINAL: ausf


    ORIGINAL: lposter


    Nobody takes up tennis and decides to buy the best racquet they can lay their hands on.

    p


    No, but many would be musicians are turned off by 'entry' level instruments that are unplayable.



    It's really about quality control for HL. Same thing happens with RC planes. Tons of people fall for the cheap 'beginner' planes that inevitably end in disaster, driving potential enthusiasts away. Out of 4 HLs, I have yet to have one in perfect condition or function properly out of the box. It's okay because I can deal with it, but I bet for every one of me, there's 10 out there that either return it or stick it on a shelf, never to try again.


    You're darn right we want HL to stick around, they have their act together now with some quality RTR's that are not available in the Tamiya line.

    But I do not believe it will be a death sentence to the hobby if they disappear... it will just mean the entry level will be gone and it will become more expensive for everyone to continue. But like the 1/18 collectable line that has almost all but left the market, people will still have them to trade and sell and modify but it will go on.

    My Shermans depend on that. [X(]














    ~ Jeff
    STILL building 1/16 scale RC tanks.

  12. #12
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    If you are just driving your tank around, the tanks from china are fine. If you want to be a member of a club and ir battle, then the tanks from china are fine if thats what everyone else is using. If someone shows up with a tamiya tank.......wellthings are a little different, you are now in abar fight with one foot in a bucket madein china.If that person with the tamiya tank as added some upgrades like sealed bearings and larger motors.....younow have2 feet in a bucket made in china. You can have fun but you areat a disadvantage. I knowthere are people out there that will tell you that their heng long fights "as well" as a tamiya....fight with the tank and thenfight with a tamiya and the topic becomesa non topic imo.

    I would not get a lepard thought, not a good fighter and some real design issues.

    btw, if you are selling a tamiya tank for 200, please post it up....it will sell....fast.
    That which does not destroy me just makes me more irritable

  13. #13

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?


    ORIGINAL: ausf


    ORIGINAL: lposter


    Nobody takes up tennis and decides to buy the best racquet they can lay their hands on.

    p


    No, but many would be musicians are turned off by 'entry' level instruments that are unplayable.



    It's really about quality control for HL. Same thing happens with RC planes. Tons of people fall for the cheap 'beginner' planes that inevitably end in disaster, driving potential enthusiasts away. Out of 4 HLs, I have yet to have one in perfect condition or function properly out of the box. It's okay because I can deal with it, but I bet for every one of me, there's 10 out there that either return it or stick it on a shelf, never to try again.
    true true....but probably just as many are turned off by buying non-entry level instruments that they then find they have to assemble themselves and then find that they have to purchase even more stuff just to use!

    An important point is that innovation is being driven from the bottom.......more and more variants of HL are being produced.....Taigen etc.

    None are coming from Tamiya......there are no slightly less expensive Tamiya derived models appearing.

    But plenty of upgraded HL's.

    So one could argue that the appearance of cheap Chinese tanks has opened up an entire midlevel market as well. Tamiya cannot be said to have engendered that development at all.


    Nor is Tamiya as bullet proof as is being argued....there are a number of threads with people having Tamiya trouble too.....and I suspect that there are more, but the chap who has built a Tamiya kit is probably savvy enough to fix them himself. Without going to a forum.

    I dont think Tamiya is irrelevant....they are, in the scheme of things, higher end tanks.

    But I dont think that the economy or the market is such that they can maintain their level of popularity forever while charging a grand for a tank you have to build yourself.

    Its just illogical to assume they can.

    Or maybe the economy in the states isnt as bad as it appears to be over here.

    p

  14. #14

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    Nobody here posted that Tamiya tanks are perfect.
    Of course there are defects/problems, and gearboxes get toasted during intense battling.
    In fact, I have witnessed several problems including failed MF and DMD boards, just not on my tanks.
    However, there is another HUGE difference between the 2 brands, Tamiya has a lifetime warrantee on electronics.
    I know several guys who have mailed in failed units to Tamiya USAHQ in California and received a new one free of charge.
    These boards retail for $200.



  15. #15
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    A grand for a tank you have to build yourself? How about a grand for a tank with metal floors, metal bushings at all the suspension points and in side the wheels, real gearboxes than are not made out of beer cans....you know why no major retailers sell heng long? Because there quality control is nothing short of a joke.

    You know what heng long really has to worry about? If tamiya leaves the hobby, they will have no justifcation for making such a poor out of the box product for more than a $100 bucks. People just shrug off the hl tank that eats it gear box in under a week as "at lease its not as much as a tamiya"....Really?....
    That which does not destroy me just makes me more irritable

  16. #16

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    This discussion isnt just about Heng Long though now is it?

    Its the wide range of mid-level tanks available - whether or not they are based on HLor not.

    Its illogical and disingenuous to compare the vanilla HL of 6 years ago against a Tamiya.

    Start comparing Tamiya for a grand (or 800 euros) against the customised tanks from rctank.de or any other provider that go for 400 euros or so and the distinction is not so clear at all.

    And to round off.....Ive never had a HLtank with an upgrade gearbox for 60 euro "eat its gears".

    The fact remains....... you can get a good tank with metal tracks, good gears, that runs reliably out of the box for a price that is still well under that of a Tamiya.

    Its not my fault.....its the way it is.

    p

  17. #17
    Panther F's Avatar
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    It's the old adage... The glass is either half full or half empty.














    ~ Jeff
    STILL building 1/16 scale RC tanks.

  18. #18

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    I do think a point is being missed, If you can afford  the best you buy the Tamiya, but then what? A lot of us can afford a Tamiya but prefer the Heng Long and its cousins because of the modelling challenge it presents. You can modify to your hearts content limited only by your pocketbook,. and having the satisfaction of being the owner of something you built and that is unique, it has to be said that this hobby would be even more " out there " if Heng Long had not produced its less than perfect offerings.

  19. #19
    Panther F's Avatar
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    Even Tamiya has their faults... thank gawd for the aftermarket world.














    ~ Jeff
    STILL building 1/16 scale RC tanks.

  20. #20

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    Agood point made above.

    Tamiya vs vanilla Heng Long from 6 years ago - no contest

    Tamiya vs any of the mid-range tanks available today, based on HL or not - not clear cut by a long shot.

    Just was on Mark-1-tanks to check prices. Over 1000 dollars for most tamiya kits. Plus another 250 dollars for metal tracks.

    1250 USD for one tank.

    I could have 3 non-Tamiya tanks for the same price, with all the metal Ican handle. Inclduing a nice100% metal Pz III.

    For me its not a hard decision.......

    p

  21. #21

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    Firstly a Tamiya isn't $1000 unless its a leopard. Second even impact tracks (arguably the best) are $130-140 tops. So that's one thing. 

    I have the leopard and the only issue I had was with the idler adjusters not having fine adjustments possible. Fixed with a £30 upgrade. People who crack the suspension arms tend to have them screwed in too tight. My Leo runs great on all surfaces, has the best Tamiya sounds, nifty lighting etc. Also you can rebuild the entire tu for £20. Worst case scenario. I can understand the gripes on the plastic components on such an expensive kit, but it's also the biggest and has the bed power to weight which gives it excellent handling.
    Tamiya:leopard 2a6, king tiger, Porsche king tiger, panther g, jagdpanther. Hooben: elefant, t-55. HL panther f, Jagdpanther

  22. #22

    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    I'm selling my new Tiger full option kit and I cant get half of what its worth
    To the OP, Tamiya Tiger 1 kits sell new at hobby shops for $675.00. I think you could have gotten more than 1/2 of that price for your Tiger 1 kit from nearly anyone on this forum.

  23. #23
    Rebellion13's Avatar
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    I will add my 2c. I have given myself a "sort of" limit, at $500 per tank. My view is this, I want to have at least one Tamiya, but I can vary my limit, hmm you ask well how does Wade do that with a limit he has set. For instance I can get a HL Pershing w/ metal tracks and add a clark board <$300 total....$200 hundred shy of the $500 limit. Next tank....tamiya tiger (new version) $700 or $200 over limit.... Following me lol. I will continue to buy both. To the OP my view is what you want it for? I used to look at the prices and be thrown off until I was more involved and then noticed quality "lifetime warranty" etc. I will be building a mato Sherman to be robust enough for battle, when its all said and done my total will be more then a tamiya..... But it will be fun.

    Cheers
    Wade
    N.E.A.D Member
    All my tanks are in the project stage

  24. #24
    ausf's Avatar
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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

    I'm not arguing that one route to a finished product is better than the other, I was simply stating the justification for Tamiya and the issues of entry level without help.

    My analogy to musical instruments is based in fact. I can walk in any music store and pick up a $300 bass that I'd struggle to get a good sound out of and I've been playing for over 30 years. There are literally dozens of instruments for sale at any give time around here that parents have bought for their kids who lost interest. This past summer, I bought one for $70 (with an amp, the thing was never touched) just for laughs. I pulled the frets, dressed and adjusted the neck and went over the wiring. Right now my son is using it daily and it sounds and plays around the $500-600 level. If I put a new bridge and pickup, it would rival $1200 basses.

    So whether you buy a $1200 bass new or put some work and money into $70 used one, if you end up sounding and playing the same, it's all good.

    Tamiya 1/16 can be found for under $500, not necessarily $1000 and both of mine still run the stock tracks with no problems. My 11 year old is vitually unbeatable with the M4 and my 13 year old is pretty handy with the Tiger I. In our last battle, he rolled it off a 3 foot wall, it bounced off a rock, landed upright and he still beat my HL StuG.
    What, me worry?

  25. #25

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    RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?


    ORIGINAL: tomhugill

    Firstly a Tamiya isn't $1000 unless its a leopard. Second even impact tracks (arguably the best) are $130-140 tops. So that's one thing.

    I have the leopard and the only issue I had was with the idler adjusters not having fine adjustments possible. Fixed with a £30 upgrade. People who crack the suspension arms tend to have them screwed in too tight. My Leo runs great on all surfaces, has the best Tamiya sounds, nifty lighting etc. Also you can rebuild the entire tu for £20. Worst case scenario. I can understand the gripes on the plastic components on such an expensive kit, but it's also the biggest and has the bed power to weight which gives it excellent handling.
    Im afraidf you are wrong there Tom...

    AS I said, at mark-1-tank, Tamiya kits are 635 pounds sterling. http://www.mark-1-tank.co.uk/tamiya-...tank-kits.html

    That is, as of today, 991.76 dollars. So on that, you are wrong as Ispecifically said I was at Mark-1 tanks. At the same site, metal tarcks for these kits are 145 pounds which is about 220 dollars. So you are in error again. The leopard is actually 770 pounds or 1200 dollars.

    AT Tank zone, the Tamiya kits are are 649 pounds or over 1000 dollars. As an example: http://www.tankzone.co.uk/cart/tamiya_16.htm

    Metal tracks are 129.99 http://www.tankzone.co.uk/cart/tam_t1.htm which is 204 dollars.



    So...to sum up, contrary to what you assert, tamiya kits are 1000 dollars from two of teh larger retailers in the UK:

    Tracks for them are in excess of 200 dolars.

    And Ihavent counted VATor postage.

    P




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