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Tamiya JGSDF Type 10 Build and Review

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Old 06-11-2015, 11:32 AM
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diablo2112
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Default Tamiya JGSDF Type 10 Build and Review

Edit: see this post for a modification to stiffen the suspension on the Type 10.

Review:

For my stay-cation this week (I just turned 50) I sat down to build the new Tamiya JGSDF Type 10 1/16 RC tank. I’ve built several prior Tamiya kits, including the magnificent Leopard 2A6, and consider that tank the best of the kits released by Tamiya. I had high-hopes for the Type 10, as it included the Leopard’s superior gearbox, turret bearing, servo gun elevation, and recoil motor. Not only that, the Type 10 added a gun bearing and elevation hold capability to the control boards. So, off we go.

As you’ll see, this kit has issues – major issues – and its evident to me that Tamiya cost-cutting has negatively influenced this new offering. There is much potential here, but Tamiya cut costs so severally, they undercut this new kit, and it shows in both the build and final product (well, at least as far as I got – see my notes).

Kit packing is not quite typical Tamiya. Where the Leopard has a beautiful folder for the instructions, and many parts on display in the box, the Type 10 has only a few bits shown, and just the plain manual in the bottom of the box. Not many display windows, either, and things are just thrown all in one big compartment in the box.

The manual is disappointing. It’s single-color printed (most Tamiya manuals I’ve built have 2-color; the blue guides in various steps.). There were 2 errata sheets included, and they needed more. I found several errors in the manual during the build. Disappointingly, the parts list isn’t a separate sheet, but printed in the back of the manual. This meant much paging back and forth.

Contrary to what the manual says, the kit includes mostly bushings. The manual and parts list shows bearings throughout, and I read this carefully before ordering, as I always go full-bearing on a build. I was surprised to find mostly bushings, and with my vacation starting, no time to order additional bearings.



Plastic injections in this kit were of varied quality. This is stunning to me, as Tamiya injection moldings have long been the standard in high-end production kits. The K-sprue had a very brittle plastic, and the plastic on many sprues would whiten significantly with any strain. Sprue injection points were not as carefully choosen as many Tamiya kits. For example, the little body parts on the B-sprue attach at the point most-visible on assembly. Many sprues are ABS plastic, including various greebles, and this makes gluing a bit more tricky. I had to use my specialty ABS glues or CA for various little bits.

I was missing lots of hardware from my kit. In particular, the “B” hardware bag was very short on many screws and bolts, so much that I called Tamiya to order an entire new B hardware bag. In the meantime, I scrounged from other kits and made a trip to the hobby store to pick up what I could.

The tracks on this kit are really, really flimsy. Markedly so compared to every other Tamiya Tank I’ve built. I really worry if they’ll hold up under use. They look pretty thin as well, as does the whole suspension. The suspension is new in this kit, and its incredibly soft. So soft, the tank doesn’t sit level more of the time. You can reposition the whole tanks just pressing down from the top. Wheels are plastic, and there’s no rubber. Cheapness abounds here, in everything except the cast-metal suspension arms. Everything else in the rolling chassis appears to have been engineered to save costs.



Track tension adjustment is almost unusable. It’s a hex shaft on the idle arm, which matches a hex cutout in the frame. That’s it. You can rotate it 60 degrees. No fine adjustment at all. No doubt cheap to make, but disappointing again.





There are other curious choices here. You glue dozens of these tiny bits to the body, which could just as easily have been molded on. (and the parts are ABS, required special glues again).



Not all is terrible. The kit includes the magnificent new gearbox from the Leopard, though even here it doesn’t have the metal end-plates which serve to lock the transmission case closed. The plastic hubs fit over these plates to lock them down. And, to install this gearbox, they have ugly cutouts in the aluminum tub. The instructions have you cover this with fabric tape from the inside. Really. Just cheap. Not parts to cover the holes, and I would worry about dust/debris smashing through this cutout and tearing the tape after any kind of outdoor run.





The speaker box appears well built, and cable management is excellent. The volume control is on the main board in the lower hull, and access to this is very tricky. Fortunately, the new control board allows adjustment of the volume (up to the maximum set on the control board) by RC transmitter.



I chose the stock color scheme in JGSDF green and brown. There is a color pamplet to show the camo pattern.





Lighting is much more direct LED with only a few fibers. The new fiber optic material is much more flexible, almost jello-soft. It’s still a bit tricky to get all the lighting installed in the lower hull. Another disappointment, they’ve eliminated the flash-tube barrel lighting. It’s now a simple LED. Too bad.

The front piece is attached by magnets, to allow access to the (worthless) idle wheel tension adjustment. I tried to get a close fit with the magnets, but there’s still a pretty large gap. Not a fan of this system. Would prefer a traditional screw to keep it all gap-free and tight.





There’s lots more room in the turret in this model, cable management is a breeze. Turret bearing, rotation, and recoil are all the same as the Leopard 2A6.





I finally got all the electronic bits installed, and ready to test! Went to power on the board and…. NO POWER SWITCH! What? I looked closely, and my board is broken. I looked carefully in the shipping bag, and found the little switch parts in the bottom of the bag. This is fatal. No way to turn on the board, no way to test. ANOTHER e-mail to Tamiya, and I’ve ordered a warranty replacement. The lack of housings on these boards is the direct cause of this, and how it came apart in transit, I don’t know. The switch is uber-flimsy, and I would guess when it was packaged up, it came apart. Again, cost cutting here rears its ugly head.





So, I’ve suspended the build pending 1) receipt of more hardware, and 2) receipt of the new control board. For a $1000 showpiece kit in Tamiya’s lineup, this kit is a very mixed bag. Cost cutting shows everywhere, and it’s caused a number of problems as you can see, above.

The Type 10 in no-way is as good as the Leopard 2A6. If you’re going to build modern armor and want a 1/16 Tamiya kit, the Leopard is clearly the way to go. I’d consider the Type 10 only if you want something different, and understand that this new kit has inferior engineering done in the name of cheapness. I doubt it will hold up well in outdoor battle use.

Overall, quite disappointed with this kit. The fragility of various bits shows during construction. My kit had missing and broken parts, enough to prevent my even testing the setup. The fragile tracks, flimsy suspension, and use of tape (!) to cover key bits can’t be good for long-term robustness in tank battles.

Last edited by diablo2112; 06-15-2015 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:37 PM
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MAUS45
 
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diablo2112, thanks for the detailed review. Sorry to see this kit fall short, but thanks for showing us the issues. So unlike Tamiya's past kits!!!
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:48 PM
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diablo2112
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update:

Rather than wait who-knows-how-long for the replacement board to arrive from Tamiya, I closely examined the busted power switch. Pretty quickly figured out it was a DPDT momentary contact switch. So, I soldered up a bunch lead wires under the board (major pain; the board was silicon dipped and my 50-year old eyesight and steady hands aren't what they used to be). Soldered in a DPDT momentary switch, and it fired right up. No good place for the switch yet, but at least I can test things out and keep building.



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Old 06-11-2015, 06:05 PM
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Very nice and thank you for the informative, work in progress, build report.

Unboxing, I agree, the kit is certainly not up to Tamiya's previous packaging efforts, as you aptly describe. Sloppy and uncaring are two words that come to mind. And from what I have observed in my kit, so far, it is a near galaxy away in parts quality compared to my epic (Daryl Turner collaboration) built Leopard 2A6 kit.

Today, I am considering deleting the TBU from my Type 10 build and replacing it with the two Tamiya Type 10 crew figures (now on hand) and call this build a mobile rc shelf queen.

I got my kit from Banzai Hobby for $850.00 delivered and even so, my kit disappointment is kinda simmering. Though, I will not know for sure how good a runner it is until it is built. Why?

I can wait to continue my build to see if the aftermarket kicks in to correct Tamiya's under engineered solutions like the idler setup and plastic road wheels etc. Or as I did with the KV-1 build, retro fit corrective performance parts. None the less, I will build and render the Type 10 very well. Whether my Type 10 will be a keeper remains to be determined.

Again, excellent report observations and photos.

John
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:21 AM
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Thank you for the really detailed build review. I am not a Tamiya fan, and this new release confirms my beliefs.
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:27 AM
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Thanks for the heads up! Wow what a disappointment, Tamiya should know better.

Then again Tamiya had KW looking over their shoulder for the 2A6 (typical Germans), maybe JGSDF had no interest in helping out.

Hope Tamiya is not on their way out with RC tanks, I mean the competition is eating their lunch!
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:35 AM
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What far is this of the Tiger and Pershing concept that made a milestone in its day. Great minds make big mistakes.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:55 AM
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Thank you for the review. I did enjoy reading it. So, basically that is the only electronics board in the tank?
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:41 PM
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A few more pics and comments. Got the tank working and driving. The suspension is ridiculously soft, and the tank hits the suspension stops constantly. Its so soft, just accelerating from a stop is enough to compress the rear to the stops, and this loosens the tracks to the point of severe sag. The tank is just barely driveable; clearly, something has to be done to stiffen the stock suspension. I'll think about how to do this, and I'm sure an aftermarket solution will come along. (Edit: see first post for a link to a mod which fixes this problem).

The photo etch is decent in this kit, and the basket looks nice. Not a difficult build, just a bit time consuming. Overall, this kit builds more quickly than the 2A6.

The turret heading-hold is pretty cool and works well. Move the left stick trim to the left, flick the control stick full left, and it engages with a beep. From this point, the main canon will stay pointed in the direction you set, no matter which way the main body is facing. You can move the turret in this mode with the left stick, and it will then follow to the new position you set. I can see this being real handy in tank battles.

Here's a few more pics, pretty much self explanatory. Just finished the base camo scheme, and starting to weather/finish things up, staring with the machine gun.












Last edited by diablo2112; 06-15-2015 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:46 PM
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:13 PM
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Max-U52
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Excellent paint work. Bravo!
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:19 AM
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Thanks for sharing the photos. Like the size compairison. I didn't think the JGSDF Type 10 would be as big a the Leopard 2A6.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:30 PM
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real life example which I lifted the weathering from:


Last edited by diablo2112; 06-15-2015 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:53 AM
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Great work on this and thanks for the review. Think I'll give this one a miss as the cost of this kit and the terrible quality issues you have raised make this a no - go for me.
I hope Tamiya hav'nt dropped the ball on RC tank quality. After all, this aint a cheap kit...............

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Old 07-27-2015, 07:03 AM
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I have finally put the tank together and tested it at Danville. It was a very good battle tank and am pleased to inform you all that the lag shot is no longer registering in the new electronics of the Type 10. From the 1 day of battle, I did not encounter too many shots did register or put out. However the only thing I did notice is there is a little intertia or delay in movement. I didn't see anywhere in the operations manual that allowed us to adjust this. Anyone else know how we can eliminate this?
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:27 PM
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The delay in moving off didn't bother us that much. If u go full throttle at stationary, the delay is more noticeable. If u use lesser throttle, the tank moves off nicely.

Did u have ZERO problems landing yr shots on other tanks?
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by dlobmwm3 View Post
I have finally put the tank together and tested it at Danville. It was a very good battle tank and am pleased to inform you all that the lag shot is no longer registering in the new electronics of the Type 10. From the 1 day of battle, I did not encounter too many shots did register or put out. However the only thing I did notice is there is a little intertia or delay in movement. I didn't see anywhere in the operations manual that allowed us to adjust this. Anyone else know how we can eliminate this?
Did you specifically test the lagshot with another tank for this effect, or was this 'in-battle' observation?

If this is legal now (at Danville), then this is a game changer for sure!
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Old 07-28-2015, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dlobmwm3 View Post
I have finally put the tank together and tested it at Danville. It was a very good battle tank and am pleased to inform you all that the lag shot is no longer registering in the new electronics of the Type 10. From the 1 day of battle, I did not encounter too many shots did register or put out. However the only thing I did notice is there is a little intertia or delay in movement. I didn't see anywhere in the operations manual that allowed us to adjust this. Anyone else know how we can eliminate this?
Can you go more in depth with the lag shot? Do the new electronics somehow only register part of the 1 second pulse? Do the new electronics not emit a full 1 second pulse either? Otherwise not sure what your seeing that would negate the lag shot.
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Old 07-28-2015, 05:44 AM
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I would not say our 'Type 10 experiments with the lag shot' were exactly scientific.
I noticed during game play that I could not seem to land a lag on it, so after a battle we tried several times.
He could land one on me, but not the other way around.
We kinda jumped to this conclusion, so I think further testing on multiple T10's is necessary to confirm.
Plus, since they have had so many issues with it taking hits in Asia, we were already half expecting for something to be wrong or different.

We did not measure the pulse, but I'm sure a T10 owner could do that easily and tell us more.

In general, the tank was challenging to hit.
Whether it was the speed, the profile, or something different about the electronics I cannot say.

I also wouldn't say this is a 'game change' since this is the only tank that (maybe) has this.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:05 AM
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We set up an experiment, where we placed four tanks in a row facing one tank. We alternated WW2 tanks with Type 10 - we have two in the club. I performed a sweep shot from approximately 3 feet away and only the WW2 tanks received hits. The Type 10s did not register hits. It behaved similar to the fan ban video on YouTube that is made by heavyaslead.

We suspect that the Type 10 requires a longer sustained stream of IR code to register a hit. While that makes it harder to hit, the Type 10 in our club remains unpredictable when it comes to firing upon other tanks. The owners are speaking with the respective vendors who sold them their tanks regarding technical support from Tamiya Japan.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:41 AM
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Pretty interesting, The 2A6 is still difficult to hit sometimes due to it's speed and profile but once you get a hit on her it's literally drive circles around it till ya kill it. Do the new electronics have the same 1 second pause
on all functions after taking a hit?
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:06 AM
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Hey Leong!
We missed you at the last battleday.

Requiring a longer sustained hit makes sense of the lag shot and making it hard to hit.
We did not notice much of an issue with the 3m defense-distance.

I also don't think it pauses when hit.

As indicated by the OP, the suspension does sag when it starts and stops.
I liked the way it looked as it appeared to throw it's weight around like the real thing.
But I can't speak to how it handled.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:31 AM
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No pause. You can escape as needed now Brett.
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by dlobmwm3 View Post
No pause. You can escape as needed now Brett.
Good to know.
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:09 PM
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Thanks for the shout out, Dave. I miss you guys too. For all the issues that the Type 10 had, it drives pretty nicely, pitches and rolls like a real tank does, If you take a video and slow it down 50% it looks real nice. At full health, its as hard to catch as Danny's T-34/76! I plan to buy it when it becomes available again, but with a T-55 and M1 in the works, I am in no hurry to lay my hands on it yet.

Its funny how I quoted the distance in feet and you quoted it in meters.
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