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Taigen JS-2 initial impressions

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Old 03-31-2019, 06:17 AM
  #1  
Dusty Steppes
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Default Taigen JS-2 initial impressions

I am not affiliated with Taigen in any way, shape, or form. I am just another that suffers from the addiction of rc tanks.
I had preordered this back in February and recently received it. Here are my first impressions.
This thing is a beast. It weighs in at 14.2 lbs and it came extremely well packaged, probably in an attempt to protect it from the gorillas that handle it during shipment. That being said there was some slight damage to one of the sides of the box as if it had been dropped. Upon opening the box I did note some minor damage. The fender mounted tool box was no longer attached, one of the exterior fuel tank mounts was cracked, and the machinegun on the turret rear was broken. The fuel tank and tool box were easily repaired with some glue.
The machineguns are a clear plastic that are installed prior to shipping. I used a sharpie to give them a darker color. If they came as separate parts that the customer could install there would be less of a chance of damage during shipment.
The internal space is extremely narrow and the motors are almost touching. I would recommend inspecting the wiring and capacitors on the the transmissions for clearance from the gears prior to running as I did find one of the capacitors was physically touching one of the gears. This was easily addressed by gently bending it up but I will be checking this on a regular basis as preventative maintenance.
The power switch is in a poor location. It is located under the engine deck hatch and is inaccessible unless you manually rotate the turret which causes an awful noise as the clutch slips.
The smoker works great on this. I am not a fan of smokers but this thing is proportional and when filled with megasteam fluid it really produces. I usually discard the smoker but I am contemplating keeping this one.
The mfu has a switch to disable the track recoil.
The latch for holding the hull open is a definite plus but hinge pin on the back of the hull would look better if it was blackened.
The road wheels and idlers appear to have bearings.
The paint job is pretty good but I am not a fan of the weathering.
The suspension responds extremely well and appears to support the tank but I will be storing this on a raised block due to its weight.
The gun elevation was a slightly jerking when the cannon elevated but I remedied that by adding a drop of lubrication to each side of the mantle and cycling the barrel up and down. I did notice a small spot on the top of mantle became bare metal after doing this.
There are some some excellent details on the hull and it runs extremely well.
Overall I am very pleased with this. Taigen has definitely stepped up their game with this tank.










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Old 03-31-2019, 07:24 AM
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Another nice model by taigen.
I wonder though, why does the flat rolled armor have casting texture? I know nothing of soviet armor so maybe they cast flat armor for the tank. Or is it just really thick paint? If its supposed to be smooth rolled armor, bummer. If its supposed to be cast armor, good for them for replicating it.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
Another nice model by taigen.
I wonder though, why does the flat rolled armor have casting texture? I know nothing of soviet armor so maybe they cast flat armor for the tank. Or is it just really thick paint? If its supposed to be smooth rolled armor, bummer. If its supposed to be cast armor, good for them for replicating it.
I'm not sure about the armor either but it does give a somewhat crude appearance to the model.

Here's a video of a walk around of an earlier model of the JS-2:
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:13 PM
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Yeah thats juat roled plate armor. Sad. If your a detail and asthetics person, probably go for the tamiya for this tank.
That texture jumped right out at me in your photos. I would not buy a sherman model if it had that texture all over the plate armor.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:41 PM
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Dusty Steppes
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I agree with you on the armor. I am not a rivet counter. I am satisfied as long as a model is a close facsimile of the real thing, runs well and easy to maintain.
Here's a video of a later model JS-2 and the armor is similar to the first video although it appears to be equipped with KV tracks.
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Old 03-31-2019, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
Another nice model by taigen.
I wonder though, why does the flat rolled armor have casting texture? I know nothing of soviet armor so maybe they cast flat armor for the tank. Or is it just really thick paint? If its supposed to be smooth rolled armor, bummer. If its supposed to be cast armor, good for them for replicating it.
They did produce cast straight nose versions. Pretty sure my tamiya had cast texture too.
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tomhugill View Post
They did produce cast straight nose versions. Pretty sure my tamiya had cast texture too.
Yes they did. Russian Tanks 1900-1970 ISBN: 0-88365-052-5 states on page 123 John Milson describes how the JS series differed from the KV series that they were developed from. "The hull nose was made in a single casting, and the upper and lower tail plates were made from single plates, each sloped at approximately 45į. Previous tanks of this type had the armour at the front of the driver made of a flat, slanted plate running from side to side, but on this tank a shaped casting was used."
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:59 PM
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Tomhugill,
Do you have a Taigen JS-2 and if so can you tell me if the rings on the two rear hatches are movable like the rings on the engine deck hatch?
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:45 PM
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Another thing worth noting. The muzzle flash does not use a xenon bulb. It appears to be an smd led unit. I suspect this will have a lesser current draw than the xenon style which may or may not lead to a slightly longer run time.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Dusty Steppes View Post
Another thing worth noting. The muzzle flash does not use a xenon bulb. It appears to be an smd led unit. I suspect this will have a lesser current draw than the xenon style which may or may not lead to a slightly longer run time.
I ordered a couple new flash units awhile back and was surprised to see the change. The whole package is smaller.
I asked Erik about it and these were his comments.

"Also yea the IR flasher changed a bit ago due to me complaining about the high voltage needed to charge the old Xenon bulb. It was around 380V lol! The LED flasher is smaller too and easier to get in and out of the barrels versus the old one. Nothing special other than that, just safer and smaller, the function is the same."

Enjoy,
Shad
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:52 AM
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I'm glad you are enjoying it! Please send me an email or a PM with the broken pieces ok? It looks like you already fixed it but I still want to see what I can do about making that right. I always got you guys As for the paint I didn't choose this one so yea the weathering is a bit much. For some reason they seem to always over weather IMO the tanks when we are gonna add some natural weathering immediately
The LED was changed for a few reasons but safety and smaller form factor was the leading change. Oh and the two rear rings do not move like the engine hatch door rings btw.
I have noted a few things here and will be talking with them soon actually. I am ALWAYS interested in packing, that is something I'm working on pretty hard with a lot of products outside of Taigen too. This is the first round of shipping and shipping can get rough sometimes so I do expect some issues here and there. However we have always taken care of you guys so just give me a PM or email (preferably email) and I'll get you taken care of asap.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:19 AM
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Good looking tank (being a big Russian tank fan too) and Erik is right, a bit of over weathering BUT... the basis is laid down and it can be modified. The hinging of the upper hull is so cool!

I like the look of the WSN T-34's white paint application and how it gave the illusion of 'dripping paint' some but overall I do like this!
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Panther F View Post
Good looking tank (being a big Russian tank fan too) and Erik is right, a bit of over weathering BUT... the basis is laid down and it can be modified. The hinging of the upper hull is so cool!

I like the look of the WSN T-34's white paint application and how it gave the illusion of 'dripping paint' some but overall I do like this!
What I would love to see is the PIV winter scheme we just got done on the JS-2. That would be super nice. I'll look into that one first...
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dusty Steppes View Post
Tomhugill,
Do you have a Taigen JS-2 and if so can you tell me if the rings on the two rear hatches are movable like the rings on the engine deck hatch?
I had one but sold it on, I'll see if I can dig out the photos
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:56 PM
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Tanks for the preview Dusty. Mine is to arrive on Wednesday, I hope.

Too bad about the damage, I hope mine fares better.

Did the tank come with the leads to connect a hobby grade receiver? Just curious, though I do have a set from a defunct V2 MFU.

Are the sounds appropriate for the JS2?? I will be experimenting with an aftermarket speaker just to see if it gets better.....can't wait!!

Jerry Rude
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:04 PM
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Does anyone know if an ISU-152 version will be coming out anytime soon? Thatís the one Iím most interested in.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Lotuswins View Post
Tanks for the preview Dusty. Mine is to arrive on Wednesday, I hope.

Too bad about the damage, I hope mine fares better.

Did the tank come with the leads to connect a hobby grade receiver? Just curious, though I do have a set from a defunct V2 MFU.

Are the sounds appropriate for the JS2?? I will be experimenting with an aftermarket speaker just to see if it gets better.....can't wait!!

Jerry Rude
The damage was minor, more than likely caused by the shipper as it was all on the left side of the tank and one side of the box had some damage.

It did come with leads and a jumper for using a hobby grade radio. The instructions describe 6 channels
1 steering
2 throttle
3 firing/elevation
4 turret rotation
5 engine on/off
6 main mother trim
Nothing is listed about the machineguns or smoker on/off. If these require another two channels there is no way to connect them and if these are done with channel mixing there is no mention of it.

If connectivity is required why is it not provided and if mixing is needed what channel mixing gives you the results are questions that need to be answered.

The sounds are a vast improvement over the earlier sounds that Taigen used. I would say the quality is pretty close to, if not as good as a TK22.

I do strongly recommend inspecting the transmissions to make sure no wires or components are touching the gears and that power leads on the motors are not shorted against the neighboring transmission. It is a very tight fit in the rear of the tank.
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Panther F View Post
Good looking tank (being a big Russian tank fan too) and Erik is right, a bit of over weathering BUT... the basis is laid down and it can be modified. The hinging of the upper hull is so cool!

I like the look of the WSN T-34's white paint application and how it gave the illusion of 'dripping paint' some but overall I do like this!
Thank Daryl Turner for the great idea on the hinge
Originally Posted by Lotuswins View Post
Tanks for the preview Dusty. Mine is to arrive on Wednesday, I hope.
Too bad about the damage, I hope mine fares better.
Did the tank come with the leads to connect a hobby grade receiver? Just curious, though I do have a set from a defunct V2 MFU.
Are the sounds appropriate for the JS2?? I will be experimenting with an aftermarket speaker just to see if it gets better.....can't wait!!
Jerry Rude
Remember, if you have a problem send me an email and I make sure you are taken care of. To answer your questions: yes it doe come with a hobby wiring kit and does have JS-2 sounds
Originally Posted by Remington PSS View Post
Does anyone know if an ISU-152 version will be coming out anytime soon? Thatís the one Iím most interested in.
Don't have that one on the radar but It wouldn't be too terrible to do.... There are a few others being worked on now, this next one I'm hoping will be done asap....
Originally Posted by Dusty Steppes View Post
The damage was minor, more than likely caused by the shipper as it was all on the left side of the tank and one side of the box had some damage.
It did come with leads and a jumper for using a hobby grade radio. The instructions describe 6 channels
1 steering
2 throttle
3 firing/elevation
4 turret rotation
5 engine on/off
6 main mother trim
Nothing is listed about the machineguns or smoker on/off. If these require another two channels there is no way to connect them and if these are done with channel mixing there is no mention of it.
If connectivity is required why is it not provided and if mixing is needed what channel mixing gives you the results are questions that need to be answered.
The sounds are a vast improvement over the earlier sounds that Taigen used. I would say the quality is pretty close to, if not as good as a TK22.
I do strongly recommend inspecting the transmissions to make sure no wires or components are touching the gears and that power leads on the motors are not shorted against the neighboring transmission. It is a very tight fit in the rear of the tank.
Yea unfortunately you do lose MG control and the ability to turn on/off the smoke unit with an aftermarket TX. If you need a bypass cable for the smoker so you can add the switch again I've included a picture below. This will still give you the proportional on/off from the motherboard but will give you back the switch for a manual on/off control of the unit if you use your own TX. The MG however is lost on a hobby TX. Just out of curiosity how important is the MG to you guys?
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Imex-Erik View Post
Thank Daryl Turner for the great idea on the hinge

Remember, if you have a problem send me an email and I make sure you are taken care of. To answer your questions: yes it doe come with a hobby wiring kit and does have JS-2 sounds

Don't have that one on the radar but It wouldn't be too terrible to do.... There are a few others being worked on now, this next one I'm hoping will be done asap....

Yea unfortunately you do lose MG control and the ability to turn on/off the smoke unit with an aftermarket TX. If you need a bypass cable for the smoker so you can add the switch again I've included a picture below. This will still give you the proportional on/off from the motherboard but will give you back the switch for a manual on/off control of the unit if you use your own TX. The MG however is lost on a hobby TX. Just out of curiosity how important is the MG to you guys?
Using a hobby grade radio with the stock electronics does not interest me as I will be upgrading the electronics and rewiring it to make this compatible with the Tamiya battle system. I only mentioned the loss of the mg and remote switching of the smoke for those that may want to keep the original electronics but use a hobby grade radio. If someone has a hobby grade radio that supports multiple models they could eliminate having a dedicated transmitter for each tank and if the mg and smoker worked they would not lose any of the tanks functions possibly resulting in a higher demand for your product.
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Imex-Erik View Post
I'm glad you are enjoying it! Please send me an email or a PM with the broken pieces ok? It looks like you already fixed it but I still want to see what I can do about making that right. I always got you guys As for the paint I didn't choose this one so yea the weathering is a bit much. For some reason they seem to always over weather IMO the tanks when we are gonna add some natural weathering immediately
The LED was changed for a few reasons but safety and smaller form factor was the leading change. Oh and the two rear rings do not move like the engine hatch door rings btw.
I have noted a few things here and will be talking with them soon actually. I am ALWAYS interested in packing, that is something I'm working on pretty hard with a lot of products outside of Taigen too. This is the first round of shipping and shipping can get rough sometimes so I do expect some issues here and there. However we have always taken care of you guys so just give me a PM or email (preferably email) and I'll get you taken care of asap.
The only thing I need is a replacement barrel for the damaged turret mg. I suspect that you probably don't have , but will soon have spare parts for this particular model. We can settle up when you do get the parts in stock.
Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:52 PM
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Test run outdoors revealed a gap between the upper and lower hull that allowed debris that is prone to being grabbed by the rear drive sprockets to enter the tank in the area of the transmissions. The white line above the track is actually light being reflected through the tank.
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:59 PM
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Photos of the real beast, Sevastopol, on a plinth since 1955, 50 years of slap dash 'paint' applied from time to time, and wrong color. T 34/85 from this display of armor was removed from display in late fall of 2017, rebuilt and restored, and was in Victory Day Parade of 2018. Power pack is original and untouched during the restoration. Rumor has it IS 2 is next.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:12 PM
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More. Notice the textures after all these years of sloppy paint jobs. Tanks were driven up on the plinths in 1955, shut down and left. Batteries are still in most of them and fuel was not drained from the main tanks. Crank case, transmission, final drives etc are the same, original oil and lubricants still in place. T 34 was actually started and driven off it's plinth.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:25 AM
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Confirmed this evening, 03 April 2019. IS 2 was started and driven off his plinth on Sapun Ridge apparently this past Saturday, 30 March, loaded on a low loader and taken to the facility that did the T34. Doubt he will be ready for 09 May but it would be nice!
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:30 AM
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T 34 was actually started and driven off it's plinth.
Wow!
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