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Looking for a Hooben T55 As Close to RTR as I can Get -

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Looking for a Hooben T55 As Close to RTR as I can Get -

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Old 09-16-2019, 06:00 AM
  #1  
Marc780
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Default Looking for a Hooben T55 As Close to RTR as I can Get -

I have been lusting after the Hooben T55 since I knew they were available. I have seen the kits sold by several people on Ebay, one on Amazon, and at least 2 on Ali Express (of course, at least a couple sellers are on more than one site). This model is available in about 3 versions: as a 1/16 static kit, and at least two iterations of the motorized model. These usually come with the motors, the tracksets (that you put together one link at a time - no frills here!) and at least some of the wiring. The instructions are minimal, all in Chinese with line drawings and no English translations - anybody who's built one can vouch these are very much "steep learning curve" kits.



Someone's well-made Hooben T55 in Iraqi camo from Iran-Iraq War


Another 1/35 scale T55, in a common camo pattern of T-55's of the Middle East; Desert sand with Russian armor green

The static kit is of course not the one I want, naturally. The motorized KIT (in large letters to emphasize they don't make any ready to run T-55's or at least, not cheap ones) are just a pile of parts with the bare minimum hardware and radio components: No servos, no wiring sets (extra), no battery, etc. The hardware is very different from Heng Long or even Tamiya and seems to work with few others... While Hooben does offer a HL style receiver and transmitter (they're not compatible with many other similar gear - maybe not even their own for all I know about it). The T55 comes with, and accepts, R/C aircraft style servos - or so I have been told; they're not compatible with Tamiya, HL, Taigen, nobody's.

I'm looking for advice, tips, and anything else that can steer me towards what I want (or modifying another RTR Hooben T55). Anyway here's my dilemma: the type and amount of work I can do on the hobby anymore is a sore spot, no pun intended. I have work-related back pain (from 40 years automotive) that is very limiting. As things are now I can still drive my tanks (at the moment I have an HL Panther G and a T-90, plus the HL M1 Abrams, and that's all), i can do light maintenance chores/repairs, and even airbrushing/weathering (my favorite part anyway except for driving them). But I still want to own a driving and functioning T55! I have contacted Dark Horse Hobby, "Thor-robotics" , and one other firm from Ali Express to see what an RTR type T55 would cost me - or as close to RTR as I can get. Here's the problem, try as I might to word what it is I want (As close to an RTR T-55 as I can get) something always seems to get lost in translation. On some of the web pages it'll say "hand-built by a Hooben master craftsman - " but when I email them trying to get clarification on what it means and what exactly you get with these "hand built" tanks the person emailing me back winds up seemingly contradicting themselves. I tell them exactly what I want and somehow few of them can confirm or deny or give me the same answer without getting their wires crossed. You wouldn't think it'd be so hard to get people to take your money, or to make the product they at least infer they can provide.. yet I'm leery of paying $600-700 and NOT getting a T55 ready to run, and having to ship it all the way back (to China) and swallow a large return shipping bill!.

My question is, of all the places that make RTR models and/or offer the kit versions, who makes the closest thing to what I'm looking for (RTR - or the closest thing to same available)??? WHO has experience with these tank makers and has gotten an RTR out of the box, turn key T55?

Last edited by Marc780; 09-16-2019 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:28 AM
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I think Cruiser 133 had one for sale but I don't know if he still has it.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:06 AM
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Any good to you chief?

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Old 09-16-2019, 07:29 AM
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Tom, is that one for sale?
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Crius View Post
Tom, is that one for sale?
​​​​​​I wasn't actively selling it but I would part with it
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:47 AM
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Some footage of her in action:

https://youtu.be/nzkxRHZHrso

She ready to go with masses of mods, hobby grade electrics etc etc.

Can supply her with metal tracks or the plastic ones in the pictures.

She's running an IBU 2 with custom electrics installation, speaker box. Upgraded to servo recoil and elevation. All four corners have stiffened springs to improve performance. Loads of cosmetic improvements, all scratch built and a killer paint job
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:40 AM
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That well made Hooben T55 in Iraqi colours is mine
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:17 AM
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[QUOTE=tomhugill;12550650]Any good to you chief?

Test[ATTACH]2265219[/ATTACH
Sure Tom, why not? The detail work you have done is far beyond my capabilities! It's a masterpiece is what it is..I noticed your tank a couple years ago when i was looking for examples of paint schemes, saved it in gigs of research folders for the day. Never even occurred to me i'd be bidding on it!
So how do you want to do the negotiations, do you prefer to do it in private emails? Also, I'm in California, shippings a factor, no doubt,
Can you tell me what all the functions are like extra lights?
absolutely i'd consider buying this!

Marc

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Old 09-16-2019, 09:27 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Ad Lav View Post
That well made Hooben T55 in Iraqi colours is mine
a hah! Thought i saw it here. i have a gig of files about this tank, scale models as well as the real item, and pretty sure I have every photo of your masterwork you posted here. I did have a strong desire to get one of these tanks after seeing t he desert camo... it's the color that works for this tank, for sure. Russian armor green, that is so much like US Mil olive drab, I don't want to do any more green tanks for a long time

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Old 09-16-2019, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Marc780 View Post
I have been lusting after the Hooben T55 since I knew they were available. I have seen the kits sold by several people on Ebay, one on Amazon, and at least 2 on Ali Express (of course, at least a couple sellers are on more than one site). This model is available in about 3 versions: as a 1/16 static kit, and at least two iterations of the motorized model. These usually come with the motors, the tracksets (that you put together one link at a time - no frills here!) and at least some of the wiring. The instructions are minimal, all in Chinese with line drawings and no English translations - anybody who's built one can vouch these are very much "steep learning curve" kits.



Someone's well-made Hooben T55 in Iraqi camo from Iran-Iraq War


Another 1/35 scale T55, in a common camo pattern of T-55's of the Middle East; Desert sand with Russian armor green

The static kit is of course not the one I want, naturally. The motorized KIT (in large letters to emphasize they don't make any ready to run T-55's or at least, not cheap ones) are just a pile of parts with the bare minimum hardware and radio components: No servos, no wiring sets (extra), no battery, etc. The hardware is very different from Heng Long or even Tamiya and seems to work with few others... While Hooben does offer a HL style receiver and transmitter (they're not compatible with many other similar gear - maybe not even their own for all I know about it). The T55 comes with, and accepts, R/C aircraft style servos - or so I have been told; they're not compatible with Tamiya, HL, Taigen, nobody's.

I'm looking for advice, tips, and anything else that can steer me towards what I want (or modifying another RTR Hooben T55). Anyway here's my dilemma: the type and amount of work I can do on the hobby anymore is a sore spot, no pun intended. I have work-related back pain (from 40 years automotive) that is very limiting. As things are now I can still drive my tanks (at the moment I have an HL Panther G and a T-90, plus the HL M1 Abrams, and that's all), i can do light maintenance chores/repairs, and even airbrushing/weathering (my favorite part anyway except for driving them). But I still want to own a driving and functioning T55! I have contacted Dark Horse Hobby, "Thor-robotics" , and one other firm from Ali Express to see what an RTR type T55 would cost me - or as close to RTR as I can get. Here's the problem, try as I might to word what it is I want (As close to an RTR T-55 as I can get) something always seems to get lost in translation. On some of the web pages it'll say "hand-built by a Hooben master craftsman - " but when I email them trying to get clarification on what it means and what exactly you get with these "hand built" tanks the person emailing me back winds up seemingly contradicting themselves. I tell them exactly what I want and somehow few of them can confirm or deny or give me the same answer without getting their wires crossed. You wouldn't think it'd be so hard to get people to take your money, or to make the product they at least infer they can provide.. yet I'm leery of paying $600-700 and NOT getting a T55 ready to run, and having to ship it all the way back (to China) and swallow a large return shipping bill!.

My question is, of all the places that make RTR models and/or offer the kit versions, who makes the closest thing to what I'm looking for (RTR - or the closest thing to same available)??? WHO has experience with these tank makers and has gotten an RTR out of the box, turn key T55?
With Hooben it is a gamble when trying to understand their online product descriptions, there is KIT, ARTR, RTR and then there is ARTR KIT, RTR KIT. They might use two different terms on the same product page such as RTR then down a few lines RTR KIT. So yes their translations can be frustrating. Emails with them rarely returned with clear answers even when you send inquires in the most basic of english wording that a five year old would understand.

One solution is to purchace the mid level kit with motors and gearbox and have someone build it for you. There are many on this forum that are very trustworthy and can build your Hooben from the very basic no frills, no paint with HL electronics and performance to the most advanced aftermarket controls and outstanding paint jobs. It will cost you, but you will have a running T55. Ok that said the T55 is not a hard tank to build if you keep it to the HL level of basics. Being you have a background in auto repair it should go together rather smoothly as most of the hard part is turning a screwdriver and very basic wiring if using a HL MFU. The rest is simple plastic model building with glue and paint.

You should expect the cost including the tank to run at least $500 if you build it to the HL basic level yourself. If you have it built for you then expect the cost to be twice to three time more depending on what you have the builder do. I saw that you mentioned you live in Ca. If you are in the SoCal area there are members of the LA Tank club and San Diego Tank club that are excellent builders and could have you up running and even fighting your T55 and HL tanks in no time.

Last edited by Fsttanks; 09-16-2019 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:39 AM
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AND if this hasn't been mentioned before, make sure that if it is a kit that it's from someone trusted. Many kits were basically unusable as the flashing made the kit horrific to build. They claim is was from 'worn out molds' but there were later runs that were better.

Always wanted one too but never found a decent kit that didn't cost an arm and a leg.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:22 AM
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With Hooben it is a gamble when trying to understand their online product descriptions, there is KIT, ARTR, RTR and then there is ARTR KIT, RTR KIT. They might use two different terms on the same product page such as RTR then down a few lines RTR KIT. So yes their translations can be frustrating. Emails with them rarely returned with clear answers even when you send inquires in the most basic of english wording that a five year old would understand.

Thanks for the reply - I know this tank inevitably turns into an engineering project and I'm trying to get the most complete tank for the least money somehow. I'm able to complete basic tank stuff, plugging in wires etc. but the reason for needing an RTR tank is, I'm no longer up to straining over 10 tinker-toy road wheel suspensions for hours on end plus two turret motors and all the spaghetti! I wanted a T-55 for a long time, and I admit I don't fully grasp the draw the T-55 has for so many of us. Maybe because the T-55 is an icon of Communist-bloc expansionism all over the globe. From the 1950's to the 1980's, whenever there was commie trouble afoot somewhere in the "Free World" (whatever that means now) there were often plenty of T-55's not far behind; and perhaps nothing better symbolizes the cold war era than the T-55. Ultimately the Hooben T-55 stands out from rival products- since it is unique from all other R/C tanks and easy to customize into a mini piece of history.

Last edited by Marc780; 09-16-2019 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Ad Lav View Post
That well made Hooben T55 in Iraqi colours is mine
This tank is a work of art in my book Ad Lav! Your images are in my flash drive, have been for a year, the kind of camo you did (Iran-Iraq war vintage I presume?) is more or less exactly what I plan to do. The only difference was I might add grey touches at the edges -

Grey on green pattern on Syrian T-55, Yom Kippur War c. 1973


A magnificent build of a Syrian T-55 in grey and green. The crew figures are superbly done... notice the tank and figures are in 1/35 scale!


Front view of Syrian T-55


Somewhere in the middle east, c. 1970's? No back story available


Another tank in grey-green livery
like the Syrian T55 from 1973, a tank in the Yom Kippur war. I noticed you went light on the weathering, and for that I don't blame you! It's not easy to spend hours making our tank with great care, and once you're finished just go and make it look old and rusted... so why not keep it factory fresh for a while? The last T55 I planned out and I must have searched every T55 image in existence, looking for ideas. I'd consider almost any pattern of camouflage, so long as it existed IRL and has historical precedent behind it.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:26 AM
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Correct - I took some artistic license with the one from the Tamiya magazine.

It had a lot of upgrades and an elmod. Ran beautifully.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Crius View Post
I think Cruiser 133 had one for sale but I don't know if he still has it.
Thanks for the shout out bro but both of mine are sold.

OP,
I basically gutted both of mine of the crappy electronics and rebuilt them using Tamiya components. Check out DKLM as well as they have many upgrades for the kit. The newer kits are much better than the originals and I did not have any flashing issues with my second kit. If you want to build an Enigma, then check out Christian's site in Germany.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:56 AM
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Christian is rebuilding his business at the moment from the fire so that might be a little while.
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