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Heng Long T72 "Modernization" build.

Old 11-22-2019, 01:11 PM
  #1  
Fsttanks
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Default Heng Long T72 "Modernization" build.

Since I have been having so much fun with my Heng Long T72 testing the battle system, fighting it and just plain off road driving, I decided to buy another. But having two of the same tank that look similar is not really my thing. Knowing that there is a rather large "real world market" for upgrading and modernizing of old T72s, I thought it would be fun to try my hand at a theoretical modernization build of a T72. I would be using mostly "off the shelf" parts that represent fairly well what is being done by countries and companies worldwide.

This Heng Long T72 modernization build focused mainly on the turret (just as in the real world) with minor lower hull modifications to represent changes to side armor protection and improvement to the engine. The turret was completely replaced with an updated design, new main gun profile, new coaxial MG, both gunner and commander day/night/thermal viewers, automated MG station, increased stowage, cross wind sensor and APS (active protection system).

Mechanical upgrades to the HL T72 have also been made to enhance its overall performance both as a fun SUPER FAST 55mph+ scale tank to drive and to IR battler at much slower speeds of course. Externally these include all metal suspension, road wheels, idlers, bearings, sprockets and tracks. Internally I "massaged" the stock gearboxes to run smoother, added 390 motors, upgraded all the power lines including dumping Tamiya connectors, added QD plugs to the HL 6.0 MFU wiring so I can quickly and easily swap out the HL 6.0 for a Tamiya MFU (as needed for those more regulated IR battlefields). Lastly added a "engine bay" bulkhead to seal off the motor heat from the rest of the tank and engine bay heat exhaust/cooling fan. The later was done due to extremely high motor heat (enough to melt plastic) I have had with my first T72. Being that this tank will be running at even higher volts up to a 11.4v (12v) Lipo, I wanted to make sure the battery would not experience overheating cause by high motor temps.

I am posting this build in reverse and showing the finished "Modernized" T72 first and will then later post the actual photos of the build in progress. Hope you enjoy and your constructive input is welcome.
Old T72 on left new "Modernized" T72 on right.


Old T72 on left new "Modernized" T72 on right.


"Modernized" T72 showing new turret layout, engine deck and cooling exhaust vent.



"Modernized" T72 rear turret view.


Old T72 vs "Modernized" T72 comparison.





Last edited by Fsttanks; 11-22-2019 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:19 PM
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Your modernization project was well executed. It looks great!!!
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Old 11-22-2019, 05:15 PM
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Love the ingenuity and detail. Looks totally realistic and I'm having fun identifying the add on parts like the Bradley sight!
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Old 11-22-2019, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by edoubleaz View Post
Love the ingenuity and detail. Looks totally realistic and I'm having fun identifying the add on parts like the Bradley sight!
Yes you got that one right. It’s from a 21st Century Toys 1/18 Bradley. It was the perfect size and overall look to simulate the real world day/night/thermal gunners sights being added to the modernized T72s.
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:09 PM
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Remind me the next time I make a SoCal trip to bring you my modern leftovers!
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Old 11-23-2019, 07:07 AM
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Very cool! On your inspiration I picked up T90 “pro” from IMEX.... seems “pro” was for “ promotional “ , not “professional “..... so it needs a lot, when you list you mods, I would love to see where you get the upgrades. I had thought about the t72 with the plans to also get the trumpeter t72b1 kit for upgrade but your path is much better.
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:49 PM
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I was asked if I could show the "Modernized" T72 next to another modern tank for comparison. So below it is shown in relation to my Tamiya Abrams and basic HL T72. The "Modernized" Heng Long T72 with its new turret and side armor is a slightly larger T72, as can be seen in the photos below.


Tamiya Abrams above, Modernized Heng Long T72 below.


Modernized T72, Abrams and basic T72.


Last edited by Fsttanks; 11-23-2019 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:58 PM
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Nice looking T72. Cant wait to see how it all came together. Cheers!
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:27 AM
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I love the classic T-72, but your take on a "modernized" T-72 is really stunning! Your selection and layout of various elements make sense and feel realistic, especially considering the producer.

Perhaps I missed it, but did you fabricate the major areas using styrene?
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Alpha.MRC View Post
I love the classic T-72, but your take on a "modernized" T-72 is really stunning! Your selection and layout of various elements make sense and feel realistic, especially considering the producer.

Perhaps I missed it, but did you fabricate the major areas using styrene?
Thank you for the kind words. I used 95% straight "off the shelf" Heng Long parts from various other modern tanks so to "represent" the current level of available technology. Some of the parts were moderately modified such as the barrel, side and rear stowage to fit the turret and provide for a balanced look. Only a few very small pieces of styrene were used to seal hull gaps and mount the barrel elevation motor.

For now its kind of a fun, entertaining(?) puzzle for viewers to try and figure out what came from where? Though I will be posting a "photo log" of the build soon once I piece all the images together in one place to make them easier to upload. The "log" will show individual part locations, what the part represents on this build and what tank the part came from. Trust me once people see the unpainted parts in the "photo log" it can't be unseen and the overall mystique of this build will change.
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:08 PM
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Your T-72 Fantasy Modern MBT is good looking and kind of a Challenger, Leopard 2 hybrid.

The actual modernized T-72 MBT is nice looking; an updated, computerized, digital crew display tank called “White Eagle”. It has been around for awhile and would make for a cool, scale RC IR build too. “The T-72B1MS dubbed “White Eagle” is an upgraded version of the T-72B Main Battle Tank that was unveiled in Moscow during the defense exhibition “Engineer Technologies” in June 2012. The tank was developed, designed and manufactured by the Russian Company UralVagonZavod.”

So, has Mr Dee’s son’s waxed your combat RC IR tanks and your tail yet in battle play? LOL.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

John











Last edited by Pcomm1.v2; 11-26-2019 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcomm1.v2 View Post
Your T-72 Fantasy Modern MBT is good looking and kind of a Challenger, Leopard 2 hybrid.

The actual modernized T-72 MBT is nice looking; an updated, computerized, digital crew display tank called “White Eagle”. It has been around for awhile and would make for a cool, scale RC IR build too. “The T-72B1MS dubbed “White Eagle” is an upgraded version of the T-72B Main Battle Tank that was unveiled in Moscow during the defense exhibition “Engineer Technologies” in June 2012. The tank was developed, designed and manufactured by the Russian Company UralVagonZavod.”

So, has Mr Dee’s son’s waxed your combat RC IR tanks and your tail yet in battle play? LOL.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

John












There is in fact a larger number of companies and countries modernizing the old T72 not just the Russians as you seem to believe with the use of the words "the actual". Here are just a few examples for you to expand your view with.

As for IR battling or even running against your "stand in's" I had already seen the tanks you sold them a few times over the last year and had already fought against them. Mr Dee is a great guy to talk with, but the tanks you built them left them completely outmatch and out gunned by mine. So much so he wanted me to rework his tanks to perform better. Maybe you need to come out and learn a bit more about how to really build a modern style r/c tank.










Last edited by Fsttanks; 11-26-2019 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:19 PM
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And thank you for posting. I have seen those T-72 photos. Probably everyone at rcu tanks has! You seem to think everything that is Tank new to you is unknown to the rest, LOL. Look at Jane’s Armor books, perhaps. The White Eagle set the standard for the rest to emulate. Plus, White Eagle looks like an Eastern foe, clearly Russian Tank design philosophy at work, without easily visible western design influence. Which doesn’t mean the Russian engineers didn’t rip off as much Western tech as they could. Bud, did you win the RC IR tank kids battle duals, or what? Coming from the know it all guy who plays with HL RTR RC tanks, your veracity is in great doubt, LOL.

Enjoy.

Last edited by Pcomm1.v2; 11-26-2019 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcomm1.v2 View Post
And thank you for posting. I have seen those T-72 photos. Probably everyone at rcu tanks has! You seem to think everything that is Tank new to you is unknown to the rest, LOL. Look at Jane’s Armor books, perhaps. The White Eagle set the standard for the rest to emulate. Plus, White Eagle looks like an Eastern foe, clearly Russian Tank design philosophy at work, without easily visible western design influence. Which doesn’t mean the Russian engineers didn’t rip off as much Western tech as they could. Bud, did you win the RC IR tank kids battle duals, or what?

Enjoy.
John you can’t state you saw the photos I posted after the fact. Everyone knows that when someone does that they are just trying to CYA their lack of knowledge. You have a good Thanksgiving now.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:50 PM
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https://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...ew-again-21195

Already stated it, LOL. Above: From June 2017, nothing new about updating old T-72 tanks, all covered online or at Jane’s for years now, including the T-90, an upgraded T-72. So, tons of T-72 variant photos out there, besides what you posted, take a research look and learn.

John
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcomm1.v2 View Post
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...ew-again-21195

Already stated it, LOL. Above: From June 2017, nothing new about updating old T-72 tanks, all covered online or at Jane’s for years now, including the T-90, an upgraded T-72. So, tons of T-72 variant photos out there, besides what you posted, take a research look and learn.

John

The attached link you added, it is not even from an RCU thread and was most likely looked up by you after you started reading this thread to learn more about modernized T72s. Unless you are saying you wrote the article in the link above?

Now if you do not have some conservative input please be a gentleman and not post any further border line “thread cramping” stuff. I like our spirited conversation, but it’s a holiday week and not really interested in one of our back and forth go nowhere rantings.

Last edited by Fsttanks; 11-26-2019 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:43 PM
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“T-72 updated variations” historical information is not hard to find. Maybe not, but for most tank enthusiasts referencing “see Jane’s” is enough research reference support at this forum. FYI, Jane’s are the go to reference book(s) for military vehicles and aircraft from the most important power nations. Enjoy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:33 PM
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I just thought it was a T-72 Scarab.... looks great
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:41 PM
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Moving on to the start of the photo build log.

DAY 1: Brand new T72 just out of the box parked next to my other Heng Long T72. I ordered it with the all metal options and 360 turret knowing I would be needing the metal road wheels, sprockets, idlers and suspension arms. The stock track will be used during testing of the build but is being replace with the DKLM T90/72 dual pin track in short order.


New blank slate HL T72 right out of the box in front & next to my other T72 for comparison.
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:48 PM
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Hi Fsttanks
When I opened this thread & saw the pics of the two T72's - first impression - a T72 & a ZTZ99, with the angular turret.
Sorta surprised no one else mentioned the similarity?
Looking fwd to seeing the internals.

Mal
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:13 PM
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Day 2: Fitting the new turret, gun elevation and gun "breach". The new turret was not a direct drop in and some fitting and alining was needed. I spent a bit of time trying a few different approaches to achieving smooth operation and fit as the turret would of course be the center piece of the build. If it did not work well then there was no need to move forward. I used some simple plastic strips to mock up correct fitment, market what was going to need attention and made the modification. I lucked out and got it right on the first try, the measure twice cut once rule.

Once I had the turret fitted and working I went right into the next phase which was installing the elevation and barrel "breach". For this I used the stock parts from the original T72 turret. The problem was they did not have the correct mounting points to just drop into the new donor turret. This was a bit of a set back but not one hard to overcome. I simply made new mounting bracket for the elevation motor/gearbox to attach to. This made it easy to adjust for the more forward position the "breach' needed to be located in the new turret. It also allowed me to adjust for added barrel depression more easily over the stock T72 turret.

A side note here. I did not add barrel recoil at this time as it is not high on my list of important features as it usually can not be enjoyed from more than 10-15ft away. My tanks are more then often further away then that from me during use. I did though leave the room for it should I wish to add it at a later time.


Setting the turret fitment to aline the turret & "gear" ring depth with the turret rotation gearbox gear.


New elevation mounting bracket, elevation motor and "breach" locations. The airsoft motor and gearbox section of the "breach" were removed prior to final assembly.

Last edited by Fsttanks; 11-26-2019 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by afv aficionado View Post
Hi Fsttanks
When I opened this thread & saw the pics of the two T72's - first impression - a T72 & a ZTZ99, with the angular turret.
Sorta surprised no one else mentioned the similarity?
Looking fwd to seeing the internals.

Mal
Does not surprise me you caught that right off you are really good with knowing what parts came from where. Not a lot folks pay much attention to modern tanks here let alone the ZTZ99A, so it did not surprise me when a few folks contacted me asking what the turret was thinking it was a cut down Leopard 2 turret. I have had the turret for a few years now and was planning on using it in the same way on my original T90 but put that on hold when I saw what was pending from DKLM for the T90. DKLM is just taking way to long to get their mod kit out so it felt it was time to move forward with using it in a modernization build.

The internals are nothing special, mostly just simple higher quality wiring for the motors and power supply for when(?) I run 3 cell Lipos. The new 6.0/1 is much better at delivering power to the motors then the old 5.2/3 systems and matted to a 9.6v battery provides a lot more power then in the past. Still undergoing field testing on this point though. The gearboxes were largely left stock with some of the more well known tweaks done like shims and the improved outdrive shafts. I have to revisit the gearbox as it is a bit more noisy then I like, most likely because of the added bearing.

Last edited by Fsttanks; 11-26-2019 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:22 PM
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Hi Fsttanks
You're giving me too much credit, I can manage to recog the old Russian stuff, but the T72 clones - T80, T90 - not so much. The ZTZ is distinctly different, as is the T14, so fairly easy.

Hope to try the 6.0 system soon, awaiting Customs processing on my HAYA.

Mal
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:48 PM
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Dang!!! Fsttanks I am loving your modernized T72 build. You know your stuff when it come to modern tanks and making them look great. I can't wait to see this tank in person one day. Keep up the fun and interesting builds!
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:04 AM
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Nice work, looks like a T90Ms.
heng long cheated us about the tracks and sprocket wheels.
Here pictures from my T90 vs T72 1/16 as you can see they are absolutely different and can't be permuted.

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