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Old 11-06-2019, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NewportGwent, UNITED KINGDOM
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Default Haya Chieftain review.

The Haya ltd 1/16th scale Chieftain tank review.

The Radio Controlled Tank Regiment have been lucky enough to be given access to the new Haya ltd 1/16th scale RC Chieftain tank.

We were asked by Andrew the project Manger of Haya ltd to review his model and give an honest opinion of this independent company’s first foray into 1/16th scale RC tank design and production.
First impression was that this is a big model, with a nice factory paint job. On closer inspection the details start to make themselves apparent, these are nicely moulded with some unique and innovative design features.

Our first example of this was access to the on/off switch situated under the drivers hatch, no simple lift and turn here. It is held down by two small functional latches. Then it was push down the hatch to disengage the spring lock, and up she pops to clear the hull. So no more scrapped paintwork or snapped hatch’s while gaining access to your on off switch.

Some of the other features that help lift this model out of the ordinary are having a working gun travel lock, functioning lids on the hull storage and tool boxes, metal tow ropes and a cover that can be opened to expose the switchable working searchlight.

As expected the commanders and loaders hatches open to allow figures ( available separately ) and/or the magnetic IR receiver to be mounted on the turret. Another nice touch is the two supplied cloth thermal shroud covers that fit on the 4 piece aluminium barrel that help to give it that authentic Chieftain look.

On this model the aluminium barrel itself will come in four pieces. This will allow you to unscrew it for ease of transport or take it apart of maintenance in the event of a blockage. What blockage I hear you ask ? . Well this model has another feature and that is it can fire BB’s and simultaneously recoil the barrel. More on this feature later.

A couple of observations on these features are the working travel lock can’t be used to hold the gun barrel unless you fit an aftermarket 360 degree rotation ring to the turret as it only turns 320 degree with the standard fitted ring. The opening tool and storage box lids could be prone to damage if not treated with a little care. Stating the obvious we know but well worth mentioning.

Now onto the lower hull features, the main ones being the idler wheels are fitted with bearings and the gearbox drive shafts are supported with bearings as standard.

Also both models have a functioning track adjustment system with an active spring action. This means you can tension the tracks to suite the terrain you will be running your tank on, and if you should get a small bit of debris in the track you have a further 4 to 6mm of compression available in the tensioner system. In theory this will allow the track to “ flex “ to clear the debris rather than break.

The lower hull is well moulded out of good quality ABS plastic and seems quite robust. With Haya ltd and it’s accompanying Welsh dragon logo prominently moulded into the hull bottom. The Chieftain comes in two versions the all plastic base version and the metal pro version.

The plastic version has the standard white nylon gearboxes and plastic track adjustment system, as well as ( Walker Bulldog )plastic tracks, drive and idler wheel.

Whereas the pro has steel CNC cut steel gearboxes, metal track adjuster system and correctly cast Chieftain metal tracks, metal drive and idler wheels.. Both models have a Horstman style suspension and work in the same manner as the real tank.

Upper and lower hull attachment on the Haya ltd Chieftain is via two clips on the front of the upper and lower hull. The rear is held down by screws located under the two fuel filler caps located at the rear of the upper deck. So you just unscrew the two rear screws and lift and pull to release the hull halves. Lower hull flex is no more than in any other plastic hulled model of this size. Once the upper hull is attached and screwed down it’s a good solid model.

However the pro version might benefit from some scratch built additional hull bracing being added by the owner, just to err on the side of caution due to the extra stresses and weight added by the metal parts.

The elevation, rotation and BB unit are the same as those used in Heng Long and other 1/16th scale tanks as these are readily available and cheap to replace if ever the need arises.

We took this opportunity to ask Haya ltd about back up and spares and we were told by Andrew that he will stand by his model and Haya ltd is producing extra mouldings to allow for an additional supply of spares. Haya ltd also pointed out that a lot of the components used in the model were also used by other manufactures in there models. So there is already a supply of spares on the market.

We were also informed that the correct metal tracks for the Chieftain as well as metal drive sprockets, idlers and track tensioner would be available for spares if required or as upgrade parts.

There is also depending on demand a possibility of making metal road wheels with rubber rims. This option is only being considered by Haya ltd as we said and depends on if there is enough interest from the hobby community for these items.

Now we get to the 2.4Ghz control system or brains of the Chieftain. The system has 2 outputs for servos, switched lights on the front and turret allowing for front lights on or off and independent control of the main search light and commanders lights on or off, working brake lights, a choice of 4 different sounds with a 8ohm 4 watt speaker and enclosure giving a reasonable level of volume and sound quality, 3 levels of tank track recoil ( 0-3 ) and a semi Tamiya compatible IR battle system. It is much the same system as currently being fitted to the Heng Long premium metal hulled tanks. Although there are a few design differences between systems.

This means it will take and give hits to most if not all Tamiya compatible IR systems ( it has been tested against Tamiya, El-mod and Heng Long equipped tanks ). It however does not slow down to simulate battle damage as do the Tamiya compatible systems and just stops for a few seconds with flashing lights and a “ wiggle” making it vulnerable. Destruction is indicated with a Tamiya like destroyed sound after 6 shots. The model will reset after about 5 seconds. This puts it at about the medium setting on a Tamiya compatible tank.

Another point worth mentioning is the Chieftain IR range, inside is fine with ranges of over 10m being achieved for giving and taking hits at all angles, that range dropped for taking a hit however in bright sunlight when we went outside to about 5m. We suspect the range would increase if the receiver had fins fitted to reduce IR interference from the sun.

Some clubs may not find favour with this system as an IR battle tank. However RCTR think it a suitable system for “ fun “ battling to introduce new members to the hobby without breaking the bank. But we think it’s probably not best suited to use in a more “ formal” style of IR battling and will keep to the Tamiya compatible systems as the hobby standard for those more serious IR battles. Not knocking the system in any way as for your money you get “quite a bang for your buck” as they say and a good introduction to the IR side of the hobby if that’s your thing.

The system has a stylish 2.4Ghz handset that runs off 4 AAA size batteries and provides a smooth driving experience. Slow speed control is good as are all other inputs. The models lights can be switched on and off from the handset as well as changing the tank sound set and tank recoil jerk. So overall a nice intermediate level control system for an off the shelf RTR tank.

The upper hull and turret are dimensionally accurate and well moulded in high quality ABS plastic and has a lot of detail moulding to catch the eye for an RTR Model and offers a true and accurate rendering of this iconic tank. The two tone factory paint scheme is a reasonably accurate representation of a standard British colour scheme of the period, markings are also representative of this period as well.

One last feature worthy of a mention is the combined BB/recoil system, this system uses a standard HL BB/recoil system, but the recoil is achieved via a servo controlled by the board. So you can fire a BB but have a pro typical recoil action which looks a lot more realistic than a standard recoil unit.

Haya ltd took pains to get this model right. Taking advice from Robert Griffin author of “Chieftain main battle tank “ Consulting blueprints and other reference material, this approach has obviously paid dividends, being endorsed by both Robert and Bovington tank museum.

All in all a good quality model with a lot of features in a RTR tank designed, owned and produced exclusively by Haya ltd a U.K. based company, not cheap by any means, but not that much more expensive than a pro version Torro and cheaper than most of Tamiya’s 1/16th full option offerings. Can you get a production model of this tank cheaper elsewhere I here you ask, short answer is no you can’t as no other manufacturer produces or has plans to produce one at this time. There are other Chieftains out there that are 3d printed that you have to assemble, paint,equip and fit out. When you factor in all those costs and the time you will have to devote to get a running model with all the features mentioned previously you realise it’s not going to be that much, if any cheaper going down that particular road than buying the RTR version with Haya ltd’s full back up and spares service behind it.

We feel it worth mentioning here that RCRT nor any of its members have any financial ties with Haya ltd and that RCTR nor any of its members have asked or received any form of gratuities from Haya ltd or any of its employees for writing this review. Haya ltd has also asked us to let everyone know they are more than happy to answer any questions or concerns people may have about any of there models through there website at :-


Last edited by tankman; 11-06-2019 at 05:57 AM.