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Why isn't there a decent 1/16 M1 Abrams?

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Why isn't there a decent 1/16 M1 Abrams?

Old 12-31-2013, 09:53 AM
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Captain Nemo12
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Default Why isn't there a decent 1/16 M1 Abrams?

The recent release of the HL Leopard 2 got me wondering... Since the M1 is one of the most well known tanks in the world, how come Tamiya and Heng Long never released one? My guesses are as follows:

On the Tamiya side:

-RC tanks form only a small part of their profit, so they're not really given as much focus as say, their static kits or RC cars.
-WWII subject always tend to sell more (still really happy that they released the new IS-2 though!)
-Development costs

On the Heng Long side:

-If HL were to make an M1, can they simply get schematics of the tank from the internet and base their model on those? Or is there some sort of licensing process involved where they have to obtain permission from the US military? Can you imagine the US military handing M1 drawings over to the Chinese?

I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes when companies decide to build a model of a military vehicle, but I do think that if they wanted to faithfully reproduce an M1 (i.e. something that looks accurate to the real thing, not like the Hobby Engine Abrams), they must obtain scale drawings somehow.

What do you guys think?

(P.S. I want my goddamn Abrams!)
Old 01-01-2014, 06:39 AM
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YHR
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The fact that there are good representations of this tank in 1/35 scale leads me to believe getting the information to build an accurate model in 1/16 scale is not that tough.


As a major player in the middle east conflicts, I would think that it's battle history would make it a worthwhile tank to build as a 1/16, RC scale model. Why no one has done it yet is a bit of a mystery. Maybe it is because of its limited deployment to other armies of the world. I know the Australians use it, but who else does? Where as the Leopard II is in use everywhere.

I am sure we will see one in the next few years.
Old 01-01-2014, 11:23 AM
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Egypt and Saudi Arabia also have the M1. Not certain of numbers but I know they have them. Dan does make a good point as far as deployment. The US has kept the M1 pretty close vest. It never really was designed for export as some previous models have been used. I think the Germans always intended for the newer generations of the Leopard to be exported to raise funds for the country. The USA doesn't look at its armor in those types of terms when they have highly classified tech involved.
Old 01-01-2014, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Nemo12 View Post
The recent release of the HL Leopard 2 got me wondering... Since the M1 is one of the most well known tanks in the world, how come Tamiya and Heng Long never released one? My guesses are as follows:

On the Tamiya side:

-RC tanks form only a small part of their profit, so they're not really given as much focus as say, their static kits or RC cars.
-WWII subject always tend to sell more (still really happy that they released the new IS-2 though!)
-Development costs

On the Heng Long side:

-If HL were to make an M1, can they simply get schematics of the tank from the internet and base their model on those? Or is there some sort of licensing process involved where they have to obtain permission from the US military? Can you imagine the US military handing M1 drawings over to the Chinese?

I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes when companies decide to build a model of a military vehicle, but I do think that if they wanted to faithfully reproduce an M1 (i.e. something that looks accurate to the real thing, not like the Hobby Engine Abrams), they must obtain scale drawings somehow.

What do you guys think?

(P.S. I want my goddamn Abrams!)

That's a GOOD Darn Question! Sometimes I think the Good Folks in Tamiya's Market Department Think That Americans ONLY want to build 1/14 and 1/10 Scale Trucks.

But I Have Hope that Sooner or later SOMEBODY will produce a decent 1/16 scale M1A.

And a 1/16 Scale T-72.....,

Last edited by mordock999; 01-02-2014 at 01:04 PM.
Old 01-01-2014, 10:15 PM
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I seem to recall some talk that Hooben as a 1/16th scale Abrams in their plans.
Old 01-01-2014, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cleong View Post
I seem to recall some talk that Hooben as a 1/16th scale Abrams in their plans.
Hooben (a.k.a Arkmodel) is still a pretty small company compared to HL and Tamiya. Even if they do release one, prices would be pretty high and the number of kits produced will be limited. If HL can produce a Leopard 2 for 190$ RTR, I'm pretty sure they can do an M1. I find it mind-boggling that they haven't released one yet.
Old 01-02-2014, 04:34 AM
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I want my damn Abrams too !!

Im going to buy the Tk22 and just stick it in my draw.
Old 01-02-2014, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Captain Nemo12 View Post
Hooben (a.k.a Arkmodel) is still a pretty small company compared to HL and Tamiya. Even if they do release one, prices would be pretty high and the number of kits produced will be limited. If HL can produce a Leopard 2 for 190$ RTR, I'm pretty sure they can do an M1. I find it mind-boggling that they haven't released one yet.
While they show that they have the indigenous capability to produce unique designs like the Pz III and ZTZ-99, HL has had a track record of "borrowing" tank designs from others, simplifying them and selling them cheaply.
Let's not forget that the HL Leopard 2A6 draws heavily upon its Tamiya cousin - to the extent of "coincidentally" having decals for the same tank "Schmidt". Its no longer just a matter of coincidentally modelling the same version of the actual 1:1 scale tank anymore is it?

At this point of time, only two M1 Abrams exist as possible masters - the Hobby Engine and the Chunwai. neither of which measure up to HL's ZTZ-99 in terms of detail and design. Hooben represents the only potential mass-produced Abrams on the Horizon, barring a surprise announcement from Tamiya of the same. Once that exists, the possibility of a HL M1 is much higher.
Old 01-02-2014, 10:04 AM
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I am not sure I know why HL decides to Match Tamiya models, but it might be they have found that the sales numbers on Tamiya subjects are greater then the ones they do on their own. I doubt they copy much more then the Tank llne up, which to me is fine. They are a completely different animal under the skin.

Not sure on this as the release dates were so close, but who was first with the KV and the PZIV? Tamiya or Heng Long?

Looking forward to the HL Challenger,
Old 01-02-2014, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by cleong View Post
While they show that they have the indigenous capability to produce unique designs like the Pz III and ZTZ-99, HL has had a track record of "borrowing" tank designs from others, simplifying them and selling them cheaply.
Let's not forget that the HL Leopard 2A6 draws heavily upon its Tamiya cousin - to the extent of "coincidentally" having decals for the same tank "Schmidt". Its no longer just a matter of coincidentally modelling the same version of the actual 1:1 scale tank anymore is it?

At this point of time, only two M1 Abrams exist as possible masters - the Hobby Engine and the Chunwai. neither of which measure up to HL's ZTZ-99 in terms of detail and design. Hooben represents the only potential mass-produced Abrams on the Horizon, barring a surprise announcement from Tamiya of the same. Once that exists, the possibility of a HL M1 is much higher.
Personally I don't think Hooben has the potential to mass-produce tanks, just look at their record with the T-55 and Elefant... they did also show a Maus and an E-100, which are nowhere to be seen. It's near impossible to find a T-55 kit on the market nowadays, since only a limited number was made. Given the quality of the Hooben plastic casting, I wouldn't even pay their asking price. This is why I think the M1 will most likely come from HL or Tamiya. HL did announce a Challenger 2 a while back, so maybe they're saving Abrams for last?
Old 01-03-2014, 01:46 PM
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Price wise i am really hoping that HL will be the one to build the M1. If Tamiya did one great but it would most likely be way out of my current price range just like thier Leopard still is, even though i would love to have one.
I am a huge fan of Tamiya's products and kits but I also need affordable models to continue in the hobby.
that is why i hope HL will come through then Taigen will release a better version. It does appear however that HL did a really good job on the 2A6 and ZTZ99 so I'm sure even a base HL M1 would be just fine.

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