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Taigen/Imex KV-2 First Impressions from a newbie

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Taigen/Imex KV-2 First Impressions from a newbie

Old 09-24-2014, 07:45 AM
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Gun Tech
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Default Taigen/Imex KV-2 First Impressions from a newbie

My journey down the rabbit hole is advancing rapidly. I went from no RC experience (much less tanks), to getting a Tamiya Leopard 1A4 chassis operational, to ordering a Taigen KV-2. It arrived yesterday and overall, I am quite pleased, but speaking as a novice, I have some observations. The tank is neatly packaged, but that did not prevent some minor damage to one of the track fender ribs and a crack in the top of the turret by the periscope. These are not faults I am overly concerned with and I don't feel that Taigen was resposible, I'm just noting that even with good packaging, the mail can still find a way to hammer stuff. I put in some batteries for the radio and dropped in my charged battery from my Leopard. The tank has a nice start up sound, however there is no acceleration sound, it merely goes to a steady running sound when you start moving, regardless of speed. Now I understand why there is a great deal of discussion regarding aftermarket sound/control units. So I guess I will have to study up on that field. Driving it was quite enjoyable, with no lack of power at all speeds. The tracks are fairly slick and it is possible to spin the tracks easily on concrete, but moving along grass seemed just fine and climbing over bricks was great. Compared to the single motor/dual clutch of the Leopard, driving at speed with the dual motors of the KV-2 made it difficult to make gentle turns and I had a tendency to have the tank do a super spin, even with gradual stick input. I realize this may be a matter of technique, but I want to mention it so that other owners that are new to the field are not frustrated by it. The turret operates smoothly for rotation and elevation, but fine adjustments of the turret are touchy and elevation/depression is on an eccentric cam with a uni-drectional motor, so it has to fully cycle to elevate or depress to your aiming point. The airsoft seems to work fine and will get the attention of your friends if you "accdentally" shoot them in certain places. Recoil action is very nice. Aesthetically, this is a mass produced product, not a lovingly handcrafted custom, so the paint scheme is understandably basic and needs some fine tuning if your tastes scream for accuracy. My eventual hopes are to convert this to an SU-152 once I get a bit of skill at modelling, since my tastes would love to see a battle weary example "junkyard dog look". By the way, this is a substantial chunk of metal and plastic that weighs about 12-14lbs.That is about all I can say from my limited experience, but I want to say that the people at Taigen are making a fantastic product for the price point. I already have a T-34/85 on order, so as I said, I am headed down the rabbit hole at full speed. I still haven't found the cable to put pictures on my computer from my phone, but the tank looks just like it is shown on the web.

Mark

P.S. Erik, if you see this, I looked on the Imex parts page and don't see an upper deck for a KV-1/KV-2, any chance of finding a spare if I do the SU-152 build?

Last edited by Gun Tech; 09-24-2014 at 08:11 AM. Reason: add question
Old 09-24-2014, 08:26 AM
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Hey Mark!
First congrats on the KV-2! Second, where is the crack?? You should never have a crack! PM me a picture of it and I will do my best to get you a fixed up ok? A cracked upper hull or turret is NOT acceptable and we will be more than glad to work with you to remedy that by some means or another.
Third, yes the motherboard is kinda outdated. I have been working on our motherboard revision for a while now (since back in February I started) and have a large number of ideas to add when the next revision is done. I have hundreds of ideas and suggestions but we do have a price point to keep in mind. We are still in the early stages of it, but the sounds are near the top of the list. I do not want to go too deep into that conversation because not all of my ideas and suggestions make it to the final revision. I may spill some beans here and I might have to hear about it a few months down the road if you know what I mean. Do not be worried though, we are working on a new motherboard.
For a bit more realistic turning and driving you can try our brass gearboxes if you can find one still in stock somewhere. It has two ratios, the 3:1 reduction and 5:1 reduction. It will fit the KV1/KV2 although you might need to solder your old wires onto the new motors (the new wires are not quite long enough for the KV1/KV2). You can change the reduction by just swapping the final drive pinion around. I made a video here showing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh0x...JbnMyoeV5PIe2w
As for the spare KV1/KV2 upper deck I'm sure it wont be too much of an issue. Just give me PM and I'll go see if I can find you something
Old 09-25-2014, 12:52 AM
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My KV-2 is a battle hardened monster and is my most mechanically reliable tank and a deadly warrior. It has a leviathan reputation

Asiatam / Taigen really nailed it with the KV metal hull. It's the best ever made for a tank (at least that I own or have seen) and will probably never fail you.
Old 09-25-2014, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Strato50 View Post
My KV-2 is a battle hardened monster and is my most mechanically reliable tank and a deadly warrior. It has a leviathan reputation

Asiatam / Taigen really nailed it with the KV metal hull. It's the best ever made for a tank (at least that I own or have seen) and will probably never fail you.
Yes before the T34 it was my favorite chassis to work with. Very reliable just as you say. I actually wanted a KV1/KV2 to do my brushless project with but I never get any returns or have to do fixes on them so I dont have any in the graveyard
Old 09-25-2014, 06:35 AM
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Strato50,
I'm glad you piped in, if you do a search on the forum, there isn't a lot of chatter about the KV-2. That's what prompted me to at least give an unseasoned commentary about this tank. I took it out to the local park and ran it around for a while and my respect for its drivability went up quite a bit. The comment I made about trying to turn gently at speed and the difficulty I experienced, virtually disappeared with the added resistance of grass and dirt. If I drove it back on the sidewalk it would get touchy again, so it seems to have a lot to do with a lack of traction on concrete. I see your comment at the bottom of your posts, so tell me your thoughts or experience with a Clark board, if you are using one in your KV-2. Eventually, I will learn what kind of mods will improve my running experience, but I am too new to have formed any prejudices just yet.

Erik,
I wish to shamelessly plug your PR skills. Unsolicited, Erik contacted me by PM expressing concern that I received the tank in anything but pristine condition. If this is the norm to expect from Erik and Taigen, I think they have my business for the foreseeable future. I am glad I pulled the trigger on the T-34, I will be anxiously waiting for the big box to show up on my doorstep, since I don't expect to be disappointed with my second purchase.

I hope that any other KV-2 owners chime in and if anyone else has used the Elmod SU-152 kit, I would love to hear your experiences.

Mark
Old 09-25-2014, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Gun Tech View Post
Strato50,
I'm glad you piped in, if you do a search on the forum, there isn't a lot of chatter about the KV-2. That's what prompted me to at least give an unseasoned commentary about this tank. I took it out to the local park and ran it around for a while and my respect for its drivability went up quite a bit. The comment I made about trying to turn gently at speed and the difficulty I experienced, virtually disappeared with the added resistance of grass and dirt. If I drove it back on the sidewalk it would get touchy again, so it seems to have a lot to do with a lack of traction on concrete. I see your comment at the bottom of your posts, so tell me your thoughts or experience with a Clark board, if you are using one in your KV-2. Eventually, I will learn what kind of mods will improve my running experience, but I am too new to have formed any prejudices just yet.

Erik,
I wish to shamelessly plug your PR skills. Unsolicited, Erik contacted me by PM expressing concern that I received the tank in anything but pristine condition. If this is the norm to expect from Erik and Taigen, I think they have my business for the foreseeable future. I am glad I pulled the trigger on the T-34, I will be anxiously waiting for the big box to show up on my doorstep, since I don't expect to be disappointed with my second purchase.

I hope that any other KV-2 owners chime in and if anyone else has used the Elmod SU-152 kit, I would love to hear your experiences.

Mark
Of course, that is how we roll
We always take care of our customers! I've helped many forum members and most all should tell you we DO care and share the enjoyment of the hobby. I am quite the nerd myself, bossman is supposed to be getting me a camo smock with "Tankologist" on it I eat, sleep, and as of last night DREAM rc. For real though, such a strange dream... Anyways, yes expect this kind of support and willingness to help from Taigen, I work real hard to make sure everyone is pleased. Oh and check your email, I responded yesterday
Old 09-25-2014, 08:08 AM
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Erik,
I replied to you yesterday with an e-mail, so tag, you're it.

Mark
Old 09-25-2014, 10:17 AM
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Haha, tag you are it now!
Old 09-25-2014, 10:48 AM
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Just for the record, Erik and I have have come to a great solution. If I say only nice things from now on, he won't box up one of those Florida gators in my next tank purchase . JK! great customer service. I will look forward to keeping this thread updated with any new discoveries or impressions.

Mark
Old 09-25-2014, 11:48 AM
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Always glad to help
Old 09-26-2014, 06:06 AM
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Thanks for the review! I was very curious about this Taigen KV-2 myself. Might have to get me one for my birthday or Christmas.
Old 09-26-2014, 06:51 AM
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strippersteel,
As I said, these are the impressions from someone who has no previous experience, but having read up everything I can find and watching the driving qualities of other tanks, I like what I see. The only thing you will have to contend with is that anyone not familiar with WWII armor, will make comments about it looking like a romantic interlude between an armored vehicle and the USS Monitor. Graceful is a word that will not pop up in any conversation describing this fine piece of Russian hardware, but that is it's unique quality. As for a further input of the most recent driving experience, I found that the airsoft gun is actually pretty puny, at maximum elevation, the BB's are good for about 20-25 feet. I could see why people use the IR for battling, since it would provide a bit greater range between opponents. Since I haven't found anyone in the area that is into this stuff, it's a moot point for the time being, if battling becomes an option I can always retrofit the necessary parts. Driving it is a blast and it crawls over everything I can find in the yard. It has the height, weight and traction to come up to a brick and crawl up and over without much fuss. Throttle inputs must be made very gently to avoid launching it up and over obstacles. I did notice one track pin working its way out, so I will have to keep an eye on them in case they become an issue. That's all for now.


Mark
Old 09-26-2014, 08:38 AM
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Yes, beauty is not the KV-2's strong point hehe. On World of Tanks it is referred to as the "King of Derp."
Old 09-26-2014, 09:27 AM
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Eirik,
The Russians probably thought that the disproportionately large turret would provide a tactical advantage by intimidating the Germans (or more likely, have them laughing so hard they couldn't return fire). It seems that the Russians and the Germans had some serious Freudian problems with size issues.

Looking at the diversity of tank designs from all of the countries, makes you stop and think about the thought process that went into many of them. Examples like the Maus, as awesome as they were, had such glaring weaknesses for speed and prey to air power, leaves you wondering what they were thinking. All I can say is, I'm glad so many designs exist for us to copy and strive to own.

Mark
Old 09-27-2014, 10:49 AM
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Went out for a nocturnal drive and had an incident. I must have hit one of those silent German mines, because all of a sudden my left track was wasted. I thought that pin from the other night was the culprit, but I was wrong. It turned out that one of the links was incompletely cast and it finally broke. Luckily, Taigen provides a couple of spare links and I was back together in a matter of minutes. I inspected the rest of the track for any flaws, but everything else looked great. This thing is a blast and I am enjoying it and last night was a minor hiccup. I have a question for any fellow owners,I seem to be unable to figure out how to get the smoke generator to work. I have tried the switch in both positions to no avail and I have made sure there was oil in it. If anyone has any thoughts I will be glad to listen. Still happy, just need more batteries now for more playtime.

Mark
Old 10-31-2014, 06:49 AM
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Okay, I have been quiet since I have been focusing on tank aquisitions with a rabid mania. I absolutely enjoy this tank and I have realized it is a bit twitchy for steering inputs. I have a Clark TK22 that Freaky provided and I hope to install this weekend. But the coolest thing, was that I finally got a package from Germany with my SU-152 conversion kit! I immediately started in on removing all of the non-essential deck parts and teaching myself how to work with plastic and resin parts. So far, I have dry fit the casemate to the upper deck and I need to go purchase adhesives and fillers for when I am rady to start sticking things together. I finally found my cable to download photos from my phone, so I will try to get some pictures posted. Remember! I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express and don't have a clue what I am doing, any feelings of nausea or discomfort are normal. I will try to get those pictures posted tonight.

Mark
Old 10-31-2014, 07:03 AM
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Well that sucks on the smoke unit, have you tried applying direct current to it? 6-9V is plenty to check it. I'm glad you got the conversion kit, keep me updated ok? I'll reply to your email shortly, I'm on my mobile atm testing some new stuff outside
Old 10-31-2014, 08:20 AM
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Erik,
Not terribly worried about smoke, I just pulled the unit and can bench test it this weekend. This kit, from my unskilled viewpoint, is very nicely made, there are some bubbles but nothing that a skim coat of filler can't fix. No rush on a reply, I have plenty to keep me busy for a while. My wife was so happy I cleaned my work bench last weekend and saw it last night and said "what happened!" She should know better after all these years that I am a bit obsessive with anything I cast my interest on. My collection is growing very quickly with some inexpensive used tanks (some running, most not), but I did just locate a Hooben T-55 that I will have to build completely, that should show up next week. Thanks to your help selling me the KT tracks, I gutted the chassis of the original Tamiya running gear and have a set of Mato brass gearboxes that I need to fit up. I have to machine a mounting bracket and custom output shafts to mate the KT sprockets, but that's easy for me. I need to hit the industrial supply store for some boxes of bolts, screws, nuts, etc... so I can have a variety of hardware available. I keep blaming it all on my co-worker that I got the Leopard from.

Mark
Old 10-31-2014, 09:18 AM
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I am glad I pulled the trigger on the T-34, I will be anxiously waiting for the big box to show up on my doorstep, since I don't expect to be disappointed with my second purchase.

Mark
You won't be disappointed with the T-34. It's my favorite tank right now.
Old 10-31-2014, 09:44 AM
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Baliw,
I love the smooth driving characteristics of the T-34, but the KV-2 is an unstoppable beast. My wife's landscaping can defeat the T-34 but the KV can get me into trouble. I am not saying this as a negative for the T-34, just a personal preference, I have had no issues with it at all and anyone that has driven it, likes it better. I don't know why I like Soviet armor as much as I do, but the original designs seem to strike a chord in me. Don't get me wrong, my German armor will be growing shortly, but most of the ones I will have will be upgraded to get them running. I am a bit weak on US armor, but one that is headed my way is a used Pershing that runs and doesn't need work (yet! ). I am one of those people that uses all of my gear hard, not abusively, but if something has flaws, or areas that need improvement, I will often find them. It helps that I managed to turn my garage into a machine shop, so if something needs to be built on a lathe, mill or TIG welded, nothing will slow me down. I just wish I could locate someone in the area to share the interest, all of my friends think this is cool, but they don't see themselves getting involved.

Mark
Old 10-31-2014, 10:41 AM
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The T34 Treads need to be more aggressive for better traction and I think the KV1 has a better tread pattern and abit higher ground clearance. But I still love my T34 and will be adding a KV1 to the stable soon.

Last edited by cb671; 10-31-2014 at 10:44 AM.
Old 10-31-2014, 11:15 AM
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cb671,
You will be happy with it. Those tracks will float nicely on the sand and even at 1:16 scale, it weighs about as much as some of those Japanese tanks I saw out there

Mark
Old 11-01-2014, 12:27 PM
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Just got the pictures uploaded!













This should be interesting.

Mark
Old 11-01-2014, 01:51 PM
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Nice Conversion Kit!!!! Where did you get that from? Makes me want to get another T34 and do a SU122 or SU-85 conversion.
Old 11-02-2014, 07:23 AM
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Sorry for the delay replying. The info is on the box in the first photo and this maker/vendor is:

http://www.store-juckenburg.de/index...=category&n=50

I showed it to a friend of mine that is a seasoned modeler and he was impressed with it. I was able to successfully install the Clark TK22 and it sounds great, but the max volume is lower than the stock board for the engine sounds, gun firing and MG are strong and defined. I will need to explore the functions of the new board after I get comfortable with it, I was happy to get it running with only one moment of confusion when I overlooked installing a switch to complete a circuit. Still a bit aggressive and twitchy for steering, but it seems improved from what it was. This is coming along and I need to start sorting out the mechanics for barrel movement, so time to get creative.

Mark

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