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Heng Long's 2021 Release: KV-2

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Heng Long's 2021 Release: KV-2

Old 08-01-2021, 02:32 PM
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herrmill
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Default Heng Long's 2021 Release: KV-2

Was told over the weekend that HL's only new release for the year will be a KV-2 which will see its debut at Hobby Expo China. Only the Soviet version is planned.






Old 08-01-2021, 02:41 PM
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Financially I'm sure it makes sense to HL as Tamiya has discontinued their KV-2. If I didn't already have a KV-2 I might be interested in it, but since I already do I'm not. Looks like they are just slapping it on the KV-1E version so they are leaving the applique armor on it which the KV-2 didn't have as the turret already weighed too much for the chassis.

Last edited by tankme; 08-01-2021 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:16 PM
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What would you expect from the largest model tank suppler in all of China? I guess we can expect the next release to be a KV-85?
Old 08-01-2021, 04:27 PM
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Personally I'd like that... That is one thing I would like to see is a company like Heng Long putting out conversion kits for their tanks. A nice plastic injection molded KV-1C or KV-1S turret would be great. After dealing with the Vandra SU-122 in resin and the Armoured models 3D printed SU-152, I truly appreciate the value of a nice plastic injection molded piece.
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:41 PM
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Same here & I truly cannot understand why they don't run with either conversion kits or develop more variants of their existing models.

I'll have the opportunity to talk with them in a few weeks & will ask that question myself.
Old 08-01-2021, 07:35 PM
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Its been quite a while since we've seen anything original come out of Heng Long, just saying.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:03 PM
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I actually think we really need to hand it to Heng Long though as with as many tanks as they have produced, they have introduced more people to tanking than any other company. Believe it or not, Hooben has more variety and non-duplication of all the "big" 1/16 tank manufacturers. They of course produce the fewest tanks also.
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tankme View Post
I actually think we really need to hand it to Heng Long though as with as many tanks as they have produced, they have introduced more people to tanking than any other company. Believe it or not, Hooben has more variety and non-duplication of all the "big" 1/16 tank manufacturers. They of course produce the fewest tanks also.
You must be reading my mind since I had a chat earlier today with a local enthusiast & pretty much said the same thing except I was pointing out Hooben's R&D costs they plow into their lines vs HL whose output is exponentially higher. To not spend a little more to modify the tooling & backdate that KV-1 upper hull has to be one of the most egregious forms of "pennywise, pounds foolish thinking" we've seen from HL.

;

Last edited by herrmill; 08-01-2021 at 10:12 PM.
Old 08-02-2021, 12:47 AM
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*Wears designers hat*
Sure, I can just delete the holes for the extra armour from the CAD model. We can save a couple of pennies per unit by not fitting those extra armour pieces.
(thinking about this some more - those extra parts may be part of the same mould tool, in which case you get them whether you want them or not!)

*puts on manufacturing engineers hat*
Those holes are made by a slide in the tool, we would need either new slide inserts or a whole new tool. How many tens of thousands of dollars would you like us to burn making this little change?

It's a non trivial task to change an injection moulding tool. Its maybe something they could look at once the existing tool has hit its end of life, but I'm not sure the volume of KV's sold would justify the expense of having either 2 sets of how ever many slides, or 2 whole moulds for such a relatively small change.
Then you can add on the costs of keeping 2 different parts in inventory, potential disruption to sub assembly workflow, space constrains on how many different parts you can pile up around those stations...

Honestly, if I'm in charge of HL, I would take the attitude that if it bothers a customer that much, they're likely the kind of folks who will tear the tank down and repaint it anyway, so they can simply prise the offending parts off and fill in the holes as the first step.
The tool for the upper is likely north of $100,000 (yes they really do cost that much), I'm not paying for a second one just to delete a few holes, and I'm not going to be keen to monkey with the one I have in case that gets messed up some how.

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Old 08-02-2021, 01:54 AM
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I'm always happy to see any company release any new tank, even if it's one that I'll probably never buy. You see, this is just a personal opinion, but I happen to believe that the kv2 is probably the ugliest tank ever created by man. No offense to the fans of the kv2, it just looks very very funny to me. But like I said, it's always good to see new tanks coming out. Even if they do have some flaws and need some work. How long have we been dealing with the extra antenna tube on the tiger one?
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Old 08-02-2021, 08:21 AM
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"Bah, historical accuracy?, they won't notice"

"After all they bought the PanTiger!"....
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:01 AM
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Wait a minute, didn’t henglong already have a kv2 years ago.
we had a kid that was a club member and he drove a kv2 and it was not a Tamiya.

talk about egregious, Tamiya making the m51 with the M4 Howitzer hull…. Slap a new turret and call it a new tank. I half expected them right after fury to slap a T23 and sell it as Fury.
Old 08-02-2021, 09:52 AM
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Taigen sell a KV2 with the German cupola, don't think they sold a Russian version tho?
Old 08-02-2021, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ex_Pat_Tanker View Post
Taigen sell a KV2 with the German cupola, don't think they sold a Russian version tho?
Not that I'm aware of. People have been converting the Torro KV2 turret to a non-German one for years and some are printing Russian KV2 turrets.

I was going to make the point of the KV-1E armor also. It seems like a simple change, but after seeing the actual injection molds in some online articles you can see why they would cost so much money. When they put them in the machine they are actually really large and thick. It does cost a lot of money just to do what we would think is a simple mold change.

Last edited by tankme; 08-02-2021 at 12:39 PM.
Old 08-02-2021, 11:04 AM
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Its not just the size, there is quite a lot of engineering goes into the design of them - both in terms of the getting feeds in the right place to ensure the mould fills properly, and getting cooling passages into the tool so that plastic cools (and shrinks) constantly. If you needs slides to produce holes or undercuts that cannot be made by the top/bottom or side pieces of the tool, then they take even more work to design, produce and validate. Finally, once the tool has been cut it is usually heat treated to prolong its life - that is not a cheap (or quick) process either. What can seem like a simple tweak to the layman, can in reality be cripplingly expensive. I'm sure Heng Long have already done the calculation of how many more units they would sell if they made the changes, vs how long it would take to recoup the money spent making the change, and concluded that it simply isn't worth it.
Old 08-02-2021, 12:50 PM
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My response was simplified, but I do understand a lot of the process and why it's so expensive. I've removed the extra armor from the KV-1E to build my SU-152. To make a tank without the extra armor, it looks like they would have to build a new mold for the upper hull because there are voids under the add on armor. The lower hull only has some small holes molded in it to mount the applique armor plates. It's actually quite easy to remove that armor for the end user and fill with some styrene rod. The other side of this is that they still want to produce the KV-1E so they have no incentive to modify or replace those molds unless they wear out.
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Old 08-02-2021, 08:06 PM
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Better get to producing those KV-2s cause they'll never survive all those King Tigers.
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ex_Pat_Tanker View Post
The tool for the upper is likely north of $100,000 (yes they really do cost that much), I'm not paying for a second one just to delete a few holes, and I'm not going to be keen to monkey with the one I have in case that gets messed up some how.
I do tooling here as well - have for a few decades - & recently finished a new set of tooling for the RV/Marine market that are much larger, a dual cavity mold for just under $8,500.

Size of this tool, especially if done in-house should run 30,000-50,000RMB so its really not that much to consider for any supplier who wants to do it right. But then again, these are only toys, aren't they?
Old 08-03-2021, 12:52 AM
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Wow that is cheap! I can't get automotive part suppliers to even 'look' at their tooling for that kind of money... How many shots do they expect to get off that tool?

Still, will HL make the extra money back if they delete those features?

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Old 08-03-2021, 01:24 AM
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Probably not given they hadn't even fixed their Tiger tooling all these years but here's something else to ponder... I used to buy these in case lots of 6 for $25.00 back in 2006 which was their standard FOB list. Don't know their current list for FCL loads but I'd hazard to guess its a tad more nowadays. They sell the same model V6.0 for 638RMB on their Taobao store so am sure they've more than recouped their tooling investment.
Old 08-03-2021, 01:39 AM
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I can remember the days of being able to by 2 non smoke and sound tanks for ~$50 retail as well, I think its fair to say raw material, labour rates and shipping have increased considerably since then tho. Heng Longs are a little bit better put together these days as well

Still curious about that tooling cost - is that figure for a fully engineered tool, or just the cost for the local machine shop to make to print? I'm used to dealing with glass filled Nylon parts like filter housings and intake manifolds, but don't have any experience with working with ABS or PS.
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Old 08-03-2021, 01:52 AM
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6 years give or take a few months with routine maintenance - won't get into annual runs but let's just say its upwards of 100k. That's for a PP V30G part that weighs in at 1.0kg & yes, the tooling is done in a real, honest-to-goodness CNC tooling facility, not some bicycle repair shop/part-time machine shop across the street from the bun stall. Been using same supplier for years & hadn't had any complaints yet.

When Feng @ Hooben was selling me to invest in his tank dreams back about the same time he was budgeting $30k per model for total investment so it can be done cheaper & we all know that was years before 3DP was around.

Am pretty sure HL does their tooling in-house - been a while since I last visited so I may be wrong.

Getting back to the KV-2 E, have no problem reworking the one I'll probably pick up at HEC for my son who's been pining for one. Certainly isn't a huge deal to me, either.

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Old 08-03-2021, 02:23 AM
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When we (or our customers to be precise) pay for tooling, we give the supplier the finished model and they are responsible for all tooling design and development, as well as the production of the physical tool itself. The block of steel the tool is made from and the machine time to cut it is a small part of the overall cost.
(The glass fibre filler typically used on plastic engine parts is very abrasive, so the tools have to be heat treated to prolong their life - but as the OEM only pays for the initial tool, the suppliers piece part pricing has to reflect the life of the tool and and cover the cost of replacement tooling once that first set is worn out)

The more of that work you can bring in house, the easier it is to hide the costs as overhead I guess.

Anyway, also getting back to the KV2 - I already have the big turret Juckenburg conversion completed and gathering dust on a shelf here, so I won't be getting excited about this one. I'm pleased to see HL are at least releasing 'something' this year - its not perfect, but its not Pantiger nor even bloated M41 levels of 'ah screw it, its close enough' that we used to have to put up with

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Old 08-03-2021, 02:24 AM
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I totally get it, Tooling costs money but it has a finite life and in the interim I cannot help but ask WHY have Heng Long, Taigen et al not made a list of things to fix like removing the aforementioned obsolete Tiger 1 spare aerial holder and the wrongly located turret and the wrong angle on the Panzer 4 engine deck and the wrongly placed 4th roller on the PZ4,
.To a greater or lesser degree they are all all fixable by a determined modeller but Why should we have to?
These failings have been on those 2 Tanks since day one and I would wager a large sum of money that the Tooling has been renewed more than once since the original equipment was first installed.
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:12 AM
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Yes, considering I heard murmurs that Heng Long as a company was recently faced with some leadership issues, it’s good to know they’re still breathing at least.
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