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Hooben Merkeva 4M has arrived

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Hooben Merkeva 4M has arrived

Old 11-23-2021, 07:44 AM
  #26  
RichJohnson
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Everything on the Merkeva is printed except the tracks. The track is a hard nylon. Like tamiya.
The sprocket is 3d as well and feels more like a hard PLA than the 3d resin of the body and all details. I think the idler could be pla as well as the wheels and arms. But not certain.

I am trying various ideas to solve the track coming off the sprocket of a front drive tank. That just should not happen.

Hooben got back to me with my complaints and said to glue more sytrene card under the fenders for repairs and to take a link of track out to stop detracking....
Old 11-23-2021, 08:21 AM
  #27  
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This unfortunate. Very sorry to hear of the issues with at model Rich. This should not happen with something that costly.

my experience with Hooben has been limited to 2 elefant and 1 t-55 kit all as yet unbuilt. I knew with the former I wasnít getting an Imai and just looked over the latter. The only other experience with Hooben is the 1/10 T-34. The upper hull was fabricated from some foreign to me plastic sheet with I believe an injection molded turret. Lower in aluminum sheet. Havenít really examined the running gear that closely but I did run the model through loose dirt with some rocks in it (not purposefully) and while the model complained a bit nothing broke so I never looked further. I ran the model multiple times this way so on the whole mechanically it seems ok. Detail is Ďokí but it doesnít really approach the level Iíd expect at its price point either.

again very sorry to hear about the issues Rich. I had high hopes for Hooben as Iím sure you and others did. When a company continues to break the trust and faith itís customers put in them it will never end well. IMHO.

jerry
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herrmill (11-23-2021)
Old 11-23-2021, 05:38 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
Hooben got back to me with my complaints and said to glue more sytrene card under the fenders for repairs and to take a link of track out to stop detracking....
They what?

The way the tank has gone, refunding your money and return postage would be the acceptable outcome, or at least posting you replacement parts.

They're never getting any more of my money even though I like my T-55 quite a lot.....
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Old 11-23-2021, 05:55 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
Hooben got back to me with my complaints and said to glue more sytrene card under the fenders for repairs and to take a link of track out to stop detracking....
So typical for these folks. What not duct tape & chewing gum?
Old 11-23-2021, 09:23 PM
  #30  
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OMG guys this just gets worse and worse. One step forward and a hundred steps back.
What till you see all this.
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Old 11-23-2021, 09:37 PM
  #31  
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Ok so I tried what Hooben told me to try, take a track link out to make the tracks stay on. It was just too short to get back together so I had to put it back in.
I looked at the problem for a few hours and I felt the the drive shaft exited the tank hull at a downward angle. So i squezed the tranny together with my hand and they flexed on their mounts on the hull quite a bit.
So wedged some blocks between each tranny and the side of the hull to push them inward, causing the drive shaft to angle upward to a level point after it exited the hull.
I did a test drive with just the chassis and it seemed to be a success. I put the tank together and took it out to the dirt field to drive. Low and behold it did not loose any tracks.
I got to drive it for about 15 minutes. I took a video I was having so much fun. Then, while on video, a wheel unscrewed and came off and popped the side skirt off and broke the chain hanger when the side skirt angled up and popped off.
Video is posted on my instagram @Richjohnson_models_n_stuff

So I had to go to the specialty hardware store and get some 2.5mm hex nuts to put back into the control arm.
So I had to pry the hub cap off the loose wheel to get to the screw and then put lock tight on it and screw it back and then use some rubber cement to tack the cap back on.
I noticed all the other wheels were backing out of their nuts as well.
I had to pry all the hub caps off to back the screws out one by one and put lock tight on their nuts and screw them back together and then glue the hub cap back on.

Then the unthinkable happened. A wheel broke off a control arm.
Super glue, epoxy, whatever, it aint going to fix the control arm. This tank is probably dead now.
Oh and I found some screws from the turret ring laying in the hull when I opened it up to do the service.
I have messaged Hooben again and told them what I did and what happened. I asked for a new control arm. Then I asked for a few spare control arms. Then I just said this tank is so bad I should get a refund. I was seeing the icon that they were reading my messages until the last 3.
I am so friggin upset and mad right now. I feel like I want to set this tank on the ground and stomp on it till its little bits of junk all over the floor.








Old 11-23-2021, 10:14 PM
  #32  
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Do yourself a favor & demand a full refund plus 30% for pain & suffering. That heap belongs in the bin. Not on your workbench.
Old 11-23-2021, 10:16 PM
  #33  
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Ok so Lillian Twin Horse has been working with me on the broken part and the slack in the track. They ignored my request for a refund.....

She is going to send me a replacement control arm for the right side to replace the one that broke. I asked for a couple left and right, but I guess Im lucky to get just one at this point....

And she sent me a video of how the adjustable idler works...... Finally.....


Last edited by RichJohnson; 11-23-2021 at 10:20 PM.
Old 11-23-2021, 10:49 PM
  #34  
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Rich, this has been painful to watch. How these guys can stay in business is beyond me. They should refund you immediately and let you keep the thing for beta testing. So sorry to see it like this.
Old 11-23-2021, 10:56 PM
  #35  
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Well worth reading if you haven't. Well worth re-reading if you have.

RCTW Hooben Tank Models

Old 11-24-2021, 04:33 AM
  #36  
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The only way those road wheel supports are going to work is if you take them to a brass foundry that does lost wax castings and have them use them as masters to cast brass replacements. Wont actually work, sadly, since they are unlikely to melt and cleanly run out of a mold, to be replaced by brass.
Hooben should provide data files for all the parts so buyers could print their own replacement parts.
Old 11-24-2021, 06:39 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Crius View Post
You are a good modeler and your opinion does carry weight, so I ask you now, can you tell me more about the latest run of T55 kits? I've always wanted to build one of those but I've always held off because of all the horrible reviews. Did you do a build thread on your last T55? If you did, can you please post a link here? That's something that I would really like to see before I make the final decision as to whether or not I should buy a t-55. That would pretty much complete my Russian tank collection as I already have the t-72 and the T90, and from World War II have the js2 and I've had several t-34s. Any info or tips you can give me on the latest T 55 kit would be much appreciated.
Here all the work on the Hooben's T-55 3 models and I'm working on the 4th and next the first one from 10 years ago will be repainted and refitted with new parts. I spent more than 250 hours on this kit and I stated in the tutorials """If this kit, as is, had been manufactured by Tamiya, it would have been in my opinion the best Tamiya had made in 1/16 scale up to the arrival of the Leo 2A6."""
Honestly to build a T-55 you don't need to be a genius obviously but have experience with static kit and some scratch like the DKLM or Ludwig.

Regular Russian T-55
http://www.modelersite.com/en/112919...-both-versions

Tiran 5
http://www.modelersite.com/en/112936...r-c-1-16-scale

Both tutorials are prepaid for downloading.
Old 11-24-2021, 06:52 AM
  #38  
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Those look great, they have a lot of information that will be very useful, thank you very much for posting the links. I'm at work right now so all I could really do is skim over them quickly with my phone, but I can already see that this is something I will want to look at from my PC, and possibly even print out. I'm sure they're going to be extremely useful, so thanks again. Now I need to start looking around for a good deal on a t-55.
Old 11-24-2021, 07:02 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Crius View Post
Those look great, they have a lot of information that will be very useful, thank you very much for posting the links. I'm at work right now so all I could really do is skim over them quickly with my phone, but I can already see that this is something I will want to look at from my PC, and possibly even print out. I'm sure they're going to be extremely useful, so thanks again. Now I need to start looking around for a good deal on a t-55.
The first one was bought in 2011 for $500. Few years ago I got 3 for $220 or so each from HK, check with hobbysummit at ebay where I got from https://www.ebay.com/str/hobbysummit.
In order that you do not be disappointed, I warn you that the tutorials are prepaid. Anyway you can ask me by private or mail if you need advice over these.
Old 11-24-2021, 07:53 AM
  #40  
RichJohnson
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DKLM carries the Hooben T55 for a decent price. I have pondered buying it a few times but just have too many shermans and other things to build
Old 11-24-2021, 08:09 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by oldwolf75 View Post
The only way those road wheel supports are going to work is if you take them to a brass foundry that does lost wax castings and have them use them as masters to cast brass replacements. Wont actually work, sadly, since they are unlikely to melt and cleanly run out of a mold, to be replaced by brass.
Hooben should provide data files for all the parts so buyers could print their own replacement parts.
Yeaaaah to do lost wax castings you kinda need to make a wax master that can be completely melted out of the investment.
You might get away with using the originals for free pattern sand molding and add finer details.... If we were closer I'd give them a go in my foundry.

This doesn't help Rich much...

Jerry
Old 11-24-2021, 08:12 AM
  #42  
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The best advertisement you could ever do .....
If I sold you this miracle, then I just gave you spare parts so that you no longer write about IT ...: D
We in Russia are waiting for OUR colleague to open the box ...
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:32 AM
  #43  
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Oh dear, I wish your friend luck Pavel. I just cant believe the saga of this tank model.
I just about had it tuned and dialed in with my experiment on the trannys.

I actually installed a permanent brace on the trannys using 3mm all thread stock and nuts to accomplish more effectively what my wedged shims did for the test drive that is posted on my instagram where I finally didnt loose the tracks, I just had the wheels unscrew....


Old 11-24-2021, 04:15 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
DKLM carries the Hooben T55 for a decent price. I have pondered buying it a few times but just have too many shermans and other things to build
The difference is that the end product is actually decently designed tank that runs well and showed that Hooben aspired to Tamiya levels of engineering for the T-55, making the tank as a kit and using the same kind of box presentation, and I hear the second run production was much improved over the first.
Old 11-24-2021, 04:59 PM
  #45  
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Ok Gentleman, I have gone as far as I can with this disaster of a model. I investigated the adjustable idler further to try and take the slack out of the track on the right side and found the screw just turned, the nut is recessed in a hole to hide it and it had rubber cement all over it. It would never come out. I cut the head off the screw gently and rapidly on and off with the drmmel, touching it with a wet sponge to keep it from heating up and melting the 3d plastic, which it still kinda did a bit.

Low and behold it came off and I tried the different positions. Which are so far back it would cover the moulded adjuster nut and bolt casting and not sit flat, so I would have grind that off if I used that position, or so far forward it would foul on the casting detail on the front side of the mount so I would have to grind that all off there. It might work forward if I take a link out.
But for now I just put it all back together as there really is not any good option.

I took it for a test drive after doing lots of bondo work to strengthen up the very weak body and boy did it really make the hull strong. It made a huge difference in rigidity and strength. I also put steel bars in the rear section where the sponson cracked and broke early on. It will never break again. But it may also never run again either. I also put some bondo in around the bottom rear mud guards etc and now they are not going to break, they were cracking at joints and I had to glue a few times with CA.

Now, all this done I went for a drive, the track stayed on for the one minute until the wheel that broke off and I glued with CA when rolling away. Fail.....

So until and unless I get a new control arm they are supposed to send to me, this tank is D. E. D. dead.
I have moved it to the top shelf of shame, behind my 1st gen HL Abrams that is a wreck. It is tough to get to those models as I have to climb my work bench to get up there. But that is where it will languish until the repair parts come in. Hooben says they will send it to me. Im keeping my fingers crossed. If it never happens, I may repaint it and sell it as a static model without motors in it.
This whole adventure has been an epic fail so far, and I was so close I think to making it useable.
If you know anyone that has one tell them to come here for help, I will gladly help anyone I can with this monster as I would like to see some success with them. I really feel the mods I did were necessary to improve the rigidity of the model and to prevent further breaking of the 3d resin. It now feel so solid, I dont have to use the screws to hold the top on, their magents in the front do alot and its so rigid and strong it al just fits solidly together.





















Last edited by RichJohnson; 11-24-2021 at 05:16 PM.
Old 11-24-2021, 10:25 PM
  #46  
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At least on the bright side, its getting heavier with all the Bondo...
Old 11-25-2021, 07:33 AM
  #47  
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I wanted to write, but on this resource the use of some words is prohibited, and without using them, I cannot express anything for your 700 bucks ...:Сумасшедший:
Old 11-30-2021, 01:50 PM
  #48  
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Nice collection Rich. It sounds like Merkava found its place - on the shelf.
B
Old 12-01-2021, 04:27 PM
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Bondo is a good tool for making thing more rigid!!!
Old 12-01-2021, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MAUS45 View Post
Bondo is a good tool for making thing more rigid!!!
Yea, used to hear that all the time from an old girlfriend.

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