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Hooben Merkeva 4M has arrived

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Hooben Merkeva 4M has arrived

Old 11-19-2021, 11:15 PM
  #1  
RichJohnson
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Default Hooben Merkeva 4M has arrived

So this happened today........
First impressions
Some parts came loose from the tank during shipment. They were lying around the box. One corner radar and Trophy unit was actually found inside the tank. It worked its way in through the back door, literally.
I have never seen this much detail on a ready to run tank or model ever. This is not a toy, its a model of the highest quality.
It is super robust, metal pan with plastic overlay, metal upper hull support deck system inside.
Stock IR system... will test that later.
Wheels have bushings in them. The hub caps are glued on, so trying to get them off to change out to bearings wont be easy, will it be necessary? Probably not.
Lots of parts are coming loose as I handle it. I think they went very sparingly with the glue when they tacked them on.
Still there are a few initial problems I have already found, so far all are easy fixes.
The biggest is the front under hull plastic overlay of the metal hull, it fell off in my hand, it was super glued to metal hull and it failed and cracked and came off. I will use tough rubber cement to fix and get photos later.
Also, it looks like they added some sheet styrene under the front fenders, they didnt realize this but it caused a fitting issue and a gap at the nose where the hull meets the upper.
I will elaborate more on all these later. Its late and I just wanted to get it out there that I got the model I preordered, basically on time and its quite well worth what they are charging. Its robustness and detail is way beyond henglong. Im going to say, it is right up there close to Tamiya quality so far.
Though, I believe the suspension arms are plastic, and if you break one, you probably wont be able to get a spare part. Im not saying they will break, but things happen. Somebody that is 3d smart will design heavy duty replacements and put them on shapeways.
All the plastic feels like that hard white urethane they are using alot of now in China for detail castings. Even the hull and turret seem to be this stuff. I know its brittle, so dont ram anything with the tank, I suspect thats how they came to add the styrene reinforcement plates under the front fender, I did the exact same thing to my DKLM M60a3 to support the upper hull which feels like almost the same material. So I dont think any metling type plastic glue will work on this. I notice they used super glue and brown rubber cement on all the parts, and hot glue inside.... sigh... they glued the TCB in LOL.



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Panther F (11-20-2021)
Old 11-20-2021, 03:21 AM
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Michal_Kaczorowski
 
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I wonder how Heng Long will be compared, because they also announced the Merkava (although it seems in a slightly different version).
Old 11-20-2021, 03:34 AM
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Good to hear a favorable report on a Hooben tank. Looks good!
Old 11-20-2021, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Michal_Kaczorowski View Post
I wonder how Heng Long will be compared, because they also announced the Merkava (although it seems in a slightly different version).
The Henglong release is nearly the same tank. Henglong chose the Merkeva 4. Hobben chose the 4M.
The difference is the addition of the Trophy anti rockect protection system, the 4 panels mounted on the corners. This is the most current updated version of the Merkeva. I do not know if all 4's have been updated to the 4M yet but they will be. I believe the installation of the Trophy system started somewere around 2012. The Henglong will look much more sleek on the turret than the Hooben. Thehooben has lots of detail that can and likely will break off lol. It looks amazing for a RTR tank.
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Old 11-20-2021, 10:12 AM
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Ok where to start....

Operation..... OMG kill me now please. The hooben radio system and MFU are soooo bad.
The tank is stupid slow, really slow.

The rotation system is just like the fury sherman they make. The motor is very slow, but can be changed out for a HL green cap motor which is must faster.




As you can see below, the plastic under chassis armor plate just popped off. I glued it back with rubber cement



Here you can see the large gap between the upper hull and the lower hull at the nose.





These two plastic reinforcing plates under the fenders extend over the lower hull and into the hull, meaning they make the upper hull sit on top of them over the lower hull.
They must be cut back on the line I marked and the hashed section removed. This will allowe the upper hull to sit back down properly on the lower hull and remove that gap at the front.


Battery compartment with two screws





The transmissions seem to be geared quite low on the gear ratio. They are ball bearing transmissions and they have the same gear tooth pitch as henglong and taigen as seen by a HL pinion sitting on the gear here. Plenty of room to install 390s to pick up the performance.



Fit and finish of this model is a bit lacking. If you notice the large gap above the rear bulkhead on the bustle. The screws in the bottom half of the turret are tight but the bottom of the bustle sags beneath the top of the upper turret. I can squeeze them together and they make a tight joint but Iet go and it relaxes to this position. I think its lack of screw mounts and the plastic material they used.



The commanders hatch keeps falling off. The arms are super flimsy and eventually going to break I guarantee it.



The more I handle this model the more parts pop off and then I noticed that the rear sponson on the right side cracked. The hull and turret and parts are made from a very brittle hard white plastic I have seen used on some other chinese made RTR models. Im afraid this tank is going to be a bit brittle and fragile. It feel like a urethane that was poured or sprayed into a mold to make the upper hull. I fixed it with super glue but I forsee having to glue plastic reinforcing plates all over this tank to strengthen the hull from breaking some day or repairing it. Do not run into anything with this tank, it will crack and break Im sure of that. No where as durable as a henglong.



Neat lighting effects.



These weird little bar things that hang down on the rear tow shackles are sure to break off. I just popped them off for now


A pin in the track was slightly out, it was rubbing the front fake rubber skirt, there is litterally no clearance there. I hammed it in and solved the issue.

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herrmill (11-22-2021)
Old 11-20-2021, 05:44 PM
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Well Ive about had it with this thing.
I noticed the gun doesnt recoil, it pushes out forward and returns. Its controlled by a servo so I opened the tank back up and started messing with it.
More parts broke off. Could not figure out out. Turned it off and closed up the tank carefully. Turned it back on and now tank just keeps saying in English "Signal lost"
I guess it lost bind with the TX but seriously, nothing I try has gotten it to bind back up. I guess the system is dead. Its crap any way, but I have driven it less than 15 minutes so far.
Ive broken lots of parts, including body and upper hull stuff. Its just so fragile.
It needs a whole new control system, clark ibu elmod whatever, even a henglong 6.1S system would be fine. Just have to rewire everything inside, and not break any of the hull or detail parts off.
At this point I am very frustrated with it and just done.
Can I recommend it still........ I dont know. Its a super detailed model, once I knock everything off and then glue it back on, it will stop getting knocked off. But the hull parts will still be fragile from the brittle plastic they used, likely it was all they could get to replicate the fine body detail they wanted.
If you want all the detail, and the headache that goes with it, along with rewiring the whole tank with a new controller, buy one.
If you want a really robust tank you will have no worries about ever, wait for it, and buy the henglong.
I love the detail, but as you can see, even I am very frustrated with it right now. I still cant believe they used the biggest piece of crap system in it again, just like the Fury.

Overall, Im almost surprised they marketed an RC tank made like this. but then, are we really surprised.....
I will put a new system in and be as careful as I can with it and hope I never run into anything and no one runs into me. For now, I guess its a shelf queen
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herrmill (11-22-2021)
Old 11-20-2021, 06:07 PM
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Sounds like Trumpeter made the kit using static model-grade plastic that is hard and brittle. Each model that comes out of the factory seems to be hand finished as it seems no two tanks have the same issues, but thatís not a good thing from both a cost to manufacture standpoint as well as cost to own standpoint.
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:53 PM
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I've got 2 Hoobens the T55 and the Elefant not planning on any more from them tell they wise up if were lucky .
Man Rich that Merkeva sucks ya get the HL .
Thanks
jimmy
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cleong View Post
Sounds like Trumpeter made the kit using static model-grade plastic that is hard and brittle. Each model that comes out of the factory seems to be hand finished as it seems no two tanks have the same issues, but thatís not a good thing from both a cost to manufacture standpoint as well as cost to own standpoint.
Cleong, its not Trumpeter its Hooben, but Im sure you just mistyped what you meant to say.

In talking with some others that have been involved in prototyping and developing products, we speculate that Hooben may have intended to do injection moulding but diverted to this type of casting or possibly even printed sytle of production and hand assembly to produce their model on a smaller scale. Its really the only way to get the level of detail like the chain balls and such. By the way the chains tangle up easy and I was poking at one with my finger to untangle it and the ball popped off. They are actually drilled and stuck onto an opened chain link end. And darn, I lost it....

I waited some time and plugged the battery back in and started up the tank and it seems it rebound to the transmitter. I drove it around on 8.4 a bit and man its still darn slow. And I had the track run off the sprocket to the inside again for the second time. Im pondering if this tank is going to do this alot?....
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Old 11-20-2021, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
Cleong, its not Trumpeter its Hooben, but Im sure you just mistyped what you meant to say.

In talking with some others that have been involved in prototyping and developing products, we speculate that Hooben may have intended to do injection moulding but diverted to this type of casting or possibly even printed sytle of production and hand assembly to produce their model on a smaller scale. Its really the only way to get the level of detail like the chain balls and such. By the way the chains tangle up easy and I was poking at one with my finger to untangle it and the ball popped off. They are actually drilled and stuck onto an opened chain link end. And darn, I lost it....

I waited some time and plugged the battery back in and started up the tank and it seems it rebound to the transmitter. I drove it around on 8.4 a bit and man its still darn slow. And I had the track run off the sprocket to the inside again for the second time. Im pondering if this tank is going to do this alot?....
Oh, sorry, I knew it was a Hooben kit, my thoughts were slightly jumbled because there were guys who converted Trumpeter kits to RC in the past and the plastic styrene was too brittle for extended RC use.. Its just the same story over again, using the wrong material to build an RC tank.
Old 11-20-2021, 10:48 PM
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I have Trumpeter T34/SU-100 uppers on Taigen lowers with no issues. At least the Trumpeter uppers can be beefed up with some Tamiya styrene cement and some sheet styrene since they are styrene. Whatever the Hooben plastic is, it is not styrene or even ABS on the Merkava or the ZTZ-99A. The T-55A is styrene as I've used styrene glue on it.
Old 11-20-2021, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tankme View Post
The T-55A is styrene as I've used styrene glue on it.
The T55A 100% sure is not styrene, many, many modellers reported having problems gluing the parts with hobby glue. I could not glue it myself. I guess you have a stronger glue than usual, which is great. I had to glue mine with straight acetone from the can. Revell styrene glue, tamiya glue and another one that I had around, did not work at all.
Old 11-21-2021, 09:39 AM
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Ok now Im really mad.

I have reached the point where I tell all of you DO NOT BUY THIS TANK from HOOBEN.

I drove it for two minutes today. The super crappy control of the super crappy radio system went into a hard turn and pivot turned as I drove past myself and it turned right into my shoe.
The corner fender broke off, see the crack?
Right above where they added the styrene sheet stock to reinforce the hull.

So opened up the tank to look into super glueing it back and low and behold, there is a glue line right there where it cracked before, and its been painted over.
This tank broke during assembly, they glued it, put the reinforcing plates on to hide it and then painted it and sent it to me.

This is the worst kind of BS product delivery I have ever seen. I mean, this is nearly a scam at this point. The tank broke and they glued it, covered it up and sent it out.

This tank is not able to be battled or its going to just break apart. Its only good for sitting on the shelf. Heck the very little time I have driven it the tracks keep rolling off the sprockets.
Im done. This thing is a money pit, or a repair time pit. I just dont know what to do at this point. I sent Lillian Twin Horse a PM on the FB with my photo proof flat out told her they sent me tank that broke and was reglued and sent out the door.

Adding those reinforcing sheets that fouled the mating of the hull parts and then covering up the glue repair. Inexcusable for a business. If this were ebay, I would be able to get a refund as a scam.




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Old 11-21-2021, 12:10 PM
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Oh man, sorry to read that.
Old 11-21-2021, 09:27 PM
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Yeah Iíve heard of Heng along/Torro/etc. arriving broken, but have never heard of them arriving after having been repaired. This is just ridiculous and does nothing good for their reputation.
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Old 11-22-2021, 02:47 AM
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I've been watching this one but haven't really said anything until now, waiting to see the final result. I'm really sorry to hear you got such a crappy tank, Rich. When I first saw a halfway decent review on a hooben product I was pretty amazed and thought there must be something wrong. Now I know, there was something wrong. I've never bought anything from them, mainly because I've never seen a good review on any of their products. I hope you get everything sorted out. Did you at least use PayPal? They should be able to get you a refund.
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Old 11-22-2021, 06:16 AM
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I have built 3 Hooben T-55 the last one converted to Tiran 5. Right now I'm working in the 4th a T-55 converted to T-54 converted to Tiran 4 early.
The first one 11 years ago was really bad, lot of flaws, old electronics and lot of problems. The last ones were corrected and new sprues were made of polystyrene.
The plastic used for the T-55, less the new sprues, is a hard ABS that resists the better ABS glues, so always I used a good CA.
The next Hooben was the elephant, not so good, copy of the Imai kit but without any improvements, which were necessary as the imai is very old and outdated.
Untill here I’m satisfy with Hooben, the problem is that from here on all the rest are cheap toys, most of them are 3D printed as the Tiger I Porsche, a mix of elephant and 3D printed.
I had experience with the OKMO kits parts, are good but usually the 3D plastic is fragile and brittle. I see the Merkava is 3D printed which make sense as the mould would cost a fortune. This is obvious because they are shipping one by one and only RTR, Hooben don’t want you see a 3D printed model asking $700.
I sent several email asking just for the plastic and never received an answer, although they answer immediately when the question is on other matter.
The 3D print is expensive and is obvious they didn’t want to lose the part, I’m very sorry Rich, Hooben is.... Hooben.

Last edited by mcovalsk; 11-22-2021 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:11 AM
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I retract my earlier comment.

I like Gary thought this was leading to a very good ending, not the nightmare you are going through. Hope it ends in some kind of positive note... if anything maybe information to those future tankers.
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Old 11-22-2021, 01:30 PM
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Thinking back I think I used some Plastruct liquid glue (for ABS and Styrene) on the T-55 so that may be where my confusion is, but the I would say the T55A is a much better kit than my ZTZ-99A is.
Old 11-22-2021, 03:00 PM
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Like others have said the hull looks printed, so will be brittle. Too bad to get stung for $700 for this.
B
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Old 11-22-2021, 06:34 PM
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Ouch! Thats pretty bad.

As I said a few months ago on another forum, Hooben is like that girl with the bad rep we all knew back in high school. We shouldn't ever go there but we still do...
Old 11-22-2021, 07:08 PM
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The tracks are quite loose. As you can see in these pics. This is leading to a problem the track constanly comes off the right sprocket and sometimes the left. Any time I turn basically.
I took it all apart tonight and was going to adjust the idler. HAHAHAHAHAHA its fake. Its a fake adjustable idler. And its a plastic shaft. Its going to break sooner or later.
Man did they scam us so bad. So no way to tighten up the track.

I still have a total under 30 min driving this tank in 3 days.
Im getting more and more indifferent to it. I cant have stretched the track out yet, Ive barely driven it.

If you preordered their Cromwell, get your money back before its too late. I am beginning to think Hooben are just predators on the tank hobby.







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Old 11-23-2021, 02:50 AM
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Every time Hooben comes out with something new I say to myself, I'm going to wait until someone else gets one and see how they like it before I spend my money. So far I have never had a case where I ended up buying a hooben tank. I'm still waiting to hear a decent review on any hooben tank. I think what was said above just might be true, hooben is the predator of the RC tank hobby community. I'm still waiting to see a decent review on anything they make.
Old 11-23-2021, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Crius View Post
Every time Hooben comes out with something new I say to myself, I'm going to wait until someone else gets one and see how they like it before I spend my money. So far I have never had a case where I ended up buying a hooben tank. I'm still waiting to hear a decent review on any hooben tank. I think what was said above just might be true, hooben is the predator of the RC tank hobby community. I'm still waiting to see a decent review on anything they make.
I think, and I'm guessing, that the boss lost so many money with the T-55 that decided to make this things. I see 3d printed tracks, and I don't know but looks like the sprocket is also 3d printed. The T-55 was a beautiful kit, complex and with many problems, the first one was a nightmare to build, it needed an experienced static modeler. The last run are good, if you have experience, it insn't a RTR at all for sure.
The M60 from Carson (DKLM) is also 3D printed and expensive, but you know what you are buying, besides he honestly stated is a short run made one by one under order.
I my humble opinion this Hooben Merkava is for the shelf and maybe play few minutes that's all. If anybody is interested in my opinion as modeler
Old 11-23-2021, 06:04 AM
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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.

Last edited by Crius; 11-23-2021 at 08:23 AM.

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