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Heng Long Merkava MK IV

Old 08-23-2023, 03:10 PM
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Default Heng Long Merkava MK IV

Picked up a HL Merkava "pro" edition about a month ago and have be working it up slowly. Of course I had to upgrade the motors to 390s and I dumped the 7.0 control system for a 7.1. I added an excellent servo recoil unit from JVM3Dconcepts arguably the smoothest recoil unit I have in any of my tanks, highly recommended them. While I was at it I also installed the JVM3D long travel elevation arm which allows the stock HL "leveler" style elevation unit a huge increase in depression and elevation. Easily matching that which normally would require a dedicated servo. Also added a new LegoDEI IR receiver and installed the IR bulb in the barrel since this is tank is intended primarily as a battling tank set up for the A.I.M. Battle Protocols.

The Merkava was repainted to a color more closely matching that of the current IDF scheme used in the MK IV and up. The color was recommended by the color guru RichJohnson who has been working with molders in Israel to determine the closest match. In this case Vallejo FS34201 "Tan Green Hemp". I did only light weathering choosing to go with a more depot fresh look. It will be dirty and dusty enough in a month or so of use.

Overall impression of the Merkava are really good, the tank is impressive in size and for HL the details are fairly good. It performs as one would expect a modern style tank on most terrain types. It does though have a weakness crossing ditches or attempting to climb a step that is far more pronounced then the other modern tanks like the Abrams, Leopard 2, Challenger 2 or T72/90. The hard plastic fenders (rubber on the real tank) stick out rather far in comparison and tend to "catch" and or "dig in" causing the Merkava to be stopped relatively easily.

For information on the JVM3Dconcepts servo recoil unit you can contact RichJohnson through this site.

Photos of the completed Merkava during testing and a IR battle practice. Videos of the testing are being uploaded to my Instagram @ fsttanks. Feel free to take a look.


Heng Long Merkava MKIV tank.


The color changes based on lighting direction and intensity.




Shown for comparison in size to an M60.


Last edited by Fsttanks; 08-23-2023 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 08-23-2023, 05:53 PM
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Been following on Instagram she’s a good runner!!
Old 08-23-2023, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger rampage
Been following on Instagram she’s a good runner!!
Its gotten even better in the past few days(videos coming soon). I added vibration dampening material and balancing weights. So now it has enhanced sound and smoother cross country ride.
Old 08-23-2023, 06:36 PM
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VERY nice!

Question, did it come with the mantlet mounted MG?

Any option to add barrel flash instead of IR? I don't battle.
Old 08-23-2023, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pitstain
VERY nice!

Question, did it come with the mantlet mounted MG?

Any option to add barrel flash instead of IR? I don't battle.
Yes it came with the mantle mounted MG option. I did not install it as I have that look on a few other IDF tanks. I also like the clearer look of the frontal turret slope without it.

Yes, you can add flash in place of the IR. Both the 7.0 and 7.1 have a barrel "flash" port on the MFU. I use it on a few of my more "show and tell" tanks. All you need is a flash LED and two pin plug. The flash port is "active" on the MFU and there is no need to activate/program it in order for it to work. Just plug in the LED and fire the cannon.
Old 08-24-2023, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Fsttanks
Yes it came with the mantle mounted MG option. I did not install it as I have that look on a few other IDF tanks. I also like the clearer look of the frontal turret slope without it.

Yes, you can add flash in place of the IR. Both the 7.0 and 7.1 have a barrel "flash" port on the MFU. I use it on a few of my more "show and tell" tanks. All you need is a flash LED and two pin plug. The flash port is "active" on the MFU and there is no need to activate/program it in order for it to work. Just plug in the LED and fire the cannon.
Where do you pick up a 7.1 board? and I assume the sound options are the same, does it come with a new TX?
Old 08-24-2023, 08:01 AM
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Most kits that I've seen come with the TX. DKLM has them, also AliExpress, toucan hobby, and eBay.
Old 08-24-2023, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pitstain
Where do you pick up a 7.1 board? and I assume the sound options are the same, does it come with a new TX?
Toucan on ebay has them, usually the cheapest place to buy one from. You do need to buy the 7.1 as a set, TX and MFU. That is unless you already have a 7.0 HL system as the TX will work with the 7.1.

Like the 7.0 the 7.1 has two sound engine options. Primary option is one of two turbo diesel (which is what the Merkava uses) and the second is either an Abrams turbine or Tiger.
Old 08-24-2023, 09:19 AM
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Since you have been posting your new Mark all over and people are seeing my recoil unit JVM makes for me in action, I have been cleaned out of my 3d servo recoil units and people are inquiring on my extended travel arm. I’m glad you got the prototype installed and working good.
The extended elevation arm JVM is making for me will be coming to market soon.
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Old 08-24-2023, 01:52 PM
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Heng Long Merkava MKIV vs T72.




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Old 08-29-2023, 03:56 PM
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Might be a bit of a silly question, but here goes.
I have always wanted a 1/16 Merkava, and now Hooben and HL both have them. I am no fan of Hooben, but I have to admit that HL has dropped the ball with the suspension on this tank as well as the stupid recoil with no flash unit and firing BBs. I am really curious what the thoughts are from those that have experience with these models.I am not even sure what you should be paying for them at this point. Been away from the hobby a while now.
Old 08-29-2023, 04:26 PM
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I saw your username before reading the post and was like, he hasn't posted in quite some time. The Hooben version is highly detailed from all evidence, but also fragile. You would also have to deal with Hooben's lack of customer support, lack of parts, and crappy internals. The Heng Long version sacrifices some detail, but it seems to be a solid choice. Spare parts will be plentiful soon after release and they have already released a full metal chassis for it as an add-on. Overall, I would say that the HL version will be more supported in the long run.
Old 08-29-2023, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tankme
I saw your username before reading the post and was like, he hasn't posted in quite some time. The Hooben version is highly detailed from all evidence, but also fragile. You would also have to deal with Hooben's lack of customer support, lack of parts, and crappy internals. The Heng Long version sacrifices some detail, but it seems to be a solid choice. Spare parts will be plentiful soon after release and they have already released a full metal chassis for it as an add-on. Overall, I would say that the HL version will be more supported in the long run.
Yes, hooben is difficult to deal with. The HL metal lower is extremely expensive though and it isn't even correctly done either. Sad actually. What is fragile with the hooben?
I am actually thinking of 3d printing one it'll be far less expensive
Old 08-29-2023, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by yellowshaker
Yes, hooben is difficult to deal with. The HL metal lower is extremely expensive though and it isn't even correctly done either. Sad actually. What is fragile with the hooben?
I am actually thinking of 3d printing one it'll be far less expensive
The Hooben suspension arms are basically made of glass, and the 3D printing is not very durable in their execution, it's pretty much a disaster of a tank.
Old 08-29-2023, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by yellowshaker
Might be a bit of a silly question, but here goes.
I have always wanted a 1/16 Merkava, and now Hooben and HL both have them. I am no fan of Hooben, but I have to admit that HL has dropped the ball with the suspension on this tank as well as the stupid recoil with no flash unit and firing BBs. I am really curious what the thoughts are from those that have experience with these models.I am not even sure what you should be paying for them at this point. Been away from the hobby a while now.
The HL Merkava is actually a rather nice tank and comes how most HL tanks have come with a standard BB recoil cannon. That said it is by far the best engineered and detailed "plastic" tank HL has brought to market ever. As for needing a metal lower hull, it is absolutely does not. But if it you must have one it's your money to burn.

The suspension is torsion bar which is actually not correct for the real tank but since the suspension components can not be see behind the side skirts does it really matter. The suspension works really well although a little stiff which is easy enough to tune to ones liking.

Flash and barrel recoil are also easy to add. The 7.0 MFU has a LED flash port and all you need is to run the LED and wire down the barrel. Recoil on mine was super easy modification with a drop in Mod B1 recoil unit I got through RichJohnson on this site. I must note I did change from the 7.0 to 7.1 which has servo recoil and elevation options.










Last edited by Fsttanks; 08-29-2023 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 08-31-2023, 08:22 AM
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If your considering a hooben, go read my thread, Hooben Merkava has finally arrived.
it’s probably the only other mark thread on here.

They now offer metal parts like what I up ordered on my hooben leopard 1a5.
So if you order their Merkava, you can also buy stronger 3d arms off my shapeways, or well I can help you, I had their file modified to eliminate the break point and it works great, I replaced all my arms and no more breaking. Also I make extra idler arms because left and right are keyed differently so to add tension as the track stretched I have two right arms running now. Also you have to replace all the transmission bearings as many of mine in both the Merkava and leopard1a5 fell apart. I still love the tank and drive it as hard as my DKlM M60a3, but I can’t drive it as hard as a henglong taigen or Tongde.

The henglong Merkava, while an older Mark IV model (not an M model with trophy), is a cheaper stronger more reliable and much less maintenance tank model.
Old 09-10-2023, 08:27 PM
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Got the Heng Long Merkava out to its first official club IR battle at the Sept 2023 LA Tank Clubs battle day.

It had done reasonably well in practice battles and testing so I was expecting similar results. Well the Merkava actually did much better then I thought it would. It fought less like a big tank and more like a medium sized tank. I think this was do to the fact that in testing the terrain was much rougher and technically more difficult to drive over. Overall it performed much better then my Tamiya Abrams, Heng Long Leopard and Challenger2 do on the same battle field. Definitely going to be bring it back to LA in Oct.

The Merkava's next club battle day will be at the San Diego tank clubs "modern tank" themed battle day using the A.I.M. battling rules for modern/Cold War tanks. I suspect the Merkava will be quite a show stopper as this is the type of battling I built it to excel at. I will post photos of the Merkava after the event.

PS. If you are interested in learning more about the San Diego event you can contact RichJohnson here on this form for more details.

Photos from the SEPT 2023 LA Tank Battle.



Teamed up with a Hooben Merkava in background. The HL Merkava is very different form the Hooben. The HL Merkava is a much better batting tank.



Got hit many times but survived more battles then it died in. Here you can see the red "hit" indicators lighting up.
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