OK, settle down people, I know you’re excited. It’s been a while since I actually acquired the tank and started working on it, so this is going to be a sort of catch-up entry. It allll started several weeks ago…
*wibbly wobbly flash-back effect*
I was feeling rather bored with myself when the idea hit me to look on eBay for radio controlled tanks, I hadn’t previously looked; sure enough, there they were, loads of the things.. but most were pretty pricey, so I kept an eye on the listings for a week or two to see if any bargains would appear, sure enough one did – a seller had two rather abused tanks for sale, I elected to purchase the most battered one on account of it being very cheap indeed! The damage actually only looked superficial, I was confident I would be able to get spare parts.
Anyway, the tank arrived and it worked OK, except for a missing road wheel and a few other bits and pieces; I asked on forums for help in acquiring spares and some people were helpful, one even sent me some suspension springs, but the other spares were not forthcoming.
I went back to eBay to see if any spares were for sale, there were but they were nothing like the ones I needed, there was one bundle but it made far more than I was willing to pay (postage on these big bundles was the killer). I ordered some metal replacement parts (suspension mounts and arms) and proceeded to modify the tank in order to fit them. I also cut off the tacky LED running lights (which were always taken off real tanks too because they got in the way). Reading up on what other people have done with their tanks, I also decided to open up the driver’s view port (which was just molded plastic so some precise cutting was required), and correct the gun mantle which the manufacturers had placed upside down for some unknown reason (it’s the same on all Heng Long Tiger tanks).
Eventually I got lucky – a brand new Heng Long Tiger tank went up for sale on eBay with no reserve or high start price, it was mine for the same money that I’d payed for my original one! All the spares I required 😀
I also ordered upgraded electronics for the tank which features smoother speed control (originally it just had fast or faster), sound and smoke; I probably won’t have the smoke on most of the time, that definitely is a gimmick!
*wibbly wobbly return-to-real-world effect*
So that’s the story so far… still awake? Good, because the exciting part is coming up! My plan for the tank has always been to help me get better shots of wildlife, by mounting a camera on the turret and also (if the thing actually works) I could fit a wireless miniature spy camera inside the tank to look out of the driver’s view port (the real reason why I opened it).
Currently I am wrestling with trying to reposition and mount the new electronics because they are different to the originals, which was just one board; now there are two boards, a speaker and a smoke generator. They will fit but it’s a matter of making it neat and tidy. Another consideration is waterproofing – I don’t think I will be fording rivers with it but I want some protection, so I am adding this into the equation when positioning the electronics and such. I have to find homes for the switches that were on the underside of the tank, and the volume control and charging point, as the battery compartment needs to be sealed on the underside too. I want to do all this without causing too much obvious destruction of the topside, so hatches and such are an option I’m looking at.
That’s it for now, I will be adding photos to this post as soon as I can be bothered.. not that anyone will ever look at this anyway.