My apologies to Paul, I did NOT get the Panzer IV... I got the short-barrel Panzer III. I posted the wrong image. I thought
I had ordered a III, but then I couldn't find the images again.
It arrived today.
Paul, you know you want one of these... Come on man. Just plunk down $100 on one, and just buy one. You don't need to collect them all. Trust me, once you ahve one , you'll be having fun with it.
I just got back from going out to watch the Pen's game tonight, and was motoring mine around on the carpet the second I got it out of the box and tried reading the directions enough to know I wasn't totally f'ing up the thing if I just started tearing around with it.
It's quite interesting... Here's some thoughts:
-It's got lots of sounds... Machine Gun sounds, the cannon firing (and the tank recoiling from the shot) sounds, the tank idles when not in motion, it has a "start up" sound, and it also has a shut-off/shut-down sound when you're ready to turn it off too. It has a loud drive sound as well, but there's a built-in volume-control that you can adjust too. It was quite loud out of the box.
-Controls are sensitive and it goes entirely too fast if you jam the sticks... No WW2 tank turned and backed up like this thing can.
Fortunately, once you learn to be softer with the controls, it can be controlled at much MUCH more realistic speeds. I'm told if you go metal treads, drive gears, and gear boxes, it slows down tremendously from its normal stock plastic bits.
-The 1:16 figure it comes with looks like a giant. I think it's a little oversized. It's definitely bigger than XD figures which for most are a tad large and more 1:16 than 1:18. The figure's also basically a static model though you can pose the arms.
-The smoke effect I have not tested yet. Tomorrow.
-The BB's I did test (yes, in the house). I shot a plastic bag with rags for the wash... I figured it would be a weaker airsoft system. I was very mistaken. It missed the bag with the first shot, hit the back door, and rebounded right into my nuts. No damage thanks to my Penguin's jersey hanging down to cover the boys, combined with it being a rebound, but still... This thing could really launch and hurt an animal or person. I dare say it's as strong as the kid's airsoft rifles, which can break skin. I'm sort of surprised to say the least. I figured this thing would limp-wrist the BB's at best. Color me impressed.
-Very little maintenance in the instructions, but some... I'm wagering more would be wise, but the instructions really don't say much. They do basically say to run it on flat hard surfaces and not much else. That's a little disconcerting but I hear the RC Tank community can help you make sure it can tackle most any terrain. I saw a guy's fording small streams, so I think almost anything's possible.
-Half-hour runtime it says... Not sure if that's guaranteed or not, but from what I've heard, they do run a long time. A lot more than my racing trucks used to, which sucked the juice down.
-The fully functional (just like the real ones) suspension is easily one of my favorite aspects. It is so realistic... That coupled with the individually linked tracks? That's some damn skippy realism for what basically ammounts to a $100 toy.
-Deco is very plain... Mine's DAK tan, and I like it actually, but zero weathering and it comes with stickers that I wouldn't put on. I could see scanning them and trying to print out water-transfer ones, but not these peel n stick jobs.
-No Turret MG, but lots of other bits to put on.
-Lots of details are molded on... Especially the tools like the shovel, prybar, etc. And that kinda sucks... I wish those were removable for painting purposes, and incase you wanted to make actual removable tools. I think on some they are removable, but the P3 they're not I guess.
-Lots of opening hatches on the Turret, but none on the hull... That is nice and not nice... Nice to have the ones on the turret, but the driver and MG'ers hatches don't open. I'd like at LEAST those 2 to open, ya know?
-Controls are tricky but that, to me, is part of the fun learning to control it. I thought it would control ala a real tank of the era (2 control sticks one for each track), but the right stick actually controls the tank's movement entirely. It controls more like a car than a tank that way. It also makes it trickier and more sensitive that way. The left stick controls the turret.
-Turret is pretty great. You cannot rotate the turret 360 degrees, but I hear some guys have made theirs so they can.
You also cannot move the gun up and down independantly. You have to move it up and once it's all the way up it will move down then till it's all the way down, then it goes back up again... When you push the other way on the left stick you're actually controlling the BB-firing mechanism. So that's not entirely realistic on the gun elevation, but it's a minor thing, and if you want the BB mechanism I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles then. I don't know if IR systems work the same or what.
-Overall it's been a blast the hour or so I messed with it. Really it's the most fun with a toy I've had in a while.