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1 14011 26/5/08
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100% of reviewers £60.00 9.0
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Description: RC Infrared battle tank from VsTank. Fully functioning tank with recoiling barrel, machine gun sounds, IR battle system and working headlights. V4 Controller and electronics package with 2 reverse speeds.
Keywords: Tank VsTank T72 T 72 Abrams RC
Homepage/URL: www.vstank.com
BearenPanzer
 
Posts: 1
Registered: December 2004
Location: Framingham, MA



Glenn

BearenPanzer

Registered: December 2004
Location: Framingham, MA
Posts: 1,507
Review Date: 26/5/08 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Detail, handling/function, performance
Cons: Low slung battery compartment

For more VsTank reviews, check out:
http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/reviewpost/showproduct.php/product/261/sort/2/cat/myprod/page/1
and
http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/reviewpost/showproduct.php/product/850/sort/2/cat/myprod/page/1
Introduction
The T-72M1 is the first VsTank exclusive design. Since the Tiger, VsTank has partnered with Enlsion, the actual tank manufacturer, to do R&D. Marui has always had a hand in things, but as of this year, Marui has dropped their tank line. So for the T-72, VsTank worked with Enlsion alone.
The T-72 is the latest generation of tank, sharing electronics and gearbox with the Tiger I. The actual difference in performance between the new and older tanks isn’t tremendous, but is obvious.


Gearbox[
The Tiger and T-72 use gearboxes modeled after the legendary Tamiya 1/16 Leopard gearbox. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGrBqRbeq1w). In a nutshell, it works as follows. One motor drives the tracks, in forward or reverse. The second motor only turns the tank, acting through differentials to slow one drive wheel and accelerate the other. When the second motor is applied alone, you get a neutral turn. The gearbox is also geared quite a bit lower than the old model, and uses smaller models. The results is far more efficient operation, extending your run times, and much more realistic scale speed. The cost is, obviously, the older tanks are faster. This may bother some, but the old tanks where way, way too fast for scale accuracy.
The old gearbox used a motor to drive each drive wheel, with a clutch joining the two drive shafts. The clutch keeps both drive wheels together, so the tank tracks straight even if one motor is a little slow. When one motor is slowed substantially (turning), the clutch slips, allowing the tank to turn. You can hear it clicking when this happens…annoying.
The great advantage of the new gearbox is two fold. First, it’s efficient. No clutch means no power bleeding away, so all your battery juice is directed into moving the tank. Its quiet, too. Secondly, it’s proportional control friendly. The clutch in the old system puts practical limits on the tanks turning radius, and prevents true proportional control. The new gearbox is ready for proportional control, and the new controller takes advantage of the fact.


Controller
The V4 controller looks a lot like the V3. The V3 carried with it ‘continuous motion,’ the ability to turn and travel forward/backward simultaneously, and was a big, two handed thing, obviously different from the old pistol grip controller. The V4 sits in the same shell as the V4, more or less, but has two reverse speeds, and two turning radii, where the V3 had a single reverse speed and backwards and reverse turning options.
The new controller, and it’s associated electronics, makes for much smoother operation. Selecting your turning radius amounts to giving more or less voltage to the turning motor, and makes for more natural turns. The old setup could only turn so smoothly, because of the clutch, so turns where jerky. Combined with the overall faster speed of the older tanks, the effect was less than realistic handling.


The T-72M1, different, good, and bad
First, I should say that this isn’t an airsoft tank at all. It’s an infrared battle tank. VsTank makes all it’s tanks in 4 flavors: Airsoft, IR, Sparkling, and Collectors series. Airsoft tanks shoot BBs, IR tanks have the infrared battle system, Sparkling tanks have LEDs in the ends of their barrels, and Collectors series tanks are completely electronics free, but come with neat accessories…for half the price of any of the other tank models.
The IR battle system is fairly simple, and really cool. Each tank has 6 lives, and 40 shots. Each hit takes away 1 life, until the tank loses them all and is immobilized. The tanks have machine guns, too…five machine gun hits takes away one life. After a hit, the tanks shake and lights, simulating fire, flash under the turret. The tank is invincible for a few seconds so you can escape, and the tanks can only fire once every 3-4 seconds. Machine gun fire comes in 5 round bursts, every few seconds. All this is controlled by the two fire buttons on the controller. The tanks have a small, hidden IR receiver to track hits. To reset the life and ammo counter, simply turn the tank off, wait a few seconds, and restart.
IR tanks are exactly the same as airsoft tanks, with the sole exception of their IR functionality and airsoft mechanics. Under the hood, the IR emitter is much smaller than the airsoft motor, loader, gearbox and firing necessitates, so IR (and sparking) tanks have a recoiling barrel function. The barrel sinks half an inch or so into the turret when fired, then returns after the shot, mimicking the way a real tank cannon recoils in into it’s breech to eject spent casings. It’s cool, and it’s something you’ll never get in an airsoft tank. VsTank says the two mechanisms won’t fit together, and I agree…more trouble than it’s worth to make something marketable.
Aside from IR, new electronics, and the new gearbox, it’s a familiar layout to the other tanks I’ve reviewed.
The good: The tank is detailed. As the Leo is better than the M1, the T72 is better than the Leo. Sharp, fine lines, miniscule details, even down to welds. Texture on cast parts. Texture on the log attached under the hull (to help get the tank through muddy Soviet steppes), and detail on the underside of the hull, including the stowed entrenching plow. The tank is weathered, like all newer VsTanks, but the weathering is much better. Dust and scorch marks are heavy on the side skirts and muzzle, respectively, but the whole tank is covered in a convincing layer of fine grit. Pictures do not do it justice, it looks absolutely fantastic. The tank has headlights, but not taillights.
The suspension is a bit different than the older tanks, because of the compact size of the T72, but the springs are softer, on average, than the Leo, but none are quite as soft as those found on the Abrams 2nd, 3rd, and 5th road wheels. Still, it’s active, and can be softened. VsTank advertises the tanks climbing ability, and it certainly has it in spades. Low center of gravity, combined with neutral weight bias make this thing a climbing machine. Right out of the box it bested my Abrams, even running at low speed. The speed of the tank is quite nice, too. Slow is much slower than older tanks, more in scale, as is the second speed. The motors are geared such that they’re spinning about as fast as they’d like to go by the second speed, but at the 3rd speed the tank’s power increases considerably, if not its speed. It’ll climb, and rip its way through just about anything when the third speed is selected. Having two reverse speeds is great, too. The faster speed is much like the old tanks – fast. The slower speed is nice, a good slow, scale speed.
The bad: Not much, but some. Because VsTank jammed 60 tons of tank guts into a 40 ton tank, they had to lower the battery compartment. Even though the underside of the hull is nicely detailed, it isn’t accurate, as it has the brick of 8 AA batteries hanging below the tank. Is this a big deal? No, but it’s worth noting. The older tanks had a 3 over 5 battery stack, in the hull…but that would never fit in the tiny T72. The tank is so tight inside that the springs supporting the road wheels run over and against a few of the wires in the tank…no issues yet, but I worry that some snagging/wearing may occur at some point. I snapped off one of the fuel drums on the back…super glue returned it to its proper place. They’re a bit fragile, but such is the cost of detail. Lastly, the battery compartment door is held closed with a single screw. I hate screws, and all the other tanks use a spring loaded latch to lock up the batteries. Not the end of the world, by any means.


Summation
Another tremendous winner. This new tank is hugely detailed, works great, and doesn’t cost any more than the old ones. The T-72 and the Tiger are the only tanks using the latest and greatest electronics and gearbox, and while the Tiger has more accessories, the T-72 outperforms it and doesn’t have any track issues. Available in green, desert, winter, and a green/sandy camo, there is one for everyone’s taste. A fantastic tank.
I’m no hugeT-72 fan by any means, but I wanted this tank for three reasons. First, I wanted something my Abrams could pound on that seemed realistic…and the M1 has certainly wailed on many a T72 in the real world. Second, I wanted to see what VsTank could cook up on their own…and they did a great job. Their CEO tells me the T-72 wasn’t even prototyped, they’ve got their process down that well. I also wanted to experience first hand the latest control scheme, and I’m glad I did. I recommend this tank over all others, simply because of how great it runs.

------------------------------
Tanks: Leopard 2A5 M1A2 Abrams T-72M1 2008 Leopard 2A6 Prototype Laser Version
PM me your VsTank related questions.

WTB: Broken KSC Mk23, any version
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