Taigen Tiger 1 Late (Plastic Version) Airsoft RTR 1/16 Scale Tank Review
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Stock tank, stock equipment
- Stock tank with upgraded steel gear set
- Beautiful detail
- Realistic design and functionality
- Sturdy and heavy
- Replaceable parts
- Ability to upgrade many parts
- True hobby grade tank
- Good price point
- Sound system
- Smoke system
- Ability to shoot airsoft plastic bbs
- Everything included to get you started
- Metal chassis
- Needs an upgrade to be able to use it with your own transmitter
If you guys haven't noticed, I love RC. Land, sea, air, you name it, if I can control it with a transmitter, I probably love it. I also love scale details. I have some non-scale looking RCs, but I try my darndest to buy RC vehicles that look like a smaller version of something real. In particular, I really like military hardware. Scale looking warbirds are pretty easy to come by, but surprisingly, finding hobby-grade scale military surface vehicles seems quite a bit more difficult. In my 5 years in the RC hobby, I have passively searched in particular for a decent RC battle tank. I see tons of toy grade stuff, but it feels, well, like a toy and of course no parts availability. I looked into Tamiya, but WOW, even the lowest end offering will set you back a pretty penny. A friend of mine bought VS tank, and though it looked cool and sounded cool... it stopped working a week later. He was pretty disappointed, especially since he is a decorated veteran that spent quite a bit of time around the real thing. Finally, I decided to search once again and I stumbled on Taigen Tanks facebook page.
I must admit, because I had never heard of Taigen, my first thought was that it was one of these random Chinese retailers that pop up on your Facebook feed from time to time. I decided to reach out to Taigen to get a feel for who they were and what their tanks were all about. I told them what I was looking for, which was pretty much, a military tank, about the size of a 1/10 scale buggy, hobby-grade, parts availability, easy to work on, and a reliable retailer here in the USA. I got a response from a gentleman named Erik. I believe tech and media relations guy for Taigen Tanks here in the US. He is one of the friendliest guys in this hobby I have ever met, and he pretty much told me that they carried EVERYTHING I was looking for. Not only that, but he told me they carried a ton of different tanks, at several price points and each had replaceable and upgradeable parts. I proceeded over the next week or so to pepper Erik with questions about their products. I wanted to be as educated as possible before I spent my cash on a brand I had never heard of.
Since this was my entry into tanks, I decided on one of the lower priced models. In this case the Tiger I Plastic Edition. Now, when you browse their site, you'll see that most models have a plastic version and a metal version. When choosing between the plastic and metal versions, read the specs, some of the plastic versions actually have metal hulls, like the Tiger 1 I got. The difference on the metal versions is that they have a few upgrades already done for you. More metal parts all around.
Unboxing and Driving:
One of the most surprising things I noticed when I opened the box, was how HEAVY these tanks are. It felt so nice and solid. There is absolutely nothing on these tanks that feel cheap, and as I mentioned, I got one of the cheaper ones (about $250). I was also really really impressed by the detail and the fact that it came with some starter pellets and smoke oil... yeah, you read that right, this shoots out air-soft pellets, and it has a small smoke generator that blows smoke out of the exhaust. Hell yes. They do however have the option of buying their tanks with an infrared turret... so instead of shooting pellets, it shoots a beam that will register a hit on another tank that also has the infrared system. Go this route in particular if you are buying more than one or have friends that are buying them also. The tank comes with everything you need, even a nimh battery. The included battery will last probably over half an hour, though I never drove it for long enough to kill the battery. You can upgrade to a higher mah battery for even longer run times and also for some additional weight (which is beneficial to the handling of the tank). Use a 2s LiPO at your own risk though, the ESC does not have low voltage cut-off, so you'll need a LiPO alarm.
Driving the tank is as easy as it gets. The right stick moves the tank forward and back and turns both ways at a nice scale speed. You can make nice rounded turns moving the stick in a more diagonal direction, or spin like a top moving the stick straight to one side. The left stick will cycle the turret up and down by moving it down, will move the turret left or right, and will fire the pellet by moving it up. The tank will actually recoil when you fire, though it seems to recoil more consistently if you let the stick snap back to position the moment it actually fires. The top right switch will activate a machine gun noise and light up the little LED on the tank and the left top switch will turn the tank on or off (complete with engine noise) provided your battery is plugged in and the tank on/off switch is set to on. By the way, don't shoot yourself or anyone else with the tank. It will shoot a good 25 feet, and anywhere in those first 10 feet, will give you a nice little sting on impact... don't ask how I know that.
Awesomely, everything on the tank can be toggled. You can adjust the sound effects (engine, turret, machine gun) volume with a knob inside the tank accessible from one of the hatches. The firing option and smoke effect can also be toggled on and off with switches inside the tank. From what Erik from Taigen has told me, aside from the tons of parts upgrades available, there are different tank controller options too, which allow for higher end sound generators as well as the ability to use your own higher end radio system. Like many of our RC cars and planes, you can make this a budget friendly vehicle or you can really go bonkers and make it really high end on par with the best of the competition in the industry. So far, I have upgraded my gear sets (actually different motors and 4-1 ratio steel gears in 1 package) and my idler wheels from plastic to metal. These make the tank a little heavier, longer lasting and actually a tiny bit slower than stock. Probably more scale though. Unlike cars and planes, you are likely never going to crash these or damage them by normal driving. Any breakage I can imagine would result from dropping it on a hard surface from a height or just some other neglectful treatment of the tank. My 8 year old son (who is usually a speed freak), have been enjoying the relaxing nature of the tank world. We of course like stopping to fire off a few dozen pellets at plastic cups I take with me outside. The one thing Erik did tell me to look out for.... was the inability to have just one tank. I am starting to believe it and I'm starting to eyeball their Sherman.
I don't think I could say anything truly negative about these tanks. I am extremely happy with the quality of the tank, the functionality of it, and also the fact that it shipped from the USA and that Erik is pretty accessible for any questions you might have. He personally shoots tons of videos and posts them on youtube with instructions on how to operate the tanks or switch parts or whatever else you might want to know about these tanks. If you have been looking for a solid tank at a price point that won't empty your bank account, you absolutely cannot go wrong with Taigen Tanks. If you have a friend or relative, perhaps a veteran or military buff, they will thank you forever if you nabbed one of these for them. These are suitable even for people who have never owned an RC vehicle. Taigen gets my absolute highest marks, a rarity around these parts :)