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Unimax F.O.V. Battle Beam 1/24 RC Tanks

  M4A3 Sherman and Tiger 1  
 
   

F.O.V. 1/24 RC MILITARY SERIES

Unimax's Forces of Valor range is a well known brand of plastic and diecast military collectibles and their entry into the 1/24 RC tank IR combat hobby is much welcomed!

Not only does F.O.V. offer and plan to release 1/24 RC military vehicles not currently available within the hobby, they have also shown the way forward with the inclusion of proportional control amongst the features offered.

The Battle Beam series seems to be targeted towards younger hobbyists,with mostly moulded on detail items like tools and in the case of added items which would have been prone to being broken off easily, are made of soft rubber plastic making Battle Beam tanks very durable and suitable for children as young as eight. F.O.V. will therefore be responsible for introducing a lot of youngsters into the hobby, which is great! Of course this new F.O.V. series also holds big interest and appeal to adult hobbyists, especially the many people who are already avid 1/24 RC Tank enthusiasts and RC Tank HQ's thanks go to F.O.V. for selecting us to review this series for RC tankers around the world.

Submitted for review are the first two tanks in the series, a M4A3 small hatch Sherman and a late production, steel wheeled Tiger 1 tank.
 
M4A3 SHERMAN FORD SMALL HATCH
 

TIGER 1 LATE STEEL WHEELED VERSION

 

PROPORTIONAL CONTROL/TRANSMITTER

F.O.V. Tanks are VERY EASY for anyone to control. There are two sticks on the controller, one for each track. There are ten speeds on each stick, five forward and five reverse speeds. I've demonstrated in the video how the Tiger and Sherman can accelerate smoothly through to top speed, and, after reaching top speed, the tanks are still easy to control.
Each stick also has a trim control which should be kept set to neutral.

The transmitter also has buttons for left/right turret movement, main gun firing and one button that cycles the barrel up/down. The transmitter requires a 9 volt battery.
 

SAFETY CLUTCH

F.O.V. tanks are equipped with a safety clutch which operates when the track encounters too much resistance or hits a solid object like a wall. This is a safety measure to prevent damage to the gearboxes. This means that F.O.V. tanks are primarily made for indoor use on clean surfaces like tightweave carpet. Concrete is OK as seen in the video but they aren't really suited to running on grass, it can be done but the clutch will 'click' when you turn on grass.

 

SOUND EFFECTS

The sound effects are impressive for this scale, all can be heard in the video.
The Sherman and Tiger have individual sound effects, consisting of:
*Engine starting sound.
*Engine running sound (both at rest and while moving)
*Engine shut down sound
*Incoming explosion sound
*Main weapon firing sound

Sound is single volume at a fairly low level. The sounds can be turned off/on by holding down both turret rotation buttons on the controller for five seconds.
 
LIGHTS

These only operate while the tank is moving. The Tiger's headlight comes on in forward motion
while the Sherman has both head and tail lights that come on depending on drive direction.
 

POWER SAVING MODE

If left unattended for two minutes, the tank's engine shut down noise will be heard, after that, there is a two minute window where any command on the controller will 'wake up' the tank and the engine starting sound will be heard, if not, then it will be necessary to reset the tank manually with the on/off switch underneath the tank. The controller will also go into power saving mode if unused after four minutes and then requires a manual reset.
 

FREQUENCIES

F.O.V. tanks are available on 6 different frequencies so that 6 tanks can battle together at once. Transmitter and receiver crystals are removable/interchangeable between other F.O.V. tanks.
 

BATTLE TEAMS

It is possible to program F.O.V. tanks to form into up to three different teams. This means that members of the same team will not be able to inflict damage, 'friendly fire' on each other.
To join 'team 1' hold down both the 'fire' and gun elevation button on the controller for 5 seconds and a beeping sound will be heard, repeat to join 'team 2' and again to join 'team 3', the beeping noise indicates which team you've joined.
 

IR TARGET

 
Each tank comes with an infra-red target which has a power indicator light that flashes when hit, accompanied by an explosion sound, this takes 2 AAA size batteries.
 

IR BATTLE BEAM COMBAT

The IR combat system can score hits at a distance of up to 5 or 6 metres (15-18 feet) indoors. The IR beam emitter is located in the tank's barrel whilst the receiver target is the clear lens on top of the turret.

*The tanks can fire shots at 2 second intervals.
*After being hit a tank can move but is 'invulnerable' to being hit for 5 seconds.
*After being hit for the 4th time, the tank's power indicator light will flash as a
warning that next time you get hit, 'you're dead'.
*When 'killed' after 5 hits, the tank will shut down and automatically restart after 30
seconds.
 

TRACKS AND SUSPENSION

Both tank's tracks consist of individual 'click together' links. I found them to be adequately strong and had no problems with them coming apart nor any instance of track 'throwing'.
The Tiger has sprung suspension arms and the Sherman sprung Bogey arms.
 

BATTERIES

The tanks require 6 AA sized batteries, rechargeable is best, and depending on the capacity of batteries used, run times of around an hour are possible.
 

ACCESSORIES

 
Aside from the IR target, both tanks come with:
*Spare track links
*Spare IR target lens
*Turret mounted machine gun (rubber and prone to warp)
*The Sherman has two 'one piece' stowage /sand bag sets for the front and rear of the tank.

SPARE PARTS

Replacement parts can be ordered from www.radlinerc.com
 

CONCLUSION

F.O.V., and the competition they bring to the hobby, as well as all the new entry level hobbyists this series will bring about, is very positive for everyone involved.
F.O.V. have chosen to concentrate on the aspects of durability combined with a very easy and pleasant driving and gaming experience which is sure to see this series become a success and hopefully see a constant source of new 1/24 military vehicles from them! Look for them in-store at about $80 USD, at that price, they are a great deal with everything that's included. Serious hobbyists will want to make some cosmetic changes to improve modelling accuracy, and that's part of what this hobby is about. As well, some might want to disable the safety clutch, a fairly easy modification, undertaken of course at the accepted peril of damaging the gearbox, it should enable the tank to negotiate rougher ground better.


 

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