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MATO SHERMAN REVIEW

Mato Toys are probably the world's most prolific producer of metal upgrade parts for 1/16 RC tanks. Now, Mato are expanding their product range to include a new line of 1/16 scale RTR RC tanks, the first of which is a M4A1(76)W Sherman.

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW

Mato Toys Item No. 1209, M4A1(76)W Sherman

While Tamiya have seen fit to continue regurgitating their HVSS Sherman since the 1970's, MATO have gone ahead and provided the hobby with a Sherman variant that is eminently more desirable, with VVSS suspension.

The Mato Sherman comes in a colourful outer carton that depicts an example of what can be achieved by repainting this tank. Inner packaging consists of a fully enclosed polystyrene foam box to maximize protection during shipping.

ACCESSORIES

Included with the MATO Sherman are:
* A 2000 Mah NiMh battery and charger. Please note that RC Tank HQ recommends that RC tank hobbyists using rechargeable batteries should invest in a hobby grade charger with a peak charge detector/auto shut off .
* A 6 page instruction manual that includes information about the history of this particular Sherman variant.
* A box of BB's
* Transmitter
* Spare track link parts
* 50 cal. machine gun to mount on the loaders hatch
* A sheet of markings to represent the tank, 'In The Mood'

 
   

REVIEW

I have tested this new tank thoroughly over a period of 3 months during which time it has performed faultlessly, indeed beyond what my expectations are for a budget priced RTR RC tank and I am more than happy to recommend the MATO Sherman to RC Tank HQ readers.

TRACKS WHEELS SUSPENSION GEARBOX

The VVSS suspension bogies are plastic construction, with rubber road wheel tires, the suspension arms of each bogie are joined so that they both pivot on a central point rather than operating independently. The idler wheels are plastic and MATO's design means there is no sideways play which can allow the idler to 'toe in' which is quite common for some other 1/16 RC tanks. The sprockets are plastic too, however they haven't shown any wear from running so far.
The tracks consist of plastic links with a high traction capability whilst the pins and connectors/track guides are metal. None of the pins have showed any sign of working their way out and the track guides do a great job in keeping the tracks from coming off. I haven't thrown a track yet and I don't expect it will ever happen with this tank.
The gearbox uses nylon gears, in a fully enclosed housing and seems adequate for this tank so far but no doubt metal upgrades will become available sometime.

 

PROPORTIONAL CONTROL AND TRANSMITTER

The Mato Sherman comes with a matching olive green transmitter unit, a nice touch!
Whilst the operating range is listed as 15 meters in the instructions,I found the tank could be successfully operated up to a distance of 90 meters, wow!

I was able to discern four different forward and reverse speeds as shown during the bench test in the review video. Tank movement functions and steering are all controlled with the right joystick which also includes neutral turns at variable speeds. Main gun elevation/lowering and turret traverse are controlled with the left stick.

There are three buttons on the controller and two indicator lights, one to indicate the transmitter is on and receiving power and the other to indicate if the tank has been put 'in gear' or not. After the tank is turned on and the headlights are flashing, the tank can be put 'in gear' by pushing the left button after which you'll hear the start up sound followed by the idling sound and the lights will stay on. At this point, the tank is ready to drive and can also be shut down by pressing the button again. The middle button fires the machine gun, accompanied by sound and light (red LED) effects. The right side button controls firing of the main gun, when pressed there is a 3 second delay during which time a warning light on the turret will come on, followed by a mechanical recoil simulation involving the tank moving back and forth. If you have the BB gun turned on it will also fire at this time, the switch is located inside the commanders hatch.

The transmitter uses 8 AA size batteries and the removable TX crystal is at the front of the controller, you can find the RX crystal inside the tank battery compartment. The transmitter also has functioning steering and throttle trim adjusters, whilst the other trimmers are cosmetic.

BB FIRING

The BB firing mechanism installed in the MATO Sherman shoots as hard if not harder than any other BB firing tank I've come across, to put it mildly, this is no pop gun so please follow the safety guidelines and laws of your country when operating.

PRESENTATION AND DETAILING

The MATO Sherman is a very cleanly assembled and painted model showing excellent quality control. There are none of the excess paint or glue blobs commonly found on some other 1/16 RC tanks. It will serve as a great modeling platform for hobbyists who wish to further paint, accurize and detail it, which is a big part of the hobby. MATO have advertised this tank as 'upgrade ready' so given Mato's track record with metal upgrades, they're sure to have some great add-ons for this tank coming up.

Of note is the split loaders hatch which can be rotated, along with the machine gun, as well, all four hatches are operable for crew placement. The angle of the cable bracket on the transmission cover is too square to enable easy placement of the tow cable, look at repositioning that or be careful not to break the cable, (I did) when you try to fit the cable into the bracket. The tank is smooth rather than a cast texture and the commander's cupola and periscope lenses have been left void, in both cases modelers can add them if desired. The disc at the base of the turret looks to be superfluous so I'll look into removing that to lower the turret.

CONCLUSION
The Mato Sherman is a much needed addition to the Hobby and with their first tank MATO have started out with a very good effort, hopefully it will lead to many more tanks in the future from them. I'll be doing some modeling on this MATO Sherman myself, and will no doubt be reviewing some upgrades in the future at which stage I'll update my progress.

 
 

 

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