Continuing our series of reviews about MATO metal upgrades for 1/16 scale RC tanks, here we will take a look at some of the products they have for the Heng Long Panzer III RC Tank. I'll be installing MATO's submitted products onto a new Panzer III metal upgrade version which came with metal tracks, sprocket and gearbox.
|RC TANK HQ REVIEW|
The Heng Long Panzer III is a popular subject in the RC tank hobby and MATO's upgrade parts are designed as 'drop in' replacements for Heng Long's plastic parts. I had a spare Panzer III which I plan to convert into another variant later on, so I went ahead and installed all the parts as you can see in the introductory photo and I'll offer my thoughts and installation notes as follows:
SPRING UPGRADE This is a set of stronger than stock springs to beef up your Heng Long Panzer III suspension, consisting of twelve suspension arm springs, (6 left and 6 right sided) and four springs for the shock absorbers. The suspension arm springs will work with either the stock plastic suspension arms or MATO's metal ones. You'll find that it's not necessary to instal the springs into the suspension arms which are supported by shock absorbers so four of the twelve can be kept as spares. The shock absorber springs are for fitting only to Heng Long's plastic shock absorbers which have this spring on the outside. A different, internal spring comes with the MATO metal suspension upgrade which will be covered later.
The MATO METAL ROADWHEELS and RETURN ROLLERS each come as two 'press fit' together halves, just like the plastic ones, it's a good idea to apply some glue or threadlock to make sure they won't come apart. When removing the plastic wheels,to minimise damage, insert a small screwdriver between the two halves and turn it sideways, working your way round until the halves part. You will need to use the same stock metal axels to fit the metal roadwheels. There will be some excess rubber which is easily removed. To ensure snug fitting tires, give the central rim on eack roadwheel a light sand to remove any irregularities.
RETURN ROLLER MOUNTS include axels and nuts for fixing. To remove the plastic mounts with minimal damage I used some turpentine applied with a brush to loosen the glue inside the hull before prying them off. To instal the metal mounts you'll need to remove the sprockets and the gearbox mounting screws so the gearboxes and some electronics can be moved aside for access. The mounting posts for the roller mounts are not threaded, you'll need to tap a thread on them using one of the nuts held in a small hex socket as pictured.