- 1/6th Scale Tanks in B.A.T. -
THE "6th Tank Corps"

The largest rc tanks in production in the world today are 1/6 scale. This is the same scale as the G.I. Joe, Dragon 21st Century Toys, etc. action figure. RC tanks in this scale are typically over a meter long and up to two feet wide. Their weight ranges from 60 to over 180 lbs depending upon the size of the battery and construction materials. Also, tanks this size need room for storage and an appropriate transport vehicle. For example, wood ramps and minivan/pickups are recommended for tanks weighing over 50 lbs, especially for one-person operations to avoid injury to yourself and your model. The logistics needed for storage and transport are in itself an adventure and gives you an idea of what it must be like for the real thing.

1/6th Tanks are an advantage because of all the military equipment and action figures available in the action figure world as accessories, such as gas cans, machine guns, shovels, etc. There are also detailed tank crewman and infantry support action figures for German and Allied Tanks.

Scratch building in 1/6th scale requires equipment (including skills) most modelers do not have nor cannot afford. These include Mills, Lathes, Drill press, Resin/Metal Molding equipment, etc Fortunately there are a few reputable manufacturers of 1/6-scale tanks that have come into the market in the past few years. We highly recommend the following:

Russian Manufacturer
Alex operates out of Volgograd and makes tanks using fiberglass bodies and metal tracks/chassis. These include the Tiger I, and II; T-34/85; JS-2; Panther, and the Sherman Firefly. These are dependable and rugged tanks.
Alex's website is: http://www.interdacom.ru/~tanks/ In the United States Leonard Rose is the distributor at/ Alex also has 1/8 versions of most of what he sells in 1/6.

Alex’s use of a Fiberglass body combined with zinc-cast metal wheels, idlers, sprockets and tracks have presented no serious problems other then some need for re-inforcement of the hulls which can flex on some tanks. Most owners would say that they desire to add greater detailing to the basic models. New tanks for him are a 1/6 Jagdpanther and 1/6 ZSU (anti-aircraft). To get a better look at Alex’s tanks you can also contact one of his dealers at http://www.mark-1-tank.co.uk/ and also our own Leonard Rose at http://www.r-c-tanks.com

American Manufacturer
Bevan Johnston of Cactus Tracks produced the world's only 1/6 aluminum "Easy-Eight" Shermans. Unfortunately he has concluded his run of these tanks and will be introducing a new vehicle in the future -- also of limited number. The Sherman may continued to be produced by permission by another manufacturer. Bevan’s website is at http://www.rctanks.us/ Because of the welded and machined nature of his Sherman, they have been proven to be very rugged and dependable. The turret has a marvelous electric drive and should last forever. Also on Bevan’s product list are two types of gearboxes that he has built and tested.

British Manufacturer
Armortek in the United Kingdom did, for a while, produce a limited quantity of Tigers and Panzer IV kits made of metal that were provided piecemeal on a timetable. We have heard of some delays and interruptions with the supplying of some components. For more info check with the owners' site: http://www.armortek.co.uk/

Another option is to motorize the 21st Century Toys Bradley Fighting Vehicle (not true 1/6th scale) that was made for a while, or buy their R/C M5A1 Stuart. These very inexpensive models come assembled and are only good for light duty as they are chiefly plastic and the Stuart is underpowered. Furthermore the RC version of the Stuart departs from the earlier non-motorized version in that it does not follow authentically the design of the track and suspension. Especially in the case of the Bradley the tracks are not of a quality to last very long. A substitute is required for the Bradley and can be found by using track from an entirely different model. Ramon Mendoza used track from Telis tanks in the Czech Republic.

The cost of 1/6-scale tanks is not cheap. If you order from the aforementioned manufacturers be prepared to spend between $3000 to $5000 and wait from a month to 9 months depending on the accessories you want to order. These tanks are unique, impressive, and look real. Currently, B.A.T. has a few members with 1/6-scale tanks, but we are growing in numbers and tanks. http://www.mujweb.cz/www/pe_telistank/ Some have upgraded the Stuarts with the better motors and added the electronic sounds from the Tamiya 1/16ths.

There are occasionally 1/6th cast resin static kits released by small cottage manufacturers, but these are in no way suitable for radio control without a complete reworking. Conceivably they could form the basis for copying into more suitable materials, however if you are the type that can successfully undertake such a project in the first place, the added expense of a resin kit would seem to be unnecessary to say the least.

Apart from the $150 toys from 21st Century Toys the cost of 1/6-scale tanks is not low. If you order from the aforementioned manufacturers be prepared to spend between $3000 to $5000 and wait from a month to 9 months depending on the accessories you want to order. Some of these tanks provide a sense of realism when operating especially when equipped with proper sound systems. Currently, B.A.T. has a small but dedicated "6 Tank Corps" with a variety of WWII U.S., German, and Russian armor.

 

Members Tanks
(1/6 scale)

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