I’ve been waiting to buy a KG12 Pro from VKB North America, but I keep seeing and reading about delays in production. I was wondering if anyone on the forums has a VKB product actually in hand? They look amazing, and I like that I can use my Warthog stick (without the screw on attachment method), but I don’t want to sit in pre-order purgatory.
I don’t own it but I’ve seen VKB products for sale and I know plenty of people have owned it. So yeah, not vaporware.
Delays in production are quite normal, big companies like Logitech even suffer from that. It’s not any easier for small companies to balance supply chain demands. The EEVBlog podcast has a really interesting episode where they chat about producing the Steam Controller with one of the designers.
I’ve been using one for about a year now.
I have been using the Gunfighter II Pro for quite a while and the MCG Pro for a few months. They are not vapourware but they do have very limited production runs.
As noted on the VKB North America site, there is another run coming up soon ™ .
Fair enough. I edited the title so as not to appear like I was starting a flame/troll thread. Just wanted to make sure that they exist in the flesh. I saw the latest update on VKB North America and was pretty discouraged.
I have the cash, it’s burning a hole in my pocket, and I’m tired of the twist in my Warthog gimbal!
Note: Neither Troll nor I received these units are review unit, we spent our hard earned money on them. So we receive no benefit from our recommendations
I’d love to buy a VPC stick, but I think I want to avoid the twist on stick mount. I guess I’m heavy handed and I tend to twist it off over time.
I have a VKB Gladiator MK2 Pro. Was able to buy it from the Neatherlands last summer. It’s great and have the KG12 grip.
For WW2 plane it’s perfect but not so much for DCS (lacking hats on the stick).
VKB has been in the business longer than VPC, and the VPC MT50 gimbal is a rather radical design. The VKB Black Mamba I used to have had a very basic pincher gimbal, that I upgraded to the VKB cam gimbal. Both were of excellent quality.
The VPC gimbal had a new and untested design, that allows for great variations in centering resistance. From very light to very heavy, and different cams with hard, soft or no center. It’s a great design, but the cams were plagued by uneven surfaces and something as simple as wrong screws made the cams come loose. Both of these faults have been rectified, AFAIK.
As for twisting the handle on the VPC… I guess it is possible, as the handle is held in place by friction. Never happened to me though.
I am happy with my VKB setup. It’s working as intended and feels much better than the Warthog I was using before. I have no complaints and operaing it has never generated a moment of frustration.
My only suggestion would be to have a stick extension that was half as long as the one that comes with the Pro version. Due to the layout of my desk and chair, I end up having the base sitting on top of the chair. I am using one of the MonsterTech joystick mounts but the lowest that I can go and still reach the desk is to have the base sit in top of the chair. If I put the base lower in front of the chair, I have to push my desk back a few inches to get the full throw of the stick and that means I can’t reach the Thrustmaster MFDs easily.
The MCG Pro (Modern Combat Grip) is also very nice. I have slightly smaller hands but that does not seem to affect my ability to reach the buttons. I like the level of configuration I can achieve in DCS, with the mix of hat switches and push buttons providing a good level of complexity without being too much.
The software side I have not touched too much. It is a little complicated to switch between sticks (Warthog stick modded with a VKB kit to make it compatible with the Gunfighter II base and the MCG Pro) you have to change/load different firmware.
Quality of the parts has been excellent. I am considering adding a little grease to the cams just to keep it 100% fluid but I am not experiencing the stiction I was getting with the Warthog base.
I would be incredibility interested in trying out the VPC stick - and if I win the lottery some time I might order one to check it out but I am very interested in the VKB throttle that is in the works and in the condition of the upcoming Thrustmaster Hornet stick (I purchased a second Warthog conversion kit in anticipation of the new Hornet stick being Warthog base compatible).
EDIT: Also add that the method for setting up the VKB stick in the center stick position allows for the stick to be rotated some degrees counter clockwise (anti-clockwise) and it works well. Also, VKB is working on a thin adapter that you can put between the stick and the base to add twist functionality.
Oh, an both the twist adapter and the throttle will be available at some point in the future … but don’t hold your breath as VKB is a little slow and steadty with it’s product development schedule.
If anyone’s still waiting and not on the mailing list, the Gunfighter just came back in stock!
Thanks n_b. Looks like the bases are out of stock. Grips only.
GFP’s won’t be back in stock until “the Fall” because “they had to give priority to space warship control.”
I’ve been waiting since around February, I’m giving up at this point.
Interesting. The last post was July 2018…so 10 months. They advertise the VKB Gladiator MK II over on the X-Plane.org site and it has caught my eye. Sure, I would rather go with the modern grip (I fly primarily Soviet/Russian aircraft in DCS) but they are still listing them all as Out Of Stock on the VKB site. Given that, aside from @Troll’s efforts with the Viggen stick and the TM WH, there are few “exact” replicas, I’m thinking that a generic “stick in the hand is better than…” …yeah…best not finish that cliché … a bit of a double entendre there…you get my meaning.
So, any experience / reviews of the Gladiator MK II?
I would recommend that Gladiator stick
- Precision - magnetic sensors on all three axis Pitch, Roll, Yaw
- " Exact replica " grip - if you prefer early Soviet jets like MiG15 & 19 this grip is perfect fit. Have a closer look, only thing missing is wheel brake lever.
One thing to note is the plastic construction though. While the magnetic sensors are practicaly forever the plastic parts are not.
But there is nothing better in this regard in this price range afaik.
One additional interesting information from the org store product page ( didnt see that on VKB page ). Guess this is something to offset the plastic gimbal imprecision !?? :
A small high-precision metal axle was added to the centering mechanism, which acts on the pitch axis for less slack and more accuracy around the center of the stick.