A bit of a closer look to the Tamiya first rig, the 1/14 scale King Hauler.
It is around for a long time now, at the moment maybe one of the longest running kits.
A model of the old style usa trucks, and not a specific copy of “a brand & type ”.like the Mercedes, Volvo FH or Scania
Do keeping in mind, that it is quite a close match with a Mack.
The chassis, 2 beams, with leaf springs, twin rear axle’s and the first time used 3 speed “plastic” gearbox is quite a nice replica of what was used on the real trucks back in the days when this was a “new” truck.
Building the kit it quite straight forward, but with the loads and loads of small metal parts it is very important to keep a good eye on the manual
Even as the gearbox looks like a nightmare on drawing, and even worse when having all the parts laying in front of you on the desk.
Not much can go wrong actually, just keep paying attention to the right order of what sprocket to put on what axle.
When you have put it together, you will be amazed how Mr. Tamiya ever figured out how to design the thing in the first place.
In practical use, the gearbox is very stable, and with a bit of practice, shifting on the fly is not a problem.
There are a couple of things that are important to know before building,
Use ball bearings! Fitting them “after” is not a problem, but requires a lot of work.
It is a expensive kit, don’t cut down on ball bearings.
Thread lock ! , use thread lock on every nut & bolt on the chassis, the stiff leaf springs suspension will rattle everything lose that is not secured with the blue goo.
And, don’t forget to look close how to mount the rear differential the correct way up.
Two little plastic tabs will tell what is the correct way, but missing to see those, it could provide quite a experience trying to run the rig for the first time.
Mr. Tamiya provided us with some ready to fit hopups, alloy rims, oil shocks, a cab spoiler, bullbar and a telescope-antenna.
Also, pre-multi function unit, there is the full sound unit, and the light unit.
Both of these sets where replaced by one single multi function unit, who was released with the introduction of the Knight Hauler, the younger brother of the King.
Age difference or not, it is no problem whatshowever to fit this space age kit into the 19the century truck.
One of the other plus points of the chassis type and abs hard body used on this rig, due the design of it, you could go wild on custom jobs.
Anything between as “simple” as a insane paintjob or full custom build towtruck or other variation.
And, as the showrooms in Tamiyaclub proof, the possibilities are endless.
A tractor truck is only a tractor of course, and Mr. Tamiya thought of that one to.
Four trailers are there to choise from, the box trailer, flatbed trailer, tank trailer and log trailer.
Of course, do not forget the “2e brand” trailers that are for sale, low bed loaders, tipper trailers, tautliners.. you name it, it is there
And, as it is very easy to swap your load, with the multi function unit even while “playing” , why stop with having only one type of trailer ?
After all, i could recommend this big kit to everybody , but keep in mind it is not for the faint hearted.
A lot of small parts to be assembled, and a body kit is to nice to mess up with a quick & dirty paint job.
Certainly if you consider, these are not the most cheap Tamiya kits around.
Maybe you could be fooled by the scale look of the build truck, but these trucks actually drive very well and pleasant.
Not a speedfreak, but certainly not slow at all. “ Scale” , even way to fast.
I have owned mine since July 2002. It is controlled with an Airtronics VG400 controller. I have always used the pistol style radios with my cars, so it was hard for me to get used to. It is easier just to shift the gears before you start driving. Even though my King Hauler only has the stock 540 in it, it hauls ass! In 3rd gear it gets going so fast that if I need to slam on the breaks, or take a turn too fast, it will roll on it's side. This kit is just so great in detail and performance. It will gather a crowd in no time flat, and you will be answering questions all day. I recommend one of these kits if you can afford it. Don't pay $400 for it either ($440 after tax). Get it on eBay from Stellamodel. He sales them for around $280 shipped. That is how much I got mine for. I had to wait 2 weeks to get here from Hong Kong, but it is worth saving $150. (Tamiya King)
Even though i still haven't built my truck yet (another winter project) i have spent many hours studying all the parts and reading the instructions thoroughly, As far as tamiya kits go this has got to be the most intricate and complex model they make, if you are a total beginer i would say get some experience first before attempting a kit of this magnitude, every little detail has been taken into account and added to this kit making it the best rc truck on the market available today, it has a 3 speed gearbox a great detailed hard body , metal chassis , proper light lenses and the amount of chromed parts included in this kit is astounding, you can also buy light kits, sound kits , alloy wheels, different trailers, motorised leg supports , remote unhitching the list goes on..., The one thing i will say is make sure you have room before you buy it, especially if your adding a trailer as this kit is huge , massive, humungous, yes it is really that big. My friend has just bought the tanker trailer for his globe liner and i was amazed at the weight of it, about twice as heavy as the truck , and the fact it is just as much a kit in itself to build i really think these trucks are a modelers dream.