TGM01 Mad Bison
Model Number: 44025
Four wheel Independent double wishbone
Released 30/11/1999 the Mad Bison was a departure for Tamiya and perhaps showed the way that the company would go with it's future range of off road trucks. They took a TG-10 chassis and changed it considerably to make the Mad Bison and called it the TGM-01 chassis. A new more powerful FS-15LT engine was fitted, wider arms, different gear ratio, different chassis plate and an undercowl were fitted. The TM-5 muffler is also peculiar to this model only. The body was used on a few different kits including the Wild Dagger and Double Blaze with the tyres first being used on the Monster Beetle. Nowadays the hardest part to find are the decal set having long been discontinued. Not a popular kit when produced there doesn't seem to be many still in existence with only 20 or so listed on the site.
Having three Mad Bisons, a NIB and two runners I thought I would give the club members an overview of the kit, what it's like to run and what let's it down.
The Mad Bison was given the chassis designation TGM-01. Released near the end of 1999 it was basically a Tg10 Mk1 chassis that had extended body mounts, nylon parts for durability and subtle changes for off-road. It was also the first kit to feature the new flat TM-5 exhaust/muffler.
Performance wise it is as you would expect. The FS-15LT engine puts out adequate power and propells the Bison over the ground with ease. The larger FS-18 engine will apparantly fit but I would save the money and look for a TNX or something larger.
As most of the parts are TG10 they can still be obtained easily and at a good price however a few bits are now very difficult to get hold of. The Undercowl was Bison specific and is hard to come by, the sticker set and instructions are also quite rare. At the time of writing this Tamiya in the UK are sold out and Tamiya USA are selling off the last few bits in a sale. The bodyshell is the same as the Wild Dagger and the Stadium Radier so are more easily purchased.
Reliability wise I have broken or worn out the same parts on both my runners. The front hubs wear at the screw holes and the screws drop out after a very short time. Alloy replacements are available. The metal front steering arms seem to take a lot of the load through the suspension especially in a crash and tend to bend really easily. The centre driveshaft also tends to drop out as the plastic locks wear out. The slightest mis alignment of the motor easily damages the spur gear. The body mounts attach to the top of the gearbox front and rear so a bad crash will snap the mounts off the gearbox.
Still a rare car here on the site but well worth having one in the collection if you can find one.