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About markbt73

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 01/07/1973

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  • Location
    PDX, OR, USA
  • Interests
    RC cars (natch), classic MG sports cars, electric guitar, vinyl, and other stuff with more moving parts than electronics

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  1. Yeah, I guess for us car guys of a certain age and temperament, there will never be anything as cool as Group B. Besides, it's a Tamiya hard body I haven't owned yet, and that's always a good thing. I still want a Bigwig, but the Lancia has to come first, I think.
  2. ...ANd just when I thought I'd settled on this, I've remembered the TA02S Lancia 037. I passed on the TA03 version, and feel like I missed out, so I may go for one of these instead of the 'Wig...
  3. When I bought my MG a few years ago and joined a forum for them, I was introduced to the term "DPO," or "Dumb (or something stronger) Previous Owner." As in, "Help me fix what the DPO did to my carb linkage," or "I have to replace the whole wiring harness because the DPO hacked it to bits." And once in a while someone goes off on a rant about something a previous owner did, and someone else will point out that it's a 50 year old car, and for most of its life there was no internet to consult and no reproduction parts to order, and that maybe what the "DPO" did was just something jury-rigged so he could get to work the next morning, and it stayed "fixed" so he never got around to fixing it right, and maybe we should cut the previous owners some slack. I guess I can see it both ways. I understand the "just gotta get it working again" mentality, especially since no one expected these things to have a second life 30 years after the fact. But it never ceases to amaze me how wrong some people can get things. Some of us can treat our stuff with respect, take care of it properly, and make it last a long time, but others can chew things up and spit them out alarmingly quickly, and then "fix" them in ways that make absolutely no sense (and yet somehow work). Ah well, it's all part of the fun, right?
  4. It's already got a Technigold (sorry, "GT Tuned") and full bearings, what more do you want? Seriously, though, back when this car was first introduced, the idea of "upgrades" was a little different. We modified things on the car to (attempt to) overcome some shortcoming, correct some design flaw, or just plain keep it driveable. Available power was much lower, run times were much shorter, and what was asked of the cars was far less as a result. Most modifications back in the 80s were to improve the often-dismal handling or bring durability up to an acceptable level, not to equip it for ballistic-missle levels of power. The Bigwig was probably stronger than most, and the included motor was pretty hot stuff for the time. They had already improved the Hotshot's largest failures (steering and suspension) and taken the basic design just about as far as they could. Tamiya would probably have not seen the Bigwig as needing any hop-ups. Besides, the Thundershot was already in development (I'm sure) by the time the Bigwig came out, so Tamiya (and probably the aftermarket companies as well) would have been focusing their efforts on the new platform. And now? The re-releases, especially Tamiya, aren't really meant to compete with new designs. The idea is to have a time capsule, a look back at how things used to be. It's not like a TT-01 or a Slash or something, that is meant to be a starting point for endless replacement of plastic parts with aluminum and carbon fiber. The huge 32-pitch gear teeth may handle brushless power, but the gear ratios were intended for a 540 or a Technigold. Yes, the plastic parts flex, and the thin steel driveshaft wobbles, and the steering and suspension parts have slop. Just like they did in the '80s. I guess the point is that if you want a Bigwig, get a Bigwig, and enjoy it on its own terms. If you want something with a zillion aftermarket parts available to "improve" it, you're probably better off with something else.
  5. Well, to quote another great poet: "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." If you haven't built it yet, you're keeping it un-built, by definition. There is definitely some appeal to that stored-up potential energy in an un-built kit, the idea that you can take the lid off that box at any time and get cracking, but you choose not to... at least yet. I know that this is the case with my collection of static kits; they all are "to build, eventually, but not today." I also think it's easier to leave kits in the box the older they get. I have a couple of static kits that are almost as old as I am; they command respect just for having lasted this long in their original condition. Yes, I plan to build them, but it can't be a casual snap decision. That's one of the things I like about the re-issues; if it's still rolling off a production line somewhere, it's fair game.
  6. I'm just happy I decided to buy an RC10 Classic when I did. And I have no regrets about building it. It was worth the price, and I loved building a fresh-from-the-bags RC10 with white and gold parts after so many years of restoring wrecks and building cars up from bits. I don't know what they were thinking with the Worlds kit, but I didn't bother, even at the low clearance prices; honestly, I've always preferred the six-gear transmission anyway. And oh how I would love to see a JRX2 re-release. That's another car I would love to build from new, instead of piecing together from several wrecks. (I never did get my hands on an intact 5-link setup; the JRX2 I restored and sold had the Pro rear suspension.) Especially if they could price it in that "sweet spot" of $250-300, where Associated and Kyosho have been. Instead we get... a redesigned Mini-T? No thanks; the mid-late 90s are not a period in the RC hobby that I am capable of being nostalgic over. Kyosho has probably made their big announcement for a year or so with the Ultima. I'd expect a Turbo Ultima sometime late next year, and then maybe 2021 for the Mid. So I guess the next move is Tamiya's... and I would still say the Falcon is the one I expect next.
  7. Looks good in black. And is that silver where the box art is white? Excellent choice. I may actually steal that color scheme...
  8. Heh... funny that this thread should re-surface now... this is a current shot of my workbench: The "The Manhattan Project" Project is back on!
  9. Yep, sky's blue, water's wet, Tamiya servo savers are too saver-y. Good to know there's room for the zip-tie trick. And I have a Futaba S3305 (high speed, metal gear) servo sitting here doing nothing, so that should turn it. Thanks everone; now I have one gift figured out (the easy one). And it has to be bought before Christmas, because the idea is to wrap everything (even our own) so there's something under the tree. Last year, we both picked out Christmas gifts in like September, and there was nothing under there. So we agreed, no early gifts this year, and I intend to follow the rules. And BTW, my birthday is a week after New Years, and I've already dropped big loud hints about an Optima to my Dad... so hopefully I'll have two 4WD legends to build this year.
  10. See, I kinda like the roof scoop. It adds to the Formula 1 style. The bolt-upright front shocks and blue shock towers always looked odd to me. And I'd much rather have the Hotshot/Boomerang wheels than those featureless discs, but I guess that's easy enough to change. That steering system is the most intriguing and most worrisome part of the whole design. I mean, a rack-and-pinion steering system, complete with gaiters on the tie rods, on an RC car? How cool is that? But... does it work? If not, I'm right back to where I was with the Hotshot again...
  11. So I just had a look at the manuals for both the Bigwig and the Top Force... yeah, Top Force is out. It's just a generation or two too new to be of any interest to me. The spec is impressive (except for bushings - are you kidding, Tamiya?), but it doesn't have any of that "Tamiya quirk" that we all know and love. Bigwig it is, I think...
  12. Yep, that's the one. The catalog I have from 1988 even lists the Thunder Dragon Jr. as being styled "like the 1/10 scale RC version," but the "big" Thunder Dragon is nowhere to be found.
  13. Yeah, that's on the list too, but it upsets me that it doesn't come with bearings, and it's maybe a little too "new" of a design for me. (though it wouldn't be hard to drop a vintage rally car body over it... something to consider)
  14. My wife and I are doing the "one for each other and one for ourselves" thing for Christmas gifts this year. Naturally, the "one for myself" is going to be an RC kit. We have an agreed-upon upper spending limit that puts a lot of kits out of reach, but Tamiya's recent rollback of MAP prices has made for a decent field of possibilities. And the one that I keep coming back to is the Bigwig. I never thought much of it the first time around: too cartoon-y looking, dumb name, and too expensive. But after having built a Hotshot re-re and fixed up an original Boomerang, I'm interested in the final development of this chassis. And it has a few features that make it seem like a good candidate for a runner: the full tub chassis, full bearings, no mono-shock weirdness. I'm not crazy about the styling, but maybe a different paint scheme can tone down the cartoonishness of it. My question, for those who have experience with it, is what's it like? I'm imagining sort of an uber-Boomerang (Uberrang?), is that accurate? How well does that rack-and-pinion steering setup work, in terms of slop and steering throw? Any specific weak spots I should know about? (Keep in mind this will be a low-stress fun runner; I don't do crazy horsepower) What say you, hive mind? Worth it?
  15. OK, here's one while you guys debate that one... what was the first model to be offered as a "Mini 4WD" (complete with dummy speed control resistor) before it was released as an RC model?
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