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About SteveB

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  • Birthday 11/21/1973

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    Worcester, UK

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  1. The Top Force wing has decals on it, the bodyshell is 100% paint! The TRF503 bodyshell has a couple of small TRF decals on it, but it also otherwise just paint. Both done by a friend at my local club, he does excellent work!
  2. After looking at the pile of parts that are left over, I have considered this Yonez! FibreLyte do the chassis and top deck in carbon, that I could put on the TRF-TFE and save the original parts. I would then only need a few bits of hardware and I could rebuild an original looking (if not actually driveable) TFE.
  3. At the end of last year, I bought a used Top Force Evolution buggy, with the intention of racing it in the vintage buggy class at my local club(s). However, after completely stripping it down, it turned out that as well as the expected wear on a few parts, there were also a few that needed replacing due to cracks in the plastic. Unfortunately, some of these were from the very hard to find 'J' parts tree/sprue. As I couldn't find any replacement parts at the time, the buggy was put on the shelf and left as a future project. This is how it looked when I first bought it (body/wing/undertray are ***** repro). Now, having tracked down the elusive J parts that I needed (some original and some in 3D printed form), I have gone back to the project, and decided to try and make it into a TRF inspired buggy. I know that this will go against the belief of many Tamiya diehards, who would probably want the buggy to stay as original as possible, but each to their own, and I love the look of TRF race machines! Anyway, the following changes have now been made: Most of the plastics have been replaced with new parts. Diffs rebuilt with new gears/balls/plates/washers. Rebuildable CVDs. Carbon shocktowers (from Fibre Lyte). TRF big-bore aeration dampers. TRF alloy turnbuckes with reinforced adjusters. TRF battery posts and carbon holders. TRF servo mounts & saver. Alloy wheel hexes. DF-03 wheels. Black steel screws, with blue hardware/fixings. Custom painted bodyshell. I have kept all of the original parts that were removed though, so I can return the buggy to stock(ish) spec at anytime! And finally, the TFE next to my current TRF503 race buggy. I am very happy with how this buggy has turned out. The only problem is, it now almost looks too good to actually use on the track which was originally the whole idea! I have many other RCs though, that are all runners/racers, but no shelf queens, so I won't feel too bad if this does end up just looking pretty on the shelf.
  4. And now, unfortunately, the project is on hold. Having stripped it down to the last screw, there are a few issues that need to be sorted before I would consider racing it. I would class the buggy as 'well used', as many parts are just a bit worn out and 'tired', but not surprising really as it is 20+ years old. The biggest issue is the parts from the J sprue, which are extremely difficult to find. Some of them have cracks, and a couple are missing off the buggy. I know that people are working on making 3d printed versions of the whole J parts sprue, but they aren't available just yet. I could replace all the plastics, fit new (modern) CVDs, new shocks (big bores), Fibrelyte shocktowers, and a few choice GPM alloy parts for strength/durability, but then I am replacing most of the buggy and it won't be cheap! I would also need new wheels/tyres, as the ones from my TRF503 are different offset and don't fit the axles. So, for now, or until I can at least get the J parts, I will be putting the whole project on hold. On the bright side though, my local club are planning to include a Lunchbox/Pumpkin class at our next indoor offroad meeting. My first thought when looking at getting a vintage/re-release RC was the Lunchbox, so I have ordered a new 'black edition' LB and some oil shocks. Should be fun!
  5. I haven't had a close enough look at an original Top Force bodyshell to tell the difference I'm afraid. The ***** shell and undertray don't follow the same lines as each other, but I don't know if that's normal or not?
  6. One Top Force Evolution racer project to be started! And as it came with new ***** bodyshell/wing/undertray, but no decals, I think I will get it painted in the same scheme as my TRF503 buggy (photo at the bottom). TRF503
  7. In my 80's Tamiya era, I was purely a 'basher', I never did any competitive racing, only driving my RC models with friends, making our own tracks/areas out of whatever environment we were in. Now though, I am purely a racer, I don't 'bash' at all unfortunately, as I really don't want to take my prized race machines out into the wild! If the vintage classes I plan to race in were full of models like the Frog, Lunchbox, Wild One, etc., then I would definately just go for something that was fun and try to wrangle it around the track. But, the entants in the vintage class at the latest round of my local clubs indoor winter series are shown in the attached photo, so I think the way forward is clear. I may just have to get something fun as well and see if I can start a trend...
  8. The racing surface will be high grip astro outdoors, and for indoors a mix of high grip carpet and slippy polished floor. I am beginning to realise that fun and competitive are almost mutually exclusive, in that I either get something fun that I will have to take it easy with, or get something purely race oriented. I do still only want to use a Tamiya model though, and as good as the RC10 is, 'my' vintage is purely Tamiya. I do know where I can get a very good condition Top Force Evolution from though, for less than the cost of getting a new re-re Egress kit from overseas, but my concern is the availability and cost of TFE parts, if (when) something needs replacing.
  9. As far as rules go for the vintage class that I want to race in, the original kit release date must be pre 2000 (or a re-release of a pre 2000 kit), but you can use whatever electronics you like, and whatever tyres you like. I was the thinking of using a spare Reedy Sonic 10.5T motor that I have (I wouldn't use any ESC timing though, it would be in blinky mode), but which models would cope with this power without any problems? I am fairly certain that some would have the transmission destroyed in no time at all...
  10. I guess what I am looking for is something that will be fun to drive on the track, but also be able to get around said track reasonably quickly, without either falling to pieces or needing major mods to make it race worthy. It will be used on an outdoor bumpy astro track (without any significant jumps though), but also on an indoor multi-surface track that will have reasonably large jumps. I had thought of the Wild One, which I have to say looks fantastic, but thought that whilst it would be fine on the bumpy astro track, it would struggle on larger jumps with the limited suspension travel? Unfortunately there aren't enough entries locally to have seperate scale vintage/racer vintage classes.
  11. Hi all. Way back when I was kid in the 80's and first got into RC, I only ever had Tamiya models (Falcon, Monster Beetle, Clodbuster, Thundershot, King Cab). I got back into RC a few years ago, and now race both indoors and outdoors, and still like to use a Tamiya models when I can (I have a TRF503 buggy, TRF417X TC, and 2x M-05 Pro, as well as models from other manufacturers). Having seen the emergence of the 'vintage' buggy class in offroad recently, I quite fancy having a go, but obviously with a Tamiya! I could go down the route of getting a genuine vintage Tamiya racing buggy, but I want something that isn't going to cost the earth, and neither will the spares (if they are even available), so that leads me to the re-release kits. The question is, which kit is going to actually be anything like competitive on the track? The first choice seems to be the Egress, but is anything else worth considering, like the Avante, Hot Shot or Super Hot Shot, or even one of the cheaper 2WD kits like the Novafox? Bear in mind though, that for my local vintage class races at least, it will be up against a mix of 2WD and 4WD buggies, with real Tamiya vintage racers like the Top Force, Astute, Dyna Storm, as well as models from Associated, Schumacher, Kyosho, etc. Thanks
  12. It looks like I'll be getting the FF-03 Pro from the same place that I got the M-05 Pro from then (RC Champ). I'm all for supporting UK hobby shops, but not when the price is double that of Japan/HK... Although saying that, the one and only time I ordered from RC Champ, I got stung for import duty, and their shipping costs are quite high too. I'll probably just wait for RCMart to have it in stock, than I can order all the hopups at the same time without having to try and decipher a Japanese website.
  13. FF03 on Tamiya.com Item No:58463 2010.6.26  The release date for the FF03 would appear to be the 26th June. Still a bit of a wait then...
  14. For years I ran my RC's by myself, bashing offroad buggys & trucks on local farmland. Then I got bored of that, sold most of my gear and basically gave up the hobby for a few years. But then in January I joined my local club and have been indoor carpet racing a Tamiya M03/M05 every week since then. I thoroughly recommend joining a club if you can, I find I get a lot more enjoyment out of the hobby now, I only wish I'd started racing years ago.
  15. I've now spoken to the Royal Mail customer service department, and they say that they have no record of the airmail tracking no. being scanned/used in their system. They also said that I should give it another 10 working days, then it would officially be considered as 'lost', and I should contact the sender to ask for a refund. So if Royal Mail don't know where it is, it's not looking likely that I'll receive it at all. I'd still just rather have the package than a refund though.
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