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Everything posted by Grastens

  1. Paging @ThunderDragonCy your new spares are ready Incredibly exciting batch of releases! Enough to bring me out of hiding once more Still have a backlog and life plans to work out, but I have a feeling the Comical Hotshot and Thunder Dragon may stick around... I do like the variety of angles in which each model is photographed; the Top Force Evo is presented particularly well with the front three-quarter-like shot.
  2. Right now, I am working hard to make the step up to 1:1 as a "natural progression" from 1:10 And I do mean "assembly kits"... Already, I kind of wish the 1:1 kits had "pre-painted and cut" bodies
  3. Think I will stick with the Striker, though ;) Even if I do actually have one in this world!



  4. The closest I will get to obtaining a Tamiya Road Wizard? A Gran Turismo Sport tribute!


  5. I have been staying occupied at home with Gran Turismo Sport. I then wondered what a Tamiya Striker would look like as an actual F1 car: Gran Turismo Sport has a generic 1980s-1990s-style open-wheel race car, as well as a decent livery editor. A Road Wizard tribute was obligatory: And then I went racing in the Striker: The game made me take #16 in the race, which is why it bears the #16 roundel in race photos while still wearing its #6. And in my opinion, the result actually looks fine: But then, I also think the regular Tamiya Striker looks all right, so what do I know? It is not perfect - yet! For now, this is good enough for me: Did I mention that Gran Turismo Sport has a decent Photo Mode? Gran Turismo Sport relies on good Internet connectivity. While this unfortunately limits the amount of offline gaming, it does create new possibilities - like the ability to use decals created by other users around the world. I am confident somebody from here made the "Tamiya Motorsport" logo that appears on the Road Wizard tribute, as well as the "Road Wizard" text. It is largely due to the efforts of Tamiya fans that I was this inspired to create something Tamiya-based in this video game. For the Striker, though, I settled for reworked graphics readily available offline, to resemble the original "Striker" logo. Most of my car-related pastimes these days have been virtual, though I do believe a VQS will be arriving sometime...
  6. I have finally found a local (read: somewhere in Canada) hobby shop that can ship in these strange times, and so hope to be taking delivery of a brand-new VQS/Vanquish by the end of the month I had never considered the similarities between the ETronix brushed motors and the Dynatech, though... I should have tried it on any of my glut of such motors!
  7. The weather was fine, the roads were clear, and most importantly, I don't have a car: At it again with my Shimano 105-equipped Schwinn Volare! With this being the tail-end of the road-riding season, or so I am told...
  8. Someone on Mokei Kagaku's Facebook page supposed that Axial might be responsible... which would make more sense than Aston Martin, I think.
  9. After all the cynicism surrounding this re-release, it is nice to see it looks much the same as the original - bathtub chassis included! I still hope to be able to get my hands on one
  10. ... Because I am banking on the Vanquish/VQS having much less desirable packaging, thereby saving me from the inevitable revelations about the passage of time, entropy, and the fragility of mortality as I discard it to build the kit contained within? I could do with a little less foreboding for my builds That being said, it looks nice.
  11. Where can I find this Vanquish?! I would have been way less excited for this re-release had I known - but then, perhaps it is because I have always had to contend with shipping to North America...
  12. Pre-painted? Well, I used to enjoy bodywork, but current living accommodations make that difficult, so a pre-painted shell would actually be a draw for me at this time. The "bathtub chassis" seems a clear indicator of the return to a plastic chassis over a double-deck FRP or carbon design, as well. Plenty to like about this one. But then, I also have no memories of the original Vanquish, so I am less picky about it being a faithful recreation. The availability of a clear body set is still welcome; I look forward to painting another shell in the Grastens/Italy/Mexican (depending on who you ask) tri-colour I think this car will be close enough to the Vanquish that I can be satisfied with it. Sign me up for one by mid-October
  13. So there WAS an Avante 2001 hiding under all that! The Facebook photos suggested otherwise That would have been an interesting project on another (more ubiquitous) car, but knowing what we know now about the Avante 2001... it does elicit a bit of an emotional response, doesn't it? Nice work cleaning it up!
  14. You could pull a Grastens and do your best to get both anyway Although I admit I never saw the Vanquish coming back... ... Am I the only person who would see some excitement in a Neo Vanquish? I mean, this thing is just BRISTLING - it would look fantastic in 1:10! But then, so does the original Vanquish As an enthusiast who arrived some time after most of Tamiya's most fondly-remembered models, the re-release of the Vanquish provides a wonderful opportunity to get that bit closer to 1980s Tamiya. I will see if I am able to pre-order one... ... and if it is easier to live with than the genuine Avante, then maybe this is the car I really wanted all along!
  15. I tried a TA-04 once: It was a very nice car, but the chassis proved a bit vulnerable to the odd stone that made its way into the belts. For some reason, I found it uninspiring, but that has more to do with how I felt about touring cars and less about the TA-04 itself. But then, I did get one well after the TA-04 was discontinued... The fact that it was a TA-04 I tried was sort of serendipitous, since I was more after the Loctite Zexel GT-R that sat on top of the chassis. I probably could have been just as happy had there been a TA-06 or TB-03 under there (maybe even more so with the better parts support). Still, I have to say the car treated me well.
  16. I speculate it had something to do with either the Avante's tendency to oversteer, or to settle its behaviour over jumps, where leaving the springs harder at the front should result in more of a nose-up attitude on takeoff. Softer rear springs could do the same thing. Functionally speaking, then, perhaps the Avante being issued without the option for softer front springs was rooted in performance observations of the day. However, I do not know that for sure, especially given the timeline for hop-up releases.
  17. This one should be good! I wonder what other touring cars might follow...
  18. It has been a while, but in the intervening year or so, I have finally accomplished a cycling milestone: The 100-mile ride, or 'century' - and on my Schwinn, no less! It has since been updated with rebuilt wheels and new tubeless tires. These wheels originally had aluminum nipples, but after several rounded off on me while truing it, I discarded all the spokes and nipples and started over with new ones. Rebuilt with brass nipples this time and double-butted spokes, they are now proving reliable, even with all the railroad crossings I have to contend with on my new routes. A stylish carbon-fibre-finish frame pump and a massive new front light have been the only other updates. Already, I had been riding to work - 20 kilometres each way on county back roads. Despite my work being labour-intensive, I find riding my bike there and back gives me energy. Go figure! It was Peter_B resurrecting his mountain bike that inspired me to resurrect this thread
  19. Howards is right about lubricating the cables - I guess my first instinct as a former shop mechanic was to toss them So long as they are not frayed, kinked, or corroded, perhaps all they need is some adjustment.
  20. Perusing the instructions, already I can tell this driver figure is going to be fascinating: Tamiya, for a cheap and cheerful driver figure that is intended to fill the cockpits of many recreational and/or entry level models, and lacking the seriousness of even those, has gone to lengths to hide screw holes in the hands, arms, and helmet. I have never seen decals used for this purpose that then get painted over. This does reduce expense while increasing customizability, though. It is actually rather clever, despite the fact that it makes painting and assembly unusually complex for such a simple driver figure. Fortunately, Tamiya also seems to have thought this through, with the fully painted and assembled figure attaching to the chassis with double-sided tape. Nonetheless, some time must be taken to figure out what to assemble and what to leave on the sprue before paint. From what I can tell: I will be attaching the helmet halves before painting, while painting the visor and chin guard separately. The shirt of the torso and part of the arms will be painted before assembling the gloves, which will have decals covering the screws before getting painted themselves. The steering wheel, face, and driver mount can be painted separately, after which everything will be assembled. The arms will then be fully painted to cover the screw holes for the driver mount, and then the figure can be affixed to the chassis. It is a bit convoluted in comparison to other driver figures, especially the Wild Willy torso, which did not even bother with a covering for the screw hole in his arm. However, as none of this involves bolting the figure directly to the chassis (which then either means an exposed screw after all that effort, or one that is difficult to access, or even a difficult time removing said driver for any reason), I agree with it. What I don’t agree with? The lack of seat harness decals to go with the figure. I know it made its debut with the T3-01, a vehicle in which a driver is not likely to have one, or at least a visible one. Moulding the torso without belts, then, makes sense. Some decals to represent safety harnesses would be a nice option, though, for the times this guy gets behind the wheel of a buggy. This is less about any perceived aesthetics and more about encouraging safe behaviours in the children who may be building this kit, but then, I am no doubt overthinking this… Though I am not a small child, I do think safety harnesses should at least be part of the conversation. … And besides: an Avante driver who isn’t belted in?! Being Nuts is DANGEROUS! What is neat is the use of pre-cut decals that include the eyes and eyebrows. Four different types are available, so finishing the separately-moulded face (another ingenious step) is as easy as putting on some coats of whatever skin colour you want and then sticking on the eyes and eyebrows. I have some ideas I would like to try for the driver (including seeing if I have any seat harness decals that fit, left from previous sheets), but I do intend to build it up as laid out in the instructions. Now, to get started...
  21. The chassis, however, could use some small touches. The antenna mast flags went on: I was reluctant to apply these, given the potential for messing up a decal that is supposed to stick to itself, but some care and a bit of window cleaner convinced me to go for it. In the end, the flags worked quite well. I also like the minor decals that go on the chassis: And now, united: A bit bright? Let’s try this one: And because this car is so inherently silly, I felt the need to use the otherwise-dormant wide-angle lens on my camera of choice: And thus concludes the bodywork: Next up: fill this space!
  22. Decal time for the: It began with the removal of the overspray film on the shell and wing. The PS-16 is even deeper and more lustrous than I imagined! Once my infatuation passed, I organized my work station: My additional supplies for this task included a bottle of window cleaner and some clean towels, to go along with my new tweezers and X-Acto blade. The X-Acto blade was really there to take care of the first order of business: Having previously left a lot of clear film for the “Intake” decals, I saw fit to remove it before starting. I mean, there really was no purpose to it… With a long layoff between decals on shells, I followed the numbered order laid out by the manual, with few exceptions. Steps were omitted where the decals corresponded to the driver figure, which had not been painted yet. Decal number one? The iconic Avante script: The box photo helped here. I knew to cut away the excess decal between the legs of the A, to help the script conform to the unusual corner on the edge of the side pod. The box photo example had this, too. It still required plenty of effort to position and smooth down, but in the end the first one was a success! The others went well. What interested me was Tamiya’s use of decals to accent the rear bodywork: In theory, it would be easier to paint the black sections of this part of the shell. For a pre-painted body, I suppose it adds expense. I believe this is to simulate a wing stay from the rear of the bodywork, or at least to add visual interest to this area. With the various shapes and curves, though, decals to cover it properly would require careful design. It seems Tamiya has ensured this, and what was anticipated to be a challenge ended up being simple. I should not be surprised, given Tamiya’s past use of decals to represent large coloured sections of bodywork in other kits; I think about the Loctite Zexel GT-R that I built some time ago: It would have been so much easier to paint the front half of that shell a different colour, but Tamiya’s decals made an admirable effort. I would have never thought that I would be encountering such famous decals in a kit like the Comical Avante, yet here we are: After the first decal, everything appeared to be coming easily, even the intake decals: However, my properly-cut window trim decals did not quite make it to the top of the canopy: Perhaps I could have aligned them differently at the lower edges of the canopy, but then they would not line up with the front… A tiny patch of electrical tape stepped in: Though barely noticeable, perhaps I could explain it away as a hinge cover? I actually have no idea how the Avante’s canopy would open, though the presence of the “Eject” decal on the rear (not yet applied in the previous photo) would suggest a front-hinging one. Oh, well… If not for the antenna masts, the electrical tape might be able to handle a rollover better than a decal! I will note that the front canopy decal (with the “UV Protected” decal over it) could be trimmed quite close and it would fit better than it did on my kit. I left just a slight border on it, and it still hung slightly over the edges of the canopy. It is decal 27. I eventually finished up the shell, save for one decal: And maybe the most iconic of them all: the “Being Nuts is Neat!” that makes an Avante just as much as the “Paranoid Perry” and “Yellow 5” decals do. Significance aside, the reason I installed this one last was because the decal sits over the mounting screws that affix the wing to the body. Ordinarily, I would apply the screws over the decal, or else punch holes to access the screws, but as the wing is attached to the body and not the chassis (as is the case for the original Avante), I did not see myself removing the wing with any frequency. Hence, I wished to work with the shell by itself before installing the wing, which necessitated applying the wing decal at the end. I write this because the wing decal is actually numbered 3 in the manual. And with that, the shell is complete!
  23. Indeed they will! The deal with replacing cables is that as they are under constant tension, they do stretch and go out of adjustment with time. I find that a good number of them also corrode over extended storage, though less so when stored indoors. A dedicated bike cable cutter will go a long way for ensuring clean housing and cable cuts. Otherwise, make sure your side cutters are nice and sharp, and if your cutters mash the housings shut, you can open up the ends with a pick or awl. Best of luck!
  24. We had a whole thread on bicycles somewhere deep in this sub-forum, with plenty of mountain bikers and a few mechanics active on there. I am sure from there, someone knows a thing or two about bikes. From what I can gather, though, the bike could use some new cables and housings to start. As below, the cable is the metal wire with the short cylinder on the end, and the housing is the sheath: A bike that has been sitting that long will likely need new cables and housings for both the brakes and the gears. Brake cables are thicker than gear cables. The housings are different for each: gear housings are made up of axial strands of wire, as in the above picture, since the housing is not supposed to compress. Brake housings consist of metal coils, being able to compress: In a pinch, you can use gear housing for both brakes and gears (provided the housing can accommodate the brake cable), but shifting performance will usually suffer if brake housing is used for both. If you see "Universal" housing, it is made of braided wire and is thus suitable for both uses. I would think that full replacement of the cables and housings would be a good place to start, since having these new facilitates adjustments on brakes and gears. Sometimes, braking and shifting problems are even caused by dirty cables and/or housings. From there, adjusting the brakes is usually a matter of getting the cable tension and pads set right (there should be a screw on each brake arm that helps with spring tension - they can be used to adjust the pad's distance to the rim, as I see the 2006 GT Aggressor had V-brakes), and adjusting the gears is about getting the cable tension and the end points set right (there should be two screws on each derailleur - each one determines how far the derailleur will go in one direction). Be sure to lubricate the pivot points on your derailleurs and brakes - I like Tri-Flow PTFE lubricant for this, but in a pinch chain lubricant can get things moving again. WD-40 is really only suited for freeing seized parts; it evaporates quickly after that, leaving not a whole lot of anything to lubricate the part afterwards. Bad shifting after new cables and free-moving parts can sometimes be due to a worn or rusted chain. As it had only been used a few times, the chain is probably not worn, but it could be corroded. Stiff links from said corrosion can inhibit shifting, and a badly-rusted chain is very difficult to restore. If the bike has only been used a few times and the chain is corroded (either stiff, squeaky, or both), a new chain will help. As for the rubber cap on the suspension fork: the caps are usually seals for the suspension system, but are more important for air- or oil-filled suspension forks. It looks like the GT Aggressor had a simple friction coil-spring fork, so the seal may not be a problem except for aesthetics. I remember seeing plenty of friction-damped suspension forks without rubber caps that operated normally. Best of luck! I hope you can get your bike up and running again
  25. And now, the body for the: But first, a delivery of ball bearings and some fresh new X-Acto blades: The body is pre-painted in that lovely PS-16 Metallic Blue, with the holes also pre-drilled for the body posts and the rear wing. Cutting is all that is required: I am out of practice, though, so things got a bit dicey. I removed the light lenses first, as they were the easiest to cut and not involved in my particular build right now: The rear wing in particular has many different angles, perhaps even more so than the original Avante wing. It proved tricky to cut out properly; here it is in progress: Conversely, the shell had only a few cuts that required extra attention. I had talked long ago about removing some extra material where the “Diablo Engineering” decals would go, in order to accentuate the shape of the front, but elected against it with the scissors in hand. I ended up finishing the shell first: I had almost forgotten to remove the transponder stay: Along with a large swatch of PS-16-painted polycarbonate. I really do like the colour. So, now I had to cut decals. By virtue of being an entry-level kit aimed at younger audiences, I was hoping to relent a bit on the cutting, i.e. not too many decals to remove, and not too many aggressive angles to handle. However, I gave it my best effort, with the first one to extract being this tiny little detail: Tamiya really isn’t messing around with this Avante tribute! This decal is featured on the original, too, and is actually a nice touch for an ostensibly canopy-equipped vehicle. I then separated the decals I would either use later or not in the foreseeable future: The helmet decals are in the foreground and will be used; the light lens decals are in the middle ground and will go on if/when lights are installed, and the rest are extras. The exception is the pair of carbon-fibre pattern decals that were to be used for the exhaust pipes, but as before, I saw no need for them. About an hour of trimming got me here with the decals: And with that, it becomes a case of peel-and-stick! Right…
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