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Saito2

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About Saito2

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  1. Lunch Box, my first Tamiya. I ran it forever (like decades) with virtually no issues. Certainly kept me hooked on Tamiya. ORV monsters. I have quite a few. They have just right amount of control vs wildness for me. They're vintage but still haul the mail. Nothing from Tamiya really replaced the feeling they give me (although I'm finding the old Kyosho Car Crushers to be a nice counterpoint), not the King Cab (still a great truck in its own way) and definitely not the WT01. Clod Buster/Bullhead. Nothing is quite like an old Clod bounding all over the place. I've got modded ones but always keep a stocker on hand for the 80's bouncy goodness. It still seems huge to me and nothing beats the sound of those big tires rolling over the rough stuff. Hot Shot series buggies. My favorite 4wd Tamiya buggies. They are antiquated in many respects but have always been reasonably tough in my experience. Mine haven't suffered the cracked plastics that my DF01s eventually get. They have a certain heft to them that makes them seem almost deliberate in their movements It doesn't hurt that they all look great too. I have an original HS, a beater/go anywhere HS with SS suspension, a Big Wig and the Super Boomerhotshoterang on the runner shelf ATM and will probably piece together a Super Shot again too. I'd probably consider T-Shot buggies too but that's too many buggy families to field with complete spares. Vanquish/Avante/Egress. My Vanquish was my first step into the big leagues BITD. I was very proud of it. I love building that chassis style and it borders on art for me. Fox. Probably my favorite 2wd Tamiya. Its not totally blown out of the water by old RC10s but looks better than one in my eyes. I found it a huge leap over the bouncy Frog (no pun intended) and it was quick even in stock form. It was the fastest car on my street BITD. Nobody out-drag raced the mighty Fox. FAV/Wild One. I love how they look the last of Tamiya's really scale buggies to a degree. They perform well for what they are and are planted with low COG. Nothing really looks like them. TXT-1. Wow, was this thing amazing when I got it BITD. Those scale looking axles and beautiful alloy chassis plus cantilever suspension added up to such greatness for me. Paired with 550 motors and 14.4v, it was unstoppable. Super Champ/Fighting Buggy. Tamiya can put goofy "fight" names in front of what they want but to me its still the Super Champ, re-re or not. The SC's weight never lets you forget you're piloting something akin to an aluminum ingot. I wouldn't want to take one in the ankle at full tilt, lol. It steers like a super tanker with the light front end, heavy rear end and no diff, but I don't care. The trick oil bottle and floating monoshock actually keeps the rear tires planted (all that weight doesn't hurt either!). The normal SRBs always seemed bouncy, antiquated and somehow slow (well, they are, and that's part of their charm not a dig against them) but the SC just seems to move quicker, with planted authority.
  2. Thank you for your sympathy, but it is what it is. What makes matters harder to swallow is the owner supposedly takes in over 2 million dollars a year from a company of about 50 employees. General inflation causes the price of necessities to increase every year and the increases in insurance cost essentially is the same as asking employees to take a pay cut year after year rather than getting a minimal cost of living increase in wage. Its an escalating disaster with no end in sight. Without any insurance, I would either bankrupt my family or be left to deteriorate and/or die to save them from bankruptcy, but this is the health care system in the US. The Affordable Health Care Act was a godsend with good, affordable coverage, but one can't use it if their employer offers their own coverage as a benefit. I would do far better if my employer simply didn't offer and company coverage at all. I get around it by carrying no debt, putting all my money in CDs to collect some form of usable interest and not going anywhere or doing anything. If something needs repaired or refinished, I learn how to do it and do it myself. Last year I learned how to do flooring. This summer, I built interior walls and next summer it looks like I will learn roofing. Aside form a day trip to the beach, there are no vacations (I can't recall the last time I had off) and forget about eating out, etc. Eventually I will have to get a second job and start work ing 60 hours a week if this increase keeps up but I'll take advantage of company overtime until then. Like I tell my coworkers, I can stop working when I'm dead, lol. But, its just the facts in America and my situation is no different then many many others. I'm lucky to be prudent with money. Other's just plow themselves into debt chasing the carrot on the end of the stick. I was lower middle class at one time.
  3. The weather was ok today so a I squeezed a run in with the Optima. I've already touted its incredible build quality and amazing performance. I'm honestly getting great enjoyment out of it and my Big Boss. And yes, I still use old AM radio gear in most of my runners.
  4. I thank you all for your input but welllll... I just got my yearly health insurance papers from work and insurance prices went up over 100% from last year. $109 per pay period became $230 so no Schumacher for me at this time. The worst part is the insurance doesn't cover anything until the $4500 deductible is met. So, I throw $5980 away per year for insurance that I can't use but have to buy for a safety net in case I get a bad disease or condition that would bankrupt my family without it. Oh well, I will live vicariously through other owners, lol.
  5. Tamiya PS paints are getting thin on the ground here in the US. While it is my hope they will eventually be restocked months down the road (I really need some PS16 for a Avante 2001 body ATM) some of my bodies for other manufactures don't necessarily need Tamiya PS paint to be "correct". Any other brands I should consider? Pactra used to be good but I haven't used them in years. I heard good and bad about Duratrax sprays. Anybody have experience with other brands they'd like to share? Thanks.
  6. This is oddly reminding me of the re-re Blackfoot grill issue. While I sympathized with those unhappy with the change, not having an original meant I didn't fully understand it. Now I get it and I'm getting the feelings from a silly box of all things. The original Vanquish was one of my most anticipated Tamiyas (my only Christmas present that year and only possible after it had been discounted to $99 back then). After seeing "VQS" on the box plus all the business about the pre done body, it just messed up the illusion for me. Utterly ridiculous, I know.
  7. Despite the massive history behind the CAT XLS, I'm leaning toward the Top Cat as that interesting front end looks fascinating.
  8. And I'm honestly happy you love your Super Astute. I enjoyed building it and seeing the evolution from the original Astute. Its not that the SA is bad, it just didn't live up to my personal expectations and that is all on me. I wouldn't know an AE B6D from a snack machine myself, but compared to the gold tub RC10 of that era, the Ultima or the JR-X2, it wasn't quite there in my eyes (my opinion). I'm sorry if my opinion about an RC car offends any of its aficionados. My opinion isn't necessarily fact so please forgive me. I really don't want to be a pariah because I wasn't satisfied with it.
  9. Cars I could let go if someone would buy them: Egress, bought a second one for a runner since these were the tops when I was young. Never ran it. I became too paranoid about Tamiya's lackluster spares support and there's always the danger of meeting ones heroes. I was primed to sell it but knew I'd take a beating on it, even new-built. It will be converted to a Avante 2001-esque shelfer, Madcap, brought used with a melted chassis. I replaced the chassis but never ran it. Later, no one would buy it so it collects dust. Maybe in the distant future, If I track down red shocks, I'll make it a Saint Dragon shelfer, or it will continue to sit. Grasshopper 2, bought recently to recreate my old Super G my folks tossed in the trash while I was at college. Somehow, it just wasn't the same. Never ran it and it just sits because I couldn't even get $40 for it, new, unused. M05RA Alpine A110, the body was beautiful, but I have no where to run a rally car and on-road does nothing for me. Again, probably worthless at this point, so it sits in a box. TRF201, I bought 2 of these cheap on Tamiya USA with the crazy idea I'd go to a track. I'm far too introverted for that so I have no idea what I was thinking, sold both of them on. CC01, bought a Pajero years back but had to sell it for money before driving it. Bought the Unimog version only to discover it wasn't my thing so off it went. I just can't understand the allure but that's all on me. TA02T, looked neat but rolled constantly. I'm too stuck with how buggies react to change I guess. Twin Detonator, debated putting this on here because I did have fun with it until it became very boring for me. I've narrowed down what irks me about its geometry that affects its nature of running at least. The worst part is I was dirt poor when I bought it around the great recession and stupidly sold off my RC10T to fund it thinking I's strictly be a Tamiya collector. That was well over 10 years ago and my taste have grown far past Tamiya. Maybe that's why I have 8 RC10s to make up for my utter idiocy of letting the 10T go. Super Astute, planned to make this a runner but was not pleased with all the shortcomings the buggy still had in it. I see-sawed about plowing the extra money into it for alloy shocks (let alone the ability to bottom out the front end) and a chassis that wasn't a springboard but gave up and let it be a shelfer. I'm grateful to Tamiya for the experience to be able to build it but it didn't live up to expectations. Debate about the car on the forum got very heated which didn't make me love it anymore, culminating with a member calling me a clueless idiot. I am an idiot, but I don't need it pointed out to me, lol. My Ultima filled its position in my 2wd line up and its great.
  10. Fascinating stuff, though frustrating why Tamiya always seems to find a way to make it difficult, lol. Were the bevels in the Juggernaut 1 chromed brass or standard pot metal? I know they appear smaller but I was wondering if the chromed brass gears were another upgrade against wear in the Jugg2/TXT series. Slightly off topic, is chromed brass also what Tamiya makes their standard shinny diff outdrives out of? They appear to get eaten away by the steel cross pin on the dogbone end as power levels increase. My guess is brass is tougher than pot metal yet easier/cheaper to machine than steel but uses the hardness of chrome (plating) to create a harder wear surface.
  11. Saito2

    Stigma

    Its interesting how we had different experiences with the same chassis, though much of it stems from different ages and entry points to this particular model. Nobody had anything as elite as a model RC car in my neighborhood. All of it was Tyco or Nikko stuff. I was the first the buy one with long saved money and I chose my second favorite at the time, the Lunch Box. From that young age and with what we had to measure against, the Lunch Box was huge, durable and fast! It towered over the 1/16 and 1/14 scale toy brands powered by 360 motors at best. With all the time I spent on it, I was extremely careful not to roll it. This care allowed me to become a better driver as I gently worked up to its limits. Later in life, body mounts did break but the chassis as a whole never let me down. I could pull it off the shelf and run it today. When I eventually did get to see things like a Blackfoot up close, I realized how simplistic the Lunchie was, but its durability (Blackfoot drivers had diff issues back then too) kept me from looking down on it. It was simple, but it was quality and that made me buy more Tamiyas. My childhood experiences with an Aristocraft Dolphin led to a busted knuckle on its maiden test drive and a Marui Land Cruiser with a gearbox the melted over time (still loved that Marui though). Had I had more exposure to Kyosho or Associated hardware, my viewpoints may have greatly changed. As an aside, while we are critical of the Traxxas hype machine Tamiya had its own way of promoting its vehicles that made them memorable and standout. Those magnificent catalogs and guidebooks were second to none combined with the intoxicating boxart. MRC, Tamiya's US importer always had glowing ad copy bragging about toughness and the strength of engineering grade ABS plastic. And wasn't every buggy in Tamiya line a "race winner" designed to "put you in the winners circle" if you listened to the promo videos?
  12. With the smell of stuffing and faux turkey (we're vegetarians) cooking in the house, I stepped out for a run with my patched together old Blackfoot. Its a creaky, old mish-mash of parts that still gets up and goes when called upon. ...and of course jumping in a pile of leaves is still fun when you're an old man like my Blackfoot...
  13. Saito2

    Stigma

    Its also of note that stigmas, for me at least, grow and evolve with time. When I first ventured into the actual hobby aspect way BITD, RC Car Action and hobby shops were my gateway. Tyco, Nikko and Radio Shack cars were instantly relegated to toy status as RCCA didn't cover them (well maybe a few times early on, Turbo Hopper, Rhino, etc.) and hobby shops didn't sell them. It everything featured in the mags or seen in hobby shops were somehow seen as better or "hobby grade" in my eyes. Toy stores did not sell Tamiya in the US usually aside from the QD range. Traxxas was in some weird middle ground with RTRs back then but evolved into hobby grade with the Bullet, Sledgehammer, etc. I had no experience with them so it wasn't until later I learned early Traxxas stuff wasn't "bulletproof" like their current RTRs. But by then my view of them had evolved once more from a promising company growing into racing with the TRX-1 to a brand catering to the "Bro-type" as previously mentioned. Talk with racers and Tamiya becomes a toyish brand but strangely seems to be the way most entered into the hobby. I guess if you got burnt on a Royal Ripper the exploded first time out, you might not continue with the hobby. My late father said it best when I began to ask questions about "Corvette culture". There is a certain stigma, partially deserved about Corvette culture and their owners. He said, in the end, "Its just a car.". He had wanted one since high school and didn't have the opportunity to purchase his first used one (now mine) until his mid 40's, instead settling on a string of Triumphs and a Pontiac Fiero. He went to one local Corvette club meeting and decided it wasn't for him. The car doesn't make you the person. I've been a blue collar mechanic or production worker of some sort most of my life. I don't fit the Corvette stereotype and in fact, despise it. I wrestled with my love of the car vs my distain for the culture (which is tough when you professionally restore them for 7 years) . In those times, I try to remember "Its just a car.". So while Traxxas does make it harder by actually manufacturing this culture, somewhat, around their vehicles, I try to remember, they're just RC cars and maybe I should give that TRX4 a try and not be too embarrassed by my Stampede.
  14. The rerelease Scorpion series is fantastic. Its like having all the awesomeness of the metal that the SRBs have in a buggy that actually performs well. I don't know if the original Scorpion was much poorer than the rerelease (I'm aware Kyosho made improvements when they remade the buggy) but I can't fathom how people considered the Super Champ (Fighting Buggy) to be a viable competitor to the Scorpion back in the day, as I've read in the past. The Fighting Buggy is heavy, particularly in the rear. That, plus the lack of diff mean wide turning circles in my experience. Even with the radio plate, the chassis is too flexible. That said, I still love it. The rear suspension really does seem to work at keeping the drive wheels planted, even if they do flop around strangely with wildly changing camber. I actually prefer its performance to the other SRBs. Still, I believe the whole Super Champ concept was just a hold over attempt to get a bit more mileage out of the chassis. Tamiya did legitimately try to improve it but by the time it came out, the next gen ORVs were standing by to move Tamiya off road forward. I think much of the SRB success back then was up to them having much of the market to themselves (though not exclusively) and having a great deal of hop-ups (which often times completely re-made the whole buggy) available. It was probably hard to jump ship to a new car when someone had so much plowed into their SRB racer. The current Scorpion somehow manages to be mostly metal, yet very light. The suspension arms are forged rather than Tamiya cast pot metal. The suspension is lightly damped out of the box but its trailing arm design seems to eat up the rough stuff. The new version has a diff (I don't believe the first regular Scorpion did) a slipper, and the Ultima RB ball diff as an upgrade. The gearbox seems very very quiet and efficient. The chassis rails are nice and ridged. I haven't had any breakages. Not only is it a great general runner but I wouldn't put it too far off the pace of the original RC10. I don't think the Fighting Buggy could beat an RC10 with a lap head start. I can't overstate what a great job Kyosho did and all for well cheaper than the Tamiya SRB stuff. Reading all that might make one think I hate the SRBs. I don't. The Scorpion, even back then, had a few years advancement on the SRBs. Nowadays its not about racing. They both have their place and I enjoy running both for the respective experiences they provide. Its just for all-around use, not so focused through the prism of time, the Scorpion comes out on top in a big way.
  15. Saito2

    Stigma

    I always found the Associated story to be a fascinating one. Of course if you look at it from the Losi standpoint, AE was like the evil empire. Quite a nice little rivalry that seemed to all start over not getting a specific allotment of (then new) RC10s in trade for design help that Gil Los JR provided to AE. Team Losi and the JR-X2 were birthed from that disagreement. Always interesting when one company creates its biggest rival. I listened to Cliff Lett on several podcast (one about Element) and the passion is still there with AE. They've got to deal with Thunder Tiger now instead of running the whole show like the old days but they've still got the drive here in the US at least.
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