If we take a trip in the way back time machine to the mid Eighties, you would find me in the market for a new RC truck. If you were a fan of monster trucks and RC, your choices were limited. There wasn't much in the market for dedicated monsters. There were trucks based on pan car chassis, a few smaller scale kits like the Lunch Box and Midnight Pumpkin, and some obscure ones like the Big Grizzly and Royal Crusher, and let's not forget the Big Bear. At this time, I was really wanting the Pumpkin. I saved all the money I could and was ready to pull the trigger. So the day came when my dad and I went to the hobby shop to get the truck. I looked around with my RCCA classifieds intent on getting the MP, when my dad spotted something completely new and bigger. Suffice it to say, when we left the store I was a proud owner of a Tamiya Blackfoot. My pop even helped me out on the price difference 'cause he knew that the BF was the better choice. Not that the Pumpkin is a slouch by any means. My purchase consisted of the kit, a Protech 702 charger, and a 6 cell Gonzo battery pack. I had a transmitter and receiver already. Fast forward a couple years to when I made a new friend in junior high. We both shared common interests, RC being one of them. So one day I brought over my Blackfoot to show off, and then he brings out his Monster Beetle. I'm like, Whats that all about then??! This kid's got the mother of orv's! The red body, gold wheels, and those beautiful CVA shocks. If memory serves, he even had a Thorp differential. Awestruck isn't a good enough term. Well, time flies by but the memories remain. So now that Tamiya has been re releasing its old school inventory, I picked up a Beetle and this is her story....
I'll post the build pics and continue on with upgrades/changes along the way.
Oh, the sight of a NIB model.
Look at it, look at it.....
The backbone of the Beetle. Notice I am adding aluminum option parts.
Yeah baby. No fooling around here.
The single most important upgrade you can bestow upon your orv: An MIP ball differential.
Added more option parts.
And the awesome yellow CVA shocks.
Insane amount of speed and torque.
A wicked new OFNA red HD servo saver.
Traded out the 540 motor and kit esc, replaced them with a Traxxas 12T 550 and XL5 esc.
Another angle and a shot of the alloy pinion cover.
Aluminum body supports. This rig is rock solid.
Started out with Proline Badlands 2.2's on gold anodized aluminum rims and alloy knock offs.
Aluminum chassis skid plate. Battery door must be removed for this.
Bolts right to the gearbox.
JG Mfg front tower brace.
So I went ahead and bought a white Sand Scorcher body off fleabay to use as an everyday basher body. I ordered some custom decals from the UK 'cause I liked the color combo.
After a few runs, I was made blatantly aware that the tires were way too soft and the alloy rims wouldn't hold them without glue. Since the wheels are more for show and I already put a couple nicks on them, they were replaced with the kit wheels and tires. Sooooo much better.
After about a week or so, I got tired of the white and removed the decals (they were kinda crappy to begin with - quality wise), primed it up and repainted the body and finished her off with the kit decals and three coats of clear coat. Oh, and the B-pillar, door handles and side trim are blessed with bare metal foil. About the paint scheme, I found an image online of a Beetle someone owned back in the day and fell in love with it. So I copied it. Look carefully and you can see the rare JG mfg front bumper. I also added some light pods behind it since the Sand Scorcher body doesn't support the MB's baja lights on the nose cone.
Ooh yeah, 7 cells baby! Not going LiPo on this bug. The 12T motor and 7 cell pack is stupid fast already. It would be uncontrollable with a brushless LiPo setup.
Installation of lights.
Dark outside? No problem.
Twiningmike HD steering rod kit.
Ultra rare NOS You-G aluminum dampers.
More images to come soon. Let me know what you think. Cheers.