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Having just registered, I thought a quick post to introduce myself would be in order (Not sure of board etiquette, so delete if not the done thing). Like I guess many of you, I had a Tamiya RC car as a child (Thunder Shot that I quickly upgraded to a Terra Scorcher). Now I have kids of my own (aged 4 and 7) I am feeling a strong nostalgic pull, and plan to dip my toe back into the wonderful world of Tamiya with them (or at least that's my story!). I don't have any set plans, but would like to start with some sort of monster truck - Lunch Box, Monster Beetle, Midnight Pumpkin or even (gulp) Clod Buster. I plan to put whatever I build / buy second hand to mess about in the garden with the kids (ramp building, bashing into stuff - the usual) so they will very much be work horses rather than show ponies. I'm thinking cheap and cheerful rather than rare and exotic, but I've said that before and lived to tell the tale. I don't have a lot of experience building, so will likely need a lot of advice along the way. Any ideas what my first build / buy should be and tips for someone in my position gratefully received, and I look forward to picking your brains as I progress.
Preface Hello all, like many of you, I am a RC enthusiast that returned after a hiatus. I have been perusing through Tamiyaclub for a while now. This place has been very informative and helpful. I have found my favorite threads to be ones either involving builds or ones discussing nostalgia and early experiences from our youth. As reward for your help, I am creating this thread to share my RC experiences throughout my life which ultimately lead to my first ever Tamiya build as an adult! It is a bit of a long read, but I suppose you guys like that sort of thing. Introduction As is common here, I am a product of the 1980’s. The golden era of RC. My first real encounter with RC was when I was 6 years old. My dad drove me (in his sweet 1988 Toyota Celica with very 80’s plastic louvers on the rear glass) to my cousin’s house to play (ie get into as much trouble without being caught). As I walked up to the porch, there sitting on the steps was a menacing black buggy, nothing I had ever seen before. This car looked huge to me. It had the famous slogan “Anytime baby!” on the wing. I stared at it in awe and asked my cousin if we could run it. We took it out into the back alley behind his house. The speed and ferocity of it tearing up the gravel left a lasting impression, I was then a RC addict. Not long after this, my cousin’s friend showed up with a new buggy. It was futuristic and had a racy appearance to it. It had “No guts, no glory” on its wing. We ran these buggies hard all day. I had to have my own. I worked little jobs around our home and neighborhood. As much as I wanted one of these Tamiya’s, all I could muster was $40 with which I bought a Tyco Turbo Hopper. Although it wasn’t as awesome as a Hornet or Frog, I cherished and loved it. I took impeccable care of it. Due to our family home being on the shore of a medium sized lake, I was very interested in RC boats. My dad wasn’t too keen on RC cars, but boats however got his attention. Quests for a car didn’t materialize in anything. However, the first Christmas I asked for a boat, I received a Kyosho Jetstream 800 nitro boat. It was a glorious Christmas for sure. We built it and painted it black/orange scheme, it turned out beautifully and got a ton of attention at the lake. I wish I had a picture of it. But here is one from another member: I ran this boat each summer for 4-5 years. I often raced it against my uncle’s amazing balsa nitro hydroplane. My little Kyosho deep v-hull could only run maybe 25 mph or so, but my uncle’s hydro would easily do 60+ mph. One afternoon, while racing my uncle, my steering servo froze mid turn. I went wide and crossed the hydro’s path. Its sponsons pierced the side of the kyosho, with the tips snapping off and sticking in the side of the kyosho’s hull. The collision caused the hydro’s throttle to stick wide open, it went over the top of my kyosho’s hull and blasted across the lake. The foam my dad put in my boat did its job, with the nose bobbing up and down in the wake. I sat down on the beach and cried my 10 year old eyes out. Meanwhile, my uncle’s hydro screamed across the lake at full speed, it went 20 feet up the shore on the opposite side. Now, he didn’t say anything or admit it, but I suspect my uncle cried his 30+ year old eyes out while walking the beach to the other side of the lake. I would say this was a pretty traumatic experience for me and I hung up my futaba transmitter when I got home, never touching it again. Present Day So now, we fast forward approximately 25 years. I now find myself done with Graduate school; have a wife and 1 year old son, a house with a pond out back, and most importantly a little disposable income. The pond beckoned me, and I knew I had to get back into the game and got a Aquacraft Revolt 30. I would have gone nitro, but didn’t want to upset the neighbors with the noise. I didn’t expect much out of it. But boy I was wrong, the new brushless motors and lipos make a world of difference. With some prop work and hull trimmed out, its running 50ish mph. It would slaughter my old Kyosho v-hull handily. Here is a picture of it and video of it running: While having casual discussions at the LHS getting boat supplies, I discovered there is a nice dirt RC track nearby that races buggies and short course trucks. I then got into racing in the stock spec Traxxas Slash class racing. It is incredible fun. There is a family atmosphere about the racing that I love. I am now 100% (re)addicted the hobby! My family is starting to grow with the next generation coming up with my 1 year old son and my 4 year old niece. I felt like it was my duty to pass down RC to these little ones. I want them to share the experiences I had when I was young, racing RC’s with my family (dad and uncle). Now, my little niece will be turning 5 later this year and I knew this is the time get her a first RC car. For my niece, this car needed to be sturdy, simple, moderate performance, but most importantly it had to look good! While browsing Tower hobbies for parts I discovered that Tamiya were re-releasing all the classics, hornet/grasshopper/frog. I then knew what I had to do. I ended up purchasing a Grasshopper for my niece as I believe it is the best looking of all buggies. At the same time, I saw they had the 40th anniversary edition of the Hornet. This special edition Hornet is even more menacing than that one I saw many years ago sitting on my cousin’s front steps. I had to get one to stash away to give my son when he is old enough help build it. I wrapped it up and hid it in the basement in the hopes that “out of sight out of mind” prevents me from building before he is old enough. I suspect a Frog might get purchased sooner or later as well, to relive the hornet/frog battles of yore. Here are the goods: The Build So after decades of wanting, I finally get to build my first ever Tamiya! For the past several weeks I have been building my niece’s Grasshopper. The chassis taking merely an afternoon, with the remainder in painting the body. I enjoyed the build tremendously. It was so much fun to see all the internals as I never got the chance to see inside my cousin’s Hornet differential. Here it is with chassis completed: Now it’s going into my impromptu “paint booth”: The hardest part of the build was deciding which color to paint it (with the 2nd hardest part being wheel/tire assembly!). I feel that boys naturally gravitate towards RC and need little encouragement to get hooked. With little girls however, I feel they need a nudge, they need to feel the car is their own and not a boy’s toy. So what color did I choose??? It is Tamiya TS-59 Pearl Light Red. From tips I read here on TC, I let it cure 30 days before clearing with TS-13. It turned out beautifully! Has a nice metallic/pearl effect in the sun. It goes well with the decals too. Now, with this being her 5th birthday, I had to cut off the 3 from the decals and make it a #5. She'll always remember her 5th birthday after this. I have no doubts my niece is going to love it. Here are my photo shoot pics I took of it in the back yard all stickered up: Now, if you’ve made it this far into the thread, you’re either bored or a real Tamiya fan, or both! Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed my RC endeavors thus far as much as I have.