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  1. This isn't another topic on vintage models vs re-re, more so modern vs old kits. DT-02 vs Hornet, Frog vs Neo Fighter, etc. Is it more fun to build a modern kit? And what about driving a modern Tamiya vs the old designs? I do understand that most modern Tamiyas have more hop-ups, and easily more potential for "good" handling. But I don't understand the kits that require hop-ups just to go straight or be on par with modern RTR models. I absolutely understand why a design from 1983 is going to have its share of problems...even if re-releases of said design should have them ironed out.
  2. An exciting new-to-me project has appeared with the: This was the result of my wonderful fiancée finding one for me for our anniversary! It helped that I got her an expensive gift as well! Excitement is high. (A Loosely-Researched) Overview The Tamiya Hotshot was Tamiya’s serious entry into four-wheel-drive off-road buggy racing. It was notable for its use of shaft-driven four-wheel drive at a time when most competitors were using chains, pulleys, or belts to connect the front and rear wheels. A unique suspension system, using monoshocks at both the front and rear of the chassis, was also novel. Like a number of its competitors at that time, the Hotshot bore a resemblance to the full-size off-road racing buggies of the period, even if it was more of a passing one compared to its predecessors in the Sand Scorcher and Rough Rider. Resplendent in an aggressive red colour scheme, accented by bright red plastics for components like the monoshocks and suspension uprights, the Hotshot eventually found success. For a short window of time, it was the car to beat, until the competition elevated its entries even further. This would spur the development of the Avante – another story in itself… The Hotshot became something of a classic, with interest further renewed in 2007 when Tamiya brought it back as part of its nascent re-release program. Minor design changes were implemented, such as the redesign of the monoshock internals and the use of a dog-bone propeller shaft, but in many other ways it was true to the original kit. It was in this form that the Hotshot was introduced to new audiences and reacquainted with its original fans. The consensus would appear to be that the Hotshot, despite lacking the cornucopia of high-end materials like an Avante or inherently-complex mechanisms like a Bruiser or a 3-speed truck kit, remains a desirable kit to build. For all its reported flaws, such as the lack of space or accessibility in the monocoque chassis or its bump-steer issues, the Hotshot has a character all its own. Even the unique suspension system is prone to issues, yet it remains part of its fundamental appeal. This would be all up for discovery in this build thread… Grastens and the Hotshot To me, the Hotshot was unique, but not really the kind of kit I aspired to build. I was drawn more to the aforementioned cornucopia of high-end materials in the Avante and the inherently-complex mechanisms of the Bruiser. For a time, my interests also appeared to be rooted in two-wheel-drive buggies, on-road racers, and rally cars. Flipping through the manuals available online for the re-release kit still did not pique my interest. That changed after the Avante had been built and sold, and the Bruiser project stalled (to this day, I still have to finish it – bodywork is my nemesis). I found I missed the Avante dearly, and having it sold off to a collector who did not appreciate it in the same way I did hurt a little. It left a four-wheel-drive buggy-sized hole in my collection – and my heart, in a shape that could not be filled by the Comical Avante (despite sharing the same basic parameters!). The Hotshot had never left my consciousness. Even when I was out of the hobby, I was still ordering Hotshot decal sheets specifically for the “Hotshot” script I was so fond of putting on the back of each of my ice hockey helmets: I also liked the “Are You Hot?” stickers for their obvious cheekiness! They helped connect my past and present in a unique way, as maybe the only Tamiya enthusiast to tend goal for the area’s ice hockey teams. The picture shows the first helmet that I adorned with these decals; the red shell made obvious the connection to the Tamiya buggy. Even when I switched to different-coloured helmets and masks, Hotshot decals remained a fixture on the back of each one. It inspired a new, aggressive personality in the net, modelled after what I thought a Hotshot would be, and even produced some writing projects on the side. In a way, I suppose I began to embody the Hotshot itself: my own approach to sport was offbeat and distinctly “old-school,” much in the way that Tamiya’s buggy was on its re-release. For a while, too, I was the goalie to beat – again, until the competition stepped up their game even further… This must have been how the Hotshot eventually found its way back into my heart, and it was near the top of my wishlist for Tamiya kits. At the time, they were even affordable, with both standard re-release kits and the Metallic Special available for about $250 CAD. Sharing space on that list with the Avante 2011 and the Buggy Champ, it was far easier to justify, too! I left the hobby for a long time in the middle of 2020, having been actively employed since the start of the pandemic (meaning little down time), and with bigger life plans (I was saving for a house with my fiancée). Bigger life obstacles hit, too, with my diagnosis of depression, and the long road of treatment to get it to a manageable state. All of this left me little time, means, or motivation to do anything with a radio-controlled vehicle. Fortuitously, I ended up buying an electronic tablet for my fiancée as part of our anniversary proceedings. With such an expensive purchase for her, she seemed eager to splash out for me, too. What would make me excited? A list of RC cars came to mind… And so, on the day, she handed me a big box wrapped in gold paper. I was able to guess what it was based on the size, but that was not about to diminish my mood. Sure enough: More valuable than the gift itself was the joy I experienced. Hobby things and toys seem to elicit the same reaction in my adulthood as from childhood, so I was quite happy! More importantly, after my hobbies had proven detrimental to my future planning (and therefore discontinued), this was at least some form of approval to continue pursuing the things I loved. It came at a good time, too: I received notice that I would be effectively laid off from work, pending medical clearance to return. I had relapsed in my depression to the point that I was felt to be a liability. The nearest appointment I could book with a professional was three weeks away – and suddenly, my schedule emptied itself… I found myself with the RC kit of my dreams, and now I found myself with nothing but time on my hands. It is easy to guess what happens next! First Impressions and Build Overview Ultimately, this is a Tamiya forum, and so the personal story ends there. It gives some context to the build – as if I needed much more meaning in a kit this extensive: The box is divided into three sections: the central one contains the body, wing, tires, wheels, and miscellaneous items; the left one (viewed from opening the box) has most/all of the plastic sprues, and the right one has many of the metal bits and some specialized plastic sprues (suspension arms and uprights, for example), sitting in its own special box. The contents of said box-within-a-box: A stylish partition separates the left and central sections. I enjoy these: Almost as much as I enjoy the unique non-box-art images on the box-within-a-box: It even has a basic creed for running RC cars – possibly useful for me after a long time away: Some items of curiosity for me were the already “assembled” steel antenna mast: As well as the decal on the otherwise-humble silver can motor: My positive reaction to the motor decal reaffirms that I am a sucker for marketing! A small sample of the equipment and other parts I will be using: The driver set and torque wrench proved to be overkill, so they were omitted early on. This is unlike the tub of white lithium grease pictured here, which I normally use for my bicycles. Also making a special appearance in this project: The driver parts tree was actually from my dearly-departed Astute, which ultimately never got a driver figure before being sold on. I wanted to experiment to see if a larger driver torso would fit in the Hotshot; in the more-likely event that it did not, I at least wanted to use the helmet. Its styling felt more appropriate for a radical off-road racer like the Hotshot; as a reminder, this figure is typically used in the Bigwig and the Fox/Novafox. The ball bearings were spares left over from when I ordered a full set for a re-release Terra Scorcher, only to realize that the kit always had its own. They were all usable sizes, though, so I was not displeased with this development. The Hotshot does use plastic and metal bearings in places, so these spares will see use in this build. The biggest acquisition/cop-out for this build was a pre-painted bodyshell: Bodywork takes space I do not have, and my own painting skills with bodyshells leave a lot to be desired. This set was expertly-prepared by an online Japanese seller, and will ultimately cut down on the painting required to finish this kit. Many of my stalled projects get hung up at the painting stage; this body kit will hopefully make the remaining painting required (the driver figure) manageable enough to see this particular build through. It also allows me to concentrate more fully on the chassis build, which at this early stage promises to be quite engaging! With everything reviewed, it looks like time to begin the build!
  3. Time on my hands, and kits in my stash. I now have the pleasure of building a: (A Loosely-Researched) Overview Following the failure of the Avante to either place well in competition or sell the expected volume of kits, Tamiya sought to improve the original concept. In many ways, the Avante was innovative, but it was also deemed overweight, fragile, overly expensive, and difficult to drive. Its use of many different materials was one source of its issues; pioneering several different types in the same chassis meant that it would always be difficult to perfect the design. Said materials also increased the cost and complexity of the kit, and when the Avante’s inability to fulfill its promise became apparent, units stopped selling. Stories abound of retailers moving Avante kits at heavily-discounted prices, even removing the included RX-540VZ Technigold motor in a bid to recoup some of their costs. The Vanquish was developed in part to amend this. Released as kit number 58076, this new car used the same gearboxes, shaft drive, longitudinal motor position, and suspension configuration as the Avante. However, it differed in several important ways. The Vanquish would use a longer wheelbase than the Avante, adding stability at speed where the Avante was found to be lacking. The suspension system now used plastic lower front arms and plastic ball ends, reducing weight and wear. The Avante’s aluminum dampers disappeared; in their place were yellow plastic C.V.A. types. The tool-free “Cam-Loc” wheels were replaced by a lightweight one-piece design, with staggered widths front and rear. This change helped to address problems with unsprung weight and turn-in response. The double-deck FRP chassis was swapped out for a plastic “bathtub” chassis, reducing both complexity and cost. This also enabled the design to dispense with a separate undertray, simplifying the kit. Almost every piece of fibreglass-reinforced plastic from the Avante was substituted by plastic in the new car, with the exception of the steering plate. The Vanquish would also be issued with a standard 540 motor, instead of a specialty type like the Avante, and was designed to accommodate a mechanical speed controller. By including the MSC, which the Avante was unable to carry, the Vanquish was more accessible to hobbyists at the time. The design was topped by a sleek new shell, whose design ethos probably owed more to the earlier Thundershot than the model which gave its basic design. Forward and futuristic, its aesthetic may have been less radical than the startling Avante, but still conveyed performance and style. A driver figure was still included, but this time was attached to the bodywork via a single screw in the roof, as opposed to a separate cockpit sitting on the chassis. Interestingly, it appears that the Vanquish was not pitched as a successor to the Avante, but rather a development. The new model performed better; however, it was aimed more at casual RC enthusiasts, suggested by its standard MSC and motor. It was not until the Egress was released, combining parts from both the Vanquish and the Avante, that the concept returned to top-level racing. Today, the Vanquish is well-regarded by collectors. For a time, following the re-release of the Avante, it was considered much rarer and consequently more desirable. With a distinctly-different appearance from the Avante, it would always remain in demand by enthusiasts who appreciated the Avante’s original concept, but wanted something just a bit different from it. The Vanquish, of course, was re-released as the VQS in 2020. It may have been rebranded partially in consideration to the Mini 4WD cars that borrowed its design. With new-design CV joints, modern pin-drive axles, and a sturdier steering rod, the kit re-emerged in the 21st century with a few updates, but otherwise as the same model. In so doing, the story of the Vanquish makes it to a new generation of hobbyists – and is retold to the ones who remember the original! Grastens and the Vanquish/VQS Since I bought and then sold an Avante, I have come to regret the decision to move it on. Not only did I lack a four-wheel drive off-road buggy, but I lacked a model with the same spirit of the Avante. Even when I did have one, though, I remember being drawn to both the Vanquish and the Avante 2001. To me, these were models that simplified the original design to its benefit – a bit of an evolution. While the Avante 2001 did so more directly, both in aesthetic as well as chassis design, the Vanquish was an interesting answer to the Avante’s issues. It also did not look like the Avante, which added to its intrigue. As I struggled on with my car’s maintenance issues, the Vanquish seemed an appealingly-simpler alternative, while keeping much of the Avante’s spirit. However, as it had yet to be re-released, it was much harder to find an affordable example. Harder still would have been finding the parts required to keep it running. My experience with an original Audi Quattro reminded me that 1980s plastic tends to get brittle… I cannot say I had the same emotions for it as other models, like the Rough Rider/Buggy Champ, Striker, or even the Avante; inaccessible as it was, I could never imagine actually owning or driving one. When the news came that the Vanquish would be re-released, I was still quite excited. It may have changed its name, but in almost every other respect it was the exact same car! I recall scarcely believing that Tamiya was producing the plastic bathtub chassis again, to say nothing of bringing back a car almost exactly as it was from the past. I placed a pre-order with my local hobby shop and waited the long months for its fulfillment. The irony is that once it arrived, my life had taken a different direction. In the midst of my employment and ongoing struggles with depression, I had again lost interest in the hobby. I tucked it away, still in its shipping box, and there it stayed for several more months! It changed when I acquired a Hotshot, which was a gift from my fiancée. The experience of building and running it, as well as the tacit approval I got for my hobby, emboldened me. Additionally, I was placed on a Leave-of-Absence from work; suddenly, I had much more time on my hands… … And so, we find ourselves with another build – and another build thread! First Impressions and Build Overview I have a habit of calling it the Vanquish, or even the Vanquish VQS. One look at the box shows why: To me, it will always be the Vanquish. I actually do not mind calling it the VQS, but as it is so much the same car, and is one less syllable to say, I continue to use Vanquish. Typing it out, though, as on here, I will likely refer to it as the VQS. Names aside, the inside of the box looks like this: A fair number of people do not seem to like the pre-painted and pre-cut bodies in some of Tamiya’s kits. I can be counted as a fan. The VQS kit has one in the box’s central section: Hard to argue with black paint, I guess. The Vanquish was not an unsightly car! There are more parts hiding under the orange insert. Fully disembarked, the contents – including those special chassis mouldings: The left-hand section has plenty of sprues: We get another box-within-a-box, too. I am not sure I will ever tire of these: Unloaded: Tire foams are a nice addition: The basic creed for RC car running is printed on the inside of the box, on an insert: I may never tire of these partitions, either. I appreciate some presentation: And making their special appearances: The ESC is an inexpensive brushed waterproof ESC from overseas. The more unique development would be the incorporation of a full-armed driver figure in the cockpit. I have always maintained that I would put one in any Vanquish/VQS I own, mostly as there are plenty of angles where the lack of arms on the original driver bust are all too apparent. I understand that this is due to clearance issues for the steering rod attached to the bellcrank, but I would like to see if it can be done. I have already seen this effort, using a Wild Willy torso. This is from TamiyaClub member Chip1: And just as I write this, I see that TamiyaClub member pininy has also done this, using a Ferrari 312T3 cockpit as a base: Come to think of it, I have the parts for that, too… However, the part was previously being prepared for my Hotshot build, but never used. With it being partially painted, I will look to use it in the VQS. Oh well – at least I have never put a figure with arms in a Vanquish/VQS! This will all be new to me. I do not mind the pre-painted shell, as I am just fine with the box-art scheme. Cosmetically speaking, the driver figure may be the only modification I undertake. The build itself will feature nothing else exciting: I have a generic waterproof servo and a Spektrum receiver set aside for it, and I will in all likelihood use the stock motor. The fact that this car is essentially a time-travelled Vanquish will be enough for me. And just like with any other time-traveller, I would be remiss to keep it waiting much longer! On we go!
  4. Other than the rumour of the Novafox being rere’d again in September, do we know what other releases Tamiya had scheduled or rumoured for 2020? I’m don’t know what restrictions were in place where Tamiya kits are manufactured, but it’s safe to assume production will have been halted for a good while With lockdown measures being ease in certain countries, I’m wondering if we'll start to see some more information coming through on rere kits?
  5. Since becoming serious (as much as a non-humorless person can be said to be) about collecting Tamiya, rediscovering it after the beginning of the re-release era, it turned out I wasted a lot of time, effort and resources on quite a few projects and purchases that I thought were vintage but weren't... or that were but I thought nothing of replacing parts with new re-issued parts thinking they were identical. Often the differences / tells were staring me right in the face but I didn't know what to look for. Even now, and even among experienced members and collectors I find there are pockets of knowledge many have on this subject with respect to a few models they've become sort of 'specialists' in, and simultaneously quite a bit of uncertainty or total unfamiliarity for others. Although there are some resources that do a great job of introducing and explaining the situation, such as this excellent post from the TCer @Hibernaculum on his own blog, there is no one place I could find that could be considered a good central reference for someone trying to find out how to tell if something is original / genuine / vintage or not. By no means do I know enough on my own to fill this need, so I invite you all who know anything from one little tip to an encyclopedic knowledge of every variant of a model Tamiya ever released. We may as well also include Kyosho, Associated, etc to the extent relevant. The format that I think would be easiest and most useful for expanding on the existing compiled notes on a given model is to keep each post related to one model per, then anyone who'd like to add details or make corrections just quote or copy/paste the full contents of the most recently updated information about that one model, add their piece or modify what was there if/as needed... and then do the same separately for any other model(s). I don't have time right this second to do a complete coverage of the Frog, which I'll start off with since it was a couple mislabeled-as-vintage Frog items that made me think we needed a place to store and reference information like this. I also think it's important that people know they can add just fragments of useful information and don't feel like they need to post perfectly-formed analyses covering everything about a model. It's fine to do that, but not necessary, and I think we'll amass more useful information by keeping the bar low. If you have $20 of info to contribute, great... but also great if you only have $0.20 to add right now. So, I will start us off with a few Frog things in the next post. ps - I want to point out that for the most part, parts or models that are described as vintage or original that aren't one or both usually aren't the result of intentional misinformation. It's probably just a lack of knowledge combined with an under-appreciation of the significance of the difference that results in the proliferation of these kinds of mistakes. But it certainly doesn't help people who do care but are still learning develop an accurate knowledge. Hopefully, this thread can help.
  6. Just spent a little time scanning in my available recent off road and re-re Tamiya reviews. Been trying to search if anyone has done a definitive database or list so I could refer to so I could buy the back issue if I desired Can anyone help update this list? Specifically off road re-re's, I'm unaware at this time if any of the following were reviewed and in what magazine, month and issue no. Still looking for Subaru Brat, Super Fighter GR, Desert Gator, Sand Viper, Hornet, Lunchbox, Thunder shot, Top Force, Manta Ray, Rising Fighter etc etc Below is what I own so far ANY MARKED WITH ** ARE ONES POSTED IN THIS THREAD WHICH I HAVEN'T GOT BUT WOULD LIKE! Off road and Re-re reviews Feb 1997 - M-02L Volkswagen Beetle [ in RC Car Action] Nov 1997 - TA03RS Porsche 911 GT1 [ in RC Car Action] Sep 2004 - TRF415 [ in RC Car Action] **Sep 2004 - Super Clod Buster [ in RC Car Action] **Nov 2004 - DF-02 Gravel Hound [ in RC Car Action] Feb 2005 - TG10 Mk. 2 and Tamtech F1 [ in RC Car Action] Mar 2005 - NDF-01 Nitro Thunder [ in RC Car Action] Apr 2005 - CC-01 Volkswagen Touareg [ in RC Car Action] Jan 2005 - TNX [ in RC Driver] Mar 2005 - TT-01 Calsonic Impul Z [ in RC Driver] Oct 2006 - Dark Impact [ in RC Racer] Nov 2006 - Dark Impact [in RRCi ] - incomplete, only first 3 pages Sep 2007 - Nitrage 5.2 [ in RC Car Action] Nov 2007 - TNX 5.2 (long-term review), TA05 IFS Ebbro 350R [ in RC Driver] Jan 2008 - Hotshot 2007 [ in RC Driver] Feb 2008 - Tamtech Buggy Champ [ in RC Driver] Mar 2008 - Hilux Hi-lift [ in RC Driver] Apr 2008 - DB-01 Durga [ in RC Driver] Jun 2008 - Tamtech Hotshot [ in RC Driver] Jul 2008 - CR-01 Land Cruiser 40 [ in RC Driver] Aug 2008 - 501X Worlds Edition, Tamtech Hotshot (Chapter 2) [ in RC Driver] Aug 2008 - CR-01 Land Cruiser 40 [ in RC Car Action] Mar 2008 - Hotshot [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Sep 2008 - Plasma Edge DF02 [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Nov 2008 - Fire Dragon [in Radio Race Car] Oct 2009 - Buggy Champ [in Radio Control Car Racer] Nov 2009 - Buggy Champ [in Radio Race Car] Jul 2010 - Sand Scorcher [in Radio Race Car] Sep 2010 - Unimog CC-01 [ in Radio Control Car Racer] **Oct 2012 - DB-02 Leonis [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Dec 2010 - Holiday Buggy 2010 [ in Radio Control Car Racer] May 2011 - Avante [ in RC Car Action] Jun 2012 - VW Type 2 Bus [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Jun 2012 - FAX XB version [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Jul 2012 - Bruiser [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Aug 2012 - Jeep Wrangler CC01 [ in Radio Race Car] **Aug 2012 - Super Clod Buster [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Sep 2012 - Street Rover [ in Radio Race Car] Oct 2012 - DB-02 Leonis [ in Radio Control Car Racer] **Jan 2013 - Wild One [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Mar 2013 - Mud Blaster 2 [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Apr 2013 - TA-02T Desert Fielder [ in Radio Control Car Racer] May 2013 - XV-01 Rally [ in RC Car Action] **May 2013 - DF-02 Aero Avante [ in Radio Control Car Racer] **May 2013 - Asterion XV-01T [ in RC Driver] Jun 2013 - Fighter Buggy SV2 [ in RRCi ] Jul 2013 - Farm King [ in Radio Control Car Racer] **Oct 2013 - TXT-2 Agrios [ in RC Car Action] Nov 2013 - NovaFox [ in Radio Control Car Racer] **Nov 2013 - NovaFox [ in RC Driver] Feb 2014 - Egress [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Jul 2014 - DT-03 Neo Fighter Buggy [ in Radio Control Car Racer] **Sept 2014 - Rock Socker [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Oct 2014 - Lowrider Pumpkin [ in RRCi ] **Sep 2015 - Aqroshot DT-03T and Unimog 425 CC-01 [ in RRCi] **Sep 2015 - Honda City Turbo [ in Radio Control Car Racer] **Nov 2015 - Jimny MF-01X [ in Radio Control Car Racer] **Jan 2016 - Monster Beetle [ in Radio Control Car Racer] Mar 2016 - Toy FJ Cruiser Black ed. CC-01 [ in RC Driver]
  7. Was fortunate enough to get the "ok" to pick up a Mountain Rider for my birthday. In an attempt to minimize costs (and keep the peace on the homefront), I'd like to use one of the Tamiya ESCs I have laying around, rather than pick up a new unit. I have a TEU-104BK, which the manual specifically states cannot be used. Can someone help explain why this won't work? I also have a TLBE-02S -- any chance this will work? The truck will be a light runner, so springing for a Tekin FXR (seems to be a popular recommendation) is likely overkill. I'm a bit new to this ESC business, as I hopped from MSCs to Nitro, and then dropped out of the hobby for a bit. Thanks!
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