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  1. Back Story I've always been impressed by Tamiya tractor trucks, but to be honest, I've never had much interest in them. The first one I saw in the flesh was a few years ago, when a mate's wife brought her custom-painted King Hauler along to a local bash and ran it around carefully on the tarmac. I didn't really see the point: it couldn't go fast, it was too delicate to do anything serious with, and it wasn't the same scale as the 1:10 cars we were running at the time, so it looked out of place and oddly small (despite being rather big, with its chromed tanker trailer following it along). Trucks have always been a niche interest in Tamiya's line-up so they don't really get seen much at all, but I had a proper intro to them when I went to a local model expo and saw the South West RC Truckers club with their fancy rigs and their portable layout and their 1:14 scale fuel station. Pretty neat, I thought, if a little geeky. But that was some time ago, and an RC truck was always somewhere between unattainable nirvana and pointless money pit. Until the end of last year, when I started to think about my collection and my future in RC, and what I'd really like to build before a family comes along and takes away all my spare time and cash. I figured I'd justify a big sum on something really special. I didn't want a tank, I considered a full-option F350 High Lift with the MFC-02, but then realised I already have too many scale crawler projects and the Tamiya won't crawl anything like as well as the SCX-10 that gets all the trail-bound runtime. I looked at a high-spec buggy (another pointless shelf queen, or wasted bashing around the local gravel patch), a high-spec touring chassis (which would be hidden under yet another Japanese body badly-painted in street colours), or even something wild and fun and indestructible from Traxxas - which would be like all my runners: fun once, then boring, until I can get myself to another bash a million miles from home just so I can play with other people. I had a look at what the local driving options were for a tractor truck, and noticed the South West RC Truckers club meets less than an hour's drive from my place, every month, almost without fail. They're a long-standing club with a solid member base and aren't about to disappear any time soon, unlike little casual groups that tend to come and go with the seasons, can't play in bad weather, and spend half the day looking for an empty car park to play in. So that settled it! I wasn't going to rush out and buy anything there and then, but I was going to keep my eye open for the right truck at the right price. If one came up, I'd jump on it. To be continued...
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