Jump to content
Mad Ax

Vintage-style modern buggies (Dirtmaster, Genova, S1 RM) - your thoughts?

Recommended Posts

The latest RC Kicks video appeared on my Youtube page this morning as I sat down to eat my breakfast and catch up with what's going on in the world.  I don't watch a lot of RC Kicks stuff (I've nothing against him at all but generally watching people open up boxes isn't my thing).  It's a review of the new PR S1 RM, a buggy that had escaped my attention until now.

I don't exactly keep my ear to the ground on new RC releases, I get most of it from here or whatever appears in my very eclectic Youtube feed, so I didn't know about the Kyosho Dirtmaster until my LHS started promoting that almost all their initial allocation were already sold, and I didn't know about the Geforce Genova until it was mentioned in the RC Kicks video.

But having looked at them, they're all following the same philosophy: a classically-styled rear-motor racing buggy with modern parts.  Vintage style and performance, without the vintage cost, rarity or fragility.

Which, on the face of it, sounds great.

And yet, they aren't vintage, so they won't be eligible for any vintage race series (where most re-res are eligible).

Plus, there have been so many re-res over the past two decades that you can still go racing and not worry about breaking parts.  (OK, some re-res are harder to get parts for, and not all cars are re-released, but 3D printing and companies remaking old parts are making it easier than it ever was).

Given the rear motor layout, it seems these new buggies won't be competitive on modern tracks.  I get that they're not supposed to be, but, who is going to race them?  There may be more grass tracks in the UK than I realised - Oswestry have a big, fast track, one of my local clubs (Chippenham) races on a tiny patch of grass in the summer evenings, but I don't know that we have much in the day of dirt, sand or clay over here.  Maybe this buggy isn't really meant for the UK market.  As always, my thoughts run to "these would be great in a one-make race series" but for that to happen, enough people need to commit and stay committed until the series gets going, and with so many vintage race events already taking place around the UK, I'm not sure if there's space for that over here.

I'm sure all three would make for great backyard bashers, in the same way that the Frog, Grasshopper, Fox, DT-series etc are great backyard bashers, but with plenty of cars already filling that part of the market, and more buyers these days steering towards the likes of Arrma and Traxxas, I wonder exactly who these new buggies are aimed at.  It's interesting that Tamiya's take on this went in a different direction with the BB-01, which is styled more on vintage 1:1 race buggies than vintage RC race buggies.

I have to say, the more I look at it, the more I love the look of them - especially the Kyosho Dirtmaster.  I've never had a DT-02 in my fleet, and I keep thinking I should jump before the model gets pulled and the price skyrockets, but perhaps there's space for the Dirtmaster instead?  Aah, what am I saying?  There's no space for anything in my workshop!

What are your thoughts on these?  Anyone racing them where you are?  Just a trinket to add to the collection?  A real fun basher that brings back the childhood joy without the breakages?

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been keeping an eye on them out of curiosity, and David at Kai City RC's latest video which compares all three is well worth a watch.

I think there's a racing scene for them in Japan?  Not so much in the rest of world I guess so they would be reduced to bashers.  There's an awful lot of choice of Tamiyas for £200-ish so I think you'd really have to want one to buy one.  Personally I'd take, and have taken, a TD2/TD4 over any of the offerings as they're more interesting to me.

YMMV, other opinions are available etc!  :D

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mad Ax I don't like to half-butt stuff so when going retro, this is just me, I get the real deal or don't get one at all.  

Plus, I have zero attachment to these newer releases as far as nostalgia.. I don't own any of them and never will unless they release a premium baller version :lol: or some special fully loaded edition and not a cost conscious car.  If I want cost conscious, I'll drive my Amazon car.. $100 shipped and actually drives quite well.. Even the Infinity owner was surprised how well it was put together (including the intentional softer forgiving parts to increase robustness) at the price point per YT video I saw a while back.

IMG_2023-3-21-193048.jpg.29cbb617a661a41a93e638932ed23247.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like them. As someone who's extensively got annoyed at and modified because of flaws in older cars, I like the idea of them being modern reliable stuff with a vintage look. My main beef with  the TD2/4 is the look, not the performance. I don't race any of my buggies, but I want to be able to run them reliably with modern power systems. A couple of the guys at the Tamiya Junkies meets have the Dirt Masters and the look fabulous, and run as well as they look. 

Also, in my own experience of the TRF201 vs DT03 vs TRF211 laydown buggies I have owned and run on the track, the TRF201 was by far the nicest, easiest and most fun to drive. The DT03 with it's weird wheelbase and budget everything took ages to get running ok. The TRF211 mid motor was spectacular when it was dialled in, but it was really sensitive to setup and grip. The TRF201 just seems to need roughly the right tyres for the conditions and it as lovely. These rear motor buggies seem redolent of that kind of buggy. Might not be the fastest, but just nice to drive, and look cool. 

Despite loving the Tamiyaness of the TD2/4, and how lovely my TD4 is to drive, I for one would take the same drivetrains with a more conventional front suspension layout and the ability to put vintage style shells on it all day long. 

As m'coll above said, YMMV

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Willy iine said:

@Mad Ax I don't like to half-butt stuff so when going retro, I just get the real deal or don't get one at all.  Plus, I have zero attachment to these newer releases as far as nostalgia.

I think this is sort of my issue with them, also.  There's already so much nostalgic stuff out there, I struggle to see where the market is for stuff that looks vintage but isn't.

26 minutes ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

I really like them. As someone who's extensively got annoyed at and modified because of flaws in older cars, I like the idea of them being modern reliable stuff with a vintage look.

And that's the opposite viewpoint, and I can totally see where you're coming from.  Thanks for sharing.  I think if I was in a position to be bashing on track every week, or even every month (I would be at Tamiya Junkies way more often if I lived closer) then maybe this viewpoint would sway me.  As would a race series dedicated to this sort of car.

29 minutes ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

My main beef with  the TD2/4 is the look, not the performance.

Same here - I love the philosophy of the visual design, but the end result does nothing for me.  I feel like I should like them, but I don't.

The last modern buggy I owned was a B4.11 Worlds Factory Team, which I raced on grass for a season around 10 or 11 years ago.  I never really got to grips with grass racing, and at the time a lot of people were switching to mid-motor layouts because that was what most cars were by then.  I guess the B4.11 was a bit of a throwback.  Before that I very briefly ran an Ansmann Mad Monkey, which was a mid-motor, but as it tended to grenade the diff on every run, I never got a feel for how easy it was to set up.

That said - when I was at Junkies in October, I noticed that most of my race cars were very, very hard to drive on the indoor carpet track.  They all had a very rough setup for outdoor astro, as much as I'm able to set a car up (it's not my strong point!), and on the carpet they were way too twitchy.  In the end most of them went back in the box.  However the bashers (DT-03, Fox, plus other basic cars) were supremely forgiving on the carpet - they made me look and feel like a driving god, went where I pointed them and cornered fast and true without flipping over.  RHR's indoor track is both forgiving and flattering, and maybe that's where these cars would really excel, but something with a more racy setup would have a finer knife-edge to dial in on.

(all this talk it making me want to come to the Christmas meet...)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved the looks and concept of the G-Force Genova from the second I saw the first picture of it. When the Dirtmaster later came out I loved it even more. I love the looks of my Tomahawk, but would not say no thanks to an equal vintage looking alternative with more modern internals and less sloppy front axle.

 

I have no emotional connection to the original Kyoshos from back then, other than that the Tomahawk was the one that looked the most like my Burns and was affordable for me In 2020. 

 

I love reading about the modified Hoppers of @ThunderDragonCy. I have been doing that since before I got back to the hobby for real,  but I am not capable of developing parts and do the mods he is doing to his material. Then it's nice that you can have cars like the Dirtmaster, which look right,  drive like we were used to and have modern materials (and hopefully reliable parts support for many years to come). If I was going to a meeting like Tamiya Junkies that would for sure have been one car to bring. 

 

So why haven't I got one already? I have got 2 M-Chassis and started on the leap to BL this year,  so I have spent enough for now. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its hard to put into words, but I get the gist of these new "old" rear motor buggies. I think racers, being racers will push forward with whatever is the "latest, newest, fastest" design because their concern is finishing first. That is how we got to where we are with these mid motor,  horrid-looking cab forward nonsense. If a cardboard shoebox gave some advantage as a a body, hardcore racers would probably be using them too. 

The thing is, I imagine a lot of racers remember the heyday of off road racing and how good the cars looked. Now, whether that look was cemented in their brains because of the good times of their youth and/or just how ugly cab-forward stuff looks nowadays, I can't say. I think much of the RC community is a nostalgic lot (ahem, explosion of the rerelease market) and these new rear motor buggies cater to that. Guys that don't want an RC10 re-re that will disappear into collector car status (along with Thunder Tiger gutting all the old parts production Associated was once known for) or something as old school as a Tamiya Fox exploding into tiny plastic fragments upon landing some of the ridiculous supercross jumps we now see would gravitate to these new buggies. Old rear motor'ed fun without the guilt. Do they have a place? Maybe. Maybe not. RC doesn't always "make sense", otherwise I wouldn't have the obscene number of cars I do. I think the current crop of comp cars have strayed too far from the original concept and these rear motor cars are a bit of a backlash to that.

3 hours ago, Mad Ax said:

It's interesting that Tamiya's take on this went in a different direction with the BB-01, which is styled more on vintage 1:1 race buggies than vintage RC race buggies.

Whether Tamiya knows it or not, their approach to all this was the best bet. The Dirtmaster may be a new take on an outdated layout (for a racecar) but the BBX cleanly splits the difference. Its a brilliant idea of producing a car that can navigate a track (though not necessarily being a top contender) but can also be a modern basher with the vintage look we all love. The vintage look it evokes isn't "vintage early 90's RC racing buggy" that appeals to racers from that era, but rather a realistic vintage look that appeals to most everybody. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a fragment of nostalgia myself, they're not quite re-releases, but they go back to a different time.

Of those three, the Dirtmaster is the only one that I can find easily. From my understanding Kyosho raided their parts bin to put it together.

Compared to any DT buggy, the Dirtmaster is a better buy. It has about everything that you'd want from a hobby grade buggy out of the box, like halfway decent plastic.

I jokingly group the Traxxas Bandit with these buggies, it being rear motor and all. Except it's the most dated/clumsy of the lot.

For bashing at home or the park, I'd happily take an older 2wd buggy over any of Arrmas giants.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Saito2 said:

Whether Tamiya knows it or not, their approach to all this was the best bet. The Dirtmaster may be a new take on an outdated layout (for a racecar) but the BBX cleanly splits the difference. Its a brilliant idea of producing a car that can navigate a track (though not necessarily being a top contender) but can also be a modern basher with the vintage look we all love. The vintage look it evokes isn't "vintage early 90's RC racing buggy" that appeals to racers from that era, but rather a realistic vintage look that appeals to most everybody. 

I think the DM def has its place and would love to try one, but overall I think this is a wise take on the subject. If you're not a racer, you don't need it to be the fastest, so you're looking for some combination of how it drives (subjective, but here some modernity will help a lot in most folks' eyes I imagine), how it survives (where you're very likely to be disappointed with reres) and how it looks (vintage = ace but YMMV) and you're sacrificing at least some performance there. So I went for a BBX. I changed it a little but mainly that's just because I like changing stuff. 

I'm thinking my next project is to pull together a variety of modern parts, CF sheet and 3d prints into a pseudo vintage 2wd buggy of my own making. Only relevant because I guess my intended result is in the DM category, I suppose, so I must like that. At least as ineligible for any race and that fact hadn't featured in my thinking.

To me the DM does everything my DT-03 does but better, and one step further on into the hobby, so if I like my DT, as I do, then I guess I'd like one (just I'm not going to get one because I'm a contrary fool who doesn't want to follow instructions). 

6 hours ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

I really like them. As someone who's extensively got annoyed at and modified because of flaws in older cars, I like the idea of them being modern reliable stuff with a vintage look. My main beef with  the TD2/4 is the look, not the performance. I don't race any of my buggies, but I want to be able to run them reliably with modern power systems. A couple of the guys at the Tamiya Junkies meets have the Dirt Masters and the look fabulous, and run as well as they look. 

So I guess that makes this me, too. Except, finding the flaws (or just the things I don't like) and modifying to fix/change them has become my main interest on the subject.

My Optima Mid, which drives well out of the box, has been bashed and never broken, looks ace, is genuine vintage in design yet tough enough for modern power, should in theory be my favourite thing. Yet it sits squashed at the bottom of my buggy bits box, with the flawed, mediocre to drive (work in progress) and endlessly modded Blitzer based Fake Falcon perched on its roof like the king of the castle. 

I've gone right off on one there haven't I? I've confused even myself. Sorry! As you were! 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was sorely tempted by a Dirtmaster but I do have two DT-02s and a TD2, so there's no real 'place' for it and it wouldn't get a lot of use (it's rare enough I get to use what I have got... I'm embarrassed to admit that I still haven't run my TD2 since it got delivered!)

The BB-01 sits outside of this 'family group' because it's quite a lump (~ 1500g) and is scale in appearance.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the wheels on the PR. Otherwise both it and the G-Force just look like Losi XXX knockoffs.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ChrisRx718 said:

I was sorely tempted by a Dirtmaster but I do have two DT-02s and a TD2, so there's no real 'place' for it and it wouldn't get a lot of use (it's rare enough I get to use what I have got... I'm embarrassed to admit that I still haven't run my TD2 since it got delivered!)

The BB-01 sits outside of this 'family group' because it's quite a lump (~ 1500g) and is scale in appearance.  

It's a good point that the BBX sits outside of this category in a place it's made its own. Must justify a few purchases of it which wouldn't happen had it been a more direct comparable to others in this group simply because, although they like this category, those potential buyers have already got it covered. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Saito2 said:

. That is how we got to where we are with these mid motor,  horrid-looking cab forward nonsense. If a cardboard shoebox gave some advantage as a a body, hardcore racers would probably be using them too. 

Haha this is so true….

In addition to that, I wish there are more real offroad racing that uses real dirt/offroad track with un even surfaces and spikey tires rather than on indoor clay with slick tires. (When i first learned people actually use “slick” tires for offroad racing, i was so confused… couldn’t understand.)

Companies will do whatever they can do capture new market/audiences…

But my heart goes to old school cars. (Hence that is why I keep buying older cars rather than newly releases chassis..)

 

but going back to the original topic, i am a fan of vintage buggy design with better parts.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The BBX does have it about right no you mention it. Modern drivetrain in a very scale looking thing. 

5 hours ago, BuggyDad said:

I'm thinking my next project is to pull together a variety of modern parts, CF sheet and 3d prints into a pseudo vintage 2wd buggy of my own making. Only relevant because I guess my intended result is in the DM category, I suppose, so I must like that. At least as ineligible for any race and that fact hadn't featured in my thinking.

I look forward to this! 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't the DirtMaster just an RB5 re-re with somewhat cheaper bits and a retro-look shell? The Rb5 was itself was a B4 clone. It's like Tamiya re-reing the zahak.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

I look forward to this! 

I wouldn't get too excited! Kinda feel like maybe I shouldn't have let that idea out into the wild. It could be rubbish, expensive and take me a year. Maybe an amusing spectator sport 😂

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rear motor buggies warm my heart - they look good and remind me a lot of the cars that were around when I first go into racing with an RC10B2. 

I have my old Rc10b3, a new build B4, various TRF201s, and a Kyosho DirtMaster in my RC room - and they are some of the best looking cars in there.

The 201 is basically a metric B4 in a slightly higher quality package, the cars are incredibly similar from a geometry POV and I think it would be fair to speculate that Tamiya probably took a bit of inspiration from it. 

The DirtMaster is an RB5 - just in lower spec materials than the original. It's also very very similar from a geometry perspective to the B4 and 201. The RB5 was an evolution of the Ultima RB Type R (there were also Sport and Evo versions of this). I don't think the RB Type R was widely available outside of Japan, so you don't see many around. The Type R was kind of like an RC10B4 rear end with an B2/B3 front end. 

In my opinion these cars are still competitive - but only on more old fashioned tracks like we had in their release period: so they are great in low traction and loose conditions. 

I picked up the DirtMaster as I don't want to subject my B4 and 201 to the rigours of weekly club racing and regionals - you want to drive a car as hard as you need to without the worry of breaking a part that you can't easily replace. So the DirtMaster is perfect - parts and hopups have been easy to find, it's strong, and the kit was cheap enough. The handling is good enough that I've used it at a couple of regionals when it rained and been significantly quicker per lap than I was with my modern buggy running a wet setup.

It's also great on grass tracks as well in the dry, just have to get used to driving a bit differently as you tend to take a different line and use a "point and squirt" driving style with rear motor buggies, the newer mid motor cars favour a better line to maintain corner speed (rather than flying up to the apex, slamming on the brakes to nip round, and then being hard on the power to pull away) 

DirtMaster also able to take RB5/201/B4 bodies which is handy. Some RB6 and RB7 parts also fit the RB5 so bits aren't hard to come by. I'll probably pick up an RT5 chassis for the DirtMaster, or I'll buy an RB6 if I see one at a decent price (longer wheelbase so would be better on big tracks). 

I like the Genova - but it's pricey once imported, and you need to import the spares and hopups as well. The PR racing is nice and a high spec but I think it's quite pricey in the UK. 

If I wanted a full spec competition rear motor car I think the Serpent Spyder SRX-2 RM would be a good contender, as would the Associated RB10 (modern rear motor RC10B5). The RB10 only comes as an RTR, but you can build one from a DR10 Team kit with a few extra parts. 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got myself a Dirtmaster. The combination of a modern drivetrain ready to tackle brushless power with a suspension and chassis that can withstand the impact of the higher power/speeds that come with modern electronics and the retro look are exactly my taste. My LHS sells Kyosho's (among other brands) but no Genova or PR. Kyosho parts can always be ordered there and they have some in stock as well. Not as extensive as their Tamiya stock -which is really impressive- but good enough.

On 11/24/2023 at 11:26 AM, Mad Ax said:

Vintage style and performance, without the vintage cost, rarity or fragility.

Exactly that is what convinced me. (As if I needed much convincing :ph34r:)

I also love the fact it doesn't need any hop ups to give you good performance.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/24/2023 at 8:51 AM, Saito2 said:

That is how we got to where we are with these mid motor,  horrid-looking cab forward nonsense.

yes. I’d love to get a modern RC10 but they just look stupid. The Genova is the only modern RC buggy that I’ve seen that comes close to what I think a modern RC10 should look like. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love all those rear motor cars, as I race a very modified Associated RB10 on a very loose clay track and they handle much better than those modern race buggies. 

But, I guess those buggies are not made for guys like me. They are probably created for people who want a buggy, something better than a DT-03 for casual driving in the park, where modern mid-motor cars just don't perform - and are way too expensive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Schumacher KR, which was their last rear motor offering. I really enjoy driving it and when spares eventually dry up I'll probably buy an AE RB10 or the PR S1 RM. I think a lot of people on here over estimate how competitive many racers are. In my experience lots of people who have raced for some time enjoy the novelty or challenge of trying a non-optimal design. There are plenty of people at the clubs that I go to who can finish in the top 50% with an "outdated" rear motor chassis. Even at the 2023 regionals I attended some people ran rear motor when it rained. For me the PR in particular offers a layout that suits low grip surfaces with a quality fit and finish. The owner's experience with a race grade kit is so much nicer than say something like a DT03. Much like the many onroad chassis that are higher quality than a tt01/2 but aren't up to racing spec, they exist for the casual buyer who has a bit more money to spend and doesn't want to live with the limitations of a very basic car.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/24/2023 at 8:31 PM, Howards said:

Isn't the DirtMaster just an RB5 re-re with somewhat cheaper bits and a retro-look shell? The Rb5 was itself was a B4 clone. It's like Tamiya re-reing the zahak.

My thoughts exactly.

Looking through the manuals, they're pretty similar, except the 'Dirtmaster' comes with a gear diff for high grip (but is O ring sealed for silicone oil) , and not a ball diff, needed for running on loose stuff...🤷‍♂️

 

On 11/24/2023 at 10:26 AM, Mad Ax said:

I've never had a DT-02 in my fleet, and I keep thinking I should jump before the model gets pulled and the price skyrockets, but perhaps there's space for the Dirtmaster instead? 

Out of those, I'd go for the DirtMaster. The DT02 is alot more basic, but cheaper.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Wooders28 said:

Out of those, I'd go for the DirtMaster. The DT02 is alot more basic, but cheaper.

For me the Dirt master is only $25 more than a Sand Viper (the better of the DT02s), but it comes much better equipped. I'd skip the DTs altogether (unless if you want a Mad Bull).

My main gripe with the DT02/DT03, cheap plastics aside, is the very limited gearing selection. Just two pinions, and they mount to a wall of soft plastic vs the aluminum mount in a Dirtmaster.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kowalski86 said:

For me the Dirt master is only $25 more than a Sand Viper (the better of the DT02s), but it comes much better equipped. I'd skip the DTs altogether (unless if you want a Mad Bull).

My main gripe with the DT02/DT03, cheap plastics aside, is the very limited gearing selection. Just two pinions, and they mount to a wall of soft plastic vs the aluminum mount in a Dirtmaster.

All this for me too. It should be night and day better. There's also properly laid out steering and just much tougher materials. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With all the hype around the Arrma Gorgon 2wd MT has anyone noticed Ed the chassis has screw roles that look like they lineup with the right location for buggy chassis? 
if Arrma made a new Raider off this platform  it could be a nice cheap , durable retro styled buggy .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...