beefmuffin

Is it vintage? collective tips to help make informed decisions.

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Always fun scrolling through NIB vintage kit pictures ;)

On 25/09/2016 at 8:22 PM, beefmuffin said:

One thing I notice is that of the 3 Blackfoots we have 3 configurations;

1) Black MSC + Black End Bell

2) Black MSC + White End Bell

3) Beige MSC + Black End Bell

Also, the Midnight Pumpkin was Black MSC + White End Bell.

I'm pretty sure they were all U.S. release kits.  As I understand it the Black MSCs were the earlier variant, as ostensibly were the Black End Bells.  The first one has Black and Black, but the 2nd one is Black + White and 3rd is Beige + Black,  Thoughts?

Yes, this sounds about right to me Ben. Black + Black = early to mid 80s. Then the white Johnson motor started. Then the beige MSCs started. Roughly that order

Regarding motors... I guess at the end of the day, the most useful bit of info we might try to work out, is simply: "Which motors were original for kit X?".  Basic rule has to be: any motor that is known to have come in a kit, is original for that kit.

Luckily this is easy with vintage kits from Tamiya as all motors were sealed in blisters and could not be swapped in/out of new kits. So today, if someone is restoring an original car and has a bunch of old motors lying around, they often want to know exactly which motor came in the original kit. I have seen so much discussion about this over the years.

So I am making a new page on my site which will have a simple list of vintage Tamiya models, and beside each one, the motors that were known to come with that model. In some cases, a particular model only ever came with 1 motor style. In others, perhaps up to 3.

Step 1 is to work out what variants of 540 motors ever came in vintage Tamiya kits. As a starting point, another collector (not on TC) and I have formed this list of 6 standard 540 motors that we know were in vintage kits. In rough order from earliest to latest:

The 6 types so far:

  1. Mabuchi 540 with white plastic end bell. Red/Black wires. Found in early XR311s and Cheetahs. Unsure if others had it. Unsure if it was even officially named "RS-540S" or just "RS-540"? (Anyone know?).
  2. "Mabuchi RS-540S" with 2 slot can on pinion end, and black plastic end bell. Red/Black wires. Found in Rough Rider / Sand Scorcher Mk1. Unsure if others had it.
  3. "Mabuchi RS-540S" with 4 slot can on pinion end, and black plastic end bell. Red/Black or Green/Yellow wires. Found in numerous early-mid 80s kits.
  4. "Johnson" 540 with white plastic end bell. Green/Yellow wires. Found in numerous mid-late 80s kits.
  5. "Mabuchi RS-540SH" with 4 slot can on pinion end, and recessed black metal end bell. Yellow and black RS-540SH sticker (red writing). Green/Yellow wires. Found in mid-late 80s kits onwards. The "H" naming denotes the new metal end bell, compared to previous motors.
  6. "Johnson" 540 with recessed black metal end bell. May have black printed numbers on can also. Green/Yellow wires. Found in some early 90s kits.

Questions:

  • Do you guys agree with those 6 appearing in vintage kits?
  • Do you know of a 540-powered Tamiya kit made in the vintage era (say kits 1 - 150) where the motor does not match one of those 6? (ignoring special motors). If so, tell us about the motor.

Once we have this list locked down, everybody can check their built cars and runners for kit-motor-originality ;)  If they want. I am sure some people will say "who cares!", but frankly I feel the discussions about "end bells" have been ringing (gettit?) around these forums for a decade, and a kit-standard list, broken down by car, is one way to make everyone happy about what did/did not come in each kit.

Later motors (later 1990s/2000s/today) apparently carry yet more changes. e.g. the modern RS-540SH motors have a silver metal end bell (not black), although I do not own any of these. But since we are focusing on vintage, we probably don't want to go into those - except if we need to distinguish vintage from modern.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Hibernaculum said:

Once we have this list locked down, everybody can check their built cars and runners for kit-motor-originality ;)  If they want. I am sure some people will say "who cares!", but frankly I feel the discussions about "end bells" have been ringing (gettit?) around these forums for a decade, and a kit-standard list, broken down by car, is one way to make everyone happy about what did/did not come in each kit.

Oh I totally will / have already begun!  I did the same after we started discussing the Hotshot gearboxes and realized my Supershot had the wrong one.  Luckily I had a NIP early one too which I'm planning to swap in once I have a chance to perform some surgery on it.

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Hi guys - OK so I finally had a chance yesterday to work on replacing the gearbox on my Supershot with the early (correct, or so we concluded) one for the Supershot.  I was also working on a Boomerang and had a NIP vintage G parts to also compare against the early G parts (had been NIP), vs the version that came with my Supershot, vs the later but still vintage spare G parts.  I found that all three had clear differences.

Having the Supershot open I also took the opportunity to check a few other things and found other things including an interesting and unexpected difference in the chassis between the Supershot and a pair of NIP ones I have on hand.  The difference in the chassis actually makes me wonder if we weren't wrong in thinking that only the early-style G parts are correct for the Supershot - perhaps there were later runs of Supershot kits with the later-style G parts (or something in the middle).

I'm going to break up the pics into three separate posts to avoid any one post being wayyy too long: (i) chassis; (ii) G parts; (iii) misc.  All of these pics can also be downloaded directly from this Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskFuR7kK

First, the chassis.  Both the chassis that came with my Supershot and the new-in-pack old-stock ones are obviously vintage, having no access door.  The two NIP ones were identical, so I only used one for comparison here vs the Supershot one.  The primary difference is the location of the "MADE IN JAPAN" text.  I've added text and arrows to point out the location of the markings.  The other pics should be self-explanatory.  I took a bunch and am just including many here, to help illustrate.

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OK I'm not going to write a lot here for these right now since there are a lot of images to post.  I pointed out key differences in the first for pics... you can use those to help identify the spots on the close-up pics.

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OK so lastly, of my pics from yesterday's Supershot rebuild two things: (i) I discovered that I must have replaced the shock mount and battery door at some point with new Super Hotshot parts - luckily I had NIP vintage replacements for both, although I wasted vintage decals on the shock tower :angry:; (ii) I also had my Hotshot out and had a peek to compare the prop shafts from the vintage Hotshot and Supershot - they were identical, as I believe they are supposed to be.  However I also have what looks like it might be an early prop shaft.  Does anyone know about this thicker prop shaft?  I've kept it from some tear-down or resto or another.  If it's correct but rare I may swap it into my Hotshot.

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On 25/9/2016 at 6:22 AM, beefmuffin said:

One thing I notice is that of the 3 Blackfoots we have 3 configurations;

1) Black MSC + Black End Bell

2) Black MSC + White End Bell

3) Beige MSC + Black End Bell

Also, the Midnight Pumpkin was Black MSC + White End Bell.

I'm pretty sure they were all U.S. release kits.  As I understand it the Black MSCs were the earlier variant, as ostensibly were the Black End Bells.  The first one has Black and Black, but the 2nd one is Black + White and 3rd is Beige + Black,  Thoughts?

I got the Midnight Pumpkin kit back in 1992. It was not the original run as it had images of the infamous QD cars as well as the mighty Bullhead on the box divider. Anyway, what I wanted to say is the fact that the MSC was beige and the motor was the black metal endbell type. Not the 1st issue, although it was the original 1:12 Midnight Pumpkin kit. :rolleyes:

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Great work Beef, the differences in the gearbox castings (when mk1 Hotshot included), the subtle changes are mind boggling

Looks like the thicker drive shaft might be home made ? Pulled the splined drive and brazed a thicker steel rod on ?

terragni

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I will have to look into this too. Been so busy lately, even spending some time cleaning hundreds of die-cast cars, as well as the usual writing, restoring, buying... But I am still in this project for the long haul ;)

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I will have to look into this too. Been so busy lately, even spending some time cleaning hundreds of die-cast cars, as well as the usual writing, restoring, buying... But I am still in this project for the long haul ;)

On 19/10/2016 at 5:14 PM, terragni said:

Looks like the thicker drive shaft might be home made ? Pulled the splined drive and brazed a thicker steel rod on ?

Definitely something like that. Non original anyway.

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I've been putting together a box of goodies for @mongoose1983 and have a set of Blackfoot wheels headed his way shortly.  Had a look at them and noticed they are the earliest version of vintage Blackfoot wheels so thought I'd take a pic next to a later vintage wheel (front) as well as a re-re one (rear).  The early wheels don't have all the added structural ribbing on the inside.  On the outside they are pretty much identical - and both have the text "RCC BLACKFOOT" and "MADE IN JAPAN".  The re-release wheel material is a bit more flexible and much more lemony yellow, and have the part number in place of the "MADE IN JAPAN".  They also appear to have smaller lug nuts around the middles.

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You know I thought I remembered @Rosey having written up an article or two about the Hotshot differences.  Well I found one over on Tamiyabase - apparently originating here, so please feel free to add a link to the TC version, or any similar resources for that matter.  Paul would you have any objection to throwing your research into the pot here?

https://tamiyabase.com/blog/technical/176-distinguishing-the-hotshot-supershot-and-hotshot-ii.html

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Reviving this old thread to add something I noticed...

For those that are unaware... early original Hornet and Grasshopper kits came with a different B parts to later original Hornet and Grasshopper kits.

Early B parts found in Grasshopper and Hornet kits in the early 80s contain these parts...

image.png.4921a398b9eee482a9e1f4ed3080fa83.png

Later B parts found in Grasshopper (possibly) and definitely Hornet kits, in the later 1980s, contain these parts...

(It is really just the Lunchbox B parts tossed into the Grasshopper and Hornet, after the Lunchbox was released in 1987...)

image.png.a3586783dd7e4e818180baa6a9ffacaf.png

Most people know this already. Notably - the "buttress" supports on the axles are much bigger on the Lunchbox version.

Something additional...

When you look on eBay for the early style B parts, there seems to be lots of them. However, they are all reissued ones.

So if you want to know whether your B parts is a genuine first issue from the 1980s production of the Grasshopper and Hornet, here's how...

Original

The original early B parts sprue has "Made in Japan" and "RCC Grasshopper" embossed on it, and nothing else...

image.png.0f267dcaf1ff89629276ae901b778d2f.png

The original early B parts gearbox also has a smooth surface in this area...

image.png.f2eccd1c11e60da367c7763fe1fe2d99.png

 

Reissue

The reissue B parts sprue has a bunch of plastics identifier codes and compliance codes on it. There is also no "Made in Japan" anymore, because the reissues are often not made in Japan...

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The reissue B parts gearbox also has a hole partially drilled here:

image.png.f1eb1dfbaf6af9dbe5f3e6534faf913b.png

cheers,

H.

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