FWLBP

Intro / Nostalgic Memories / Grasshopper Build

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Now it’s going into my impromptu “paint booth”:

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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???

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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:

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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.

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Welcome to TC!

Great story, and excellent Grasshopper for your niece, too!

I guess we all can feel related to some parts of your story, 80's kids that we are ;)

Oh, and let us see your Hornet buggy sometime :) 

 

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Awesome intro! You MUST get the frog so you and your son can race together and relive your childhood... otherwise you will be twiddling your thumbs when he has the radio to the hornet ;)

 

Oh and welcome to the nuthouse, may your wallet be forever empty :lol:

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Great intro story, I love nostalgia threads more than anything else on here :D  Oh, and if you buy the Frog now, you can go ahead and build it for yourself so you aren't tempted to build the Hornet ;)

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Indeed! Plus, the sight of Dads Frog will likely make your young'un more enthusiastic about owning his own RC one day, and thus all the more delighted when it is revealed that he has one waiting for him!

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Awesome intro! Hello and welcome. I really feel you need a Tamiya buggy of your own. B)

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Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. I'm glad you are enjoying my intro as I hoped you would. If I already didn't have the pressure to get a Frog before, its definitely on me now after all your responses! :D I'm not in a rush at the moment for the Frog, so will wait until Tower has one of its big Tamiya sales again with the big coupons too. I eyed the Frog in the last sale, and it was easily $30 off, so I'll keep it under surveillance. I'm pretty occupied right now modding my slash to run in the 2WD open class, already installed CC 3800 kv, lcg chassis, jconcept subcultures. Just need to find time to get to the track. Also have a little sport cub S & dx6i to maiden sometime too. I'm telling you, its hard to find the time these days with a little 1 year old.

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2 hours ago, NWarty said:

gallery_1894_76_1335.gifYou have an S2000

 

 

Haha yes, I am often seen with my top hat and monacle cruising on the boulevard in my S2000 to the grand ball. In all seriousness, it is my other time consuming hobby. Like to do some autocrossing and tracking with it. Graduated from the Mid-Ohio school a few years ago, is a lot of fun. Haven't done much with it lately though. Just clean the dust off it at the beginning of the summer and go for some drives on country roads.

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Well you have a beautiful example and rare color. Nice ;) 

The Car Lounge approves :) 

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Why thank you NWarty! I went to the 2006 detroit auto show and saw one sitting on display in the laguna blue pearl, I knew right then that it was the car for me. Here is a better shot of it with a friend's rio yellow that lives in my neighborhood:

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As a bonus, since you seem to have impeccable taste in Honda sports cars. I have a friend that works for Honda North America as a test driver and has spent several years working on the new NSX prototype. I was fortunate enough to get a knock one my door last fall and low and behold, he had a red prototype at the bottom of my driveway waiting to give me a ride! If you see a red NSX in a commercial or magazine, this is the exact one used for those advertisements:

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We have a few things in common lol, also have a one year old that takes up all my free time :wub: Had a 2wd slash with all the trimmings like lcg, cc 3800kv etc (can highly recommend prolines pro-trac kit should you be allowed to run it).

Have 2 seater honda in garage that doesn't get used as much as it should.

No dice on the nsx prototype, very much jealous... :blink:

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15 hours ago, berman said:

We have a few things in common lol, also have a one year old that takes up all my free time :wub: Had a 2wd slash with all the trimmings like lcg, cc 3800kv etc (can highly recommend prolines pro-trac kit should you be allowed to run it).

Have 2 seater honda in garage that doesn't get used as much as it should.

No dice on the nsx prototype, very much jealous... :blink:

That's awesome berman. I've seen the protrac kit, but wasn't sure if it was worth the cost or not. I'm on the fence on whether or not to invest more in the slash or sell it and buy a more raceworthy truck. The TRX lcg chassis is cheap and the CC 3800 can be used in the new truck, so I wouldn't be out much at this point if I sold it for a better one. Did you race your's with the protrac and was it competitive? What Honda do you have stowed away in the garage? There's a guy down the street from me that has a collection of 3 preludes, he loves them. Has two "runners" and one "shelf queen". :D 

8 hours ago, NWarty said:

Wow...just wow. That's super awesome! 

Yup, that's pretty much what I was saying the entire time on the joy ride! Has 573 underrated hp. True torque vectoring due to individual motors on each wheel. Went on a back road and stopped, turned on launch mode and nailed it; never been pinned in my seat like that in my life. Not to mention, it attracted a obscene amount of attention everywhere we went. He was running it with a new software patch and was monitoring it (hence the orange network wire coming out of the dash). The car is so software dependent, getting it debugged has been a challenge.

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Good Lord man, I'm so jealous. Now, I'm still a huge fan of the old NSX, not a big fan of the new one in terms of its aesthetics, but its capabilities are tremendous. 

 

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On 17/06/2016 at 0:26 PM, FWLBP said:

That's awesome berman. I've seen the protrac kit, but wasn't sure if it was worth the cost or not. I'm on the fence on whether or not to invest more in the slash or sell it and buy a more raceworthy truck. The TRX lcg chassis is cheap and the CC 3800 can be used in the new truck, so I wouldn't be out much at this point if I sold it for a better one. Did you race your's with the protrac and was it competitive? What Honda do you have stowed away in the garage? There's a guy down the street from me that has a collection of 3 preludes, he loves them. Has two "runners" and one "shelf queen". :D 

I didn't race the slash competitively, I had a sc10rs before that and it was a much better truck stock than my modded slash. But the protrac made a night and day difference to the handling of the truck. If you have to race only slashes, get the Protrac.If you can run any rwd SC truck, get something from Associated, Losi or Durango, and don't bother with the slash.

I own this. Something a bit different from the civtegras. Used to track it quite a lot but it is kind of under a thick layer of dust in the garage at the moment,  I am thinking of getting it back on the road and selling it, baby seat would attract a lot of unwanted attention swinging from a cage :lol::lol::lol:

 

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All the 1/1 cars on this thread look soo good (I mean really goodB)) a few years ago I thought it would be good to have a "toy" so to speak like FWLBP said in his introduction bit of disposable income now for me the kid have flown the nest I decided to get myself a series 1 escort RS turbo to play around with and enjoy! thought about a soft top car but over in the sunny UK (the sunny is the ironic part) it only makes an appearance during the week when your at work in the first week of June!:rolleyes: so hard top it was and I thought "this is going to be fun", how wrong I was I don't know about the rest of the world but we over in the UK have a thing called councils who's main job is to rule your life (if you work and bring in an income because they can threaten you with taking part of your income off you if you don't comply! fines etc) and a government that likes to help its self to your money you have just earned by means of said motor cars so we have Gatos cameras placed in every corner of the town I live in and just incase you missed them I kid you not parked under the said camera is a mobile camera van and if that doesn't get you then we have just passed them is the local enforcement with one sticking out of his drive side window! Now I don't condone speeding its wrong end of story but really!, Plus the wonderful council found some yellow paint and decided we can get even more money out of these sucker's (sorry the public!) And painted yellow lines outside my house and all others and by the way they switch off the street lights at night to save money and sod with the safety of the individual that has to come home from work or from a night out but "hay presto" up pops a local traffic warden armed with a camera and measuring stick (that's affordable:angry:), sorry non UK, yellow lines mean no parking! I've been informed that they are going to introduce a parking permit system and its going to be more expensive for diesel motors and guess what my everyday car is? Yep a diesel! and the final straw was I started to take my RS turbo to work when I was on early shift because I could get a car park space in the secure parking at work great I thought but almost every morning I was going down the dual carriageway behind me would be a officer of the law and then very high insurance premiums it was time to say goodbye to my stunning RS! So I look at the pictures of all your beautiful cars and weather in total envy :wub:

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Wow Berman, that is one awesome hatch, looks like you put a lot of work into that. I too struggle with if I should sell the S2000 or not. Since litttle man was born, it doesn't see much action. Only thing that holds me back is I suspect I'll regret selling it. The values of them have flattened out and are increasing slightly. All these new cars are turbo and hybrid, naturally aspirated cars like ours will be in demand.

Moffman, your situation sounds like badword! I don't know how a enthusiast could enjoy his car in that environment. Sounds like good motivation to get to the voting booth and try to make a change. That turbo rs sounds sweet, if it makes you feel any better, we don't have those here to even buy!

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12 hours ago, FWLBP said:

Wow Berman, that is one awesome hatch, looks like you put a lot of work into that. I too struggle with if I should sell the S2000 or not. Since litttle man was born, it doesn't see much action. Only thing that holds me back is I suspect I'll regret selling it. The values of them have flattened out and are increasing slightly. All these new cars are turbo and hybrid, naturally aspirated cars like ours will be in demand.

Moffman, your situation sounds like badword! I don't know how a enthusiast could enjoy his car in that environment. Sounds like good motivation to get to the voting booth and try to make a change. That turbo rs sounds sweet, if it makes you feel any better, we don't have those here to even buy!

The series 1 RS turbo was a stunning car in the day and only made in one colour which was white (princess Diana had the only black one ever made that's a whole different story!!) And it's still a stunner today not the most high tech car and OMG did it rust! But if you have a mint one you could probably retire if you decide to sell it! when I had mine nobody wanted them because everyone wanted the escort RS cosworth! 

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That's one nice and clean Escort! Love the boxy shape. That's one thing that's always sucked about the U.S. market, we never get the good hatches! I've always liked hatches, my dad had a '81 civic and the '88 celica. We've never had a Civic Type R in our market, we're allegedly getting our first one in the next year or two. I used to watch top gear just to see all the cool cars you get over there that we don't.

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9 hours ago, FWLBP said:

That's one nice and clean Escort! Love the boxy shape. That's one thing that's always sucked about the U.S. market, we never get the good hatches! I've always liked hatches, my dad had a '81 civic and the '88 celica. We've never had a Civic Type R in our market, we're allegedly getting our first one in the next year or two. I used to watch top gear just to see all the cool cars you get over there that we don't.

I suppose we all like stuff which is just out of our reach because you guys over their have the fantastic muscle cars now I would love to be able to get my hands on any of those beauties and afford to run one! The escort RS turbo was replaced with this (escort RS cosworth) and what you have to remember is it was the early 90s and this turned up with 4wd to boot the first time I seen one I thought it was from some other world 

ford-escort-1994-10.jpg

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