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Bwaaatch

Building an Avante TXR fan fiction project: help needed

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Hi everyone,

I've been stalking this forum for about a year and been really grateful to everyone for the accrued wisdom that I've been able to tap into to help me build my Avante shelfer (first RC car I've owned since 1993!). I wanted to ask for some help /inspiration for the next phase of my project. As this is fo the shelf, it's mainly cosmetic, so might not interest everyone, but, here goes …

I've built my Avante box art, and I also have Black special shell and wheel tyre set to give it an alternate look when I feel like it. Just a visual flip, not all the mechanical changes. I thought I could use one more change of style to give me some options, and I went searching for nice custom Avantes online. I think the price point means not too many people have gone far from box art with these, but I did find some interesting things. I was especially taken with @neobrunox 1/10 Azente, based on the special edition Mini 4WD variants: https://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=117752&id=24357 . As you probably know, the 1/10 black special is also based on a Mini 4WD, which has me excited as I got interested in RC as a child having been weened on Mini 4WD. So, I wondered if I could do another Avante variant that stemmed from a Mini 4wd. The idea I've settled on is to do something based on one of the styles in the Avante Mini 4wd Dress-up Sticker Set (I'm thinking the pin stripe one): 

1255104_accb7068-63cd-4d22-a064-249441f1

and here, alongside someone's nice Azente:

928289_381926931954871_1461019704_n.jpg?

 

So here' say vision for the car, and I wondered if anyone woud like to add any imaginative suggestions or give me some advice?

  • VISION: Both the Azente AND this dress-up sticker set mention "TXR", which is spelled out in very small letters as "Tamiya Experimental Racer". I understand that the 1/10 Avante was the first effort by the tema that became "Tamiya Racing Factory", so I'm going to imagine that TXR is an early interpretation of TRF. The colour scheme here is also reminiscent of the white/cyan/blue/pink used in later TRF models. So I thought I would style my car with these things in mind, though I'm on the fence about using much pink. I'm seeing this car as like a development version of the finished Avante, before everything was finalised, but also aiming for a race spec, rather than the 'retail spec' of the finished machine.
  • ARTWORK: I plan to draw the graphics myself and get them printed at MCI. Anyone have any experience of MCI custom decals? Anything I should watch out for, or any recommendations for another supplier?
  • SPONSORS: For the most part, I'll scale up the Mini 4wd stickers, but I'll try to add in a few more details and small stickers, the same as how the original Avante and Avante BS decals are not simply scaled up versions of the Mini 4WD version.
    • If anyone could suggest some additional sponsors or details that might add some flavour of Tamiya's experimental racing division c 1988, I'd be delighted!
  • DRIVER: Well, Paranoid Perry I guess, but open to other ideas? I found this fun article the other day which suggests maybe one of the other Tamiya drivers. This is really just silly fan fiction, but i guess that's the realm I've descended to with this project! Here's the quote: "First, be aware that I was the one chosen for this project among almost one hundred drivers. Among them, the promising Albert Attaboy who remained stuck in Baja Buggy races, Evert Edwards who had relatives working at Tamiya and who couldn't get more than the Vanquish. Even Greg Martin, who was popular thanks to the Hornet, was in the list. The most pathetic of all was undoubtely Ricky Roop."
  • COLOURED BITS: TRF stuff tends to have some anodised cyan/blue elements. Anyone recommend some avant compliant shocks I could try out in this colour? Or any other metal parts?
  • WHEELS: In keeping with most TRF creations, probably white wheels, but I'm after something that might have felt experimental in '88 Or could have been donated from another car at the time, as part of the development process? Perhaps some white Thunder Shot rims? Like on the Terra Scorcher? Anything more interesting out there?
  • TYRES: I fancied doing something a bit crazy, like some slicks? If not that, perhaps some more modern looking buggy tyres, to suggest the car was ahead of its time, but that ultimately Tamiya went with the more conventional option in the release product? (sorry, in fan fiction territory again!)
  • REAR WING and OTHER AERO BITS: I was toying with the idea of a wing fro another car. I've not seen other wings that I think really look good on other custom Avantes (you often see an astute or Egress wing, I think). I was thinking maybe something more out there like a terra scorcher wing? Other thoughts?

I hope some of you find this interesting and might be willing to chip in.

Once I've got started properly, I'll try tout a build thread together.

Appreciate your help!

 

 

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I did a similar thing with my Grasshopper2, using the junior dress up decals as a basis. 

20171203_185551

I got them from MCI and Nathaneal was brilliant to work with because it took months to get right. The reason being that the junior cars aren't the same proportions as the 1/10 scale versions so just scaling didn't fit. I end up with a mismatch of scales and I even drew out the correct outline in my CAD package to get the side decals the right proportions.

My advice to start with is scan, scale and print the decals onto paper and work on the scale until you have something nearly right, then draw out anything else that needs tweaking yourself and scan that to send to MCI. 

Looks like a fun project though.

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Sign me up for the fiction! I compiled the drivers' names thanks to that site, and based on their vehicles gave them a hypothetical racing series to participate in (Boomerangs, Hotshots, and more lifelike buggies raced in the 4WD or 2WD Worlds or Nationals, whereas Thundershots and Avantes competed in the specialized Unlimited Division/Class, and so on...). If I recall correctly, "Paranoid" Perry had an interesting background (and with a name like that, how could he not?), and thankfully I gave "Shakey" Roop a little more respect... I like Strikers, after all :D

I will get working on that when I get back!

Edit: Working on it right now, actually, with the first quote in mind - we could have some fun with this ;)

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58 minutes ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

I did a similar thing with my Grasshopper2, using the junior dress up decals as a basis. 

20171203_185551

I got them from MCI and Nathaneal was brilliant to work with because it took months to get right. The reason being that the junior cars aren't the same proportions as the 1/10 scale versions so just scaling didn't fit. I end up with a mismatch of scales and I even drew out the correct outline in my CAD package to get the side decals the right proportions.

My advice to start with is scan, scale and print the decals onto paper and work on the scale until you have something nearly right, then draw out anything else that needs tweaking yourself and scan that to send to MCI. 

Looks like a fun project though.

Nice work, and great tips!

I had noticed that something was off about the scale. The Mini 4wds are a little bit chibi, with some of the fine detail turned into something a bit chunkier. I'l take my time as you suggest. I also noticed that on many Min 4wds (including the standard Avante) text that might run on one line at 1/10 becomes stacked onto two lines at 1/32, to allow things to appear at a readable size. I think the same is true of a lot of fine detail in the decals. I think it's important to interpret things a little with the change of scale, which seems to have been you impression, too. On my job for example, I might add in more and thinner pinstripes to get the same kind of effect at the larger size.

Wonderful to hear of such a great experience with MCI. That settles that side of things for me.

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32 minutes ago, Grastens said:

Sign me up for the fiction! I compiled the drivers' names thanks to that site, and based on their vehicles gave them a hypothetical racing series to participate in (Boomerangs, Hotshots, and more lifelike buggies raced in the 4WD or 2WD Worlds or Nationals, whereas Thundershots and Avantes competed in the specialized Unlimited Division/Class, and so on...). If I recall correctly, "Paranoid" Perry had an interesting background (and with a name like that, how could he not?), and thankfully I gave "Shakey" Roop a little more respect... I like Strikers, after all :D

I will get working on that when I get back!

Edit: Working on it right now, actually, with the first quote in mind - we could have some fun with this ;)

Cool! Glad I'm not the only one who thinks like this :wacko:

I thought I could take one of the other drivers that Perry talked about in that 'interview' and make this their car – as though they were involved in early development before perry superseded (or nobbled) them.

Look forward to your backstory!

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Bit of Tamiya porn here. This is the decal guide form the inside of item 15037, the Avante Jr. Dress-up Sticker Set.

Each set comes with two designs, which feature far fewer decals than 1/10 versions. I'm going for the top one. Bottom one is nice too, but lacks the TXR branding.

IMG_4838.jpg

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15 hours ago, Bwaaatch said:

Look forward to your backstory!

I decided to start a separate thread for the writing, which leaves this thread free for your build. The topic is here:

The plan is to update the writing thread as I progress, so for now you can find the fiction there!

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Great work @Grastens!

Things I think i might steal …

  • Love the driver rivalries. As my car will be a development model rather than a final racer, I don't see why I can't list a small team of drivers names on the cockpit, based on the idea that they all contributed. i'll take Hinomoto Rikimaru from your story, plus Paranoid Perry. I also love the massive diss that @BaraToZ 's Perry dishes out to Ricky 'Shakey' Roop, so I think he's in. As a fourth wheelman, i thought maybe I could dig some more into Avante lore and go (slightly anachronistically) with Jamie Booth, legendary development driver for the later Egress / Top Force evolutions. That should be enough! Unless I can also shoehorn in Yoshiaki Sugiyama, the real driver who raced the Avante in the 1988 JMRCA … 
  • I enjoyed your referencing of all the exotic materials that went into the Avante. I thought I might try to bring some of these through to my body shell, perhaps with some exposed carbon fibre, or some rivets in a patch of metalwork.
  • You mentioned some cooling problems? Perhaps I could simulate or cut some extra air intakes around the motor, to suggest that this was an issue in development? 

Other stuff I've picked out from the web and might throw in …

  • The Avante was (genuinely) designed by by Fumito Taki (in Japanese, 滝文人). I'll get his name on it somewhere away form the drivers, perhaps near a chassis number and with a kind of handwritten signature
  • The name 'Avante' apparently comes from 'Avante-garde' – wanting to be at the front of the pack. Seems very fitting. Maybe I can work this into he code number or code name of the project. I was thinking I might not use the word 'Avante', as something about the 'TXR' code suggests that it's at a phase before christening. Maybe some like TXR Chassis 001-AG, codename 'Avante-Garde'

Incidentally, the Japanese wikipedia page (which google translates quite well) gives lots of info that the English wikipedia page leaves out.

I'll keep puzzling this. Happy for further ideas!

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Sounds great! I am glad my work is up to standard :D Many of the development issues I remember were those that the actual Avante faced, with the possible exception of the cooling one... In the interests of creativity, though, I think another scoop or heat sink will do nicely ;)

If you list multiple drivers, for consistency it is better to create a custom decal to keep the fonts identical; otherwise you can find Mr. Rikimaru's name on the Saint Dragon.

I wrote an interview-style piece, much like BaraToZ's original work with Paranoid Perry. This one led to some changes in the initial story, keeping it more in line with that version of Paranoid Perry and his exploits.

Looking forward to the build!

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He's quite attached to that name, that Paranoid Perry :D

The graphics look great!

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Loving this thread purely for attention to detail and fictional inspiration :D

Also love the idea of grouping cars together into fictional race categories - I used to do the same thing when I looked thru the Mini 4WD catalog when I was younger.

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Might not use all these, but spent some time identifying and setting the relevant typefaces form the Avante Jr Dress-up Sticker Set.

Font geek! 

Useful facts:

  • The font identification feature on myfonts.com is pretty great for this
  • I hadn't' realised that the Avante and Egress use the same font (Tabasco Bold) for their main logotypes. The need a bit of tweaking, but definitely the right one. I think I might have seen it on other Tamiya cars too …

Avante TXR v01b copy.png

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12 hours ago, Bwaaatch said:

Font geek! 

Yep once you've developed The Eye, you'll spot the similarities & IMHO everything from the 80s only used about 20-30 different fonts ^_^

Plus each of those fonts usually had several cheap/free lookalike alternatives, so one is never quite sure which one the original designer chose... but for our purposes, only a font geek would notice &/or it can be massaged manually anyway.

The harder ones are the handdrawn lettering.

But at least it wasn't Letraset Decadry of the 60s & 70s! :lol:

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I like the idea of showing the references to cooling issues by means of shell mods. How about rather than just cutouts, adding scale detail in the form of additional oil coolers, scoops, etc? Many such items can be found on generic drift detail sprues and the like.

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2 hours ago, WillyChang said:

Yep once you've developed The Eye, you'll spot the similarities & IMHO everything from the 80s only used about 20-30 different fonts ^_^

Plus each of those fonts usually had several cheap/free lookalike alternatives, so one is never quite sure which one the original designer chose... but for our purposes, only a font geek would notice &/or it can be massaged manually anyway.

The harder ones are the handdrawn lettering.

But at least it wasn't Letraset Decadry of the 60s & 70s! :lol:

Yeah, you're right they draw from quite a limited set of fonts, but also had some kind of house style int he way that they treated them, so everything somehow seems homogeneous. People talk about how distinctive and consistent the box art paintings are, and I think the same is true of the graphic design generally. It seems more polished than most rival brands of the time (and waaaaayyyyy more refined that most current products, including current Tamiya work.)

I really enjoy that fact that the Avante and Egress share the same font, given their shared lineage. And the idea that someone (probably in their second language) had the foresight to use a bit of Avant-Garde on a buggy whose name was 'Avante' (and which was designed explicitly to be 'avante-garde' suggests that considerable thought went into these projects. Huge respect to whoever did this work.

 

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2 hours ago, TurnipJF said:

I like the idea of showing the references to cooling issues by means of shell mods. How about rather than just cutouts, adding scale detail in the form of additional oil coolers, scoops, etc? Many such items can be found on generic drift detail sprues and the like.

This sounds interesting, but I don’t really follow the drift scene and a quick google hasn’t helped. And chance you could hit me with a few links @TurnipJF?

cheers

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2 hours ago, TurnipJF said:

Great! Loads of options for me there.

Yesterday I came across the in depth reflections of someone who raced Avante back in the late eighties. In a wonderful echo of @Grastens writing, the author speaks of horrible Coolings problems, including finishing a race with his Vanquish on fire! Here’s the link: https://www.rc10talk.com/viewtopic.php?t=32387&start=15

So it sounds like I might also need to incorporate this.

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A very informative link! It looks like the cooling problems were even worse than I remember...

I do like the idea of adding scale details to the shell, and incorporating the fire extinguisher :lol:

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Well, long delay, but just finished my artwork on this project and am expecting delivery of my custom decals from MCI shortly.

Might find a window to finish the project before Christmas, but more realistically it will be early int he new year.

It was very interesting measuring up the differences between the 1/32 Avante Mini4wd and the 1/10 RC original. Parts of it are a direct scale, but other aspects are deformed in ways hard to perceive unless you're looking for the them. 1/32 nose is longer, and the area behind the windscreen is longer, too. Wing is pretty much identical.

Aside from sizing and shopping the decals to match, I've also tweaked the aesthetics in the hope of getting a better, more scale look at 1/10. Crucially, I've decreased the stroke on the cyan stripes versus the 1/32 version, as they just looks too dominant on the larger car (in my paper mock-ups. NOTE. Paper mockups are essential for this kind of project!). Hoping i'll get a more refined look.

My other big change is evident from the fact I've got TWO sets of font pin stripe sticker on the sheet; one with a black background and one with out. The one without is designed to sit over the top of some scale carbon fibre sticker sheets, which I will also use not he read wing. I went for the HPI stuff from the bay: HPI Carbon Fibre Decal Sheet RC Stickers Car Body Decals Car Bodyshell 113361

Will post pics when I have more progress. And I'm happy to share my EPS file if anyone wants it.

MCI-Avante-TXR-01-OUTLINE.png

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What a Project, how could I miss that in January!:rolleyes:

Fantastic work with your recreation sticker sheet! I also got the virus recently with the development Phase of Fumito Takis Avante project! Probably you know the vintage dirt burners homepage from Tom Erik Gundersen, who is a real enthusiast in digging out the old knowledge of these times?

I´m also working on "Perrys Revenge", and Building an Avante 89 spec. with nearly all improvements done on the Vanquish, Egress and 2001. Maybe you saw my Avante 89 build thread.

But your fictious prototype build with TXR label is just so ingenious and inspiring, also Grastens awakening of the Tamiya Drivers, fun to read.

Can´t wait to see your Stickers attached to the Shell!:wub:

Keep on,

Matthias

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Ah,

and if you still think about adding some features to improve cooling, I think Tamiya did it already on the Super Avante Mini 4WD. Check out the ducts before the air intakes. Easily to make with some styrene sheets!

I also came over the old race experiences on RC10 talk, but I never set my Vanquish on fire back in the day. :D Still have the old Chassis, no melted plastic in the engine bay area.

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@ruebiracer, Loving your Avante 89 thread! It's a wonderful opposite to my project (mainly technical rather than cosmetic, and a post-launch upgrade rather than a pre-launch alpha phase). Will keep an eye on it!

Yes, Tom EG's site is such fun. I enjoy all his Kyosho stuff too of course, but I hope I'm not alone in waiting anxiously for Part 3 of his Avante XL long wheelbase project. I probably check in there every week in the hope that he's made progress.

We're on the same wavelength on lots of things here. I did consider the fins for the air intakes not he Super Avante, which I could incorporate not he ground of 'excluded from the production version for cost/technical issues, but later because viable and included on the Super Avante upgrade. This kind of fictional logic has permeated my thinking on this job. At present, I'm unsure how to do do anything with the cooling thing. I did buy some Landrover air vent metal parts (all over eBay), but couldn't quite see how I would put them on the body without looking out of place. It needs more thought, and I think I need to do it with the stickers in hand. I'm also chewing on whether/how to include an F1 style cockpit camera of the period (this Senna shot is a little later, but you get the idea, side mounted, and like a wing tip). That seems like a useful development aid. 

Any advice/inspiration gratefully received! The graphic design bit I have under control. The rest, I'm less confident.

image.png

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