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Tamiya 47381 - Super Astute (2018)

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Sometimes wishes do come true.  Any of the Astute/Madcap buggies are on my wish list.  On the plus side, obtaining spare parts won't be an over expensive problem for the next few years, which means that I can rag my Madcap a little closer to the edge - although I probably won't.  

On the negative side, some of my original Super Astute spares are about to lose some value.  I have an brand new, uncut, complete body kit, wing, under-cowl and sticker set for the SA which has a special place in my collection of cars, parts, and other tid bits us collectors seem to acquire over the years.  I have various other SA parts such as chassis, various plastics, and a TTC, all BNIB.  I almost have enough parts to build a Super Astute, minus the lower arms all round.  The monetary value of these parts might matter a little more if I could actually see myself selling them.  But that is unlikely, as I place personal value, and possession, above financial gain.  I collect.  

It'll be nice to actually have a Super Astute in the collection.  I have a wish list of upgrades, of course.  Strengthened plastics in known weak spots, or re designed parts that have strength built in - front skid plate, wishbone carriers, even the gearbox moulding could use a little updating to improve strength around screw holes.  I would still like to see a ball diff in a TTC.  I know the SA was aimed at the club racer back in the day, but the use of a geared diff was a bit of a step backwards in my opinion.  But given the problems with the Astute/Madcap ball diff, I can understand the use of tried and tested components in the TTC.  But that problematic  ball diff was redesigned for the Egress 2013, maybe the design can be migrated to the 2WD cars too (the original Astute and Egress ball diff gears had a 1 tooth difference, although the internals were the same).

The planetary geared diff in the SA, Avante and Vanquish was a good design - compact and lightweight, but I don't know if it was ever used in later models.  The following Manta Ray and Bear Hawk range of cars all used the heavier spider diffs, introduce with the Thundershot series.  It's still used today - DF02, DT03 etc, and still contains a lot of heavy metal components.  Come on Tamiya, give us a better diff!

From the diff, to better outdrives and CVD shafts to the wheels.  It was done for the Egress 2013 and Avante 2011, why not on the Super Astute 2018?

And from Super Astute to...?  This re release might pave the way for others with the same lineage, such as the Madcap or King Cab, or a black special Saint Dragon or Astute MS Edition.  Just kidding.

Whatever happens, It's always good to see these older models getting a new lease of life, updated with improved components and materials, ready to take on the 21st century.

 

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Well, I've put in my order with Modelsport, just have to wait now! 

 

Excited about this, I remember getting all excited looking at the Astute in the Tamiya catalogue when I was 10 ish, roll on December.

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This is major news that the Super Astute is being re-released. Hopefully I can get parts for my two OG SA's like front and rear arms.

I do hope this improve the front and rear bulkheads, steering arms and the arms carriers all which I have broken. Also get rid of those horrid press nuts!

I will have to think about paying £250 for the Re-re, its a bit pricey.

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Will Tamiya replace the TTC or parts of the TTC for a more reliable gear train?
Will this Super Astute have a modern ball differential?

Max

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1 hour ago, kontemax said:

Will Tamiya replace the TTC or parts of the TTC for a more reliable gear train?
Will this Super Astute have a modern ball differential?

Max

I sure hope so. Tamiya is using the TRF201 style diff in the Egress and ABS. So why not here? The slipper albeit unique is bulletproof so that isn't as important to me. The ball differential is!

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14 hours ago, kontemax said:

Will Tamiya replace the TTC or parts of the TTC for a more reliable gear train?
Will this Super Astute have a modern ball differential?

Max

The re-re SA will come with an improved TTC. A modified slipper clutch has been confirmed, but the re-re TTC might have other changes too. Battery compartment will be somewhat larger, necessitating a low profile steering servo. The battery compartment won't accept square batteries though. 

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47 minutes ago, Mokei Kagaku said:

The re-re SA will come with an improved TTC. A modified slipper clutch has been confirmed, but the re-re TTC might have other changes too. Battery compartment will be somewhat larger, necessitating a low profile steering servo. The battery compartment won't accept square batteries though. 

Grrrrrrr, the TTC slipper was fine. We need a good ball differential! If this is done right tons of Astutes and Kingcabs owned by forum member could be ran in anger again. I'm a fan of the Stealth Trans conversion for the Kingcab but a Tamiya made drop in alternative would be AMAZING.

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You can't swap out different gears, the gear cases are the same so the gear train can be swapped over.

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I'm loving the fact the super astute and black avante are arriving but it's bitter sweet because I'm really glad the release is December because it give me time to save (black avante expensive) but then I'm having to wait until December and I want them now but I don't want them now coz I can't afford them now😣.........oh I'm off in my darkened room😩😩

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On 8/22/2018 at 11:26 AM, Robert5000 said:

Oh, and I hope tamico and the other usual suspects will part out kits so I can buy a ton of spares seeing as Tamiya probably won't release any spares.  

In all fairness for Tamiya; the impression that parts availability is poor is mostly nothing Tamiya can be blamed for.  In most cases, it's caused by ignorant, incompetent and cynical (country) distributors.  I have a bit of experience with quite many Tamiya country distributors, and except two, maybe three, I think all of them are poor and not worthy of carrying Tamiya products. Not few of them are downright terrible, including the major ones. 

So yes, parts availability may seem poor in many of Tamiya's export markets, but have a look at the domestic market and you'll see that parts availability is absolutely excellent and a benchmark for many other companies. And I see no reason why parts availability shouldn't be similarly good in the export markets if just the distributors had done a proper job. It's a fact that the distributors have access to parts inventory/availability lists identical to those available to the domestic (Japanese) market, so with a little effort and concern for customer service and satisfaction, the situation could have been so much better.

If there is something Tamiya can be blamed for, then maybe for not choosing distributors more carefully and for not dumping distributors who have performed terribly for decades.

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Back when MRC (Model Rectifier Corp.) was the Tamiya distributor in the US, most hobby shops around the country had lots of spares.  I remember hearing (I do not remember where and I could be totally wrong) that MRC required any hobby shop that sold Tamiya kits to also have on hand, in store, many or most spare parts for the kits being sold.  Makes sense, right?  Of course it does, at least in theory.  But ultimately this rule required the shops to carry so many Tamiya spare parts that the shops could not sell enough of them to be worth it, thus lots and lots of spare parts were taking up valuable shop floor space and not making any money for the shop.  It resulted in a lot of dead inventory and wasted money for the shops.

That's why when US hobby shops closed in the 1990's there was always a huge box of MRC yellow plastic bags of parts in the corner that was sold off as a single lot.  That was all of the inventory that MRC required the shop to have on hand to support Tamiya kit selling but never sold.

As a result most new shops today do not carry much Tamiya spares inventory except for the most common items.  This is for two reasons:  1) Shops learned their lesson of having dead inventory, plus Tamiya USA does not require shops to carry spares (as far as I know); and 2) Tamiya is not as popular now as it was in the 1980's.  Instead, the shop will be happy to order parts from their distributor (Tamiya USA, used to be Hobbico/Great Planes before that) and you can get the parts in a week or so once they come in with the weekly order.

An example of the MRC yellow/clear plastic bag of Tamiya spare parts.  Extremely common in the US in the 1980s and still available today on eBay.  Shows just how many spare parts MRC bagged back then:

mrc_bag.jpg.f1c12dc88612dfd3d27d543d7c6163bb.jpg

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Great news that we have got another re-release - and a pretty significant one too. Pleased to see that Tamiya haven't abandoned their re-relase programme and boy was this one needed as it has been dreadfully dull stuff from them for a couple of years now.

I just wish that they had re-relased the standard Astute with it's superior colour, decals, wheels, tyres & box art. The Super Astute may be the better buggy technically but it's nowhere near as pretty as the standard kit.

They should have just released the standard kit but with all of the hop-ups. Not to worry though as it is an easy fix. I will be painting mine red and sourcing some standard decals from MCI racing. Thankfully I also have a set of the lightweight black wheels in storage.

This also means of course, that the coffee-can collection is finally complete. Only took them about 13 years. :P

I'd say this is also enciuraging news for those wanting a Top Force Evo re-release.

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7 hours ago, Wandy said:

Great news that we have got another re-release - and a pretty significant one too. Pleased to see that Tamiya haven't abandoned their re-relase programme and boy was this one needed as it has been dreadfully dull stuff from them for a couple of years now.

I just wish that they had re-relased the standard Astute with it's superior colour, decals, wheels, tyres & box art. The Super Astute may be the better buggy technically but it's nowhere near as pretty as the standard kit.

They should have just released the standard kit but with all of the hop-ups. Not to worry though as it is an easy fix. I will be painting mine red and sourcing some standard decals from MCI racing. Thankfully I also have a set of the lightweight black wheels in storage.

This also means of course, that the coffee-can collection is finally complete. Only took them about 13 years. :P

I'd say this is also enciuraging news for those wanting a Top Force Evo re-release.

Well said! I already ordered my MCI decals, and aloy hop ups, and I still have original style front and rear wheels! Building mine as an Astute like I had as a kid. This time with Aeration Dampers.

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On 8/24/2018 at 7:25 PM, GTodd said:

Grrrrrrr, the TTC slipper was fine. We need a good ball differential! If this is done right tons of Astutes and Kingcabs owned by forum member could be ran in anger again. I'm a fan of the Stealth Trans conversion for the Kingcab but a Tamiya made drop in alternative would be AMAZING.

Agreed.  The slipper is fine.  It was also the first true slipper clutch that Tamiya produced for a buggy and should be recognised and preserved as such.  If there is one thing that could be done to improve the TTC over it's original stock form, is to remove the 850 bushing behind the spur gear on the main shaft, and replace it with a proper bearing.  

The Super Astute was always crying out for a ball diff, and that would be the only major change made, and most welcomed by vintage club racers.

Maybe the use of a larger pitch gear module would be useful.  The original TTC, with it's fine teeth throughout, is geared very high and needs some low windings or high rpm motor to get any serious speed from the car.  I'm running a 26 tooth pinion with Tamiya brushed stock motors.  If I drop a  couple of teeth on the pinion, the car is comparatively pedestrian.  A 0.6 module will change the FDR and give the car a much needed boost of speed when using silver cans or similar motors.  Much better for stock class vintage racing.  

Apart from an improvement in plastics for the gearbox itself, there is very little that Tamiya should change on the TTC.  It's iconic and unique.  Best left alone.  Mostly.

It's possible the the re re SA will have a carbon fibre chassis and shock towers, as happened with the Avante 2011.  

Strengthen the front bulkhead and arm mounts, and the SA would be all set.  Let's hope that Tamiya get this one right.

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On 8/27/2018 at 12:25 PM, Fruitfly01 said:

Agreed.  The slipper is fine.  It was also the first true slipper clutch that Tamiya produced for a buggy and should be recognised and preserved as such.  If there is one thing that could be done to improve the TTC over it's original stock form, is to remove the 850 bushing behind the spur gear on the main shaft, and replace it with a proper bearing.  

The Super Astute was always crying out for a ball diff, and that would be the only major change made, and most welcomed by vintage club racers.

Maybe the use of a larger pitch gear module would be useful.  The original TTC, with it's fine teeth throughout, is geared very high and needs some low windings or high rpm motor to get any serious speed from the car.  I'm running a 26 tooth pinion with Tamiya brushed stock motors.  If I drop a  couple of teeth on the pinion, the car is comparatively pedestrian.  A 0.6 module will change the FDR and give the car a much needed boost of speed when using silver cans or similar motors.  Much better for stock class vintage racing.  

Apart from an improvement in plastics for the gearbox itself, there is very little that Tamiya should change on the TTC.  It's iconic and unique.  Best left alone.  Mostly.

It's possible the the re re SA will have a carbon fibre chassis and shock towers, as happened with the Avante 2011.  

Strengthen the front bulkhead and arm mounts, and the SA would be all set.  Let's hope that Tamiya get this one right.

EXACTLY!

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8 hours ago, Pata76 said:

How long are the SA front and rear shocks eye to eye?

They were originally old style CVA shocks so 64mm front, 85mm rear.

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Since the Super Astute has been announced I have seen a large number of original Super Astute parts and parts cars hit Ebay.  I just completed a rebuild of a Saint Dragon and purchased a KingCab. Both of these have the notoriously bad Bad Diff.  I'm not too concerned with the Saint Dragon as the car is super light and running a stock silver can. The KingCab on the other hand will kill the ball diff in a single pack especially on dirt if it has traction.

What would it take to replace the ball diff with the gear diff from the Super Astute? I've heard rumors that it is not a drop in replacement even though the gear cases are the same but no one has ever been able to tell me exactly why?

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, racer1 said:

Since the Super Astute has been announced I have seen a large number of original Super Astute parts and parts cars hit Ebay.  I just completed a rebuild of a Saint Dragon and purchased a KingCab. Both of these have the notoriously bad Bad Diff.  I'm not too concerned with the Saint Dragon as the car is super light and running a stock silver can. The KingCab on the other hand will kill the ball diff in a single pack especially on dirt if it has traction.

What would it take to replace the ball diff with the gear diff from the Super Astute? I've heard rumors that it is not a drop in replacement even though the gear cases are the same but no one has ever been able to tell me exactly why?

 

 

 

1. The King Cab diff is great if built correctly. Mine lasted 25 years before lack of spare parts side lind it. Now replaced by a stealth trans!

 

2. The Avante gear diff fits.

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3 hours ago, GTodd said:

1. The King Cab diff is great if built correctly. Mine lasted 25 years before lack of spare parts side lind it. Now replaced by a stealth trans!

 

2. The Avante gear diff fits.

You’re a whole lot luckier than most.  I killed a king cab diff in a single pack once. After replacing it 5 or 6 times I finally just restored the truck and put it on the shelf until it was eventually sold  

The new one I just received has a shot diff but the truck otherwise looks brand new. The plan from the start was to swap a stealth but since the SA is back I figured why not give it a try first.  

 

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