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Saito2

Change in FRP?

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Tamiya FRP has traditionally been black with a nice, distinctive pattern on its surface. When the Rough Rider/Sand Scorcher was rereleased, they too received this patterned FRP (as opposed to their original, "natural" fiberglass). I first noticed a change when I bought a the Super Hot Shot rerelease years back. The rear shock tower had no pattern and was matte black. Then came the Super Champ re-re (Fighting whatever) with the same material. Today, after many many weeks of waiting, I received my Super Astute and again, a matte black chassis devoid of pattern. So has Tamiya changed suppliers or is the the patterned FRP no longer available? When was the last time we saw the original FRP? The RR/SS chassis? Maybe the Nova Fox rear shock tower? Just curious if its been phased out forever or used simultaneously depending on application. I really liked it. 

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I believe it is used simultaneously; I noticed the matte-black FRP on my Ferrari 312T3 build for the chassis plates, only to find the patterned FRP for the friction damper plate. It must be a matter of application - as the chassis plates in the kit were the matte-black type, I suspect that one is stronger or stiffer. It might make sense since that particular FRP does seem denser and more consistent.

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It is in all likelihood a more modern, higher performance material. Composite tech has improved in the last 10 years incredibly, let alone since the 80s when it was in its infancy. The 'nice' weave you see on any composite item is purely cosmetic. It adds weight but also needs to be carefully added to the layup so it looks good to leads to more QC rejections on cosmetic grounds. They are also quite course, low performance fibres generally. What I suspect is the case is tamiya are using a more modern, higher performance, finer, stronger fibre which works great but looks bad, hence the painting. All speculation, but based on educated guesswork on what I know from my own industry. 

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Make sense. The old stuff looks grainy and fibrous on the edges. It seems like the usual cloth or matting saturated with resin but with a nice shiny black surface with an imprinting on it. The new stuff lacks that fibrous look on the edges but rather looks very densely packed almost compressed. From that standpoint, it even looks and feels like a stronger material. 

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Hi.

I’ve been trying to get some FRP akin to the nice looking old stuff as seen on Avante 2001 (looks not unlike carbon fibre but a finer weave) without success. The cheap stuff on eBay is poor quality , predictably, but I also ordered some from Masterplatex and though it seems better made, it still isn’t a match. Does anyone know where some can be obtained?

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Does Tamiya still tell you to glue the edges of this newer stuff? I was never a fan of that.

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3 hours ago, Otis311 said:

Does Tamiya still tell you to glue the edges of this newer stuff? I was never a fan of that.

Not that I've seen. The new stuff, while bland looking, has almost smooth edges opposed to the exposed fibers of the old FRP.

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On 6/13/2019 at 12:21 PM, Saito2 said:

Not that I've seen. The new stuff, while bland looking, has almost smooth edges opposed to the exposed fibers of the old FRP.

I tried gluing one chassis ( an Avante Black and got glue all over). I havent glues anyother and they were all fine (original Astute, Avantes, Egress etc).

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Supergluing the edges is mandatory if you’ve ever had an FRP or CF splinter ... normally up your nail when tidying up the weave ‘threading’ 🙄

It also looks quite cool with black CF - just dab it on lightly with a small bud / swab then go over with a black Sharpie. 

The old bogey green FRP is frankly v primitive glass-fibre - and @ThunderDragonCy is spot on re it’s limitations. 

It’s also an utter pita to cut, drill or shape - needing a virtual clean room / face mask environment to do safely, carbide coated tools and the patience of a Saint ...

The last time I remember it being used is as a horizontal plate anchoring the rear suspension of the Sand Rover / Holiday Buggy ? 

As for the future, commoditising aerospace 3D printing (using dumbed down polymers) will make it affordable for Tamiya / us inside 3 years - and chassis design will (finally !) catch up with brushless power 😬

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@SuperChamp82 Interesting you say 3d printing is so close to bursting through. Its been "5-10 years away" for the last 5-10 years! Be interested to know why you think this. For RC and my day job. 

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Very true @ThunderDragonCy

It’s been easy scale that’s held 3D printing back imo - so not clever polymers (noting there are now plenty) more useful printers ... based on core tech that can be daisy chained for mass production. 

The current crop of cheap consumer printers aren’t there just yet - their quality simply isn’t good enough ... both in terms of print output and device reliability / sophistication. 

But  it’s a million times better than 3 years ago ... and the software that’s driving them is getting better and better every day.

Industry printing by contrast is largely still for fast prototypes vs mainstream production - but it’s now fixed the quality / reliability issues plaguing earlier kit.

So yes - I reckon another 3 years max for the stars to align and aero / auto learning to expand / cascade into consumer kit ... including RC 😬

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