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Bchivs

Monster Racer Restoration

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Hi, I’m new to the forum so hi

i owned a monster Racer in the early 90s as a kid, and snapped it in half.

being a bit nostalgic I’ve been looking for one for some time,,...a couple of boxed new examples have surfaced on eBay but I wasn’t prepared to pay the premium.

eventually after being patient I bought a mint example at a good price....the only downside Is the shell is painted in the wrong colours/scheme. I want to revert it back to box art. I bought a rare set of original decals, but wasn’t sure wether to buy a new pattern shell or whether to attempt to clean all the pain off the existing original shell. The shell is the original with no crack, dents or splits, but a couple of light scratches (only minor).

With decals being extremely scarce now, would you reuse the existing shell or buy new? Would the shell originality have much impact on its desirability and resale?

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Try googling how to remove the paint, I was in the same situation a while ago and found a solution on Google. It took about a week, you put the whole body shell in with the stickers, it removes the paint but not the stickers! I also had a monster racer back in the day and have one now! AND I race it too!

20190522_220142.jpg

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You can try a graffiti remover , one which is safe on lexan , I used to use Desolv-it gel , but I'm not sure if it is still made in the same gel or is now a different product - maybe an aerosol. I bought a can of aerosol graffiti remover from 'Poundland' it's not the Desolv-it brand and I haven't tried it on anything yet , always test any product first before applying it to you pride and joy or do a small patch test on the shell behind a decal  if you haven't got anything scrap to try it on .It would be good to save the vintage shell and decals . Which makes me think , I need another Monster Racer in my life , it's one of Tamiya best ever kits imho

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33 minutes ago, Turbotom said:

I also had a monster racer back in the day and have one now!

Cool truck !!

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Thanks for the replies. So given the choice you would persist with the original shell even thought there is the odd minor defect? A new shell is not massive money.....there is a seller on eBay but the drawback is the originality. 

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I would use a repo shell and stickers to run it and restore the original shell for shelf duty. 

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I would restore the original shell , you can possibly wet and dry / polish out the scrapes if they aren't too deep and are easliy accessible without damaging the decals and as GP said above get a TBG repro shell and decals for a runner ;)

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I would restore the original shell if possible. If not, I would save some pennies and wait for an original body set. It will cost more. But if you have a mint original car, then it deserves a nice original body.

i know some will hate me for saying this. I wouldn't touch a repro body if it was the last Hilux Monster Racer body on earth. They are illegal counterfeits. TBG are technically just running a business cloning the intellectual property of Tamiya - and they're not even cheap (AU$65 for a copy??).  I know many people will disagree with me, but there it is :)  I'm on the record. That's the advice I'll always give. But it's up to each individual what they do.

13 hours ago, Bchivs said:

With decals being extremely scarce now, would you reuse the existing shell or buy new? Would the shell originality have much impact on its desirability and resale?

IMHO, full originality is always a factor in desirability and resale. If I bought a car with a repro body, I would honestly only bid for the value of the car. The body (if I won) would literally go straight in the garbage bin, or given away for free.

What I'd probably do (if the used body cannot be restored)...

  • Save the original decals, not use them
  • Wait for an original full body set to come up on eBay. Be patient, it may take a few months. But when one does appear, buy it (approx cost: US$200-US$300)
  • Sell the decals, and the used body - recover approx US$100 of the money.

A vintage body kit is always the most expensive part of any vintage resto. But that's because nothing "makes" a car more than the body. And an original body also preserves the most value for the future, as you will always be able to say the car is "100% original". This commands a premium for most collectors.

But if the used body can be restored, then stick with that - new paint and decals will make it look great.

Whatever you decide, good luck.

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Thanks all. So you’ve answered my question and I have decided to attempt to clean up the original. Il post some pics up in the next few days.

i think I will try genuine tamiya cleaner first....I know there are many suggestions online such as brake fluid, nail varnish remover, tar remover, solvent cleaner etc but these are all brutal products. I would worry it will cause hazing or permanent damage and think gently gently catch a monkey!

Changing the subject slightly, what is the original monster Racer colour codes?

Ben.

 

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Referring to the manual - https://www.tamiyaclub.com/manuals.asp?cm=400

You'll need Tamiya Polycarbonate spray cans - PS1, PS2, PS5, PS12. All of which are still miraculously available to this day, 30 years later (it's pretty cool - and lucky - that Tamiya has forever kept manufacturing the same paints and codes)

Sidenote, I was jealous of the Hilux Monster Racer as a kid, as I had the King Cab. But the Monster Racer's decals are better, because they're all authentic sponsor logos. The King Cab just used Tamiya's made-up logos - one of the first models to do so, and starting a lame trend that has continued ever since. Still love the King Cab, but I'd choose the Monster Racer over it these days as far as collecting goes.

Good luck with your restoration. The Tamiya Polycarbonate cleaner will take a while to gently rub the paint away. It's excellent for removing overspray. Cleaning a whole, heavily painted body will take you time and effort. And the outcome won't be a crystal clear paint free body, in my experience - it will still be a bit milky. But! Don't be disheartened - it's still worth a shot to restore an original body, since they are highly coveted. And once resprayed, you can decide if it's worthy of your decal set.

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1 hour ago, Bchivs said:

brake fluid

Don't use brake fluid on the lexan , it will cloud it for sure

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The original shells are pretty common to find. Identical mold was used for the Toyota prerunner and other models too I believe. 

No need for tbg on this one. 

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I have a new built hilux monster racer and all the parts including decals to build another, I just need the new genuine body .....

the hilux body is much stronger than the kingcab my kingcab runner is in much worse condition than my runner hilux

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1 hour ago, Ann3x said:

The original shells are pretty common to find. Identical mold was used for the Toyota prerunner and other models too I believe. 

No need for tbg on this one. 

Same mould yes, but the body holes are in a different position for the Prerunner and the Desert Fielder (the other truck that shares the body) so you'll have extra holes when you mount it. Note the positions here (inset picture is the Monster Racer):

desert-fielder-monster-racer-cutting.thumb.jpg.8d4cde460681f8fed4b6d920030a4e05.jpg

The spare part body for the Desert Fielder is undrilled though, so you can use one of those if you can find one. It's not as authentic as an original MR, but better than a knock-off.

Note lack of holes:

monster-racer-body-parts-4.thumb.jpg.e11fb2fc9e9ae20319dc4e2c4a152505.jpg

Also be aware that the arches are not pre-cut, like the original Monster Racer, Prerunner and kit supplied DF bodies, and there is no mould line to follow, so you'd need to make a template from your existing body.

Once you've made the holes the only discernible difference to the MR is dimples on the front grille to indicate where to makes holes to fit the Desert Fielder's light bar:

monster-racer-body-parts-6.thumb.jpg.ac3f3e139dcd6e3a36e022b39f90d681.jpg

 

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The Desert Feilder body is a rare to get hold of than the monster Racer though?

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On 7/8/2019 at 5:25 PM, Hibernaculum said:

Sidenote, I was jealous of the Hilux Monster Racer as a kid, as I had the King Cab. But the Monster Racer's decals are better, because they're all authentic sponsor logos. The King Cab just used Tamiya's made-up logos - one of the first models to do so, and starting a lame trend that has continued ever since.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that gets annoyed with the made up logos.  I know there's licensing involved, but I can't stand the fake company decals.

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On 7/9/2019 at 1:02 PM, Ann3x said:

The original shells are pretty common to find. Identical mold was used for the Toyota prerunner and other models too I believe. 

No need for tbg on this one. 

Can you please elaborate?

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13 hours ago, GTodd said:

Can you please elaborate?

The desert fielder body has unfortunately been sold out for a couple of months now. You still can get the compete kit.

It's a perfect fit for both the monster Hilux and the prerunner as it comes without the holes.

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1 hour ago, waterbok said:

The desert fielder body has unfortunately been sold out for a couple of months now. You still can get the compete kit.

It's a perfect fit for both the monster Hilux and the prerunner as it comes without the holes.

Only the spare body comes without the holes. The kit included one is drilled for the TA-02T so won't fit the Monster Racer without re-drilling.

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