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markbt73

Talk me into (or out of) a Bigwig

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My wife and I are doing the "one for each other and one for ourselves" thing for Christmas gifts this year. Naturally, the "one for myself" is going to be an RC kit. We have an agreed-upon upper spending limit that puts a lot of kits out of reach, but Tamiya's recent rollback of MAP prices has made for a decent field of possibilities. And the one that I keep coming back to is the Bigwig.

I never thought much of it the first time around: too cartoon-y looking, dumb name, and too expensive. But after having built a Hotshot re-re and fixed up an original Boomerang, I'm interested in the final development of this chassis. And it has a few features that make it seem like a good candidate for a runner: the full tub chassis, full bearings, no mono-shock weirdness. I'm not crazy about the styling, but maybe a different paint scheme can tone down the cartoonishness of it.

My question, for those who have experience with it, is what's it like? I'm imagining sort of an uber-Boomerang (Uberrang?), is that accurate? How well does that rack-and-pinion steering setup work, in terms of slop and steering throw? Any specific weak spots I should know about? (Keep in mind this will be a low-stress fun runner; I don't do crazy horsepower) What say you, hive mind? Worth it?

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Yeah, that's on the list too, but it upsets me that it doesn't come with bearings, and it's maybe a little too "new" of a design for me. (though it wouldn't be hard to drop a vintage rally car body over it... something to consider)

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Its the last of the 100, id say get it! Or get a Mantaray if you want a bath tub chassis get a Mantaray

34 minutes ago, markbt73 said:

Yeah, that's on the list too, but it upsets me that it doesn't come with bearings, and it's maybe a little too "new" of a design for me. (though it wouldn't be hard to drop a vintage rally car body over it... something to consider)

and use a TBG Terra Conqueror body set.

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If you can understand 4wd buggies like the Boomerang and Hot Shot, it is clear that you're going to love the Big Wig. Simple as that.

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So I just had a look at the manuals for both the Bigwig and the Top Force... yeah, Top Force is out. It's just a generation or two too new to be of any interest to me. The spec is impressive (except for bushings - are you kidding, Tamiya?), but it doesn't have any of that "Tamiya quirk" that we all know and love. Bigwig it is, I think...

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Do it...I want one for a shelver... I think they look cool...:D

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i dont have to talk you into it but let this video do the job 

 

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12 minutes ago, markbt73 said:

Top Force is out. It's just a generation or two too new

I always hesitated to get Top Force, even as I would recommend it for its performance.  You just named the reason why I didn't get it myself.  It doesn't suit my 80's sensibility!  

I found that cheap $2 (for 10) bearings work just fine.  I have dozens of Tamiya metal shields that I'm keeping as a reserve.  I actually prefer cheap Chinese rubber shielded bearings.  So lack of bearings no longer bother me.  

I got BigWig for the same reason (and Boomerang too--which needs to be restored).  Unique as it is, I wasn't happy with Hotshot's suspension.  On really rough surfaces Hotshot dances like the ground is a hot-potato that it cannot touch.  Bigwig is different.  with big-holed pistons in the shocks, the suspension works much more like contemporary buggies.  Obviously, it's not as new as DF03.  Off the top of my head, I think the arms are not as long as DF01.  I'd say it'd be closer to DF02.  For 80's machine, that's not bad.  

About the shape?  That can't be helped, but it grew on me.  

What bothered me the most was the camel-hump.  I liked everything else.  I thought about cutting it off, but the body uses a hook, and it is attached under the hump.  So I put some carbon tape on it to camouflage the shape.  Beauty is in the eye of beholder. Whatever you find disagreeable, you can change it.   

hvAjPFM.jpg

fEC6fCw.jpg

(I left out the roof for the shot, just to see the driver---I gave him shoulder pads that 80's rally drivers had) 

58RPldH.jpg

Below is from RC universe. A Canadian by the name of "The HP Freak" modded his bigwig with a big wing.  

7JVEWWh.jpg

 

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Following this very closely. I too, have been tempted to get a runner Bigwig since MAP dropped. I already have a Hot Shot, Super Shot and my Super Boomerhotshoterang amalgam buggy as runners. I've also driven a Boomerang. Do I need to experience the Bigwig as well? How well does it steer? The shelf queen I have doesn't appear to have much steering lock. Does that affect turning radius?

At least from owning a shelf queen I can comment a bit. Its "plasticy" in nature. I know all the Hot Shot series are plastic but the Bigwig just seems more so. The bright colors and big, wide tub probably add to the effect. I was like "really, they were hunting the Optima with something like this?"

On the other hand its full of cool unique features like the molded in engine detailing, exhaust pipes and a separate rollcage/canopy (vs the all-in-lexan Boomerang) the rack and pinion steering and probably the best suspension of the bunch. That big wide chassis with 8.4v power make me think of a "Cadillac" of off road buggies in a way. Mateo's video makes me want one all the more.

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I have had a Bigwig NIB since release, think its going to get built this christmas, with MIP ball diffs and hi caps, hi speed servo and MCI Dick Cepek decal

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See, I kinda like the roof scoop. It adds to the Formula 1 style. The bolt-upright front shocks and blue shock towers always looked odd to me. And I'd much rather have the Hotshot/Boomerang wheels than those featureless discs, but I guess that's easy enough to change.

That steering system is the most intriguing and most worrisome part of the whole design. I mean, a rack-and-pinion steering system, complete with gaiters on the tie rods, on an RC car? How cool is that? But... does it work? If not, I'm right back to where I was with the Hotshot again...

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Mark, 

Do it. 

I suddenly got this weird desire to have a Bigwig a couple of years ago and purchased mine late last winter. The build was fantastic and fun. I'm running mine with an 8.4v Nimh and with the stock motor, it's VERY quick. It's a heavy beast but tears through the tallest grass easily. It's rugged, suspension is nice and the rack and pinion works smoothly.  

I love the darn thing and it looks SO MUCH better in person that in photos, very much like the Hotshot.  

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28 minutes ago, markbt73 said:

The bolt-upright front shocks and blue shock towers always looked odd to me.

For some reason, I like four big yellow CVA strapped, vertically, on a buggy. I dig it on the Super Shot and I dig it on the Bigwig. It has an all-out Tamiya performance look (hey, they were the best shocks Tamiya made at the time) with no monoshock monkey business (although, I love them too). I also liked how the shock towers kinda matched the body in color (sorta). The only negative I've ever read about the rack was it slowed responsiveness with the older, slower lo-po servos back in the day but that shouldn't be an issue now. Even with the appearance of less steering lock on the bench, I've never seen complaints about its turning circle. Steering seems to be the one thing Tamiya was always trying to improve on the chassis. They waffled between direct steer (Hot Shot style) and the steering bar (Boomerang style), but the rack was their best shot at it. Now I'm talking myself into one.

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Sorry I don’t have any advice on a Bigwig, but the buying yourself a a Christmas present I do. I tend wait the Boxing Day sales as you seem to end up with enough in the budget for a kit plus upgrades 😁

Sure you have to wait a few more days but that’s long forgotten the day after something arrives and patience is all part of this hobby isn’t it?  

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42 minutes ago, markbt73 said:

a rack-and-pinion steering system, complete with gaiters on the tie rods, on an RC car?

Oh, I got a kick out of that.  The servo saver is too mushy, which contributed slow responsiveness @Saito2 is talking about.  But nothing a zip-tie couldn't fix (I think it came with a couple zip-ties to tidy up various wires?).  

ZQuEr48.jpg

58hcAIt.jpg

Also a silver sharpie makes the faux engine pop.  

RfCDNFh.jpg

Back when it was first released, thought the weird blue and yellow combination was revolting.  But now I like it enough I painted the body with violet blue, the shock tower color.  I don't know how that happened.  Then again, my wife dragged me to Vietnamese restaurants often enough, I like Vietnamese soup now.  Things and people change, I suppose.  

9vt1nBp.jpg

 

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Yep, sky's blue, water's wet, Tamiya servo savers are too saver-y. Good to know there's room for the zip-tie trick. And I have a Futaba S3305 (high speed, metal gear) servo sitting here doing nothing, so that should turn it.

Thanks everone; now I have one gift figured out (the easy one). And it has to be bought before Christmas, because the idea is to wrap everything (even our own) so there's something under the tree. Last year, we both picked out Christmas gifts in like September, and there was nothing under there. So we agreed, no early gifts this year, and I intend to follow the rules.

And BTW, my birthday is a week after New Years, and I've already dropped big loud hints about an Optima to my Dad... so hopefully I'll have two 4WD legends to build this year. :)

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I have used a Savox 1258tg servo in my Bigwig, which is the same as I use in my modern race cars. The high torque helps to overcome the resistance from the rubber gaiters and it works fine. I do wonder if a rack could be made with an extra tooth slot each side to increase the steering lock, but it does work OK as is. I use and race my cars BTW,  hence the good servo. 

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3 hours ago, StueyS said:

I have used a Savox 1258tg servo in my Bigwig, which is the same as I use in my modern race cars. The high torque helps to overcome the resistance from the rubber gaiters and it works fine. I do wonder if a rack could be made with an extra tooth slot each side to increase the steering lock, but it does work OK as is. I use and race my cars BTW,  hence the good servo. 

I totally   agree! I had a Bigwig as a kid and remembered that it was heavy, slow steering and not very agile. I  wondered how it would work with modern light weight electronics. So I bought one re-release Bigwig and equipped it with strong low profile servo, good sensored lrp-speedpassion brushless system and shorty lipo. This buggy is awesome. It is so much fun to drive!

IMG_20191109_121826.jpg

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If that's what rc car your conscience always goes back to then that's the one to get! Yes the top force and the likes are better all rounders but like you say if you don't race it and just a fun runner then even better:) the steering was a very novel idea back in the day but probably didn't stand up to racing (I maybe wrong because I never raced it I had a boomerang)  but the bottom line is all the re-releases are of a older design so are not perfect as you probably already know but you won't be disappointed with bigwig:D

20180125_122022.jpg

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On 11/8/2019 at 2:31 PM, markbt73 said:

I'm not crazy about the styling, but maybe a different paint scheme can tone down the cartoonishness of it.

The Big Wig is absolutely wonderful. And don't forget this is Tamiya's 10th anniversary vehicle!

Here's some pictures of the real Pikes Peak racers that inspired this fantastic buggy. :wub:

More pictures here: https://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=104764&id=23692

2xCC9Lu.jpg

l8edzYM.jpg

yEgCeiM.jpg

I know I love 'em!

Have a good Sunday! :)

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Built my re re last Christmas and loved the styling. It and the SuperShot are my favorite of the re-re's

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20 hours ago, moffman said:

If that's what rc car your conscience always goes back to then that's the one to get! Yes the top force and the likes are better all rounders but like you say if you don't race it and just a fun runner then even better:) the steering was a very novel idea back in the day but probably didn't stand up to racing (I maybe wrong because I never raced it I had a boomerang)  but the bottom line is all the re-releases are of a older design so are not perfect as you probably already know but you won't be disappointed with bigwig:D

20180125_122022.jpg

Looks good in black. And is that silver where the box art is white? Excellent choice. I may actually steal that color scheme...

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37 minutes ago, markbt73 said:

Looks good in black. And is that silver where the box art is white? Excellent choice. I may actually steal that color scheme...

I though when I did it the blue & yellow would clash with the black & silver but it never it turned out really good 

20180811_135826.jpg

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2 hours ago, moffman said:

I though when I did it the blue & yellow would clash with the black & silver but it never it turned out really good 

20180811_135826.jpg

It's good to see nicely done color schemes.  

You'd think half the people would go for different colors, but it's surprisingly rare, especially good ones.   

 

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