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Mad Ax

Tamiya and pre-painted bodies

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What's going on here, then?  I was surprised to see the Mk2 Escort would come pre-painted white (in the MF01X kit version) but now I see the Top Force Evo and the Landfreeder Quadtrack also have pre-painted bodies.

I must admit I was slightly tempted by the Landfreeder, but the price is off-putting and now I see the body is pre-painted, I'm turned completely off.  Now in fairness I may well have painted it black anyway because it looks so cool, but I like to be individual, I don't like to turn up at an event with the same car as anyone else.  Now everyone's Quadtrack will be black, unless they suffer the expense of a different body.  And if I have to absorb the cost of a new body on top of the already high kit price, then no, it won't happen.  I might pick up a track set to convert another TT02 if they ever release it as an option part.

The TFEvo is out of my price range too but if I bought one, it would be for vintage racing, and I'd want to do my own race colours on it.  Including a body in not-my-colours is just an expense I don't want to have to absorb.

I usually don't like to be negative about Tamiya but if more of their releases are going to go this way, there will be more kits that come off my want-to-buy list.

Now, one thing I see here is people saying they have a huge backlog of bodies to paint - so maybe this is playing to their needs?  Buy a kit, don't worry about having the time/space/weather/skills to paint it, just build and drive.  Just for me, it feels like the world moving ever closer to a one-size-fits-all homogenised gloop that requires an injection of money if you want to be individual, instead of individuality being possible, implied or even encouraged right out of the box (or, indeed, on the box, in the case of the older Tamiya boxes with alternate paint scheme suggestions on them).

What does everyone else think about this..?

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If a model is supposed to represent a specific full-size car, I personally would do it boxart, so a prepainted body, or even a factory finished one, would be most welcome as I far prefer the mechanical side of the hobby. 

However for generic models that could represent a variety of full-size subjects, or buggies and the like with no full-size brethren, I quite agree with the OP. I would probably want to do my own livery, and a prepainted body limits this. 

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I think the pre-painted bodies help kits to become an entry-point (or re-entry) into the hobby.

On top of the price of a kit you need tools (you may have these already), ESC (if not included), tx and rx combo, battery and charger and paint.

By removing paint from this list you are reducing the cost and time it takes to get the kit from the box to the road / track.

A factory finished body reduces this even further.

Once hooked, you can then purchase the bodyset and paint and personalise to your heart's content :D.

For those already in the hobby, you can choose to purchase the full kit or just the boddy and stick it on an existing chassis (as seen by the comments on here regarding the Mk2 Escort and Escort custom releases).

I'm guessing the Tamiya did at least domestic market research before removing the XB range and replacing it with a combination of the X-SA and the pre-painted approach.

However, it does seem counter-intuitive for a new chassis release like the Quadtrack or maybe a re-release like the Top Force Evo.

I'm guilty of these with my Tamiya purchases - my most run kits are those that have bodies not painted by me - used Dual Hunters, BMW 2002, Hornet and the Swift I got from you @Mad Ax!

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I'm glad this topic was brought up, and I'm more than happy to share my opinion:

I am one of those people @Mad Ax is referring to who has a large backlog of bodies to paint. It's not so much that I hate painting as much as I hate masking, and masking is a big part of painting a body nicely in many cases. Cutting out bodies also makes me nervous, and since there is only one right way to cut a body, I'd prefer for it to be pre-cut if possible. While on one hand it would be a big relief for me to buy a kit and find that the body has been pre-cut and prepainted, I will also lament the loss of the option to make my RC shell unique, different, "mine". What I would probably end up doing to a Top Force Evo for example, is getting a spare clear bodyset to paint the way I want, but the benefit of having the prepainted body is that I can build it and immediately have fun with it until I finally get around to cutting and painting the clear shell, so frankly it's a win-win for me.

Just my 2c.

Edit:

Tamiya may also be thinking more about the global market, where it is difficult (ask me how I know) to import paint from abroad due to its tendency to go bang if not handled properly. So a kit with a pre-painted body is more international-customer-friendly if that makes sense. This is all the more true with the pandemic forcing many to order things online as opposed to going down to the nearest LHS in person to pick up paint. Most stores only sell paint to walk-in customers, not online.

Edited by DeadMeat666
Forgot to add a bit.
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My kids and I paint our cars in our team colours so the pre-painted shells are a big put off to us.

We will not buy a kit with a pre-painted shell as we'd then need to spend more money on buying an unpainted shell, if that was even available. 

In fact we were recently buying some new cars and specifically avoided the pre-painted ones and got kits with clear shells.

I wouldn't mind if the kit came with both a clear and painted shell but then they would probably charge more and the prices are already high for what you get. 

My middle daughter has painted (or had me paint) all her shells in yellow as that is her favourite colour. Youngest daughter has gone for dark gunmetal on all hers and I have irridescent purple/green on all mine. Although, I'm switching to a new brighter team colour so I have four more shells to paint now LOL

We each like to be different, we don't like doing everything box art as it is boring. We like to display our own individuality. My middle daughter even has her own bespoke coloured decals on her Thundershot and Egress and youngest had me cut the other colours off her vanquish and thundershot decals to just leave the red stripes. :)

Youngest Mudlets Team

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Middle Mudlets Team

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My Team

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As you can see, not a box art in sight. I think the Aqroshot is the closest but even that has a few changes from box art.

 

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I will avoid pre-painted Lexan bodies becouse doing that yourself is a huge part in making in personal an bieng creative,  also hope this trend with ready build Tamiyas is not taking over to much.

They could pre-cut the Lexan bodies, the worst part of a build is using scissors on that Lexan body, i can do without that part. 

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I agree, one of the best parts of building a Tamiya kit for me is painting the body.  Sometimes its a pain (especially in the winter months with cold weather), but I feel a much closer attachment to vehicles I've painted/detailed myself.  

I will say one thing - I'm always looking through the TC Showroom to see what alternate colors people are using on bodies and I'm always surprised to see just how many don't change the color and go with box art.  Maybe Tamiya noticed this and figured it would be nice to help the 90% of people out that go with box art anyway.  Wishful thinking I'm sure, it's most likely just a sales pitch to get more people to buy the kits that are put off by clear bodies that need to be finished.  I think most (TC members excluded) would prefer to just build the kit and go.  That's if they even have the patience to build a kit in the first place, most just want to open a box and make a YouTube video of them absuing a new RC all within 15 minutes of the package showing up at their door. 

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@87lc2 - Without checking first time i did try to paint  Lexan it was on my my Top-Force at winter time, that did not go well and all paint just ran off and collected inn the deep spots in Lexan body, did the rest in the basement in my Block and it turned out ok at the end.

There are som diffrent approaches to this hobby (as expected really) i learned on this forum yes, there are collectors, youtubers and "pimp my ride" , but as long as you do what you enjoy and dont spend money you do not have i do not see any wrong doing in that. From what you describe im probably approach this hobby like you. I did go a litle nuts on my first Build The Grasshopper regarding "Bling" but o soon found out that that was not for me, im usually fine with a propper bearing set and probably new oil dampers if they ar e to shady. 

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For limited edition releases and most of re-release's now on the 47...... Model numbers I think it's a good idea to release pre-cut and pre-painted bodyshells for the first batch or few months.....like a bonus feature Tamiya used to do with kits.......then, on batch number two if the kit has been selling quite well and warrants further production this would be the time to just put a clear body in, which might also allow a small drop in price as the popularity starts to decline 

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I built the Tyrell 6 wheeler last year with pre painted body and when cutting out the paint cracked and flaked around the cutting.  Unless they are pre cut as well I will try and avoid all together as cannot see the point in them.  I have also primed over and repainting the driver to give it a better look rather than shiny unrealistic it has currently.  So I received no benefit from pre painted shell.  Don't get me wrong, I am not brilliant at the whole masking and painting thing, but at least any blemishes are as a direct result of me learning and practicing and I can say its all my own work.  :)

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As much as this move on Tamiyas part confuses me, I'm sure as @Badcrumble says, they did some research before before implementing this change. Though I can't say I understand why a company making models would remove the freedom of paint choice from their customers. For me I'm not all that bothered as long as they release shells and decals seperately so I can ruin them just the way I like it as that's seldom the box art style.

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For me I do not like pre painted bodies, I like to paint them myself and I never paint them in boxart, so I am not so happy if tamiya brings out all the kits with pre painted bodies, wanted to buy the new firedragon but I hate the red body, and then you must hope that tamiya is going to sell enough spare bodyshells to paint it yourself, a lot of people buy more then one so you have to be fast to get one.

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I've only had one so far, the King Yellow I just finished building. I was fine with it for that one; I mean, it's a school bus. What other color am I going to paint it? And the paint job is good quality (better than my hack decal job, actually).

I go back and forth on whether I want to paint or not. I'm not a huge fan of working with Lexan anyway, and sometimes when I get to the end of the build I just want to slap a finished body on it and go. But there are times when I really get into it, and enjoy coming up with my own paint schemes, or color variations on the box-art.

What I really hate is applying large decals to a Lexan shell. Apply them dry, and you end up with a ton of bubbles. Apply them wet, and you have to try to line everything up while holding on to a slippery bendy piece of plastic. If pre-painted shells also came pre-decaled, I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about them. Especially on models where box-art is the obvious choice, like race liveries or really iconic re-release kits (like the Dragons).

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I'd rather they offer precut bodies and more stickers to help with masking rather than paint. I recently got the King Yellow and at the time of ordering was a little bummed that it wasn't the precolored shell which would have saved me some time, but the reality is that when they offer these prepainted shells it's usually just one color which happens to be the easiest thing to paint. Due to the color matched stickers of the King Yellow I'm limited to camel yellow, but even in this case I was able to customize it by adding some metallic flake to make the body my own.

Edit: Oh how funny @markbt73! I didn't read the whole thread before posting, but I guess I won't be the only King Yellow cruising around Portland! :D I haven't done my decals yet....any pro tips?

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@100mega use Scotch Tape to hold the decal where you want it, remove only part off paper at other end and gently apply sticker from Tape end and out, then remove Tape in other end and do the same. After i started doing this i always get the decals where i want with no bubbles. There are ofc stil problems with corners etc but carefully use a hairdryer on  decal and it will melt around corners nicely, you can also go all over body with hairdryer because it makes the decals melt into Lexan body so it looks better, just dont melt them to much.

Edit:Decal is probably right term for 1/24 models (the one you put in water), so correct name is probably, sticker :)

 

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1 hour ago, 100mega said:

Edit: Oh how funny @markbt73! I didn't read the whole thread before posting, but I guess I won't be the only King Yellow cruising around Portland! :D I haven't done my decals yet....any pro tips?

Don't bother with the decals for the bumpers or front wheel arches. If you want those black, just paint them black on the outside.

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15 minutes ago, Super ally said:

The thunder dragon comes with pre cut and painted body as well.

Another one to scratch off the list then.... :lol:

I'm guessing these are all for collectors?

All I can say is that whoever made this decision doesn't have kids. If my two youngest ended up with identical buggies racing around the track there would be arguments galore. At least with their own team colours we know who is to blame for an accident..... :D

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You could sell the body and buy a tbg one? Although at the moment it might take four months to get it!

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Really?! Ergh.

Not that i could afford to pick one up, particulary once we add on the usual BS Aus Dollar Tax haha.

But i agree, pre-painted bodies are not my thing at all, and an instant turnoff. Its why i have not bothered with VQS at this stage either. I've said in previous posts, im not against box art, its just not my thing - particulary in a kit where im building something, i want to make it unique and my own.

As for why Tamiya is doing this ... perhaps it allows them to hike up the price for "collectors" only, assuming the laymen RC and Tamiya fan doesnt want a re-re to run anymore ? Because surely it cant be cheaper for them from a manufacturing/labour POV to have them pre-painted.

@Super ally are you sure about this ? I was actually tihking of the Thunder Dragon when it comes out ? Do you know if Fire Dragon is also pre-painted , as i just saw a pre-order go up at LHS for it here ?

With any generic on-road touring car, i can forgive it, as chassis is standard and pretty much any body/shell will fit on any chassis. As such you have an abundance of choices from cheap-as-chips bodies with minimal moulding definition to high quality Tamiya bodies.

The problem lies with the re-re in particular, as unless im looking in the wrong spots when i randomly browse, but actually finding a clear unpainted shell as a standalone purchase is near imposible. You can still se the Frog, HotShot and Fox bodies, but outside of that its very hard to find any re-re bodies; or newer bodies such as Neo Fighter etc (please point me in the direction if you know) - im guessing Tamiya has even given up on that side of the product line with most options now being people exploding their NIB kits out for parts trees etc on eBay ?

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11 hours ago, simalarion said:

They could pre-cut the Lexan bodies, the worst part of a build is using scissors on that Lexan body, i can do without that part. 

You need to start using the score and fold technique :)

100x easier 

JJ

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5 hours ago, Problemchild said:

You need to start using the score and fold technique :)

100x easier 

JJ

Agree, I dont think its the worst part. Especially for this technique. 

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The latest fire dragon rere is pre-painted and cut

@Ryz82

 

 

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3 hours ago, taffer said:

The latest fire dragon rere is pre-painted and cut

@Ryz82

 

 

Oh FFS! Guess like everything else its hold off, and hope spare bodies become available before the kits go OOS or become over inflated price wise, and then pick them up. Either way, not looking like much hope.

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