Model: (Click to see more) 58346: The Grasshopper
Status: NIB
Date: 8-Dec-2005
Comments: 2
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Bought this re-release Grasshopper on Thursday night, 1st December 2005, from 'Model Zone' (formerly 'The Model Centre') in Liverpool, England, 12 miles away from my house, in St.John's Shopping Centre [on the lower floor] (late night shopping in Liverpool on Thursdays near Christmas with 50p train fare, WHSmith's magazine shop open 'till 9 : 00 p.m., Model Zone open until at least 6 : 00 p.m.) with a perfect box but was a complete rip off compared to what I am used to paying (they are 35 GBP from HK), at 70 GBP!!! Damn The Hobby Company Limited (UK importer). Our country is an expensive ripoff for Tamiya!


This shop is called 'Model Zone', so it says on the free catalogues and bags, as well as on my receipt, even though it says 'The Model Centre' on the shop sign! This exact same shop at this exact location used to be 'Beatties of London', and RIKO (Richard Kohnstam) used to be the importer, Beatties was the shop chain that sold the stuff. They both went bust about 5 years ago (as though they were linked in some way). 'The Model Centre' took over the Beatties shop in St.John's Shopping Centre in Liverpool. It still says 'The Model Centre' over the door, but the catalogues on the counter in the shop, and the plastic shopping bags that they give you, and my receipt for my GH, all say Model Zone on them. Now the UK sole importer (exclusive rights to UK distribution) are The Hobby Company Ltd.


The front and rear wheels and tyres from the original Grasshopper and the re-release Grasshopper are identical to the ones on the original Sand Scorcher (which is due for re-release this summer according to 'official sources' / rumours).


It felt really good to hold The Smoothee and Padlatrak tyres in my hands from the Sand
Scorcher!!! 8-)


My TC pal Mike just also got his hands on a GH for Xmas, and said to me '>Hornet came with a 540? Right?', and I replied
'Yep. The original Hornet came with a Mabuchi brand RS-540S to be exact. Plastic endbell ! Very slightly shorter length IIRC (about 1mm difference). Don't know what brand the re-re Hornet comes with. A Johnson electric one I presume, like all the other cheaper Tamiya kits.


BTW the Mabuchi RS-540S seems to be optimised for lower voltage operation (higher efficiency at 6V compared with RS-540SH and Johnson 540, and doesn't like 12V much?) whereas the Mabuchi RS-540SH that replaced it seems to be optimised for 12V operation and likes as much voltage as you can give it in R/C use, and has much higher efficiency at 12V than 6V (disproportionally so compared with the RS-540S). Although it is now hard to get hard facts about the RS-540S since there is no data sheet available for it that I have ever found since it is long since discontinued, as far as I am aware. The more expensive Tamiya kits like the Tractor
Trucks come with a genuine Mabuchi brand RS-540SH, the details for it are here ;-

http://www.mabuchi-motor.co.jp/en_US/cat_files/rs_540rhsh.pdf


To those of us that came from the 1980's, a Mabuchi brand motor is the one to go for since Mabuchi dominated in the Tamiya catalogues in the 1980's and they introduced
the 'progressive' motors such as the RS-540SD Special motor and the RS-540SD RED motor (Red plastic endbell IIRC, higher RPM), and RS-540SD BLACK motor (more torque, black plastic endbell), and also they introduced the first ever modified motors like the RX-540SD TECHNIPOWER and the GOD of propulsion, the RX-540VZ TECHNIGOLD. All hail to the power of Technigold, bow down before it etc LOL. Seriously, this is how we view this motor on the TC vintage
forum, it's burned into us, mentally. We can't help it.
For me personally, NIB Technigold = Heaven.


BTW here's what RS-540 means ;-

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=24847


For the Grasshopper, the RS-380S motor that used to be supplied by Mabuchi, for the original Grasshopper kit, is now discontinued, so Tamiya could have opted to include the replacement Mabuchi RS-380SH with the re-release GH ;-

http://www.mabuchi-motor.co.jp/en_US/cat_files/rs_380sh.pdf


...but instead they went with the 'Johnson Electric' 380 sized one for the re-release Grasshopper kit. The 380 type motor has about 1/2 the performance of the 540 sized motor. You can see the 380 type motor made by Johnson Electric on their website at ;-

http://www.johnsonelectric.com/product/product_sheet/fect_sheet.php?ProdID=117--A


http://www.johnsonelectric.com/product/product_sheet/images/pdf/BP03014.pdf


...A pity since I am a huge fan of Mabuchi, I just can't help it.


Also, check this out ;-

http://www.johnsonelectric.com

...select products, then 'Advanced Search', then in Application type in 'R/C' and you will see the 540 type motor that they do as well so that you can compare them both.


http://www.johnsonelectric.com/product/product_sheet/fect_sheet.php?ProdID=129--A

http://www.johnsonelectric.com/product/product_sheet/images/pdf/BP03026.pdf


BTW the re-re GH has a press fitted pinion (no grub screw) on that 'little' 380 motor. See the last picture at the bottom of this showroom entry to compare the 380 to the 540. The 380 still has 1/2 the torque of the 540, it isn't too small. Also it has the same RPM as the stock 540. Run time with 3300mAh should be wonderful i.e. sit back and relax in your favourite chair on the patio and drive it until you fall asleep LOL. No need to keep changing battery packs! If you put a 540 motor in it then it will go rediculously quickly (and it will need oil filled rear shocks at least, if you do that, to stop the bouncing), but personally I will never fit a 540 since I don't want to chew up and ruin the beautiful tyres'.


With this and my re-release XR311 and also my Leo 2 A6 1/16th Tank that I just bought, it's turning out to be a NIB Tamiya Xmas LOL :-)


In this same shop they had a new built Grasshopper and Hornet in the shop window (shop is inside a shopping centre so there is no fading or U/V damage) but they would not let me buy them, despite me pleading with the Manager of
Model Zone.


I was so excited to see a to see a new built Grasshopper and Hornet in the window of Model Zone's shop, it felt like I was back in 1987 looking into the model shop window at Southport all over again...Golden memories...*sigh*, it brought a warm glow to my heart, even if they would not let me buy them LOL!


My USA TC good pal Shawn told me '> Cool you finally bought it. I know about the prices it's a damn rip off. Why didn't you get it from HK or Tower?', and I replied ;-

'When I was a little boy I used to go to this exact same shop (back then it used to be called BEATTIES of London, and I think that they were linked in someway to the old UK importer RIKO
- Richard Kohnstam - since when Beatties went bust, RIKO dissappeared as well) and I used to gaze in wonder at all the lovely models in the window, but all I could afford was just one single catalogue and certainly no kits!


It was such a revelation to go back there on Thursday and be able to buy anything that I wanted in the shop, it felt good. I wanted to feel the experience, at least for once, of getting a Tamiya kit from an actual real model shop, it was a novel and new experience that I did enjoy I must admit, but as I was handing over the money it felt as if I was slashing my own wrists!! Paying full UK retail price really sucks!


Still if we don't support our favourite hobby shop (and that one is certainly mine) then it will dissappear. Already my other old favourite and beloved childhood haunt, 'The Model Shop (Southport) Ltd.' (at 17/19 Bold Street, see http://www.tamiyaclub.com/member.asp?id=5475) in the coastal resort of Southport 30 miles from me has now long since dissappeared to make way for a charity shop, and my other favourite old childhood haunt, 'Model World', in Liverpool, has now dissappeared to become a gent's hairdressers... AArrrgghhh (see 1st page of http://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=25325&sid=5475). Like I say, use 'em or loose 'em. Permanently.


Shawn also asked me '> I thought you always wanted to build them yourself?', and I replied 'I was afraid that they would sell out in every shop and that I would never get anymore of them. Fusion Hobbies and Time Tunnel models have already sold out several times and Fusion said that the importer (you know who LOL) won't be getting anymore until January... so I thought about getting every Hornet and Grasshopper that I could get my hands on... We have a saying in the North of England ;-


'A BIRD I'TH HAND IS WORTH TWO I'TH BUSH' !!!!!


... in fact the local pub in Town is actually called this!! 'I'th' meaning 'In'th' meaning 'in the'.


TIP : In the shop, MAKE SURE THAT THEY DO NOT RIP THE BOX WHEN THEY TAKE OFF THE SHOP-ADDED SELLOTAPED ON PRICE TAG. I have seen this happen before...


UPDATE :- 11th December 2005 ;- My TC pal Mike said to me '>What method of steering does the grasshopper use?', and I replied 'The Grasshopper steering is very elementary and simple. Not much to go wrong or replace when you smash it up LOL. Cheap parts so cheap to buy spares LOL.
Direct acting, with very simple steering with servo saver and NO bell cranks. A standard S148 Futaba servo should fit the bill very nicely since the car is so light that it does not need a high torque servo or high torque servo saver (unlike my MB 1838LS which needed both LOL)
to steer on carpet indoors when stationary'.


UPDATE :- 13th December 2005 ;- My TC pal Mike said to me '>You bought the last one that was available locally! LOL. The Model Centre [in the Trafford Centre, in Manchester] haven't had any GH's either, looks like i might be ordering from Japan after all! ', and I replied 'Yeah, Fusion Hobbies told me that the importer (The Hobby Company Limited i.e. the SCUM bags IMHO) are sold out and won't be getting any until January. When I was busy 'phoning Fusion about this, turns out that a guy had bought 8 of them just a day or 2 before I 'phoned and they were now sold out of Hornets and GH's. Like I have said, Tamiya have completely underestimated the market for these two re-releases, and have only been able to supply fully their Japanese domestic
market it seems (they get them for 7400 Yen including Japanese sales tax, like it says on the box, i.e. 35 GBP, god it makes you sick, doesn't it, compared to what we pay in the UK) and cannot supply the rest of the world with enough of them apparently (yet)'.


If you want to see just how rediculous the prices are that we pay in the UK, just have a look at these RRP's ;-

http://www.modelsinmotion.co.uk/category.asp?catcode=52&tamiya=268


...75 GBP full retail price for a Grasshopper indeed?! The Hobby Company should be investigated by the consumer price fixing authorities in my personal opinion.


UPDATE :- 14th December 2005 ;- My TC pal Mike said to me '>I also wanted to show you this..

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=3351&id=394


...They are GH1's sporting Sand Scorcher 'style' bodysets :-)', and I replied 'WOW! Nice. Not seen that before. Yes you are quite right, and I must add that they cannot be original SS shells since something looks different about them, and of course no one in their right mind is going to cut the rear wheel arches off a real SS shell, or even a Monster Beetle shell or a Blitzer Beetle shell, so they must be ABS reproduction shells? BTW one point to mention, I know that it may seem a small point but it is worth mentioning I feel, and that is that ABS IS NOT STYRENE. Maybe you know that anyway! On the under side of white Tamiya shells it says '>PS<' on all the more modern ones which obviously means PolyStyrene, i.e. a polymer of the Styrene molecule. PS is also called Styrol resin. The solvent for this is liquid styrene cement and acetone and Benzine and all kinds of other organic solvents will dissolve it if you are not careful. By organic I mean have Carbon in them.


ABS is AcryloNitrile Butadiene Styrene, and is a different molecule with different
properties.


Styrene is brittle and hard and is thus easy to get super detailing from, in moulds. It also breaks more easily on impacts as you know. It's still tough though and won't
break or crack *that* easily when you mould it with a great enough wall thickness. However it is heavy (high density) but this is good IMHO because it allows for a car with more momentum i.e. more realistic, closer to scale characteristics which I love so much.


ABS is soft, and thus difficult to mould fine details into it. It's much tougher than PS. It's less dense than Styrol resin (IIRC) so a bit lighter. Does not break easily on impacts. That's why they made the hump pack battery cases and the BlackFoot / Frog / Subaru Brat / etc ORV spaceframe chassis out of it. The only successful solvent for ABS is MethylEthylKetone (MEK). Although, white spirit seems
to soften 20 year old ABS tremendously (wonder how I know that LOL, see my showroom entry on my hump pack battery for this!)'.


Mike also added '>NEEDLESS TO SAY this caught my eye... And so did the ABS Repro. Bodysets on EBay!', and I replied 'Yeah. Actually there is a Lexan repro. SS shell on Ebay by Keith at Kamtech, and he also has an ABS SS repro. shell. Maybe they are what they are using in this TC showroom entry, but I am only supposing, ask them to make sure. I personally have never had any dealings with Keith, so *usual disclaimer*. I can't deny that the original or re-release Grasshopper chassis (which also happens to have real
original SS wheels and tyres front and rear on both the original GH or the re-re GH) look really cute and nice and go very well with those repro shells. It might be an idea to
e-mail that guy who has that showroom (via TC mail system) and ask the guy as to exactly WHICH repro shells these are i.e. are they Lexan or ABS and who is it who made them, and where did he buy them from etc, and how did he mount them to the GH chassis, and is it a re-re GH chassis that he is using, and so-on...


If it were me, I would probably do what a lot of TC members have done who cannot afford a NIB SS body set, and use a NIB or used Monster Beetle shell or a Blitzer Beetle shell. They look very very similar to the SS shell (alas mounting holes are not in the right places for the SRB chassis and have to be re-drilled and old ones filled etc) and you can also use Blitzer Beetle chrome headlights and windscreen wipers and VW chrome badge and have a car which you almost can't tell from a SS.


Differences between the SS and MB and BB shells are all over the TC Vintage Forum (which I seem to spend my life on), you only have to do a SEARCH (no use posting new
questions as they have probably been answered before and it helps us all if we can keep all the info in 1 topic, you know what I mean). I just did a quick search myself, and some
examples are ;-

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2756

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7450

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1200


...this is the best one.


http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21461

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22347


I am afraid that the only way that we can have a real true SS is to either bid on Ebay for a very used one or to slowly collect NIP parts for it over a couple of years, or to get a real NIB or wait until about Summer 2006 when
we reckon that Shunsaku Tamiya might decide to answer our prayers with a re-re SS'.


Mike also said to me '>I have a question.. Can the rear wheels of the Grasshopper move independant of each other, like ;- Right wheel on floor -------- Left heel on a box ?. From the instruction manual which I have downloaded it looks like the full axle moves when one side is compressed, is this true?', and I replied 'You are absolutely correct my friend, the whole rear suspension pivots but IS NOT INDEPENDANT, it's a rigid, rolling rear axle. What I mean is, both rear tyres are level with each other at all times, and go up and down simultaneously. It is the HORNET that allows it's own rigid rear axle to twist so that e.g. left rear wheel can go up and down independant from the right rear wheel. See the Grasshopper video ;-

http://www.rcgrabbag.com/rccars/videos/classic_tamiya.htm


...click on the DivX avi one.


In that video you can see that yes you are dead right about the GH suspension, but notice that near the end of the video that it shows you the GH UPGRADE KIT that makes the suspension independant like the Hornet. I don't know if you can still get the GH upgrade kit or as to whether it will even fit onto the re-re. I'll bet that you can get the GH upgrade kit on the Bay or from a TC member though. It might fit and it might not with the re-re. Best to ask in the TC forum I think.
As you can see from the video though, it bouces about like a real dune buggy! That's why it was called the Grasshopper! So some of the charm is the non-twisting back suspension!


If you get a Hornet then only the front wheels and tyres are SS, the rear tyres are from the Super Champ etc. So the Hornet chassis would look daft under a repro SS shell 'cause it will then have the wrong tyres!'.


I added 'Mike, here's a 'Heads Up' for you on the GH suspension upgrade kit ;-

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14978

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=20277

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=25311


...that last one is a reflective post mentioning the GH by my mate Hilbernaculum in Australia.


...I have asked the relevant question in the first post (dragged it back up from the past and hijacked it LOL) and some Tamiya GOD like MIRAMAR is bound to know the answer. That's the cool thing about TC... Well over 10,000 members, and a community of like minded 'usual suspects' to converse with like Theo and Shodog etc..Good stuff!'.


UPDATE :- 17th December ;- I 'phoned Model Zone in Liverpool for some bullet connectors for my Ford Ranger, and got the them to order me some in. They say it'll take a few weeks. I'll be going back there as soon as they get some more re-release Tamiya models in. They have had no more in as of yet. They tell me that they have ordered 2 of every re-re as they have had quite a lot of customers asking for them they say! This is good news for us Vintage Tamiya nuts!


UPDATE :- 18th December 2005 ;- I said to my TC pal Mike 'You may have some 'fun' fitting the 380 motor, when I came to fit mine I discovered that the there was so much flex in the 380 motor mount (plastic adapter plate) that you have to be careful to check for smooth (well, sort of) gearbox action when tightening the screws on the motor mount. Also my (Glass Filled in the re-re maybe?) presumably Nylon [the original GH had a Nylon differential] spur gear was running
slightly off centre by about 0.5mm or so which does not sound like much but this, in combination with the flex in the motor mount, caused my gearbox to become jammed up
and the motor either stalled or ran very slowly, and motor and ESC got quite hot.


However I found that by loosening the screws on the motor mount and by pushing the motor as far towards the front of the car as you can, whilst retightening the screws (as there is
some play in the assembly) then allowed sufficient clearance for the gearing to run reasonably freely. With no wheels fitted, only about 3 per cent throttle movement on the
throttle stick / motor / ESC combination was needed to make the motor run, which was pleasing when I finally managed this. I am using the stock plastic bearings for the
time being. My gearbox actually runs better and more smoothly in reverse! Fowards is reasonable, until you come to 1/2 motor RPM and then resonances start in the motor / gearbox due to the stiffness of the materials and the mass of them and the large air space (sounding box / vibration chamber) occuring in the gearbox! Above about 75 per cent throttle the resonance dies down... boy it's one noisy
gearbox though LOL'.


My TC pal Mike then asked me '>Is that because of the age, and is there any way to sort this out?', and I replied 'Age? I don't undertstand what you are getting at? My re-re GH was manufactured in year 2005 from (I think) the old CAD models from year 1984 (TekniCAD software by Tektronix, that
Tamiya used to use in the 1980's, on DEC 4000 series VAX workstations, see ;-

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/xforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2411&whichpage=2&SearchTerms=teknicad )


..that Tamiya imported into their modern software and manufactured new moulds from. At least I assume that this is how it was done.


Alternatively, they could have used the old 1984 master pattern moulds I suppose (the ones that they make copies from so that they can run off 1000's of mouldings from them), if they still had them.


My GH is the re-release kit, so it can't be more than about 8 months old since it was manufactured in 2005, since this kit was only released this year. The original GH was issued in 1984 and has the item number 58043. Mine does NOT say 58043 on the box, and my box is NOT yellowed with age. My box has item number 58346 on it, so it is definitely a re-re GH.
BTW Notice that the re-re GH box does NOT say that it is Made in Japan. That's because it ISN'T!! ALL of Tamiya's re-re's are manufactured in their own sister factory in the
Philippines. Here's where the Philippines are ;-

http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?client=public&X=13000000&Y=2000000&width=
500&height=300&gride=&gridn=&srec=0&coordsys
=mercator&db=w3&addr1=&addr2=&addr3=&pc=
&advanced=&local=&localinfosel=&kw=&inmap=
&table=&ovtype=&keepicon=&zm=0&scale=
40000000&multimap.x=298&multimap.y=166


It actually says so on the side of the box. It is only Tamiya's new models i.e. new designs that are still Made in Japan, like my Leopard 2 A6 Tamiya R/C Tank is.


The resonance with the gearbox is simply a result of the volume of air inside the gearbox and the stiffness / vibration absorbing properties of the materials and the motor vibration
and the concentricity of the gears. If all of the gears ran perfectly concentrically, and the motor's armature was also perfectly balanced (which it most certainly is not in a mass
produced motor) then the gearbox would be close to completely silent since there would be no source of vibration energy to make the resonance start. However if the armature is imbalanced by only 0.2 gram, remember that it is multiplied up by 150 rotations per SECOND at 9000 RPM (for example) and you can see why there is significant vibration...


The age of the components is irrelevant. It is their physical properties that determines what happens. In any case, ALL of the the components are only a few months old since this is a year 2005 re-release kit!


BTW did you notice the text '7400' along with the Japanese Katakana symbol for 'Yen' on the box, showing that, if you put 7400 JPY into www.xe.com/ucc , you will see that this is the retail price in Japan (about 35 GBP!). Basically what 'The Hobby Company Ltd.' do is simply to double the cost of whatever the Jap. retail price is and then put a pound sign infront of it!'.


Mike then said '>What I meant when I asked if it was because the gearbox was old, was that it is an old DESIGN, sorry, should have made myself more clear on that one ;)', and I replied 'Oh I see. Don't think that the age of the design has anything to do with it. Tamiya created many cars before that one in 1984. For example the SRB's are from 1978 (RR, SS) and 1981 (XLT) and they have gearboxes that run nice and quietly (at least, my XLT does). The again they are nearly all metal buggies. Tamiya also created the Hilux long before 1984, so I think that they knew very well what
they were doing with gearbox design long before 1984' ;-

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/car.asp?id=28


Mike replied '>I understand where you're coming from with the gearbox statement, but why is the GH gearbox like that? Do you think that maybe ballracing it would help?', and I replied 'I doubt it very much. The natural harmonic
resonance, caused by the materials' physical properties, plus the Spur gear running slightly unconcentrically, is what makes my own GH gearbox quite noisy, and I can't see how ballracing it changes those two facts...'.


Mike also said to me '>I don't plan on running the 380 for a great deal of time, I have a 540 motor ready for it', and I replied 'To install a 540 type motor ;- You will need (according to the original GH manual) SP5192 i.e SPARES no. 192, 'Subaru Brat 540 pinion gear set' (which hopefully should have the required Allen key and the grub screw included).


According to the re-re GH manual, you will need Tamiya part #9805997 (BTW hash = # means 'number') which is the '18T pinion for 540 type motors', it comes with 3mm grub screw and hex (Allen) wrench for it. James at Fusion stocks a lot of
these kinds of spares (price 300 Yen or about 2 GBP, or about 5 GBP knowing the UK). Oh I just checked and he hasn't got it listed ! ;-

http://www.fusionhobbies.com/Tamiya_Spares.pdf


Hang on a mo and I'll try Time Tunnel ;-

http://www.goldstarstockists.com/tamiyaparts/tpx/7digits9.htm


Usually in situations like this I 'phone Fusion and they contact The Hobby Company Ltd., and they order it in specially, which can take up to 8 weeks (so they have told me in the past) as it has to come via surface mail from Japan I think.


As an example, I wanted some spare LED's so that I could have 3mm reversing lights on my MB1838LS instead of the 5mm ones because the 5mm ones are really too bright.
Fusion did not stock them (neither did anyone else) so I gave them the Tamiya parts codes [they are from the 260 GBP Multi Function Unit set] and they ordered them in especially via The Hobby Company Ltd. direct from Japan. Delivery was about 3 weeks, not too bad in that case. Price was full retail (13 GBP per LED set IIRC) so what's new...


BTW the original GH High Performance Suspension Set is Spares #224 i.e. SP5224. Theo has one apparently'.


Mike then said '>I have already inspected the contents of the box.. had to see if it was all there ;) of course', and I replied 'Well you have to, for peace of mind's sake, just incase someone has nicked off with the tyres to put on their Sand Scorcher LOL. Actually, it's the same with the Tamiya 'R/C Boys' 'WILD CEPTOR' ;-

http://www.goldstarstockists.com/playtime/tamiya-heritage.htm

http://www.goldstarstockists.com/logos/57606.jpg


...if you look closely (like if you buy the Tamiya 2005 catalogue or Tamiya 2005 R/C Guide Book), you will see that the tyres are identical to those on the FORD RANGER XLT!!
So most people get a Wild Ceptor from HK for 20 quid and pinch the tyres out of it for use on their Ranger! Of course, if you spend any time on the TC Vintage Forum like I do then you will find out that the old Ranger / Subaru Brat / Mitsubishi Pajero (original wheelie one not the PjMTW) has tyres of a much softer compound, whereas the Wild Ceptor's compound is quite a bit harder and the rubber is almost impossible to stretch over the Ranger wheels!!'.


Mike then said to me '>I had a good play with 'The Smoothee' and 'Padlatrak' tyres too, they're awesome, they feel nothing like tyres on modern cars, they feel really soft, hence why the
car won't see much on-road action, especially with a 27T Rebuiladble 540 motor that I am putting into it', and I replied 'Yeah it's funny, most modern cars have stupidly fast motors in them and so the tyres get torn to pieces if you use a soft compound tyre. Vintage Tamiya tyres are soft
compound ones from a time when R/C vehicles went more slowly and more realistically (speeds a little more close to scale speeds instead of being so fast these days that you
can barely keep your eyes on them they are just a blur!). Tamiya are well aware that the vintage market that likes re-releases to be as original as possible, and Tamiya are also well aware that people buy these re-re GH's for re-shodding their old SS's (Sand Scorcher) which have knackered tyres, and thus Tamiya have reproduced these tyres in a softer compound, which is similar to the original SS tyres compound, fortunately for us'.


Mike also said to me '> I know that this is rather daft of me, but upon reading my instruction manual today, I have realised that I have to paint the bodyshell, I thought that it was just left white as standard (embarrased face!)', and I replied 'You don't have to paint it LOL, it's up to you mate. Actually there is quite a difference between the colour of the GH shell as moulded (cream colour, slightly off white) and
the pure white colour of Tamiya's TS-26 Synthetic Lacquer spray paint. The plus point is that if you paint it then the body shell won't get quite as scratched and scuffed if you crash it etc.. You asked about what paints to use on your styrene body... Well the answer is that Tamiya Acrylics (X-Series) in the 10ml jars are perfectly safe for use on these PolyStyrene bodyshells, and also their Synthetic Lacquer 100ml sprays (TS Series) are completely safe for use on Styrene as well. However please note that you CANNOT paint TS paints over acrylics or enamels, whereas you CAN paint acrylics or enamels OVER TS paints. PS and PC Tamiya paints are NOT suitable, they are for Polycarbonate and contain etching chemicals.


Enamels from Tamiya come in 10ml bottles, and are only available by mail order from Japan. If you *really* want them then you can get them from where I did (HobbyWorld, Japan). You'll need a credit card for this. The Enamels are slow drying with a glossy finish. Acrylics (fast drying) and TS sprays are imported by the UK importer and are available from Fusion Hobbies. In ModelZone they are 4.50 GBP each (full UK retail price) but from Fusion they are only 4 GBP. If you are a TC subscriber like me then they will do you 10 per cent off everything so it's even cheaper (3.60 GBP). BTW You cannot personally import spray paints since they are flammable and pressurised'.


My TC pal Mike then asked me '>To convert my GH to having Hornet rear suspension, do I need to buy the 'Damper Parts Bag', this contains the 2 torsion springs for the pivoting assembly, but do I actually NEED these?', and I replied 'The best answer (as far as I can make out by comparing the Hornet and GH manuals
simultaneously as best I can) that I can give you is that you need the Hornet D tree and the Hornet Blister pack B AND the Hornet Damper Parts Bag. You will have to find the modern re-release Hornet equivalent for these parts. This is going to be tricky since there is no manual on TC for the re-re Hornet yet. So I can't check the Hornet re-re manual for you as I don't have one ! Actually your best bet might be Theo. He's a great guy and he can be trusted 100 per cent and he said that he has an original GH High Performance Suspension Kit that would fit the re-re GH (so he says), you could ask him how much he wants for it...'.


Mike then said to me '>In my instruction manual there is a slip of paper explaining how page 6 was wrong, because one of the screws wasn't circled', and I replied 'Yeah I noticed that this was shown in this TC member's showroom entry here;-

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=35876&id=3202


...it's for a missing line and circle. My manual has no correction sheet and the circle is missing on page 6, but there IS a line connecting 'BC2' with the screw, so mine is correct anyway! BTW I found this showroom entry while I was looking for the above, it shows the original GH kit along side the new one so you can directly compare them ;-

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=35641&id=1743


...very useful, I found.


Notice that the original GH had 'Recaro' and other stickers that required Tamiya to pay a license fee since these are copyright. The re-releases omit these e.g. they have now put 'Brite-Lite' in place of the original 'Cibie' and 'KC Daylighter', i.e. these days they have to get rid of the proper original real brand names and use made up ones instead. Pity really.


Chris does repro decals, or you can get scans of the originals, so if you ever need to reproduce the original ones (just to replace the new made up ones if nothing else) then it is possible, thank goodness'.


UPDATE :- 22nd December 2005 ;- My TC pal Mike said to me '>Just been to 'The Model Centre' In the Trafford Centre, Manchester, and picked up TS27 (Matte White, didn't have TS26 Pure White, this was closest)', and I replied 'You can use TS-13 Clear over the TS27 Matte White to make it glossy and protect the Styrene plastic surface from scratch damage in crashes'.


UPDATE :- 27th December 2005 ;- My TC pal Mike said '>I have built my Grasshopper, and with the performance, I was surprised...VERY Surprised, it isn't much of a slouch with the 380 really', and I replied 'Yep, the GH is very lightweight and nimble and the 380 motor still has the same RPM no load as the 540, just 1/2 the torque and 1/2 the power but you don't need much power to get Padlatracks going on a smooth surface :-)'


Mike also said '>Is it me or have the GH tyres got no grip... LOL, just playing on my floor indoors (laminate floor) the tyres were slipping at any given moment with the 380, for example whilst doing a little 'climbing' driving with one wheel on the fire place marble, and one on the floor, the tyres were spinning very easily...', and I replied 'Yeah, they are really designed for soil, grass (to a lesser extent), and mainly, SAND! The treads are designed like a bucket scoop and so are very effective on sand [MAKE SURE TO ORIENTATE THE TREAD PATTERN THE CORRECT WAY AROUND like the manual shows you], where other tyres would not be nearly as effective. They were really designed for the Sand Scorcher, of course, i.e. really meant to be used on a beach!'.


Mike also said to me '>I like the tyres not having a whole lot of grip, because I could power-slide using only 1/4 throttle! The Steering on the GH is terrific, with it being so direct, it turns the front wheels very quickly... the only 'weakness' is at the front end of the car, is when the suspension is compressed, since as could be expected, the wheels toe-in.. this isn't a major factor though...', and I replied 'Ahh yes, you have found that good old timeless classic ;- 'BUMPSTEER' :-) For example if you take a look at the BLACKFOOT video ;-

http://www.tamiyaclub.com/moviecomment.asp?id=1184&uid=12


...you will see that it has bumpsteer in SPADES. Just look at that amount of toe-in when the suspension bottoms out LOL.


Mike added '>The only Hop-ups that I've seen for this GH chassis are ;- CRP Front Shocks and Towers, Parma Anodized Nerf Bars, Chrome Gearbox, HP Suspension Kit. About the HP Suspension Kit, does that include Oil Front Shocks, as I cannot
seem to find a picture of this kit...', and I replied 'No, I don't think it does, I think it only comes with rear oil filled shocks. At least that was my understanding from the GH official Tamiya vintage video of it'.


UPDATE : 1st January 2006 ;- Mike said to me '>With the TEU-101BK ESC in my GH, the transition from reverse to forwards is VERY quick, if I'm not fully paying attention to my driving, I can FLIP the GH over backwards, WITH THE 380.. I was really shocked with this', and I replied 'Hehe! The TEU-101BK has no delay on it, thankfully, going from backwards to
backwards to forwards, as you have found out!! It is not a reverse delay type ESC. However it is a 'double-tap' type ESC where you have to put the throttle back to neutral after braking, before it will reverse, but there is no delay at all. Yeah the 380 has a fairly good torque!!'.


UPDATE : 2nd January 2006 ;- Mike said to me '>Could I not just buy PURE WHITE PAINT, meant for plastics? Or does it have to be Tamiya TS Paints?', and I replied 'Yes you can buy any paint that you like as long as it does not contain a high percentage of ORGANIC SOLVENTS such as BENZINE, ACETONE, ETC, and as long as there is no ETCH base chemical. Basically it has to be marked as being 'safe for
use on plastics' or 'Styrene'. The trouble is that you can still get incompatibility and reactions between paints. The Halfords spray paints (acrylic) tend to be pretty inert stuff, as Ramesh ('Typhoon') told me but BEWARE that in my experience they go on quite thick whereas Tamiya paint is thinner I think, so Tamiya's paint does not gum up the details like the other brands of paint can do. I am talking here about TS Synthetic Lacquers by Tamiya that I assume that you are intending
to use, if you choose Tamiya brand paint...'.


UPDATE : 3rd January 2006 ;- I said to Mike 'Something I wanted to ask you BTW ;- do you use SIDE CUTTERS?
Or do you just pull the parts off the parts trees like I did when I was much younger? The first thing that I had to learn when I came back into R/C 'full on' after a 15 year 'break', was that you have to get a pair of Tamiya Side Cutters, that is the single most important tool. Then you can cleanly cut the parts off the trees and also cut their 'pips' off without causing the component surface to get chewed up. Tamiya's Side Cutters are ULTRA sharp. I have spent about 200 GBP on tools, I know how damned expensive they are, and I have learned another valuable lesson ;- I have to LOOK AFTER my tools and treat them with respect, they are bl**dy expensive.
You can get them in a batch from HK for 1/3 UK price though, admittedly'.


UPDATE : 3rd February 2006 ;- Here is the poster for the original Grasshopper ;-
http://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=43603&id=5475





One of my only perfect NIB's sharpened greatly by me to show text clearly Sand Scorcher tyres included ! Here is it's 380 compared to a 540!

Comments

mr_pushrod

8-Dec-2005

£70? Ouch! Been in Model Zone a few times and noticed they were a bit pricey compared to my LHS. I think MZ go by Hobby Co's RRP rather than discount like many others though.

10-Dec-2005

Hey al, is this actually gonna see the light of day and run?


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