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Last February, I was looking for a Rough Rider. The bank account was a little low, so I decided to do something I am very reluctant to do and had never done before: trade one of my cars.
It wasn't an easy choice, but in the end, I opted for my new built Turbo Rocky which was the car I liked the less in my collection.
I was contacted by a nice guy from Singapore (Hello Ian!) and the deal was done for a used but ok RR chassis with 4 brand new Sand Blaster 915 and rims from the Voltec Fighter (or something like that). I remember packing the Turbo Rocky with a little sadness, since I had built this car from the box and spent quite some time painting the shell. But anyway, it flew to Singapore, and I received the RR chassis a few days after.
Then I hunted down a shell, and found a buy it now one in correct shape with the usual roof light mounts broken. It wasn't cheap, but that how it was in February (seems like a long time ago!).
And finally, I managed to find a NIB RR front wheel and tire set on my local vintage RC forum. Again, fair deal, but certainly not cheap.
Then came THE news: May 2009, Tamiya announces the re-release of the Rough Rider! What a blow.
Well, what's done is done but I've learnt my lesson: when it comes to vintage RC, don't ever be in a rush. Soon after this 'great' news, prices of SRB's fell down (or so it seems to me), and now you can buy a complete RR body set(ok, minus the decals) for 30 dollars!
I bought a Buggy Champ, a cool kit, and even if some people despise it, it's still very faithfull to the original.
But nevertheless, I am the proud owner of a 30 year old buggy that made RC history. The pictures below are very comforting to me, and though if I could turn back the time, I probably wouldn't be trading my Turbo Rocky again, still I'm happy to see this beautiful 99% original Rough Rider in my collection.
About the model, I did the lightest resto job possible, because the idea was really to show the buggy's 30 years of existence: disasembled and cleaned the parts, and very lightly polished the worst ones, especially the copper ones. I could have bought a shiny brand new black bumper for a few pesos, but instead, I prefered to install the old scratched and bent one I got for free with my Scorcher (see my showroom for the whole story).
I fixed the roof spot mounts, and didn't even bother repairing the tiny cracks on the nose and rear part. The only Buggy Champ parts are the 4 lights (strictly identical to the original ones). Of course, I couldn't help but get Radek's wheels.
I followed Carbonman's steps (and others too) and went for Pearl White and Light Blue Metal. I thought the blue would be lighter but it's still a beautiful shade.
I have spent a lot of time studying the box art, so that the white stripe on my car would be a perfect match, as well as the decals placement. I think I came to a pretty close match.
Yes, a box art, kind of, une fois n'est pas coutume!