April 27Mad Mog
Recently, seeing a Mini 4WD Wild Willy and a Mini 4WD Unimog together, I got an idea that I can’t possibly understand I hadn’t got before. In 1985, when the Mini 4WD Unimog was released, I was one of many enthusiasts that dreamed that Tamiya would make an RC-version too, just like Tamiya had made a Mini 4WD version of the Wild Willy. As we all know, it would take 23 years for that to become reality, and when it did, it was thankfully a realistically proportioned body, and not a caricature like the Mini 4WD Unimog.
However, what would a Tamiya RC Unimog have looked like, if it had been based on the WR02-chassis (Wild Willy 2), true to its Mini 4WD predecessor? Well, as long as Tamiya doesn’t do it, it was only one way to find out, and it involved cutting a Unimog body in two. Measuring the bed of the Mini 4WD Unimog, it was clear that cutting the RC body along the rear mold line would result in quite correct proportions. This also meant I could keep the original 172mm wheelbase of the WR02 to emphasise the caricature look I was aiming for. In hindsight, I wish I had turned around the front suspension arms (like the Willy’s Wheeler 2) to create a 190mm wheelbase, combined with a slightly longer bed. Furthermore, using M05 body posts would have put the holes in the body in places that would have looked a little better.
The rear fenders and the box and tank between the front and rear wheel arches were cut and modified to suit the shorter wheelbase, and the lower body cut line was slightly manipulated, but apart from that, no body modifications were necessary. As for paint scheme and stickers, there was only one option, the Mini 4WD Unimog box art. As even the license plates of the Mini 4WD and RC-version are identical, it’s very clear that Tamiya had the Mini 4WD in mind when making the CR-01 based Unimog after all! I opted for the opaque headlight and taillight stickers to make the most of the caricature look. For the same reason, the wind screen wiper stickers and several other “realistic” stickers were omitted. I forgot to put on the grill stickers before making the photos though! To suit the caricature theme, the chrome Wild Willy 2 wheels were stripped and painted silver and gold similar to the Mini 4WD wheels. Comic books aren’t printed with chrome ink, are they?! Otherwise, the chassis is box stock. I played a little around with bumpers, assuming that it would look better with the TL01B or the large WR02 practice bumper, but ended up with the small WR02 bumper after all.
As for name, both because of the license plate and to be in line with the Wild Willy name and the unrealistic look, only “Mad Mog” seemed appropriate to me. I may end up making one more with the improvements mentioned above, but for now, I love my Mad Mog as it is. Born 23 years “too late”, but still my baby!