September 22Dusty Holiday
The modifications on my first Holiday Buggy 2010 are moderate, and I will let fantasy flow a little more freely on my next. I wanted this first one to be a robust “semi-scale” runner and deliberately only used parts that are readily available. The result is a model built pretty much straight from the box, but with ball bearings, CVA-dampers, steel driveshafts and a Tamiya Dirt Tuned motor added. The wheels and front tires are from the Sand Viper and the rear tires taken from a modern no-name model. The original geardiff was lubricated with Tamiya Anti-Wear Grease to create a certain diffbrake effect, but if this shouldn’t be sufficient on loose sand, I will probably lock the diff up completely using CC-01 G-parts. To protect the driveshafts against the elements, I mounted the very nice rubber boots available from RC-Channel. They offer both scale looks and are made of a very tough material, so will probably last well.
As the Holiday Buggy body doesn’t snug up so nicely against the chassis tub as the other DT-02 bodies, sand and debris can quite easily enter the tub, especially in my intended use. So I utilised a slightly modified Sand Viper body as a chassis cover, just like the Dark Impact body serves as a chassis cover on the DF-03Ra. It clears the driver insert when mounted below, rather than over the standard DT-02 rear body mount, but is still easy to mount and remove.
As my Holiday Buggy 2010 is meant to represent a leisure time vehicle rather than a racer, I mounted a rearview mirror from the Sand Scorcher 2010 and a windscreen from scrap lexan. For the same reason, I kept the stickers to a minimum, and combined the stickers included in the kit with a few Tamiya stickers from other models (primarily from the Hilift Hilux, the Landcruiser and the ’67 Beetle) and repro light cover stickers.
Back when the original Holiday Buggy was released, there were a lot of opinions whether the polytethylene body could be successfully painted or not. This is now repeated, almost 30 years later. For good reasons, Tamiya states that the body can’t be painted, but I know that there are some modelers out there who have tried and claim it to work. I would be happy to hear that the paint still sticks well after having fully hardened and when running the model. However, information from professional and credible sources has been discouraging and a colleague who is a specialist on plastics has confirmed that making fully hardened paint stick to polyethylene requires advanced chemical and thermal preparation methods that are beyond what’s feasible for most of us. In other words, just sanding and a plastic primer will very unlikely be adequate. So I kept my body blue and hope that Tamiya will offer the body molded in some alternative colours.
Furthermore, the front suspension was narrowed for a more authentic look. I first modified the front to make the wheels fit flush with the front fenders, more or less like the original Holiday Buggy, but this looked strange in combination with the wishbone suspension arms, so I chose to make it a little wider again, ending up with a front about 30mm narrower than original. Suspension travel and steering geometry don’t suffer much from the modification and seems to be an acceptable compromise between handling and scale looks. I tried different methods of narrowing the rear too, and was surprised to end up with the opinion that the original width is actually quite alright, at least with the used wheels and tires. So the rear was narrowed just 4mm by using narrower aluminum hex wheel hubs rather than the original plastic hubs.
For fun, I’ve included a few pics of a re-release Hornet that I built a couple of years ago. Of course this was at a time when a re-release of the Holiday Buggy was just a dream, and though I had a few original Holiday Buggys, I wanted a lightweight dune runner slightly inspired by the Holiday Buggy’s look. Except for the sand paddles, Centerline style wheel covers, TA03 dampers and a Tamtech damper replacing the vulnerable original “hairneedle” springs and the addition of a Lunchbox wheelie bar to keep the car from flipping on firm sand, it’s pretty much box stock. Weirdly, this Hornet then again served as an inspiration for some of the details on my Holiday Buggy 2010.
My next Holiday Buggy 2010 will be more colourful and closer to what we at Tamiyablog believe is Tamiya’s intention with this model in the market, and I can’t wait to get started. Being robust and simple, with a very nice combination of quite good handling and nostalgic looks, we simply love the Holiday Buggy 2010. We are very excited to see what Tamiya has in store for the future. The Sand Rover body on a suitable chassis would be fantastic, but whatever Tamiya will do, we are surely in for some fantastic surprises.