Category Archives: Reviews

40 – 30 = 10 Years Tamiyablog Anniversary


In September 2006, when the 30th anniversary Tamiya RC Porsche 934 (#49400, with Valliant scheme and TA05 based chassis) was announced, we started this fan website/blog as a place to gather interesting Tamiya related news and articles. Now, exactly 10 years later, Tamiya released their 40th anniversary RC Porsche 934 (#84431, with Jägermeister scheme and TA02SW chassis) and we have come quite some way from there.

In this period we have posted 941 articles, have had more than 4.000.000 visits and 2000 reader comments in our website and more than 6000 fans in our much later started Facebook page. We have reported live 9 times from Nuremberg Toy fair, presented a couple of dozens of our customized builds and organised an award competition for our readers. Our long term target is to be complete and easily searchable database of older and newest Tamiya related news and articles which disappear in the long run from other websites. We pay to run this site fully on our behalf since we didn’t want to clutter it with ads and also so that Tamiya stays what it always meant to us, a hobby and passion and not a business.

Since Tamiya had released their Bigwig (#58057) in 1986 to celebrate their 10th anniversary of RC, it couldn’t miss in our little 10 years celebration, as also a little self made cake (please excuse our poor cake decorating abilities, thankfully our Tamiya builds and reports are bit better). The biggest change though is the design of our website which we hope you will find easier to read, also at mobile devices.

A big thank you to all our readers, supporters, members and Tamiya who made us what we are today!

To the next 10 years,
The team of Tamiyablog

The Tamiya 54519 CC-01 Stroke Extension Link – a very useful Hop Up

CC01_Extension_Link 011

The CC-01/XC is still one of the most popular Tamiya chassis of all time due to it´s very scale look. A lot of different body types were released since. The latest car is the beautiful Toyota FJ Cruiser. But due to it´s age, the chassis has some downsides. We happily noticed the release of the CC-01 Extension Link last year and a nice CC-01 Aluminum damper set. The new extension link kit helps to give the rear axle of the CC-01 a lot more travel while climbing over obstacles. We´ve installed the kit to our trusty tamiyablog Mercedes Unimog and tested it on rough terrain. The extension links itself are made of high quality black anodized aluminum with integrated ball bearings. Too make it short, it works so much better than the standard setup. The car benefits a lot. But see yourself. The tamiyablog team hope for more CC-01 Hop Ups in the future. Maybe a ballraced steering kit to reduce the play in the steering linkage ?

Go Go Wheelie ! The Suzuki Jimny (SJ30)

Here it is, the next beautiful addition to the growing line of  Tamiya Wheelie cars. The new Suzuki Jimny (SJ30). After the fantastic Volkswagen Type2 bus the next release based on the WR-02 chassis.

I´ve always loved those little Suzuki Jeeps, and I´m a big fan of the WR-02 , so this Tamiya release was a must have for me. The build was easy. I did the usual changes on the car like full ball bearings, 20 tooth pinion, the new Tamiya 54394 WR-02 Assembly Universal Shaft Set (we hope for more new WR-02 Hop Ups !)  and CVA Shocks.  Something really new on one of my WR-02´s is a mild sensored brushless setup which should be equal to the Tamiya Sport Tuned motor.  We will see how it works on the first run. I love the cute look of the little Suzuki body sitting on the short WR-02 chassis.  The team of tamiyablog would like to thank the Tamiya Company for another funny little car with another wonderful classic boxart picture after the Volkswagen Type2.  GO GO WHEELIE !!!!!

Willys new ride – the Volkswagen Type2 (T1) Wheelie

Here it is, the newest addition to Tamiyas range of fun and stunt cars after the Mitsubishi Montero.  A true classic, the Volkswagen Type 2, also simply called the T1.

The team of Tamiyablog was very happy when Tamiya announced that car in 2011. Wild Willy was waiting too long for a new vehicle. And i knew, i had to have this kit, as soon as possible.

It´s  very nice to see the VW body sitting on the famous WR-02 chassis. A chassis i really like. The Wild Willy 2 is still one of my favourite runners.

It can be a great performer with some slightly modifications like oilfilled shocks, ball bearings and a 20T pinion.

Tamiya did a fantastic job on the lexan body. Masking the body and doing the two tone paintjob takes a while, but in the end you will be rewarded with one of the coolest looking Lexan bodies Tamiya ever made.

I chose a nice metallic orange for my T1 which i think suits the old VW very well.  The Wild Willy driver figure is well known from one of Willys old cars, the superb “Willies Wheeler”.

All in all i would like to thank the Tamiya Company for still producing such nice and funny cars like the VW Bus. The world of RC Cars is actual dominated from mostly boring and bad looking products which are mainly speed and bashing oriented. Tamiya is nearly the only  manufacturer who breaks this rule.  I would also like to mention the beautiful box  art picture of the VW kit. One of the very best ones Tamiya ever did. I really like to see  such a piece of handmade art in our computer dominated world.

Go for the Type2, it will take a smile on your face.  On the shelf and on the track !

First Tamiya 58519 Toyota 4×4 Pick Up Bruiser (RN36) impressions (added one more video 06.02.2012)

The team of had the chance to the see and drive the new Bruiser re-release at the Nuremberg Toy Fair 2012. Our first observation was that the new gearbox drives similarly quiet as the old one and shifts gears very smoothly. Also although not many changes have been made at the steering (at a first glance we only noticed new steering knuckles) it seems to respond better and turn quite sharper which is probably also because of the differentials. Another observation was that it doesn’t have front free drive wheel hubs any more (as they aren’t really needed with a diff) and so climbing in reverse is significantly improved. The tires of the 2 running prototypes seemed also a bit softer then the old ones and the tires of the demonstration chassis were significantly softer. The new gearbox is shorter and elastically mount only in the rear (front mount is stiff) and it has 2 lugs which aren’t used, so maybe Tamiya has more future plans for it? Also in the end there is a rod which at first glance has no function but possibly is for easier servo rod alignment. The differentials have a screw and thread on the upper side which is probably for locking them. From what we understood from a Japanese employee the box won’t have blisters and that there won’t be a Multi Function Controller for it, the runners in the fair had just both TLU-01 and TLU-02 light units. The decal sheet has 4 blue squares to possibly cover the side bar screws, weird it didn’t have 6 or 8 for all the screws. All in all we were extremely satisfied by this unexpected re-release and the amount of important but well hidden improvements.

More photos of the fair can be seen here.

California Dreamin´ – The Tamiya Sand Rover 2011

Here it is, the Tamiya Sand Rover 2011.  A car, or I better call it a dune buggy (because it is the real dune buggy!) Tamiya fans waited so long for. After the Holiday Buggy 2010, Tamiya does the next step and releases one of the most popular Tamiya off road cars ever on the famous and solid DT-02 Chassis.

As mentioned before, the  modified Sand Rover body sits  now on the modern DT-02 chassis which is well known from the Tamiya Desert Gator ,  Sand Viper ,  Neo Falcon and of course the Holiday Buggy 2010. The car is meant as a real beginners car.  So it comes with a classic RS380S Motor as standard which is perfect to do the first steps into this wonderful hobby.  But you can easily change that to a 540 sized motor.  Our car is equipped with full ball bearings – Tamiya CVA oil filled shocks – high torque servo saver – Desert Gator wheels and front tires and Tamiya pin spike tires on the rear for that extra piece of traction on the track. Also a mild brushless system is used which is comparable to a 27 turn brushed motor but much more efficient.

For the body we chose a warm Tamiya TS-34 Camel Yellow, a colour I love, because it transforms the Sand Rover directly back into the 70’s.

When the weather gets better, we will see how the new Sand Rover can perform. 🙂


5 years – 300 posts & 1.000.000 page visits – win an RC Tamiya Sand Rover 2011

Update 14.11.2011: Competition results posted

Update 1.11.2011: Competition is closed now, results will be posted on 14th November.

Exactly 5 years and 299 posts ago this blog was started by a small group of Tamiya fans to gather interesting information about our favourite company in one place, but we never thought it would be such a success with over one million page views in this time. Therefore we would like to thank you for your continuous and growing support, Tamiya INC. for keeping up releasing an enormous amount of superb new models and thus keeping us busy building and reporting about them as well as all other sites who sent or allowed us to use their material. In the past years we have received several offers to get sponsors and add advertisements, but we declined and decided to pay all the running costs ourselves to guarantee being as neutral and objective as possible. Something we hope you appreciate.

For the celebration of the 5 first years, we decided to give a new Sand Rover kit (also paid by ourselves) as the original version was released almost exactly 30 years ago (22nd August 1981) and also 5 years after Tamiya’s first RC-car and also because of being kit number 58500. To participate, please send only one of your own made Tamiya related photos or drawings (maximum size 300 kilobytes) together with your full name, age and country to the address shown in the below picture until the 31st October 2011. The team of tamiyablog will choose and present the entries they liked the most on 14th November 2011 and one of them will win the 58500 Sand Rover kit. The kit will be shipped to the winner’s address from Japan or Hong Kong at tamiyablog’s cost, but the receiver may have to pay for customs or taxes depending on his/her country’s import laws.

We are looking forward to your continuous support also during the next 5 years!

The team of

Mazda Savanna RX-7 – Rotary Power For The M-06

The new Tamiya Mazda Savanna RX-7 (SA22) body for the Rear Wheel Drive M-06L  has now been out for a little while.

But to our surprise, we have seen very little feedback for this nice new body, especially on the big Tamiya Fan and Club sites, where not a single example of the new old RX-7 could be found.

The team of  Tamiyablog likes the first generation RX-7 a lot, so this body was the first choice for my M-06 Pro chassis kit which was waiting to be built for too long now.

Tamiya recommends the classic black Minilite style wheels for the RX-7 which  I think don’t suit the car so well.  So we chose the Tamiya wheels which were known from the Tamiya Honda S800 kit.

Combined with the black anodized wheel nuts to imitate the fullsize car’s black hubs, they give the car a very authentic look.

The body is painted in a classic light green metallic which was seen very often on the original Mazda RX-7 in the late 1970’s.

It’s good to have another long wheelbase body for the M-06 chassis in addition to the Tamiya classic Volkswagen Beetle.

Thank you very much for your interest and…

Enjoy Rotary Power!

The Fast Attack Vehicle 2011 – Return of a warrior

As the Tamiya Fast Attack Vehicle 2011 kit has been out for a while now and to honour the historical importance of this 1980´s icon, the team of Tamiyablog decided to give the FAV a short review of the 2011 release kit.

I personally have to say that i never owned a Fast Attack Vehicle back in the so called “good old days”.  So this was a special moment, and the build of the car a great experience.

Tamiya did some small changes to the car as on most re-release versions of old classics.  When you open the kit box, you see no blister packs like on the classic FAV kit.  The whole rollcage is molded in black now, which i think the car benefits from. It´s now  easier  to build “civilian” versions of the buggy and the black cage looks good in every way. The E-Parts are changed to Wild One specification, which mainly means gearbox and front trailing arms. Drive shafts and wheel axles are the same dogbone style type as used on the Tamiya Frog and Subaru Brat re-releases before.

Something really new are the decals on this FAV 2011 kit.

Now everyone can do  a nice camouflage paint scheme, even without owning an airbrush.

The included stickers give a very authentic look. The semigloss surface of the decals fits perfectly to the TS46 Light Sand colour, that Tamiya recommends for the FAV.

If you cut out the stickers nicely, without leaving too much clear, you won’t be disappointed with the result.

Our car is equipped with full ball bearings. (8 pieces of the standard Tamiya 1150 bearings are included as a bonus in the kits of the international first batch version). If you want a full set of bearings for your car, you will need additional two 1150 and three 850 bearings.

Furthermore we switched the rear standard friction dampers to custom made black anodized  oil dampers of the Tamiya Frog and Subaru Brat re-releases which helps the buggy a lot to perform better.

And the “old” Tamiya Black Sport Tuned motor powers the FAV to attack a little bit faster. It even looks good.

All in all, the team of Tamiyablog is very happy with this new Tamiya classic re-release. It brings this wonderful vintage buggy to a new life. Now everyone can own one again.

Stay tuned for more “variations” of the Tamiya FAV 2011 here on Tamiyablog.

Thanks for watching !

Rally Ready – Tamiyablog Suzuki Swift M-05Ra

Rally Up a M-chassis car. This was only a dream many years before.  But sometimes dreams come true, and now you can build your own Mini Rally Car from a kit. Two types, the Suzuki Swift Super 1600 and Alpine A110 are available at the moment. The Alpine also as an XB-Version.

To give the chassis more ride height, Tamiya uses new designed F-Parts for the M-05Ra.  It´s a big advantage that you can build the chassis also with the standard M-05 ride height.  So it´s no problem to use your M-05Ra machine also for normal M-Chassis  street racing without using extra parts. Different attaching points on the C-Hubs are making this possible. Our car is equipped with some of the most popular Hop-Ups used in the M-Chassis scene, like full ball bearings, universal shafts, oil filled shocks and a ball diff. I used the new M-05 Ball Diff in combination with the new M-05Ra reinforced Differential joint set. Although i´ve heard about some durability problems with the new M-05 ball diff.  But, time will tell. Another tip, if you want to use oil filled shocks on your M-05Ra,  the 54000 M-Chassis damper set isn´t recommended here. These are fantastic dampers, but they are too short for the M-05 Ra Rally Setup. They are only useable with the normal M-05 ride height. Standard sized touring car shocks are ideal  for this car, like the  Tamiya black Super Mini C.V.A. shocks or the classic Tamiya 53155 Aluminum damper set. If you use the super Mini C.V.A. Shocks you have to take note that the shock pistons are long enough, because on some cars, Tamiya uses shorter pistons for the Super Mini C.V.A. Shocks. Furthermore we used a Tamiya High Tourque servo saver + a strong metal geared digital servo in combination with the good and well priced 3Racing carbon steering set.  Gives a much more precicse steering mechanism.

Ok, that was on the technical side.  Now some words about the body.  As seen on the Tamiya M-05 Abarth 500 body before, Tamiya made some small but nice changes to the Suzuki Swift body parts.  You can now use LED´s on the front and back of the car. This adds a much more realistic look. As a regular reader you may know, we always like to use alternate paintschemes on our bodies. A normal and understated “Skyblue” was used for the little Suzuki. But looks great, using the Tamiya mascot sticker set.

Thank you very much for reading.

Enjoy M-05Ra !