Author Archives: dunebuggy

Breaking new ground – Building a bridge between old and new – The Tamiya BBX #58719

I think the presentation of the new Tamiya BBX buggie at this year’s Nuremberg Toy Fair was more than a surprise for so many Tamiya fans worldwide.

It’s something that at least I no longer believed in. Especially nowadays, when real innovations are now rarely found, especially from the many other manufacturers in the market.
The new BBX builds a bridge to its legendary role models, such as the “Rough Rider”, “Sand Scorcher” and the “Super Champ”. The “Super Champ” in particular could almost have served as a visual model for the new BBX. And with this Tamiya once again confirms its number 1 status in the world of RC Cars. That’s why I couldn’t wait for the BBX kit to arrive. And when he finally got there, things soon started.

I would like to go into the construction a little more, as it is a completely new chassis platform. Even if you come across a few parts every now and then during construction that you also know from many other Tamiya kits. The BBX is the first model based on the new BB-01 chassis. And the kit is already very complete as standard. The BB-01 comes completely with ball bearings, which also includes the extremely play-free steering. CVDs and excellent shock absorbers, including TRF X-rings are already standard from the factory. Another small innovation is that Tamiya almost exclusively uses hex screws on the BBX. Tamiya also recommends using modern brushless motors for the BBX. We did that too and decided on a sensor-controlled 13.5T brushless drive.

To make it short. Building the BBX gave me great pleasure. It actually compares well with building a classic Tamiya SRB buggy kit. The construction of the tubular frame is very well thought out, as is the wonderfully designed body made up of several parts. If the willing builder makes an effort here and also paints the driver figure borrowed from the Tamiya “Fox” nicely, he will be rewarded with a beautiful model that not only looks good but also drives excellently. For our own BBX we chose a classic Tamiya PS-12 Silver. We also painted the original chrome-plated rims with Tamiya LP-69 clear yellow. Technically, only the optionally available 22071 slipper clutch was installed. After completing the model I was really impressed and really had the feeling that I had a very special model standing in front of me.

Our conclusion:
Tamiya is doing everything right with the new BBX. Practically completely new technology in a very well implemented retro design, with classic box art. Tamiya fans worldwide will love this kit.

An Old Tradition – The Tamiya 47489 Egress “Black Edition”

Black special models are now almost a tradition at Tamiya. It all started back in the 1970s with the anniversary model of the first Tamiya RC car, the 58001 Porsche 934 RSR “Vaillant” in 1/12 scale. A real milestone in RC car history.
Many years later followed by the 1/12 TamTechGear Porsche 934 RSR, 1/10 TA02SW Black Porsche 934 RSR, and of course the breathtakingly cool Avante “Black Special” whose color scheme was adapted from the Mini 4WD Avante Black.

And there we are with the Egress “Black Edition” 2022. The box art shows parallels to the Avante “Black Special”, which we like very much. This also continues inside. The blister packaging is a dream and takes the viewer straight back to the late 80s. Especially the parts specially anodised in Titanium Gold for the Egress “Black Edition”, such as the damper housing and steering knuckles, are a dream in themselves.

From a technical point of view, however, we are dealing with a completely “normal” egress. But that’s perfectly fine. At the time, the Egress was considered the pinnacle of Tamiya’s competition buggies. Before the Top Force “Evo” hit the market in 1992.
The changes are to be found in the colour design of the Egress “Black Edition”. Wheels, damper housings, steering knuckles, and rims have been color-matched.
We especially like the stickers for the blue tinted windows. In combination with the black, this gives the car a particularly cool touch. We would have wished for a little more bold colour on the rims. But that’s actually whining at a very high level, and you could easily adjust it yourself.

Building the Egress “Black Edition” was definitely an experience in itself. You can really compare it to opening a good bottle of wine.
The kit will find its fans, and we’re already looking forward to the next little sensation from Tamiya. The release of the Hotshot II “Blockhead Motors” in the coming year 2023.
Until then, let’s enjoy the beautiful Black Egress.

A big thanks to Tamico and Dickie Tamiya for providing the Egress “Black Edition” kit.

Fox On The Run – Building The Tamiya Novafox

The Tamiya “Fox” was my third Tamiya buggy back in the good old days.
And yes, I loved this car. Compared to my “Falcon” and “Grasshopper” the suspension worked really well. Incidentally, it was the first Tamiya vehicle to feature the “modern” yellow C.V.A. dampers. And the car wasn’t just fast, it looked fast too. The flat and slim design shaped a whole generation of buggies in the 80s and 90s.
And when Tamiya brought out the re-release of “The Fox”, the “Novafox”, I had to get one right away, of course.

Still, it took a while for me to finally finish it.
And that almost annoys me a little, because the “Novafox” looks so damn good now.

Back then, 1985 to be precise, the “Fox” could well be considered the first attempt at a competitive 2WD buggy, which, as we know, it never really was.
But for the ambitious leisure driver, the car was really more than good to use. And I had a lot of fun with my Fox back then when we competed with Hornet, Frog, Falcon, etc.

And with the closed chassis, the car was well protected against dirt, which of course was less good for quick maintenance at races.

But now to the “Novafox”.

As with every Tamiya re-release, building it was tremendous fun. It was like a little throwback to building my first “The Fox” back in the 80’s.
The “Novafox” is already almost completely equipped with ball bearings. We also gave him the 4 standard 1150 bearings for the front wheels, who are not included with the kit.
And of course a Tamiya “Sport Tuned” motor could not be missing. To give it a little individual “touch”, I use the “2WD Front Rib-Spike Tires” No. 54896.
The wonderful golden “Aluminum Nerf Guards” are an old Hop Up part from “Parma” which I had at home for almost 20 years. And goes wonderfully with the golden rims and the metallic green paintscheme.
We are extremely happy with the result and look forward to the soon to be released re-release of the famous “Thunder Shot”, one of our absolute favorite 4WD buggies from the 80s.

But for now, enjoy the “Novafox” !

Upcoming Tamiya products – Autumn 2021

12691 1/12 Suzuki GSX-RR`20 Front Fork Set
14139 1/12 Team Suzuki ECSTAR GSX-RR `20
24042 Nissan Fairlady 300ZX 2 Seater

58696 Super Avante TD4
58695 Wild One Off-Roader Blockhead Motors
58699 1992 Audi V8 Touring (TT-02)
58702 Subaru BRZ (ZD8) (TT-02)
47459 Saint Dragon 4WD (2021)
22031 TD4 Slipper Clutch Set
The Frog Mini (GB-01S)

Track Unit Sets (2pcs.)

The Hotshot 4WD makes a new appearance – In a comical way – Building the Tamiya 58685 Comical Hotshot GF-01CB

After we were so enthusiastic about the first Tamiya 4WD comical model, the “Comical Avante GF-01CB”, it was almost natural to take a closer look at the new “Comical Hotshot”. For us, the “Comical Avante” is one of the most beautiful models in the Comical series, along with the “Comical Grasshopper”. The original Hotshot, the first Tamiya 4WD buggy ever, is of course more than predestined as a template for the “Comical Series”. Especially due to the narrow and flat design of the original classic buggy. As with the Avante, we also customized and tuned the Hotshot a bit, according to our ideas. We stayed original with the body, as it is pre-painted red in the kit, as was previously the case with the Avante. But an unpainted body set is now available from Tamiya, and comes with No. 51657.With this, you can also create your own paint scheme.

Normally we use the excellent Tamiya GF-01 54670 dampers for these fun models. But they are blue anodized, and not really a good match. And in my opinion, the original red CVA dampers are optically not that perfect. That’s why I chose the virtually identical Tamiya 54541 CC-01 Hop Up damper set this time. The golden aluminum shock caps make them a perfect match for the bright red of the Hotshot. I´m still not totally happy with the colour of the standard wheels. But that´s complaining on a very high level. A gold plated wheel would be perfect here.

Unfortunately there is no driver figure included with the “Comical Hotshot” kit. Under the relatively narrow Hotshot body there is actually very little space for it. In a supplement, Tamiya explains how you can at least accommodate the head of the beautiful 54864 driver figure which was created by “pdc designworks”. With the help of a Lexan bracket. Of course we followed this suggestion, and with it there comes a lot more “life” into our little racer. Oh, and one more thing we left out on “Comical Avante”. LED lights on the front of the bumper and on the body. And of course also red taillights. Looks great, and so realistic.

Otherwise, we have relied on the tried and tested parts that we have already used in our „Comical Avante. A complete list can be found at the end of this report. As expected, the little red racer drives just wonderfully. And with a little practice, all kinds of stunts and tricks are no problem. There is hardly a Tamiya RC model that is more fun.
We are already looking forward to the next comical model. Our team would love to see a “Comical Subaru Brat”. Let´s go Tamiya. Make it happen!

This is a list of genuine Tamiya Hop Up parts, we´ve used on this car:
54924 GF-01 Ball Bearing Set
50808 TG10 Long Wheel Axle
53509 Hard Flourine Coated 0.6 Aluminum Pinion (20T/F201)
54541 CC-01 Aluminum Oil Damper 4PCS
53974 TRF 501 Front Spring Set
54588 GF-01 Aluminum Steering Arm
54586 Lightweight Gear Shaft 5x50mm For GF-01 WR-02 WT-01
51000 Servo Saver Hi Torque Type (Black)
54473 Aluminum Wheelie Roller Set for WR-02 WR-02G
54587 Aluminum Servo Stay WR-02/GF-01

Tamiya (Classic) Off Road Racing at its peak – The Top Force Evo. (2021)

When the Tamiya Top Force Evolution came onto the market in 1992, it was a practically unattainable model for me, as well as for many other young Tamiya fans, due to the high price.
At the time, my hard-saved money was just enough to buy a Tamiya Astute, which I really loved back then.

The “normal” Top Force was a good car, although it actually got by with relatively very common TA-01 technology. As a good driver with a well built “Top Force”, you definately had a chance, also in higher class races. But the “Top Force Evolution” went one better in all areas. Carbon plate chassis, Ball differentials front and rear, universal joint shafts for front and rear, steel cardan shaft, a full set of ball bearings, and last but not least the fantastic aluminum dampers, which are still absolutely competitive today.

Tamiya has the Top Force Evolution revised very carefully. The character of the car is still the same. The universal joint shafts were replaced by more modern CVD shafts. The shock towers, for example, are now also made of carbon. In the 90s these were still made of FRP. And I almost forgot one thing. The body and spoiler comes already cut out and pre-painted in Tamiya PS-23 “Gun Metal”, which is still the original colour code.

The Evo. comes with standard Tamiya ESC and 540 brushed motor. We have equipped our Top Force Evo. with a modern sensor-controlled brushless system, a low profile and fast digital steering servo, and an aluminum motor mount. The construction of the “new” Top Force Evo. was a real pleasure. Hardly any other car has given me more pleasure building it in recent years. It is the perfect car for the increasingly popular vintage racing. When fitting more modern 2.2 wheels and tires, the Evo. is ready for your local race track.

Some words about the look and design of the whole car. The „One Big Wing“ look of the Top Force is still a stunner, and you can call it a real milestone in Tamiya´s classic buggy designs. Wing and body are aerodynamically one piece. The whole car looks so sleek, flat and fast. Tamiya made no compromises here.

All in all, thank you Tamiya for this wonderful new re-release. We are looking forward to the release of the upcoming Super Avante TD4 and “Blockhead” Wild One Offroader. With the “Blockhead” Wild One, really a dream comes true. Also many thanks to Tamico and Dickie-Tamiya, for providing us with the Top Force Evo. Kit.

Created to conquer – The Tamiya VQS (2020)

Besides the Tamiya Avante, probably the most beautiful and most famous Tamiya 4WD buggy of the 80s, there were also three other buggies in this series of cars. We all know the Egress, as it was the last “expansion stage” of the Avante before the scepter was handed over to the “Top Force Evolution”.
The two “entry-level models” in the competition, the “Vanquish” and the “Avante 2001”, were somewhat in the shadows.
Both models were technically almost identical and should be suitable for entry into the rc racing competition.
The use of a plastic tub chassis kept costs down. The “Vanquish” in particular was able to shine visually.
And this one has now been reissued as “VQS”. Naming rights have probably forced Tamiya to change the name to “VQS”.
Nonetheless, one of the most beautiful Tamiya buggies of the late 80s era. This buggy combines a beautiful classic color scheme with a very modern futuristic styled body, as well as, given the Hotshot and Thundershot series of vehicles, much more modern technology.
The “new” VQS kit comes with a pre-painted body, which allows the inexperienced model maker in particular to complete the model much faster.
We are particularly pleased about the improvements Tamiya gave the “VQS”. CVD’s front and rear, as well as the aluminum milled steering knuckles at the front were taken over from the Avante and Egress. In addition, the buggy is practically completely equipped with ball-bearings. Only 6 small ball bearings still need to be added.
Tamiya also has made a very nice bonus for the “VQS”. The “VQS Hi Cap Damper Set 47455”. We all know and love these dampers from the 80s. Also suitable for many other cars of that time. We have also equipped our “VQS” with the new Hi Caps. Visually and technically a real pleasure.
Overall, we went the classic way with our example. A Tamiya Super Stock BZ brushed motor and the Tamiya Hi Torque Servo Saver complete the car.
As with every Tamiya car, building it was a real treat. And the builder is rewarded with a beautiful model after completion.
We at TamiyaBlog are very happy about this iconic re-release. A real beauty, the new Tamiya “VQS” (2020)

Many thanks to Dickie Tamiya and Tamico for providing us with the Tamiya “VQS” kit.

Dragons never die – Return of the Tamiya Super (Storm) Dragon

We, the TamiyaBlog team have always been big fans of the Japanese comic-inspired Tamiya dragon buggies. The Fire Dragon in particular is one of our favorites.
So the Super Storm Dragon is one for us too.
In the 1980s the Super Dragon was only a body set for the Hornet and Thunder Shot chassis.
Now the dragon is back as a complete kit on a classic Hornet chassis.
As with some of the new kits, the body is also pre-painted and only needs to be decaled.
As you have noticed, the name has also changed. Possibly because of licensing problems.
But Tamiya helps us here with the stickers. You can cut the “Storm” out of the sticker, and so you have a “Storm Dragon”. The number 18 stickers on the side from the original release are also included in the sticker sheet.

Building was a real joy. You feel like a kid again, building your first Tamiya Off Road Racer.
We have installed a classic black Sport Tuned motor, a complete set of ball bearings and classic aluminum rim covers in our Super Dragon for that special custom look.

We really love this car. It brings back so many great memories from the 1980s, the golden era of the Tamiya RC cars.
Enjoy the Super Dragon!
We are really looking forward to the comeback of the Tamiya Fire Dragon.

Many thanks to Dickie Tamiya and Tamico for providing us with the Super Dragon kit.

Building a Mystery (Machine) – Customizing the Tamiya Lunch Box 2005

After having so much fun, while building the latest Tamic Comical Models, a long time project was waiting to be completed.

One of the most iconic Tamiya cars ever. The Tamiya Lunch Box. Everyone loves it, and it´s still one of the most popular Vintage Tamiya RC Cars. The LB is also an absolutely perfect base for customizing projects. Years ago, we had the idea to build a replica of the famous “Mystery Machine”, well known from the classic “Scooby Doo” TV show.

For this project, we´ve collected some parts for quite some time.
Here is a list of parts, we used on this car:

  • 84343 Chassis Red Style CW-01
  • 84345 CW-01 D-Parts Under Guard Set Red
  • 84347 CW-01 C.V.A. Short Shock Unit Set II White Style
  • 53068 RS-540 Sport Tuned Motor – Black
  • 19335442 Midnight Pumpkin Metallic – Chrome wheels
  • Full Ball Bearing Set for Grasshopper/ Hornet/Lunch Box
  • Custom Made Mystery Machine Decals
  • R31 House Formula Kart Slick Tire

Tamiya TS-41 Coral Blue matches the orginal “Mystery Machine” Decal perfectly.

All in all, the Lunch Box came out great, and it´s now one of our all time favourites.

Comical Fun Goes 4WD – Building the Tamiya Comical Avante GF-01CB

The team behind TamiyaBlog loves the Tamiya Comical and Fun models. It is not a secret. And secretly, we have been hoping for a 4WD comical buggy based on GF-01 for a long time. When the Comical Avante was actually presented at the Nuremberg Toy Fair 2020, we could hardly believe that Tamiya really did it.

The Avante, a Tamiya design icon of the 1980s, as a comical model. Can it go well?

In short, yes !

The original Avante has such an elegant, slim and technical design that I could hardly imagine how even a comical body could fit on the current and relatively wide GF-01 chassis.

Tamiya mastered it with flying colors. For the wanted comical look, the body was of course compressed as usual. Nevertheless, the body adapts wonderfully to the chassis, like the body of the original Avante. The already well known beautiful driver figure from pdc designworks, which is already included with the kit, fits so perfectly under the pilot’s cockpit, and literally cries out to start driving right away. Exhaust pipes now come in a carbon look and underline the professional Hi-Tech look of the Avante. But let’s take a look at the technical side.

It is very interesting to see how Tamiya adapted the well-known GF-01 chassis to the comical buggy set up. The main frame, which also serves as the gearbox, has been provided with additional fastening points on the rear for the new body bracket. The wishbones were of course adopted from the WR-02CB Comical models. A new slim bumper rounds off the concept harmoniously. A number of headlights can also be mounted on this bumper. But we decided against it. For a clean look. Oh, i almost forgot. Tamiya donated new tires to the Comical Avante. And how we love this design. Let´s hope for more models using this type of tire.

As with the Comical Grasshopper, we also donated a few sensible Tamiya Hop Ups to the new Avante. Starting with the complete ball bearing set, via the Sport Tuned motor, in combination with a 20 tooth motor pinion. Although the Tamiya Comical models are all already equipped with CVA oil shock absorbers, the Avante is no exception, we have again installed the great GF-01 aluminum damper set. It just looks fantastic and it works that way. GF-01 steering arm and Tamiya Hi Torque Servo Saver with aluminum servo horn make steering much more precise. Incidentally, we highly recommend installing the 50808 TG10 wheel axles, also recommended by Tamiya in a supplementary sheet. These cause a widening of the track. The thicker hex adapters, which are required for this are already included with the kit. As a result, the Comical Avante does not tip over so quickly and simply looks even better. The optional Wheelie Roller Set in blue rounds the thing off perfectly to the rear. This time, we did the original paintscheme, because the body comes already pre-painted with this kit. But you have to cut it out. And application of the stickers is needed too. The original color scheme can only be called truly brilliant. For those who want to create their own color scheme, there will be an unpainted/clear bodyset available soon.

But no more words now. Enjoy the Comical Avante !

With our Set Up, it´s a blast to drive. And with any doubt, it´s the best performing Tamiya Wheelie/Fun car, we have driven so far.

Upon requests from some of our valued readers. This is a list of genuine Tamiya Hop Up parts, we´ve used on this car:

54924 GF-01 Ball Bearing Set

50808 TG10 Long Wheel Axle

53509 Hard Flourine Coated 0.6 Aluminum Pinion (20T/F201)

54670 Aluminum Oil Damper 4pcs Blue For GF01 WR02

53974 TRF 501 Front Spring Set

54588 GF-01 Aluminum Steering Arm

54586 Lightweight Gear Shaft 5x50mm For GF-01 WR-02 WT-01

51000 Servo Saver Hi Torque Type (Black)

54121 Aluminum Horn for Hi Torque Servo Saver

54473 Aluminum Wheelie Roller Set for WR-02 WR-02G