Category Archives: Reviews

History repeating – Building the Tamiya Bigwig 2017

It´s 1986, the worldwide RC-Car Boom is near on the top. To commemorate 10 years of Tamiya R/C Models, Tamiya releases a very special offroad buggy, the Bigwig. Not a normal car for it´s time. One the technical side, it wasn´t a very revolutionary buggy, like the later released Avante. The car was based on the common Hotshot, Boomerang like drivetrain, but was equipped with the legendary Tamiya Mabuchi RX-540VZ Technigold Motor, well known from the Tamiya Porsche 959 Paris Dakar, which was powered by a special 8,4V Gold Power Pack.

Anyway the Bigwig is a very special buggy in Tamiya´s R/C Car history. Because of it´s unique “one big wing” design by famed japanese designer Mr. Takuya Yura, president of the Mooncraft Company, well known for his racing car designs.

The very unique “Wing” look of the Bigwig is based on special high powered buggies which were custom made for the legendary “Pikes Peak” race in America.

After 30 years, the Bigwig is back again. What are the differences on the new Bigwig 2017 ? Not very much. The stickers were changed a little bit, as on most of the Tamiya classic re-release cars. Which can also be an advantage. The “Mooncraft” Logo on the rear wing of the Bigwig 2017 looks way better than the one on the original release in our opinion.The “new” model comes with full ball bearings, the original 80´s kit wasn´t completely ballraced. The RX-540VZ Technigold motor was changed for a special labeled Tamiya GT-Tuned Motor (like it was used for the Avante and Super Hotshot re-releases too). That´s it.

Let´s build the new Bigwig !

Car and body completed !

 

The result !

It was a pleasure working one the Bigwig 2017. It´s such a cool thing to build a classic Tamiya buggy. For most of the Tamiya re-releases we really like to do alternative paint-schemes on these cars. A real challenge in case of the Bigwig. Because most of the cars were built in boxart scheme. In the past and also today. The boxart scheme is great and really iconic. And it´s not really easy to find colours which suits the red, orange, yellow Bigwig stripes well. But we tried it. And we are very happy with the result. Enjoy !

 

40 – 30 = 10 Years Tamiyablog Anniversary

10-years-tamiyablog

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 new responsive 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

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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 tamiyablog.com 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.