Category Archives: Reviews

Tamiya Top Force (2017) – may the force be with you

From time to time we´re presenting some builds, mostly of Tamiya’s great range of re-releases. Today, we will show you the Top Force buggy which is Tamiya’s 100th RC Kit (1991) and was first re-released in 2006.

Now Tamiya did it again. The Top Force (2017) is back to show his potential.

The so called “Vintage Racing” scene becomes more and more popular. And it’s good to see other manufacturers following Tamiya re-releasing their classic cars from back in the 80´s and 90´s.

The Top Force, and especially the later released Top Force Evolution was Tamiya´s answer for the very popular off road racing scene in the early 90’s. It’s based on the classic Manta Ray chassis (which itself is based on the TA01/TA02 touring cars), but comes with a double deck FRP chassis and damper stays, ball diffs, steel prop shaft, Lexan undercowl and universal shafts for the front end. The body looks like a big wing, which gives the Top Force a very aerodynamic and aggressive look.

But that’s history. How good is the new/old Top Force ? Building the kit was a joy. We built the kit with a full set of ball bearings, a classic Tamiya aluminum motor mount (the original plastic one was always a weak spot) and the “Tamiya Top Force 2017 High Capacity Damper Set” No. 47358 (which is especially released for the Top Force 2017 kit). These dampers are of very good quality. They work extremely smooth, and look excellent too. On some of the photos, you see the car with Tamiya DF-03 wheels and modern racing tires. A perfect set up for the vintage racing scene.

As a regular reader, you may know that we lik alternate paintschemes. The Top Force is no exception here. This time, our choice felt for the relatively new Tamiya PS-63 Bright Gun Metal. We like it a lot, and it suits the colour of the Tamiya High Cap dampers very well.

Join vintage racing ! May the force be with you.

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 !!!!!