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Old 11-28-2009, 09:55 AM   #1
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Any Tamiya fanatics out there? I know the car forum isn't exactly jumping but there's got to be someone out there besides me that's hooked on these things. Out of the 70-80 ground-based vehicles I own over half are Tamiyas-Mostly shelf queens, as a lot of the kits are discontinued, and if you know anything about Tamiya you know out of production kits are worth more than gold. Like most people my rc career started with a Tamiya kit, and while I don't race anymore I still like to bash 'em around the neighborhood for a little mindless fun.

I've FINALLY picked up one of their big rigs, the King Hauler, and just finished the Subaru Brat re-issue. Have a Blackfoot on the way and as soon as the re-released Sand Scorcher becomes available I'll be selling off the wifey to finance that bad boy.

So, Tamiya owners, I know you're out there. Whatcha got?
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:09 AM   #2
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I started out with Tamiya.... got a Frog when it was released ~25 years ago. Had a Supershot, Clodbuster, & 1/12 Porsche 956 as well. I then moved on to Associated & HPI & more recently Axial & Losi. I just recently picked up a re-release Lunchbox for my wife. It was fun putting it together, such memories about how well laid out the Tamiya kits are for building. Sadly, as I fell out of the hobby I no longer have those old Tamiya kits. Though we have a picture in our kitchen of me building the Frog all those years ago as a young kid.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:30 AM   #3
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I'm pretty sure my first was a Frog as well although it may have been the Grasshopper-can't remember for sure and that buggy is long gone. I wonder who DIDN'T start with the Frog!
You know that old Porsche goes for upwards of $1500 these days on flea bay-too bad we didn't know then what we know now!
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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Ironically, at the time I really wanted the Sand Scorcher but it was out of my budget, thus the Frog.... look at the going prices on that kit..... For sure, investment is not the likely situation for this hobby, but Tamiya was a great introduction to this hobby for a generation.

I wonder with the ARF/RTR prominence today if it has taken away a bit from the hobby for those just starting out now. I'd always built my own, till I got back into the hobby in the past couple of years & everything was RTF/RTR and for not appreciably more than the kit, though my Axial I got as a kit just on principle.

It's certainly become much easier/cheaper to be in this hobby than when I was a kid, but some of the tinkering/wrenching seems lost. I remember all the chassis issues with the Clodbuster & I had to build some wood/metal reinforcing to the chassis where the suspension arms connected. Now as soon as a kit comes out, the hopups are available as well & pretty cheap at that. When I was younger, everyone had their own custom hopups, while now it seems everyone just debates which hopup to buy.

That applies equally as well to helis as it does to surface... I built my first Heli at 16, when very few could afford a computerized radio or even a gyro. Even PCM at the time was really expensive. I'd saved for over a year for it, with a gift from my grandmother helping finance the last bit. Flying a 30 size back then was about as twitchy as my CP Pro 2. When my radio died in mid flight & I watched it slowly hover into a rock face hill & eat itself, repairing involved replacing almost everything, which I couldn't afford. I love how everything today is comparatively cheaper. Same dollar amount, but with inflation, much more cost-effective.

Tamiya was I think a perfect introduction for many a modeler. Cheap, fun & taught you to build.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
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Don't forget tough as nails. Funny, we complain that plastic heli's aren't as sturdy as their CF counterparts, yet in the on/off road world most Tamiya vehicles I've run hold up much better to abuse than high-dollar cars from say Associated or Losi.

Maybe that's just my particular kind of luck.

I'll admit at first I outright refused to purchase anything ATR/RTR as for me a large part of the fun is putting it together. At one point I absolutely despised Traxxas for making RTR's the norm. If you didn't build it, how will you be able to repair it? I can however appreciate being able to just pop in a pack and go, although I hope I never become that busy. Like you I grew up making my own hop ups, and used to enjoy kit-bashing to an extent, but I'm still of the opinion that while RTR's may bring people into the hobby they may also drive people away-I think those who don't have the time invested in a build or the knowledge to perform repairs are more likely to throw it away and move on to something else when something breaks.

Tamiya apparently disagrees. Glancing through their current catalog it looks like at least 75% of their kits are also available RTR. Here's hoping they always give us the option.

Now, planks on the other hand.....that's a whole different story.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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I think most every kit had some part that was always failing on it. The Frog's gearbox & rear dogbones always broke/popped out. My original RC10 was pretty bullet-proof. Took at 15ft high jump to create a little dent in the aluminum chassis. My clodbuster always broke at the chassis/suspension link. My supershot was the most solid of them all, but overall Tamiya was pretty solid & mostly only failed with heavy abuse. I only got my first Losi this year & so far, I'm not that impressed with its build quality... but it is fun.

When I got out of the hobby for a bit was when Traxxas just got it's start. Had a friend who picked up one of their kits... everyone local to us called them Trash-us. Total crap, they broke just looking at them funny & parts were hard to come by.

I agree with you that RTR has a dual push/pull towards people in the hobby. They can be a great entry, but I worry that so much is only available as RTR, that the kits become disposable, rather than something to tweak. I still can't bring myself to even consider Traxxas given my early impressions, though it seems they are now the most popular & more solidly built.

Planes I agree are probably the best use of ARF/RTF. Bolting a kit like a car or heli is very different than building a plane, especially when applying monokote & takes, I think far more building skill than just wrenching. Though helis demand an attention to balance, so they are a close second/even depending on the model.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:00 PM   #7
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FYI, looks like Tamiya is re-releasing the Sand Scorcher!

http://www.rccaraction.com/ME2/dirmo...F520D1A3144B55
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