TOPIC: 33 years later

33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52401

  • Sam
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Hi,
​​
My name is Sam and I'm from London, UK. It has been 33 years since I last picked up a controller to navigate my Tamiya Rough Rider through the gravel pit of a local park. Although memorable times, the experience was marred by very limited run times and the prohibitive cost of additional batteries, which I really couldn't afford. So I would charge my solitary 1200mah pack for 16 hours and end up walking out the park after 5 minutes ...lol. Not an encouraging experience, which was inevitably short lived, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.​​

A couple of years later, whilst my Rough Rider was collecting dust in the loft, a friend of mine bought the Associated RC10. I had been away from the hobby for quite some time when the Goldpan was introduced, so I had no idea how far the engineering had advanced. I recall the incredible pace and handling compared to my retired Tamiya; the Novac ESC and Demon motor was a world apart from the componentry that powered my old buggy. Watching that car chew up the dirt with such ferocity inspired me to purchase a copy of Radio Race Car from WHSmith's So I could catch up on all the new kits & accessories. The one thing that sticks in my mind whilst flicking through the pages of that magazine was the back page, which was introducing the Tamiya Avante. A beautifully designed car which in my opinion is still aesthetically unrivalled even by today's standards. But any hopes of rediscovering my love for RC was extinguished by the high cost of this new tech and there was still the frustrating limitations of battery performance. ​

Nonetheless I was encouraged to go and watch one of the bashing sessions a few friends had arranged on Sunday mornings, which was held inside an old disused tennis court. Home made ramps littered the ground and the buzzing sound of quick chargers could be heard amid the host of whining transmissions as they leached juice from a 12v car battery. Among the many cars that day, I remember being particularly fond of the Tamiya Blackfoot. It was somewhat of a beast at the time and really stood out from the crowd. Other models I can distinctly recall thrashing about that morning are the Tamiya Frog and Thundershot, the Associated RC10 and Mardave Meteor. There also appeared to be a collectively felt appreciation for Demon power motors, as everyone had them; the black can with a metallic red sticker denoting the silhouette of a demon holding a pitchfork is embellished on my memory. The last car I recall before teenage life exiled me from anything remotely innocent was the PB Mini Mustang. Now that was a rocket for the day. It left my friends modified RC10 for dead in a carpark duel. Wonderful times and great memories. It's hard to believe that was 33 years ago. Seems like the blink of an eye. Life, eh? ​

Although the visual nostalgia of these cars holds significant value in returning to the hobby, my main motivation is to hopefully rediscover a little of that magic from over 30 years ago and once again spend an afternoon or two thrashing it through the bio mass of winter debris. With that intention in mind, I don't want anything expensive or refurbished to a high standard; one of the more obtainable, low end models will suffice. Had my priority been to shelve the car, I would almost definitely spend my budget on a nice vintage example of the Blackfoot. But for bashing, these are out of my price range, particularly as I'm starting from scratch and need to purchase a modern charger & batteries. There could also be the addtional cost of radio equipment and an ESC if a nice vintage roller catches my eye. ​

I've now narrowed my options down to 2 cars: The Hornet and Boomerang. I would preferably like 4WD and it appears the Boomerang also offers a little more performance in terms of suspension and overall quality. Would I be correct in thinking that?​
I would also like to confess that I know absolutely nothing about these cars so any advice on the choices mentioned would be gratefully received. ​

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my introduction and I hope to contribute something more substantial in the near future. ​

Sam.
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33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52402

Welcome on board Sam. These rc were rereleased and you can easily find spares. The boomerang is still expensive. And it is relatively fragile. Why you don't look after a frog? Or a more modern chassis like a tl01B? Less fragile and maybe cheaper.

33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52403

Welcome on board Sam :y: :)

If you're after nostalgia without the hassle or cost, I'd suggest a new, re-released kit is the way to go. A lot of Tamiya cars have already been re-released - they generally have a few tweaks to improve and/or differentiate from the originals, but a lot of the flavour is still there.

The Blackfoot, Monster Beetle, Lunchbox, Midnight Pumpkin, Bruiser, Bigwig, Grasshopper, Hornet, Frog, Boomerang, Wild One, Hot Shot, Avante, Rough Rider and Sand Scorcher (among others) should all be freely available. Personally I would avoid the Hornet, the handling is awful. The Boomerang is not a bad choice, but a little bland IMO, the Hot Shot and Bigwig are better looking cars IMO. Don't discount the Lunchbox Or Pumpkin BTW - they don't handle well but are very entertaining, especially in groups. I don't think anyone has ever regretted buying one. If you want a cheap, good handling 2WD Tamiya, the DT03 Racing Fighter is very competant, well equipped and cheap by Tamiya standards. I'd only recommend the Bruiser if you really enjoy the build process and looking at it on a shelf afterwards.

Technology has moved on , basic ESCs have been standard equipment in Tamiya kits for a long time, it's hard to buy new radio gear that isn't 2.4 GHz now (no xtals, much less interference), the gold standard in batteries is Lipo (lithium polymer) but fit and safety can be problematic ... I'd look at NimH (Nickel metal hydride) up to 3600mah, and greater capacity & you can run in to fit problems. Brushless motors can giver performance from lathe slow/torque to Nitro fast, but TBH the Tamiya Sport Tuned motor might be old tech, but gives you a 30% power increase, which is a useful boost without showing up/wearing out other components. Chargers, the Imax B4 or many of the other copies/variants (look for four buttons and a 2-line screen) can be fiddly to use, but will charge pretty much anything. A full on fast/peak charge of a 4600mah Nimh pack should take around an hour.

I'd suggest Fusion Hobbies or Modelsport for kits and radio, RCBearings for bearing kits (so cheap compared to what bearings used to cost), Vapextech for batteries, EModels for paint - though of course there are many other suppliers that are equally compentant & good value.

:)
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Re:33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52404

Demon motor's, seems to be a UK thing. I had two of those in separated buys and both where sold to happy renewed owners in the UK.
If you are after a Hornet, Tamico.de currently has one on offer so if you hurry ;)

Batterie I can confirm that the NiMh from Vapextech or Ok but that they have different lenghts.
Currently the 3300 is best value for money. most mAh/$






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Last edit: by waterbok.

Re:33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52405

I had similar motors but without sticker. I though they were m&y motors...

33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52406

Welcome, Sam!
Great story!
To me the Hornet and Boomerang represents "bashing" and "racing" respectively. Of course the Boomer is not a modern racer, but if you want to try something similar to following a track I would go for the Boomer.
But, as other says her, there are other good options among the re-released Tamiyas.

Keep us posted! :cheer:
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33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52407

Welcome Sam. I too am a new member here. You will find yourself among a very friendly, helpful and fun group of people. TamiyaBase is a great website too with lots of information about every r/c car they have made.

33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52408

Welcome to this mighty fine forum and thanks for the great story :y:

Think you need to sort out first if you want 2wd, 4wd buggy, monstertruck or something in between, then choose from the desired platforms that are available in that sector.
As mentioned from the others here, Tamiya re.released loads of their old lineup, so it should be possible to pick one in retro form if that 's what you want :)

Myself finds the Lunchbox fun to drive, and I got allmost one hour of drivingtime with my battery which are a 4000mAh 2s Lipo pack.
And if you choose to go the Lipo (lithium polymer) route, please do read as much as possible about them as they can be somewhat dangerous.
And do use a charging bag while charging as well to be closeby while do so in safty case.

A good tip is to buy a JIS screwdriver if you buy a kit, as Tamiya screws are not normal Phillips heads, but the Japan Industry Standard.
Tamiya makes both single screwdrivers and tool kits.

Hope you got many hours of enjoyment in the future and keep us posted :y:


Greetings from Norway-

33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52411

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Hello everyone,

Thank you all so much for the warm welcome. I'm sincerely grateful for the time each of you have taken to reply. Your reponses have certainly given me lots to think about, with particular emphasis on re-relese kits and lipo batteries. On reflection, I think my preference would be a vintage model as I'm not sure the re-release would quench my thirst for nostalgia. I defintely wouldn't rule out purchasing a new version of the Blackfoot or Avante in the future, but for now I need that legitimate connection to the past. I know that my sound strange, but my return to RC is inspired by the loss of someone very special in my life; someone who shared many of those early memories with me.

Ideally, I think it would be nice to get another vintage Rough Rider but the cost is a little high and many of those I've seen at reasonable(ish) prices are often in poor condition and require mechanical knowledge beyond my comprehension. I'm not the brightest bulb in the box which is another reason I'm approaching this tentatively and on a budget. I'm after something I can use, but also have the freedom to work on without being worried about the cost of my errors. And believe me, there will be plenty of breakages, mistakes and expletives if you let me loose with a screw driver ...lol.

I would really appreciate your feedback and personal experiences on run times using NI-MH and Lipo batteries. I realise performance will vary according to the motor and gearing used, but how would battery endurance fare using something conservative like the Tamiya Sport Tuned motor and 3600mah battery, as the kindly referenced by Jonny Retro?. Caprinut mentions run times of nearly an hour using 2s Lipo (Thank you Caprinut) and that really appeals to me based on my historic reservations over limited run times. I'll definitely research everything as thoroughly as possible before contemplating Lipo's, but perhaps I could ask if any of you have had nasty experiences with these cells? And would the vintage transmissions and/or motors tolerate the additional power?

Waterbok, that Demon motor brings back so many memories, thank you for taking the time to post a picture. I would love one of those vintage motors in whichever car I eventually purchase but they're seldom available.

A big thank you and acknowledgement to Stingray, Jonny Retro, Waterbok, Larbut, Raywode and Caprinut for all your help. I'll look forward to exchanging many more messages with you.

Sam.

33 years later 3 months 4 weeks ago #52413

Battery run time is very much dependant on any number of factors - car weight, gearing, surface, motor, drivetrain type driving style & so on... but if you got 5 minutes out of 1200mAH cells back in the day, then it's reasonable to think that you'd get 15 minutes out of a 3600mAH set in the same car now, all other things being equal. 20 minutes if everything is "average" would not be a bad guess.

I suggested the 3600mAH pack as beyond that there are concerns about reliability and size - but looking again at the Vapextech site today, it looks like the most appropriate hypothetical pack would be a 3700mAH 7.2v stick pack - but two 3300mAH packs might give you a better run time vs cost, even if it does mean a pitstop to change the battery.
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