I’ve looked a bit at the Tamiya trucks, which seems like nice kits for someone who likes to have a a project over a longer time. I’m more into planes, but the details in these kits makes it hard to resist ordering one.
After going a bit back and forth, and considering the costs of the complete kit, including typical mods as ball bearings instead of the included metal bushings, wheels etc., the choice landed on the Tamiya 1850L. This is the only model that’s “complete” as it’s a box lorry, and you don’t need an extra trailer which quickly adds to the total cost of the truck. I added a MFC-01 unit, to make it as realistic as possible. I bought the ball bearings at ABEC-35 International. The set was called “TA020-GE3” and was for this particular unit.
As I was waiting for my truck to arrive, I got a couple of packs with Carson Pallets, Carson being a company producing accessories and parts for Tamiya trucks. These were simple to build, so unfortunately I still had to wait a long time for my kit to arrive.
I then got some tires and rims so I had some more to do, but after a couple of hours they were assembled and I was yet again waiting for my kit…
The next day; A HUGE BOX ARRIVED! This was the content:
I bought it from StellaModels.net, and they had an extremely good way of packing it! They had a huge cardboard box with a hard cardboard skeleton stiffening it. Inside there was styrofoam and bubble wrap. Even the individual boxes inside were wrapped in bubble wrap. In total, after unpacking everything, this is the only mark in total on both boxes, the rest is absolutely perfect!:
Of course this is just the box and not important, but I was impressed, the box was flawless, better than it would be from the dusty shelf of my local hobby store. This was as good as factory new, and it makes it more satisfactory receiving an item in this state. StellaModels, you’ve earned my greatest respect!
No, I won’t make a video of me unpacking and commenting each part, there are just to damn many, and unboxing is boring! But you might want to see how Tamiya has packed their parts, and the different parts this set actually has (It’s A LOT!).
This kit is huge! I just know I’m going to have a lot of fun with this!
I went straight on with building the frame. I thought there was only going to be one bag for the first couple of steps, but no… You have main bags for the different steps of the manual, “A, B, C…” where the parts are marked “MA, MB, MC…”, and in addition you have three bags marked “BA, BB, BC” which are screws, nuts etc. for all steps. All in all very nice and tidy, but you’ll need some space to put everything, as you’ll be working with up to 3-4 bags for each of the steps, in addition to other parts. Under each letter, there are sub steps. “A” mainly focuses on the frame itself.
I started by sorting out the different parts I needed for each step, and put them in small bags. I did this for all A-steps before I began. This made it much easier to be sure I didn’t pick the wrong parts. There’s a 1:1 picture in the manual as well, so you can double check the length of screws and other parts. This is what was needed for these steps in addition to the servos:
The first thing you’re starting with, are the actual servos. I centered them with a servo tester I have, and then mounted them with the correct servo arm (my servos are Futaba S3004), and the servo savers. After mounting the servos and the hardware after the manual’s specifications, I still couldn’t manage to get it fully centered, so I had to go outside the specifications in the manual, and adjust it after my own measurements, 31,5 mm seemed correct for the shortest servo link.
Everything is pretty much straight forward. I used the included thread lock on all screws going in to the frame (keep away from plastics!!), so I’m sure they won’t get loose over time.
After an hour or two, taking my time with servo adjustments and double checking screws, the frame was starting to take shape. This thing is big!:
The next day I continued with the front suspension and steering. The dampers were replaced with oil dampers, these are a bit better than the spring-only that are included. This was also pretty much straight forward, I still made sure to use thread lock at all screws threaded in metal, and used a long time making sure the servo was still centered and making the steering links all centered. I adjusted the front steering link just so the wheels are slightly toe out, which makes it a bit more stable at higher speeds. Probably not needed here, but why not!
(Will be updated in new post)