June 5, 2020

Tamiya Fast Attack Vehicle Shark

During the Corona pandemic I desperately needed something to do because I can’t fly, and what better than to re-visit the RC cars from my childhood. I had several Tamiya cars back in the 80s, including a Lunch Box and a Monster Beetle. My first car was a Grasshopper which I sadly think was broken and thrown away many years ago. What originally started as a search for that old car to restore with new parts, ended up with me getting my hands on the already quite rare “Shark Mouth”-edition of the 1984 2WD Fast Attack Vehicle (FAV) buggy. This was an enjoyable build and a great nostalgic experience. There’s a little bit of brush painting to do on the driver figure. The rest of the car is molded in a nice silvery grey finish that only requires a little paint here and there, the rest is stickers.

As you can see in the pictures, I found an old set of custom aluminum oil dampers that look a lot like the first edition shocks from the Tamiya Frog. Either that, or they were made on the Lathe by my father back in the day. They were probably used as a replacement for the stock Grasshopper friction dampers. They are shown in the picture above next to the stock FAV-plastic friction dampers.

UPDATE: I couldn’t resist driving it. It drives great and is a lot of fun. The oil dampers work great. It’s well balanced and really easy to handle. Despite a lot of crashing into fences, rocks and flipping over, it’s just barely scratched. I used my Futaba 16sz transmitter with both gas and steering on the right stick using the elevator and aileron channels. I was surprised to find how easy that was to get used to. I also set up expo on both channels so they are not so sensitive. I can also use Flight Conditions to set up different modes of driving.

And yes – the ejection seat warning sticker is upside down.

Here’s a little video with the build pics and a short bit of running.

Here’s a better running video edit: