A complicated classic!
Yes, Tamiya have re-released a proper vintage
Sorry, I mean their first 4WD car from 1985. A
true 'Classic'. With it's aggressive looks and
great handling. The Hotshot is back!
Nothing too serious here, just a great build I
wanted to share with you all.
Before you start build you WILL require ball bearings.
All available cheap on ebay. Although Tamiya have
included six of them to get you started you'll
need another 18 as follows:
- 13 x 1150 size
- 5 x 850 size
A better motor is also required. You can use
the kit one, but it will be slow. These old 4WD's
need just that bit more punch to get the best
out of them. I used a 'GT Tuned' (25T) one here.
The manual is your normal Tamiya masterpiece.
So easy to follow and nothing to trip you up.
So here goes..
Steps 1, 2 & 3, Rear gearbox assembly.
Use plenty of grease and don't be too harsh with
those screws, nip them up slightly.
Step 4, Motor & pinion. I've used a
15T here. Should be good all-round gearing. If
not I'll change to the 13T. Remember to get the
spacing right (17mm from end of motor to outside
of pinion) if you don't, it will soon strip that
Remember that the higher turn motors such as the
supplied 27T have more torque and generally can
stand a larger pinion. As a rule the hotter the
motor the more you should gear down with smaller
pinions. Sounds odd but the smaller pinions will
actually allow these motors to run faster!
Step 5, Attaching the motor. Always a very
tricky one on this type of 4WD. It's those set
plates that are a pain! Best way I find is to
mount the motor first with the top screw and tighten
so you can just move the motor slightly. Then
drop the set plates in the slot. Just feed your
other screw in between the plates and tighten..
Simple! Don't tighten this screw too much as it
sits on the soft plastic washer (B6) and will
Steps 6, 7 & 8, Front gearbox assembly.
Easy enough. Just use plenty of grease again.
The gear H1 might need a knife or rub down, it
has sharp edges sometimes that can cause the gear
to bind with the H3 gear. Screw the two gearbox
halves together with two screws only and feel
if it's ok with by spinning the propeller joint.
Steps 9, 10 & 11, Rear suspension assembly.
No problems here. I don't use the grease on the
screw pins as I don't see the point. But be very
careful tightening those screw pins up. Don't
even nip them up, just screw in until the head
touches the plastic suspension arm. They crack
ever so easily.
Steps 12, 13 & 14, Front suspension
assembly. No problems here, just assemble as per
manual and don't go mad with those screw pins!
Steps 15 & 16, Top chassis assembly
and paint. Painting already?! Yes, the old driver
needs some clothes. I've found it easier to spray
the drivers helmet now with any old colour you
have left in your paint box.
Step 17, Suspension crank. Make sure you
get the MP1's the right way around, because those
E-rings are a pain to get back off! And when tightening
E6 onto the shaft hold the shaft under the ball
head, so if the pliers slip you wont see a mark
on the metal as it's covered by E2 & E4. Or
just screw a normal screw into E6 first to make
some threads so it's easier.
Steps 18 & 19, Attaching gearbox's.
Simple, no worries here. Don't forget the sponge
MD2 in the front propeller joint.
Steps 20, 21 & 22, Damper assembly.
I don't usually like doing dampers, but these
are great! They are different and better than
the originals internally. I've always thought
the pre-load adjustment is a great design, so
simple. Before you attempt to screw on parts D2
& D3 (damper bottoms) screw a 3mm screw into
them first as they are very difficult to screw
onto the damper shafts if not.
Steps 23 & 24, Attaching dampers. Just
follow the manual, no problems.
Steps 25 & 26, Checking radio gear
and servo saver assembly. As you all know, this
is just to make sure it all works and to centralise
your steering servo.
Steps 27 28, Steering servo. The steering
rods might want to be a little shorter. You can
adjust them later easy enough.
Step 29, Radio installation. You can have
nice neat wires if you wrap them around a screw
drive shaft tightly. Mainly the servo and speed
controller ones. Not the motor and battery wires.
Step 30, Attaching lower chassis. Hope
you have a good arm. These screws take some getting
in! Make sure everything is right before you tighten
Steps 31 & 32, Front bumper and steering
set up. Do exactly how it says in the manual with
the BA2 screw. It does need that screw lock. Adjust
steering as it says.
Steps 33 & 34, Roll cage assembly.
The window netting is a pain to fit. Don't use
as many nylon bands as it says. I managed with
three per side not six! One of the only changes
I've noticed here to the original car are the
plastic rods moulded under the wing attachment,
to stop the wing hitting the heat sinks when the
car rolls over. Be careful with all the screws
here also. The plastic is ever so soft.
Steps 35 & 36, Dummy heat sinks. You
just have to fit these. They are a nice finishing
touch, keeping the new Hotshot looking original.
It amazes me how Tamiya go to such lengths on
detail. Keep your wires neat again and tuck them
into the chassis out of the way.
Step 37, Attaching battery plate. The sponge
isn't going to do much, but use it anyway. Don't
forget the two screws to attach the bottom of
the roll cage.
Steps 38 & 39, Wheels! My favourite
part. The new oval bloke tyres are softer. The
old ones used to hurt putting them on! No glue
is needed. Just make sure you get them the right
way around. They just look better that way. Don't
over tighten the wheel nuts also. The triangle
wheel adapters will split.
Steps 40, 41& 42, Fit battery and test.
The maintenance stand is another great idea on
this car. Plug in your battery, switch on and
hey presto.. A running Hotshot!! (Hopefully)
Steps 43, 44, 45, 46 & 47, The body.
It's a tiny body, but an easy one to do. Do your
holes first. Then start cutting it all out. Making
sure it sits right on the car. I always use three
tools for doing lexan bodies. Straight scissors,
curved scissors and a sharp knife (scalpel) Makes
the job far easier. Any hard to get to places
or straight lines to cut, use the knife to score
into the lexan.
Then bend it until it snaps off. Give it a really
good clean ready for some paint.
I used 4 coats of Tamiya Bright Red to bring more
life into the final look.
The normal red is quite dark. Any type of red
colour is a must on this car. It just doesn't
look right in any other colour really. Glue the
spot lights together before you paint them. It
stops them from coming apart while your painting
them. Once it's all dry and you've taken the protective
covering off you can fit the decals and the spot
The best part in my book. I used some originals
i had as well as new ones. I don't like some of
the news ones. The body does rub in certain places
when fitted to the chassis, so use some tape to
protect it inside and then you don't get the paint
coming off. The front stabiliser mount screws
are the main culprits. All finished!!
Step 48, (my step) Fit a vintage underguard.
They are great, cheap and save the bottom of the
car from snagging etc. Available from your local
You now have one enjoyable mean bit of kit to
thrash and abuse.
The Hotshot is just a pure joy all the way...