58071 - Sonic Fighter
Comments/Reviews left by our members. Please feel free to submit your own comment/review.

By Yalson. 07/07/2007 13:10:14

Faced with the fundemental problems built in to the Striker chassis, instead of throwing the thing into the nearest bin, Tamiya decided to have a go at improving it. The result was the Sonic Fighter.

In order to improve the Striker's dismal suspension, they increased the height of the front shock towers to give them more travel and fitted CVA oil shocks all round. These were improvements, but they did little to improve what was a fundementally flawed design, front and rear. The issues at the front were less to do with the type of shock absorber and more to do with geometry, as the Striker and Sonic Fighter used a Grasshopper-type single wishbone system that was adequate in the simple 'Hopper, but woefully inadequate in anything quicker or more substantial. At the rear, the problem was the peculiar semi-trailing arm suspension, that placed extra loads on the already weak plastic driveshafts.

In combination with the monocoque chassis' inherently unwieldy characteristics, these systems combined to make the Striker and (to a lesser extent) Sonic Fighter handle very poorly on anything but a billiard-table-flat surface. They could be hustled a little more on tarmac, but even there they would lose out to other, more sorted machines.

The less said about the styling, the better. All I will say is that on its release, it caused me and my friends to question whether the previously sensible Tamiya Corp. was now awash with psychedelic drugs.

Not a success, then. But with double wishbone independent suspension all round, a skinnier monocoque and a body not designed by an acid freak, it might have worked...


By Stevo309 02/09/2006 00:39:05

Probably as close as Tamiya came to producing a toy! The Sonic fighter is loosely themed around a jet fighter. It was a cheap and cheerful kit that is quick and easy to build and aimed at beginners rather than the serious racer. It features trailing arm rear suspension, single wishbone front suspension all damped by 4 oil shockers and unfortunately has the terrible plastic dogbones from the Falcon and Striker that are prone to popping out or twisting. The chassis is also weak at the front end where it gets thin to make space for the steering rods.

Despite all this it does have some charm and when painted as Tamiya suggest in matt Haze Grey (which they rarely are) it does look quite striking.

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