TamTech Gear Porsche 935 Martini Turbo RSR
Even before I start writing this, I can already guess I'll hear my friend Teamneogordini laughing and mocking me . "I thought you considered Tamtech were toys: changed your mind?". ". Hum, well . Yes, I changed my mind: watching him running his Porsche 934 Turbo RSR and admiring the splendid bodyshell (the car's, not Teamneogordini's!), I succumbed.
In fact, I still don't like the chassis (even if some technical aspects are interesting), but the bodyshell got me mad. This is also why I chose the RTR version with the factory painted bodyshell: I wanted it perfect.
The TamTech family
In fact, there are two different TamTech generations: the first was released in 1986, and the second which full name is Tamtech Gear showed up in 2006.
Ford Mustang Probe GTP
Lamborghini Countach 5000
Lotus Type 102B
The models included everything to run right out of the box: this was what we now call RTR (Ready to Run). But this first TamTech generation had also two evolutions:
Difficult to say why this series by Tamiya didn't seem to have found its public since the Mini-Z series Kyosho released a few years later is still a best-seller. But here are are few hypothesis:
- the time may not have been appropriate (it wasn't yet the end of the buggy golden era)
- the price/scale ratio may have been prohibitive at the time
- the very light 2WD chassis required very good driving skills
Nevertheless, Tamiya decided to review the concept: the TamTech name is reused since 2006 but changing several aspects. The RTR concept is still there but kit versions were also released, and above all, the new series featured off-road vehicles. The scale was changed too since on-road models are 1/12 while off-roaders are about 1/14.
57101 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR
56708 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR Jagermeister
57103 Ferrari GTO
57104 Porsche 935 Martini Turbo RSR
57105 Lamborghini Countach LP500
84057 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR Black Edition
Tamiya really did their best to give the new series every chance to succeed: the on-road splendid bodyshells are exact lexan replicas of their early RC models counterparts. Apart from being beautiful still by today's standards, the choice of these bodyshells is a demonstration of Tamiya's firm intention to seduce the fan base. Several of the above models exist both in RTR and kit versions, other exclusively in RTR version and the last model is a limited special series reminding the original kit 58001 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR Black Edition that was released in the late 70's to celebrate the model's 100.000 sales mark. All these models share the same GT-01 chassis with different wheelbase.
To complete the series, Tamiya developed an RTR off-road range, here also by making use of their current and historical catalog:
56701 The Frog
56702 The Hornet
56703 Fox Mini
56704 Wild Boar
56705 Desert Gator
56707 Buggy Champ
84105 Buggy Champ (Blue Edition)
84328 Suzuki Jimny (SJ30)
These models are based on the GB-01 chassis (Frog, Hornet, Fox, Desert Gator) and a GB-01T version for the Wild Boar and the Suzuki Jimny (different suspension and body mounts). The GB-02 was specifically made for the Buggy Champ (front trailing arms suspension to reproduce the Rough Rider's) and the GB-03 is the only one 4x4 chassis made for the Hotshot.
Tamiya did their best: the TamTech Gear series new generation reminds or is a direct fit for several mythical models, both on and off road. Despite of all this, it seems like the expected success was not reached since the series seems to be already abandoned.
My TamTech Gear Porsche 935 Martini when it arrived
This is RTR, so no big surprise to expect: already built, painted, decorated and the radio equipment is in the box. The model is already fully ballraced: in fact, there are very few options left to install apart from the highly recommended ones you see below (we'll talk about these later on).
As you can see on the photos, this model only misses a battery pack and a charger to be fully RTR. The bodyshell is absolutely beautiful, especially the rear shape and even the driver is painted (but has no eyes). On the other hand, I am terrified by how Tamiya has treated the rear wing: the big "Martini Porsche" sticker looks light blue/gray on the above photos. My camera isn't responsible for this, neither using flash explains this painful ugliness for the eye: you still suffer at seeing at daylight since the sticker itself is responsible!
Short explanation: the wing is made out of black plastic while the sticker has a white background. So, if you place a very low quality sticker likeTamiya did, the white is pretty much translucent, the black background darkens the white color so the result is an eyesore. And yet the solution to this would have been cheap and easy: to paint a white coat and place this low quality sticker or to print a much better quality sticker. Instead,Tamiya delivers a close to perfection legendary bodyshell, but ruined by greed in order to gain a few miserable yens. The only cure would be to remove this eyesore sticker, paint a white coat on the wing and to stick it back -if still usable- or to buy the full sticker sheet to get a new one. I'm so disgusted by Tamiya's laxity and greed that I don't think I will throw them the money for that. It's a pity!