Take the Shot!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s August 2015 issue.
By Steve Trebing Photos Walter Sidas
Rewind the clock 27 years and you will find me, a 13-year-old boy sitting at my parent’s dining room table, experiencing the thrill and challenge of building my first ever RC car, the Tamiya Blackfoot. Fast forward to the present, and now I find myself sitting at my own dining room table building the latest kit from Tamiya, the Aqroshot. The thrill and excitement is still there! There’s just something about building an RC vehicle from parts, seeing it all come together, understanding every moving part and truly feeling the accomplishment when the process is finished. I have no expectation that the Aqroshot will ever TQ at the track, but I am positive it will deliver many hours of fun end enjoyment, read on and see for yourself.
WHO MAKES IT: Tamiya
WHO IT’S FOR: Beginners
PART NUMBER: 58610
HOW MUCH: $124.99
BUILD TYPE: Kit
• It’s a kit!
• Super durable
• Torque tuned motor gives it a kick
• Included ESC handles brushed or brushless motors
• Very stable, perfect for on-road bashing
• Affordable and fun Lots of hop-ups available
• No bearings included
• Bevel gear diff is a little stiff
Anyone who buys the Aqroshot is buying it for a fun, inexpensive, “drive it almost anywhere” basher and it certainly delivers in all of those categories. The truck sits low to the ground, has plenty of suspension and comes equipped out of the box with low profile, high grip street tires that keep it planted and stable. I really liked the power and balance of the torque tuned motor Tamiya included with the Aqroshot. It’s got enough go-power to keep even the experienced RC’er smiling while keeping the beginners from feeling like it’s out of control. Handling is above average and the suspension has just the right amount of adjustability to let the owner experiment with setup for their conditions. The Aqroshot is a stylish, fun-to-drive beginner RC truck that will last through all the abuse you will most certainly put it through.
• Steering Servo
• Radio System
Tactic TTX300 3-Channel Radio System
We installed the Tactic TTX300 radio system in the Aqroshot. This system is a perfect entry level radio that matched up perfectly with our build. The system uses Tactic’s SLT 2.4GHz technology for super reliability and safety. The 3-channel receiver features a built-in fail safe and a user programmable third channel for future needs. The small size of the TR325 receiver is a guaranteed fit for just about any size RC car or truck, including smaller than 1/10-scale vehicles.
The TTX300 system offers better than average adjustability and features steering and throttle trim with adjustable end points, steering rate adjustments, an internal antenna and a 70/30 throttle setting that is great for bashing ESC’s with reverse.
• Duratrax Onyx 2500mAh 7.2V stick pack battery
• Tactic TSX35 Standard Sport Steering Servo
• Tamiya PS-23 Gun Metal Spray Paint,
Tamiya PS-5 Black Spray Paint
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Bearing Set – 4 each 5x11mm for Gearbox, 2 each 5x11mm for front axle, 2 each 5x11mm for rear axle
• Tamiya Full Turnbuckle Set – Part no. 54572 – Adding this set will allow more tuning of the suspension angles, helping with more aggressive driving styles.
TOOLS & ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• 4-way wrench
• L wrenches
• Turnbuckle tool
Chassis – The chassis is formed from two mirror imaged solid plastic pieces that when screwed together feel almost indestructible. The basic shape is very narrow and that keeps the geometry very close to the center line of the truck. All of the attach points for suspension and drivetrain are fixed and don’t really offer much in adjustability, but Tamiya did a nice job in engineering and the fixed positions are just about perfect in my opinion.
Suspension – Suspension is fairly straightforward and simple on the Aqroshot. The fixed position double wishbone setup is perfect for most on-road applications so lacking the adjustability found on higher end rigs is no big deal. The addition of oil-filled shocks is a very nice touch and really helps keep the truck stable, especially while cornering. Tamiya does include several build options for the shocks, so the builder can experiment a little to meet their driving requirements.
Steering – Steering is fairly straightforward with a direct drive steering servo and adjustable tie rods for adjusting camber. Fixed uprights don’t allow for caster adjustment but the geometry out of the box is good and should give good performance in most driving conditions.
Drivetrain – The Aqroshot has a standard bevel gear sealed differential and a three-gear transmission delivering power to the rear wheels. Power out to the wheels is handled through plastic dogbones and drive cups. The kit includes a 17-tooth pinion gear but the fixed position motor mount allows for 17, 18 or 19-tooth gears for tuning. The upgraded torque-tuned motor is included and delivers a nice balance of torque and top end power.
Additional Features – The clear Lexan stadium truck body is a perfect topper for the Aqroshot. It’s stylish and sleek and allows the owner to go crazy painting it to fit their personal style.
ON THE TRACK
The Aqroshot is a good all-purpose basher that can go just about anywhere, but really prefers the smooth pavement or hard packed dirt. I took the truck to a variety of locations around me to test out how it handled in different conditions. On the street, the truck is smooth, stable and surprisingly fast. The torque-tuned motor packs a punch for a kit motor and accelerates the truck to top speed very quickly. The street tires make it a blast to drive on the pavement and the oil filled suspension allows the truck to turn in and stay planted throughout the corner. In the dirt, the truck is a whole different animal. The street inspired setup make it a drift and donut machine once it leaves the tarmac. Being very smooth on the throttle and brakes, the Aqroshot will blast around a baseball diamond quickly with only a rooster tail of dust in trail. It handles jumps just fine and I would even feel comfortable ripping it around a hard packed track. Putting on a set of dirt tires would certainly help with its off-road handling if that’s what you’re into.
Steering is crisp and direct. The mounting of the servo directly connected to the front wheels make the Aqroshot very responsive. For the beginner, I would certainly suggest using a radio, like the TTX300 that we used, that allows for an adjustable steering rate. Cranking up the rate to 100% made the truck very twitchy and a bit of a handful. Turning down the rate gave a much better driving experience.
ACCELERATION/BRAKING The motor packs plenty of punch right out of the box. Top speed with the stock gearing is above average and that combo made the Aqroshot a very fun truck to rip around with. The electronic braking provided by the TBLE-02S ESC was just about right and brought the Aqroshot to a halt quickly.
HANDLING/JUMPING On the street, the Aqroshot handles reasonably well for a stock, entry level truck. The suspension and oil filled shocks do a great job keeping the truck stable and predictable. Small jumps are no problem as there is plenty of ground clearance and you will only get a little chassis slap if you get it too high off the ground. Taking the truck in the dirt, especially loose dirt, will put a big smile on your face, especially if you enjoy drifting. The RWD setup and street tires don’t give the Aqroshot much traction in the loose stuff, but the fun factor is multiplied by 10 in these conditions.
DURABILITY The Aqroshot is a tank, and can take just about anything you can throw at it. All of the materials used to make this truck are designed to take a lot of abuse without breaking a sweat. During all of my testing I had nothing break. The only thing I had to do was rebuild the shocks with a slightly thicker shock oil as the kit oil was a little thin for my driving style.
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SPECS & TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 11.5 in. (292mm)
WIDTH: 3.7 in. (95mm)
HEIGHT: 2.4 in. (60mm)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Clear Lexan
WHEELS: White Plastic
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: Plastic Hex
TIRES: Front and Rear Grooved On-Road
TYPE: 4-wheel Double Wishbone
SHOCK POSITIONS: Standard, Non- Adjustable
RIDE HEIGHT: Pre-load clips on the shocks
MISC: Adjustable front tow angles
TYPE: Direct Servo
TOE: Adjustable turnbuckles
TYPE: Two Piece Chassis
TRANSMISSION: 3 Gear
DIFFERENTIAL: Bevel Gear
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion and spur gears
BEARINGS: Available as Hop Up
CLUTCH TYPE: Non Adjustable
Performance – Acceleration: 7
Performance – Steering: 6
Performance – Handling: 8
Performance – Durability: 9
Feature Breakdown: 6
Overall Value: 9
THE LAST WORD
Building an RC vehicle is something everyone should do. RTR’s are great and allow you to get out and play very quickly, but spending the time to build your ride is just more satisfying. The knowledge gained from putting every single part together and understanding how it all works will pay dividends in the future, especially if you are hard on it and need to make repairs. I am glad Tamiya keeps making build up kits, like the Aqroshot, for people like me who truly enjoy the process. Being the future version of that 13 year old boy who built a Blackfoot so many years ago, I was excited to get to repeat the process 27 years later and I hope I will be able to do it again and again for another 27 years!
Tamiya America Inc tamiyausa.com (800) 826-4922