Many RC fanatics have that one RC car or truck that they dream about owning someday. For some of the guys on the RC Driver staff, the RC vehicle that is on the want list is often from Tamiya. Tamiya produces some of the most scale detailed models available from on-road cars to trucks, tanks and even semi trucks. The Tamiya 1/14 Scale R/C Tractor Rrucks are often the most dreamt about RC vehicles. They just look incredibly cool. Maybe it’s because of some of those trucker movies back in the 80’s or just because it’s an amazing replica. Whatever it is, RCer’s are often drawn to the Tamiya Semi series and so we thought it would be fitting to take a look at some of the trucks in the collection so you too can add it to your list of RC goals.
The tamiya big rigs are well engineered RC vehicles. They’re not made up of plastics from front to rear, rather each component is specifically designed and material selected based on the function of the truck. So the frame rails on each rig are stamped steel. Like a real rig, the frame has to be rugged and the Tamiya trucks when hauling and yes they can haul have to have a rigid platform to get the job done.
The drivelines are an engineering work of art in the RC world starting with the transmissions. They have been designed to mimic a real transmission complete with working three speed shifting capability. Inside the case is a series of gears, rails and forks to shift the truck and get the gear your hauling where it needs to go like a full scale rig. There is a metal driveshaft that transfers power to the rear axle or axles depending on the style of Tamiya big rig you choose.
Moving to the suspension, the big rigs ride on leaf springs with shackles with additional damping from friction damping shocks in the front. The front suspension meets up with an I-beam style front end connected to the steering knuckles while the rear axles are additionally secured by trailing arms.
Overall the frame and suspension are fairly simple setups, they do the job of replicating their full-scale counterparts without extreme complexity. However, this is not a quick build kit, these kits can take days to build and even longer to paint and detail the bodies.
Each kit is outfitted with specialty accessories to help deliver that scale appearance of the machine they are modeled after. You’ll find mud flaps, fuel tanks, storage compartments, decks, fifth-wheels and othe scale accessories in the kit. Each one with realistic detail and sometimes chrome plated. There is always something to look at on the truck even after it’s built.
The bodies for the rigs are hard plastic bodies which means their molded with incredible detail. Tamiya painstakingly replicates each truck based on the real truck and in some photos of these trucks online, you can hardly tell if it’s RC or real. The rigs come with windshields, and some have interiors that can be further detailed. Chrome headlight bezels, chrome grills, side mirrors on metal posts, plated rims and realistic tires round out the incredible detail of a Tamiya Big Rig.
Over the years, Tamiya has amassed a large selection of Big Rigs. Big Rigs have been a major part of the european radio control modeling community and there is certainly growing presence in North America and elsewhere. There should be a rig on their list that first your specific interest or they all will, that’s where we stand. Here we’ll feature some of our favorites among the series and you can of course see more of what Tamiya offers HERE
Probably the most recognizable rig of the group, the King Hauler has been available for years and has several variations such as the Knight Hauler and Grand Hauler. The Mighty King Hauler resembles the classic conventional American tractor truck. Powered by it’s 540 motor driven with a 3-speed transmission, it has no problem turning the dual rear axles. Each axle is supported with leaf spring and shocks. The metal C-Channel ladder frame, keeps the power to the pavement.
The massive American rig has joined Tamiya’s 1/14 scale tractor truck stable. Tamiya’s model of the Ford Aeromax tractor truck boasts both large scale realism and authentic functions. Servo-shifted 3-speed transmission is mounted at the front of the aluminum ladder frame. The body is a licensed replica of the Ford Aeromax with incredible detail from the front bumper to the back of the sleeper cabin.
The Cascadia Evolution is an aerodynamically advanced and more fuel efficient version of the Cascadia tractor manufactured by Freightliner Trucks, a leading manufacture in the North American market. This R/C model assembly kit of the Cascadia Evolution faithfully recreates the truck’s fuel efficient form and includes a number of metal chassis parts. The highly aerodynamic form of the Cascadia Evolution was accurately captured thanks to extensive research and cooperation from Freightliner/Daimler. The model also features accurate interior details such as dashboard and seats. Gloss and matte finished metal-plated parts further heighten the model’s realism.
The Tamiya rendition of the MAN TGX 18.540 4×2 XLX faithfully captures the truck’s modern form with the use of ABS plastic body parts and a number of metal chassis components. One look at the detailed interior and auxiliary equipment, such as air tanks, will confirm that the body features replica-quality realism, which is further enhanced with metal transfers depicting emblems and numerous metal-plated parts. The chassis is built for durability as it uses aluminum side channels with resin cross members. Drivability is accomplished by power from the front-mounted motor and is transmitted via a propeller shaft to the rear axle; built-in differential gears guarantee smooth cornering. Gear changes can be made via a separately sold 4-channel transmitter. The model features a highly detailed body and a 2-axle chassis with durable ladder frame. When controlled with a separately available R/C system, the 3-speed transmission enables authentic gear changes while driving.
MERCEDES BENZ AROCS TIPPER
This is a highly accurate 1/14 scale radio control model that recreates the Mercedes-Benz Arocs dump truck. It features a highly realistic truck bed section behind the cab which can be operated by the radio transmitter, using the separately-sold Actuator Set (Item 56545)! The model’s ladder frame chassis features aluminum side channels with resin cross members and is equipped with a highly realistic suspension utilizing metal leaf springs and friction dampers. A front-mounted motor and 3-speed transmission power the two rear wheel axles, which are fitted with built-in differentials to enable smooth cornering. A 4-channel R/C system and multi-function unit allow you to drive the vehicle and experience realistic lights, sounds and vibrations. (Both sold separately)
THE BIG HAUL
Tamiya’s Tractor Trailer offerings are among the most highly detailed models available in the radio control hobby and they do take many hours to build and detail. Tamiya offers a full line of quality paints, tools and even accessories to get your model together and suited to your style. To outfit the Tractor Trailers, there is also a selection of trailers to choose from and accessories to detail them as well. These big rigs are not only a great modeling experience, but also deliver on the scale realism when in action. Shift gears, back your haul into a parking spot, a Tamiya Tractor Trailer model always gains attention wherever it is driven.