Tamiya’s extensive line of 1/14-scale remote control tractor trucks is utterly impressive since each and every one is so highly detailed for scale realism that they are easily mistaken as static models. This may lead you to believe that there is not anything else you could do to make them look even more realistic and that assumption would be incorrect. Like all of the other RC vehicles that Tamiya manufacturers, these tractor trucks have a heap of optional parts offered by Tamiya. Following are 12 appearance boosting Tamiya Hop-Up Options for 1/14 tractor trucks. There are also a bunch of hop-ups to improve performance and durability and we will save those for another time. This article is to highlight the options to make these rigs even cooler looking.
If you are not familiar with the line of Tamiya 1/14-scale tractor trucks, let us give you a little information that will help you with choosing from the hop-up option parts highlighted below. Basically, there are two different styles of tractor trucks offered by Tamiya. American style like the Grand Hauler (#56344), Globe Liner (#56304) and Ford Aeromax (#56309) and the European style like the Scania 770 S 6X4 (#56368), Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3363 (#56352) and MAN TGX 26. 540 6X4 XLX (#56370). It is important to understand this distinction because not all of the Tamiya Hop-Up Option parts mentioned below work with both styles of trucks.
Matte Plated Gearbox—#56539
Depending on the Tamiya tractor trailer that you own, the gearbox is visible like on many of the cab-over trucks. Out of the box the gearbox is molded in glossy black and does not look realistic. Switching to this Matte Plated Gearbox will boost your trucks realism thanks to its matte aluminum finish. This is one of the hop-ups that is quite labor intensive to add to your truck as it takes a good amount of disassembly.
Matte Finish Diff Housing—#56524
Like the Matted Plated Gearbox mentioned above, this Matte Finish Diff Housing will make your tractor truck look more realistic since they are not shiny like the parts that come stock. Appearance is not the only benefit with this diff housing. They are stronger than stock due to the fact they are molded from carbon reinforced polycarbonate. You can expect improved axle shape retention and gear robustness.
Metal Plated Wheels (front/rear)—#56520/56518
Improved scale realism is fun to create, especially on these Tamiya tractor trucks and the trailers. A step in that direction can be made by installing these Metal Plated Wheels. They come with a matte finish which mimic the plain natural metal wheels seen on full size big rigs. Just swap out the stock glossy wheels for these Metal Plated Wheels. They are available for the front or rear wheels so make sure you buy the correct ones to outfit your particular tractor.
Sticker Set for 1/14 Truck & Trailer—#56534
Each Tamiya Tractor Truck and Tractor Trailer includes stickers and if you want to give them a more customized look then pick up this Sticker Set. You will notice that the marking used on the sticker set are ones that you would typically find on European big rigs. There is everything from national identification marks, warning marks, speed limitations, individual letters and numbers plus a bunch more. Don’t let the European marking keep you from decking out your American style tractors and trailers. There are no rules here.
Tractor Truck Animal Guard—#56506
Installing the Tamiya Tractor Truck Animal Guard is a great way to quickly change the look of your big rig. It is very easy to add and once it is on…it makes a statement. This animal guard is modeled after the full-size guards us on tractor trucks that cruise the worlds highways. It incorporates hard anodized aluminum bars and metal plated ABS supports. Tamiya equips this hop-up with all the necessary parts and screws for mounting it.
Multi-Function Control Unit (MFC-01/MFC-03 “Euro”)—#56511/56523
Out of all the Tamiya Hop-Up Option parts for the tractor trucks, the Multi-Function Control (MFC) Unit is the most one out of the entire bunch. Once the MFC is installed, it allows the transmitter trim levers to be combined with stick control so that lights, sounds and vibrations are coordinated with actions while driving the tractor trucks. It adds an entire extra layer of scale realism to driving one of these remarkable trucks.
The MFC features 33 different types of sound including engine ignition and shutdown, horn, gear shifting, brakes and air sound effects. A 2.4-inch diameter full-range speaker mounted in a resin case gives exceptional sound quality. Along with the numerous sound effects are up to 21 different actions that can be controlled using a 4-channel radio system. There is even an ESC integrated into the MFC to allow realistic running at very low speeds. Other features include white, red and yellow high brightness LEDs to replicate trucks with HID lights. Headlights, brake lights, fog lamps, hazard lights and turn signal operations are also controllable from the transmitter.
Tamiya offers two versions of the MFC for its big rigs; the MFC-01 for US trucks and the MFC-03 for the Euro style tractor trucks. The key difference between the two versions is that the MFC-03 features engine sounds which were recorded from a real European truck’s L6 diesel engine while the MFC-01 generates US semi engine sounds.
Tractor Truck Roof Spoiler—#56504
Your rig can benefit from the Tractor Truck Roof Spoiler depending on the style it is. We would say this is more fitting for one of the Tamiya tractors that are modeled after older style trucks. It will enhance the appearance of the truck and its angle can be easily adjusted between 30-90-degrees to best match the trailer you are pulling or look you want to achieve. You can quickly mount it using double-sided tape or for a more secure method, use the screws that are included in the kit. Critical components such as the spoiler rails and spoiler rod use metal parts for strength while the deflector panel and cross member is molded from ABS plastic.
Metal Horn Set—#56540
While adding items to the roof like the spoiler, consider this Tamiya Metal Horn Set. On trucks like the King Hauler, Globe Liner and Grand Hauler, they use plated plastic horns. With these constructed of metal, they are obviously tougher and the screw-attachment improves durability. If you hold these units next to the plastic plated ones, you will see that they have more luster and therefore more look the part. If you plan on adding these to a different Tamiya Tractor than what was aforementioned, some body modifications may be necessary.
Metal Display Antenna Set—#56555
Making a vehicle look more scale is all in the small details. A perfect example is the Tamiya Metal Display Antenna Set that is a very subtle touch that you can add to your big rig. It features two sprung metal depictions of an antenna that you would find on a full-size rig. All the hardware and tiny parts are included to get them installed on the tractor body.
Aluminum Coupler Lever Plate—#56535
In stock form, this plate is metal plated plastic so you may think it is not such a big change if you install this aluminum version of the coupler lever plate. This is another one of those subtle changes that contribute to the overall improved scale look of these tractors. Aluminum parts give a more authentic weighty feel over the stock plastic parts. Typically this plate is a part used in the coupler unit, which allows the use of separately available motorized support legs, but you can use it with the stock support legs.
Aluminum Center Air Tank—#56552
For the majority of the European style trucks, this Aluminum Center Air Tank is designed to be attached to the chassis behind the case of the gearbox. As the name implies, it is machined out of aluminum and can be used to replace the stock black molded plastic air tank. Going from black to this shiny aluminum center air tank is a big jump in contrast and will pop when you look at the back section of the tractor chassis. The section is between the fifth wheel and cab of the tractor. This hop up is compatible with the following Tamiya Tractor trucks: 56312, 56318, 56323, 56325, 56329, 56335, 56348 and 56352.
Tractor Truck Driver Figure—#56536
The twelfth and final appearance boosting Tamiya Hop-Up Option for the 1/14-scale tractor trucks is this driver figure. There are so many fully customized, super-scale looking Tamiya tractor trucks out there and many do not have a driver figure, so these rigs drive around and look kind of odd being unmanned. The parts for the driver figure come molded in white polystyrene and require assembly and paint to bring it ‘to life’. Many of the truck have seats inside the cab to which this driver figure can be attached with glue or double-sided tape.
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