Saturday, June 15, 2024

Impressive Collection of Custom Detailed Tamiya Sand Scorchers

Tamiya XB


This month we are changing things up and featuring an impressive collection of custom detailed Tamiya Sand Scorchers. It has been a while since we have featured some hot homebuilt vehicles and this time, all of the builds shown here were created by one talented hobbyist, Bruno Lopes.

About the builder, Bruno Lopes

The builder of these standout homebuilt Tamiya Sand Scorchers is Bruno Lopes (also known by the nickname BOLIM) who hails from Portugal and still calls it home. Common to us RC car enthusiasts, Bruno developed a deep love for cars in his youth. With that said, how he acquired his love for cars is most likely very different than most of us. Bruno was fortunate to live in a town in Portugal where the Group B Rally Cars would race passed his house while they competed in the Rally de Portugal. How cool is that? He made a point to never miss these rally events and would even skip school if necessary. This eventually led him into the world of RC cars where he could quickly get “behind the wheel” of an off-road racecar, it was just in 1/10-scale.

When Bruno hit the age of 22, he got his hands on his first nitro powered RC car. He had loads of fun with that car and just has life tends to do, he was pulled away from RC for over ten years. It was not until the birth of his first son which got him back into the RC world and Bruno hasn’t left since. At the beginning of his return, he was restoring nitro-powered vehicles which eventually transitioned into creating and assembling custom builds. Bruno tells us that box art was not for him. He found more pleasure in formulating different colors by mixing paints and then adding special details to give his vehicles that personal touch to make them unlike other RC vehicles. Over time he perfected his methods to achieve this impressive collection of custom detailed Tamiya Sand Scorcher buggies featured here.

Some of Bruno’s Restored Nitro Vehicles

Bruno Lopes’ Custom Detailed Tamiya Sand Scorchers

The custom detailed cars we are about to show you all started five years ago. While Bruno was going through the RC gear he had accumulated, he came across a Tamiya Sand Scorcher body and a Tamiya CC-01 Cross Country shaft driven 4WD off-road chassis. It was at this moment he came up with the concept of marrying the two together. Clearly his early memories of watching full size rally cars race passed his house was a big influence in these creations.

Understandably, the mating of the Sand Scorcher body to the CC-01 chassis was not a quick and easy feat. It took Bruno hours of trial and error where he needed to cut the chassis, make thermoplastic body mounts with Velcro in order to get the bug body to sit perfectly on the chassis. Soon people were asking for his Scorcher CC-01 builds and he made several.

CC-01 Based Builds

The latest engine Bruno created using CAD.

Over time, Bruno’s CC-01 conversion underwent tweaks which made it better and better with each iteration. It was during this timeframe that Bruno learned how to produce parts using CAD software and 3D printing so that he could add his own accessories to these cool rally-inspired vehicles. With each and every car he built, his learning curve stayed steep where new details and features being added to each buggy he built. The list of accessories he designed and made is quite remarkable and includes items like replica engines, side-view mirrors, interiors with illuminated instrument panels, roll cages, skid plates, body mounts, license plates, wheels, rear wings, interior door panels and more.

Then after being available for more than twenty years, Tamiya discontinued the CC-01 chassis which forced Bruno to change gears and use the CC-02 that was released in 2019. He developed body mounts and a method where the interior would be attached to the chassis instead of the inside of the body. Similar to Bruno’s previous builds, he added a scratch-built faux engine complete with more scale details that boosts the vehicles realism tenfold.

CC-02 Based Builds

Along with the CC-01 and CC-02 chassis based Scorcher builds, Bruno has made versions using the stock Tamiya Sand Scorcher chassis. Following are some excellent examples of those builds which really highlight Bruno’s extraordinary skill in creating realistic weathered bug bodies. This rusty/patina look has become his main painting style which is based on full-size rat rods. Bruno’s painting abilities can be partially credited to his family. He grew up surrounded by paint brushes with both his father and grandfather being painters. This instilled in Bruno that the brush is inseparable from the painter. Therefore, Bruno uses brushes a lot with the chipping technique to create his RC masterpieces. This is something that he picked up by watching videos and reading about the methods used by master military model builders and he is still learning.

Sand Scorcher Chassis Based Builds


As you can imagine, the people who have seen Bruno’s custom detailed Sand Scorcher bodies wanted ones for themselves. He soon received more and more purchase requests for his unique creations which has led to selling on eBay. You can check out his eBay store named BOLIM. There you can find not only his fully painted patina bodies, but also many scale accessories for the Sand Scorcher, Tamiya Defender D90, Tamiya Jeep Wrangler and even the Tamiya XR311 Combat Support Vehicle and Fast Attach Vehicle. And that is just some of what he sells in his eBay store, so check it out.

About the Stock Tamiya Sand Scorcher (2010)

The first Sand Scorcher came out back in 1979 and was then re-released by Tamiya in 2010. The 2010 version is the one that you can still currently buy from Tamiya. It retains the same basic rear-wheel drive 2WD chassis layout as the original and comes with the super-detailed and realistic white polystyrene molded VW bug body. This model realistically reproduces the unique form of the buggy which was seen at the one-make race at the “Baja 1000” in California.

Stock chassis of Tamiya Sand Scorcher.


  • Item number: 58452
  • Scale: 1/10
  • Length: 16.5 in. (419mm)
  • Width (F/R): 7.38 in. (188mm) / 8.63 in. (219mm)
  • Wheelbase 9.75 in. (248mm)
  • Weight 3.9 lb. (1,769g)
  • Chassis: 2mm FRP plate, reinforced with aluminum
  • Drivetrain: Enclosed 2WD gearbox
  • Differential: None
  • Bearings: Metal ball bearings
  • Suspension: Aluminum front double trailing arm with rear aluminum A-arms and metal torsion bars
  • Shocks: Aluminum body, oil-filled shocks
  • Motor: 540-brushed type
  • Speed control: Electronic speed control
  • Wheels: 3-piece, 5-spoke
  • Tires: Treaded rubber, off-road
The Tamiya Sand Scorcher body set (#51406).

For more information about Tamiya products, visit: TAMIYA

Tamiya XB