After being bitten by the off-road virus again after so many years, I bought my Juggernaut. After driving it (a lot), I still loved it, but also wanted something that could really go fast. I started looking at the current Tamiya buggies such as the Baja King and Blitzer Beetle. I liked both but they were missing... something.
Then, Tamiya came out with an all-new buggy. The Gravel Hound. It looked good, had a nice chassis, and showed potential to become a truly great buggy. Tamiya hadn't made one of these since the Manta Ray, which evolved into the Top Force and finally the Top Force Evolution, which is - in my opinion - the best buggy ever made by Tamiya. Now, if they push through with the gravel hound, and market a full-option version of this buggy, they may beat the evo.
Anyways, I sold my Pajero for a fair price, and bought my full-option (there aren't a lot of options yet, so full-option is the standard kit plus some 4 options. ) gravel hound. While I was at it I bought a new transmitter (Futaba 2PL) and I was ready to start racing again.
I built this car completely standard at first. I did fit an aluminium central shaft and a tuned motor, along with an electronic speed control.
The paint job is something a little special. I masked the windows, so that they would be transparent after painting. Then I applied Tamiya's translucent blue paint, and backed it with silver. The result is a bright blue color with somewhat of a depth effect. It's not as good as I had hoped, but it's got an out-of-the-box look, with a special accent.
Next is the installing of the 67t spurgear, along with a larger pinion gear. This should give me an extra top speed-boost. I can afford to go as low as possible with the gear ratio, as my motor makes up for lost torque.
Anyway, I just put some pics below, to illustrate what I'm yapping about. Click these links (1 - 2) to see extra-big pictures of the car.
If you're into watching movies, there are some here. Enjoy!
Of course, no car is perfect. Here are some improvements I made to the gravelhound.
The first thing I needed to change was the antenna-mount. When assembling the car new out-of-the-box, I destroyed the thread for the screw that keeps the antenna-mount in place. I drilled the hole through, and inserted a long screw. Now I can still disassemble my gearbox, but don't need to damage my chassis when doing so. I just put a nut on the screw, and it's attached solid ;)
I replaced the wheels by Dynablaster wheels, and the tyres by Stadium Blitzer tyres. The result: large wheels, a cool mad bull-look, and higher speed.
I also used a black Tamiya Touring Acto Power motor - 16x2. This thing just flies! Movie to come ;)