A quick review of Hotshot 2007 (based on manual), UPDATED July 24th
After having a look at the manual of the Hotshot 2007, I feel that the Hotshot 2007 is the poorest of the re-releases so far. I can appreciate it as a re-release being quite true to the original, but considering that many parts have been improved, I have difficulties understanding why many of the weaknesses haven’t been fixed, more so as other models in the Hotshot series (especially the Hotshot 2), had many of the Hotshot’s problems fixed. Problems that are now “revived” with the re-release. Tamiya will sure have their well considered reasons, and unlike me, those who wanted the re-release to be as close to the original as possible, will have their wish at least partially granted. As nice and interesting as the Hotshot 1 looks, a re-release close to the original is a welcome flashback, but it also means that it remains the most “immature” design in the Hotshot series.
Below a little list on details that the review of the manual has revealed, and which couldn’t be recognized on the pictures earlier available, or otherwise made known.
1. Diff joints without the integral 2mm pin (loose pin instead): More slop, higher frictionlosses and wear. The fixed pin was introduced with the Hotshot 2 and has been a standard feature for most Tamiya models since and it offers significant benefits over the “loose design”, as described in one of my earlier comments.
2. The same amount of ball bearings are included as with the original release. Considering how unprecise and inefficient the Hotshot gearbox design is, how important full ball bearings are and the fact that ball bearings aren’t by far as expensive as they were in the mid ’80’s, I would have expected Tamiya to include them. This is of course a cost issue, but as I’m sure almost all buyers will mount full ball bearings anyway, a slightly higher kit price for a kit with full ball bearings, would in my humble opinion have made more sense.
3. Pinion spacing arrangement is the same as the original release, instead of the much improved Hotshot 2 arrangement: Fiddly and more likely to get debris inside the rear gearbox. Not so critical on new and clean parts, but from past experience with the original, I know just too well how awkward this used to be.
4. As far as I can see, aluminum front bumper hex instead of brass, like later models in the Hotshot series: Threads strip much more easily, a very well known problem with the original release.
5. Not self tapping screws for radiobox, as introduced with the Hotshot 2: Much more difficult access to radiogear and more likely stripping of screwheads. (I will grease the screws on mine). I of course realise that entry to the radiobox will be less necessary now that the mechanical speed control is gone, but considering that the Hotshot 2007 has the Hotshot 2 tub, which has a quite strong visual impact, I consider it surprising that the “invisible” improvement of using selftapping screws has not been applied.
6. No 850 bearings for the diffjoints (outside the 1150 bearings) and no advice to add them to reduce diff joint slop, as with the Bigwig. Unless the gearbox housings have been modified, making fitting of these 4 extra 850 bearings impossible, I will add them on mine.
On the positive side, except the things we knew about already:
1. Reinforced rear upper arms in the lever area of the monoshock mount. A very much needed and truly welcome improvement!
2. Improved kingpin design. Hex head instead of screwdriver head (first release) and Phillips head (improved Hotshot 1 and later). The “hex” is smaller in diameter and thus will probably cause less wear on the “ballcup area” of the suspension arms (less/no grinding) and more important, makes assembly by far easier.
3. E-clips instead of C-clips for the diffjoints. The original’s c-clips were fiddly to mount, ever worse to remove and tiny, so were easily lost during assembly and maintenance. The larger E-clips surely offer a benefit here, and may also add a little more of the very much needed stability to the diff assembly.
4. Rubber boot on switch. Not important, but a nice touch.
5. Reinforced wing mount. Two almost vertical “struts” have been added. A little strange as the original was indeed adequate, but with no significant visual impact or other disadvantages, still welcome.
6. Hotshot 2 / TA01 type front uprights. Reduced bumpsteer compared to the original Hotshot’s upright type. For the purists, the original Hotshot 1 type uprights are included as well (on the D-parts tree), but marked as “not used” in the parts overview.
7. Both a steel antenna (like Hotshot 1) and a plastic antenna pipe with aluminum holder!
So, do I look forward to receiving the kit, which is currently in transit? Yes, I do. It will be nice to “travel” back to May 1st 1985, when I built my first Hotshot and seeing it finished in all its visual glory will be a joy. However, now knowing to a large extent how it will run, I think mine will stay a “static” model after assembly. After the XR311, the first re-release I don’t really feel any desire to run!
Update: Tamiya HQ obviously doesn’t have a problem admitting that the Hotshot 2007 is based on a very outdated design with limited positive characteristics in absolute technical terms, with focus on nostalgy rather than actual performance. Quote from Tamiya HQ’s English website: “Take this updated Hotshot out for a spin and compare it to today’s R/C buggies to experience how far this hobby has developed!”
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