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Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

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Old 02-04-2013, 11:09 AM
  #1  
jasona
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Default Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

…sort of!

I see a lot of comments on various forums lamenting the fact that Tamiya hasn’t re-released the Monster Beetle and wishing they would. I agree! It’s galling that they re-released so many of their 80s classics, but not one as popular as the Monster Beetle.

Why do we all want it re-released so badly? Because it was a great fun model, but too unreliable. The standard drive train was CRAP with those dreadful hexagonal drive shafts rounding off in about 30 seconds. We’d all love Tamiya to re-release it with the bugs ironed out. I’ve been trying to get my original Monster Beetle reliable for 20 years now!

Well now you CAN have a re-released one… sort of. A bit of research revealed the Tamiya Frog is essentially the same car, certainly the same chassis, just with different wheels and body shell. Tamiya DID re-release the Frog (in 2005), so I just bought a new re-released Frog and put Monster Beetle wheels and body shell on it.

How did it go? Fine! It wasn’t too difficult. Pictures to follow, starting off with just the Frog chassis with the Monster Beetle wheels on, then the finished item (the yellow one), then comparing it to my original (but restored and somewhat modernised) Monster Beetle (the red one).

If anyone fancies having a go at this, here are some top tips:

• Back wheels went straight on, no problem. For the front wheels, the Frog front axle is too short, so you’ll need to drill the front wheels with an 11mm drill (if anyone has a go at this project, message me for more details about this point)
• Use a Monster Beetle front bumper. The standard Frog one fouls on the larger wheels when they turn
• You’ll need a Monster Beetle rear bumper too. I know this is missing in the pictures, I’ve got one on the way.
• Order a body shell for the Sand Scorcher. The shell is indentical and this way you’ll get a full accessories kit with it (nose cone, windows, lights, etc) and not have to shop around separately for the accessories.
• You’ll need to extend the body shell mounting points. Wasn’t difficult – see pictures. Yes I know that front mounting looks goofy, but it’s actually really strong and secure – doesn’t wobble about at all. You do need to extend the front mount a long way. The rear ones were easier.
• The Frog kit gives you a choice of three gear ratios: Use the lower one, then you’ll have an identical top speed to the original Monster Beetle. Seriously! I tested both with a GPS unit. There was 0.1mph difference in top speed; incredible.
• No, I didn’t put the body shell too high: I measured and made sure it was exactly the same height above the chassis as the original one. That’s the main reason I posted pictures of them together for comparison.

So now I have a brand new, should be reliable, Monster Beetle that I can race with my old one. Should be brilliant! If anyone else does this then let me know and post pictures! Let’s get together for a race!

Waddya reckon?

Cheers,

Jason.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:10 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

I turned out really well. The front mount looks like it'd be kinda wobbly.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:12 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

Thanks for the response! Yes, it's funny that: I know that front mount looks a bit goofy, but it's actually really stable and secure and doesn't wobble at all! I know it looks like it should, but it's really nice and stiff.

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Old 02-12-2013, 12:45 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

i'm very seriously considering building a "monster beetle xtreme" using a shortened BFX chassis and scorcher shell.
Anyone know if you can RIT dye tamiya chrome to gold??
oh and where to get the monster beetle decals?? i may have to go artistic and design some modern "beetle xtreme" decals.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:49 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!


ORIGINAL: lunchie

i'm very seriously considering building a ''monster beetle xtreme'' using a shortened BFX chassis and scorcher shell.
Anyone know if you can RIT dye tamiya chrome to gold??
oh and where to get the monster beetle decals?? i may have to go artistic and design some modern ''beetle xtreme'' decals.
I honestly don't know. RPM and proline chrome wheels can be dyed, but they are made of nylon. I think that most Tamiya wheels are ABS, which won't take dye, but maybe the chrome will? You could give it a try.

As far as the decals go, there's a guy on ebay that sells repro MB decals in a original and alternate color schemes. If you want to make your own designs, drop me a pm. I know a guy who owns a vinyl plotter(a machine that can cut designs very accurately out of vinyl), who has reasonable rates.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:17 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!


ORIGINAL: lunchie

i'm very seriously considering building a ''monster beetle xtreme'' using a shortened BFX chassis and scorcher shell.
Anyone know if you can RIT dye tamiya chrome to gold??
oh and where to get the monster beetle decals?? i may have to go artistic and design some modern ''beetle xtreme'' decals.
Ah yes, decals! I forgot! As Mad Modder rightly said, you can get repro ones off eBay - I did. Both the Beetles in the above pictures have them: I used them for both restoring the old (red) Beetle and for finishing the new (yellow) Beetle.

Don't forget to spray a coat of lacquer over the decals to protect them, but be sure the lacquer won't react to the paint you used!
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:21 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

I would love to see a re-released monster beetle with a gold plated space frame, and a green metalic body... i think that combination would be hard to defeat, but im open for ANY kind of re-release beetle... its a scandal that tamiya YET has not re-released this classic! i bet we will have 10 more blackfoots before it happens...
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:14 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!


ORIGINAL: xism

I would love to see a re-released monster beetle with a gold plated space frame, and a green metalic body... i think that combination would be hard to defeat, but im open for ANY kind of re-release beetle... its a scandal that tamiya YET has not re-released this classic! i bet we will have 10 more blackfoots before it happens...

Hi Xism,

I totally agree: I know how you feel, I feel the same! Hoping my Beetle/Frog project above will give you an option!

All the best,

Jason.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:05 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

Hi! so what gearbox would we wanna see in a re-released mb? i suggest the one from bush devil/super blackie... thats a better one, but if tamiya gonna use the old original gearbox they should atleast update the drive axles. But the front end was also not perfect in the original beetle since one side had longer steering rods, even in this case i rather see the bush devil/super blackie version which has the servo saver mounted in the middle

but the charm with the original monster beetle is its rear dampers, lying down so to keep this(in some how) one long rear damper only could be used, with arms connected to the wishbones, like this http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/7873/49047202.jpg
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:26 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!


ORIGINAL: xism

Hi! so what gearbox would we wanna see in a re-released mb? i suggest the one from bush devil/super blackie... thats a better one, but if tamiya gonna use the old original gearbox they should atleast update the drive axles. But the front end was also not perfect in the original beetle since one side had longer steering rods, even in this case i rather see the bush devil/super blackie version which has the servo saver mounted in the middle
They did. The re-releases using that general chassis(frog and brat), have the updated drive shafts.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:48 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

they could do it really easily by putting the scorcher shell on the blacfoot extreme chassis. they could even make a custom shortened chassis for it. it would require almost no new part to be designed.they could simply gold plate the wheels instead of chrome plate... maybe just the chassis to body mounts need to be designed and thats it! pretty cheap exercise for Tamiya...why dont they do it???
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:08 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

OG ad for the MB
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6IV6wV372Y
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:26 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

where are the front shocks ?
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:23 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

Front shocks: It's done differently on the Frog. The front linkages are both connected to the same spring, which is hidden inside the chassis: The spring for the front suspension is inside that horizontal grey bit.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:10 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!


ORIGINAL: jasona

…sort of!

........
does the red one have bigger tires than the yellow one? or is something wrong with my screen or my eyes
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:02 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!


ORIGINAL: xism


ORIGINAL: jasona

…sort of!

........
does the red one have bigger tires than the yellow one? or is something wrong with my screen or my eyes
It's funny, someone else mentioned that too and I didn't even notice until I'd done the photos!

Yes, the set of tyres on the red one is slightly bigger than the other one, but they're not meant to be, they should be the same because they're both from Monster Beetles. Just a quirk or fluke, I think.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:08 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

UPDATE

I found a better way to do the front body shell mounting! My one snapped off. It was nice and stiff and not wobbly, but I was testing the car without the body shell on and it flipped over and snapped off my front mounting! Ahhhhh! Noooo!

Anyway, it led to a better way of doing it. Here goes:

1. Get the front shock tower (part J11) from the original Monster Beetle (1st picture)
2. Using a Dremel (rotary hobby tool) grind off the bits at the bottom that stick out (2nd picture)
3. Elongate the lower holes very slightly (also 2nd picture)
4. You'll also need to grind off the front body shell mounting point on the Frog chassis
5. The holes now line up with the screws that go through the suspension arms, so you can just bolt it on! You'll need slightly longer screws though, but screws BB1 from the original Monster Beetle are absolutely perfect: See if you can get a screw bag B for an original Monster Beetle. I did, but there were only two BB1 screws and you need four, so for the other two I found something suitable amongst my spares. That's why all four don't match in the picture.

And there we go! Much better front body shell mounting. I suppose you could now also put some visible front shocks on if you wanted to, if you prefer the appearance of that to the Frog front suspension set-up.

Another improvement I made (5th picture) is that the rear body shell mounting from the original Monster Beetle (part G1) fits perfectly on the modern Frog chassis.
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:45 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

Was wondering about that. The original put quite a bit of leverage against the mount on the chassis. I like your MB shock tower mod. Very clean looking.
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:48 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!


ORIGINAL: The Mad Modder

Was wondering about that. The original put quite a bit of leverage against the mount on the chassis. I like your MB shock tower mod. Very clean looking.

Thank you very much! Much appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:57 AM
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Default RE: Tamiya Monster Beetle Re-Release!

Looking good.

I've had bad luck with the rear body mounts and cross brace on my original monster beetle. I recently had one of the rear posts break the frame so I ordered a new "A" set. I also bought a aftermarket rear cross brace (that goes between the two rear mounts) made of aluminum. 
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:57 AM
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ORIGINAL: robert240

Looking good.

I've had bad luck with the rear body mounts and cross brace on my original monster beetle. I recently had one of the rear posts break the frame so I ordered a new ''A'' set. I also bought a aftermarket rear cross brace (that goes between the two rear mounts) made of aluminum.

Yes, they break very easily, I've found. You can see a crack in the one on my yellow Beetle: It broke in my hand before I could even get it on the car!

Aftermarket rear cross brace made of aluminum? Now that sounds VERY interesting! I'd like one of those! Can you remember where you got it?
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:29 AM
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The braces are on ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tamiya-Black...90908990154%26

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tamiya-Monst...30894497842%26
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:00 AM
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Ah, very nice!

Excellent, I'll have a couple of those! Thank you very much for the links.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:57 AM
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just hit buy now on a scorcher body set for 30 bucks! so now i have the two best body shells Tamiya have made...the blackfoot 3 shell and a "monster beetle" shell. Cant wait to sit the beetle shell on the bf3 chassis. Already started drawing up the shortened chassis to suit. now to work on the graphics... and try rit dyeing the wheels.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by lunchie View Post
just hit buy now on a scorcher body set for 30 bucks! so now i have the two best body shells Tamiya have made...the blackfoot 3 shell and a "monster beetle" shell. Cant wait to sit the beetle shell on the bf3 chassis. Already started drawing up the shortened chassis to suit. now to work on the graphics... and try rit dyeing the wheels.
But the Scorcher body has two mount screw holes on top. Are you just going to use filler for the holes and sand it smooth down for paint? Sounds like a cool project ..
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