an official vehicle of the 2014 Sochi Olympics,
Volkswagen built specialized polar edition custom
lifted Amarok vehicles used to trek offroad
from Moscow to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, almost
10,000 miles away. The most amazing part is
that it was done completely offroad. Guinness
claims this was the longest offroad journey
through a single country. This custom lifted
Polar edition VW Amarok is the inspiration for
the Tamiya Amarok Custom Lift RC truck. While
trying to capture the look of the full sized
Sochi Amarok, Tamiya used a narrow version of
a popular chassis with over sized tires. It's
a pretty wild looking ride and Tamiya did well
to capture its attitude. Keep reading to see
what this kit is made of and if you think it's
worth the journey.
box graphics don't make or break an RC, if
a company is willing to put this much effort into the packaging,
it gets you a bit excited about the effort put into the
design of the actual RC vehicle.
step by step instructions are well written, in many different
languages as well as english, and easy to follow.
gearbox is preassembled with motor installed.
MSRP:$252.00 Price Street:$159.99
Type - Assembly Kit
- 1/10 Off-Road
- Updated Narrow Version of WT-01Chassis
Material - Plastic
Train - 2WD Gearbox Reduction
- Gear Differential
- Double Wishbone Independent
- Direct Servo (servo horn servo saver)
Type - Friction Damper Coil Over Shocks
- Rubber Chevron Style Tread Pattern
Size - Diamete: 123mm, Width: 59mm
- Clear Polycarbonate (needs painting)
- 540 Brushed Electric
- Plastic Bushings
Length: 463mm, width: 251mm
wheelbase and 192mm front & rear tread
did a great job organizing parts into categories
and then putting each category in its own
bag. Each part category was packaged well,
which makes it easy to see what you have
to work with. The hardware is also divided
into labelled bags, A and B, so you can
easily access the correct part from the
reference in the instruction manual.
taken pictures of each parts bag to give
you an idea of how organized everything
kit does not include a steering servo or
radio so you must provide your own.
I chose the Savox SC-1267SG High voltage
coreless digital servo. The specs are listed
servo will have more than enough power to
turn the Amarok's large tires.
plastic parts can all be found on the well
labelled parts tree and a pair of body scissors
or wire snips easily remove each part. It's
necessary to clean up the part by removing
the leftover plastic nub with a hobby knife,
file, or sand paper. Basically like building
a really cool model.
the instructions, I started off attaching
the rear suspension to the gearbox assembly
as seen in the pictures below. I've assembled
one side of the suspension and laid out
the parts on the other side to give you
a better understanding of how it all went
together. I'll continue this concept through
out the entire review.
the hardware is included and Tamiya even
supplies a tube of grease.
shocks are friction dampened, which caught
me off guard at first. The instructions
call for a piece of rubber tubing to be
inserted into the shock body. I automatically
assumed it was to limit travel, since that's
how I've limited ride height in the past.
After getting two of the shocks assembled,
I realized it was for dampening. The shaft
screw rides inside of the tubing causing
some resistance. At first, of my own negligence,
I didn't like this setup. The shock was
sticking and wasn't returning to its fully
extended position. I then noticed the instructions
calling for grease to be applied to the
inside of the rubber tube insert. After
greasing the tube, the shock worked much
better. Compression was smooth and it quickly
returned to its extended position. It's
still not as good as oil dampening, but
it's a step up from bouncy dampening free
chassis is composed of three major parts,
the rear third, center chassis, and the
front third. The cool thing about this chassis
is the ability to convert into 4wd by swapping
out the front third for another rear third.
I hope that made sense. The rear third,
or gearbox, easily bolts to either end of
the chassis, allowing you to install another
gearbox in the front as well. The extra
gearbox would of course have to be bought
Below are some pictures of the completed
tires make all the differences in the world
in the attitude of this truck. They are
the same tread pattern as the original Blackfoot
tires and look great on the gun metal colored
really like the stance of this truck so
far. The narrowed chassis helps with the
overall appearance of this monster.
threw the body on after cutting it out and
drilling the holes. I wanted to make sure
it fit properly before I began to paint
battery compartment allows easy access to
your 6-cell NiMH battery pack, but I don't
see a possibility of a LIPO pack fitting
into that oval hole. There is however, a
rectangular hole directly above the oval
battery hole, but I couldn't manage to squeeze
any type of battery in it. I tried many
different 2S LiPOs and 6-cell NiMH batteries,
but unfortunately none of them would fit
so it looks like I'll stick to using 6-cell
NiMH packs in the lower oval shaped battery
The Amarok uses plastic bushings instead
of bearings. I guess I understand their
thinking on this one, since this truck is
marketed for being able to go through the
snow, as its full size predecessor does.
However, many Rcers, including myself, prefer
ball bearings over bushings but, to be fair,
metal bearings would most likely rust if
repeatedly exposed to snow.
The wishbone style suspension is limited
in adjustability. Castor, camber, shock
angle, and link angle are not adjustable
however, front toe in/out is adjustable
through the steering linkage and ride height
is adjustable with a clip on shock spacer.
Savox servo (not included) is protected
by a plastic servo horn style servo saver
similar to those found on most RTR trucks.
rear suspension is set up very much like
the front. The kit comes with a ride height
spacer which can be inserted onto the shock
body above the spring.
540 brushed motor is mounted to the preassembled
gearbox and an 18 tooth pinion gear is fitted
to the shaft. Although the motor mount isn't
what I would consider to be a true adjustable
motor mount, Tamiya has provided the option
of using a 20 tooth pinion gear instead
of the stock 18 tooth. As you can see in
the picture below, there are two motor mounting
positions. One for an 18 tooth pinion and
one for a 20 tooth pinion. The kit comes
with the 18 tooth and a 20 tooth can be
Amarok's body is clear polycarbonate and
includes separate plastic mirrors. The polycarbonate
body will need to be painted from the inside,
while the mirrors must be surface painted
as you would any other model part. The mirrors
are held in place with one body clip for
a pair of polycarbonate curved scissor,
I cut out the body along the pre-set trim
lines. Tamiya actually printed o couple
different trim line options into the body.
You can cut along the regular Canyon body
lines which removes the fender flares and
provides a stock looking wheel well. There
are also extra trim lines for trimming the
front bumper area. The Amarok version of
course, utilizes the fender flairs and extra
material is removed along the front quarters
to allow sufficient tire clearance.
wheel wells were then cleaned up with a
piece of 400 grit sandpaper.
is a clear protective film on the outside
of the body, which needs to be left on until
the body is completely painted, this prevents
overspray from sticking to the outside of
the body. Be sure to remove the clear film
before applying the decals. That would be
painting any clear polycarbonate body, it's
necessary to wash it with grease cutting
liquid dish soap. This removes any mold
releasing agents left on the plastic. I
also scratched up the inside of the body
with a 3M maroon pad. These pads are widely
used in between coats of polyurethane on
wood surfaces, and can be found at any hardware
or home improvement store. These small scratches
provide the paint with a physical bond as
well as its chemical bond. Be sure to stay
away from the windows! If you scratch up
the windows, it will be noticeable when
the body is complete.
washing, I let the body sit on the counter
to drip dry completely over night.
supplies quality window masks and the instruction
manual tells you which color to paint each
part of the body.
used blue masking tape to cover all areas
except those being painted black. Blue masking
tape worked well for masking off the areas
I didn't want to paint yet. The blue tape
comes off without leaving any residue behind,
just be sure you push down the edges of
the tape before painting. I knew I wanted
to use Alclad II chrome paint on the bumper
so I also left it unmasked.
first color I sprayed was the chrome since
it would have to backed with black anyway.
With an airbrush, I put a few thin coats
of chrome on the rear bumper and let it
dry. Black was the next color on the list,
so I painted the black components with a
rattle can and let the body dry.
the black paint flashed off, I removed all
of the blue masking tape and was ready to
do the main part of the body. I knew the
body was going to be silver, but wanted
to add a bit of interest to it. I decided
to lightly airbrush some candy blue paint
along the body lines and across the front
of the hood and bumper. I didn't want the
blue to stand out, just add a bit of color
when the sun sit it the right way. I held
a white paper towel up to the body while
I misted to blue, being sure not to over
do it. You can't see it very well in the
pictures, but it was exactly what I was
was the last color to spray and I used a
Spaz Stix silver metallic rattle can. This
paint sprays on very transparent, so I had
to be careful not to over saturate each
coat. The picture above shows the body with
two coats of silver and three coats left
the paint was completely dry, I removed
the window masks and outer protective film.
decals went on great, though they were quite
complex. I chose to use flat black paint
on the door handles and rear bumper step
pads instead of the decals because I like
the contrast of the flat on the glossy body.
body looks great with the decals applied.
The decals are a high quality stretchy material.
Very nice! I used a pair of scissors and
sharp hobby knife to neatly cut around each
decal before applying. There's a numbered
diagram that shows where each decal goes.
actually provides black decals to cover
the fender flairs, front bumper, rear bumper
pads, and every other black part, just incase
you didn't want to mask and paint the black
parts yourself. Pretty cool. The only issue
I had with the decals is the corners of
the red tail lights tend to want to pop
up. This is a complex area because of the
contour, but once I pushed them down a few
times, they seem to be holding.
body and door lines are drawn on the outside
of the body with a black fine tip permanent
marker. The instructions don't call for
this step, but I think it added a lot to
the overall look of the kit. Close up the
sharpie looks purple, but at a distance
it looks great.
installed a basic 2.4GHz radio system, I had laying around,
into the Amarok, charged up a couple NiMH batteries and
grabbed my recording equipment. I know the Tamiya Amarok
was never intended to be a high performance race truck or
even a rock crawler, so I wanted to test this truck in the
conditions it will most likely be used in, like a park.
The Amarok was fun to drive on pavement and looked great
doing it. The narrow chassis gives it a scale look, though
it did put some limitations on cornering speed. Corning
at too high a speed sometimes caused the truck to roll over,
usually landing back on its wheels.
The large tires helped the Amarok plow through medium grass,
though the 2wd drive system allowed it to get stuck quite
often while attempting to climb steep banks. To be fair,
the grass was wet which limited traction. I noticed the
gear differential diffing out causing one wheel to spin
while the other remained stationary. This could be helped
by putting thick oil or packing it full with grease. I was
using the factory setup for testing.
There wasn't a whole lot of dirt in the testing area, but
we did manage to find enough to spin the tires a bit. This
is where I think this truck is the most fun. The realistic
body and proportions look great while the rear tires toss
a bit of dirt.
The limited shock travel is noticed while jumping the Amarok.
I plowed over a pile of leaves several times and while the
landings were less than graceful, the Amarok managed to
stay on all fours ready for some more abuse. I was actually
surprised at how much fun it was jumping this truck. The
bouncy suspension made it more exciting than I thought it
should be and to me, made it much more fun to jump than
The truck includes a brushed motor and I was using a NiMH
battery pack so speed is nothing to get too excited about,
though I do believe it is sufficient for this style of truck
and will be more than fast enough for new hobbyists. It
was easy to spin the rear tires while taking off on loose
surfaces, but the truck remained very controllable.
Tamiya Amarok was enjoyable to build and the instructions
were easy to follow. Ready to run vehicles have their place
in the RC market, as many families can't seem to find the
time or patience to build an RC kit, but I personally think
everyone should build at least one RC kit, especially your
first one. It teaches the hobbyist so much about how the
truck works, which not only helps in driving the vehicle,
but is a tremendous help in troubleshooting as well as tweaking
performance. If you know how and why something works when
it does work, you're more likely to be able to figure out
what's wrong when it doesn't work.
the Tamiya Amarok performed as I think it should have for
a 2WD truck. It was easy to get stuck and similarly easy
to roll over, but strangely enough, that's why I enjoyed
it so much. Many brushed vehicles get boring quickly when
you can hold the throttle wide open and just steer for the
duration of the entire battery pack. Putting a few limitations
on the truck forces you to think about what you're doing
and where you should drive. That's what makes driving RC
fun. I know there are some of you out there that like to
go full throttle over every obstacle and around every corner,
maybe this truck isn't for you. For those of you who enjoy
driving a truck while planning and maneuvering obstacles,
this may be a great choice for your next RC vehicle.
Savox servo was a good match for this truck and performed
Tamiya America, Inc.
36 Discovery #200, Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: (800) TAMIYA-A
or (800) 826-4922
Fax: (949) 362-2250
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.