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Tamiya Leopard & Fiber Optic Nightmare!!!

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Tamiya Leopard & Fiber Optic Nightmare!!!

Old 07-07-2007, 05:06 PM
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Default Tamiya Leopard & Fiber Optic Nightmare!!!

Has anyone on this board successfully installed all the fiber optic lights in the Tamiya Leopard?! I have spent literally weeks on trying to get these things to work, and although the front lights came out nice, the taillights are a disaster. After gluing the fibers to the taillight housings, the housings become very difficult to mount on the hull itself. Those tiny holes that the three fibers must pass through cause the taillight housing to sit at an angle when mounted, so to combat this, I drilled much larger holes to relieve the stress.

Of course once I did that, I realized that the side skirt assemblies also interfered with the fibers, so I had to drill additional holes to avoid having to really bend the brittle pieces. After all the measuring, preparation and care however, I seem to have snapped two of the fibers right where they were glued at the base of one of the taillight housings. Of course the taillights are now sufficiently glued to the upper hull, and I don't have any remaining fiber even if I could remove the broken piece and "try again".

Does anyone have any suggestions?! Can I super glue the broken fiber together and still get the desired effect or will I have to somehow dremel the broken piece out (can I buy more fiber somewhere)? Has anyone just tried getting a few LEDs with long cords for the lights instead of these stupid fibers?! For a kit that cost this much $$$, I'm disappointed in what seems to be an overly complicated, unnecessary approach to lighting.

Old 07-07-2007, 08:08 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Leopard & Fiber Optic Nightmare!!!


In theory, a bit of thin CA and a tight sleeve of tape should do the deed, but Tamiya sells many of the kit parts separately. As no-one has posted a manual scan (that I can find) I'll take a guess thats its this packet you need:

(NIX this, I guessed wrong) See the following post.


Thats listed as the RC Rear Light Board Cable - 5P @ 6.25 a pop (Front is 0057, at 4.50 a pop)

Just check the parts in the manual, and that should be it. Karen at the AAF Tank Museum can get it from you if the local hobby shop won't.
Old 07-07-2007, 11:37 PM
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Default RE: Tamiya Leopard & Fiber Optic Nightmare!!!

The part number for the fibers is 9400122 at $6.25 for the 1mm and 1.5mm front and back (probably the same number of/ and lengths that come in the kit), although the main Tamiya U.S.A site says they are temporarily out of stock. Still check the parts suppliers to see if they might have some in stock. I don't think gluing them back together would channel the light like they are meant to, but it's worth a shot.

As for putting them in, the rear ones are a pain. To be honest, I don't remember exactly how I got mine in. I think I bent the fibers at a 90 degree angle (instead of the 45 deg shown in the manual) and completely mounted them, to include the light boards, before putting parts C2 and C14 in place.

Also, I never did glue the housings to the hull. They are still only held in place by friction and haven't moved at all. They do seem to have a slight angle to them, but it isn't that noticeable. Once they finally went in without a hitch, I didn't mess with them. Still have one fiber that shines dimmer than the opposite side for the running lights. Not sure if this is because of the 90 degree bend or something to do with the length that was left in the housing, but I'm not about to pull them and figure out why!

Hope this helps.

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