Tamiya Corporation

Tamiya Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of plastic model kits, radio controlled cars, battery- and solar-powered educational models, sailboat models, acrylic model paints, and various modelling tools and supplies. The company was founded by Shunsaku Tamiya in Shizuoka, Japan in 1958. The company has gained a reputation among hobbyists of producing models of outstanding quality and accurate scale detail.

Product lines

Radio-controlled cars

  • The Sand Scorcher and Rough Rider, released in 1979 and credited as the first radio controlled cars to feature a proper off-road suspension.
  • The original Blackfoot monster truck kit and its variations, first released in 1986 and credited with much of the hobby's growth.
  • The Clodbuster 1/10th scale radio-controlled monster truck released in 1987 as the first Tamiya R/C monster truck with two drive motors, four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. The Clodbuster virtually spawned an aftermarket industry of its own which catered to those who wished to modify their models.
  • The TXT-1 1/10 scale radio control monster truck released in 2002. This truck, which is still in production, was designed as a factory response to aftermarket Clodbuster upgrades. Cantillever suspension, four wheel drive, and multilink suspension allow for the massive axle articulation featured in third party kits such as the Clodzilla series. The new truck dispensed with the Clod's four wheel steering, although the TXT includes provisions for making this upgrade. Tamiya engineers attended actual USHRA monster truck events in order to improve the scale appearance of the TXT and duplicate full-size suspension designs.
  • The Bruiser 1/10th scale radio controlled pickup truck. Released in 1985, it had a working three-speed transmission which could be shifted via radio control, a high-torque RS-750SH motor and ultra-realistic Toyota Hilux body with camper shell and interior detail. The aluminum frame, suspension, drive axle and steering were patterned after their full-sized counterparts. This complex and expensive model has since become one of the most collectable of all Tamiya R/C's.
  • The TRF414 radio controlled car; holder of the 2002-04 1/10th scale touring car world champion title.
  • The TRF415, holder of the 2005 1/10th scale radio controlled touring car world champion title.
  • The Hornet, a radio controlled buggy first released in 1984. It would go on to become one of the most popular R/C kits of all time and has recently been re-released.

Radio-controlled trucks and trailers

Tamiya is also known to make scale 1/14 radio controlled trucks, these are exceptions left, all build-it-yourself kits. Compared to the Scale 1/16 Wedico trucks, the 1/14 rigs are better copy's of the real rigs, as Tamiya uses ABS body shells instead of the alloy and sheet metal Wedico uses. Resulting a better detailing and scale "look" . The current truck range are the following rigs:

  • King Hauler
  • Globeliner
  • Mercedes 1838LS
  • Mercedes 1850L
  • Volvo FH12 globetrotter
  • Ford Aeromax
  • Knight Hauler
  • this list does not contain any special chrome versions, made in limited edition

The truck range also includes some trailers:

  • Flatbed trailer
  • Box trailer
  • Tank trailer (liquid transport)
  • Pole trailer (wood/tree transport)

The German division/importer also brought out a trailer of there own, a semi-low loader. But, to be fully correct, it is not 100% Tamiya, as it is not from Tamiya Japan.

Radio-controlled tanks (1/16 scale)

Tamiya's radio controlled tanks have options such as sound, light and optional parts to depict different variants.

  • M4 Sherman 105mm
  • Leopard A4
  • Flakpanzer Gepard
  • German Tiger II, Production Turret
  • German Tiger II - Porsche Turret
  • Tiger I Early Production
  • M26 Pershing
  • Leopard 2A6

The Leopard A4 and Flakpanzer Gepard are no longer produced; updated versions of the others have some technical and cosmetic innovations over the original models.

Track racing cars

  • The Mini 4WD and Dangun-Racer series, which are small (1/32nd scale), single-motor, free-operating electric models designed to run in competition on a special, deeply channeled track.

Static-display scale models

  • The "Military Miniatures" (MM) series of military vehicle scale models, which established 1/35 scale as the worldwide standard for the military vehicle genre.
  • Their line of static model aircraft, mostly of 1/48th scale, are widely considered to be state-of-the-art. Most of their 1/72 scale aircraft, however, are repackaged Italeri kits. Tamiya is also one of the few manufacturers of 1/100th scale aircraft.

Facilities

Tamiya has several large regional divisions, notably in the Aliso Viejo, California home of "Tamiya USA," the North, Central and South American branch responsible for many of the company's racing developments. Tamiya USA also features a world-class racing facility which is the site of several world championship events. An assembly plant is located in the Philippines and Germany is the home of "Tamiya Europe's" operations.


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An assembly plant is located in the Philippines and Germany is the home of "Tamiya Europe's" operations. If a tire wears out of shape, or gets flat-spotted, but has a reasonable amount of metal left, it can be turned on a wheel lathe to refinish it, reshaping it to the correct profile. Tamiya USA also features a world-class racing facility which is the site of several world championship events. Tires are reasonably thick, up to about an inch thick or more, giving plenty of room to wear. Tamiya has several large regional divisions, notably in the Aliso Viejo, California home of "Tamiya USA," the North, Central and South American branch responsible for many of the company's racing developments. Removing a tire is done in reverse - the tire is heated while on the wheel until it loosens. The Leopard A4 and Flakpanzer Gepard are no longer produced; updated versions of the others have some technical and cosmetic innovations over the original models. When cold, friction between the tire and the wheel is such that the tire will not budge even under quite extreme forces.

Tamiya's radio controlled tanks have options such as sound, light and optional parts to depict different variants. After placing it on the wheel, the tire is cooled, and it shrink fits onto the wheel. But, to be fully correct, it is not 100% Tamiya, as it is not from Tamiya Japan. As the tire heats, it expands, making it big enough to fit around the wheel. The German division/importer also brought out a trailer of there own, a semi-low loader. Railroad workshops generally have special equipment to do so. The truck range also includes some trailers:. To fit a tire, it is heated up until it is glowing hot.

The current truck range are the following rigs:. As with wagon wheels, the tire is held by an interference fit - it is made slightly smaller than the wheel on which it is supposed to fit. Resulting a better detailing and scale "look" . No obvious form of fastening is generally used to attach it. Compared to the Scale 1/16 Wedico trucks, the 1/14 rigs are better copy's of the real rigs, as Tamiya uses ABS body shells instead of the alloy and sheet metal Wedico uses. The tire is a hoop of steel that is fitted around the steel or iron wheel. Tamiya is also known to make scale 1/14 radio controlled trucks, these are exceptions left, all build-it-yourself kits. Replacing a whole wheel because of a worn contact surface proves expensive, so the concept of fitting steel tires to train wheels came about.

. The friction so caused can heat the wheel (and rail) enough to cause permanent heat damage. The company has gained a reputation among hobbyists of producing models of outstanding quality and accurate scale detail. Another, different form of damage to a train's wheels takes place if violent wheelslip occurs. The company was founded by Shunsaku Tamiya in Shizuoka, Japan in 1958. Wear can also take place unevenly if wheels lock up under heavy braking, causing flat spots. Tamiya Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of plastic model kits, radio controlled cars, battery- and solar-powered educational models, sailboat models, acrylic model paints, and various modelling tools and supplies. The shape of a train wheel is designed and specified precisely for the best possible riding and cornering characteristics, and too much wear can alter that.

Tamiya is also one of the few manufacturers of 1/100th scale aircraft. As well as the simple wearing away of the wheel surface, a wheel that wears begins to deviate from the correct profile. Most of their 1/72 scale aircraft, however, are repackaged Italeri kits. Efficient though the rolling of steel wheel on steel rail is, wear still takes place - on acceleration, on braking, and on cornering. Their line of static model aircraft, mostly of 1/48th scale, are widely considered to be state-of-the-art. (Some trains, mostly certain types of metros and people movers, have rubber tires, including some lines of the Paris M├ętro, the Mexico City Metro, the Caracas Metro and the Montreal Metro). The "Military Miniatures" (MM) series of military vehicle scale models, which established 1/35 scale as the worldwide standard for the military vehicle genre. The steel wheels of trains are fitted with tires which are themselves usually made of steel.

The Mini 4WD and Dangun-Racer series, which are small (1/32nd scale), single-motor, free-operating electric models designed to run in competition on a special, deeply channeled track. See: Tire manufacturing. Leopard 2A6. Because of slow leaks or changes in weather or other conditions, tire pressure may occasionally have to be adjusted, usually by refilling through the valve stem with some pressurized air which is often available at service stations. M26 Pershing. There are simple hand-held tire-pressure gauges which can be temporarily attached to the valve stem to check a tire's interior air pressure. Tiger I Early Production. Routine maintenance including tire rotation, exchanging the front and rear tires with each other, is often done periodically to even out tire wear.

German Tiger II - Porsche Turret. Front tires, especially on front wheel drive vehicles, have a tendency to wear out more quickly than rear tires. German Tiger II, Production Turret. Alternatively, many modern cars and trucks are equipped with run flat tires that may be driven with a puncture - or perhaps are even self-repairing for moderate sized holes. Flakpanzer Gepard. Cans of pressurized "gas" can sometimes be bought separately for convenient emergency refill of a tire. Leopard A4. Not included, but sometimes available separately, are hand or foot pumps for filling a tire with air by the vehicle owner.

M4 Sherman 105mm. Jacks and tire irons for emergency replacement of a flat tire with a spare tire are included when buying a new car. Pole trailer (wood/tree transport). A few modern vehicle models may use conventional spare tires also. Tank trailer (liquid transport). Years ago, full-size or conventional spare tires were used. Box trailer. These days, most spare tires for cars are smaller than normal tires (to save on trunk space, gas mileage, and cost) and should not be driven very far before replacement with a full-size tire.

Flatbed trailer. Vehicles typically carry a spare tire, already mounted on a rim, to be used in case a flat tire or blowout occurs. this list does not contain any special chrome versions, made in limited edition. Occasionally, other types of damage require replacement of a tire. Knight Hauler. This replacement means the tire will have to be taken off the rim and remounted after the valve replacement. Ford Aeromax. A leaking valve stem may occasionally be the cause of a leak, necessitating valve stem replacement.

Volvo FH12 globetrotter. The damaged tire typically must be replaced after that. Mercedes 1850L. Sometimes a more serious rupture of the tire material occurs resulting in a blowout. Mercedes 1838LS. Tire repair with such patches requires the tire to be taken off the rim and then remounted after the patch is applied. Globeliner. Patches covering a hole have been glued or rubber-cemented to the interior surface of a tire also, particularly if a hole is too elongated for a simple plug.

King Hauler. The rubber covering the plug solidifies rather quickly, after which the protruding ends of the plug can be cut off, the tire can be refilled with air to the appropriate pressure, and the repaired wheel replaced on the vehicle. It would go on to become one of the most popular R/C kits of all time and has recently been re-released. Then a plug coated with a semi-liquid form of rubber can be inserted into the hole with a special tool. The Hornet, a radio controlled buggy first released in 1984. A puncturing object, such as a nail or a screw, can be pulled out using pliers. The TRF415, holder of the 2005 1/10th scale radio controlled touring car world champion title. If submerging a tire underwater is not possible, the leak can be searched for by covering the pressurized tire surface with a soapy solution to see where leaking air forms soap bubbles.

The TRF414 radio controlled car; holder of the 2002-04 1/10th scale touring car world champion title. A leak in a tire can often be found by submerging the tire, pressurized with air, under water to see where air bubbles come out. This complex and expensive model has since become one of the most collectable of all Tamiya R/C's. If the hole is small and not elongated, the tire can often be repaired by using plugs from a tire repair kit. The aluminum frame, suspension, drive axle and steering were patterned after their full-sized counterparts. Many leaks in flat tires, though, are caused by nails, screws, caltrops, broken glass or other sharp objects puncturing the rubber tire wall. Released in 1985, it had a working three-speed transmission which could be shifted via radio control, a high-torque RS-750SH motor and ultra-realistic Toyota Hilux body with camper shell and interior detail. A leak may be slow in a few cases, such as is sometimes observed when the seal between the rim and tire edge is not perfect.

The Bruiser 1/10th scale radio controlled pickup truck. Sometimes a pneumatic tire gets a hole or a leak through which the air inside leaks out resulting in a flat tire, a condition which must be fixed before the car can be driven further safely. Tamiya engineers attended actual USHRA monster truck events in order to improve the scale appearance of the TXT and duplicate full-size suspension designs. Because this bonding may occasionally come loose on the tire, new tires are superior to recapped tires. The new truck dispensed with the Clod's four wheel steering, although the TXT includes provisions for making this upgrade. a new layer of rubber with grooves is bonded onto the outer perimeter of a worn tire. Cantillever suspension, four wheel drive, and multilink suspension allow for the massive axle articulation featured in third party kits such as the Clodzilla series. e.

This truck, which is still in production, was designed as a factory response to aftermarket Clodbuster upgrades. Sometimes tires with worn tread are recapped, i. The TXT-1 1/10 scale radio control monster truck released in 2002. A bald tire should be replaced as soon as possible. The Clodbuster virtually spawned an aftermarket industry of its own which catered to those who wished to modify their models. When the tread is worn away completely and especially when the wear on the outer rubber exposes the reinforcing threads inside them, the tire is said to be bald. The Clodbuster 1/10th scale radio-controlled monster truck released in 1987 as the first Tamiya R/C monster truck with two drive motors, four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. More wear on a tire facing the outside or the inside of a car is often a sign of bad wheel alignment.

The original Blackfoot monster truck kit and its variations, first released in 1986 and credited with much of the hobby's growth. Uneven or accelerated tire wear can be caused by bad wheel alignment. The Sand Scorcher and Rough Rider, released in 1979 and credited as the first radio controlled cars to feature a proper off-road suspension. The same tire rims can usually be used throughout the lifetime of the car. When the tire tread becomes too shallow, the tire is worn out and should be replaced. Friction from moving contact with the road causes the tread on the outer perimeter of the tire to eventually wear away.

This is likely to increase the tire life, but may turn out to be a bad idea if the worn out part of nanocarbon deposited on the roads is washed off and ends up in the food chain. There is currently an attempt to reinforce the tire with nanomaterial. Essentially, part of the tire tread is shallower than the rest and will show when the tire is worn down to that level. Wearbars may be designed into the tire tread to indicate when it is time to replace the tire.

Local legislation may specify minimum tread depths, typically between 1/8" (3.2 mm) and 1/32" (0.8 mm). Tire tread gauges are small rulers designed to be inserted into tire treads to measure the remaining tread depth. Tire rotation moves tires between the different wheels of the vehicle as front and back axles carry different loads and thus the tires wear differently. It is important not to put a 'clockwise' tire on the left hand side of the car or a 'counter-clockwise' tire on the right side.

Some tread designs are unidirectional and the tire has a rotation direction indicated by an arrow showing which way the tire should rotate when the vehicle is moving forwards. New automotive tires now also have ratings for traction, treadwear, and temperature resistance (collectively known as UTQG ratings); as well as speed and load ratings. See tire code. Automobile tires have numerous rating systems.

This is known in general throughout the industry as Tyre Uniformity. Tires outside the specified limits for RFV and LFV are rejected. These variations are measured as Radial Force Variation and Lateral Force Variation, which are measured on a Force Variation Machine at the end of the manufaturing process. This was because the structure and manufacture of a radial tire lends itself to the problems of variation in stiffnes around the tyre.

With the introduction of radial tires, however, it was found that some vibrations could not be cured by adding balance weights. Such tire balancing with these kind of weights avoids vibration when the vehicle is driven at higher speeds. Because tires are often not made with perfectly even mass all around the tire, a special tire-balancing apparatus at a repair shop spins the wheel with the tire to determine where small weights should be attached to the outer edge of the rim to balance out the wheel. The rim with the tire mounted onto it comprises the removable wheel, which is then attached to the vehicle through a number of holes in the rim using lug nuts.

After mounting, the tire is inflated (pressurized) with air through the valve stem to manufacturer's specified pressure, which is more than atmospheric pressure. The common motor vehicle tire is mounted around a steel rim at service stations or repair shops for vehicles using a special tire mounting apparatus while the wheel is off the vehicle. The "steering feel" of such tires is also different from that of pneumatic tires, as their solidity does not allow the amount of torsion that exists in the carcass of a pneumatic tire under steering forces, and the resultant sensory feedback through the steering apparatus. The result is a tire which is less forgiving, particularly with regards to sharp transient bumps and provides poor ride and handling characteristics.

As a result compression is localised within the tire and the effective spring rate rises sharply as the tire compresses. "Airless" tires usually employ a type of foam or sponge like construction which consists of a large number of small air filled cells. The air in conventional pneumatic tires acts as a near constant rate spring because the decrease in the tire's volume as the tire compresses over a bump is minimal. Attempts have been made to make various types of solid tire but none has so far met with much success.

Tires are inflated through a Schrader valve. The air compresses as the wheel goes over a bump and acts as a shock absorber. Pneumatic tires are made of a flexible elastomer material such as rubber with reinforcing threads/wires inside the elastomer material. Air-filled tires are known as pneumatic tires, and these are the type in almost universal use today.

This work was done by a wheelwright, a craftsman who specialized in making wagon wheels. The tire was heated in a forge, placed on the wheel and quenched, causing the metal to shrink, which drew the rim against the spokes and provided stiffness to the wheel. The earliest tires were hoops of metal placed around wagon wheels. Tires with radial yarns (known as radial tires) are standard for almost all modern automobiles.

Pneumatic tires generally have reinforcing threads in them; based on the orientation of the threads, they are classified as bias-ply/cross ply or radial. The inner tubes are usually made of halobutyl rubber, because of its suitable mechanical properties and excellent impermeability for air. This method, however, tends to fail desperately if the vehicle is used on rough roads (for example Kenyan roads) as a small bend on the rim (metal wheel) will result in deflation. Others, including modern radial tires, use a seal between the metal wheel and the tire to maintain the internal air pressure (tubeless tire).

This is a fully sealed rubber tube with a valve to control flow of air in and out. Some air-filled tires, especially those used with spoked wheels such as on bicycles, or on vehicles travelling on rough roads, have an inner tube; this was also formerly the case of automobile tires. To avoid tearing at these inner edges, particularly when the tire is being mounted, there are a number of concentric steel wires buried inside the rubber at both inner edges of the tire. The sidewalls are the sections of the tire which are between the crown and the inner circular edges of the tire contacting the rim.

When the tread on the outer perimeter of the tire inevitably wears away from use, reducing the tread depth, the tire should be replaced. The depth of these grooves essentially constitutes the tread depth at any time during the lifetime of the car. Traction is especially important for good braking. Without such grooves, a layer or film of water would form between the wet roads and the tire surface, which would cause hydroplaning, substantially reducing traction.

The water from the rain would be compressed into the grooves by the vehicle's weight, providing better traction in the tire to road contact. These grooves are especially useful during weather with rain (or snow). The outer perimeter of the tire, often called the crown, has various designs of jagged shaped grooves in it. Fowler also notes that the altered spelling tyre originally met with resistance from conservative British institutions such as The Times newspaper.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, quoted in Fowler's Modern English Usage, the word is a shortening of attire, and the British spelling tyre is a recent divergence from historical tradition. External link: Robert William Thomson. In 2005, Michelin was reported to be attempting to develop a tire and wheel combination, the Tweel, which does not use air. All modern car tires are now radial.

This type of tire uses parallel carcass plies for the sidewalls and crossed belts for the crown of the tire. The radial tire was invented by Michelin, a French company, in 1946, but did not see wide use in the United States, the largest market at that time, until the 1970s. Dunlop's company has since merged with the Bridgestone company, after a brief partnership with Pirelli. The invention quickly caught on for bicycles and was later adapted for use on cars.

Dunlop partnered with William Harvey du Cros to form a company which later became the Dunlop Rubber Company to produce his invention. By Dunlop's time, the bicycle had been fully developed (see Rover) and it proved a far more suitable application for pneumatic tires. Because neither bicycles nor automobiles had been invented when Thomson produced his tire, that tire was only applied to horse drawn carriages. It wasn't long before rubber inner tubes were invented.

Dunlop's tire had a modified leather hosepipe as an inner tube and rubber treads. John Dunlop re-invented the tire for his ten year old son's tricycle in 1887 and was awarded a patent for his tire in 1888 (rescinded 1890). The tire gave a good ride, but there were so many manufacturing and fitting problems that the idea had to be abandoned. This invention consisted of a canvas inner tube surrounded by a leather outer tire.

In 1845 the first pneumatic (inflatable) tire was patented by fellow Scotsman, the engineer Robert William Thomson as the Aerial Wheel. John Boyd Dunlop, a Scottish veterinary surgeon working in Belfast, Ireland, is widely recognized as the father of the modern tire, although he was not the first to come up with the idea. In 1844, Charles Goodyear invented vulcanization, the process that would later be used to produce cured rubber tires. The modern tire came about in stages in the 19th century.

For most of history wheels had very little in the way of shock absorption and journeys were very bumpy and uncomfortable. .
. spelling) or tyre (UK spelling) is a roughly toroidal piece of material placed on the circumference of a wheel, either for the purpose of cushioning or to protect the wheel from wear and tear.

A tire (U.S. The large lugs on mud tires tend to tear and chip on roads, because they are made from hard rubber compounds that do not bend easily. They can be noisy at highway speeds, and due to the open tread design, they have less of a contact area with the road, limiting traction. Depending on the composition and tread pattern, many mud terrain tires are not well suited to on-road use.

Mud terrain tires also tend to be wider than other tires, to spread the weight of the vehicle over a greater contact patch to prevent the vehicle from sinking too deep into the mud. The large open design also allows mud to clear more quickly from between the lugs. Mud terrain tires are characterized by large, chunky tread patterns designed to bite into muddy surfaces and provide grip. Mud tires

    .

    Within the all-terrain category, many of the tires available are designed primarily for on-road use, particularly all-terrain tires that are originally sold with the vehicle. These tires often have stiffer sidewalls for greater resistance against puncture when traveling off-road, the tread pattern offers wider spacing than all-season tires to evacuate mud from the tread. All-terrain tires are typically used on SUVs and light trucks. All-terrain tires

      .

      Run flat tires. However, due to the compromise with performance during summer, winter performance is usually not comparable with a winter tire. the same as winter tires. All-Season tires are marked M+S, i.e.

      The all-season tire is therefore a poor compromise, and is neither a good summer tire, nor a good winter tire. However, the type of rubber and the tread pattern best suited for use under summer conditions cannot, for technical reasons, give good performance on snow and ice. These are an attempt to make a tire that will be a compromise between a tire developed for use on dry and wet roads during summer, and a tire developed for use under winter conditions, when there is snow and ice on the road. All-season tires

        .

        Use of studs is regulated in most countries, and even prohibited in some countries due to the increased road wear caused by studs. The studs also roughen the ice, so providing better friction between the ice and the soft rubber in winter tires. Many winter tires are designed to be studded for additional traction on icy roads. Winter tires are marked M+S or MS (Mud & Snow), although there is no valid criterion based on testing for marking a tire M+S.

        Winter tires are usually removed for storage in the spring, because the rubber compound becomes too soft in warm weather resulting in a reduced tire life. Winter tires often have fine grooves and siping in the tread patterns that are designed to grip any unevenness on ice. The rubber compound used in the tread of the tire is usually softer than that used in tires for summer conditions, so providing better grip on ice and snow. Winter tires are designed to provide improved performance under winter conditions compared to tires made for use in summer.

        Winter tires

          . Slick tires are not legal for use on public roads in most countries due to their extremely poor wet weather characteristics. The ultimate variant of performance tires has no tread pattern at all and is called slick tire. Performance tires are often called summer tires, because they sacrifice wet weather handling, by having shallower water channels, and tire life from softer rubber compounds, for dry weather performance.

          The trade off of this softer rubber is a lower treadwear rating. They often have a softer rubber compound for improved traction, especially on high speed cornering. Performance tires tend to be designed for use at higher speeds. Performance tires

            .

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