3 SPEED

Two models are equipped with the 3 SPEED chassis:

– Toyota 4×4 Pick Up, model number 58028, released to sales in 1981 and available on the market until 1984
– Blazing Blazer, model number 58029, released to sales in 1982 and available on the market until 1984

These two models equipped with the first 3 Speed chassis did not remain on the market for long as the Bruiser was released for sale in 1985 and remained on the market until 1992. The Brusier is equipped with the chassis that is an evolution of the 3 Speed and takes its name from the model itself. The Bruiser is the longest-lived model in the 3 Speed – Bruiser series.

The Blazing Blazer model number 58029 was developed to correct some shortcomings of the Toyota 4×4 Pick UP model number 58028 and to become its economy version. The differences were so few that the cost-cutting project eventually failed, but the modifications introduced with the Blazing Blazer made it more drivable.
There are several advertisements that Tamiya or the various importers around the world have published in trade magazines, in the image below are some examples.

The 3 Speed chassis is a complete revolution. In designing it, Tamiya took its cue from real off-roaders as it did for the SRB two-wheel drive chassis.

These are the main features

– the central chassis is metal built from two side members and four cross members,

– the suspension is leaf spring suspension on both axles,

– 2 x front shock absorbers and 2 x rear shock absorbers (in common with the SRB family) are available as accessories; ‘racing Buggy damper set’ number SP-1118 or 50118 which includes all four shock absorbers,
– rigid front and rear axles without differential,

– the electric motor is the RS-540S coupled to a 3-speed gearbox. The motor and gearbox are installed longitudinally in the centre front,
– the transmission is two-wheel drive (rear wheels) for second and third speed and four-wheel drive for first speed,

– on the front wheels it is possible to manually unlock or lock the hub; this reduces the turning radius and improves performance on rough terrain, but reduces performance in off-road and rough terrain
– the waterproof electronics box (sand part)┬áis installed at the rear and is built to house the servo (blue parts) -receiver (purple part) -batteries (red and white part),

– the body and cockpit echo the real models with many details,
– wheels are made of rubber with aluminium rims.

Until the release for sale of this chassis, no radio-controlled model manufacturer had ever gone this far in design. For Tamiya, this is the first time it has released a model with leaf spring suspension, a chassis with side members and a 3-speed gearbox. The car does not have a differential because it is not possible to miniaturise the gears so that they can be installed inside the two rigid front and rear axles.
For this model, Tamiya also releases the 6V 4000Mah battery pack that guarantees 30 minutes of operation. Driving these models with the standard 7.2V 1200Mah pack makes no sense as the batteries do not guarantee sufficient autonomy. The 3 Speed chassis is compact, but very heavy due to the extensive use of metal.

The two models can be controlled using a two-channel or three-channel remote control. In the case of a two-channel remote control, the gear is selected manually while the model is stationary. In the case of a three-channel remote control, the gear is selected during operation, and the plate for selecting first gear forward, first gear reverse, second gear forward, second gear reverse, third gear forward and third gear reverse can be installed on the remote control.

The main differences between the two models are:

– the bodies. Both are state-of-the-art reproductions of real bodies and are rich in detail. In order to be able to make such large models, the bodies are divided into parts: front grille, half-body front part, cockpit, driver, roll bar, upper spoiler, half-body rear part, rear lights are a list of what Tamiya studied when releasing the two models. The body of the Toyota Pick Up 4×4 model faithfully reproduces the Toyota Hilux RN36 model which in 1978 was in its third generation, the only difference being in the rear where the body was enlarged to accommodate the rear wheels. In the pictures below the one on the left refers to the Toyota Pick Up 4×4 and the one on the right refers to the Blazing Blazer.

– the speed control system. In the Toyota 4×4 model, it is a speed control that attempts to solve the main problem of previous models: the electrical resistance that causes poor system efficiency. The idea was to create an early model of electronic speed control based on transistor technology. The result is a product that malfunctions at the slightest infiltration of water. For this reason and to reduce costs, Tamiya returned to the classic mechanical speed controller in the Blazing Blazer. In the pictures below the one on the left refers to the transistor-based speed control system of the Toyota Pick-up 4×4, the middle one and the one on the right refer to the resistor and the mechanical speed selection system of the Blazing Blazer respectively.

– The wheels are different in size and tread between the two models. In the Toyota Pick up 4×4 the wheels are complemented by a hard rubber insert that changes completely in the Blazing Blazer. The leaf spring suspension is very stiff and does not absorb the roughness of the terrain. The model almost seems to be sailing in a stormy sea rather than moving on a surface, the hard rubber inserts help to amplify this rocking motion. Under these conditions, rideability suffers and it becomes a challenge to maintain a straight line. In the Blazing Blazer model the insert has been changed from hard to soft rubber so the tyres help to absorb bumps. In the pictures below the one on the left refers to the Toyota Pick Up 4×4 and the one on the right refers to the Blazing Blazer.

Common to both models is the “R/C 4×4 Vehicle Driver Figure” code 54416, which can be assembled by choosing between the head without helmet (for Toyota Pick Up 4×4 on the left) and the head with helmet (for the Blazing Blazer on the right).
Guide to illustrate step-by-step the construction of the driver figure for both models, the passenger figure for both models and the passenger compartment for the Toyota Pick Up 4×4

The less refined appearance of the Blazing Blazer has limited sales and it is now more rare and sought-after than the Toyota Pick Up 4×4. The decision to faithfully reproduce off-roaders in a working scale model leads to the production of small mechanical gems that have poor handling and driveability. Many of these models are bought not to be driven, but to look good on the shelves.
In designing them, it is evident that the choices made by Tamiya have favoured the aesthetic and mechanical aspect. No manufacturer has gone out of its way to take on Tamiya by developing similar models.

Re-release

There is no re-reliase that takes up much of the mechanics and body of the 3 Speed chassis, but in 2006 Tamiya released for sale models that are a modern development of the 3 Speed chassis. The evolution derives from Tamiya’s Truck 56xxx line with which it shares some mechanical parts, such as the gearbox, and the size of the wheels that are more reminiscent of the Toyota 4×4 – Blazing Blazer than the Bruiser – Mountaineed. This new chassis is called High Lift. To date (2023), three models equipped with the High Lift chassis have been released:

– Ford F350 High-Lift, model number 58372, put on sale in 2006,
– Toyota Hilux High Lift model number 58397, put on sale in 2007, and
– Toyota Tundra High-Lift model number 58415, put on sale in 2008

The features of this chassis are:

– realistic spar chassis,
– leaf spring suspension complete with shock absorbers,
– front-rear differential,
– 3-speed gearbox,
– permanent 4-wheel drive at any speed,
– possibility of 4-wheel steering,
– highly detailed body,
– optional system code MFC-02 for managing lights, sounds and engine noises. This board is derived directly from the Tamiya code MFC-01 which is used in 56xxx family trucks.

The only part in common in the three families is the front part of the body used for the Toyota Pick up 4×4 model 58028, the Bruiser model 58048, the Mountaineer model 58111, the Toyota Hilux High Lift model 58397 and all the Brusier chassis release that appeared from 2012 onwards. Over time, Tamiya modified the moulds and introduced in the latest Toyota Hilux High Lift model and in the Bruiser release the possibility of installing LED position indicators, two windscreen wipers and different rear-view mirrors on the driver and passenger sides.

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