Custom body for Tamtech Chassis

It is possible to install some bodies of 1/24 scale static models on the Tamtech chassis that share the main dimensions of the chassis itself, in some cases modifications are necessary. For example, the bodies of these models fit easily onto the chassis:

– BMW 635 CSI model number 24058 from 1983,
– BMW 635 CSI Gr.A racing model number 24061 from 1985,
– Mercedes Benz 500 SEC model number 24029 from 1981 and 1992, 
– Mercedes Benz 500 SEC Lorinser model number 24037 from 1983,
– Volvo 850 Turbo Estate model number  24152 from 1994,
– Volvo 850 Estate BTCC model number  24162 from 1994 and
– Volvo 850 Salo0n BTCC mmodel number  24168 from 1996.

They are not the only body suitable for installation on the Tamtech chassis, before choosing the body to be installed on the chassis simply check the overall measurements, which must coincide. Three different interests are available in the Tamtech family with approximately the same width, which only changes by one millimetre:

– LWB long wheelbase chassis, measurements are in mm:

– short wheelbase chassis in the version with the drive unit installed away from the centre shell, measurements are in mm:

– short wheelbase chassis in the version with the drive unit installed close to the centre shell, measurements are in mm:

When choosing the body to fit the chassis, check the wheelbases of the real cars against the wheelbase data of the cars that fit the short wheelbase chassis:

– 2273 mm Porsche 961 (in the super short version)
– 2500 mm Lamborghini Countach
– 2550 mm Ferrari Testa Rossa

These are the actual wheelbases of the cars that fit the long wheelbase chassis:

– 2625 mm BMW 635CSI
– 2664 mm Volvo 850
– 2665 mm Lancia LC2
– 2667 mm BMW GTP
– 2667 Ford Mustang Probe GTP
– 2770 mm Porsche 962C

It is really difficult to find a body that fits the Tamtech chassis straight away:

– different width,
– different side height,
– different wheelbase and
– incompatibility of shape and/or overall dimensions

If the chosen model has a smaller width than the chassis, it is possible to install wheel arches. To construct wheel arches, use scissors to cut out a half-moon shape to fit the body from a 1..1.2 mm thick sheet of ABS.
Use acetone solution and ABS in the most solid form to join the wheel arch to the body; after at least 4 hours the two parts are welded together, work with 1.000 grit sandpaper to remove imperfections. If necessary, spread putty to correct imperfections or close holes; then work with sandpaper.
Sequence of images showing how to construct a wheel arch to fit the BMW 635 CSI static body left front wheel arch to fit the Tamtech chassis:

– BMW 635 CSI body installed on Tamtech chassis without wheel arch
– Cut the wheel arch out of a 1…1.2 mm thick ABS sheet by cutting a half-moon of the correct dimensions
– Curve the half-moon to adapt its shape to the chassis
– Weld the half-moon to the body with a dense solution of Acetone and ABS
– After at least 4 hours, work with 1,000 grit sandpaper
– Apply filler and work with 1,000 grit sandpaper
– Check the final result.

Repeat the same operations on all front and rear wheel arches.

Some models may have the same interest as the chassis, but the body is too low to be housed properly on the chassis because the body itself leaves a gap between itself and the floor showing the chassis. When the nose of the body fits the chassis, the rest of the body can be modified by adding side skirts. If the contour of the body does not fit perfectly with that of the chassis, install the body so that it is ‘pinned’ towards the front. This further uncovers the sides and tail. At the rear, the motor can be left exposed as it is on long-wheelbase models, this improves motor cooling. The middle part can be modified to mitigate the lack of body. Picture sequence showing how to construct a miniskirt – side sill to be applied to the static Mercedes Benz 500 SEC body on the left side to fit the long wheelbase Tamtech chassis:

– Cut from a 1…1.2 mm thick sheet of ABS a trapezoidal strip with a 79 mm wide base. The additional strip must be shaped to extend the body under the doors between the two wheel arches, closing any gap between the body and the chassis floor.
– Install the side strip on the chassis from the inside of the chassis
– Tighten the two screws to the nuts to secure the side strip firmly to the body

Repeat the same operations for the right side, the measurements in the pictures are in millimetres.

The body of the chosen static model may also have a different wheelbase; if the difference is within 5 mm, the front and rear wheel arches can be machined with sandpaper to adapt the body to the chassis.
If the bodywork has a wheelbase that is too short, widen the front wheel arch towards the front up to a maximum of 2.5 mm and widen the rear wheel arch towards the rear of the body up to a maximum of 2.5 mm (red part in the image).
If the body has a wheelbase that is too long, widen the front and rear wheel arches towards the central part up to a maximum of 2.5 mm on each side (blue part in the image).

The aerodynamic shape of some bodies may not be compatible with the arrangement of the CPR electronics on the centre shell. In this case, move the CPR transversely, fixing it to the chassis with double-sided tape. See image below:
– long wheelbase chassis, the CPR control unit is highlighted in blue; the modification changes the weight distribution and makes the chassis under-steer as the centre of gravity is shifted towards the rear. The center of gravity moved towards the rear improves traction.

– short wheelbase chassis, the CPR control unit is highlighted in red; the modification changes the weight distribution and makes the chassis more precise in steering as the center of gravity is moved towards the front. The center of gravity moved towards the front worsens traction.

These techniques allow most static bodies to be adapted to the Tamtech chassis. There are several imaginative examples of static bodies installed on the Tametch chassis, one of the most complex being the following: adapting the body of the Toyota Hiace delivery van involves the use of all the techniques illustrated above. Sequence of pictures showing how to modify the right-side static body to fit the Tamtech chassis:

– Prepare the following parts from 1…1.2 mm thick ABS sheet:
1 x 70 x 15 mm rectangle; orange colour in the picture below,
2 x mudguards each consisting of a rectangle 13.5 x 4 mm (green in the image below), a rectangle 21 x 4 mm (blue in the image below) and a rectangle 11 x 4 mm (blue in the image below).
below) and a rectangle 11 x 4 mm (yellow in the image below),
1 x trapezoid 20 x 12 mm; purple in the image below
– Cut portion of body (red in picture below) to lengthen pitch with cutters and finish with 1,000 grit sandpaper
– Weld the purple trapezoid to the chassis to complete the chassis body finish using acetone and ABS liquid solution, finish with 1,000 grit sandpaper
– Install the orange rectangle with two 2 mm screws to the central part of the van between the two axles; apply the additional part to the inside of the body
– Weld the three rectangles constituting the front mudguards (green, blue and yellow parts) to the frame using acetone and ABS liquid solution
– Weld the three rectangles constituting the rear mudguards (green, blue and yellow parts) to the chassis using a liquid solution of acetone and ABS

Repeat the same operations for the left side, the measurements in the pictures are in millimetres.

It is feasible to install bodies of compact small cars such as the Fiat 500, Fiat 600 Abarth or Mini Cooper in 1:20 scale.
The body is modified in such a way that it is installed on the chassis respecting
– the wheelbase and width of the chassis
– the position of the 2 holes on each side that are used to secure the body to the chassis. The interest is equal to 58.9 mm for the long wheelbase chassis and equal to 41 mm for the short wheelbase chassis (in red in the image). In the image, two 2 mm screws were used to secure the bodywork to the frame.

Sequence of images showing how a body of a Mini Cooper was modified to install it on a short wheelbase Tamtech chassis:

– The body was modified by adding two pins on the right side that fit into the holes provided in the chassis. To achieve this modification, weld with acetone two pieces of 1 mm thick ABS tube 4-5 mm long at the points where the body matches the holes in the chassis. Alternatively, install two through-bolts at the holes on the chassis,
– the body has been modified by adding a long slot on the left side that fits into the frame’s battery lock and two pins that fit into the holes in the frame
– the rear part of the body has been cut out to house the motor and its heat sink (the heat sink is an aluminium accessory)
– the body has been modified by adding two front lights
– the chassis is deprived of the front bumper and this makes it prone to breakage in the event of an accident; as can be seen from the photo.

Tamiya, original figure, box art, guide book and catalogue are of TAMIYA INC, which does not endose or sponsor www.tamiyaclassic.com. Any brands, logos and trademarks represented on this website are the copyright of their respective owners.