3 Oct 2011

OT-66 are here!

Besides, a new RC shop has open the gates for us, vintage lovers!
Marwan's (yes THE Marwan) new webshop proposes his well-known bodies, decals, tires repros at a more interesting price than ebay.
You should try the new marwanrc.com shop.

The long awaited for OT-66 are finally available. I'll post some comments when I get mines. :D

22 Sep 2011

OPTIMA re-released

Ok...ok... Not really a true re-release, but now that Avante 2011 and Fast Attack Vehicle 2011 were released, kyosho fans were waiting for their own nolstalgia series rebirth.
I was delighted when I opened the Kyosho global website today, because I've rarely seen the blue yellow white livery of the original optima there!!!
Now, the actual news is about a new Mini-z BUGGY series, and the first batch of bodies are the Optima and the Lazer ZX-5 FS.
And it's not really a news because the mini-z buggy has been announced in august but I've not published anything since... well, you can see that :D

From the website:
"Nostalgic body style combines with latest chassis design!

Dynamic palmtop size buggy with Readyset!
New generation 4x4 MINI-Z chassis creates spectacular racing action!

Longtime fans of R/C will recognize the distinctive form of the OPTIMA body straight away. But the nostalgic exterior hides the very latest in R/C design technology. The precision chassis features a shaft driven 4WD with a two-differential drive train incorporating a slipper clutch to protect gears with oil shocks on the 4-wheel independent double wishbone suspension, just like the original Optima 1/10 racing buggy. The result is the exceptional performance expected of a 1/10 scale R/C buggy, but concentrated into a racing machine that fits on the palm of your hand and the best off-road performance achieved in the history of the MINI-Z. With most of the precision components protected within the dirt-proof shell, the chassis has the rigidity and durability for hardcore off-road action. Based on the MINI-Z Racer, control circuit board has been tuned for off-road with a special separated design. The ICS function allows precision setting adjustment of controls including the optional gyro unit through your PC while the Chase Mode feature fires up the intensity of racing action. Also, the newly designed steering servo is equipped with 7-stage gearing. High torque and precision control combine to produce the MINI-Z’s characteristic steering feel and linear control. As the famous Optima body is pre-painted and is packaged as a Readyset, just purchase and set batteries into this legendary racing buggy and watch the latest MINI-Z technology tear up any dirt track."

Tread (F/R)
AAA-size alkaline batteries x 4 or NiMH batteries x 4 for chassis.
R/C System

More pics here

28 May 2011

New Alu Shock collars for Optima?

Korea's Pargu is very active in the vintage kyosho field and it's always a pleasure to stumble upon a new item of his on ebay. This time it's the red shock collar for Optima, you know, the one that breaks easily when you overscrew it. He says it's handmade but what does it mean exactly? Just wondering... Anyway, it's way tougher than the originals, I guess, and if he succeeds to make some of them, it will probably be a huge win for him (and for us optimaniacs).
I don't post a link here but every optimaniac should know how to check it out :D

14 May 2011

Marwan's OT-66 repros are there!

Here we are!
As I suggested a few months ago, after the optima's OT-30, someone finally has tackled
the challenge of reproducing the famous OT-66 tires. You probably were looking for this final achievement for the beloved Turbo Optima or Optima Mid shelfqueens (not to mention Ultimas), but finally the wait is over!
Kuwait's Marwan AlNusif did it again. I don't know if the quality is up to the original but I guess Marwan did not cut the angles to improve his knowhow after the OT-30 episode... Hey, Marwan, would you mind sending me a pair of OT-66 to let me tell optimaniacs about the quality of these? :D
You're a god, mate!!! Full respect.

28 Jan 2011

OT-30 story

Two weeks after I published the news of Marwan's OT-30 reproductions, I got a mail from Jose R, an other spanish optimaniac since 1985, which was quite surprising.

He remembers seeing my post in 2009 about the craze of the OT-30 burning prices (selling at about 90€ for 4 tires on ebay but recently their prices peaked at about 60€ for 2).
Since then, Jose was developing a repro project of the OT-30 during his freetime (he badly needed 40 tires, lol), and this month (janury 2011), he ended the production of a good bunch of them and was planning to begin to sell them.
So it was pure coincidence when he saw that Marwan also did manage to repro the OT-30, from Koweit!

I for one own A LOT of 1st gen optima/javelin so I was very interested in a repro project of the most sought after parts ( OT-30 tires, OT-15 bumper, Javelin rollcage to name a few), and I succeeded in making molds for Optima Mid belt drive covers, and Mid gearboxes, but I never took the step of going further (I'm lazy and have too much projects/work already).
So I was very very curious about the process involved in copying existing tires, and asked Jose to present some "behind the scenes making-of" stories.

These pics were sent to me by Jose, and reveals a bit of his project's steps.


Jose realized Kyosho was a bit loose with the tire tolerances (dimensional variations between different tire specimens was wide), and had to slice 6 genuine tires (and wheels) to find an average.


As you can see, Jose is an engineer, studied back in 1993 when only paper, pencil, eraser and faber-castell ruled on the drawing tables, not to mention rotring and lettraset/mecanorma/pantone type sheets.
Okay, you younger optimaniacs may not remember that time but drawing technical things WITHOUT a computer was actually very fun and rewarding. (btw I'm an architect who fell in love with sketchup but that's another story) :D
During the process, Jose jumped in the digital bandwagon and transfered the drawings into digital form.


I don't have a lot of info about this step, but Jose tells me that it takes a lot of patience to make a good mould with correct shape and measuring, the rest of the work being in the hands of skilled staff who mould rubber 8 hours a day. He struggled to convince these workers to treat his tires as precision work, otherwise they just mould the tire like any ordinary industrial rubber part...
I can imagine that, I also struggled to get the correct gold dye when trying to anodize some of my standard aluminium chassis to gold ones (just because I lacked some chassis rails because I bought incomplete gold chassis sets ... sigh...), and to refuse the work done by professional staff just by being picky is always hard to do.

Anyway, Jose had to produce 3 generations of moulds to achieve the degree of perfection he thought the optimaniacs deserve. Otherwise he would have launched the OT-30 repro-fest months ago. Jose is truly a crusader fighting for our cause :D
He's keeping some early generation OT-30 repros with different 320/40 VR18 lettering types for his own collection ;)

Muchas gracias Jose! I hope you have enough OT-30 for your optimas now :D
If you want to buy him some tires, please click the title of this post!

Photography by Jose R

27 Jan 2011

OT-15 cemetary

I'm cleaning my office today and stumbled upon a ton of optima stuff.
It's amazing the quantity of stuff you accumulate along all these years.
What becomes clear is that I've at least 12 Optimas to restore... :D
I've seen the OT-15 (bumper) are selling very high now on ebay, and they are becoming very rare nowadays... Is Marwan or any else optimaniac interested in reproducing the OT-15 and the OT-93 (mid and lazer zx bumpers)? ;)

7 Jan 2011


Happy new year optimaniacs!

2011 is a good year for us because someone finally had the guts to reproduce the famous OT-30, aka Optima/Javelin tires!!! Incredible!
The good news come from Kuwait, and every optimaniac in the world must know nowadays that Marwan AlNusif makes the best vintage repro of bodies and decals for us optima fans! So I'm very confident about the quality of these tires, and that the long wait is finally over for all the people looking for new tires for their Optima and Javelin.
I'm probably not the only one thinking that OT-30 are the most beautiful vintage buggy tires ever designed... but at a price! Recently on ebay a pair of OT-30 sold for 80US$... soooooo expensive! when the tires exceed the value of a kit, then we need to think again... :D
Thanks to Marwan, I'll finally be able to realize my old dream: RUN A JAVELIN WITH GENUINE STOCK TIRES!!!! 1000 thanks mate!
By the way, if the OT-30 adventure is a success (and I can't imagine how it could be else), pleeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase think about the OT-66 and the turbo scorpion tires! ;)