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Unbelievable RC

Tamiya Fast Attack Vehicle (FAV)

Tamiya Fast Attack Vehicle (FAV)


  • Model #: 58046
  • Gallery: View
  • Released: 1984
  • Prebuilt: No
  • Category: Buggies
  • Chassis: FAV / Wild One
  • Scale: 1/10
  • Use: Offroad
  • Style: 2WD buggy
  • Config: RR
  • Driveline: Gear transmission
  • Body: ABS
  • Finished body: No
  • Susp. front: Trailing arm
  • Susp. rear: Trailing arm

Photo gallery samples

Visit the full Tamiya Fast Attack Vehicle gallery for more photos.

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JANG's Impressions

Tamiya's Fast Attack Vehicle is a fascinating vintage model. Not only is it one of the first 50 Tamiya RCs, coming just after the Hornet, but only two vehicles were ever produced on this platform -- first the FAV, then the more popular Wild One. As of this writing (February 2010), it has not been re-released in any form. It is modelled after a full-scale buggy designed by Chenowth for the U.S. Army, alternately referred to as either the Desert Patrol Vehicle (DPV) or Fast Attack Vehicle. Tamiya's version uses Frog rear trailing suspension arms with new single front trailing arms and coil-over friction shocks all around. Holding everything together is an ABS tub chassis that manages to keep weight nice & low while providing a good base for a scale-inspired design.

This was simultaneously my most-anticipated and most-dreaded vintage build. Detailed similar to the box art, some could call it one of the best-looking RC cars ever made. However, painting it this way is a laborious process, especially when you consider that the box art & manual's painting guides don't agree and that one side of the vehicle is not shown on the box or in the manual. Then there's also this -- note the driver figure painting guide. This must explain why nearly every FAV ever built either uses the alternate, single-color scheme, or a made-up, random camo design. Myself, I figured since I only had one shot at this, I might as well go for broke.

Beyond the painting challenges, this is actually a fairly simple build, and also very compact. The Frog-derived transmission is very narrow, and even the MSC and its servo are nestled tightly together, with the bundle of wires heading rearward requiring more than its share of stretching, bending, and massaging to neatly route. The reused Rough Rider tires and 3-piece wheels are sure to bring a smile to the face of any true vintage fan.

On the road, the Tamiya Fast Attack Vehicle has excellent handling for its vintage, stable, yet agile, with a nice, tight turning radius. The rear suspension is just slightly stiff. The front spring rate feels appropriate, but the lack of damping generates quite a lot of bounciness, and when the suspension extends, the top of the "shock" shafts, which are screw heads, impact the metal shock stays, creating a constant clicking & clattering as you navigate bumpy terrain. A thin o-ring slipped in each of these spaces would probably be a good thing.

Overall, this is just a wonderful old buggy. It looks amazing with its 80% scale realism, it handles surprisingly well, and it's just a joy to behold, while being a piece of history all the same.


Build & Tips

Be sure to peruse the Tamiya Fast Attack Vehicle Build thread on the forums, complete with photos taken along the way of this month-long build.

  • Give your a good warm water & soap/detergent bath to the ABS parts trees that are going to receive paint. Just be careful not to lose any parts down the drain. Also consider giving them a couple coats of either a surface prep or at least a clear dullcoat to aid paint adhesion.
  • No matter what you do, as the manual warns, the softer nylon that the roll cage parts are made from will not hold paint very well, so you'll need to take care not to bend or impact these parts during assembly & handling, once they've been painted.
  • Look at the build thread to see how the assembly had to be done out of order in order to properly create the camoflage across multiple parts.
  • If you want to go for a box art-styled paint job, take note that the scheme shown in the manual is somewhat different from the box art. For my build, I custom-blended the two to create a hybrid that does its best to be true to both.
  • After painting items, cover them with at least a few coats of dullcoat to help protect the details.