“In 1997 the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) began development on a new high-mobility light armored transportation vehicle. Capable of accommodating 4 personnel, the JGSDF Light Armored Vehicle is fitted with a 160hp liquidcooled 4-cycle 4-cylinder diesel engine, allowing it to reach top speeds of 100km/h” (Editor’s note: description from Tamiya USA)
Tamiya released this vehicule in 2004 based on the same chassis as the Humvee. One odd thing Tamiya did with this kit, it comes pre-painted and the body is in polycarbonate.
The main problem is that military vehicles are generally matt/flat, and as we all know, polycarbonate has a very glossy finish. But as you can see on pictures, there is a way around this, or rather a technique to deal with the glossy body. (Editor’s note: this technique will be explained on rc4on.com in a few weeks)
The chassis is pretty much a standard TA01, same as the Humvee, except you get a bevel rear differential gear rather than a ball-type like the Humvee. The kit comes with an ESC, however the first version of the LAVs was sold with an MSC.
Short CVA oil filled shocks feature too, which are nice once you get the preload set correctly, just make sure when you place it on the ground you get a little sag/droop (just a couple of mm if that) and they’ll work beautifully.
The one great thing the LAV has over the Humvee is that you can press chassis down to use all the suspension travel and the wheels don’t make any contact with the body at all, whatever direction they face.
It is quite fast with the standard kit motor. As for a straight kit build it’s pretty good, can’t really fault it other than the front wheels tow out a little on full suspension compression, hardly noticeable when running.
Just keep running it in scale dimensions and it should last a long time and reward you with a relatively good performance.
This is one of those cars you never get bored of, it has lots of possibilities and potential, just feed your imagination by researching the real thing and then somehow applying it your LAV. Even if you’re not into running it, it’ll look great on the shelf if you take your time and work the body with lots of tentative patience.
The LAV along with its Humvee counter-part is what RC cars are all about: performance, modeling, choice of options and last but not least of all… fun!
By Dirt-540, UNITED KINGDOM.
More pictures in Gallerie : Tamiya 58326 JGSDF LAV