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Blakbird's 56701 Frog Mini Build 2 weeks 1 day ago #60824

  • blakbird
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The TamTech Gear series of 1/12 scale vehicles came out in 2006. The touring cars used the GT-01 chassis and were available in both kit and RTR form. The GB series were smaller versions of classic 2WD buggies. On the GB-01 platform we got the Frog, Hornet, Fox, and Desert Gator. All were "Expert Built" only except for a standalone chassis kit with no body. Looking at the catalogs and marketing material of the time, Tamiya was pushing this new series pretty hard with full page ads everywhere. But for whatever reason, they didn't sell very well and were discontinued after only two years. Nothing sparks the interest of collectors like making something unavailable though, so now all these models are like gold and almost impossible to find.

This is a ~1/12 - 1/14 scale version of the classic Frog from 1983. The whole line uses a very tame 370 sized motor along with other miniature electronics. There is no room for an MSC here. Instead Tamiya developed a tiny ESC just for these models which still works perfectly well. The model has four wheel double wishbone independent suspension unlike the original which has trailing arms in the rear. In terms of appearance, the model does a very good job of replicating the original at a smaller scale. The vertical rear shocks are a giveaway, but the long thin body is a dead ringer for the original.

For my other TamTech Gear touring cars I swapped in a much more powerful motor for higher speeds, but I think it is better to keep this model slow. It is more of a showpiece than a serious off-road racer since it is simply too small to conquer any significant obstacle or take jumps. I still drive it from time to time though. It is actually quite a complex chassis capable of more than you'd think, but it is hampered by the lack of oil dampers. They are available but the MSRP is higher than the kit itself.

The Tamtech Frog was not nearly so hard to find as the Hotshot and was much more reasonably priced, even New in Box. There's a big window in the front displaying the model at an almost vertical angle. The transmitter is tucked in behind.
The bottom and end panels have a lot more information than the front and sides did. Here many of the features and specifications are elucidated.
Here is the model as it appeared straight out of the box. The model comes with an Expec SP transmitter which is a 2-channel AM unit. The included servo is unique to this model series because it does not have any mounting screw flanges. There's also a TEU-102BK ESC. It doesn't have a Li-Po cutoff but seems to work just fine with a 2s anyway. The body is painted and decorated expertly. I replaced the receiver and transmitter with my standard radio gear, but the model is otherwise stock.
Without a close look, you might not realize this is the 1/12 scale version instead of the standard 1/10 scale. However, the difference becomes very clear when placed next to the original. Other than size, pretty much every detail is different so the similarities are only superficial.
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Blakbird's 56701 Frog Mini Build 2 weeks 1 day ago #60825

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It certainly does look like a Frog. Without the regular model for scale you might not know the difference, but the position of the rear shocks is a big giveaway.
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