During the summer of 2018, THEGAYUK was fortunate enough to be given the keys to Toyota GB’s homage to Tamiya’s Hilux Bruiser for a week. It was a sad day when they came to collect it.

Shortly afterwards there was word on the street that model giant, Tamiya, was going to release a new radio controlled model based on that very Hilux Extra Cab model. And to really get the excitement up, they displayed it with stickers identical to the one Toyota GB had made.

This new model wasn’t to be based on the original Hilux Bruiser 3 speed chassis and as a result, it has made it more affordable to every enthusiast by basing it on the tried and tested CC-01 chassis.

Tried and tested, this chassis certainly is. It has been around for 25 years! That in itself sounds insane and yet there is still plenty of life in this chassis. It has seen 28 changes in body shell though some have been re-released. 

Sometimes, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it and that really is something you won’t be doing with the CC-01 chassis. They don’t break. I used to run one year ago with the Subaru Brat body on it. So without further ado let’s quickly look at the chassis and its build.

It’s simple with a few surprises. Not all the screws are the same and within the first few instructions, you’ll notice that the front diff has smaller screws. Here is a useful tip for you. If you plan on using it off road, try stuffing the front diff with blu-tac. It will lock the diff up but allow some movement, sort of like a very limited slip diff. It helps when off-roading.

The rear diff comes with the option of locking it with 2 useful inserts. The rest of the chassis is pure off-roader in design. The rear has the ability to carry out to scale articulation with a live rear axle while the front is suspended by wishbones and all is damped by oil filled shock absorbers.

With a proper off-roader like this old faithful, it isn’t about speed. The CC-01 was never about speed. It’s all about torque with power to climb and crawl along. With that in mind, you will want to make sure you waterproof the radio gear.

The chassis is tough, rugged and never goes wrong. Even cleaning and maintenance are quick and easy. I could go on about what to do with the chassis for maximum off-road fun, but I’ll leave that up to you to discover. It’s truly will sort of go where you point it. 

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And now to the best part. The body shell. For years, Tamiya shells were intricate pieces of craftsmanship. Suddenly they started issuing stickers in place of paints for lights and door handles on their polycarbonate shells. It made bodybuilding quicker without the painstaking wait for bits to dry. Even the stickers were pre-cut. To me, that always felt a shame. 

Thankfully, the shell for the Hilux Bruiser does have light inserts for the front and rears and the kit comes with a basic front and rear light kit. And there is more too. Masking. The extra cab needs masking up for the application of pearl white so this shell is turning into an intricate one after all that is worthy of extra attention. 

What I choose to do however was paint it metallic blue. Tamiya recommends a solid blue colour. Having been up close and personal with the real thing, I can tell you that it is a sparkling metallic blue in colour. So there was no way I was going to paint it solid blue.

As for the stickers, they look daunting. There are plenty of them and all have to be cut out. This was a joy for me and should be for you too. It’s intricate and makes building the model more intricate while developing those modelling skills. I must add that I did get sticker fatigue with this but that only extended the joy of the body to another day. Saying that it took over a week to build the body. A WEEK! The chassis was built within hours! 

There is the need to also buy some black paint too for the load bed area and radiator grill. None of this comes in a sticker. The rear light units need to be painted along with the mirrors. So this shell really did turn into a feast for the modeller like a gift that kept giving. And for that, I’d like to thank Tamiya. 

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