57409 Tamiya RC Lunch Box Mini Hands On!

I am always excited to get a look at any new Tamiya chassis, so when Tamiya offered me the chance to get my hands on the soon to be released Lunch Box Mini I seized the opportunity to take a closer look.

The Lunch Box Mini is based on the new SW-01 chassis. This new design from the boffins at Tamiya HQ, is smaller than the standard 1/10 that many of their kits. It is a diminutive 1/24 in size so it is able to be ran indoors and out. The actual dimensions are 190mm in length and 146m wide. It could easily fit in the palm of your hand...

The 4WD system is powered by a centrally positioned motor for optimal balance. This powers a precision gear driven drive train setup. The kit comes with a standard 370 motor, but there is a sports tuned version (58460) available for more speed. The chassis comes with a 16t pinion to provide the kit with a gear ration of 28.875:1 although you can change the gearing with option parts.

The power is transferred to the 4 wheels via universal drive shafts. The drive shafts use standard 12mm hex's so you have a lot of aftermarket choice. The kit included these M-chassis wheels and Tamiya Euro Truck tyres to lift the Mini Lunchbox high of the ground, and seem to give a good level of grip.

The suspension is not oil damped, but moves freely and the chassis feels very stable, probably due to the lightweight nature of the chassis. These can be tuned with a option spring set.

The SW-01 chassis uses standard servos, so it will be easy to source the components for the build. Although a standard 7.2v battery will not fit, although there are lots of smaller ones that conform to the 66x36x15mm size. These include the Tamiya Life battery and Carson Lipos.

The chassis is topped off with a poly-carbonate recreation of the Lunch Box shell. It comes pre-painted and you only need to do some basic cutting and add stickers. It is attached on the chassis via magnets, or you can also mount it via more conventional body posts either side of the body.

Now it's time to give it a quick spin. Here is a quick video of it in action.

The first thing I noticed is how responsive the SW-01 chassis feels to drive. This chassis handles far superior to its big brother. The 4WD drive train provides you with instant grip and you can really feel the impact of this and the smooth differentials as it provides the precision steering.

The SW-01 chassis leans into the corners as you steer. The ingenious suspension system takes some design ques from the excellent T3-01 and the weight shifts slightly as it enters the corners. This gives the 'Snack Box' a tight turning circle.

As you would expect, the Mini Lunch Box is easy to wheelie. A quick squeeze on the throttle and the front wheels raise up and you can roll along on the wheelie bar easily. Again it is easier to actually hold the wheelie with this chassis than its full size counterpart.

One of the unique features is that the Mini Lunch Box over any previous RC car is that you are able to steer when it wheelies. To do this you need the Hop-up part 54898. These connect the upper arms to provide 4WS (Four wheel steering).

I was really impressed with my short hands on with the Tamiya Lunch Box Mini. Despite it's small size, it packs in a large amount of fun.  I cannot wait to spend more time playing with this excellent addition to the Tamiya catalogue after it is released this August. 
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Post a Comment

  1. So the kit doesn't coems with the AA battery case?

  2. The version I worked on is a prototype. I was told that the AA case should come in the kit, but it was not confirmed.



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