Our Tamiya HKS Nissan Skyline Gr.A Model Race Car Build

After being gifted an awesome Tamiya Skyline GT-R Gr.A model R/C Car from HKS Europe a couple of years back, we decided to get it off of the shelf and built up, to use for some local club RC Racing.

The kit itself, consisting of the TT-01E Chassis, in standard form, requires some assembling and other electronic equipment to get up and running, such as the Transmitter, Receiver, Steering Servo, Speed Controller and Batteries (also some Black Lexan Paint for the R32 bodyshell)

To bring it up to regulations for the Tamiya GT-E Class we were looking to race in, the drivetrain needed a few simple upgrades during the build process.

Upgrades consisted of;

Stronger Alloy prop shaft (to replace the weaker plastic one)

Thicker front differential grease (to help reduce the open diff power loss in hard cornering)

Shorter ratio spur and pinion gearing (for better acceleration)

Full ball bearing set (to replace the standard plastic drivetrain bushings)

Oil Filled Dampers (to replace the standard, oil-less friction dampers)

Hobbywing Justock Brushless 17.5T motor and controller (as per the race regulations)

Stronger Alloy motor mount (to replace the weaker plastic one)

Motor Heat-sink with built in fan (for cooler motor temperatures)

Adjustable tie-rods (to replace the none-adjustable ones)

Cut OR Full Slick, pre-mounted tyres (as per the race regulations)

Upgrade parts to be fitted;

The build spanned over a few days, whilst waiting for upgrades to be delivered, but went together effortlessly, all recorded on the below time lapse video;

Chassis build progress;


In addition to the above items, we added a Tamiya Touring Car Cockpit for a little realism, trying to keep the paint inside as close to the real thing as possible, including dash stickers and drivers race suit, replicating that of drivers Yukihiro Hane and Osamu Hagiwara;


Keen to get out racing, we entered into the rookie class at my local club (Stafford Model Car Club) and took part in our first race evening on February 23rd

The evening consisted of 3x rounds, followed by a final race, with starting positions determined by how you finished the previous heats.

Race night;

After a 20yr absence from RC Car racing, I wasn’t expecting to do too well, with the first round seeing me finish in 4th place out of 7x drivers.

Noticing me struggling for grip, a fellow member loaned me a set of used full slick tyres, to replace the cut slicks that were originally being used.

Round 2 was a struggle however. The new slick tyres and sticky tyre additive gave so much grip, that the car kept rolling over mid-corner. However, a 5th place finish wasn’t too bad at least.

Round 3 brought more of the same, even with some suspension adjustments. Although, managing to secure a 5th place finish, despite retiring due to battery issues (only being saved by lapping slower cars during the early stages of the race)

Round 4 (Finals), saw another 5th place finish, still suffering with grip roll on occasion, but managing to keep it together most of the time, by taking the corners a fraction slower.

In all, the evening was good fun, but plenty of room left for improvement on both my driving and the cars handling with high grip tyres.

Even captured some onboard footage, until the camera got ejected from rolling the car…



With that in mind, suspension has been upgraded to some oil filled dampers and better spring rates, to replace the factory friction dampers. Plus a set of wider offset wheel spacers and ride height adjustments to lower the centre of gravity.  The chassis has also been balanced with a 50/50 weight distribution to hopefully eliminate any further grip rolling.

Handling work;


Looking forward to the next race evening…!

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