by: James Bella [ ]
While once again contemplating the build of the 1:20 Tamiya RA272 that I keep wanting to start, I wondered what to do about the one piece shocks included in the kit. These are prominent on the finished model, and getting the styrene ones up to snuff would be a chore. Looking around the internet, I came across a small supplier that has some absolutely gorgeous metal multi-piece, workable coil over shocks in three different sizes.
RB Motion produces some very high grade machined components to enhance often overlooked areas of auto models.
The pair of shocks consist of 12 turned aluminum parts, 2 springs and a sheet of clear instructions to get them together. To start off, I painted the coil springs gloss black. While they were drying, I followed the instructions and built the simple jig. Basically all the jig does is hold the spring in a compressed state while the adhesive dries on the top retainer. No need to get fancy here unless you want to (as you can see in the images I went the fast and dirty route!), as long as the jig gets the job done you’re good to go.
Assembly is as easy as sliding the parts over the center post of the jig, wiring the spring far enough down and gluing the top retainer on. With this set, you have the choice of adding the extension to the lower section which will provide a 17.78mm length (measured center of the eyelets), or leaving it off for a length of 13.97mm. Whichever you choose, glue the lower piece(s) on and you’re done. No need to align the upper and lower eyelets, since these are workable you can just adjust them when installing on the model.
I am very pleased with the quality of these shocks, and how easy they were to assemble. Total time, using 5 minute epoxy, was about 45 minutes total for the pair…and that included building the real fancy jig! Even though these are geared for 1:24-1:25 scale, the extended pair will work just fine on my 1:20 RA272 with only minor modifications.