Terra Treaded Tires
Traction for the Blackfoot comes from hard-compound Terra treaded tires. ;e compound is
firm enough to support the tire without the need
of foam inserts. ;ey are mounted on yellow
plastic wheels, and Tamiya tells you not to glue
them to the wheels. ;e slipping of the wheel
will act like a slipper clutch, which will protect the
gears in the transmission from damage.
Tamiya helps you get up and running by including a
motor and speed control that make the Blackfoot
move. ;e Blackfoot of the past came with a
three-step mechanical speed control, but the
new version has a smoother and more reliable
electronic speed control. Tamiya’s TBLE-02S can
run sensored brushless motors, but it’s paired with
a Mabuchi 540 sealed-endbell brushed motor in
the Blackfoot—just as it was equipped in 1986.
;e first-gen version of the Blackfoot included a three-step mechanical speed control, but you now get a more
reliable and smoother electronic unit that can run brushed
and brushless motors.
;e Blackfoot’s classic Terra tires are molded in hard
rubber and don’t need glue to stay on the rims.
As with any Tamiya vehicle that I build with an injection-molded body, I take the time to admire it before hitting the dirt. ;e Blackfoot is one of the best-
looking trucks in the lineup, and the time spent on
that high-gloss black paint job was well worth it.
At this point, I wanted to put it back on the shelf;
however, these trucks are meant to be driven, and
that’s what I did. On pavement, the tires provide
good grip but not so much that it causes the
truck to flip over. ;ere was just enough give to
let them slide at just the right time. ;e Blackfoot
isn’t going to break any records in the speed
department, but its top speed of about 15mph
is more than enough for retro fun (especially if
you’re trying to avoid thrashing the body). As the
brushes break in, it will speed up, and a set of
bearings in the rear swing arms and front rims will
get it going even faster. I headed over to the dirt
and found out pretty quickly that the large flat
tread on the hard-compound tires didn’t like the
hard-packed dirt very much. Traction was minimal,
but with a truck like this, it didn’t matter to me. ;e
loose conditions made the Blackfoot more fun;
sliding it around is pretty entertaining. ;e tires
were much more at home in loose dirt and had no
problems throwing roost.
Now let’s talk about that suspension. Just like
it was back in 1986, the Blackfoot’s suspension
is very sti;. ;is made for a pretty bouncy ride
and a lot of time sawing at the wheel to keep it
straight. ;e suspension did compress slightly
when I jumped the truck, but it wasn’t much.
You can dial that suspension in with a spring and
maybe an oil change in the shocks to get the ride a
little more plush.
I said that these trucks are meant to be driven,
but after this review, I think that I’ll be cleaning up
my Blackfoot and finding a nice spot on the shelf
for this awesome blast from the past. For me, this
truck is about the memories and the look, so the
shelf is just the right place for mine. ✇
1986: Birth of the Blackfoot
Before truck racing caught the attention of Losi and Associated, Tamiya’s Blackfoot was the
top choice of would-be truck racers. The‘Foot was not designed as a racer, but was so popular
and fun to drive that Blackfoots (Blackfeet?) inevitably found their way onto race tracks. Much
modding was required to make the truck effective on the track, but that was part of the fun (at
least until race-buggy conversions started eating your lunch). Tamiya would later hit the track
with much more competitive King Cab, just in time to go head to head with the superior JRX-T,
but it’s the Blackfoot that earned a place on our “Greatest Trucks” list in the June 2015 issue.
featured in the
issue of Radio
Control Car Action.