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Old 05-28-2009, 09:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by niznai View Post
Perhaps HPi shells are made in the US so there is no shipping cost (to them).

But about Yokomo shells, I think they're way better quality (in detail as well as material) than HPI shells. Where the HPI shells have only some vague detailing, the Yokomo are (atleast some) exquisite. My experience with HPi is one of the worst ever too, having bought two shells which shattered like glass on their first outing in mild crashes, so I never went back to buy their products.

And in Australia they're just as expensive as anything.
I think you are right. The HPI shells I have were formed in the States. Sometimes I wonder since vacforming is pretty simple why dont manufacturers just send the tooling to an approved contractor in each area and make them locally everywhere. Meaning all the stuff sold in Aus would be made there. Maybe thats just not as easy as it sounds. Maybe fifty bucks for a shell you really want isnt so bad.

My experience with the HPI shells is mixed. Some split in the nose from relatively light hits and others took a pretty good beating and held up fairly well. I do know that HPI is working on improving the durability of the weak nosed shells. I have never had one split anywhere else. I wasnt really impressed with the shape of the Yokomo. Tamiya seems to have tighter lines and smoother lexan.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:37 PM   #17
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I am pretty sure it isn't that easy. Financial feasibility is the number one constraint on any economic enterprise and am pretty sure if it was possible people would do it. I remember some time ago that a hobby shop owner told me they sold about 1000 Subaru and Skyline shells a year (in Adelaide, SA) from Frewer at 30AUD a piece compared to a handful of others. Frewer makes them in New Zealand and the shells are pretty basic with simple vague lines, but very durable so they're ideal for bashing.

As for durability I think the problem is with the lexan composition which is probably quite variable from supplier to supplier. In principle lexan should be tough as hell (just try to bash a Coca Cola bottle and you'll see) so I don't know why some shells are durable and others aren't. Chemistry of plastics on the other hand is a closely guarded secret and one difficult to unravel for would-be copy cats because of the intricate lab equipment you need to do it. DuPont invests hugely in research and I suppose they don't like to lose money by making things easy to reverse-engineer. One example in point is Tamiya which makes a lot of stuff in China, but not the plastics which are still made in Japan (we're talking R/C kits) and my guess is that they are not sure they can QC properly something made overseas (plastic quality/chemistry from suppliers being the first suspect). Otherwise, as you say, injecting plastic looks as easy as anything but I suspect it's the stages before the injection (plastic material chemistry basically) that are more important rather than molds, teperature, pressure, etc.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:52 PM   #18
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I just love tamiya shells, but most of the time I only buy them as shelf queens. The only tamiya bodies I use for racing are the ones that aren't made in true scale form just like the Ferrari F430.

Plus, what I love about Tamiya bodies are that they come in real life liveries. Gotta love those huge sticker sheets!
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