I think it’s safe to say that almost all RC enthusiasts have at least heard of the Tamiya Clod Buster. The Clod Buster was first introduced to the RC market in 1987 and it was BEAUTIFUL. The Clod Buster was found in every RC car magazine, back in the day, whether it be a feature article, hop-up parts, or an actual Tamiya Clod Buster ad.
The Clod Buster was designed to do one thing and it did it very well. The Clod captured the excitement of a full size Monster Truck and believe me, Monster Trucks were a big deal back then. That was an era when Monster Trucks were real trucks with real truck chassis and cabs. The owners usually put as many chrome parts as would fit and that made them the ultimate eye candy. They weren’t worried about racing back then, just being big, loud, and AWESOME!
This is exactly what the Clod Buster captured in all its glory. Over the years Tamiya sold many Clod Busters and eventually decided it needed a change. Tamiya changed a few things and introduced the truck as the Super Clod Buster. It still had all it’s chrome, actually there was more chrome. The Clod’s white wheels became chrome and there was an additional chrome blower scoop in the kit. One of the updates was a change from red to blue. The red plastic parts were all changed to blue and the new body was to be painted blue to complete the new look, like on the box. While blue is a great color, I really miss the styling of the original Clod Buster.
Now, it wasn’t long ago that I had bought a blue Super Clod Buster, which is a good looking truck, but I was craving an original looking Clod at the time. I spent a lot of time tracking down original Clod Buster red plastic parts, white rims, and replica Clod Buster decals to bring me back to my childhood memories, I guess.
It’s exciting that Tamiya has released the special Black edition Super Clod Buster. This version of Clod Buster is basically the same exact truck as the current Super Clod Buster, but it has a beautiful new look, or should I say a new retro look? The Black edition Super Clod Buster includes red plastic shocks, bumpers, suspension braces and rod ends, just like the original Clod Buster did. The Black edition Super Clod Buster also includes a black body with chrome decals and black (smoky) chrome rims. This newest version of the Clod Buster looks amazing. It has brought back the retro excitement of the original Clod Buster, but with a completely different look. Good job Tamiya!
When I first bought this Super Clod Buster Black edition, I was planning on painting it to look like a retro monster truck, but after seeing the decals in person, I decided to go with the look Tamiya intended for this truck and I’m glad I did because it looks amazing. I decided not to clear coat the black body before applying the decals and I’m very happy with my decision. The chrome and red decals look amazing against the unpainted semi gloss black plastic body. This is a good looking truck!
The Super Clod Buster (black edition) is a kit, so it will need to be assembled. The instructions are very well designed and easy to follow. The build went together great with only a couple steps needing a bit extra effort. Installing the metal axle trusses (braces)(4 total) required a little extra effort to get lined up properly. The braces had to be forcibly held in place while the screw was inserted. Fitting the tires over the rims also required a little more exertion as well. Neither of these two step were terrible, but worth mentioning. The rest of the build was a pleasure. These kits are almost as much fun to build as they are to drive.
The Super Clod Buster Black edition includes two brushed can motors and an electronic speed controller (ESC). The rest of the electronics will need to be purchased separately. You’ll need to supply your own steering servo (1), radio system with transmitter and receiver, battery, and charger.
The Included ESC uses two sets of motor wires and is able to control both the front and rear motors. The included motors are mounted to each axle. This is called MOA, or motors on axles. The advantages of this are added power (2 motors) and a lower center of gravity, since the motors and gear boxes are actually part of the axles.
The Clod Buster includes eight coil over friction dampened shocks, no oil required. When coupled with the large tires, these shocks create a pretty bouncy ride. While this isn’t ideal for racing, it sure is a lot of fun.
For the steering servo I used a Hitec D946TW wide voltage metal gear steering servo. It seems to have enough of power, even though a single servo is used to steer all four tires. Like all other Clod Busters before it, the Super Clod Buster Black edition suffers from sloppy steering and needs some fine tuning. While the stock steering will never be perfect, it does work and actually adds to the fun factor. Check out the second video “overview” to see how I adjusted the steering. As I mentioned earlier, the truck is already bouncy. Add this sloppy steering into the mix and you’ve got one exciting ride!
I used a Hitec Lynx 4s radio and an inexpensive 6 cell NiMH 2500Mah Onyx battery pack in the Super Clod Buster build. This setup works very well and I was able to get surprisingly long run times with this regular old NiMH battery pack.
This truck is just as awesome as any other Clod Buster and it looks amazing. There are so many upgrades for this truck it’s crazy. The possibilities are almost limitless. Build the truck in stock form and have loads of fun driving it around the house and/or the yard. If a race truck is what you’re after, then buy some upgrades and instantly become competitive. The Clod Buster has something for everyone.
Overview, electronics, & quick steering tip: