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Archive | Jun Watanabe

Hello. I’m Jun Watanabe. In my last column, I wrote about my first encounter with an RC car more than 30 years ago. Despite being a boy with a special admiration for Tamiya, the first RC car I got was Yokomo’s Dog Fighter. Because I was his beloved child, my father, who loved RC cars more than me, wanted to give me a higher-performance RC car. However, I couldn’t find it in myself to be satisfied. To me, the RC car to have was one from Tamiya. Nevertheless, I decided to play with the Dog Fighter (to be fair, this difference in understanding is so common between parents and children. It’s likely I myself, since becoming a father, have made this same mistake). From that day, I trained my Dog Fighter for about a year. The body was painted yellow by the previous owner, and it was a bit dusty since it was second-hand.

Then, one day, I finally got a Tamiya RC car. The model was a Hot Shot 2—my first Tamiya, which I will never forget. It stole my heart with its cool shape, which was also slimmer than the original Hot Shot. Every morning, I would charge it before going to elementary school, and when I came back, it would be finished. It’s hard to believe, since these days charging takes 15 minutes or so, but back then, it took eight hours. As soon as I came back from school, I put the fully-charged battery in my Hot Shot 2 and ran out to the farm road behind the house. It was a long, unpaved, dirt road that led to a tobacco field. I played with this RC car every day surrounded by farm landscapes, the cries of crows, and a sun setting into the forest.

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I’m Jun Watanabe, and from now on, I’ll be writing this column for Hobby Media. I’m a designer currently living in Japan. If you’re an avid Tamiya fan, you may already know my name. I designed an RC car called “Hornet by Jun Watanabe”, released by Tamiya in 2012. It’s Tamiya’s classic Hornet design, adorned with an unforgettable polka-dot pattern and a devilish purple and pink flare. Of course, there is a reason I designed Tamiya’s classic Hornet with such an intense colour pattern—but I’ll save that story for later.

The design of that Tamiya Hornet was a one-time project, but I have other ongoing works with Tamiya, including a collaborative line of t-shirts, nylon jackets, and bags. Although it’s not often—about once a year—I continue to work on exclusive designs for Tamiya.

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