First things first – a word about screws!

My original plan was to get some socket head machine screws to build this car with, replacing the cross-head self-tappers that come in the kit.

A bit of a hunt around on the internet revealed that nobody seemed to be doing a kit and it would be difficult to try and put together one from a single supplier due to a few unusual sizes.

During my hunt I came across this Wikipedia article which revealed that Japanese cross-head screws have a slightly different head to the Phillips screws they look a lot like. According to Wikipedia (if you have faith in – which on this occasion I have no reason not to), a Phillips head is designed to “cam out” if too much torque is applied, making the tool jump out, whereas the JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) is not. Tellingly, the JIS screws are often marked with a little dot on the head – which you see quite often on the Japanese car kits. This must explain why so many of us strip the heads on our Tamiya cars while building them – we are all using the wrong kind of screwdriver!

So, I have decided to take a gamble on using the kit screws – and getting some new screwdrivers as well.

I have chosen two TOP screwdrivers – the 5.8mm for the M3 screws (PT-03105) and the 4mm for the M2.6 screws (PT-031040). These are distributed in the UK by Much-More Racing. These are a flawless fit in the screw heads – the picture below should show how much more defined the tip is than my old (and admittedly worn) Stanley Phillips #2…

JIS vs Phillips
JIS vs Phillips

Another quick “tip” (geddit?) about the self-tapping screws, same as would apply to any screw really, is to be careful not to overtighten them – the plastics on the B-MAX4 seem a little softer than other competition cars and might prove easy to strip – and to tighten them in a star sequence to even out the pressure on the components.

Time to get on with the interesting bit – the build!

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