I came across the FMS brand at the February 2022 Ultimate Scale Truck Expo (USTE). I checked out the FMS RC vehicles on display at their booth and I was immediately impressed by their scale, detail and features.
After USTE, my buddy Mike George picked up FMS’s 1/12-scale Suzuki Jimny. I studied the vehicle and was further amazed by all the scale features, realism, quality and price point. It was then that I decided I needed to have one. I proceeded to do some research on the FMS product line to see which vehicle I was going to get.
People who know me know that I like to set a vision for a build and customize it to resemble a real 1:1 vehicle, with a lot of scale features. After researching the FMS product line, I decided to go with something different when I came across the larger FMS 1/6-scale Suzuki Jimny LJ10. I thought the Jimny LJ10 would be the perfect platform to base my build on. After researching 1:1 Jimnys, I had a lot of ideas on how to make the FMS Jimny a realistic scale off-roader.
I tracked the shipping on the LJ10 daily, as I was stoked for this project. When I finally received it, I didn’t waste any time and opened it right up. At first glance I noticed the sleek packaging. After unboxing the kit, I liked the size and the scale detail. I quickly realized it would be the biggest trail truck in my fleet.
I spared no time in charging up the batteries and powering it on. The front lights lit up and the steering wheel moved when I turned the steering wheel on the remote. I also liked the scale features on the LJ10 out of the box: the shifters, gauges and spare tire carrier. I felt that these scale details were pretty cool features to have direct from a factory RTR (ready to run) model.
It was now time to plan out the modifications and the new paint job. I wanted to modify the Jimny to resemble a real 1:1 Jimny that can handle all trails and terrain. I first reviewed the ride height. A lot of 1:1-scale off-road trucks near me have a taller ride height and large tires to handle off-road trails. 4×4 beach fishing is a popular activity in my area, so that was an influence as well. I found a couple of pictures of 1:1 Jimnys with augmented ride heights to use as reference. It was now time for the modification and painting process.
I first changed the suspension from its factory leaf-spring-under to a leaf-spring-over position, which helped raise the ride height. Due to the extra gap in the wheel wells, I would now need larger wheels to complete the correct scale look, since the Jimny sat low out of the box while using the leaf-under setup. I needed the right wheel and tire size to make the LJ10 look scale. I tried various wheels sizes including 1.7, 1.9 and 2.2. The 2.2s gave me the right ride height for this build. I decided to go with white RC4WD OEM wagon wheels. Now it was time to find the right tires.
I first went with 2.2 RC4WD Super Swampers. After I installed them it was clear that they were a little too big for the body and caused rubbing on the wheel wells. I could’ve made a modification and moved the axle forward, but that wouldn’t give me the right look. I researched many different 2.2 tires with different heights and widths and came upon the 2.2 RC4WD Goodyear Wranglers. Based on the tire specifications these would make for the perfect fit, so I went ahead and ordered them. I received the tires and quickly installed them; they did indeed produce the perfect ride height and looked great with the body. It was now time to find a color for my Jimny.
ON TO PAINT
I wanted a paint color that was different from the other colors on my current builds. My vision was for a black bed, white grille and a solid color for the body. I decided to go with Tamiya Mica Red (TS-39) for the body and Tamiya Flat Black (TS-6) for the truck bed.
Next it was time for the paint process. I first had to disassemble the body, which took some time. Once all the parts were carefully removed, I prepared the body and parts for primer. I first washed the components and lightly sanded both the body and the parts. I primed the body and parts and wet-sanded in between primer coats. After a couple wet-sanding sessions and two coats of primer, it was now time for the paint.
I first painted the truck bed and various parts black. After letting the bed and parts dry, I masked the bed and prepared the body for paint. After applying two coats of Tamiya Mica Red the body came out to my liking. After letting it dry completely, I carefully reassembled the body and parts on the chassis. I also installed the new wheels and added the scale features, including accessories like a scale Axial SCX6 box, netting, newspaper, tow rope, 12” driver, RC4WD bumper and Warn winch. It was now time to upgrade the electronics.
FMS includes all the electronics the base vehicle needs already, but due to my upgrades I decided I’d need more power to allow the Jimny to really perform with the added weight.
I needed a faster and higher-torque steering servo to move those big 2.2 tires. I decided to go with the Reefs RC 422 HD V2 servo, which would give me plenty of steering power for this build. I also wanted a reliable ESC that would provide full tuning capabilities, so I decided to go with the Castle Sidewinder 4. I plan to run this ESC in the brushed configuration. A brushless motor would be too powerful for the Jimny’s stock setup.
TEST & TUNE
Once all electronics were installed, it was time for testing and tuning. When I ran the Jimny I noticed the huge upgrade in performance over the stock electronics. The steering servo had plenty of torque and speed to move the larger 2.2 wheels and tires. I was able to program the ESC to my liking using Castle’s software. I plan to run this LJ10 as a scale trail truck, with more upgrades and testing to come in the future.
Special Project: Customized FMS 1/6 Suzuki Jimny LJ10 BUILD SHEET
Driver Figure: Amazon Click and Play 12” driver
Winch: RC4WD Warn
Tires: RC4WD Goodyear Wrangler 2.2
Wheels: RC4WD OEM Wagon Wheel 2.2
Front Bumper: CChand G2 Cruiser
ESC: Castle Creations Sidewinder 4
Servo: Reefs RC 422 HD V2
Battery: Power Hobby 4200 HV 3S LiPo
Remote: Flysky GT5
Scale Accessories: Various
Overall this was a fun project, and FMS has many quality RCs on the market that are worth taking a look at. A wise man once told me that scale is what you make it, and everybody’s version of scale is different, so have fun with it. The RC hobby is constantly changing and many new vehicles are available. Everyone is in the hobby for different reasons. My purpose is to prolong the hobby for future generations, support fellow RC enthusiasts, support RC brands—and have fun! I am passionate about all of my builds and the companies I support.
Until next time, keep building while having fun, and share your adventures! Check out my Instagram page to see more of my builds at:
FMS Model : fmshobby.com
Text and Images by Peter Lundberg