GOMURPH Bodyshell for the Kyosho ZX5 / KMC Conversion

Team Azarashi is a new name on the R/C scene – even more so outside of Japan.  Their small range of products are lead by the release of this, their first body shell – designed for the Kyosho ZX-5 and KM-RC mid motor converted ZX-5 – the body also can be fitted to some of the other popular four-wheel drive buggys on the market.

The body I have here will be used on the KM-RC ZX-5 conversion – as this is the originally intended use for the release of this body, as the KM converted car does not come with a body. Anyone who has seen the KM car can testify, the stock ZX-5 shell doesn’t quite cut it when large holes need to be cut out just to fit over the motor.

The Goods
To go along with the body shell itself – Team Azarashi also have an undertray and double wing package for this car, both optionally available separately from the main shell. The thing you’ll notice about all these moulded polycarbonate parts is the quality and clarity of the parts - which is striking.  Lines are sharp where they are meant to be, and the clear satin overspray film over the parts lends a further touch of class and I find makes the painting easier than the coloured films some others use.

Team Azarashi also sell a decal sheet and it’s one that I simply can’t out-do, this is as mad as a bag of coat hangers, with their little happy seal logo – great stuff, I want more!

The main shell
Double wing package - includes curved wing
Main shell, undertray and wings

The word “Azarashi” quite literally means seal in Japanese – like the seal mascot on the brand logo.  The team mascot and reason for the names origin is an actual fluffy toy seal who gets up to all sorts of mischief on the Team Azarashi website photos and at various race meetings these guys attend – imagine a crazed guy with a cuddly toy seal in his mouth and you get the idea.  Call it crazy or just a bit of fun – the Azarashi boys enjoy themselves so who am I to argue.

The Azarashi team consists of about 10 friends around Japan, who are slowly developing a 4-wheel drive buggy for their own use – with no real view to release for public sale. The origins of this 'Gormurph' body actually started there, on the daedalus project car, as a shell just for that car.  When the KM-RC conversion for the ZX-5 was released however, some changes to the pre-production shell were made to adapt the body for that car, and with it the mass market. And so was born the Team Azarashi brand that we can all enjoy.

I first heard of the shell and tried to order it as soon as information leaked out of Japan. At that time the only way to get the Azarashi products was direct from Team Azarashi themselves - and with the language barrier this was neither easy nor cheap. Thankfully RC-DIRECT.co.uk, a company with a history of supporting the Kyosho brand, took on the task of importing these products.

The 'Gomurph' body is best described as futuristic! - the sides are square and serve as a platform for the large scoopes and vents on either side. The front scoops serve a dual role, to clear the motors new position and to aid in cooling. The 'drivers cabin' is long and covers about 2/3 of the length of the car. Window lines are moulded into the shell but no window masks are provided by Azarashi, but if you bought your car from RC-Direct then drop me a line and I will send you some FREE plotter cut masks- what a good price, just contact me.

With the unpainted shell mounted on the KM-converted ZX5, it's clear there is plenty of room for the motor. And with the air scoop cut out, decent cooling too. The shell can be mounted with body posts if you won't be using the Azarashi undertray but since I was, I removed the posts and will use velcro instead.

The undertray is again originally from thedaedalus project car - but is a near perfect fit on the KM ZX5, along with other popular 4WD cars.

The undertray doesn't quite cover the rear of the chassis [see left] but it's no problem and the sealing is still very good.

The ends can be cut to length to suit - I chose to mount the undertray under the front bumper using the rear most screw. Tucking the undertray under the bumper stops it getting caught and getting damaged.

With the front secured (1) you can choose how to securely mount the rest of the undertray. I added small counter sunk screws and nuts at the rear outer edges (2) where the body posts should mount. Lastly I used the rear gearbox screws to keep the rear in place (3).

I masked the shell and gave it my usual paint job - not because I can't think of anything else honest (well ok, you got me.) The results are rather pleasing - the long cockpit area won't be to everyones liking, but with a nice paint job it looks awesome.

I've not mentioned the wing so far - there are two in the wing package, both of similar design but one straight (looking from above) and the other swept back. These things are HUGE at around 170mm / 7 inches wide, and with a large rear section which can be trimmed to give the desired downforce. You can of course leave this fully intact - if you want to perform backflips!
The sides of the wings are raised up for extra tyre clearence. The only drawback of these wings are the lowered centre section which is very close to the wing mounts and makes installing body clips awkward.

Since I was using Velcro (hook and loop) to secure the shell I didn't need to drill any unsightly holes in the shell. The shell and undertray make a great seal around the chassis - keeping out the worst of conditions.
The air vents can of course be opened up at any time to get some cooling, but since it was cold at the time of writing this I left them as-is.

I love the look of the original ZX-5 shell and the Azarashi shell is a departure from those classic lines. I really like the shell but I also think it needs a nice paint scheme to really look its best. As a compliment to the KMC conversion it's the must-have addition.

Thanks to RC-DIRECT.co.uk - the UK Azarashi importer, for supplying the shell and accesories - and their patience whilst I messed about doing various other projects! :)
If you purchase this shell from RC-Direct you are more than welcome to some of the plotter cut window masks I painstakingly created during this review - for FREE, just contact me.

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