About a year and a half ago there was a thread about "modern classics." In it a few of us had some fun expressing ideas and proposals for new animal-themed RCs. The premise was certain models, such as the Grasshopper, Hornet, and Frog, had enduring popularity maybe due to the unique chassis, low cost, and animal themes. What would Tamiya create today if they continued in the same vein?
Anyhow, I had posted some thoughts about a custom Lunch Box called "Bump Steer." To me it was meant to be a joke or a pun bringing together the handling characteristics of the Lunch Box (lots of fun bump steer and wild bouncing) along with an aggressive cattle-based theme. "Bump Steer." Get it? Hahahaha!
The idea sat dormant for awhile, but this past month I retrieved my last surviving Lunch Box shell from the garage and started thinking about the build. This thread is meant to show some progress and have some fun as it comes together.
The build started easily enough -- strip the bumpers, side steps, and windows off the shell. Give everything a thorough cleaning. Polish the windows to fix some scratches. Now what?
Originally I had a thought about painting the shell a dark brown and "branding" it with a black logo decal, but that wasn't sitting right with me. What I really wanted was (fake) cattle fur covering the shell to make it different. My wife and I went to the local fabric store to find something passable as fur; I don't think the lady behind the cutting table expected our answer when she asked what we were working on. "Have fun with your furry truck," she said as we left the store.
There's no such thing as a pattern for cutting out fur before attaching it to a Lunch Box. I basically decided there would be a seam down the middle of the shell; there would be a left half and a right half. As far as attaching the fur to the shell, I used contact cement and worked in small sections. There were certain places where I needed to stop gluing, make cuts in the fabric, and then continue gluing. Most of the work was around the front windshield and the rear doors. I stretched the fabric a little while applying it around windows and the bottom edges of the shell. I also tried my best to cut accurately and stretch the fabric to hide seams (except in the middle of the shell). When the glue completely dried I was able to trim the fur back to the plastic using a fresh Xacto knife. End result -- One brown furry Lunch Box shell waiting for more details.
When I first had the idea for this build, I was thinking about swapping the yellow Lunch Box wheels for chrome Midnight Pumpkin wheels and staying with chrome for everything else (bumpers, sidesteps, shocks, etc.). That seemed like too much. Think about cattle -- there's no chrome on them anywhere. So it seemed more appropriate to strip the chrome off the parts and paint them black. I'm still waffling a little on the shocks and wheels, but for the main shell I stripped the bumpers and sidesteps with bleach and painted them with some semi-gloss black. My thinking right now is brown for the main color, black for major accents and trim, and some silver or chrome for smaller details.
With the fur attached, the bumpers and steps painted, and the windshield installed, I thought this would be a good time to "brand" the fur with the Bump Steer logo. I found a free western-style stencil font called Maverick BE and printed the logo to a few sheets of paper. Then I cut out the black lettering using an Xacto knife and a sheet of Plexiglas, creating a reverse paint mask to tape onto the fur. With a few shots of black spray paint and some touch up with a Sharpie marker, the logo was in place.
I know, I know; that's a lot of typing and explanation without any pics. Here's where it stands at the moment:
I'm pulling together some more material for more features, including:
- Red LED headlights
- Smoke unit and servo-actuated air pump to "snort"
- Nose ring
- Some leftover Parma sponsor decals
- Possibly some parts for the rear.
So that's where it stands for now. Comments and questions welcome!