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Mad Ax

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About Mad Ax

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  • Location
    Lurking among the gothic shadows of Bath
  • Interests
    Streetfighters, motorbikes, fiction writing

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  1. Great introductory post, and welcome to the club Building RC kits will develop a great set of practical skills, getting out in the fresh air is always good and if you have a racing club nearby that's brilliant - a competitive spirit keeps the interest going after the initial excitement wears off. If you add some scale crawlers to your fleet you can also add "healthy walks in natural surroundings" and "a keen interesting in getting outdoors in all weathers" to your list of benefits
  2. Even better - if you run in the soft dry sand after bashing in the damp sand, the dry sand will blast all the wet sand off The same applies for your feet, which will get toasty and dry as you wander through the dunes.
  3. Anyway, the build is pretty much done and I have a few more photos of the process and interesting things to point out, however I got back from the Iconic Revival at just after 10pm last night and I have something like 700 photos to sort through, resize and upload, so I might not get around to updating this thread for a while
  4. The overspray film is actually really good at resisting bleeds, at least against the brand of paint I use. I can't remember for sure what brand it is but I'll check when I'm up in the workshop later. It's not Halfords, but it's a particular satin black effect paint that tends to lay on very thick. The downside with painting on the outside is that it can scratch off, I wonder how long the arches will last on my BOM body. I read a while back when these first came out that the rear suspension in particular is a bit loose, I think it was Matteo who recommended adding thicker oil. I didn't do this on mine yet but it already feels very soft and lacking in damping. It's one of those fun things to do that doesn't cost anything I don't usually do boxart - of the 50 or so cars in the fleet, I think only one of them has a boxart paint job. But the red really sang to me on this truck. I looked at hundreds of photos for inspiration and saw some great ideas but nothing pulled me as much as the red did. I still haven't decided if I'll apply the single white panel decal or the white stripes. The body is on the shelf behind me, begging me to cut off work early and finish it
  5. You seem to not have an SRB on your list. The correct answer is SRB. Not just #becausesandscorcher but also because the sealed radio box and motor cover keeps all your electrics free of sand, the gearbox mating is very good so your gears stay fresh, and most of the metalwork isn't steel, so there's less corrosion to worry about. From the above list, I'd be inclined to say GF-01. The gearbox should stay mostly sand-free and it will look cool bouncing around on the sand too. Depending on how big / busy the beach is, you may get a lot of attention (positive and negative). If you turn up with a 6S E-Maxx or a brushless-powered Blitzer Beetle then you might get more negative than positive, if people feel it's disturbing their peace or threatening their kids / dogs / sandcastles. If you have something fun and inoffensive like a GF-01 then it seems less threatening. I usually take my Blitzer Beetle (with an Acto Pink), G6-01 (mid-power brushless) and my Bear Hawk (17 turn double) for fast-without-being-offensive fun and my Sand Scorcher (black sport tuned) for traditional thrills. The beach I go to is around 6km long and a few hundred metres wide when the tide is out, so if it's a quiet day I'll take the E-Maxx too as it's the only place where it can really stretch its legs.
  6. Around here it is a modern tradition to say "burn the witch!" every time we hear someone cough
  7. Another quick update now that I've got to the bottom of my individual thread updates backlog. Mostly the last few weeks have been about getting ready for Revival 2021, which kicks off this very Friday. You can read the latest here: Blitzer Storm Manta Force Top Force I wasn't expecting to start any new builds this summer, as I've already got enough projects on my plate, but just as the UK was about to undergo the Great Unlocking of 2021 everybody in my household got pinged by separate contacts - myself and my daughter because we went to see her cousins just as one of them developed a cough that turned out to be covid, my wife because she went on a hen party with someone who later tested positive, and my daughter again a couple of days later because she'd been at nursery (after seeing her cousin but before the positive test result came back). So all of us were stuck in the house together for quite some time, and just as it looked like it was all over and I was literally on my last day of isolation before I could go out for a walk, my daughter developed a really nasty cough. So we had to restart our isolation. Officially our isolation period ends tomorrow night, the night before I set off for Revival, but if either myself or my wife develop symptoms then I have had to restart my isolation and miss the event. After months of prep and a lot of money spent, that would be something of a downer With all of that stuck-at-homeness, I decided I really needed a new kit to build (because I didn't want to build any of the kits I already had, and also because I have robbed the bearing packs from them for other things and so I can't build them anyway). So I ordered something I've wanted for years, a GMade BOM. You can read about the build so far here In an unexpected turn of events, my daughter's covid test came back negative! It turns out there are some really nasty colds doing the rounds in the local area, totally out of season but with all the distancing that's kind of understandable. During the warmer weather last week I was sitting in the workshop with the door open, and I could hear at least 3 different people in the houses behind having a lot of trouble with chesty coughs, with that and being stuck in isolation due to 3 different pings, and the news being full of reports of food shortages and business closures because so many staff are off work in isolation, it sort of psychologically felt like we were stuck in the epicentre (or is it pandicentre?) and under siege by the 'rona. So we're off the hook, my daughter is all better (I am listening to her sing Old Macdonald to herself over the monitor right now), and we have literally seen nobody since our isolation started two weeks ago, so I should be safe from pings or track and trace calls before I set off
  8. After that, I turned my attention to the front bumper skid. Historically, I wouldn't put bumpers on my runners because I'd typically bash alone or with a small group of friends in an open space. A bumper served no useful purpose and made the truck look ugly. For a long time the Blitzer had no bumper at all and the Bear Hawk had an alloy Radshape bumper designed for a Grasshopper, because it looked cool. However it was only held on with one screw and was therefore likely to break the front bulkhead in a crash. When I raced the Bear Hawk a few years back, I took the alloy bumper off and fitted the best one I had, which was the unused one from the Blitzer Beetle tree. After a bit of racing, the front bumper no longer looks so new. That meant I had to fit the tatty old Bear Hawk bumper to the Blitzer Beetle, and after a practice day at RHR it's got a split underneath. This is a problem on a race car because it could dig into the astro on a nose-heavy landing and flip it over. My possible fix involves an old Tamiya parts tree, pair of snips and a gas-powered soldering iron with a medieval torture implement on the end. With the appropriate application of heat, the broken plastic is melted and new plastic is let in to seal the gap. There's no guarantees this will be a permanent fix - it might be just as bad or worse after Friday's practice sessions, but it's better than throwing it in the bin. I'll have my Bear Hawk as a temporary parts donor, so if it fails I'll have a spare. And that's just about it. The Acto Pink gets hot on track even with the smallest pinion, so I fitted a heatsink and cooling fan, but for some reason the fan won't turn when powered off the radio. Just in case there are motor problems on the day, I also soldered long cables on to an Etronix 17 turn sport tuned motor, so I can swap that in if I need to. This is me pretending to be prepared
  9. I was also having problems with my Acto Pink cutting out last time I ran the Blitzer. It's been in there for years and never given me any trouble, but the brushes weren't in great shape so they got renewed a couple of months ago. However the problem reappeared last time out, so it was time to look closer. I have been fitting these gold plugs to all my cars, thinking that a) they would be more reliable than the Tamiya bullets and 2) they would make it easier to swap motors around if everything has the same plug on, but during Round 1 of the Iconic Cup back in May, both my cars were cutting out constantly and these plugs turned out to be the culprit. I think the spinny gold spring bit doesn't properly contact the inner pluge very well and overheats when in use. The solution, which I forgot to photograph, is to get some flux down into the pluge and then put a bit of solder in it. In theory that should make a perfect electrical contact and providing there isn't too much solder, the spring should retain some springiness. It worked well enough on my Cup cars last time out, with no motor cut-outs at all (although my FF01 did suffer a couple of brown outs on the straight, when all radio power was lost entirely, which the cheap ORX receivers I use are famous for. Bigger capacitor added for the next race seemed to fix it).
  10. The other problem I was having was with my body posts. This is a solution I came up with when I first built the truck around a decade ago. The body posts are from some Tamiya parts tree, with the bottoms cut off and a recess cut into them so they slot over the webbing on the shock tower. It was never a perfect solution and over the years they have got progressively floppier. If the truck rolls or gets hit on track (which is inevitable) the body could bind up on the wheels and stop me racing, and as it's a non-standard installation a marshal might not be able to fix it. To finish first, first you have to finish. I have absolutely no expectation of coming first, but I would at least like to finish my final, so I need to resolve this problem. This is a plate cut from 2mm FR4 sheet. This is the plate screwed to the body posts. It adds some rigidity in a sidewaysly direction so the posts can't flop over. Potentially it could expose a weak point in the posts around the screw point, but I'll take some spare posts with me just in case.
  11. Another quick update on my Revival prep! The screw pins that hold the suspension arms into these cars are notoriously unreliable, and tend to come out over time. The more it happens, the worse it gets. My Bear Hawk can barely last a full race distance without losing a pin. Also they're mild steel, so if they get wet (or particularly, if they get salty during beach running) they can corrode, swelling up inside the arm and seizing the suspension. I've had M03s that have needed to be put in the bench vice to have the screws tapped out with a punch. I had a couple of sets of TL01 stainless pins, so I thought I'd see how well they fit. Front inner pins fit perfectly Front outer pins have a bit of overhang. I added a rubber grommet from a servo to keep this one pulled forwards. Using the Bumpsteer Mod (aka flipping the knuckles upside down) puts the steering rod end close to the pin, which could bind the steering, so keeping the pin pulled forwards was beneficial here. Rear inner pins fit nicely The rear outers wouldn't fit - they're too wide for the smaller pins and there weren't any longer pins spare. However I did open a second set of pins for another car last week and have some spare, so I might be able to make those fit.
  12. But there's another problem. My Top Force has an alloy spacer under the front transmission case. I'm not exactly sure what this is for, but could be anti-squat. There's an angled anti-squat bracket under the rear transmission case too. These will help to angle the car forwards. The Jazrider pivots hit the spacer on full lock, reducing steering throw. I thought about flipping the unit upside down and reversing the servo, but the crank hits the gearbox support. meh In the end I solved the problem in the most sensible way possible: I took the 850 bearings from the new Jazrider set and put them in the old alloy set. That killed all the slop and gave the old set a new lease of life. I also replaced the old turnbuckle with a shiny new titanium one. So - that's the Top Force all nicely sorted ready for racing on Sunday. In between writing the Manta Force update and this one, the weather forecast has changed and it's now looking like a dry weekend after all. Fingers crossed I can the old Evo on track
  13. In other news, I ordered a Jazrider alloy steering set to replace the alloy set currently on there. It's very old and loose and floppy and has loads of play. The Jazrider set arrived earlier than anticipated (from Germany, apparently, the ebay listing said it was in the UK but I fully expected it to come from China). The Jazrider set is quite different to the stock / stock-a-like alloy product I have. It curves the pivots inboard, presumably to reduce bump steer. It also doesn't have a turnbuckle centre link, it has a solid alloy one. I guess that isn't a problem (I have literally never adjusted the centre link) but it does look a bit flimsy, I wonder if it could break in a big impact? Anyway: here's my old setup: And here's the Jazrider setup, installed: umm, yeh, OK, will need to find some longer rod-ends...
  14. Here's the new Velcro tape that arrived last week. It seems to do the trick, but adding some adhesive Velcro onto the battery wouldn't hurt either. I'll also be taking some of that really tough battery tape that I use in various touring cars in case this fails.
  15. That makes perfect sense @djmcnz, I'll be taking some super-strong Velcro tape with me so I can do this if I have problems. I haven't got around to entering the latest update (I was typing it out but I lost it and don't have time to re-type it now) but I did get some new 10mm tape which I've cut with longer tails, so it's easier to get a tighter fit on it.
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