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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. I guess I don't regret buying any of the ones I still have, or I wouldn't have them any more, but there's a lot more to it than that. There are some special cases that should get a mention: WR02C - people might be surprised by this, given how I complain about my Midnight Pumpkin experience so much, but this was a very different story for me. I'd taken a trip with a friend to his LHS and I decided I couldn't leave without buying anything. But bizarrely, nothing took my fancy apart from the Honda City Turbo re-release. I hadn't planned on getting one, I had no interest in wheelie cars and I didn't like that it was out of scale with the rest of my stuff. But I bought it anyway. Maximum impulse purchase. Once I got it home I had bigtime buyer's remorse, even considered putting it up for swaps, but then I started doing Iconic RC bashes and there was always a wheelie race. I felt left out, so I decided to build it as a monster truck. I used WW2 rear wheels all round (I already had a set from another project I'd never finished) and flipped the front arms for a longer wheelbase, added a very battered old Mini Cooper Racing body and called it a Wild Mini. It's been a regular at Iconic wheelie races ever since and always comes out for a play at any bash or event that allows wheelie racing. G6-01 - I wanted one when they were announced, not because I wanted 6x6 traction but because I figured I could have a lot of fun custom-building a 1:10 body and essentially getting some online kudos. But they were a bit pricy and I had other stuff to buy, so I held off, until I found somebody selling a new-built example for less than discount price. It sat around until I had time to cut up a 1:10 body for it, then it got its first run. After that I was hooked. I loved it so much that the body remained untouched until this year, when I finally gave it a coat of paint. Even now I still wish I'd done it matt black because it no longer looks like that ropey truck that got so much garden time over the past couple of years. Definitely worth more than just a gimmicky body project. King Blackfoot - I have to agree with @Saito2, nothing else really fills the same niche. I had a Mud Blaster in my childhood (my only childhood NIB), I loved it but it was very fragile, and I never got more than a few minutes runtime. I bought my first KBF from here on a whim and gave it a mild resto-mod and a lexan Brat body, but I had some cashflow problems and I gave it to a friend in exchange for some work done, before I'd even driven it. (Recently I got it back as a gift - boy did he have some fun with it. Pretty much every part is broken!) Well, I had to have another, so I bought a rolling chassis a few years back, and have loved it ever since. It's had a variety of bodies and is long overdue for another, it's so much fun to bash around with the Super Stock BZ, the updated gearbox is streets ahead of the original ORV and there's plenty of scope for some workshop customisation (probably on the beater that I got back) to see if I can fix some of the flaws without killing the character. I love these trucks! Globe Liner - the wildcard in the group, this was one that I didn't even really intend to buy. My trucking journey started out with a full-option MAN TGX, but I swapped out the MFU-01 for a more appropriate MFU-03. Naturally I had a spare MFU-01, so instead of selling it to recoup some cash I decided to buy a US rig. It was approaching Christmas, and my wife used accountant's logic on me to convince me to give her a lump some of money so she could buy herself a Christmas present and then I could buy myself something of the equivalent value. So I bought a Glo... Grand Hauler. Because, why wouldn't I? Fast-forward over a year and the Grand Hauler was still unbuilt in the bedroom. Having watched others struggle to get theirs around our tight club layouts, I'd decided it was way too build to build as a tractor. However, I still wanted a second rig, I had something else to drive / lend to friends on the layout - I just wanted a plain, basic, standard rig that would be built as per box and not give me any trouble, while I focussed on getting the MAN up to spec and doing something really special with the Grand Hauler. So I found a Globe Liner for a good price. It came together quickly, along with a pole trailer that I got from a friend's huge clearance haul, and despite a slight disaster with some masking tape residue on the fresh paintwork and a less slight disaster when I tried to remove it with thinners and went through to the primer, the finished truck actually looked really good. There was something about the way it sat with the other trucks on the layout, standard and clean with a little bit of chrome, that made me fall in love with it. It quickly became my favourite rig and I'll still get it out just to look at it or cruise it around the garage floor or practice my reverse turns on the patio. It was the first rig to get converted with a Beier system and will get an overhaul next year once the weather is warm enough to airbrush the driver and interior.
  2. Presumably you need a portable device for your work, you can't listen to music through a computer? If that's the case you will either have to use the S5 or get a dedicated player. I've no idea how long an S5 will last on battery, you'll have to test that and see - there are portable battery packs that aren't expensive but I don't know how long they last, I've had a few come free with other stuff and have never used them. Can you access WiFi or will you have to use your data allowance? Not sure how your data charges are but streaming might work out costly - it's worth checking. Your battery will die a lot quicker if you're using data. If I was looking to save money then I probably wouldn't consider a subscription service. A lot of things like Spotify seem pretty good (I've never used it personally but we had a work account at a previous employer) but I'm not sure how the free service is, I get frustrated with anything that limits my listening or forces me to sit through ads when I'm in mid-flow. That said, if you to buy new MP3s to extend your collection then you could probably spend a year's worth of Spotify subs in a couple of days. My guess is you're not looking to do either. Streaming-wise, I really enjoyed Mixcloud - if you like non-stop mixes, classic mixtapes or radio-show style casts then it's really good. As a lover of techno and similar styles, it's brilliant, until recently I also used it to listen to a lot of dark ambient music. It has now moved to a subscription service and there are ads between every mix on the free version. Arguably it's not that bad to have to listen to 2 minutes of ads after 90 minutes non-stupid music, but the ads are really freakin' loud and if it's 11pm and I'm wrapped up warm in some dark ambient mix and totally lost in the flow of my novel, then someone starts shouting at me about how great it would be to subscribe and listen without someone shouting at me, well, I'm not going to subscribe, I'm going to go back to my MP3 collection. TBH these days much of my listening is on YouTube. I use an adblocker extension for Chrome so my flow isn't interrupted except to choose a new mix, and it works on the office PC too (all other streaming services are blocked at work). There is a hack to get YouTube to play on Android after the screen is shut off. While it may not be allowed in the ToS, there are ways of downloading music from YouTube so you can listen off-line. I of course wouldn't dream of ever doing such a terrible thing, nor would I point out that you can search for "youtube downloader" in Google to find websites that will convert the streams for download. (Incidentally, the software CD that comes with the Beier sound modules comes with a YouTube downloader desktop app so you can download sounds of trucks from other people's videos).
  3. Despite the tone of some of my posts recently, I have very few regrets. It would be easy to say I regretted buying a Midnight Pumpkin as my second kit in my return to RC 15 years ago, but I'm not actually sure I do regret it. I think I did at the time - I expected a more realistic driving experience rather than the clattery, bouncy, wheelie and roll-over prone experience that I got. It felt more like a gimmicky toy than a hobby-grade model. But, a decade and a half on, I'd say I don't regret it at all. It taught me a lesson that I needed to learn early on; it taught me at just the right time. If I'd learned earlier I might never have got into RC, if I'd learned later it could have been more costly. Or maybe not, who knows? I didn't have a lot of cash at the time and I burned money on that truck that could have gone elsewhere, but it's a life experience and I'm richer for it. I flicked through a few other cars back then too, without really knowing much about the scene or what I was doing in it. But mostly that manifested itself in poor upgrade (or sidegrade) choices and rapid sales that I would later regret. I probably bought a few too many cars at the wrong time (financially speaking) but didn't really regret the cars themselves. For a time I didn't like my TXT-1. In stock trim the truck was way too soft, the sway bars were useless at their job and all it wanted to do was fall over. I'm not sure that I regretted buying it (the build was great) but for a long time I ran it with Clod axles because it handled better that way. It's now one of my favourite custom builds and has pride of place on the wall next to my desk, it's all set up for running, goes great around my garden, and when tracks start opening up again next year I'm really excited to give it some proper playtime. Probably my biggest regret was actually my TA05-IFS. I wanted to get back to indoor racing, I'd sold my TT01s and Corally RDX some time before, and wanted a club-level race car that would compete with the Shumachers and Hot Bodies that everybody else was racing. I decided to be maverick and get the TA05. Well, nobody at the track knew anything about it, nobody could help me set it up, no matter what we did it painfully lacked traction pretty much everywhere. I converted to conventional suspension, played around with settings until my fingers bled, but never managed to get it to hold a line. Eventually I sold it to another race (after it got badly broken in a crash). He bought it for peanuts and said he was going to turn it into a drifter. Two weeks later I saw a novice driving it at the club, so obviously it got fixed up and sold on. He had the exact same grip problems I was having. In a way I regret that I gave up on it when I still knew comparatively little about car setup - maybe now I'd be better equipped to return it to factory settings and start again - maybe there was just one fundamental problem with it. But more so, I regret not buying the same car everybody else had so I could home in quicker on a working setup and focus more on actual racing.
  4. Mad Ax

    Lockdown Blaster

    Looks like it will be a fun runner I don't how how policing is where you are or whether you will get any trouble, I think it's easy to argue in either direction. Back here in Lockdown 1.0, there was a newspaper article about a man who got fined for running his cars in an empty car park and there were a lot of arguments in both directions. In between modifications I run my cars up and down the access lane behind my house and I don't feel bad about it, but it's only for 5 minutes at a time and I'm technically not leaving my property at all. Here in England, Lockdown 2.0 is a bit vague - we're only allowed to go out for exercise and "essential journeys" but the model shops are still open for click-and-collect. Is it essential that I drive 12 miles into the city centre virus hotspot to pick up a new kit or some paint? Around my area it doesn't feel like lockdown, there's still traffic on the roads and people walking on the pavements. Our lockdown officially ends on Wednesday evening but new rules on Thursday make it feel like just another lockdown, however from Thursday onwards as far as I can tell, there is no potential virus-related legal justification for not taking an RC car out, so I'll get back to my woodland crawls and maybe some open-field bashing with a friend
  5. When I first fitted mine (was a few years back,not sure if MK1 or MK2) it backed off on the first run so bad I thought I'd broken it, but tightened it as @CoolHands says and it's been fine since
  6. As others have said, it's a really hard decision and the only right answer is to get both A 4wd touring car should be in everyone's fleet. You'll notice a TT02 is a different design philosophy to your old TL01 but essentially fills the same gap in the market: an entry-level 4wd tourer that can handle a variety of driving conditions and be tuned for a variety of racing styles. They're a great car to learn on and if you wanted to start racing in the future, either indoors or out, you can upgrade the car to a good starting point. OTOH the FWD M-chassis is great fun, understeery when you've got the power on but teaches you a lot about throttle control to hold a line. I really enjoy racing my FWDs when I have the chance. Most clubs have big support for M-chassis racing if you wanted to start that in the future, too. Whatever you choose, if you have a large car park to use, get some cones (or look at the postal racing thread to see what others are using). A car park can easily feel too big for a 1:10 on a silvercan. Look at the postal thread to get an idea of how small a track should be for a time attack, then have fun learning lines, braking points, turn-ins, etc...
  7. Hmm, that's actually not bad. It looks like there's space under the arches to get some wider wheels in, if we can find or make some. It's been a long time since I looked at 3D printing anything and I didn't have a lot of joy with wheels, but if I could design an M-chassis minilite with a slightly wider offset, I think that would be a good compromise - M-chassis rally blocks and tarmac tyres will fit, and the diameter will be appropriate for the hubs and suspension. Possibly I could shrink the spoke size and add a fake sidewall. Something to look at in the new year, maybe...
  8. Feels like it's been an age since I last updated this thread, so here's a rundown of what I've been up to. After spending most of November's budget on JConcepts and RH Designs parts for my future SMT-10 build, my wife and I had a chat about budgets and decided we should probably spend less on toys and more on getting the house up together. Having a big personal spending budget was OK at the start of Lockdown 1.0 when we just needed to get through and keep ourselves busy, but things have gone on way too long without rebudgeting perhaps it's time to rein it in a bit. To be fair, she spends just as much money as I do and it wasn't entirely her that started the conversation. Unfortunately, just as we were beginning to wonder what December would look like with less money to spend on toys, she found herself unwell and is now signed off work, probably until the end of December at least, with no real idea of when she'll be able to go back or if she'll be able to do her old hours straight away. Which is a bit upsetting right before Christmas, but that's the way things are and there's no point getting all upset over it. So, I still have some money left to spend in December but I'll be thinking about shelving some of the more expensive projects (things like putting a Beier sound unit in the MAN TGX might take longer to save for and require two or three months of not spending on other projects to achieve) and focussing on how to do the other projects on less money. My weekly Workshop Sunday has kept me sane through the pandemic but it hasn't been cheap, and even if I'm not buying new kits / bodies / electrics then there's always the sundries like aluminium stock, plastic stock, screws and other hardware, paint, glue, and all that stuff that doesn't seem expensive when you buy one or two items at a time but which always seems to run out at the wrong moment. But that's what I need to focus on - keeping stocked up on that sort of thing so I can always find something to work on, especially as we come out of Lockdown 2.0 (or rather, following today's announcement, don't so much come out of Lockdown 2.0 as get upgraded to Lockdown 2.1, which has a few more interactive features but they only work outside, and it doesn't have such good virus protection). So - what have I been up to? Well, if you've been following the links about you'll know that Durandal got an adjusted wheelbase, nicer geometry and softer CVA shocks, but still needs a battery tray before it officially reaches Runner status. Fifty-Fifty finally got finished - more or less. At least, it got a battery strap, body mounts and I found out how to stiffen up the suspension enough to jump it without putting a twist in the arms. Final feedback will have to wait until it can see a proper track, which could be a long, long time, considering we're still only at the start of winter. The MST CFX-W is chassis-complete and the body is mostly decaled, but no pics yet and I still have a few little chores to finish off before I take some pre-dirt snaps and make a showroom entry. Winches and interior will become a weekend project just as soon as I've moved the Grand Hauler Tipper off the workbench. On that subject, the Tipper now has a functioning 6x6 transmission and the scissor lift is about to get fitted. That's a job to keep me busy on Sunday. I'll try to keep this thread more updated as I update my project threads
  9. Pictures are hosted on tcphotos and they are still working for me. Sometimes tcphotos goes down temporarily. I've also noticed tcphotos isn't allowed at my office, so when I'm at work I can't even see my own photos :p
  10. Mad Ax

    Stigma

    I guess to add some balance to this, my first childhood Tamiya was a King Cab that had been royally thrashed by my cousin. Even if I could get it to last a run before something fell off, a run was only the 3-4 minutes provided by a single ageing NiCad before a 12 hour charge. Besides that I do remember it being quite good, although the billiard-smooth tyres provided no traction on my gravel driveway, the donuts were fun. One year I scrimped and saved and sold it to a friend so I could afford an all-new Tamiya. It was the Mud Blaster. At the time I had no experience of the concept of one product being a significantly better design than another from the same manufacturer, possibly because my mother is of the economic school of The Cheap One Is The Same As The Expensive One But Cheaper. The only concept I was aware of at that time was newer = better. At the time, the Mud Blaster was the cheapest car in stock at the LHS (actually there was a cheaper one, possibly a Mardave Meteor, I don't recall exactly but it wasn't a Tamiya, and it didn't look nearly as good as anything with the Tamiya badge on it, so I passed it up). So I was kinda disappointed that although my new-built Mud Blaster was indeed newer than my old King Cab, and shinier and better looking (at least before its first run), it still had just as much flop and play in the arms. Of course the King Cab had that because it had been badly abused and everything was worn; the Mud Blaster had the wear engineered in from new. And to be fair, I did love that truck, literally to death, but I always knew it wasn't as good as the one I'd sold. And I'd promised myself I'd get a buggy, not a monster truck, because monster trucks turn over and get broken, but I got swayed by the cool body and the fancy boxart when maybe the Meteor would have given me more fun with less roll overs. And let's face it, that Subaru body was way too fragile to ever go on a monster truck chassis. Of course, crashing in the 90s wasn't just about having to put it on its wheels again (although having to walk to like, the whole other side of the driveway, dude is really taxing for a teenager, like* seriously oh my gawd that is so far!), it was potentially about having to explain another breakage to the Holder Of The Credit Card, then having to phone up that long number and wait ages to be put through to someone who was expert at failing to understand part numbers, then having to wait 6 weeks for the part to be shipped (literally) from Japan. By which time the summer was gone and it was too wet to play with RC cars anyway. *I'm not sure we were actually saying "like" in 1993. Maybe "man" or "dude". Definitely "wicked", but not in the context of having to walk to the whole other side of the driveway, man.
  11. Mad Ax

    Stigma

    I appreciate this is going very slightly off-topic, but I almost did this with my return to Tamiya in the mid-00s. Back in the early 90s, I was completely fascinated with the Midnight Pumpkin and Lunchbox. I used to look at the pictures on the bottom of my Pumpkin Jr kit box and dream of owning the RC versions one day. Once I even saw a lucky kid at school playing with a Midnight Pumpkin, when everybody else had toy-grade Nikko or Radio Shack cars, and it just looked to big and capable. Fast-forward to the re-release era, I was walking past my LHS and saw the Lunchbox in the window. On a whim I went inside, got talking to the staff, and came out with... A Dark Impact. I was blown away with how good the build was and how well the car ran, especially compared to my childhood memories of split bodies, lost driveshafts, loose screws, batteries that fell out, wheels that span instead of gripped, and all kinds of other complaints which are partly justified and partly down to not understanding the car's limit. Anyway, a month later I went back in to buy the Midnight Pumpkin. The build was, well, dull, and the driving experience was... Odd. I couldn't work it out. Mostly I couldn't work out why they didn't make it more clear on the box that it basically just does wheelies and not much else. Because while that's fun for a few minutes, having to continually put it back on its wheels soon gets tiresome. Suddenly all those disappointing childhood memories of fragile cars, cars that don't handle, cars that flip upside down and break the body you've spent all day painting, came flooding back to me - and I felt really silly for imagining it would have been any different. But, the Dark Impact was a good car. It was everything I'd wanted out of my childhood cars. The Pumpkin was everything I'd not liked about my childhood cars. Had I done what I originally intended, and bought a Pumpkin or a Lunchbox on my first visit to the shop, the stigma of Tamiya as a rather silly overpriced toy manufacturer would have been reinforced in me and I'd never have returned to the RC world, or, perhaps, I'd have had a dabble with Traxxas during some brief bro-mance and laughed at how rubbish Tamiya's cars were in comparison. I wonder how many other kids went for the MP/LB during their childhoods thinking they would be getting something that could actually be thrashed around, and were disappointed? I can definitely see how continuing to put out cars like the comicals and the LB/MP and the G6-01 don't do anything to dispel the stigma among racers that Tamiya aren't to be taken seriously, but obviously it does the company no harm as they continue to sell well, and those of us who understand their purpose absolutely love them.
  12. If somebody makes one in a few years, maybe they could send one back to you so you could have it yesterday
  13. I have limited experience with other brands, but some comments I can make: Around 1996 I had a Kyosho Sand Master II nitro buggy. It was my one and only foray into nitro. It was actually based on an entry-level 2wd electric buggy, the chassis even had the mouldings in it for the 6 cell NiMH. The aluminium motor mount was screwed in as an afterthought. Within a week I had stripped the plastic pinion/clutch. I had to wait a while for a steel alternative. A few days later, it stripped the plastic spur. It also exploded the aluminium motor mount in that first two weeks. The problem was the motor mount would shake itself loose. It was held in by 5 small JIS screws with no threadlock from the factory (it was ARTR), and if they came loose the motor would slip around and the pinion would spin over the spur. Vibrations at high RPM were enough to shatter the mount, which was the same cheap alu that SRB gear cases are made from - i.e. OK for an SRB gear case but not really strong enough for heavy vibrations. It didn't help that back in those days I had no idea what JIS was and only had access to Phillips screwdrivers from my dad's tool box, so I wasn't able to re-torque the screws well enough. It was an endless cycle of threadlocking, tightening, starting, stripping, ordering, repeating. I used it for a few weeks before I realised I'd wasted a year's worth of savings on a car that was going to kill itself on every run. Around 15 years ago I saw an E-maxx run flat out into a stone barrier (knocking me over and breaking the shock tower of my Dark Impact in the process). The chassis snapped right down the middle. Back in those days the Traxxas importer was local to Bristol, so it was repaired and running within a week. I'm pretty sure the part was very cheap too - the owner told the importer the car had gone out of control (27MHz and I was on the same crystal without him knowing), the importer said they were very sorry the car had broken and sold the part at cost. Not sure who many other brands would do that. However I think the distributer changed shortly after and for a while Traxxas parts were really hard to get in the UK. I never broken anything on my Associated B4.1 Factory despite a summer of outdoor racing, although my race buddy seemed to melt the diff on his 4wd Kyosho every week. I think I might have lost a kingpin or something on my Corally RDX back when that was a current and competitive car, and I had to get new parts from Apex Models. They arrived quick so I didn't miss any racing. Apex also stocked parts for a Team Magic E4JS (I think) that I raced for a while, so when I ripped off the rear suspension on the day I bought it I was able to get it fixed up in a week. Pretty sure those parts are like gold dust now but it was a current race car then. I haven't broken anything on my Losi T4F yet. Actually that's not true, last time I raced the switch wire got dragged under the chassis and melted on the road surface, so I had to bodge it with a chock-block to run the final, then in the final the CVD disassembled itself and seized, but fortunately I didn't lose any of the bits so I was able to fix it. I bought the car ready-built and hardly run and didn't check the CVDs had been tightened properly, but it's a part I'll remember to watch in future (if I ever get back to frontie racing, at any rate).
  14. @Randylandy666 I have just spotted the single speed conversion kit - I already have a planetary like that but I don't have that bracket, do you supply those individually? TBH having seen it in the photo I could hack something together like that myself but seems rude to blatantly steal your design
  15. Anyhoo - after doing all this, I then spent a couple of hours playing around with the tipper mechanism. I've got to be honest, given how heavy this thing is, I can't see how I'm ever going to get a motor to lift it - to get any kind of lift the scissor needs to be installed quite far rearward, and as far as I can tell the mechanism is transposing a small input to a large output, which means it's going to need heaps of torque. I have a 540 motor with a planetary box but I don't know if 2S will be enough. Ideally I'd install hydraulics, but we've had a financial setback in the House of Ax so there's not the spare cash there once was for stuff like this. More to follow next Sunday (unless we have another day-long internet outage here - I spent most of this afternoon decalling my CFX-W when I couldn't get access to the work servers. WFH does have its upsides. I might have to pay one of the local kids to chop my broadband cable next week).
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