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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. @87lc2 would love to see some pics of your race if you are able to grab some - I can only dream of proper MT racing But I can't complain - it's Friday again, and I'm about to embark on a 170 mile journey to the Peak District for the UK Scaler Nationals. Literally, as soon as I hit Submit, I'll be closing down the works laptop and getting out the door. I'm meeting some friends at a hotel for a good meal, a couple of warm English beers and a night of listening to other people snore. Up early tomorrow for a cooked breakfast, then a quick jaunt to the Nationals for a day of crawling around the courses. My mates go home in the evening, I'm off to another hotel for a good shower and some peace and quiet, a meal on my lemon, probably work on my novel while I've got time to myself, and then hopefully a good long sleep before repeating it all over again on Sunday. Leaving the site late Sunday afternoon for the 3+ hour cruise home, stopping on the way to hand over a Top Force re-re kit that I'll be couriering from someone at the Nationals to someone I know on the Cotswolds. (This will be the third kit I've delivered to him while doing my countrywide jaunts). Finally get home probably quite late on Sunday, beers are already in the fridge (I couldn't get Budweiser so I've got Coors), cook myself a pizza from the freezer and catch up on some TV until I pass out from sheer exhaustion. I hope you all have a great one, I'll be back online next week with loads of pics and videos
  2. This will mostly be used at scale crawler events, so I'm generally up close and personal to the rigs anyway, and won't be moving a lot while I'm focussing. Although I'll probably find it an extra challenge to keep the car in frame and do the drive I need. On the other hand, this will save me the hassle of constantly putting down the Tx to swap to the camera to shoot my friends rigs - I can just hit the record button and away I go. I'll have to see how I get on with the weight. My camera is an Olympus TG-3, which is fairly small. I've got a couple of cheap tripods which would be OK for shooting a particular corner on a circuit, but way too much hassle for crawler events. I expect I'll walk a few kilometres through the woods this weekend, with transmitter, camera and a rucksack full of tools, spares, batteries and drinking water. I don't want to carry a tripod as well. Plus it would add a lot of time to setup the tripod before the interesting gates, and probably get in the way of other competitors (queues can get long at some tough stages). The aim of this is to increase my spontaneity and encourage me to snap a still or start a video as soon as something interesting happens. I always have the option of putting the camera in my pocket if the weight annoys me
  3. Next victim was my trusty old DX3C. I've had this for years, I've got loads of compatible receivers (which aren't available any more), so I was loathe to damage this one. I've never even taken it apart (I had to peel the decals off the back to get to the screw holes). I could do a sturdier job here by screwing into a plastic panel. Also it's a lighter installation because it won't need the swivel adapter, plus it's in line with the grip, so left-right balance isn't affected (although it may feel top heavy). Fitted In fairness, I did actually take photos of both handsets with the camera mounted using my phone, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology it takes 5 times longer to extract photos from the phone than it does to get them off the camera, and I'm in a rush to get packed for the nats before I start work (in like 6 minutes) and this post really exists just to make sure I emptied the photos off the camera, because I'm probably going to take way more videos than usual this weekend.
  4. Hmm... I wonder if the TD4 has been carefully designed to be reconfigured with perfect 2wd weight distribution, or if this is going to be a horrible compromise to get a 2wd variant on the market. Time will tell - I'm intrigued
  5. This is something I've been meaning to do for ages. Filming and driving at the same time is a tricky challenge to master, even just driving around the garden. When you're on a tough stage of a crawler comp course, it's even harder. A while back I bought some swivel mounts with a tripod thread on them, thinking they would be an easy fit, but unfortunately the base had the exact same awkward and archaic thread as the top, so I couldn't fit them to anything without buying yet more camera mounts. Fast-forward to Wednesday, when these turned up. They are hotshoe camera mounts. The idea is you slip the square base into the flash mount, screw down one of the nuts, spin on a second camera, and use the second nut to lock it in place. And then you have, like, two cameras stuck together. Which you totally want, right..? Anyway, the first victim of my electric drill was my FlySky i6 transmitter. I figured the best place to put the mount was on the top-right shoulder. I opened the case to make sure there was nothing fragile behind that spot. Sure enough, there are some wires that could be damaged by an incoming drill bit, so they were disconnected and slipped out of the way. Then a whole was drilled. I started with a small hole so I could enlarge it gradually with a slow drill speed, to reduce the chance of the drill slipping through and damaging the switch. And, fitted. I used one of my swivel mounts on here to get the camera sitting flat. It's not perfect - if I tighten up the bottom nut, the case wants to open up. Also the transmitter is now very heavy on the right side when the camera is mounted, which might get annoying. If that happens I'll have to relocate the mount, or put a counterweight on the other side. I'm about to do 2 solid days as the Scaler Nats with this Tx, so I'll know very quick if it gets on my nerves! There are no pictures of the camera fitted to the mount because, well, think about it...
  6. that looks really nice in white. Simple and minimal body lets the classic detailing on the chassis parts stand out
  7. I don't think I've ever built a runner completely dry. I used to build shelfers dry because it was nicer if I ever took them apart not to have grease everywhere. I understand not putting grease on dogbones etc. if cars will run outside, I've never noticed those parts wear faster with or without grease, or on indoor or outdoor cars, but I do have lots of cars with very worn drive cups. I think those are a part that will wear regardless of what you do. Plastic gears are pretty slippery already, I can't see they'd wear that fast without grease if you weren't using big power. And any grease will hold particles that wear off the gears, whereas a dry gearbox will throw the particles away. There again, I've never noticed any significant wear on any plastic gear in a sealed gearbox, except where sand has got in or where a Tamiya Cheese Pinion has been used. Broken teeth due to excess power / hard landings, yes, worn spurs due to improperly gapped pinions, yes, but no obvious visible signs of wear just from normal use. My guess is to get the quality level to satisfy Tamiya, the vast majority of gear parts are so well made they'll do many times more than the minimum expected, wear wouldn't be a factor over the expected life of the car.
  8. DMS Racing are a UK JConcepts stockist, and they seem to have a few bodies in stock right now. I've got pretty much all my JConcepts bodies from them. https://www.dms-racing.com/browse-store/manufacturer/jconcepts/bodies,-accessories,-stickers/off-road-bodyshells/1-10th-or-1-8th-monster-truck-bodies?keyword= I've always assumed JConcepts stuff comes over from the US and probably comes in batches via sea - stuff will be out of stock for a while and then suddenly there'll be a load of new stock in the country. But DMS always seem to have stuff even when nobody else does. Proline also do some monster truck bodies, but I prefer JConcepts huge (and expanding) range. Quality can sometimes be questionable with JConcepts - I've had some that have had creases in the corners, one that had a screwed up decal sheet and on another ('79 F250 super cab) the side trim decal is sized for the regular cab '79 Ford so it doesn't fit the longer body. But they're still my go-to brand for monster trucks.
  9. I use this feature with my daughter's FTX Outback Mini-X, using two FlySky i6 transmitters and a trainer cable. The i6 is technically an aero radio, but works well enough on ground. On my Tx I fitted the return spring to the throttle lever, so I have four sprung controls (mostly for winching and truck features), on my daughter's Tx I made some blanking plates (like the shift gates you get with a truck kit) so the left stick only goes up and down and the right stick only goes left and right. The trainer system is pretty simple on the i6. You hook the trainer cable between both handsets and set one of into trainer mode. On the Master Tx, you have a switch to toggle control over to the Slave Tx. That way my daughter can drive around until she gets stuck, then I can flip the switch, take over, drive it out of trouble, then flip the switch and let her carry on. Annoyingly, the FTX came with an integrated Rx / ESC system, which was good enough in its own way but had no buddy system. When I replaced the Rx with the FlySky one, I also had to replace the ESC. So a relatively cheap RTR truck suddenly had a lot more cost thrown at it. I only have two complaints about the trainer system on the i6: 1) the 'master' Tx must be bound to the receiver in the car. Problem is, the car is hers, not mine. So I've had to spend a slot in my Tx to control her car. And that means that when she's ready to drive it on her own, I'll have to re-bind it to her Tx and set up all the endpoints and rates again. I suppose it's designed for a "training school" type situation where trainees use the school's planes to learn to fly, but I've never heard of that. In my old flying days, if you wanted to learn to fly, you'd bring your own plane to the airfield and let an experienced pilot be your trainer. In this case, you'd either have to swap transmitters during the training session, or the trainer would have to bind to your plane for the duration of the training. 2) the i6 (like a lot of things that come out of China) has a tendency to make an annoying repetitive bleep if you ignore it for more than a few seconds. The same applies if you let the Tx sit idle while the trainee is driving around. To stop it, you have to flick a switch or wiggle a stick, to reassure it that you are in fact paying attention and you haven't forgotten all about it. Which is a pain if my daughter is happily driving around the garden on her own and I just want to relax.
  10. Things may be different in other regions or at a higher competitive level, but where I race, nobody runs Tamiya touring cars once they've progressed from the entry-level TT02. There may be one or two who run Tamiya just to make a statement, but generally not to be competitive. The reasons I advise people not to go with Tamiya (at least locally) is: nobody at the club will be able to share specific setup tips nobody at the club can advise on what hop-ups to buy nobody at the club will be able to share spares Last time I was racing locally, most people were running Schumacher cars. I'm not sure if it's still the same, there's been more Xray activity recently. I'm sure a skilled racer who knows how to set up a car could get great results with a TRF or a TA, but if I went back to racing, I'd buy what everybody else is running, and it almost certainly wouldn't be Tamiya. When I briefly dabbled in Frontie racing last year, I bought an Xray T4F 2019, because that's what everybody else was running. I could have been a Tamiya maverick and bought an FF04, but I wanted to be sure that my slow pace on track was down to me as a driver, and not a car setup problem. This stems from my experience running a TA05 over a decade ago - I was the only person at the club running a TA05, I had to experiment with hop-ups to find out what worked and what didn't, I had to keep my own big stock of spares (a few times my night was over early because I broke a part and didn't have a spare, if I'd had a Schumacher I probably could have borrowed a part from another racer), and when I couldn't get the car set up right, nobody could offer any concrete advice. If I'd had a Schumacher, I could at least have gone with the basic setup that everybody uses as a starting point, and fine-tuned it from there. There was a running thread way back then about my inability to get the TA05 working on carpet - it didn't matter what we tried, it just had a fundamental lack of traction. I'm sure the TA05 isn't a bad car and I'm sure it should have worked on carpet with the right setup, but because I was not (and still am not) experienced in car setup, I was never able to make it work. In the end I swapped it for a Team Magic E4JS (basic plastic version) which the previous owner had set up well, and my times improved straight away.
  11. There's a lot of love for these chassis on TC. They've been around for ages and they're very basic in stock trim, but you can do a lot to improve them. The BZ is a great motor for this chassis and should give you lots more speed. Depending on your terrain you might be able to fit the bigger pinion too, but keep an eye on motor temps. As always, fitting a steel pinion is a good idea. I'm pretty sure the gearbox comes pre-assembled with bushes. It's worth opening up to fit bearings before it gets too much use. The standard shocks are very basic and as you've noticed, there's not much travel. You can buy (or make) a new tower plate that allows you to fit 100mm shocks. That gives more travel in all directions and is a worthwhile investment if you do a lot of jumping. As you might have noticed, you can also buy a second gearbox to go in the front. This gives you dual motor 4wd. You have to be careful what motors you fit (the front gearbox run backwards, so you need something with zero timing, or timing that can be reversed). The 2wd dummy gearbox is angled back to give kick-up and caster, but if you fit the 4wd gearbox you'll have no kick-up and no caster, which can give some rather wayward handling. Easiest solution is to fit a set of caster blocks, or you can go crazy and make a custom chassis plate to angle your front gearbox backwards. So, these are very basic trucks out of the box but when it comes to mods, you can go as far as you want. Have fun
  12. And effective, and visually pleasing. They look as much like real seatbelts as anything else, and they actually work
  13. I hope she's got the heaters on in there, it's the middle of October This is my 1:10 scale holly tree And here are 3 good friends, about to this the trails in just under a week's time for some serious off road action
  14. Fortunately she eats a lot of baked beans. They're full of protein, plus they keep you warm when you're camping on the trails. Glued onto a strip of plasticard and painted satin black secured in place under the body with silage tape and hot glue
  15. With the seat glued in place, it was time to tighten up the cro... the le... the middle buckles. 'scuse me, miss. There, that's better... er... In all seriousness, the main problem here is in the moulding. No, not that bit. You see, Dakota has a severe arch to her lower spine, which affects how she sits in the seat. She's probably been over-extending on those squats, and that's going to give her some serious problems in a few years if she doesn't sort that technique. Unfortunately there's not much I can do about it besides heating her up until she's soft enough to bend, and that was likely to end in disaster, so I didn't bother, I'll just have to go buy a physio figure for when she gets back from the trails. Although for safety's sake it might be advisable to add an additional strap across the che... the middle, if she has an accident with the belts like that she could lose an arm. She fits well enough, but she needs a dashboard, it kinda looks like someone stole her newspaper and she hasn't noticed yet
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