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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. Wow - that's some very impressive CAD work! I use Fusion 360 for my parts but I literally just take manual measurements from the donor parts and design just that one part in CAD - my attempts to measure and replicate existing parts in CAD have resulted in complete disasters
  2. I really like these. I've been modifying CC01 chassis for years but this takes it a full stage further. It's not on my radar right now but some day I'd like to have one underneath a Pajero body. Matteo posted a great review and vid:
  3. I have to agree with this sentiment - the TA02T F150 was one of my earliest and most favourite purchases and I loved it to bits (literally). I still have the remains of it, I'm sure it will get a new lease of life at some point. I also have a Desert Fielder awaiting paint and an XV01T which is an absolute hoot to drive. I think a race series with these trucks would be great. Either as a strict stock-plus-bearings clubman series, or as an open race series but with strict limits imposed on scale bodies, maximum track width, maximum arch overhang and a control tyre. Looking at a fleet of trophy trucks blitzing around a gravel and clay track would be awesome. But I know why racers don't like them - hard tyres, narrow track and limited suspension travel make them hard to race on anything but perfect surfaces... In answer to the original question - not sure what I'd nominate. I haven't seen a lot of the later instalments of the DF-01 series, such as the Dirt Thrasher and the Blazing Star, and to be honest they came way too late to be relevant. The original DF-01 was released as the Manta Ray in October 1990 and a year later we got the race-derived graphite edition in the Top Force. June 92 saw the Top Force Evo on the shelves and December of the same year gave us another base-spec edition in the Terra Conqueror. It was nearly 3 years later when the Dirt Thrasher came out, by which time 4wd buggies had moved on. When the Blazing Star came out in December 1997 - more than 5 years since the Top Force Evo and a full 7 since the chassis debuted - it was too late to be any kind of race buggy and too early to capitalise on any nostalgia for the chassis. Those 1.9 wheels and rock-hard road/trail tyres gave it no real place in the market. For a time I was looking for one to race at the Revival (purely as a desire to be different) and apart from a very rare NIB at a grossly inflated price, there was nothing around. Even things like the Striker and the Sonic Fighter - notoriously fragile even when new - have their following now. Loved perhaps not despite their flaws but because of them, recently a friend of mine bought an immaculate original Striker from another collector for just £50. I picked it up for him at a Tamiya Junkies meet. Last summer, my friend raced a Striker in the 2wd class at the Revival and scored an impressive place in the final.
  4. An interesting topic I've had a fair bit of free time during work recently - as much as 2-3 minutes idle time every time I perform a build and run tests, with as little as 30 seconds work between. Since it's not worth switching to a new task (and few spare system resources to switch if I did), I spend a lot of time idly browsing TC. But since TC doesn't move that fast, I end up browsing Facebook (which is not good for my stress levels) and Quora (which is not good for my brain cells) and the model shops, hardware stores and instructable sites (which is not good for my bank account). My free RC time is limited to two evenings and one long day per week - into which I also want to cram in some music, fiction writing, walking, cycling and motorcycling, as well as going racing or crawling. The key factor driving my spending impulse right now is the uncertainty of the pandemic - right now I can still go racing (outdoors), or I can still meet up to 6 friends to go crawling (I actually only have one local crawler friend anyway), but there's no certainty on how long that will last. My next race meet is just over 2 weeks away and given how much things have changed in the last 2 weeks, I might not be racing again until summer 2021. A cold snap might keep me out of the workshop and in the studio or house, where my RC fun is restricted to new builds and design work for decals or 3D prints. Fear of a long, isolated winter is steering my budget towards NIBs that I can tinker with in the house. And yet, I'm almost completely out of space for more cars, but like so many people, I'm reluctant to let things go. The only things I probably wouldn't miss are things that wouldn't raise that much money or sell very quickly. Plus my budget is being drawn in multiple directions. I really want an FDM printer to complement my resin printer. Resin prints look nice, but they're far too brittle for structural parts, and I have so many projects that would benefit from tough structural components. I can hand-cut some parts from aluminium or delrin, but they never look tidy. I also want a CNC router. I didn't even realise these were a thing until a month ago, but the promise of cutting my own chassis plates from aluminium or FD4 is too much to ignore. No more ugly hand-cut alu chassis plates! I can transfer my CAD designs directly to alu without having to print / trace / jigsaw / file / polish. I can finish my Clod, my WT-01, I can update my scalers... And yet I know it won't be as simple as that. I know there will be a learning curve in getting it all up and running and then probably a long and costly process of upgrading the parts that aren't up to the job. I also want to work on my monster trucks. They're fun to build and modify in the workshop and although nobody races monsters in the UK, at least they can be fun out in the open fields where Tamiyas get swamped by grass. But there's a huge shortage of monster truck parts right now. I think I bought the last JConcepts monster body in the UK yesterday, and it wasn't the one I really wanted - just the only one I could get. Tamiya stuff might be shipping in again but JConcepts, Proline, etc are nowhere. I really need some good 2.2 tyres for a waiting project and I need some Clod-size wheels and tyres for my NIB SMT10 which has been sitting around waiting for me to start it since March. At the start of lockdown I decided to focus on rally cars. My theory being: they're a good multi-surface platform, but smaller than a buggy, so I can race them in my garden I can build a few low-spec rally cars for cheap I can let friends borrow them when they come over so we can have a small local rally championship without the need for big race clubs This was supposed to be the perfect post-lockdown racing antidote. However it didn't go entirely as planned: my lawn is bumpier than I thought, and 1.9 rally tyres won't run on it my attempt to mow my lawn shorter resulted in a bent mower blade and some badly damaged turf official post-lockdown racing got started much faster than I anticipated friends didn't feel comfortable spending time in close proximity in my back garden So now I've got a bunch of half-finished rally cars on the project list that will need sundries like radios, motors, ESCs, servos... Finally - I'm feeling the urge to be more creative / public with my hobby. I don't want to start yet another generic RC youtube channel. There's no way I could complete with the likes of RCKicks or Matteo - my cars aren't that tidy, I don't have such a continual supply to feature, I don't have the video personality and I don't have the recording equipment. But I have been thinking (for quite a few years now) about a "youtube challenge" series - something like an RC mashup of Roadkill, Colin Furze and Scrapheap Challenge. But that too will require some serious tidying of my workshop, some new cameras and mics and a good supply of cars, chassis, parts and ideas to keep it fresh. Plus the immense amounts of time that must go into all the post-production - picking out the best video clips, stitching them together into a coherent story, adding music, graphics... It must take an age. Probably the sort of time I don't really have. But I do wish I could share more of what I'm doing while I'm locked away in my workshop. Add to than a possible house move sometime in the next 6 months (lockdown allowing), and all the hassle of boxing up all my stuff and probably having to compress it all into even smaller a space... It's no wonder I spent my last workshop day standing among a pile of project boxes, looking at each one in turn and wondering what I can actually do that doesn't involve prematurely starting yet another new kit or spending the whole day in front of the screen designing 3D parts that will probably break as soon as I fit them...
  5. Tamiya screwdriver set - blue - my first and only JIS screwdrivers. Despite owning Japanese cars and motorcycles for years, I never realised the screw heads were different to Phillips heads and (like many other Japanese owners) complained at how bad their screws were. My Tamiya screwdrivers now get duty not just on my Tamiyas but also for my 1:1 vehicles. Just yesterday I replaced the indicator bulb in my GSX-1400 with my Tamiya set. It's getting a bit worn now - the screwdrivers are fine but the hex drivers are starting to slip (+1 for JIS in the JIS vs hex war). I might get a new set, or possibly look around for one of those nice JIS bit sets to go in my RC toolbox, and consign the Tamiya set to my automotive / spare tool heap. Many years ago I bought a Clarke 5-piece mini pliers set. They're small blue-handled pliers that are perfect for RC stuff. There's a conventional flat set which gets used for generic stuff, although the jaws have a rough-cut edge so not for use on soft materials. There's a needle-nose set for those hard-to-reach areas and a bent needle-nose set for those harder-to-reach areas. There's also a round-jaw set which is absolute dynamite for popping off ball cups without marking the cup or the ball, and finally a side cutter that I use for trimming parts off sprues. Unfortunately (like many carry-around tools) the side cutter doubled up as a wire cutter and general get-off-there-you-little-so-and-so tool, so they're now looking way past their best and don't work too well. I should replace them with the Tamiya side cutter set. Other stuff I couldn't do without: Schumacher body reamer Swann-Morton scalpel
  6. I tend to leave my buggy windows fully clear. I used some tint on my Top Force Evo, but owing to the shell being so low over the body, there's so little light in there that they look almost black anyway. IMO that's just as bad as using opaque decals on a window, i.e. just plain wrong. Anyhoo, if you really don't want clear windows, try the Tamiya tint, but use very light coats and keep checking after every coat. If in doubt, stop spraying. IMO you still want to be able to see through the windows. If you can't see in, the driver can't see out, and if the driver can't see out then he's blatantly going to crash on the first lap of the race, which is no good for anybody (especially when you try to explain this to people and they look at you funny). I think along the lines of "if you wanted to add a driver figure later, would you be able to see it?"
  7. The front suspension tends to be fairly soft on the CC01 (especially compared to most other Tamiyas which are too hard), but there should be at least some springing action. However I've just pulled a CC01 off my shelf to check and the front doesn't sag that much under weight (King Blackfoot hardbody and full electrics but no battery), and if I compress the bumper and let go, it springs back normally. First I'd make sure the suspension is moving smoothly. Detach the shocks, remove the spring and make sure the piston moves freely in the cylinder. Associated Green Slime is brilliant for freeing up sticky shafts. Did you assemble with the supplied oil, or have you used stiffer aftermarket shocks / oil / pistons? Too much damping will stop the spring from moving effectively. Check you have the right springs installed and that they aren't binding on the cylinder. Move the suspension without the shock attached, and make sure everything moves smoothly. If the car has been run in the wet, make sure the hinge pins haven't rusted. They can be very hard to remove if they have. Once you're sure the suspension is fine, try adding spring collars to increase the preload, until you get the desired amount of sag. Another thing to be aware of: as you compress the suspension, the tyres will need to move laterally as the suspension arms describe their arc. If you have sticky rubber on a grippy surface, this may stop the suspension from rebounding. This isn't noticeable when running because the wheels roll over the ground and re-centre. This is one reason why we replace the wheels with acrylic plates when setting up cars on setup decks - they slide smoothly over the deck surface. Consider fitting some tireless wheels to test the suspension and see if it makes a difference.
  8. This year's Revival was one of the best Revivals since the beginning, probably the best I've done, I'm planning to write up a review of the event but haven't had time yet. Vintage buggy racing at its very best. Mr Iconic told me at the end of the event that they are waiting to see what happens before putting a calendar together for next year. I'm really hopeful it will happen but it will probably be a long while before we get any commitments from the Iconic crew, as I think we're all waiting to see what winter brings us. Join the FB group and keep your eyes peeled for updates and be advised that the Revival is always over-subscribed even in normal years, so entry tends to open fairly early in the year and is only open for a limited time.
  9. I am tempted to set up a full-time live video feed above my workbench so the rest of the world can calculate my balls-up-to-success ratio
  10. tcphotos for me for sure. Nobody can absolutely guarantee it will last forever, but it's been around a while and Netsmith was still promoting it recently. You can have albums, but you can't have sub-albums. That's the only real compromise I've had to make. The interface is good, although it has its flaws. Sometimes if you drop a heap of images onto the uploader at the same time, it uploads them in the wrong order. Stuff like that upsets my perfectionism and there's no way to re-order albums once loaded. But it's certainly not a deal-breaker. The interface for getting all the different link types is good. There are lots of ways to share. For many years I had my own web space, but I found the annual admin hassle of renewing domain names and hosting services too much effort. Price-wise, photobucket (once they'd got over their initial ransom phase) would have been cheaper. At the time, I couldn't find a host who would just sell me a few Gb of web space to attach a domain name to - everybody wanted to sell me a full service with mailboxes and page hosting and everything. Which would be OK if they were Microsoft servers because I'm a Microsoft stack developer and could make use of some web hosting, but MS servers are much more expensive to host and back in those days I couldn't develop fully-functional web pages that would run on non-MS servers. If you an always-on internet connection (who doesn't these days) and if you can get a fixed IP address (some ISPs will provide it free, some have a small admin fee and some want to switch you to an astronomically-priced business account), you can host your own web server, although if your images are popular your bandwidth might take a hammering.
  11. A fully locked diff will make the rear spin out easily and also make it more likely to roll over. An open diff will have lower traction on loose surfaces or on lumpy ground where the wheels aren't always in contact with the ground. The best compromise is a sticky diff, which you can achieve with blu tac, specialist diff grease, or a hop-up ball diff.
  12. This is normal, depending on your ESC and motor. If you have a tuned motor with advanced timing, the timing will be retarded when running in reverse. This gives a slower reversing RPM and some roughness in the sound. Also many ESCs provide less overall power in reverse. Sometimes this is programmable (check the instruction manual for your ESC) but for non-programmable ESCs it's just the way they are. If the car came with a radio, it might be worth checking the endpoint adjustment on the radio and/or re-calibrating the ESC just in case you aren't getting the full range of travel.
  13. Both chassis are a bit awkward for getting the wires in. I found on my HotShot, the standard-fit plugs were in just the wrong place to allow the wires to twist. Best solution is to use your own wires at the exact routing you need. I had to trim a lot around the edge of the HotShot body to stop it getting forced out of shape by the motor wires. As for battery wires - this is a long-standing annoyance for me. For a time, there was a round-case LiPo on the market that had banana plugs on the top. This was much better for HS/Fox/Frog/M-chassis where the battery wires are otherwise in the path of traffic. I get tired of adding heatshrink to my battery wires after a collection with a barrier or another racer puts a gouge in the silicon. For me, the "wire poking out the side" thing ruins the look of the car too. I tend to arrange my wires so the battery wire is tucked under the battery strap, then up-and-over the top of the battery to reach the plug. The balance lead is also bound up behind the battery wire so it doesn't get snagged and ripped off. It's a fiddle that could be solved with top-plug batteries (or square packs) and it's annoying that square packs are banned where I've raced M-chassis.
  14. Made this during a long meeting yesterday. Updated front arch extension, longer and without the downward curve. Modifying an existing STL file in Fusion 360 is not always an enjoyable process but it's piqued my interest for designing in 3D again. I've got so much 3D stuff to do it's about time I got on and did some of it.
  15. @MadInventor you have earned your name well, that is genius
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