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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. Just a quick update - I had hoped to get more done on this project but I've been a bit under the weather recently, so my evenings have largely been spent on the sofa catching up on TV. I'm hoping to have a day to myself on Sunday to get a bit more done and catch up with a few outstanding photos
  2. I have been avoiding social media to help with rampant anxiety, so I knew nothing about this. At 8pm I was arguing with my FireTV stick over getting at least one of Prime Video, Disney+, iPlayer or Netflix to work. My wife was outside in the glorified paddling pool at the time, she didn't mention anything so I assume not much happened around my way.
  3. I believe they do - I'm pretty sure that's what I have on my Bear Hawk. If memory serves, you may have to trim down the rear turnbuckles a little. I'm not sure if the steering links fit.
  4. Neat idea. I think there was a thread maybe a decade ago about scrap yard creations, building something from stuff you had lying around. I always intended to get involved but never got around to it. At the time I had most of a Monster Beetle chassis, a WT01 rear gearbox and some front arms from something else. Sure I could have turned those into some crazy contraption if I'd ever got off my lazy behind and done it. I spent an hour in the workshop last night fitting the shocks onto my TXT rebuild but it was way too cold to stay out any later, otherwise I'd have more lockdown stuff done by now. Still, no rush, we don't know for sure how long until the lockdown is lifted.
  5. Axles reassembled. I will probably refit my top mounted servo for now but I'll have to come up with a better solution for hte long term, as there is a visible split in the right-most screw hole on both axles. My flat plate design puts too much twisting force into that screw. I can 3D print something that will fit neatly over the top for a straighter load, but I don't have any tough resin to print with so it will be a semi-functional prototype only (in that I expect it will break in use). That said my Clod servo mounts are holding up well enough on the Mod Clod - one has cracked but possibly due to being a bit too small. So maybe it will be OK if designed with thick enough material. That's all for now - I didn't have any workshop time at the weekend due to chasing a toddler around, but my company is asking us to take half our annual paid leave allowance before the end of June to help with the crisis. (Actually they're just trying to avoid everyone rush-booking their full allowance in the final part of the year when the economy restarts and the company should be looking to regain its strength). I plan to spread my leave out so I lower my chances of being off work during a period of enforced lockdown. I do have some workshop time tonight and now that my live gig in May is officially cancelled, I'm not in such a rush to finish my new show. I'll maybe spend an hour or two looking at axle mounts. If I have enough angle bracket I'll make a jig to hold the chassis and axles and build the links around.
  6. At this point I had intended to remount the axles on the stock links, but at some point in the past I had switched to a custom top-mounted servo bracket and I had chopped up the ridiculously-large standard axle mount / servo mount / diff guard assembly. I suppose I had wanted to raise the truck by moving the bottom mounts to the top of the axle? I don't know why I thought that was a good idea. Anyway, I had chopped up the standard axle mounts to do that. I might have used what was left to rebuild a near-stock truck but at some point during a teardown some of the parts were lost. Normally I'd notice something like that lying around, so I have no idea where they went. I guess once I'd switched to Clod axles I must have lost interest in the TXT affair. I figured I can make some new axle mounts from alu square bar, but I didn't have any, so I placed an order on ebay (arrived today!) and set to stripping down the axles instead. A good job I did, as I had previously locked the diffs with epoxy resin and have since learned that locked diffs doth not a fun monster truck make. It took a couple of evenings to prize apart the diffs and scrape off all the epoxy. I had to clamp some of the gears in pliers to get the worst off, which has marked them. These diffs may not be the smoothest any more, but they turn. I've added some rounds of blu-tac to limit slip. Quite a lot of blu-tac, in fact, as this is a torquey truck with heavy wheels. Use in wet conditions followed by being dumped up in the loft haven't done the hardware any good. All machine screws will be replaced with stainless hex bolts. Unfortunately I don't have any stainless self tappers in stock but I'll probably go around and replace them later.
  7. I dug through my spares boxes and found most of what I need to rebuild the truck in stock trim. I'm missing one of those square spacers that is bizarrely needed to space the transmission upper mount away from the frame. I don't know why the transmission mounts weren't just made the right width top and bottom. Maybe something else was supposed to go in there? No bother, I cut a new one from some aluminium bracket that already had a 3mm hole in it. I'll tidy it up for the final build later. Without much of a better idea, I decided to start with a full strip down. The frames and plastic parts got a dunking in some warm soapy water before the frame started to take shape again.
  8. EDIT: I have had a change of heart and updated the project name. I'll think of something later. I want this project to be an escape, not a reminder. Well, anyway, here it is. This is the first of my isolation projects and possibly a long-enough one to keep me busy for the first few months (especially as I'm still working full time and still have to spend time with my family). I first bought this rig back in the mid-00s. I would have been a very expensive treat to myself back then, not just the huge kit but the 4 channel radio also, and I remember being a little disappointed in its general clumsiness once assembled. After some adjustments here and there I eventually converted it to Clod axles and ran a 14.4V setup using a HPI speedo and modified GT-550 motors. It got aftermarket shocks and extended bottom links, and, after forever breaking plastic rod-ends over the most insignificant bumps, got consigned to the loft to stagnate. At some point the Clod axles were scavenged for the Full Metal Jacket project and the rest was thrown in a plastic tub for storage and forgotten about. At the end of 2019 I felt my love of Monster Trucks returning, and 2020 began with me watching Triggerkings videos on Youtube. I knew I couldn't afford to build a full-spec race rig (and nobody races MTs here in the UK anyway), but I could at least do a good tribute. Plans were hatched. Actually, I bought myself an Axial SMT10 Raw Builder's Kit from the store front at Wheelspin Models on 13th March. I thought it would be a good project to throw together while the world was in the grip of the CORVID-19 slowdown. Back then (barely over a week ago) it really did feel like no more than a slowdown. How things change! Well, anyway, by the 16th things were looking different, and I went online to buy a body for my SMT10. That's when I noticed the stock SMT10 actually has a really long wheelbase. I usually make my own custom links to shorten a wheelbase, but I can't do that if I want to keep the shocks on the links, as standard, and as most of the racers use. I found a short wheelbase conversion kit online but it's in the US and not cheap. I decided it was just a bit out of my budget considering the slowdown in the economy and the uncertainty of the remainder of 2020, so the poor SMT10 was shelved. (OK, I could build it stock with my chosen body and shorten it later, but I won't know where to cut the body post holes until I've got the shorter links fitted.) So - little diversion aside - a 1993 JConcepts F250 Crew Cab body was ordered for the TXT-1. As the chassis replicates monster truck designs of the mid-90s era, I figured that was a good shout. (The SMT10, with its full cage, will get a mid-00s body). The F250 was partly chosen for its 12.5" wheelbase, partly for its vintage and partly because it was UK-stocked at the time - although I had to hunt around for one. Super-fast delivery - it was ordered on Monday and on my floor on Tuesday. With the body in hand, it was time to open up the box of bits and see what I needed to get it all back together again.
  9. It's a tough decision but in two weeks you might still be on the up-slope. I don't know how bad things are in your area, in my little corner of Britain we don't have that many cases but because I have the option of working from home, I am. Not for the sake of my own health, but to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. That's most important right now - slowing the spread. Give the hospitals time to get ready for what is most likely going to happen. Unfortunately this puts a massive strain on the economy. We can hope our governments will step in with measures to help those worst affected, we don't know for sure what will be done but for now I'm choosing to put my trust in the government. I don't usually but I figure it's my best choice. I personally am not worried about catching the virus. By most accounts, healthy adults and children don't suffer too bad. "Symptoms may be minor or you may be asymptomatic." I've had flu and I survived. It was horrible, but it wasn't deadly. I really don't want to get COVID-19 but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. If I get it, I get it. If my getting it helps us to develop a herd immunity, then I've done my part. Science can't yet tell us whether recovering gives you full immunity. If it does, I'd rather get it now. The problem is I might be contagious for a few days before I show symptoms (or have no symptoms at all) so by carrying on as normal I could be spreading the infection instead of helping to slow it. That's why I'm reducing my exposure. Not to stop me from getting it, but to stop me from spreading it if I already have it or contract it in the next few months. We have been told that we won't be on a downward curve for another 12 weeks. That's the first half of the summer gone. Fortunately we're not on complete lockdown yet (and the government has said they don't want to do that unless absolutely necessary) so it's up to us to be responsible about how we move. I'm still doing my weekly shopping (deliveries are fully booked for 2 weeks and we only keep enough food for 1), will likely have to spend more time travelling to shops trying to hunt down products on empty shelves (thank you, panic buyers, for making this problem worse for everybody and increasing our risk of infection and spread), still taking my daughter to relatives twice a week so my wife and I can continue to work while the nurseries are closed. We'll probably get out and about in the car just to get a change of scenery too. We'll take the camper to a beach this weekend just for the fresh air. We have food, water and toilet, so the only time we'll have to interface with anyone is if we need fuel. So firstly it's about your health - if you think you are at risk, isolation is probably best case for you. Bad news is 2 weeks will probably not be nearly enough. Only you or your doctor can make that call. If you're not in a risk group, and nobody in your family is, your best option is to minimise contact and take the precautions you can to slow the spread for everyone else. Whether that means working or not working would have to be your choice.
  10. I've been considering getting one for a while, but went with an SMT10 initially because I wanted something that was going to offer a more modern driving experience. Still seriously considering one as a shelfer - I have never owned or driven a standard Clod. OK, I bought an NIB Super Clod well over a decade ago, but I only wanted the axles for one project and the body for another; the rest got sold. A mate is selling up his collection and tells me he has 90% of a clod in bits in his loft that I may take off his hands later in the year. The release (along with the return of the SMT10) has definitely reignited my passion for monster trucks but not necessarily caused me to transfer any cash to Tamiya...
  11. interesting concept... I will watch this one, I love a non-boxart build
  12. @jonboy1 fab post, I've been sitting here feeling progressively worse for the last hour (ever since I clicked on an article on Facebook that said... Well, it's not a reputable source and not verifiable, so I won't repeat it, but it made me seriously think that life might never get back to even slightly how it was). Yes, I've suffered anxiety in the past and as of this weekend it's come back, I'm afraid, I don't know what of but I'm afraid. But I've beaten it before and I'm sure that even this tough part - the isolation, the start of the mass spread in the UK, the first round of business collapses - will feel easier once we've got accustomed to it. And life will go on, one way or another. We're all suffering one way or another. We need some positive thinking
  13. Another vote for DT03 - partly because they're a good basher buggy but also because you get so much car for the money. Less than £100 in some UK sellers is an absolute steal considering the spec, IMO. If I didn't already have one I'd buy. Two body styles to choose from, both trend more towards vintage IMO (the Racing Fighter IMO looks like a modern take on the Fox). If you want futuristic looks then you can't get more futuristic than the TT02B Dual Ridge. If you can, I would convince him to go with a kit. If you build it with him, he might realise that building and maintaining an RC car isn't nearly as hard as people who insist on going RTR seem to think it is.
  14. So after yesterday's update from our illustrious leader I have changed my plans somewhat - now choosing to work from home and cut social events until further notice. I'm fortunate that I can do this, also fortunate to work for a big company that can hopefully weather the storm until the markets recover. Right now I'm not too worried about that. Going to take more walks in the countryside away from the busy areas to combat the feeling of isolation, and generally practice good hygiene. I'm not worried about contracting it myself, I'm not in a high-risk group and neither is my immediate family, but contracting it would have a knock-on for lots of others (e.g. would have to inform my daughter's nursery and they would probably have to close, causing disruption around the local area). My parents have agreed to be backup childcare if nursery needs to close. They are both in reasonable health so not too worried for them. Only real problem is if nursery closes and parents contract, in which case I will have to take time off work to be parent twice a week while my wife does her work (she is the only person at her company who can do what she does so can't take time off, but she only works 2 days so at least I can do 3 days work). I can only be thankful that I'm in this situation, I know many aren't. Anyhoo, I've decided to risk breaking into some rainy day money to order a bunch of things I need to finish off some projects. I'm expecting some deliveries could take a while but I'm making a point of ordering from UK shops where possible, as I personally know some LHS owners who are going to struggle. I had quite a lot of stuff on the calendar coming up - a vintage touring race weekend, a national scaler event and a local vintage buggy weekend, all within 4 weeks of each other. Not sure if they will be cancelled but looking more and more likely. It will be a shame as I was looking forward to them, but it gives me more time to focus on finishing projects and spending time with my family. It was going to be a challenge to get ready for the events as well as rehearsing for a live music gig at the end of May. It's possible the gig will be cancelled too so that's even less pressure. It's a shame I can't use some of those spare weekends to take the family to the beach or go out somewhere, but at least being in a rural area we can go out walking without being exposed to lots of people. I have suffered from anxiety and for the past week it has been sky high, I've not been sleeping and I've been worried about what the next few months will bring. But today I'm feeling more positive, I'm arranging some morale-boosting online events at work so those of us who work remote can still keep in daily contact, talked with my wife about arranging some Safe Space Time in the workshop every weekend so we each get a chance to get a few hours apart. Right now both of us are at work in the same office; pretty sure we'll be sick of each other after a few weeks These are crazy times, craziest I've ever lived through, and will probably get a lot crazier before things get back to normal. But I think they will get back to normal, at least for those of us who don't have underlying health issues. I hope the economy doesn't take too long to get back on its feet, but we'll see. Crazy times.
  15. I've run both chassis and both are good fun. The Stadium Thunder is a riot with a good motor although the stock tyres are poor (Schumacher make a much better stadium tyre). It's fairly basic and sturdy. My Blitzer Beetle (same chassis) has probably broken more than any other car I own but that's largely because it has one of the daftest motors (an Acto Pink) and gets so much use. Mostly I have had problems with drive stubs shearing off and wheels disintegrating, always the rear left. Last time out I broke a rear upright (rear left again!) not in a crash, but as I was righting from being overturned and I dropped it wrong onto a hard surface. Note that I'm having trouble sourcing a new replacement - the Blitzer Beetle and its kin are still listed as current kits by Tamiya but there don't seem to be many spare parts trees around right now. Not sure if this means it will be going out of production soon. A shame as I still think it is one of Tamiya's finest non-race kits. Note that only the chassis tub is shared with the Falcon - the Stadium Thunder is actually a Bear Hawk with big wheels and slightly different gearing. The DF03 is a capable basher. Comes out of the box with plenty of adjustability. It's a mid-level kit and while not quite competition-spec, is a step above most bashing buggies. I really enjoyed mine, although it was decomissioned some years ago and hasn't been rebuilt yet. It's a more involved build than many other non-competition kits. The chassis tub is very small, so big ESCs won't fit. The rear diff is fragile is used with hot motors - a hardened outdrive kit used to be available which made it more reliable. Actually there were some very good hop-up options but most are discontinued and hard to find now. 3Racing made a good alloy shock upgrade which I think is still available - note that this fits on the Stadium Thunder too
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