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markbt73

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About markbt73

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  • Birthday 01/07/1973

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    PDX, OR, USA

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  1. I'll just let the photos do the talking... suffice to say, me likey! It's much quieter and smoother than I expected, and it turns plenty tight at low speeds with just 2 wheel steering, so I don't think I'll bother with the extra servo. It does need more power; I'll see how it does with the silver can and 2s lipo before I start playing with more motor. (This test run was just with an old NiMH pack that has seen better days.) But there is potential here, definitely.
  2. Well, there's that. Have I mentioned how much I hate, hate, HAAATE doing big decals? Good thing this is destined to become a basher, because it sure isn't going to win any beauty contests. Time to throw some electronics in it and go see what it can do.
  3. About ten years ago, I came across a big lot of RC10s and parts for sale. The seller was asking $500, but after I talked to him I found out that what he really wanted was just a Slash 4x4 to bash around with. So I bought him a Slash and an extra battery and traded him, and got the lot for $420. Total of five cars, including an original Worlds car, a new-built CE, a new-in-box CE, and two nice 10Ts, and a ton of parts. Absolutely worth it, and I enjoyed fixing them up, and gradually sold them off one at a time and essentially doubled my money. And then I dropped $400 of it on an RC4WD Trailfinder 2. I had buyer's remorse halfway through the build. Quality of the hardware, and the fit and finish was, let's say, lacking. Sold it at a big loss after having a day of fun spoiled by two broken driveshafts. So yeah, I regret that. Looking back, I'd rather have kept a couple of the RC10s (although I do still have three others). Things I regret not buying? Pretty much the entire contents of the "Clearance" rack at my local hobby shop back in Minnesota between 1996 and 2005. Yokomo YZ10 and touring car kits for $100 each. A couple of Associated DS Team kits for $120. A Losi Junior Two with dust on the box for $60. Tamiya TA03 Lancias? They had three, blowing them out for $129 each. I boguht a Clozilla chassis instead. (Was racing Clods at the time.) All of it just old unwanted junk back then. Would love to have any of them now. I did manage to pull a Kyosho Nostalgic Series MGB off that rack for $159, and had a lot of fun with it, so that's something.
  4. Heh... What has 10 wheels, 14 friction shocks, 58 bearings, and three motors? My workbench.
  5. It seemed like there was a lot of interest in the Classic at fist, but then it fizzled pretty quickly. I wonder if the quality problems with the Worlds re-re maybe tarnished some of the sparkle of it. Back in the day, you're right; it was all RC10s and a few Ultimas (and later JRX2s) in the "serious" racing classes. And everybody in Novice (where I was) wanted an RC10, but we ran all kinds of cars there; I raced a Blackfoot or a Falcon, depending on which one wasn't broken that week... 4WD had more variety; I remember Optimas and Mids, as well as Boomerangs and Thundershots, a couple and at least one Marui Ninja. (Brave soul!)
  6. I enjoyed my RC10 Classic build, but there was definitely something... off... about the experience. I can't quite put my finger on what it was, but the "texture" of it (for lack of a better word) is just all wrong. I don't know if it's a different formula of nylon, or the CAD-created molds are too crisp and square, or what, but it feels more like an idealized copy of an RC10 than the real thing. It's almost an "uncanny valley" sort of vibe. (I get a tiny bit of that feeling from the re-re Turbo Optima too, but not as much.) I'm wondering if others got a similar "not-quite-right" vibe off it, and that's why the initial demand and excitement was high, but interest has dwindled. The high price of remaining NIB kits is, I'm sure, mostly a case of FOMO. If they did announce another run, that bubble would pop and those kits would drop back to near-list-price. I am surprised to hear that it languished on shelves in other parts of the world; I grabbed the last one of four at my LHS, and someone asked if they had any more in stock while I was at the register checking out.
  7. Have they ever made an announcement before the announcement like this? I don't recall any. Usually something leaks, but I don't think I've ever seen this kind of "Tune in for an exciting announcement!" thing from Tamiya before. One would assume that it's something bigger than three more TT02 kits and a Purple Special Hornet...
  8. Quite the opposite, actually - I love my stuff, I'm very comforted by knowing it's there, and I'm not parting with any of it. I've reduced my possessions into what will fit in one (usually very small) car several times before, and I'm not doing it again unless some catastrophe forces me to. I'm just realizing that most of what I once wanted I now have, or got, decided I didn't really want it, and got rid of. It's more like climbing most of the way up a mountain, realizing that the last little bit of the climb is the hardest, and then turning around and discovering that the view is actually pretty good from right here...
  9. There's definitely a bucket-list component to all of this; I just turned 48, and there is the realization that I'm probably past the halfway point, and I'm not going to squeeze in everything, so the time has come for some curating and prioritizing. But in different ways and to different degrees, this hobby has been important to me for 35 years now, and I don't see it going away completely. I'm sure I'll have a Blackfoot or something sitting atop my dresser in the nursing home, when the time comes. The original post was prompted by me looking through eBay listings (because all our local sale sites are utterly devoid of anything interesting) and going "have it, had it and didn't like it, have it, have two, don't care about it...", and noticing that of the listings that piqued my interest, only a few of them held my interest, and those were very expensive things. And then we stopped in at the local used record shop, and every time I found something that looked interesting, I realized I already have it, and everything I went looking for was nowhere to be seen. Or was only available as a "Limited Edition Remaster On Colored Vinyl!" for $50. It's just weird, after spending my 20s and early 30s being so nomadic and having so few possessions (and not by choice), to realize that there are so many things I own, or once owned and am now done with, and so few that I still really want.
  10. Not a 110... It's my only successful scratch-build to date. Body and chassis completely hand-made out of aluminum. Drivetrain is Losi Mini Crawler, with Tamiya leaf springs. Wheels and tires are RC4WD. It's 99% a shelfer because it's so fragile, but I do air it out every so often...
  11. Well well well... look who finally decided to show up? So this is the other half of the equation: The idea is for this one to become my new go-to basher, especially to take on camping trips and to other places like that. It will be built stock at first, but modified as needed to make it do what I want. Came with a painted body, so I'll just decal it and call it good. And this is it for me for new kits this year. Hope it lives up to the good press...
  12. I've recently reorganized my workshop/study, and in doing so, have had my hands on every RC car I own. Some of them have been stashed away for a while, some are in pieces, and some had been sitting on the same shelf so long that they were dusty and had flat spots on the tires. (I know, I know, they should be on stands. I'm working on it.) I've also been going through old photos, and I've uncovered some pictures of RC vehicles I didn't even remember owning until I saw the picture. Some of them I still don't remember selling, or why I sold them, or what I spent the proceeds on, which bothers me. But I'm not unhappy with my collection now. I have a nice example of most of the models I set out to find, and I've been lucky enough to get to own and then sell on several others that I dnd't feel I "needed" to keep. I've got a nice collection, and if I stopped here, I'd be perfectly happy, and count myself lucky. Of course, we don't stop, do we? There's always something else we want to add to the pile of loot, some other desperate desire of our little collector's hearts. Most of us keep a running list, either in our heads, or on paper, or (I'm told) in a spreadsheet somewhere. Even if you aren't actually looking for those cars, even if you don't have an ebay alert set up to let you know when one comes up for sale, it's still there, that want, that missing piece that would make your collection complete. The trouble is that I've already acquired all the low-hanging fruit, and gotten very lucky on a couple of the higher-up models I wanted, but that means that everything else I want is up there in the top of the tree, both rare and expensive. That list, for the curious, is as follows: Tamiya 3 speed: I'm still not sure what form this should take, but it feels like the one gaping hole in my Tamiya experience, and I need to fill it eventually. And I'd really like one of the old ones if possible; I'm not terribly interested in the hi-lifts. And I generally prefer restoring vintage models to building new ones, I'm finding out. But gone are the days of rusty dusty loft finds selling for a couple hundred dollars; I'm realistically looking at four figures to get what I want. And that's daunting. Tamiya Lancia 037: Again, what I really want is the old vintage ORV-chassis one. But they're getting scarce, and expensive. Though in this case, I might consider getting just the body, and putting it on a re-re Brat chassis. Of course, then I need to find the right wheels and tires... Kyosho Double Dare: I've drooled over this model ever since that first review in RCCA. I'm a huge Nissan truck fan anyway, and I just love the presence of this thing. Ideally, I'd like to build one from NIB, which means I'm looking at several hundred dollars. Tamiya 1/12 on-road car: When I was a kid, a hobby shop at the mall had a handful of Tamiya kits on the wall behind the counter. The proprietor was asking full list price for them, so they never sold, but I stared at them longingly every time we went in. The only two I remember for sure were there were a Blazing Blazer... and a Datsun 280ZX RM Mk2. I still want that Datsun, but any of the old 1/12 Tamiya cars would do. The trouble is that finding a complete restorable one is getting tougher every year... and NIBs are just gone or insanely priced. As I said, I don't feel wronged or incomplete not having any of these, though I do sometimes wish I had gotten on the collecting bandwagon earlier, when eBay was a fountain of old RC models for cheap. It's just strange to think that I can look through the listings now and find basically nothing I want for $200, but plenty of things I could spend $1000 on. Is it just me, or has anyone else who's been doing this a while reached a price-enforced plateau?
  13. As it turns out, I actually do have one RC-related plan starting to take shape for this year. Last year, my wife and I started to work in earnest on the yard and landscaping around our house. It has been a challenge, because the house is perched on top of a ridge of land, so both the front and back yards slope away from the house, and also the street is a steep uphill, so one side of the lot is higher than the other. Add to this a steep driveway that's at a funny angle (to make it the shallowest slope possible, though it's still really steep) and we end up with these little "islands" of grass interrupted by paved areas or steep hillsides with big trees. It's all very pretty, but very hard to landscape. Last year, we took on two big projects: paving the side yard for extra parking and maneuvering space... ...and building an ornamental and herb garden (shown here unfinished) on an awkward blob of land in front of there that we call "the peninsula." This left a funny triangle of land between the asphalt and the steps leading to the garden. It's a weird spot that gets runoff from the neighbor's driveway, so the ground is always soggy, so it grows more moss and mushrooms than it does grass. And it's sloped, in two directions, so it's hard to mow. (All the tree boughs came from a big storm we had a few days ago. I have since cleared them away...) So here's where the RC part comes in... we were planning on tearing out that triangle of grass and doing... something else over there. Some kind of rock garden/rain garden, to try to give it some proper drainage. While thinking about this, it occurred to me that if I planned it right, it could be an obstacle course for crawlers/scalers, while still looking like a rock garden. Srategically placed rocks and steps, a little wooden bridge maybe, a nice gravel path, and it would make a great playground for little trucks, while still looking like ornamental landscaping. I'm still in the planning stage, but I have drawn the whole area out to scale, and even made tiny paper representations of a couple of my trucks, to make sure I get the path width right. Hopefully this will keep me busy enough that I won't feel the need to shop for more kits. The idea is to not buy anything else this year, other than parts needed to complete projects I already have going. And at least landscape materials are cheap.
  14. One word of caution about the Carisma: it is a terrible build. Incredibly frustrating, lots of 2mm screws directly into plastic. Each axle housing is 6 pieces held together by about 30 screws. And the hardware quality isn't great. Once assembled, it is a decent performer, however. So the RTR version is worth considering. But the kit version is not at all beginner-friendly, and is even a frustrating slog of a build for us old timers.
  15. So you sit down at your workbench one Saturday morning, and time passes without you knowing it, and suddenly you're looking at a Clod chassis. 100% by-the-book stock, except for full bearings, and going to stay that way for now. I may eventually upgrade the steering, and put some real shocks on it, but I have no intention of losing the tub chassis or the ladder bars. Or going beyond 540 power. This is meant to be a relaxing bounce-around-the-garden machine, not a hardcore racer. Been there, done that, don't need to do it again.
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