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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. Clod Buster was practically made for snow. Big balloony tires, tub chassis to keep most of the wetness out. It's a blast.
  2. Just ordered myself a Christmas/birthday present in the form of an MST FXX drift chassis. It won't be a drift car, though - it's getting a Rally Legends Fiat 131 body. RWD rally time!
  3. This car is 95% done, and I didn't take any more progress photos. See, this is why I usually don't do build threads; I'm really bad at them. Re-re aluminum chassis parts except for a few things. I could only find gold parts for sale, so it's a mishmash of silver and gold. It's OK; I kinda like it. Original Gold shocks with new O-rings, silky-smooth as always. Re-re Javelin cage, with the wing mounted on some old purple Trinity wing hardware, using the badly-tweaked front sway bar as wing wire. Wheels are from Rally Legends; I sure wasn't going to put them on a scale rally car, but they look pretty good here. Tires are old Thundershot-style. Currently has no electronics besides the Futaba S3003 steering servo it came with, and a Trinity Green Machine motor. It will sit like this on the shelf through the winter, but I'll give it a little exercise in the spring. I have a repro driver for it too, but I have to paint it. (I hate painting drivers.)
  4. Had a re-think about these... and a setback. The decals are not sticking at all; some of them have literally fallen off. I don't know if there's a coating on the body, or the adhesive is just wretched, but they look awful now. So I'll have to reconsider how to do it. Luckily, I work for a print shop, so in theory I could just make my own decals on higher-quality stock, but laying them out is a lot of work. Also, you'll notice that that's not a Terra Scorcher under there. I just wasn't feeling the pokey-out wheels, so I'm re-thinking the chassis for these. This is now on the Fazer chassis, but with the front drive components removed, so it's mid-motor, rear-wheel-drive like a real Stratos. (Needs bigger tires, though, I think.) No idea how well it will work, but I want to play with it and see. If it's terrible, I can always put it back. For the Fiat, I think I want a scale-accurate drivetrain layout as well, which means front-motor and rear-drive. So I think I'm going to order an MST FXX drift chassis for it. It's got a ton of adjustability, so I can "un-drift" it, I think. And again, if it's awful, I'll just try something else.
  5. I like it! It handles well, and doesn't feel as tippy as I thought it would. The steering still feels awful to me, so I'm working on engineering a solution for that. And it feels overgeared, but most monster trucks from that era do; they were all trying to get more speed out of them. Otherwise, I'm impressed.
  6. Hey, now I can play too! Here's the Hi-Rider Corvette that I restored earlier this year.
  7. Kyosho front wheel bearings are 4x8mm, so you can use 5x8mm (1150 in Tamiya-speak) and they'll drop right on. The standard Scorpion rear tires might fit on Grasshopper wheels, actually. Worth a try.
  8. Grasshopper II re-re, basic radio, S3003 servo, basic charger, and a couple decent-capacity NiMH packs. All dead-reliable, all user-friendly. 380 motor is a good place to start, and includes a brass pinion, no need to paint the body unless you want to, bearings are like $10 when the time comes.
  9. People like Facebook and Instagram and whatnot because it feeds that short-attention-span "hey, that's cool" desire to be constantly entertained. Bored? Just keep scrolling. The trouble is that when someone does find something genuinely interesting, "Hey," that's cool" becomes "I want one," which then becomes "It took how long to make? You mean I can't just order one off Amazon? Forget it." Scroll. And I know a lot of artisans and craftspeople who resent it, because social media is the only way to promote what they do these days, but the constant pressure to feed the ever-hungry content monster means they have to waste what could be creative time taking photos or filiming reels or answering a thousand stupid questions in the comments. And doing that across three or four different platforms makes it hard to keep up. That short-attention-span focus on quantity rather than quality, that constant chase for the next scrap of entertainment, makes any meaningful discussion of craft or process impossible. It cheapens everything we as humans do, reduces hours and days and weeks and months of hard work down to a single photograph, spat out and then gone again in a blur. My more cynical side says that's exactly the point - we're not supposed to take time to consider things any more. We're supposed to see something cool for sale, be overwhelmed with the desire to own it, buy it, and then seek out the next object of desire. People complain about too many ads on Facebook and Instagram, but don't kid yourself - everything on there is an ad. You are being sold an image you want to portray, a lifestyle you want to achieve, whether it's hiking in the wilderness or exploring the markets of some exotic foreign city or covering yourself in artisinal jewelry or even curating a collection of model cars. You're not supposed to seek out information on something you're legitimately interested in; you're supposed to want what they have. Sometimes I think we'd all be better off if we just turned the whole thing off and forgot it ever existed.
  10. So that 4-pack of Rally Legends body shells arrived, faster than expected, and with an included bonus of four sets of touring car rims. I'm stashing the two Alitalia bodies away for now, waiting for inspiration, but I'm building out the Monte Carlo Fiat and the San Remo Lancia. First, a word on the quality. Don't expect miracles. The molds are pretty good, quite good actually, but the paint/finish is only OK, and the decals are very hard to work with. They're extra-thick; I think they laminated them with a clear overlaminate, and it made them bulky and hard to bend. These will be fine for a runner, but they're not a shortcut to a really good looking rally car. For the Lancia, I decided to make it look something like the old Tamiya rally cars - the Opel, Audi, and Lancia 037 - with the wheels poking out of an off-road chassis. I've chosen a Terra Scorcher, partly because I never really liked the stock body. I think it sits on there rather well: It's just sitting on there for now, resting on the front bumper and the stock rear wing, but I think this is about where it will be. I just need to fab up some mounts. The stock Terra Scorcher tires fot tightly on the Rally Legends wheels, but I'm not sure they're staying. We'll see. The blue and white Fiat will be more properly scale, on a Kyosho Fazer chassis. This is how the body came out of the bag, but with the masking peeled off. The windows are clear on this one, but a little hazy, and there are some bleeds and runs in the stripes. But for the price, I won't complain. I'm not overly fond of the provided wheels, so I have a couple other options on order. Again, this is just sitting on the body posts, not at its final height or position. Makes a nice change, I think, from the glut of navy blue and yellow Olio Fiats that are starting to show up... I'll post some more photos when I get a chance. As for the Alitalia bodies, I'm thinking I want them to be rear-wheel-drive, like the actual cars are. I'm waiting to hear more about that BT-01 chassis that's coming soon, to see if that's an option. Or there's always RWD drift chassis... I guess we'll see how it goes. Stay tuned...
  11. I like the wheels on the PR. Otherwise both it and the G-Force just look like Losi XXX knockoffs.
  12. Will do. I'll probably start a long build thread for all of them this weekend.
  13. Today I got... Rally Legends! As advertised: Two Lancia Stratoses (Pirelli and Alitalia) and two Fiat 131s (Monte Carlo and Alitalia) for $118 shipped. Even better, they threw in wheels to go with all 4! Quality seems... ok? Not Tamiya or HPI level, but as good as or better than some Carson bodies I got years ago. Strangely, the decal sheet in this one is missing the Pirelli sponsorship; I wonder if there was a dispute over licensing or something. Those decals seem to have just been peeled off the sheet. One of these is going on a Kyosho Fazer, and one on a TT02, and the others? Not sure yet.
  14. One trick for the inside corners is to make a tiny round hole with a pin vise or body reamer first, then cut up to the edge of the hole with the knife. That way you're not trying to round out a sharp inside corner; you're never creating one in the first place.
  15. OK, Tamiya, if you're listening, here's what I want: This chassis, with parts for all 3 drivetrain layouts included, along with full bearings, CVA shocks, a silver-can motor, and a 1060 ESC... but NO body, wheels, or tires. Sell it for $150 or less street price, and I'll buy at least 2 right off the bat.
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