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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. That poor Pontiac... Great photos!
  2. There is a reason I have so many builds, both RC and static, that get to 90-95% complete and never actually finished. I'm always scared I'm going to ruin the whole thing on the last little bit, so I tend to stop at "really good so far" and leave it at that.
  3. Mind you, I haven't been there in about 17 years now, but back then they were the real deal. One of the guys behind the counter was seriously into Clods, and hosted a race/monster jam at a local track. I built an entire black-pan RC10 and a Frog from spares they had in stock, and this was before the re-releases. And bought more kits there, Tamiya and otherwise, than I am willing to admit. (Single + no social life + nearby hobby shop = lots of purchases.)
  4. I've got my trusty old Associated RC10LSO sitting on my workbench, a car I've owned for near-enough 30 years now. I restored the chassis 10 years ago, and since then it has been hanging on a hook on the wall, body-less. Recently I got the urge to see the old girl running again, so I bought a re-pop Bolink Chevy Lumina stock car body from Sabula Tech, and stole some new unused wheels and tires from an RJ Speed kit I had nearby. I then scoured my parts stash for body posts, and came up empty-handed. For several years in the early 2000s, I lived within shouting distance of Hub Hobby Center in Little Canada, MN. During that time, the shop actually grew in size, taking over the storefront next door. They're still there, still thriving, mainly due to having the foresight to set up an online store as well as their two brick-and-mortar locations. I'd stop by on my way home from work, to check out new kits, see what cars were in the consignment case, shoot the breeze with the guys behiind the counter, and - critically - pick up whatever little odds and ends I needed to complete whatever project I was working on. Hub's RC parts area was extensive and wide-ranging; only once or twice did I go looking for a specific part and not find it. In my mind's eye, I can picture the body posts I need now, hanging on their pegboard: the old Duratrax universal-style, with the setscrew collars, 2 inches for the front, 3.5 inches for the rear. And with equal clarity, I can picture myself walking in to the Hobbytown shop a few miles from here and seeing the blank stares of the kids behind the counter when I ask for them. Last time I was in there, they couldn't even sell me bearings by size; they wanted me to tell them what car it was for. I gave up and left. Tammie's Hobbies, all the way across town, might possibly have them, buried in a box in the back room somewhere, but I'm not going to drive 25 miles each way through weekend traffic to find out. So off to eBay I go, to have some five-dollar parts shipped to me, wait for them to arrive, throw away a bunch of unnecessary packaging, die a little inside. If you have a local shop, go there today. Buy something. Tell them you appreciate them being there.
  5. Oh yeah, I definitely go through phases. Most recently it was getting back into on-road, both pan cars and touring cars. Before that it was wheelie machines. Before that, monster trucks. Each phase seems to last a few months. I haven't painted two of the pan car bodies yet, nor finished building one of the touring cars, so maybe that one is waning a bit? Who knows? I have had an itch to go back to the static models for a while now... I do have some constants: scale/trail trucks are here to stay, though my interest in them ebbs and flows. Same with pre-1990 buggies. And since I have largely stopped buying and completely stopped selling, my collection will remain stable from now on, forcing me to focus on what I have and really getting everything I can out of them. But the nice thing about this hobby is that as long as you take a few precautions, the stuff keeps well. It's there waiting for you when you want to pick it up again. I mean, a bunch of my models are 30-40 years old already; what's another year on a shelf? And like @Willy iine, I tend to take a holistic approach to my model car hobby. Everything is in one room, both RC and static, and most of it is out on display. So when I work on something, I'm changing the look of the whole room, however subtly. It's the room full of stuff as a whole that makes me happy, not any one particular model.
  6. Not a fan of the silver wheels, but I think that's just memories of everyone (usually badly) spray-painting Hotshot and Boomerang wheels silver back in the day. I always thought they looked awful. A regular HS2 (or Super Sabre!) with the red parts would have been more interesting to me.
  7. Eh, I don't think I've bought anything right when it first came out anyway, so it doesn't matter to me. I didn't get a Bruiser re-re until it had already been out nine years. If something is still there when I'm ready to buy it, great. If not, then I literally don't know what I missed anyway. I always seem to end up with the stuff I really want eventually, one way or another.
  8. Front toe-out might be the issue. Try setting the toe to 0, or just a whisker of toe-in. It will be less aggressive on turn-in, but should track a lot better. I accidentally set up my 1:1 Mazda Miata with a degree or two of toe-out once, and it was undrivable. Also, if memory serves, the M06 has pretty sloppy steering out of the box, but allows for four 850 bearings to be installed in place of the plastic bushings. Might be worth a try, bearings are cheap. It just sounds to me more like a mechanical problem than an electronic one.
  9. It's nearly the end of October. The sun goes down early and comes up late, the rains have come back to my western Oregon home, and once again, I didn't get in nearly as much RC driving time over the summer as I wanted. I had a couple of good days, and a few chances to go play, but I bet I didn't go through more than 20 battery packs over the entire summer. Time was I'd recharge packs 20 times in a weekend. It has been a crazy busy summer, but even at that, there were times I'd think about giving something a quick drive, and just... didn't feel like it. And as always, I have a backlog of projects waiting for their turn on the workbench: a freshly-built Terra Scorcher that needs paint, a half-finished Lancia 037, a set of lights waiting to be installed in the Bruiser, and the ever-present Chevy Blazer scaler build that I started three years ago and isn't much more than a frame with a drivetrain installed. I've got three chassis waiting for scratch-built bodies: an MF-01X that will become a Fiat Panda 4x4, a cheap little WPL thingy to build a 1/8 scale Crosley Farm-O-Road, and a Mardave 1/12 scaler that I want to make an Austin-Healey Sprite body for, after I build a vaccuum former. None of them have progressed beyond the plans/drawings phase. I also need to strip, repair, and repaint the Subaru Brat body that I botched the paint on last year. And then paint bodies for an Ultima and two old pan cars.There is also the small matter of the 3D printer, idle for most of the summer, but ready and waiting for me to start cranking out parts for things. None of these projects require even a single purchase to finish, only time and gumption. Last year, I vowed to not buy any new RC kits in 2022. I bought three: a Kyosho Fazer, a TT-02, and an RJ Speed Sportsman. All inexpensive purchases, but all also now finished, at the expense of existing projects I already had waiting. What is it about the allure of something new that makes us cast aside something we were previously really excited to dig into? This coming year, buying new kits is not likely to be an option. I spent a month of 2022 unemployed after getting burned out on my old job and being fired by an irrational boss, and that month did terrible things to my savings account. I have a new job, but it will be a while before things stabilize. And when the savings is built back up, I'll need to spend some of it on a newer 1:1 car, as my ancient trusty little Toyota commuter is finally showing its age. It's unlikely I'll be able to buy anything hobby-related except maybe paint and servo tape for quite a while, so maybe my backlog of projects is a good thing. Except here's the problem: When I have time to go to my workshop and work on something, I get paralyzed by indecision. Which project do I pick up? There's that new idea I had, but I really shouldn't start that until I finish this other thing, should I? I feel guilty letting that one sit, after I bought all those parts for it, and they're still in the packages a year later. Or maybe I should paint that body that has been sitting with the window masks on it for six months... it's probably dusty now, so I"ll need to re-wash it first. Half the time I end up just setting a car on the workbench and staring at it for an hour, then running out of time to actually do anything to it. And there it is, my biggest fear: Running out of time. I'm coming up on a milestone soon, turning 50 in January. Not old, but my dexterity and eyesight are already not what they once were. I have been "saving projects for retirement," but should I? Or should I do the stuff that I really want to do now, while I can still do it well? And this holds true for not only RC projects, but the nearly 100 static kits I have sitting unbuilt in boxes on shelves, some of which I really want to do justice to. I've been building "lesser" models and saving the "good stuff" for later, but I'm beginnig to think that's backwards. I should do the good stuff now, while I can see it properly and enjoy it. But no pressure: None of this stuff, in the grand scheme of things, matters. It's supposed to be an enjoyable pastime, not a set of rigid goals to fail to accomplish. So no "upcoming projects for the year" list from me this year. Just a promise that if I do accomplish something cool, I'll post pictures of it and share it with you all.
  10. I've never owned or driven an Avante, and I don't yet have an Optima Mid re-re, but I had an original Mid for a while, and I deeply regret selling it. It was a wonderful buggy. Excellent runner, good handling, very strong, nice to work on, and it looked fantastic both on the shelf and running. Its only fault is that space is very tight inside, which is less of an issue now that electronics are so tiny. I wouldn't say no to an Avante, but I've never felt it was worth the money (to me).I've heard it can be fragile, and I already have enough other Tamiya 4WD buggies. It sure is pretty, though. As for spending that much money just to have a shelfer, plenty of people do just that. Vintage new-in-box kits change hands for twice that or more, and then sit on a shelf unbuilt. Even I, who tends to be a "run everything" type person, have two or three rather expensive cars that are strictly shelfers (for now). It's all a matter of what part of the hobby interests you - are you a collector, a builder, a casual driver, a basher, a racer, or some blend of all of them? But the short answer, if you're only going to get one of them: Optima Mid, no question.
  11. Still searching a 566b Supertrail Baja Bison edition?

  12. You can get the Slash as a kit, and it's really an incredible value for what they include: https://traxxas.com/products/models/electric/slash-assembly-kit Full bearings, a 2.4 ghz radio, waterproof servo and ESC, and their basic Titan 550-can motor, for $200. I've been sorely tempted by it for a while now. My experience with Traxxas is that plastic parts are the way to go. Their plastic parts are much stronger than Tamiya's, and if you break a stock part, replace it with the RPM nylon equivalent (and they make almost everything for the old 2WD Rustler/Stampede/Slash/Bandit chassis) and never buy another replacement part again. (Seriously, the RPM stuff is that good.) I've not had good luck with Traxxas servos, but use it until it breaks and then replace it with something else, I guess. Great fun to drive, and you don't need to go as crazy with the power as a lot of folks seem to.
  13. At one point, in college, the only RC vehicle I had (or wanted) was a QD Manta Ray. Small, cheap, no worries about recharging batteries in the dorms, just go play with it when I wanted. I discovered that standard 1/12 lexan bodies (Parma, Bolink, etc) fit right on, and it wore several over the year or so that I had it. I put bearings in where you could, and wore the tires down to slicks. I've thought of picking up a nice one just for nostalgia...
  14. Most of my vintage cars don't have this problem: they're either cars that won't ever be re-released (Striker/FX10, RC10L, Kyosho Progress) or cars I restored long before their re-releases came along (Blackfoot, Optima). The exception is the Boomerang, which is about 50% re-release plastics by now, but with the original gears, shocks, chassis tub, wheels/tires, and body/wing. I'm not too concerned with originality on it, because it's a Boomerang - they made tons of them. It's the RC equivalent of a Honda Accord. I'm sure hardcore collectors have 100% original ones and NIB examples, and that's cool for them, but I'm not going to bother tracking down original parts for something like that. On the other hand, when I restored the Progress, I kept it as original as possible. I restored existing parts wherever I could, and only had to replace the chain (with a leftover vintage Optima chain), the rear drive hubs (with NIP vintage Kyosho originals that cost way too much), and some hardware (replaced with correct black Kyosho hardware). It even still has the "spot-welder special" MSC, which does not work (the first time I tried to test-drive the car, the speed control arced and started smoking; it has not been connected to a battery since) and period-correct Futaba radio gear. Here's a question for the sticklers for originality: how do vehicles like the Clod Buster (which has been in constant production since it was introduced) figure into that? You can't call a new Super Clod a re-release; it's a continuation. Are new Clod parts acceptable on an original restoration? They would be to me, but I'm curious what others think.
  15. Any 15-20 turn "sport" motors should give it a good boost without going too crazy or worrying about timing/reverse rotation. Dynamite, RC4WD, Axial, and others sell them, and they're probably all the same. Traxxas 550 series 12 turn Titan motors might be a good cheap option too, but you might need an ESC upgrade for them.
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