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SteveB

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Everything posted by SteveB

  1. The Top Force wing has decals on it, the bodyshell is 100% paint! The TRF503 bodyshell has a couple of small TRF decals on it, but it also otherwise just paint. Both done by a friend at my local club, he does excellent work!
  2. After looking at the pile of parts that are left over, I have considered this Yonez! FibreLyte do the chassis and top deck in carbon, that I could put on the TRF-TFE and save the original parts. I would then only need a few bits of hardware and I could rebuild an original looking (if not actually driveable) TFE.
  3. At the end of last year, I bought a used Top Force Evolution buggy, with the intention of racing it in the vintage buggy class at my local club(s). However, after completely stripping it down, it turned out that as well as the expected wear on a few parts, there were also a few that needed replacing due to cracks in the plastic. Unfortunately, some of these were from the very hard to find 'J' parts tree/sprue. As I couldn't find any replacement parts at the time, the buggy was put on the shelf and left as a future project. This is how it looked when I first bought it (body/wing/undertray are ***** repro). Now, having tracked down the elusive J parts that I needed (some original and some in 3D printed form), I have gone back to the project, and decided to try and make it into a TRF inspired buggy. I know that this will go against the belief of many Tamiya diehards, who would probably want the buggy to stay as original as possible, but each to their own, and I love the look of TRF race machines! Anyway, the following changes have now been made: Most of the plastics have been replaced with new parts. Diffs rebuilt with new gears/balls/plates/washers. Rebuildable CVDs. Carbon shocktowers (from Fibre Lyte). TRF big-bore aeration dampers. TRF alloy turnbuckes with reinforced adjusters. TRF battery posts and carbon holders. TRF servo mounts & saver. Alloy wheel hexes. DF-03 wheels. Black steel screws, with blue hardware/fixings. Custom painted bodyshell. I have kept all of the original parts that were removed though, so I can return the buggy to stock(ish) spec at anytime! And finally, the TFE next to my current TRF503 race buggy. I am very happy with how this buggy has turned out. The only problem is, it now almost looks too good to actually use on the track which was originally the whole idea! I have many other RCs though, that are all runners/racers, but no shelf queens, so I won't feel too bad if this does end up just looking pretty on the shelf.
  4. And now, unfortunately, the project is on hold. Having stripped it down to the last screw, there are a few issues that need to be sorted before I would consider racing it. I would class the buggy as 'well used', as many parts are just a bit worn out and 'tired', but not surprising really as it is 20+ years old. The biggest issue is the parts from the J sprue, which are extremely difficult to find. Some of them have cracks, and a couple are missing off the buggy. I know that people are working on making 3d printed versions of the whole J parts sprue, but they aren't available just yet. I could replace all the plastics, fit new (modern) CVDs, new shocks (big bores), Fibrelyte shocktowers, and a few choice GPM alloy parts for strength/durability, but then I am replacing most of the buggy and it won't be cheap! I would also need new wheels/tyres, as the ones from my TRF503 are different offset and don't fit the axles. So, for now, or until I can at least get the J parts, I will be putting the whole project on hold. On the bright side though, my local club are planning to include a Lunchbox/Pumpkin class at our next indoor offroad meeting. My first thought when looking at getting a vintage/re-release RC was the Lunchbox, so I have ordered a new 'black edition' LB and some oil shocks. Should be fun!
  5. I haven't had a close enough look at an original Top Force bodyshell to tell the difference I'm afraid. The ***** shell and undertray don't follow the same lines as each other, but I don't know if that's normal or not?
  6. One Top Force Evolution racer project to be started! And as it came with new ***** bodyshell/wing/undertray, but no decals, I think I will get it painted in the same scheme as my TRF503 buggy (photo at the bottom). TRF503
  7. In my 80's Tamiya era, I was purely a 'basher', I never did any competitive racing, only driving my RC models with friends, making our own tracks/areas out of whatever environment we were in. Now though, I am purely a racer, I don't 'bash' at all unfortunately, as I really don't want to take my prized race machines out into the wild! If the vintage classes I plan to race in were full of models like the Frog, Lunchbox, Wild One, etc., then I would definately just go for something that was fun and try to wrangle it around the track. But, the entants in the vintage class at the latest round of my local clubs indoor winter series are shown in the attached photo, so I think the way forward is clear. I may just have to get something fun as well and see if I can start a trend...
  8. The racing surface will be high grip astro outdoors, and for indoors a mix of high grip carpet and slippy polished floor. I am beginning to realise that fun and competitive are almost mutually exclusive, in that I either get something fun that I will have to take it easy with, or get something purely race oriented. I do still only want to use a Tamiya model though, and as good as the RC10 is, 'my' vintage is purely Tamiya. I do know where I can get a very good condition Top Force Evolution from though, for less than the cost of getting a new re-re Egress kit from overseas, but my concern is the availability and cost of TFE parts, if (when) something needs replacing.
  9. As far as rules go for the vintage class that I want to race in, the original kit release date must be pre 2000 (or a re-release of a pre 2000 kit), but you can use whatever electronics you like, and whatever tyres you like. I was the thinking of using a spare Reedy Sonic 10.5T motor that I have (I wouldn't use any ESC timing though, it would be in blinky mode), but which models would cope with this power without any problems? I am fairly certain that some would have the transmission destroyed in no time at all...
  10. I guess what I am looking for is something that will be fun to drive on the track, but also be able to get around said track reasonably quickly, without either falling to pieces or needing major mods to make it race worthy. It will be used on an outdoor bumpy astro track (without any significant jumps though), but also on an indoor multi-surface track that will have reasonably large jumps. I had thought of the Wild One, which I have to say looks fantastic, but thought that whilst it would be fine on the bumpy astro track, it would struggle on larger jumps with the limited suspension travel? Unfortunately there aren't enough entries locally to have seperate scale vintage/racer vintage classes.
  11. Hi all. Way back when I was kid in the 80's and first got into RC, I only ever had Tamiya models (Falcon, Monster Beetle, Clodbuster, Thundershot, King Cab). I got back into RC a few years ago, and now race both indoors and outdoors, and still like to use a Tamiya models when I can (I have a TRF503 buggy, TRF417X TC, and 2x M-05 Pro, as well as models from other manufacturers). Having seen the emergence of the 'vintage' buggy class in offroad recently, I quite fancy having a go, but obviously with a Tamiya! I could go down the route of getting a genuine vintage Tamiya racing buggy, but I want something that isn't going to cost the earth, and neither will the spares (if they are even available), so that leads me to the re-release kits. The question is, which kit is going to actually be anything like competitive on the track? The first choice seems to be the Egress, but is anything else worth considering, like the Avante, Hot Shot or Super Hot Shot, or even one of the cheaper 2WD kits like the Novafox? Bear in mind though, that for my local vintage class races at least, it will be up against a mix of 2WD and 4WD buggies, with real Tamiya vintage racers like the Top Force, Astute, Dyna Storm, as well as models from Associated, Schumacher, Kyosho, etc. Thanks
  12. It looks like I'll be getting the FF-03 Pro from the same place that I got the M-05 Pro from then (RC Champ). I'm all for supporting UK hobby shops, but not when the price is double that of Japan/HK... Although saying that, the one and only time I ordered from RC Champ, I got stung for import duty, and their shipping costs are quite high too. I'll probably just wait for RCMart to have it in stock, than I can order all the hopups at the same time without having to try and decipher a Japanese website.
  13. FF03 on Tamiya.com Item No:58463 2010.6.26  The release date for the FF03 would appear to be the 26th June. Still a bit of a wait then...
  14. For years I ran my RC's by myself, bashing offroad buggys & trucks on local farmland. Then I got bored of that, sold most of my gear and basically gave up the hobby for a few years. But then in January I joined my local club and have been indoor carpet racing a Tamiya M03/M05 every week since then. I thoroughly recommend joining a club if you can, I find I get a lot more enjoyment out of the hobby now, I only wish I'd started racing years ago.
  15. I've now spoken to the Royal Mail customer service department, and they say that they have no record of the airmail tracking no. being scanned/used in their system. They also said that I should give it another 10 working days, then it would officially be considered as 'lost', and I should contact the sender to ask for a refund. So if Royal Mail don't know where it is, it's not looking likely that I'll receive it at all. I'd still just rather have the package than a refund though.
  16. Update: RCMart have informed me that they have filed an investigation form with Hong Kong post, and will let me know about any further developments. But as the package has left HK, and as has been stated, the tracking no. may have changed once it entered the UK postal system, I'm not sure if anything will come of it. I think I'll give it another couple of weeks just in case it is in a post office backlog, then ask RCMart if a refund/credit/replacement is possible.
  17. Hi all. In early October, I placed an order with RCMart in Hong Kong for a few items. The package left HK by airmail on 11th October, but I still haven't received it yet. I have ordered from HK many times, and from RCMart in particular, and airmail packages have always arrived within 2 weeks of shipping. I have contacted RCMart, and they said that they are unable to track the package after it left HK, and I should contact the UK postal service. The trouble is, I have already contacted the UK postal service, and they told me that any enquiries have to be initiated in the country of origin, and to contact the sender! I have tried the airmail tracking no. on the HK Post Office website, but all that shows it the date that it left HK. When I try the tracking no. on the UK Post Office & Parcel Force Worldwide websites, it doesn't find anything. Now, I know that there has been quite a disruption to the the UK post office service recently, but I would still have expected my package to have arrived by now. Has anyone had an airmail package arrive more than 3-4 weeks after shipping? I honestly don't think I'll ever see it now, it's got lost somewhere, most likely by Royal Mail, and I'm out of pocket for £65 because of it. From now on, I'm going to use the optional insurance cover on on the airmail service, hopefully that will mean that I get my money back if this happens again. I could alternatively use the more expensive (but quicker and with better tracking) EMS service, but I nearly always get stung for a Parcel Force 'handling fee' and VAT when I use that shipping method. I'm convinced that the Post Office have it in a dark corner somewhere, but how do I get them to look for it? Any suggestions?
  18. Hi all. I'm looking for a new bodyshell for my Tamiya M03 chassis. I personally hate painting bodshells (mainly because I am rubbish at doing anything more complex than a single colour job), so I'm asking if anyone has got a *new-condition* (but painted) body that they would like to sell? I'm not too fussed what particular body type/model really, as long as it will fit straight onto an M03 S/M/L-wheelbase chassis. So it could be a Mini Cooper, Suzuki Swift, or one of the many non-Tamiya bodies that fit the M03. I do want it to be new-condition though, not one that's been used and is a bit battered with paint coming off. I will be using the body for racing, so it will get battered about a bit over time by myself, but I'd like it to at least start off looking nice! It would also ideally have clear windows, and as few (external) stickers as possible. So if you have a new-condition painted M03 body that you'd like to sell, please contact me (with pics).
  19. SteveB

    Mini Racing

    Well the bodyshell has arrived, and I'm gonna give it a try. If it breaks too easily, then I know not to get another one! At least I will use it once I figure out what bodyposts to get that will fit correctly. The standard M03 rear post mounting holes are too high and the body also won't sit low enough due to the 'kink' at the bottom of the the post. I'm thinking about either getting another set of 'C' parts, and use the extra front posts on the rear, or try the M04 bodyposts, they look like they might work OK. The wheel arches will also need to be made larger, as they're quite a bit too small, and the bodypost holes weren't pre-drilled. It's not exactly a drop-on replacement shell really then...
  20. SteveB

    Mini Racing

    That's not what I wanted to hear! It looked like polycarbonate/lexan in the pics I've seen. If it's just hard molded plastic, thats a major disappointment. I bought it on eBay, and it has already been despatched, so I'll try and return it if it's no good for racing. I hate cutting & painting bodyshells, and it looked like a good alternative to the Mini body (which got pretty beat up at the front after only one nights newbie racing).
  21. SteveB

    Mini Racing

    I actually ended up buying an M-03L Mini Cooper S '06, as I just couldn't find anywhere that had stock of the M-03M Suzuki just after xmas. And I've done one club racing night (on carpet)... There were 6 mini's running, I qualified 2nd for the final, and finished 3rd. Not too bad considering it was the first time I had 'raced' any RC at all. I did have a couple of issues though... 1. Grip roll (which all the minis seem to have at sometime when racing). I am using S-grip tyres front & rear, and I will CA glue the outside sidewalls of the front tyres as that is supposed to help a lot, and I may fit an antiroll bar on the front as well. 2. Off-throttle turn-in oversteer. The track layout had a sweeping 180* bend after a straight. If I tried to take it at full throttle the car would roll. So I tried to coast/back off around the first part, then throttle out of the bend, but every time I tried this, the rear would step out as soon as I started to turn in, and make the car spin. On a tight bend after a straight, when braking was needed, the problem didn't occur, it was only when going into a corner when braking shouldn't be needed. I tried turning the steering speed & exp. down, but it didn't cure it. In the end, the only way I could take the corner without spinning was to brake a lot before the corner, then take it very steady in, and power out. It might not have been the fastest way, but it was quicker than spinning out! Of the other 5 minis running, 4 were standard M03's, and 1 M03M, there were no other M03L's. I will probably remove the chassis extension for the next race, as I saw this Ansmann Extreme Mini bodyshell and just couldn't resist getting one. It's got a 208mm wheelbase, and is designed to fit the standard M03. The car will probably be more lively with the shorter wheelbase, but you never know unless you try.
  22. SteveB

    Mini Racing

    After careful consideration, I have decided to go ahead and get an M-03M Suzuki, a 'few' () hopups, a pair of Yeah Racing 3200 LiPo's, Novak LiPo cutoff, Core RC charger/PSU/LiPo pouch, MRT transponder, and a few other odds and ends that I'll need to start racing. I figure it's better for me to start off with a slower, more robust car, that's cheap to fix, so that I'm not going to wince everytime I undoubtably kiss/whack/hit-at-full-speed the track barrier. A touring car may come in the future, but I don't want to 'run before I can walk' racing wise, just learn the ins and outs of racing first, and see how it goes from there...
  23. SteveB

    Mini Racing

    After going to the club on Friday, the mini racing does look like fun, but... there were only 3 people racing in the mini class, and they weren't 'beginners', but club regulars who are quite experienced. They have only been running the class for a few weeks though, and they have had up to 5 entrants, so it might grow (especially as 2 people actually won M03's in the end of year raffle ). There were about 15 people racing in the 1/10 touring cars though, in 2 classes (stock 27T/13.5T & pro-stock 19T/10.5T). So now I'm in 2 minds about whether to get a mini or a TC instead, thinking that I may well graduate to the TC's eventually anyway (if the mini entrant count drops, or if I get bored of it). The initial start-up cost would be more, but it would work out cheaper in the long run, as I already have a list of mini hop-ups that cost as much as the car itself, that I'd be itching to buy and fit straight away...
  24. SteveB

    Mini Racing

    Nope, Worcester (worcestermcc.com).
  25. SteveB

    Mini Racing

    I just downloaded an M03 manual and can now see that a LiPo pack with square edges definately won't fit, so that rules out the majority if LiPo packs, certainly all of the 4000+ capacity ones I've seen. I have seen the stick-pack-shaped Yeah Racing 3200 for less than 30, so that looks like a good choice. And I will make sure to use a LiPo cutoff, or get an ESC that has one built-in. So I could run two 5-minute sport-tuned powered races on a lower capacity LiPo... The club runs on a Friday night, so I'm going over this evening to see what equipment people are currently using, and also to see if the pit area (corridor outside a school hall) has mains power points for the charger, as I wouldn't fancy having to take a heavy 12V battery along. If they don't, arriving with 2 or 4 ready charged battery packs would fine for me.
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