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  1. Hello Tamiya Club. I’ve decided to share my first hobby grade RC buggy build, the Tamiya Frog, or Frogs, (see below). I had a Tyco Fast Traxx back in the day and have done quite a bit of building and painting Warhammer minis but for a change of pace (literally) I’ve decided to venture in to the wonderful world of RC. I went ahead and bought myself a Frog (and the misses a Grasshopper, to race against) and set about painting the driver, because to me there seemed to be no point building the car until there’s someone to drive it! I picked up a dark grey King Blackfoot chassis off ebay as it looked nicer than the standard grey one and started building the kit with the bundled Tamiya ESC and a cheap servo/receiver that came as a starter bundle. I didn’t like the extra orange ESC wire not connected to anything and the brown Planet receiver looks awful. I wanted to build as nice a Frog as possible so began looking in to what bits I actually thought would be nice. I'm not really sure if I’m going way over the top or buying the wrong things as I’m just getting to grips with RC stuff. I switched the ESC for the Hobbywing Quicrun 1060 which is way neater than the TBLE-02 and decided on a cool looking black fast response Savox SC-1257 servo and, thinking I might want more buggies in the future, I've ordered a Futaba 3PV with antenna less receiver. These more compact gubbins should fit better in the slightly cramped Frog space frame. I also did a bit of research and found that a quite a few custom parts are available for the ORV chassis vehicles, and although they’re expensive they seemed great for customising your buggy, so I ordered some random parts, a selection of lights off ebay and some other bits and bobs (MIP Ball Diff, faster Motor, etc), and I’m now in the process of trying to finish it all off. When I bought the buggy I also bought a second body because I knew I wanted to paint 2 bodies, so I could have 2 different colours (I like painting things), having bought all these extra bits I seemed to have acquired more than half of another Frog, so in some strange way the idea of building a second Frog came about. So here's where I'm at: The "Alpha Frog" (on the right) is nearly finished but is waiting for the Receiver to arrive along with a UGT Tuned Motor, it also requires a bit more work wiring up the lights and adjusting the steering. The other chassis is project "Blazing Frog", (I swapped my original grey frame for the Monster Beetle one). I'll build the MIP Ball Diff. into the new gearbox, but then I'll swap it into the Alpha Frog, because I'm thinking of going with the AMPRO double wishbone rear suspension on the Blazing Frog, which I believe has a bit of a gearbox brace built in to help keep the standard diff. gears in check? (I can always upgrade to MIP later if it needs it). Painting the first body took me the best part of a week, trimming, masking, making mistakes having to clean it and start over. I’m still not totally happy with how it came out as I missed some specks of dirt when I was cleaning it and dust landed on it between coats, which show up on the yellow, but the stickers covered the worst of it and at least it’s done. The front lights had to be re worked so the wires would go through the body neatly, and I’m working on a mount for a rear brake light. I’ve used as much stainless steel hardware as possible, (I might upgrade to titanium at a later date), the turnbuckles are titanium and I used the Tamiya High Torque servo horn and low friction balls and cups. I’ve added AW-119 detail stainless steel mesh to the sides of the space frame and extensively used 3M dual lock low profile tape to create the semi-permanent attachment for the driver, ESC, Rx, etc. I've ordered a driver, some shocks and wheels for the Blazing Frog and I'm still waiting for a few more bits to arrive before I can do much more on either of these builds. Am I insane? Probably. Feedback is more than welcome. Thanks for looking.
  2. Has anyone tried comparing the Lunchbox 3rd Shock versus the Ampro Transmission Brace? I'm trying to decide which is the better option. The Ampro Transmission Brace is 3D printed through Shapeways, and can be seen here: http://shpws.me/MVjN I'm considering the Ampro brace because it's cheaper and requires less modification. The creators also say it works better. My concern is that 3D printed materials are typically weaker than other plastics. Related to that, there's actually a free version I could print on our Makerbot, available through Thingiverse, but I'm pretty certain that the Makerbot prints are weaker than Shapeways, which have a much higher melting temperature. By the way, this is my first Lunchbox. I built it just a few weeks ago and love it. So far I've only done basic mods / hop-ups, like the bearings and adjusting the front suspension to level out the wheels. I'm still using the standard friction shocks.
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