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  1. So the summer season is now upon us, and Chippenham Model Car Club (CMCC) are venturing out from the safety of the school sports hall for the first time in 2016. All over the county, people are dusting off their buggies and charging up their grass-stained hardcase lipos ready to hit the turf. And, in true English fashion, the good weather of the weekend had broken, the clouds are rolling in and the forecast is for rain! I've spent the winter racing indoors at West Wilds Model Car Club (WWMCC), but Chippenham is only another 15 minutes up the road and it's much nicer to be out in the fresh air than stuck inside a windowless civic hall. So last night, much to the annoyance of my wife, I passed up on a round at WWMCC so I could drag my B4.1 Factory Team down out of the loft and make sure it still works. It's been a couple of years at least since it was last run, maybe longer. It was put back in the box after the last race and, apart from taking out the receiver and transponder, not touched since. I was surprised (and obviously pleased) to find everything pretty much as I left it. Nothing has rusted or seized, everything turns smoothly and there weren't any forgotten breakages. With a bit of Walking The Himalayas to add some white noise to the background, I grabbed a spare receiver and transponder and got it all wired up ready to go. First thing to find was my hardcase stick packs, expensive Turnigy Nano-Tech 5.3s that I bought some while ago and didn't use much. Imagine my dismay at seeing them both slightly bulging - naturally I stored them with full capacity, expecting to use them again, and because they don't fit my Tamiya bashers, I never did. They've had a few top-ups since they were stored but I haven't cycled them in probably over a year. Anyway, they both read near-full charge and the Core RC charger topped them off without making them explode, so they can't be too far gone yet. While they were sitting in the corner doing their ticking timebomb thing, I set to sorting the car's electrics. I actually went through 3 new (unopened) ORX receivers before I got one to bind - for some reason they were all on strike but eventually (after switching from the Etronix brushless speedo to the Probe WP in my M03) I got a signal out of one of them. Transferring it quickly to my B4 before it could unbind itself, I had some action. I threw in a charged pack and went for a test-run. I don't have any grass in my house and the nearest green space (only 5 mins walk away) is too overgrown for a 1:10 buggy, so I had a very careful run up and down the tarmac. I think I should get some tarmac tyres for the B4 so I can run it on the lane behind my house, just for setting up. Those tyres (I'm pretty sure they're the super-soft Prolines that we use for the final race, after the temperatures drops below the dewpoint) will shred themselves in seconds on tarmac. It's a pity I didn't think of getting the buddy out earlier, as I'd have liked to have my 2016 paint scheme on the shell instead of the crappy one I have (a personal favourite design of mine, but I accidentally picked up the "dull ruddy orange" instead of the "fluorescent red" when putting on the final colour so it looks totally lame), but there just wasn't time to get a new body ordered and painted in time. In other news, the wife was terribly upset that I interrupted her plans by staying home last night, so I promised I'd be out late tonight to give her plenty of space to do whatever it was she was planning on doing. This was before the weather reports started forecasting rain, so there's every chance I'll be looking for a pub to sit in for a few hours if the race is called off... Rain is just starting to hit the windows here! Anyway, fancy paint jobs don't win races, and I haven't raced buggies in some time, so I'll probably be back to basics in the slow heat and challenging to relearn my car. Watch this space for updates of "yay! racing outdoors is brilliant!" or "boo, it rained all night!" or "I broke my car again" soon
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