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  1. Well, the build is actually finished so I understand am breaking the rules a bit, but I'll try to talk about the process and share some learnings so hopefully it is not banned after so much work. Sneak peek of the result: Decision process This is my first on-road car, tired of looking for suitable spaces to run my buggies, and having so many parking lots and sports fields available around I felt like it was the time to hit the road. Well, I am lying, I do have a WPL D12 Suzuki Carry van, that I enjoyed customising and improving, but even though it is a great car for the price, it will always be a toy. So, my requirements were: Cheap, or al least not crazy expensive No need to hop it up to get a decent, drivable car Easy to drive ( I am not an experienced driver ) Small, not taking too much space of my place and scaring my wife Nice "classic looking" bodies available After several advices from folks here I decided to go for an m-chassis. Tamiya was the initial option as usual, specially because of the bodies available, but then you need to hup-up a lot to get a good car and I went through it already.. At that time I didn't know that FWD m-chassis cars were recommended for beginners, so I started looking for 4WD, which limited Tamiya options too. Then I got into ABC hobby gambado, but just FWD, HPI's and it's greatly detailed bodies not even on sale anymore.. And then I found this video review from RC driver which got me convinced about being the perfect solution for me. I bought it for 160€ preassembled at a local distributor ( current Europe price as a kit is 130€ ). If I had to buy it again I would not go for the preassembled one, as it was very poorly executed, I had to almost reassemble it again. But besides that, the chassis is amazing and in my opinion way far from any Tamiya plasticky M-chassis ( I might be wrong ) This is a racing car, all reinforced fiber glass and composite, full ball bearings, oil dampers and a lot of clever solutions. The body selection: The next step was getting a nice body. Again, I went to Tamiya as a first option, although none of it's bodies are originally 4WD, I liked the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Golf MK1, Alpine.. but I found quite difficult and expensive finding these bodies with all the extra parts and decals.. so I ended looking for any makers. As said before, HPI has great stuff on M-chassis, like the Datsun 510, but the wheel base is 225mm instead of the 210mm of my XM1S, so it became no option ( there are kits to enlarge the XM1S to 225mm ) So my next reliable option became the Japanese brand ABC Hobby. Their websites and overall info is quite poor, but they have lovely bodies, they also sell both BRE Datsuns on 210mm base, but I got in love with the Honda City turbo II. A Mini equivalent car, fat and tall with a great looking body seemingly easy to paint and finish. The process: Chassis Once reassembling some parts of the chassis and making some geometry adjustments, the most difficult part of this build was matching the body and the chassis. The body posts of the XM1S are totally incompatible with the City body, starting with the front body posts which are in the front bumper. As you can see firsly I had to cut the bumper foam to fit the body and secondly replace the original damper tower with a new one which includes holes for the body posts. For the rear part, I had to add several spacers to the posts, so these protrude through the roof and not the rear glass which is almost vertical. Once done that, it was still quite complex defining where the bodypost holes had to go, mostly because the front ones where just on the edges of the intercooler bump, but I was lucky to do the right calculations. Body build ABC body is great, not as tough as Tamiya stuff but super well detailed including the back of the lights and back number plate. I decided to mimmick the original Silver color from the 80`s product pictures using Tamiya PS-48 Metallic Silver although I was tempted to go for a Ferrari Red too, I think it would look even more aggressive. I don't regret, I like the Silver, but I confess I hate using metallic painting, it's specially troublesome and feels even more toxic. I also decided to use smoke gray for the windows as I had no interiors to show for the car nd it actually makes it look more sporty. Abc Hobies supplies great decals with the kit, even some of them in different colors if you paint it differently, but I must confess that cutting all them being some so rounded and thin was a nightmare.. Also applying them even with soapy water.. The key here was using a hot blower for the windshield and windows, as soon as I applied heat the decals adapted incredibly well to the edges. Special mention to the lights frame, they supply two decals per light for that! A very weird one almost impossible to apply, I sweated like a pig and I am not happy with te result. Oh I forgot that also adding micron tape to the body was specially difficult, so many sharp curves! This is the final result: I used initially the Alfa Romero Giulia wheels, trying to mimic the ones in the product picture but the result was a bit dull, so I decided to use Tamiya 8 spokes and I think it looks perfect, like made on purpose. What I added to the kit: I wanted it to be a bit different from the stock kit, feeling a bit more realistic and sportive, so I did some custom decals. I found this website rajikaru.co.uk selling "Period Correct Japanese Decals and More!" and I made miniature versions of them to be used with my own Japanese car. I print them on white adhesive polyester paper using a laser printer and add them a UV coat. In this case I used all the remaining white space of the original decals as the UV coat because it is very thin and good. I did a number plate, fitting with the car category (55), I designed a custom sticker with a Bulldog picture and "Bulldog" written in Japanese because this car was used to be called bulldog because of its face, Also added a small "Safe Drive Tokyo" sticker to the intecooler bump and finally added an EBISU circuit sticker. I was tempted to add more stuff but I didn' t want it to start looking like a drifting car. Oh I almost forgot to mention that I did the same thing with the tires stickers, but these don't have the UC coat because they should look matte and these tires are just for the shelf. Driving the car: Boy, this thing is a blast.. I am using a 13.5T brushless motor and it's fast as crazy, but the handling, even on a dusty basketball field with hard slicks is amazing and I just set the car to the recommended settings no fine tuning. I totally recommend it. Well hope you like it guys, any questions are welcome.
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