Jump to content
Kol__

Kol's Top Force Custom build

Recommended Posts

Another minor update on a few parts...

I bought and fitted the Xtra Speed front shock tower mount.

BgQlqxH.jpeg

This is the only Xtra Speed part I've had any major problems with fitment. Once installed it moves the front shock tower back ever so slightly back, meaning that the nose of the body shell gets pinched between the back of the shock tower and the front of the gearbox and this makes the shell bulge. It also then leaves a slight gap at the front and so doesn't snug up against the front of the gearbox.

DcGbsZE.jpeg

It also closed up the already tight tolerance between the left hand side camber adjuster turnbuckle ball end, where it fits to the rear of the front shock tower and almost touches the front gearbox case on that side due to the shape of the bevel gears on that side. So that part has been removed and I've ordered one from Custom RC instead.

Also, I found a couple of Tamiya DF03 blue hard turnbuckles in my parts bin, so I've fitted them to the front camber adjusters - they fit lengthwise, just! I've ordered two more sets from PJ for the front steering adjusters and the rear camber adjusters.

T10XqhC.jpeg

And finally I also picked up a couple of Xtra Speeds body mounts in blue. Yes, I am certainly getting carried away with adding blue alloy elements to this build, which is particularly strange as I've never been that keen on masses of blue alloy tbh, got the bug for it on this build I guess😵

420qEcL.jpeg

They seem to fit ok as battery mount pin retainers, although not sure the thread is particularly tight. Need to pick up two more for the other side now.

1Tigvro.jpeg

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chassis build pretty much complete now, minus most of the electronics and a few other little bits left to do.

0qL99Nd.jpeg

The shocks are mounted on the lowest settings just for now, as it looks good nice and low imo. Once the buggy is ready to run, I'll be adjusting the shock positions to give more ground clearance.

GhTdxwE.jpeg

The wheels and tyres are likely to be swapped our for Egress versions.

4uugHgx.jpeg

c1fntrm.jpeg

zO4uczL.jpeg

1ZTowMk.jpeg

oBJ8XKd.jpeg

kHN5oJP.jpeg

fngPKR3.jpeg

VxH8Nbi.jpeg

Will be documenting the shell design next👍

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such a beautiful looking chassis isn't it? I remember these coming out in 1991. They were quite competitive at my local club. Looking forward to seeing the body. I assume you've got something planned other than a standard Top Force body?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/30/2023 at 12:30 AM, toyolien said:

Such a beautiful looking chassis isn't it? I remember these coming out in 1991. They were quite competitive at my local club. Looking forward to seeing the body. I assume you've got something planned other than a standard Top Force body?

Yeah, the EVO is a special build that's for sure. The development of the chassis from DF-01 plastic tub to FRP/carbon fibre plates, whilst perhaps a little rudimentary in the sense that Tamiya didn't upgrade the gearboxes housings etc., it's still a great build experience and just nice to work on in general.

Originally I did pick up a Revive RC Top Force body set, including the driver insert and extended undertray. However, for this build I decided to keep it simple from a body perspective and go with a 2021 EVO pre-painted body set. This was largely due to how well, for me at least, a neon yellow design sits on a dark metallic grey base colour. And I had myself a sneak preview of the potential for what that could look like at the end of 2022 when I popped the neon yellow star dish wheels on my stock EVO build, prior to applying the orange/yellow stickers on the shell. That sowed the seed for this build and with this one my focus is more on creating, hopefully, a good twist on the original sticker design with the afore mentioned colour palette.

On 12/30/2023 at 9:31 AM, Grumpy pants said:

@Kol__ great return to TC buddy 👍

Thanks mate, good to be back on here ...with all the usual suspects😉Hope you're well buddy👍

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Kol__ said:

Yeah, the EVO is a special build that's for sure. The development of the chassis from DF-01 plastic tub to FRP/carbon fibre plates, whilst perhaps a little rudimentary in the sense that Tamiya didn't upgrade the gearboxes housings etc., it's still a great build experience and just nice to work on in general.

Originally I did pick up a Revive RC Top Force body set, including the driver insert and extended undertray. However, for this build I decided to keep it simple from a body perspective and go with a 2021 EVO pre-painted body set. This was largely due to how well, for me at least, a neon yellow design sits on a dark metallic grey base colour. And I had myself a sneak preview of the potential for what that could look like at the end of 2022 when I popped the neon yellow star dish wheels on my stock EVO build prior to applying the orange/yellow stickers on the shell. That sowed the seed for this build and with this one my focus is more on creating, hopefully, a good twist on the original sticker design with the score mentioned colour palette.

I did wonder if you'd seen the Revive body. Looking forward to seeing this one run. This and the Egress (to me) and two of the finest, most iconic looking buggies that Tamiya have ever done.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2023 at 12:10 AM, toyolien said:

I did wonder if you'd seen the Revive body. Looking forward to seeing this one run. This and the Egress (to me) and two of the finest, most iconic looking buggies that Tamiya have ever done.

Agreed, they certainly are 😎 I have a 2013 Egress and an Egress Black both NIB to build at a future date - no one is to inform my wife of this fact, or at least not the cost of those kits😵😳😂

I'm tempted to make the 2013 a shelfer and the Black a runner, but either way I will be doing a custom shell and design for one of them (in addition to the og shells).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the nicest designs Tamiya have ever done.  I really like how functional and simple it is.  It looks great with all the upgrade parts.  I’d love to load a saddle pack of matched Ni-Cd cells and give it a run.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sticker design...

Like many of us I utilise the great service and wealth of stock of stickers at MCI. One of the best aspects of Nathaneal's offering is of course the option to customise the stickers by changing the colours of the original designs.

Knowing I wanted to have a strong neon yellow element to this build, I hopped on the website and started tinkering with the design for the original Top Force Evolution. I ended up pairing the yellow with two tones of blue and as I wanted to have yellow stickers on the wing I opted for a second set of stickers, mostly in the yellow, which will also give some options to add in more yellow if desired.

4rBt0mM.jpeg

Now, it's worth pointing out that whilst MCI's stickers are great, in particular with regard to the correct thickness and adhesion, they are not perfect and are not quite a match for the quality of the original Tamiya sticker sets. This is widely documented on this forum, and it is no way whatsoever a slight against Nathaneal or his products. As I understand it, it is simply a limitation of the files and printing techniques being used and some sticker sets and/or orders can be worse affected than others. So whilst I have no issues with any of that, I'll just point out some of the quirks of the stickers and the reasons why I'll only tend to use MCI on runner builds and not shelfers, unless there are no other options.

W6dF0NT.jpeg

mofCRyY.jpeg

Simply speaking objectively, the two issues that bug me can be seen in the images above (the Cool Power sticker I removed an binned). These being the jagged edges to the curved areas and also the mismatch between the top colours and the white backing print, which almost gives a sort of white drop shadow to the stickers. The latter is the trickiest one for me on this build. On the stock EVO build I did last Christmas, I went to the trouble to remove as much of the clear film from the original Tamiya stickers as I possibly could. A decision I regretted shortly after adopting that approach, as it was painstaking and took a lot of time to do correctly. With the help of a magnifying lamp, the results were pretty decent in the end though...

HWfvnCH.jpeg

And as you can imagine from the above, removing as much as possible of the clear from all the spaces, nooks and crannies between the letters for example is a bit of a full on process.

Vts6nji.jpeg

zSdsDU2.jpeg

Slightly easier to remove the clear between the main zig zags...

osSBA7g.jpeg

So taking that into account, I didn't want to take the same approach for this runner build. However, I quickly realised that due to the dark metallic grey of the pre-painted 2021 EVO shell combined with the mismatch in the stickers meant that white 'drop shadow' was really going to stand out👎 So again I cut out as much of the clear as possible for this whole build😵🤦‍♂️

The wing...

IgkgxxG.jpeg

The results aren't perfect, but they're good enough for this build imo.

XwQgMCf.jpeg

An example of utilising some of the extra stickers from the second neon yellow set of stickers, with the Evolution text and a neon yellow line being a minor deviation from the stock Top Force Evolution sticker layout.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The body shell, as mentioned previously, is the 2021 EVO pre-painted in box art PS-23 Gun Metal. Tools are a mixture of scissors and scalpel blade as usual...

PnbRTiI.jpeg

The photo below shows that the triangular blue side sticker took a bit of wear during application and had some stretch marks from pulling up and repositioning, as can be seen by the distressed white area towards the bottom middle, and even then the placement isn't quite right, being too high at the front end🤦‍♂️

XDo07pV.jpeg

I wasn't happy with the distressed appearance, so wanted to cover it up. The solution I came up with was to cut a small strip off the bottom of the exact same sticker on the neon yellow decal sheet, and as the Advanced Distributors logo sticker was very poorly printed on both my sticker sheets, I went with the slightly larger Tamiya twin star logo as well. I also feel that the yellow stripe ties in quite nicely with the yellow window surrounds, offering more balance to the colour scheme.

V9oWUir.jpeg

Below is another example of the drop shadow issue (although this one seems rather precise, did the original Evolution have a drop shadow on this sticker? I don't think it did). I'd already cut as much off as possible pre-application and once it was on I was tempted to just leave it as is, particularly as I don't like cutting stickers once applied to the shell as it obviously scores the shell.

e00bwmC.jpeg

However, that didn't sit right with me, so I removed the white as carefully as I could. Again, not perfect, but good enough for this build.

mkbHbhL.jpeg

Mostly done by this point and having initially not been too sure if my choices of blues were going to come together with the neon yellow and dark grey when first starting to apply the stickers, I was happier with the outcome at this stage. Also, I had hoped for tinted windows on the blue sticker sheet, but I think my colour changes turned the windows dark grey. I think initially they were just black, do MCI do tinted windows? I added some additional stickers to the top and bottom of the front window and top of the air scoop, trying to bring more blue into the middle of the shell, and also put some yellow text on the roof - might be a bit much.

8UqK3ou.jpeg

Below is yet another example of the white drop shadow element. I'd tried my best to remove it all, but cutting these converging angles can be trickiest the best of times.

JefYE4r.jpeg

As opposed to cutting off the white with the sticker already stuck to the shell, I went for the other approach of taking some yellow from the other sticker sheet to cover it up.

FpC8MTK.jpeg

Not sure how durable a thin sticker strip like this will be, but again I like how it ties in with the window surrounds...

IfIWID0.jpeg

I felt the front lower edges of the shell were lacking something.

JFDiErc.jpeg

So following the theme of adding a few more more stripes that I'd adopted throughout the build, I cut some more from the yellow sticker sheet

4SFOFcM.jpeg

And added some thin stripes below the Tamiya logos

V1IZlDf.jpeg

Then gave the shell and wing a good blast with the hairdryer to ensure the best adhesion possible. Build nearly complete now, need sort the undertray and then get some photos of the finished buggy👍

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Wheel_Nut said:

One of the nicest designs Tamiya have ever done.  I really like how functional and simple it is.  It looks great with all the upgrade parts.  I’d love to load a saddle pack of matched Ni-Cd cells and give it a run.

Yeah I think you're right, part of the reason it's so good a chassis is due to the simplicity of it. Couple that with carbon parts and then chuck in a host of hopups and it's a real joy to build and work on👍

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2023 at 5:46 PM, matisse said:

Fabulous build, love it

Thanks mate, appreciate that👍 Hope you're well buddy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The build is nearly done now. There are still some bits n bobs to do and I need to sort the electronics. The undertray is all painted now, so need to do a little update on that. Aesthetics wise though the buggy is pretty much complete.

I picked up a set of the Egress tyres ages ago, to pair with the neon yellow star dish wheels. Looking for other 1/10th 4WD 12mm hex buggy wheels in neon yellow, options seem to be pretty thin on the ground, unless anyone else knows of some alternatives? However, more recently I did pick up a set of the JC Racing Egress wheels in neon yellow and paired with the Egress tyres I think they suit this build pretty well.

Man the neon yellow is a hard colour to photograph correctly, in particular the wheels...

GFfBXAY.jpeg

Xqh229r.jpeg

bhW75MK.jpeg

4kKlyAW.jpeg

d9FYgxQ.jpeg

kXZOWwF.jpeg

  • Like 19

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic.  Excellent paint job. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on how it runs 👍👌

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks fantastic! Great job - I really like the yellow edging to the blue.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely stunning, great attention to detail on those stickers combining the 2 sets!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being such an infrequent visitor lately I totally missed this thread until now!

Amazing work @Kol__. The level of detail in Chais is matched by your great work on the shell. I know some of what you’ve had to do is to cover for printing errors but I honestly think everything you’ve done adds to the look. Absolutely awesome.

I said this when you did your last version but the EVO really does have some amazing lines and stance is so good.  I’ve got to get one some day. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Kol__ said:

 

 

bhW75MK.jpeg

 

 

 

The profile of a Tamiya Top Force, just Fantastic IMHO. This color scheme is a winner for me.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Kol__ said:

 

bhW75MK.jpeg

 

What an absolute beauty! 

You have made the model your own with your low rider TFs. 

I think you said you'll raise it up for running? I'm interested to see running ride height. I think it'll still look great. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, toyolien said:

Fantastic.  Excellent paint job. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on how it runs 👍👌

Thanks mate, yes I'm hoping it will be a good runner, especially with the new diff mods I've ordered today😊

16 hours ago, mtbkym01 said:

Absolutely stunning, great attention to detail on those stickers combining the 2 sets!

Cheers, I have been known to be a bit of a detail man, that's for sure mate😂

14 hours ago, GeeWings said:

Being such an infrequent visitor lately I totally missed this thread until now!

Amazing work @Kol__. The level of detail in Chais is matched by your great work on the shell. I know some of what you’ve had to do is to cover for printing errors but I honestly think everything you’ve done adds to the look. Absolutely awesome.

I said this when you did your last version but the EVO really does have some amazing lines and stance is so good.  I’ve got to get one some day. 

Thanks G!😎 Yeah I think the desperation to cover up issues with the stickers actually ended up taking the design in a better direction👍

13 hours ago, Tamiyastef said:

The profile of a Tamiya Top Force, just Fantastic IMHO. This color scheme is a winner for me.

Cheers mate, I definitely ended up going full bore with the colour scheme, something that at more than one time during the process I was doubting, but happy with the result.

13 hours ago, BuggyDad said:

What an absolute beauty! 

You have made the model your own with your low rider TFs. 

I think you said you'll raise it up for running? I'm interested to see running ride height. I think it'll still look great. 

Thanks bud👍 Yeah, I've got the electronics fitted now, although they still need a tidy up. And with the full weight of motor, servo, ESC, receiver and a Nimh battery, it's actually pretty heavy and the springs I think are perhaps a little on the soft side😳 I've readjusted their mounting points to give more ground clearance and wound down the adjuster collars a fair bit, but it still feels a little undersprung. Actually running the buggy will tell the story. I'll get some shots of it up on here when she's RTR👍

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update on the undertray...

For this runner, I went with the extended undertray from Revive RC. Wanted to something a little different, but in keeping with the colour scheme, so it's not crazy out there, but still suits the build I hope.

Undertray cut

B9YrOdy.jpeg

Edges sanded and inside scuffed with a 600 grit Tamiya sanding pad, just to take the sheen off it and give the paint a key

AVtqA1F.jpeg

Went with a racing stripe design for the first time and used a piece of 3mm tape to get a straight enough, even gap between the large and small stripes

QDLVocr.jpeg

JYRIlrU.jpeg

Had about a third of a can of PS-16 metallic blue left from a previous build. Managed to get three costs on it, just!

2ZFQTQt.jpeg

And backed it in black in an attempt to darken the blue slightly

U5Wulw0.jpeg

IEzO5bO.jpeg

A few coats of neon yellow up the stripes...

Ij9a75j.jpeg

Backed with white to make the neon as bright as poss. Then shot the whole lot with black again to tidy it up.

rgyeTly.jpeg

Finished article...

I3p1mvN.jpeg

cYLPBba.jpeg

Reason for the blue colour choice was that this little sliver of the undertray shows through on the sides

rjKvk6z.jpeg


With the rear extended beyond where the original stops, this undertray protects the full length of the chassis from front to back and covers the rear gearbox case. However, there is a bit of an issue, as it uses the same 4x mounting holes as the original, meaning there is now a bit of distance between the rear set of securing screws and the rear end of the tray. This means that as the 4x screws are tightened up the rear of the undertray bends away (hangs down) from the chassis. An effect that is made more apparent as the sides are velcro'd onto the body shell. It's not a killer issue, and for now I've put a small tab of Velcro on the underside of the rear gearbox case to secure it in place - not the ideal solution though, as Velcro is fairly thick.

  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely finished! What a start to 2024!

What’s next?..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...