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Ferruz

Mercedes C11 Kenwood (47484): first time building a Group C chassis

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That looks awesome! Well worth the effort. 

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Oh boy, cant wait to see it all stickered up :wub:

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6 hours ago, Ferruz said:

The moment when you finally peel off the protective layer and see the result is just so fulfilling, can't put a price on that! 20240224-143442.jpg

Look at that shine... it will never ever be that shiny again!20240224-144341.jpg

Looks like an excellent result @FerruzūüėéūüĎćūüĎć

Painting is certainly the most challenging part of most builds imo, in particular the masking element. That polycarbonate cleaner is a total life saver isn't it!!

What happend with the paint reaction between black and red coats? I haven't head of that before, was it not leaving the black for long enough before applying the red or something? Seems weird that it waited until the 3rd coat to spring it's nasty surprise on you!ūü•≤ Sounds like you recovered it well though.

Anyway, you can relax now and enjoy the rest of the buildūüôā Look forward to seeing the finished car buddyūüĎć

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Thank you so much everybody for all the positive feedback ūüėÄ

@Kol__ good question! The first couple coats of red went on with no issues, probably because I was very careful in keeping them light. I must have been too heavy handed with the third coat, and the solvent of the extra fresh paint sitting on the dry one was probably enough to melt it again and blur my lines.

That's the explanation I came up with, it could be wrong but it makes sense to me. The black had been on for at least 48 hours before I sprayed the red, so I doubt that by then it wasn't fully cured (ps paints tend to dry and cure relatively fast to begin with, more so if sitting in a dry, warm indoor environment like in this case). All the four areas where the blurring happened did show evidence of overspraying, which seems to confirm the theory.

Speaking of PS paints, in my experience the are quite different from each other in terms of coverage, drying time, and even smell and feel. They don't all behave the same.

I once backed some fluorescent yellow with white barely an hour after it was sprayed, with impeccable results. Days after -on the same shell,lol- I went with metallic blue, which was as beautiful as it was aggressive to the white. It did a lot of damage in some areas, melting the white and the yellow. In that case I sure did the mistake of painting light colors first, but it didn't feel like I oversprayed tge blue so that reaction was still a bit weird.

Then again, the light blue of my Terra Scorcher has never reacted with the fluorescent orange or its white backing ūü§Ē

So yep, in my experience PS paints are all different. They are¬†hard to deal with, that is! But treat them right and they'll make you happy ūüėČ

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Slow but steady progress on the C11 body shell. I think I am done detailing the front light buckets, at least for the time being.

I tried to make the outer lights look as realistic as possible, while not being functional (I might change that in the future). The inner light area presented the perfect surface for a LED addition, so I just went for that. 

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Rear lights will also be present, as they are so easily installed.

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While at it, I did more work on the rear wing as well. Maybe it's me getting slow, but it feels like I've spent so much time on the wing alone, and it's not even fully done.

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The main body shell is currently a big mess of fingerprints and soapy residue, so I'll spare you that sight for the time being.

In any case, it's definitely getting there and I like what I see so far.

While the car as it is will be done soon, I am considering adding some scratch built rearview mirrors and antenna, along with a cockpit driver if I'll ever be able to find one. There's always the option to scratch build that as well.

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It snowed heavily all day yesterday and we stayed home, so I finally got to work on the remaining decals.
After that, I still felt like progressing so I started taking care of some of the details that still needed sorting out like rear lights, wing and the home brewed front tow ring. A few hours later, the car was completed!

There's always room for improvement and details, of course: for instance, I am definitely going to build the antenna and the rearview mirrors from scratch at some point, while the empty shell is screaming for a driver cockpit set, but for the time being, once I tidy up the lights' wiring I am calling it Done :D

I realize that the custom graphics section is supposed to be the interesting part of this otherwise pretty straightforward build thread, so thanks for sticking with it and reading this far. I am pleased with how it turned out, and I hope you too will like the result.

I took the first photos yesterday, during a risky livingroom test run. I wanted to capture the color of the front lights, which I've envisioned to be this from the moment I chose the livery.
The "official" photoshoot of the finished model happened today, luckily the weather was perfect and worth the wait.

Here's the Mercedes Benz C11 Kenwood, nice and fresh.
Can't wait to go run it -still no clue where ahahah but I'll figure it out.

‚öęūüĒī‚öęūüĒī‚öęūüĒī

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Maaaaaaaaaate what a beauty ūüĎćūüŹĽ love the tinted headlights.¬†
I hope you find somewhere to run it soon, as it will be a sight to behold.

Excellent job. 

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Hands down the best looking C11 I have seen. Congratulazioni! ;)

On the subject of "where to run it" I am happy to report that the Group C chassis can be set extremely high - contrary to a tenacious misconception affecting all pan cars. Also the foam tires not only offer exceptional grip (but we knew that...) but they are also not nearly as fragile as I feared they would be. Having gone over some rather sharp pebbles and on occasion having spun and skidded unintentionally I did not get the slightest tear of wear mark. One thing is true though, the car will cover an extravagant amount of ground in no time at all with the Sport Tuned engine. So you will probably want a larger running area than your vintage postal buggies.

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That's a seriously good looking car. If it wasn't for the foam tyres it could very well have been a 1:1 car. The details are mindblowing. The front lights are a peak.

 

Fingers crossed that you find a suitable  spot for running it. Cheers. Hope the reward beer was good in the lovely sunlight. 

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Wish we could see it, but the photo links seem to be broken. ūüė•

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Thank you guys, I'm glad you like the car.

Sorry @TurnipJF that you can't see the photos. I'll try posting them again in smaller clusters, hopefully this time it will work.

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@Pylon80¬†I'm¬†aware of the adjustable ride height (I've learned a lot about it reading through your group C thread ;)), but the issue remains. Roads and parking lots are always in bad shape around here, it's not easy to find a spot free from cracks, gravel, bumps or debris, and gets even harder if a bigger area is needed. It's no coincidence I run mostly offroaders ūüėÖ

The C chassis is adjustable but it doesn't have the setup and the suspensions of a touring car. I think that if the C11 was to hit a pebble at the speeds you are warning me about, no amount of ground clearance would save her from doom :(


I don't wanna risk too much for now, the chassis is completely new to me and I need to learn howto drive it, so I don't mind putting in the time to find a good playground before I hit the throttle.

I think I'll start with exploring different areas such as tennis courts and running tracks, along with inquiring at a local RC drift club which,if I remember correctly, has a nice flat practice track that I could maybe try out.

About the tires being grippy and relatively durable, that is really good news!


Photos 

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I hope it worked this time around. Are the photos visible?

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Absolutely beautiful @Ferruz great choice with the livery and so well executed.

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Thank you @GeeWings! Glad you like the livery. It took a long time to get to this point but yes, I'm super happy with the result now that I see it done :D 

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1 hour ago, Ferruz said:

I hope it worked this time around. Are the photos visible?

They sure did! What a lovely car - well worth the effort I'd say!

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Outstanding result @Ferruz, great concept and execution, well done

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11 hours ago, Ferruz said:

I don't wanna risk too much for now, the chassis is completely new to me and I need to learn howto drive it, so I don't mind putting in the time to find a good playground before I hit the throttle.

I did the first couple of runs of mine without the body and I am glad I did, since the brakes were somehow improperly set and I hit the garage door on my driveway! Fortunately that happened at very low speed and so square that only the bumper ever touched anything - no damage.

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That is a great idea @Pylon80! Glad that the car had no damage.

Thank you folks for the kind words, I am glad you like the car!

I took it for another slow indoor spin, just to see it move. Maybe it's the old battery, but it seems docile enough when just inching forward and barely moving. It is silent, too. I wonder if it stays that way once you speed up

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On 3/27/2024 at 2:04 AM, Ferruz said:

It is silent, too. I wonder if it stays that way once you speed up

The chunky 0.6 module gears make a bit of noise once you get up to speed, but it is still quieter than most touring cars. 

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Apologies for the blatant copy/paste from the general section, but I wantes this post to be part of the build thread as well.

I went to an RC track facility for the first time! So this will be a blabber and photo heavy post.

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There is a big RC complex not too far away from me. While I have never been to a track, this place offers all you can think of in the matter. It boasts an on road track, an oval and a packed clay off road track, all of which is indoors. There is also a huge hobby shop and a snack bar, all under the same roof, and one more off road track right outside for the good season. It is a very similar situation to my go-to wintertime indoor skatepark, this setup is what's needed with the overly harsh climate we deal with.

 I've been contemplating going to check it out for well over three years, but I'd always end up talking myself out of it for all sort of reasons: I have no track experience, place looks way too pro for my tiny Tamiyas, my French is probably not good enough to discuss RC... and on and on.

Last week I finished my Mercedes C11, and since then the itch to drive it has been increasing exponentially every day. Life, on the other hand, has been particularly
challenging lately, which made me wanna treat myself to something good. These two factors made me summon up the courage to pack up a bunch of cars and go check out that place.

Am I glad I did! I had a great time, and finally got to experience the feeling of a proper RC track, both on and off road, the pit lane, the people, the interaction, the overall vibe.

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Once arrived, I paid my entrance and went straight upstairs to the on road track. It was a quiet day with only about 10 people practicing. They all had 1/10 and 1/12 scale on road pan cars or touring cars, mostly Yokomo and similar brands, with the usual race blob for a body shell. Simple and effective machines, all tuned up time and again to suit that specific track. Their RC gear was all branded and neatly displayed.
Than the doors opened, and a spaced out dude -me- showed up with some grocery bags overflowing with buggies and random tools, ahahah. My arrival didn't go unnoticed, but all I got was smiles and welcome words which was real nice of them.

The best part of getting acquainted with the racers, was when I took out the C11 with the spanking new shell. It was like bringing a Dingo to a dog show, or something down that line. 

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There were so many mixed feelings! Nobody could believe the foam tires, the chassis was regarded as simple but with respect given its age, I was warned right away to get rid of the toe in, and a few more things... but there really was a lot of awe for the body. Understandibly I guess, since these people are all about racing, so any scale oriented effort id likely to be noticed. People lined up to take pictures and videos, which made me proud but it also made me feel silly for being about to risk destroying it on track... but it's all part of the game isn't it.

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After chatting a bit, the on road guys got even more welcoming by encouraging me to use the track all by myself for the first few laps, in order to get acquainted with this platform I never drove before.

Fast forward a few minutes and there I was, huge grin on my face and not a worry in the world. The car felt real good from the get to, so much more intuitive than I thought! A big reason for this is probably that the track surface was a foamy rubber: foam on foam made for more than enough stickiness, way too much of it actually, so the car felt as if it was on tracks. Within a few more laps I was already confident enough to hit the curbs on the turns, which enhanced the fun by a lot.

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Driving the C chassis on track felt extremely enjoyable, and yet I soon realized that my favourite part of this experience is really the visuals. I was delighted in seeing my C11 moving, zipping through the track just as much as slowly coasting through the pit lane, with the lights working and the Kenwood livery and the Good Year logos on the rotating tires... yeeeeah... that is what really ticked all the boxes.

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It also made me think of how cool it would be to have a whole bunch of group C cars all together on the track...

Performance wise, I dare saying my Mercedes did ok, especially for a first timer. While being no match for the more experienced drivers with a top of the food chain chassis (especially the 1/12, which I have noticed being consistently faster and more agile than their 1/10 counterparts), she held her ground while on track with most of the other cars and drivers, even getting to overtake some of the fæncier platforms (thank you postal racing for the basics, ahah).

The motor got hot after 3/4 of a battery pack, which I expected given the too much traction of the foam tires. In the future I will look for rubber ones, and I can always chuck a fan on the motor if needed.

Speaking of tires, believe it or not I have traction rolled the car thrice towards the end of the day. It looked very dramatic from the distance, and very much like the end of my new Kenwood liveried shell. While I was getting faster and bolder with my driving, the foams were getting stickier and stickier and so it just happened. One time especially, the car was quite fast and I turned too quick: it tumbled for at least 20 meters, repeatedly hitting the floor and the barriers in the process.
All I could think of was "I'm glad I at least took some good pictures before thrashing this shell like an idiot".
But Lo! My boldness was somehow rewarded, and the car came back in one piece with pretty much no damage at all. I am unable to explain how on earth the shell didn't shatter or al least crack all over, but that's it. Even the fragile wing was unbothered by the tumble. I only lost the front tow ring, easily found and reinstalled, and got what looked like nasty black scuff marks all over the car, which proved to be just rubber, removable with a single wipe of poly cleaner.
Lucky me.

By the way, those superficial scuffs looked the part, they felt so "there" that I was tempted to leave some on for extra realism when the time came to clean up the car.

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My track experience was far from over with the C11, in fact there was also the buggy track that needed to be checked out. I set up the Manta Ray and went downstairs, but once I got there I realized it was far more intense than it seemed at a distance. The clay there is packed down to tarmac hardness -they wet it for events, I was told- and most of the jumps are just way too severe and high for an old tamiya platform (And maybe for a 1/10 buggy altogether, seeming way more suitable for 1/8 scale).
Upon further thinking, it didn't seem a good enough reason not to send Slippery Sam through his paces, you know, when in Rome... so off we went anyway.

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It felt a bit like bringing a knife to a gun fight, meaning I had to drive the car at full speed just to get her through the jumps the way it was supposed to, but if was fun to see her fly.

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There were a few times when the car seemed to slam so hard upon landing, I was blown away when it just kept on going instead of falling to pieces. Also, from the start the servo seemed to not respond too well, and the 13.5 bluebottle was just way too power hungry for whatever battery I had left for it. With all of this considered, I only did a few laps on the demanding buggy track, and decided to go back to the on road one upstairs for one more stint with the C11 before finally heading home.


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Look at what I guess is a¬†rookie¬†mistake: I kneeled down¬†once¬†on the on road track, and then my boots and shoes looked like this ¬†ūüė≥¬†

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The cars picked out for the adventure were these four, though only the C11 and the Manta Ray got to see real action

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In total, I think I ran three or four battery packs with the C11, and loved every bit of it.
The overall feeling by the work tables and pit lane was good, the smell of tires and electronics and the people bent in to work on their vehicles... I took it all in with pleasure. It reminded me of when I used to race Tamiya Mini 4WD back in the day: smaller scale, same exact vibe!

I got to talk RC in person and have real interaction finally, ahah. I felt welcome and more than tolerated by the other people, which I appreciate and didn't take for granted at all. On the contrary, I know how delicate it can be on both sides when a new entity joins a well established group that has been doing their own thing for a while.
I didn't feel in their way at all, or loather at or stared at, if anything I got a lot of praise for the shell which again was nice, coming from guys that live the dynamic side of the hobby so much more than the scale one. Thanks strangers for being nice and welcoming to the new guy.

I will definitely go back someday, probably soon. Just not sure whether it will be to actually get better at driving, or just to enjoy seeing the car in action again... Probably a bit of both. In any case, it will be a good idea to look for a beater shell in order to keep my Kenwood one in good shape for the time being.

All in all, I had a very positive and good first track experience. 

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What a great write up ūüĎćūüŹĽ

Really pleased that you enjoyed yourself and brave man for using that mint looking body, not sure I could have done.

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