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JennyMo

2WD HiLux stepside pick-up - aka. Cilla G.

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To start one new complicated project is unfortunate, to start two looks like carelessness... but here we go!

I wanted to wait until I'd got the wheelbase sorted (which I did this afternoon) before starting this new build thread, to give an actual visual outline - rather than simply a stack of random parts!

 

i-Q4MPrpw-XL.jpg

photo. Yes, that is yet another Ebay aluminium chassis - approximately the dimensions of a Trailfinder 2 or Gelande from RC4WD.

 

Having had a lot of fun building a leaf-sprung chassis for the YJ Jeep recently (and been surprised how capable it is too), I was inspired to build another leafer - this time based on the classic Tamiya Toyota HiLux / Bruiser / Mountaineer, and not least Trailfinder 2 derivative that is ubiquitous in the scale RC scene these days.

Now I realise there really is nothing new under the sun when it comes to a HiLux based build - although that said, I'm not sure I can recall anyone taking this particular approach (off-road ability seeming the main motivation for this kind of build), and I trust the combination of specification and detailing is going to make this unique.

I was also further inspired by @Grastens build of the Tamiya Bruiser recently - not only that he chose the pukka Tamiya kit rather than the cheaper RTR copy that is available these days, but fundamentally as he splashed out on the really nice step-side rear body from Loops (in the Czech Republic) as a homage to the original Tamiya 3-speed HiLux Pick-up (#58028) - a body style which I've always had a soft-spot for myself, not least the 1953 F100 Midnight Pumpkin which I built the STUMPkin and Ta'Mater in my showroom around.

In fact, if you follow the link above to Ta'Mater, you might see where I'm going with this...

Fundamentally, rather than build a typical 4X4 version - using the myriad of optional parts out there already of course - I thought I'd build a more 'lowly' 2WD pick-up version, albeit like Mater with dually rear wheels inside those step-side arches. Being 2WD, there would also be no need to have the vehicle jacked sky-high, rather mount the axles over the springs (leaf under axle) helping to reduce the overall ride-height, at the expense of some overall travel of course.

With that decided, I also felt that it would be feasible to make this my most scale realistic build yet - not just the leaf-sprung chassis, but with shackles, U-bolts, a rusted busted body (as is my way typically) and finished with a host of scale detailing  - be that scratch built, or available both off-the-shelf and 3D printed from various modellers and retailers online.

However, while I've been keen to get the basic vehicle on it's wheels as soon as possible, this is not going to be a quick build I fear - as I've kind of blown my budget recently on the YJ and upgrades for my other crawlers, plus invested pretty heavily already in parts for the Baja Beetle too, which is really starting to take shape now I've ironed out one or two fundamental stumbling blocks regarding the transmission and rear suspension... sorry, see how easy it is to get distracted when you have more than one project on the go at the same time?!

cont.

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cont.

So for now, a quick introduction and run down of what I've put together so far...

Part 1. chassis

i-xHjk66P-XL.jpg

As you can see, the chassis is a typical twin-rail design with multiple mounting holes for suspension pre-drilled along each side, which ought to make matching the axle centres to the bodyshell wheel base simple, or so I thought...

I took a punt on two pairs of 1/14th scale 'Tamiya Tractor Truck' leaf springs from Xtraspeed, factoring that the shorter length of 104mm centre to centre (and potential overall stiffness) ought not be an issue with this low-rider style build - and indeed be arguably more scale looking than the longer softer springs designed for articulation you get with the TF2 as standard.

i-K4bgDLg-XL.jpg

photo. 1/14th Tractor Truck spring set - fortunately these share the same dimensions and hardware as a 1/10th scale leaf-spring chassis.

I also bought another Yota scale rear axle (as I did for the Mega-Bug recently) and paired this with a rigid alloy front axle for a 1/14th Tamiya Tractor Truck, which actually has a similar overall width to the narrow Yota rear axle (185mm).

It's worth noting that while the Yota scale rear axle is exactly the right width to mount up with leaf-springs to the Gelande pattern chassis (approx 79mm centres), at the front, the 1/14th rigid axle actually has 74.5mm centres (ie. not quite 75mm as far as I can tell), which means the front shackle mounts needed to be moved inboard 2mm on each side so that everything lined up correctly. This was achieved with some M3 2mm thick spacers, an ultimately the front nubs on the chassis will have to be ground down by 2mm on the outside face so that the shackles can be snugged up against the springs.

Keeping with the 1/14th Truck theme, I also factored that an inexpensive way to get some scale size wheels (1.7 diameter in this instance) and fundamentally some dually-rear wheels, was to simply buy a set of Tamiya 1/14th Truck wheels too (as I had already done for the dually-conversion to Mater of course), and particularly as I already had a set of four Tamiya Truck tyres in my stash - which, being around 83mm in diameter, ought to sit well inside the arches - further adding to the realistic scale appearance.

cont.

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cont.

Once the rear body tub arrived and was mated to the Trailfinder cab, it was clear that the current 104mm long springs would not really allow me to obtain the correct wheelbase without drilling, cutting or fabricating some alternative mounts which I really didn't want to do... so instead I elected to buy a set of longer RC4WD soft springs for the Trailfinder 2, and see if I couldn't get it all to work together using the existing hardware and mounting locations* on the chassis.

*Ultimately all it will now require is a couple of new 3mm holes to be drilled through the chassis rails for the second bolt of the existing spring mounts.

i-C9VMf9s-XL.jpg

photo. These are not cheap ($30 for a set of four), but they are appreciably softer than the 1/14th scale ones I have, plus are 115mm long centre to centre.

Unfortunately, using all four of the longer Trailfinder springs meant the chassis now sat far higher than I ideally wanted - with far too much space between the tyres and arches, and the vehicle itself overall much higher off the ground than would be truly scale I felt.

So what I ended up doing is a mix-and-match approach, using the RC4WD 115mm long springs at the rear, but with long shackles that had come with the Chinese pattern springs I bought the YJ originally (recycling eh?) as this chassis didn't come with the rear chassis shackle mounts as previous iterations have done...

At the front, I reverted to the shorter 104mm Truck springs, but only using two leafs (rather than three), and the short shackles that also came with that spring kit.

i-LSbvRzB-XL.jpg

photo. because I have mounted the axles over the leafs at each end, the U-bolts and plates are now mounted upside down.

I also got creative and mounted the supplied damper bracket at 90° above the axle, which ought to allow just enough room for a scale shock to fit on the outside of the chassis rail.

i-swCZXqr-XL.jpg

photo. despite having no drive, with the axle this way up, the front end has plenty of ground clearance - essentially like a portal axle.

Similarly at the rear, the axle has actually been flipped over, so that the spring seats are now facing downwards towards the springs underneath, and currently there is actually 50mm between the lower shock mount on the axle and the top run of holes in the chassis rails above, which means I ought to be able to fit a pair of 1/14th Truck shocks vertically (one either side of the axle), while the tops remain below the pick-up bed.

cont.

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cont.

So for now I'll leave you with a few photos of the body on the chassis, at pretty much the correct wheelbase (it is only balancing at the moment until the higher body mounts I have had to order arrive):

i-P9sSWz9-XL.jpg

photo. the step-side bed is really nice and changes the whole look of the truck - although at 195mm overall width, ultimately the arches will have to be cut-and-shut to cover the dually rear wheels (225mm to the outside face).

 

i-jdsZmVp-XL.jpg

photo. currently I only have four 1.7 tyres (but at least it's rollin' ;o), and ultimately I've ordered some slightly larger and more aggressive tread tyres - four 22mm wide for the rear wheels, and a pair a little wider for the front to help fill out the front arches a little with the narrow track axle.

 

i-XWHJLBZ-XL.jpg

photo. along with the RC4WD Trailfinder cab, I also bought their 'Marlin Crawler' version round headlights and grille, and these will most likely be painted black as per the original Tamiya HiLux, although I intend to keep the front bumper rusty chrome.

More soon - once I get the body securely mounted, and the new tyres arrive, I can then start to finalise the overall proportions, finish and detailing... let's just say that like the Mega-Bug, it might well end up as a twist inspired by what has gone before ;o)

Toot toot!

Jenny x

 

 

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ps. Oh, and Louis has unboxed his (1:12th scale) Monkey-bike, which I'm sure will end up in the truck bed along with all manner of other junk...

i-9SK2cTK-XL.jpg

Jx

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This is going to be so great! I am humbled that one of my builds should inspire yours - I will be following this one closely!

And while I did struggle somewhat with reworking the step-side bed, I have no doubt your expertise with plastic will come through when you modify yours. The prospect of that has me further excited for this build :)

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Ha! You beat me to it. I've been thinking about a 2WD scaler for a while now, since I somehow ended up with one extra TLT axle. I'm leaning more towards 70's Class 8 Baja-style than working-class beater, though.

Will be watching with interest, and trying hard not to let my inner pedantic nerd worry too much about the fact that Toyota 2WD trucks are all IFS...

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On 4/22/2019 at 9:39 AM, markbt73 said:

...Will be watching with interest, and trying hard not to let my inner pedantic nerd worry too much about the fact that Toyota 2WD trucks are all IFS...

Ha - yes I know that too... but I'm certainly not going to be using a CC-01 chassis* for this!

*That said, it might be a fun project (for someone else) to use the tapered Bruiser chassis rails and mount them closer together (so the rear lines up with the narrower spring saddles on the RC4WD Yota axles for example) - and then incorporate a pair of M-chassis wishbones at the front - ideally aluminium aftermarket/hop-up ones of course ;o)

Dang - you've got me thinking about a MK2 version of this already!!!

Jx

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Louis, put down that Monkey bike - the new tyres have arrived!

i-d2f8VPq-XL.jpgphoto. not especially cheap (just under $50 for the set of six, posted), but with more detailed tread than the usual far-eastern pattern fare...

I'd mocked-up this build using Tamiya 1/14th scale truck tyres (1.7 wheels) which are around 83mm in diameter - not bad considering they need to fit completely inside the aches on this lower-riding build - but ideally they would be just a little bit bigger...

After trawling around on the internet for hours, I came across these examples on Ebay - which offer a similar block tread pattern to the [cheaper] 'King of the Road' ones RC4WD offer (and that you see online from countless China/HK based sellers too) - but on closer inspection the blocks on the sides actually have additional tread detail, and there are no sidewall markings at all* - plus, they are a little larger in diameter at 87mm - result!

*note. I'd love some RC4WD tyres with pukka moulded-in Michelin or Goodyear sidewall detailing of course, whereas typically these cheaper ebay tyres tend to have big clunky numbers on the side that neither look particularly scale, and also refer to the fact that in 1/14th scale, these would be 22" wheels of course.

Best of all, they offered a 'wide' (approx 27mm) version and a regular 22mm version, both with the same overall diameter and tread, which is exactly what I wanted (ie. wider single tyres on the front) - whereas typically the RC4WD 'wide' version of their 1.7 Truck tyres are also slightly taller compared to the more narrow rears.

 

i-4PRBcBP-XL.jpg

photo. suitably scale while remaining modest in proportion I felt?

for info. The only other narrow option I've found that might still fit on the dually rear wheels without modification, is to use some 25mm wide 1.55 tyres from RC4WD, and stretch them to fit the 1.7 wheels. However, the overall diameter of these Goodyear Wranglers is 95mm, so appreciably bigger than what I have now - and I fear too large to sit comfortably inside the arches, particularly at this ride-height.

So for the time being, these are the tyres I will be basing this build on, since not only is there very limited choice for the rear axle (as I mentioned above, most other 22mm wide 1/14th truck tyres are only 83mm diameter), but at the front ideally I need to increase the track-width slightly (using a couple of bearings/spacers on each side) so that the wheels/tyres fill the arches better - which in turn means that the tyres will now be turning through more of an arc as I've effectively increased the dish of the wheel in relation to the upright kingpin...

Still, it's all fun eh?

i-qJFSzkF-XL.jpg

photo. a little rear wheel-arch widening and I think we're pretty much there now!

The other thing that arrived this week was a pair of taller body mounting side plates, so at least I could jiggle the body around on the chassis so it fits the wheelbase properly. Again, there is still a little refining to do perhaps, but currently the rear load-bed is just above the chassis rails, and the body itself essentially level... and once an engine and battery is installed, there is every chance the nose will drop slightly giving the overall stance I desire.

More soon,

Jenny x

 

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I've had a revelation!

Something was bugging me about the stance of the body on the chassis... as I mentioned above, with the load-bed flat on the rear chassis rails, the cab looked a little high - particularly over the front wheels/arches - even though the chassis itself was essentially level.

I was also not happy with the larger body-mounting brackets I'd bought - they would be fine for a crawler build (typically using a central SCX-10 gearbox, which is what they are sold for), but their height actually encroaches on the cabin if I wanted to fit a full interior (note. you can just see what I mean in the front wheel-arch in the photo in the post above).

So I had a quick noodle on the internet (particularly the threads and galleries here on TamiyaClub), and what do you know, it turns out that actually the original 58028 HiLux (on which this cab and rear body-tub is based) is not actually mounted the way the holes in the Loops bulkhead suggest/line-up - ie. as if placed on a flat surface together - rather, the rear load-bed is mounted a little higher than the base of the cab, as these photos from Shodog and njmlondon illustate:

i-jXN89NV-XL.jpg

photo. borrowed from Shodog.

i-vr25z9p-L.jpg

photo. borrowed from njmlondon.

 

Bingo! It turns out that by mounting the rear bed 7mm higher on the rear bulkhead, it had the effect of dropping the cab over the front wheels, and meant I could then use my original lower mounting brackets, which wouldn't encroach on the cabin in the same way.

i-WNfSwpT-XL.jpg

photo. ultimately all they needed was a new hole drilled to line up with the 10mm centres on the pattern Gelande/Trialfinder chassis.

i-kDtZfmc-L.jpg

photo. plenty of room for a full-depth cabin now!

 

i-rdxbjGp-L.jpg

photo. cab lowered, reducing wheel-arch gap.

 

i-gjsfhQJ-XL.jpg

photo. I know what he's thinking - cage back or tow-truck... but stop that Louis - it IS going to have a load-bed!
 

cont.

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cont.

i-pmW9nGv-XL.jpg

photo. load-bed resting on chassis prior to marking and drilling new mounting holes in the bulkhead.

Ultimately I decided that with the cab secured to the chassis using the lower/original mounts, the load-bed actually needs to be mounted 7mm higher than the original holes (which means it now hovers around 1mm above the chassis rails - for clearance and easy of body fitting) - and fundamentally this way makes much more sense visually as the top lip of the load-bed lines now up with the top of the doors:

i-9KFHJqt-XL.jpg

 

i-SjMGsXk-XL.jpg

photo. and lines up with the edges of the cab corners too...

 

i-Nxp7nps-XL.jpg

photo. ...while the ridge in the side panel also now lines up with the side-mouldings on the doors!

 

So clearly that is the way it was always meant to be, even though Loops drill their mounting holes so that the bed and cab lay flat, they should actually be stepped (by 7mm I reckon) to line up in the way the original 58028 HiLux does!

i-x5Sk22h-XL.jpg

i-jTWPgvF-XL.jpg

photo. now I really am happy with that!

I hope that helps anyone else having trouble mounting these aftermarket parts together?

More soon...

Jenny x

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Following on from my reference to a full interior above, I thought I might share my plans for the next stage of this build, now that the body/chassis/axles relationship is sorted.

First of all, I'm going to concentrate on the exterior for the time being, primarily as I really have run out of RC funds and cannot justify buying a properly scale interior set for the HiLux just at the moment - although I'm sure it will happen eventually of course...

i-hF7MR9T-XL.jpg

photo. Louis contemplates an inside job...

Interior

There are a number of off-the-shelf options - from very expensive to stupid expensive - and I have to say, I do like the metal detailing you get with some options (RC4WDs own version being similar, and a lot more affordable than the CChand version for example) - but in all instances, they have a short floor (typically to clear the Trailfinder transmission), and I really want to fabricate some full-depth footwells (and pedals, yes, pedals ;o) as part of this build.

As such, one option is to just buy the dash and bench seat assembly from RC4WD, and construct the rest of the interior from styrene - and there is also the wonderful illuminated dash from AMPro Engineering on Shapeways ( @Pintopower here on TC of course), which really is next-level in detailing - including individual heater knobs for goodness sake!!!

Certainly my plan is to use a bench seat in this cabin, not only for period scale looks, but also as a useful way to hide a 6-cell stick pack underneath - yep, I continue to be old-skool in that regard ;o)

There are also one or two new techniques I'd like to try, including flocking the seats to represent real cloth material, and I might even revisit the powered side window/s idea too - if it turns out there is enough room under the seat-box.

 

Lights

The obvious thing to do is buy the pre-made LED loom from RC4WD, as that will give me all the correct size head/tail and side-marker lights that come in the kit. 

At the rear I'm still undecided - since the Trailfinder lamp housings are designed for a regular (not step-side) rear body, part of me would like to incorporate some stand-alone assemblies on stalks either side of the tailgate (using Jeep Wrangler or Blackfood style housings for example); but for neatness, I think a pair (or even 4) lamps in the rear panel below the tail-gate is probably the way to go? Again, to be truly authentic, there are 58028 style HiLux housings available from Loops and AMPro Eng. too of course.

Either way, fortunately the rear [red] side markers in the TF-2 body kit will also fit in the space on the side panels behind the rear wheel-arches on the Loops body - nice!

cont.

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cont.

Engine and transmission

For the time being, I was/am going to leave the actual workings of this vehicle alone. If you've followed my other builds over the years, you'll know that one of the defining factors is that they have to be runners, and they have to use a 6-cell 7.2v battery pack (after all you've gotta have rules, otherwise chaos ensues, right? ;o) - and generally speaking, I've always made the decision regarding motor and gearbox combo early on...

However, in this instance, because it is both 2WD and a traditional rail chassis, any number of options could be incorporated at a later date... so it's not essential to nail that down just yet.

If money was no object, I do quite fancy the RC4WD scale engine - it's incredibly well detailed and machined from aluminium, and coupled with their scale gearbox too, is pretty much the real thing in 1:10 scale... However, the gearbox on it's own is $80 while the main engine unit itself is $180!!! - and it would cost in excess of $400 for all the little trinket parts they make to finish it properly: https://store.rc4wd.com/V8-Motor-Add-ons_c_522.html

i-Tkh7Vk3-L.jpg

photo. this has got the pancake air-filter and belts set fitted, but there is also a thermostat, and a water-pump, a radiator, and a distributor and plug caps too!

And you wouldn't actually get to see any of it once the bonnet is closed* of course!

*Yes, my plan is to have an opening bonnet on this too - even if it means getting a bit creative with the existing windscreen mounting location etc.

 

During my internet adventures I also saw there was a similar [aluminium] engine and gearbox assembly made by Xtra Speed and available from RCMart - however, while it is 'only' $129 in comparison, it does not have the same sort of detailing that the RC4WD version does - yes, in this instance it appears you do get what you pay for.

http://www.rcmart.com/aluminum-alloy-scale-engine-speed-axial-scx10-sliver-p-77052.html?cPath=1102_1106

 

So with my sensible hat on, I may end up with a compromise - and use a traditional motor and planetary gearbox assembly (as I have in the D90 and the YJ Jeep for example) for actual motive power, and dress it up with a realistic motor cover/fan assembly from ebay - there are actually some very nice examples these days for around $30 - and with a bit of paint and detailing, I think I could create a scale engine bay myself that would still do the rest of this build justice.

note. I realise there are also a number of 3D printed engine options out there these days too, but I really am not a fan of most 3D printed products - the grainy finish just doesn't compare with injection moulding or machined parts in my opinion - and even though 3D printed parts can be eventually prepped well enough in most cases, with tiny little scale engine components particularly, I know the end result would still not be as 'realistic' as I would want.

 

So, that is pretty much where I'm up to now - sorry for the proliferation of words compared to pictures in these last couple of posts, but you know I'll redress that balance again soon enough...

Toot toot for now,

Jenny x

 

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On 4/24/2019 at 2:43 PM, JennyMo said:

cont.

Engine and transmission

For the time being, I was/am going to leave the actual workings of this vehicle alone. If you've followed my other builds over the years, you'll know that one of the defining factors is that they have to be runners, and they have to use a 6-cell 7.2v battery pack (after-all you've gotta have rules, otherwise chaos ensues, right? ;o), and generally speaking, I've always made the decision regarding motor and gearbox combo early on...

However, in this instance, because it is both 2WD and a traditional rail chassis, any number of options could be incorporated at a later date... so it's not essential to nail that down just yet.

If money was no object, I do quite fancy the RC4WD scale engine - it's incredibly well detailed and machined from aluminium, and coupled with their scale gearbox too, is pretty much the real thing in 1:10 scale... However, the gearbox on it's own is $80 while the main engine unit itself is $180!!! - and it would cost in excess of $400 for all the little trinket parts they make to finish it properly: https://store.rc4wd.com/V8-Motor-Add-ons_c_522.html

i-Tkh7Vk3-L.jpg

photo. this has got the pancake air-filter and belts set fitted, but there is also a thermostat, and a water-pump, a radiator, and a distributor and plug caps too!

And you wouldn't actually get to see any of it once the bonnet is closed* of course!

*Yes, my plan is to have an opening bonnet on this too - even if it means getting a bit creative with the existing windscreen mounting location etc.

 

During my internet adventures I also saw there was a similar [aluminium] engine and gearbox assembly made by Xtra Speed and available from RCMart - however, while it is 'only' $129 in comparison, it does not have the same sort of detailing that the RC4WD version does - yes, in this instance it appears you do get what you pay for.

http://www.rcmart.com/aluminum-alloy-scale-engine-speed-axial-scx10-sliver-p-77052.html?cPath=1102_1106

 

So with my sensible hat on, I may end up with a compromise - and use a traditional motor and planetary gearbox assembly (as I have in the D90 and the YJ Jeep for example) for actual motive power, and dress it up with a realistic motor cover/fan assembly from ebay - there are actually some very nice examples these days for around $30 - and with a bit of paint and detailing, I think I could create a scale engine bay myself that would still do the rest of this build justice.

note. I realise there are also a number of 3D printed options out there these days too, but I really am not a fan of most 3D printed products - the grainy finish just doesn't compare with injection moulding or machined parts in my opinion - and [even though #D printed parts can be eventually prepped well enough in most cases, with tiny little scale engine components particularly, I know the end result would still not be as 'realistic' as I would want.

 

So, that is pretty much where I'm up to now - sorry for the proliferation of words compared to pictures in these last couple of posts, but you know I'll redress that balance again soon enough...

Toot toot for now,

Jenny x

 

Agree with you on the grainy texture 3d printed parts have being a turn off.  I know you can "smooth" them with acetone vapor, but in my experience even that leaves a bit to be desired in the finish department. IMO it takes a lot of work to get a 3d printed part smooth enough to be acceptable appearance wise. 

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6 hours ago, 78Triumph said:

Agree with you on the grainy texture 3d printed parts have being a turn off.  I know you can "smooth" them with acetone vapor, but in my experience even that leaves a bit to be desired in the finish department. IMO it takes a lot of work to get a 3d printed part smooth enough to be acceptable appearance wise. 

Yes, it's a shame really as the concept is fantastic - and certainly some parts such as the Knight Customs VW engine (via Shapeways) I have on the SRB Cage Racer are reasonable, particularly when they are printed in a clear/fine material - although larger flat surfaces (particularly body-panels for example) and some of those V8 engines you see for sale on ebay look like they've been assembled from LEGO pieces rather than printed...

I'm sure the technology will continue to improve, but I think the layering format that the [current] printers use is the issue, and that some printers [typically commercial vs. home] are going to be better quality than others of course.

fwiw. As I recall, isn't there a technology being developed that would essentially 'cast' a part inside a block of powdered material using a laser? - that seems very sci-fi to me, but you'd hope it it would improve the finish as I imagine it could be done much more quickly than building the material in layers?

Jx

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1 hour ago, JennyMo said:

fwiw. As I recall, isn't there a technology being developed that would essentially 'cast' a part inside a block of powdered material using a laser? - that seems very sci-fi to me, but you'd hope it it would improve the finish as I imagine it could be done much more quickly than building the material in layers?

there's a couple of types but everything is still layered... yours sounds like resin powder sintered together by laser layer by layer; fresh powder is layered on then lasered

then there's Stereo Lithography "SLA" which is a liquid resin that's cured layer by layer by laser or even UV from a strong light source like a video projector

last time I looked there's another mob who mated a colour laser printer to a CNC robot... it prints each sheet of paper, glues it down onto the stack/model then contour cuts the shape. Sheet by sheet your model grows, and it comes out in full colour too.

 

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Just a quick update - with a series of very similar looking wheel photos!

As mentioned during my introduction, primarily for cost and convenience (and that I know I can paint/weather them realistically - as I did with Ta'Mater for example) I elected to buy a set of 1/14th Tamiya Truck wheels - which are available in chrome, satin silver and these white versions - and specifically chose the 9-stud version, for good [geometric] reason as you'll see...

i-4scWfLt-XL.jpg

 

At the rear, the two dually wheels are actually bolted together with three M2 screws and nuts - ie. three of the plastic moulded 'studs' are missing:

i-rf6Csnx-XL.jpg

Now while Tamiya supply some M2 socket head screws (which don't really visually match the moulded acorn nuts of course), it's easy enough to replace these with some scale M2 acorn wheel-studs from Locked Up RC for example, and this got me thinking...

As you can see above, by removing three of the existing moulded studs (at 120° each) from the front wheels, I would have effectively the same 3-bolt pattern as the rear wheels - and similarly, by marking a series of three more holes between the remaining pairs of studs, I'd then end up with a traditional Toyota six-bolt pattern:

i-2tTpd3c-XL.jpg


The inner rear dually wheels already have six holes in them (for info. the outer wheel has three moulded pins on the backside that interlock with the 2.5mm holes in the inner wheels)...

i-gqN3Zr9-XL.jpg

...so cutting off the pins and buzzing a drill through the newly marked holes in the outer rear wheels, sees them bolt together using six bolts/nuts now:

i-tsb47Bn-XL.jpg

i-BG6gSPx-XL.jpg

 

While on the outside face, cutting and sanding off the remaining moulded acorn nuts leaves a more traditional small/medium size truck 6-bolt hub pattern, rather than a multi 9/10 bolt wheel hub you'd get on a larger lorry...

i-9pD58kz-XL.jpg

i-S9nfzPR-XL.jpg

i-h3NXcsT-XL.jpg

note. Ultimately these socket-head screws will be replaced with scale acorn nuts from Locked Up RC (once they are back in stock ;o)

 

Similarly at the front, I simply drilled six 1.6mm holes, to self-tap the same M2 screws in to visually match the rears - again, socket head screws used to mock-up while I wait for the pukka acorn nuts to arrive.

i-KL2ND7L-XL.jpg
 

This turned out to be a surprisingly straight-forward (and affordable) way to get some authentic looking 1.7 [dually] scale 6-bolt wheels I thought?

Jx

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Oh Jenny, this thread is already so great again, with all your attention to Detail and Concept Imagination / ideas. Someday I have to lower my Mountaineer with smaller rims and built a step side bed body, to get an old looking Hilux. Great work on your wheels build already. For the rear lights I vote for the Ampro solution, just so well done…

Kind regards,

Matthias

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Ok, just a little update before I start to get medieval on the bodywork... I have to say, it's potentially quite daunting taking a Dremel to that [expensive] lovely rear load bed to extend the arches - in comparison, I'm not so worried about the mods I want to make to the $15.99 Trailfinder II cab ;o)

First of all though, I wanted to make sure I was happy with the wheelbase, body/chassis mounts and everything metal underneath before I finally started to cut-up the bodywork.

i-dtff6Fk-XL.jpg

i-TCGMHtr-XL.jpg

As mentioned previously, happy with the combination of the RC4WD springs (115mm centres) at the rear, and the Tamiya 1/14th Truck springs at the front (104mm centres), all I needed to do was drill a couple of extra 3mm holes through the chassis rails for the spring shackles to be in the correct position for the 282mm (I reckon) wheelbase.

This also required the front spring shackles to be moved slightly inboard of the chassis rails - the chassis/rear axle having 79mm centres, while the front Truck axle 74.5mm centres - it's not much of course, but enough that I needed to grind the original forward lug (by 2mm), and add a 2mm spacer on the inside:

i-dhXfV9L-XL.jpg

While the rear mounts were simply spaced inboard with a couple more 2mm spacers again:

i-bmGNgWd-XL.jpg

i-ZC9XVzP-XL.jpg
 

cont.

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cont.

With the axles securely fixed, I then wanted to finalise the damper mounting locations:

i-sg7LpvP-XL.jpg

photo. Initially I'd mounted the front dampers using the towers that came with the chassis - mounted inboard of the chassis rails with a long spacer.

 

i-RpGL8Lb-XL.jpg

photo. Subsequently I changed these towers to thin hoop style that mount on the outside of the chassis - giving me a wider engine compartment (which is going to be important this time around ;o)

Fortunately the combination of the hoops and a short (1mm spacer) means the dampers still remain vertical above the bottom mount on the axle, and even at extreme articulation - not that there is all that much on this vehicle to be honest - they do not touch the chassis rails as the axle swings slightly from side to side. Result!

 

At the rear, I was always intending to fit double dampers anyway, and the 1/14th Truck dampers (just over 50mm long eye to eye) fortunately come in sets of six - and fundamentally are short enough to fit between the lower damper mount on the axle, and stay below the bottom of the load-bed too - another result!

i-KKmsJjj-XL.jpg

It's worth noting that these Truck dampers don't have M3 ball ends, rather use step screws (approx 3.5mm diameter) to mount them in their original application. This meant I had to get creative, and ended up using a series of cone washers to centre the dampers on the M3 screws I used - plus in the rear dampers I put a small silicone bush (cut from a length of 4mm diameter tubing and squished in the lower damper mounts) to centre everything while still allowing the dampers to move on their mounts as the suspension compresses and extends.

The mounting locations also dictated that the natural way to mount each damper was with the top and bottom mounts at 90° to each other - which in turn ought to help eliminate any binding as the axle moves slightly fore and aft as well as up and down - such is the nature of leaf springs of course.

 

i-FxxSDRs-XL.jpg

photo. back on it's wheels again - the finished rolling chassis.

 

cont.

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cont.

So before there would be no going back with the body, I wanted to check how the engine and gearbox might fit in relation to the interior/dashboard I plan to fit - especially as in this particular HiLux application, I want the chassis-mounted steering servo in front of the engine (in turn moving the whole motor and gearbox assembly back a bit), as the motor really needs to be central in the engine bay for what I've got planned - you've guessed it already I'm sure!

It turns out the rear front-spring shackle mounts were the perfect location (and meant I could double up on the same mounting bolts of course - keeping that underside neat), all that needed doing was to lop-off part of the engine mount supports to clear the spring bolt directly underneath.

i-p5qCNpk-XL.jpg

i-CMGwfqB-XL.jpg

photo. gearbox support bracket also narrowed to fit the slightly inboard location of the support brackets.

 

i-vMVVwGL-XL.jpg

photo. motor and gearbox in place, with enough room for the servo in front on the designated chassis mount:

i-dt6NJX4-XL.jpg

 

Right, time to get the styrene out!

Jx

 

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Before chopping the body around there was one completely new part I had to fabricate first - a panel to support the front bumper underneath the alternative round headlight Bruiser style grille I'd ordered...

i-TfDfjK4-XL.jpg

While the regular Trailfinder 2 kit (with square headlights) has a complete front panel that screws into the holes either side on the front wheel-arches, the Marlin Crawler edition which uses this alternative grille doesn't feature a traditional bumper, rather uses a higher tube-bumper instead, and you cut off the leading edges of the wheel-arches to suit.

So it was out with the CAD (cardboard aided design), to cut a suitable panel to tie the two chrome sections together:

i-PrGRbMn-XL.jpg

I knew it would be a tight squeeze in front of the chassis cross-member, and it was:

i-5rpjV4w-XL.jpg

So ultimately I cut off the front lip of the cross-member (as I did with the YJ Jeep build to mount the winch-bumper as far back as I could)...

i-kRJ852q-XL.jpg

Giving a valuable 2-3mm clearance for the new panel behind the grille assembly:

i-jp4Gm9K-XL.jpg

photo. note I have also cut some dedicated spacers for the front axles so the narrow wheels/tyres fill the arches better.

 

While all this was going on earlier today, the postman also delivered some scale hardware from Locked-Up RC, including these lovely M2 acorn wheel-nuts - so I set about making my own wheel-studs using cut-down M2 screws (of which I've got dozens with the various hand-rails and shackles I've ordered over the years):

i-K2nWMwS-XL.jpg

i-Tqwvxw5-XL.jpg

And finally, I couldn't resist adding these to my order:

i-kWbGPQT-XL.jpg

photo. M3 hex-head bolts for the chassis and axles - I know, it's an indulgence since most of these will be hidden under the bodywork once the vehicle is assembled of course!

 

More soon - wish me luck, Dr Dremel is about to get serious!

Jenny x

 

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Amazing work so far, but i always look forward to the JennyMo bodywork posts the most so the best part for me is just beginning. 

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Ok, just for you Kevin - a little taster of what's to come...

i-jqTrkmC-XL.jpg

photo. patience required, but ultimately pays off - scoring the bonnet creases with a Stanley knife eventually gives a nice clean cut.

i-DgjhkVQ-XL.jpg

photo. removing the bonnet completely (for now) will allow me to construct a complete engine bay...

i-3qDNz5R-XL.jpg

 

At the rear, the arches needed to be cut off, so I could create an infill panel to extend them to cover the dually wheels:

i-dHJt83b-XL.jpg

photo. I started by scoring with a knife inside, but ultimately resorted to the Dremel, with a thin cut-off wheel for the neatest cut.

i-SZDnWfF-XL.jpg

 

note. Having refitted the shell to the chassis, while the outside edge of the tyres is technically 30mm wider than the original body (ie. requiring an infill of 15mm per side), I think it actually looks better with just 12mm per side - so that's what it will be.

 

Since I was on a roll, I also let Dr Dremel do some damage at the rear end too:

i-b5JC8zP-XL.jpg

The plan here being to re-attach the tailgate with actual working hinges - so that I can run with it up or down (or even half-way up with chains) as required.

More soon!

Jenny x

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Bodybuilding... (this episode brought to you by Araldite and Isopon P38)

Ideally the vertical faces of the rear aches would be approximately 12mm further out than originally - proving sufficient coverage for the dual rear tyres to be considered 'legal' but at the same time, having just a bit of that tread poking out to emphasise the wider rear end.

 

i-BphhMbZ-XL.jpg

photo. mocking up with trusty cereal packets and tape!

 

Once I'd mocked up the arches, I realised that if the extension/in-fill was to follow the original angles of the initial arch (bearing in mind that the HiLux step-side box arches have essential three profiles - almost flat (but slightly tapered), then a 45° chamfer, then an essentially vertical face, with a lip arch too of course) - then the 45° chamfer would have to be trimmed by about 5mm so that everything mated up with the arches at the original height to the rest of the bed...

i-4MsqFDw-XL.jpg

photo. The result was a series of bracing panels (1mm styrene) along each flat face - 17mm further out, which allowed the trimmed vertical arches to sit over the top at the correct width...

i-k4Q89W5-XL.jpg

photo. arches initially tacked in place with super-glue gel - the outer arch just sits on the edge of the [internal] bracing panels.

With the arches reattached, all I had to do now was cut some more strips of styrene (1.5mm thick) to make a sandwich and fill in the gap between the top of the original wheel-arch boxes, and the new outer lip.

i-BDqSwPM-XL.jpg

photo. It's going to make quite a difference!

 

Once the filler strips were cut and tacked in place with more super-glue, I then beefed everything up with a liberal application of Araldite inside - the rapid set stuff I brought from the UK with me.

i-pSPdwvv-XL.jpg

photo. this rear bed is already a heavy moulding, it weighs a tonne now with all that extra glue and plastic - super strong though of course.

I used Araldite to initially fill in corners of each wheel-arch box, which could then be sanded smooth on the outside to replicate the original curve and radius. Similarly any remaining gaps were filled with Isopon P38 before the initial shaping with the Dremel sanding drum, followed by some 240 grit wet&dry paper.

i-v8sjnvw-XL.jpg

photo. After the first filler session - it's getting there already...

i-K9sP259-XL.jpg

 

More soon!

Jenny x

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