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NulnOilTycoon

My Frog builds (regular(ish) and AMPRO)

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Hello Tamiya Club.

I’ve decided to share my first hobby grade RC buggy build, the Tamiya Frog, or Frogs, (see below). I had a Tyco Fast Traxx back in the day and have done quite a bit of building and painting Warhammer minis but for a change of pace (literally) I’ve decided to venture in to the wonderful world of RC.

I went ahead and bought myself a Frog (and the misses a Grasshopper, to race against) and set about painting the driver, because to me there seemed to be no point building the car until there’s someone to drive it!

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I picked up a dark grey King Blackfoot chassis off ebay as it looked nicer than the standard grey one and started building the kit with the bundled Tamiya ESC and a cheap servo/receiver that came as a starter bundle.  I didn’t like the extra orange ESC wire not connected to anything and the brown Planet receiver looks awful.  I wanted to build as nice a Frog as possible so began looking in to what bits I actually thought would be nice.  I'm not really sure if I’m going way over the top or buying the wrong things as I’m just getting to grips with RC stuff.

I switched the ESC for the Hobbywing Quicrun 1060 which is way neater than the TBLE-02 and decided on a cool looking black fast response Savox SC-1257 servo and, thinking I might want more buggies in the future, I've ordered a Futaba 3PV with antenna less receiver.  These more compact gubbins should fit better in the slightly cramped Frog space frame.

I also did a bit of research and found that a quite a few custom parts are available for the ORV chassis vehicles, and although they’re expensive they seemed great for customising your buggy, so I ordered some random parts, a selection of lights off ebay and some other bits and bobs (MIP Ball Diff, faster Motor, etc), and I’m now in the process of trying to finish it all off.

When I bought the buggy I also bought a second body because I knew I wanted to paint 2 bodies, so I could have 2 different colours (I like painting things), having bought all these extra bits I seemed to have acquired more than half of another Frog, so in some strange way the idea of building a second Frog came about.

So here's where I'm at:

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The "Alpha Frog" (on the right) is nearly finished but is waiting for the Receiver to arrive along with a UGT Tuned Motor, it also requires a bit more work wiring up the lights and adjusting the steering.  The other chassis is project "Blazing Frog", (I swapped my original grey frame for the Monster Beetle one).  I'll build the MIP Ball Diff. into the new gearbox, but then I'll swap it into the Alpha Frog, because I'm thinking of going with the AMPRO double wishbone rear suspension on the Blazing Frog, which I believe has a bit of a gearbox brace built in to help keep the standard diff. gears in check?  (I can always upgrade to MIP later if it needs it).

Painting the first body took me the best part of a week, trimming, masking, making mistakes having to clean it and start over. I’m still not totally happy with how it came out as I missed some specks of dirt when I was cleaning it and dust landed on it between coats, which show up on the yellow, but the stickers covered the worst of it and at least it’s done.  The front lights had to be re worked so the wires would go through the body neatly, and I’m working on a mount for a rear brake light.

I’ve used as much stainless steel hardware as possible, (I might upgrade to titanium at a later date), the turnbuckles are titanium and I used the Tamiya High Torque servo horn and low friction balls and cups. I’ve added AW-119 detail stainless steel mesh to the sides of the space frame and extensively used 3M dual lock low profile tape to create the semi-permanent attachment for the driver, ESC, Rx, etc.

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I've ordered a driver, some shocks and wheels for the Blazing Frog and I'm still waiting for a few more bits to arrive before I can do much more on either of these builds.

Am I insane?  Probably.  Feedback is more than welcome.  Thanks for looking.

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That's a nice looking build the driver looks great aswell 

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You are experiencing what most of us have gone (and are still going) through. Welcome to the club and if you want to see how crazy it can get, just check out some of the showrooms on the main site.

p.s. Can see you painting skills in that driver, great job 

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Thanks for the nice comments guys... update time:

Some parts have arrived for the Blazing Frog but I've had to have a sort out and put everything for that build in to a separate box and to one side, as it was getting a bit hectic with 2 buggy builds on the go at the same time. 

The Alpha Frog is pretty much finished for now... The Futaba 3PV transmitter and R314SB-E enclosed antenna receiver arrived and with the Rx being small and neat it fits nicely along side the Quicrun 1060 (which is also fairly small), leaving plenty of space under the driver figure for the motor and battery cables.  Here's some pictures of the gubbins before and after connecting the lights and putting the top plate on.

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I've made most of the cables shorter and added black heatshrink to give a neat finish although I decided to use self amalgamating tape for the cable to the power switch (which isn't quite as neat) because I didn't really want to open the brand new ESC, de-solder the wires etc, it might be glued shut and not quite as straight forward as it seems. If anyone has opened the Quicrun 1060 I'd be interested to hear/see what it's like inside.

The brake light cable runs neatly between the Rx and the ESC to the connector block that sits next to the servo.  The front lights connect to the switch controller on the top plate.  This switch controller could run another set of lights if I wanted to do a set of 4 on the front bumper or something.  However it also has annoying flashing modes (I ordered the wrong one off ebay) that are a bit crazy for headlights, so I've ordered a different (hopefully simpler) on/off switch controller that I'll swap it for when it arrives.

I made and fitted a brake light mount box (which needs a slight adjustment) and fitted the UGT tuned motor I ordered a while ago.  I love the way the back end looks now, matching with all the other black and red internals:

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The front lights aren't as bright as I'd hoped, I aluminium tape lined the inside of the housing to boost the reflected light, but the white covers with Hella decals do stop a lot of the light.  The faux antennas are cut down and partially replaced with plastic tube so if (when) it rolls over they'll just bend. 

The only things left to do for now on the Alpha Frog are; swap out the differential for the MIP upgraded one + gears, add the AMPRO rear arm strengtheners, and then take it for a good thrash around outside.

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So I take the Frog out for it's first full throttle blast around (exhilarating) and 30 seconds later after doing a wheelie I crack the body, thanks to my stupid home made rear light box catching the ground and rolling upwards.  

crack.jpg.75c062edeaa8a931f61486228584aee3.jpg

I knew the body would get scratched and maybe break but pretty gutted it happened so quickly.  The light box is going to need some significant remodelling before I try it again.  The other issue is the brake light goes off when you actually use the brakes, it's only on when the throttle is released.

Otherwise, the Frog goes really well with the UGT motor in it, and I must have built the MIP ball diff. correctly, although I wasn't sure how many O-rings to use in the axle cups, (I used 2 in the left 1 in the right).  The offset motor mount for the Monster Beetle is a bit of a pain in the Frog as it moves the motor closer to the back. I'd rather the body didn't rub on the motor.

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The Blazing Frog is now taking shape, I decided to go all in and up the component specs to match the Alpha Frog, (so it will basically be the evil sibling), the idea being I could run them both with identical motors back to back and race them to compare the performance of the standard vs AMPRO suspension. 

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I might put a Super Stock RZ motor in the Blazing Frog as I feel it should be "hot", although I do love the look of the black UGT motor so I could get another one of those, so it matches the Alpha Frog.

Regarding the colour scheme; getting the colour/texture of 3d printed parts to match the red/black factory plastics isn't going to happen, so I decided to go for a hot analogous colour scheme of red and orange to contrast against the neutral black and white components.  I wasn't happy with the orange dyed parts from Shapeways, they weren't bad, just not as vivid as I'd hoped, and as soon as you do any sanding to smooth they start to fade.  To get the look I was after I painted the parts with GW Troll Slayer Orange, the acrylic paint seems to bond nicely with the porous SLS Nylon.  I did some wet+dry sanding to between a couple of coats of paint and added a couple of coats of satin spray lacquer to seal and protect the finished parts.

Things I've noticed:

  • The shock absorbers are 1/16 scale dampers from ebay and they are ok but seem to stick when they've been fully extended for a while, is this normal?  Will they loosen up with use, or should I open them up and have a better look at them? 
  • The AMPRO uprights require M2.5 hardware to fit the shocks, I used 20mm stainless bolts that threaded nicely into the mounting posts.  The inside "notch" on the uprights do require a bit of shaving down to fit, but you get a nice snug fit in doing so.
  • The Technical Difficulties RC speed control centre plate is similarly annoying but this time the holes and more crucially the struts on the underside of the plate are a bit too small to nicely accept M3 screws.  I tapped and fitted M3s to the black plate on the Alpha Frog but the struts visibly deform as you screw in to them, where the Nylon is too thin.  So for the orange plate, I've used M2.5 cap head socket screws rather than the M3 dome head screws I've used everywhere else, this helps but isn't ideal.  

So overall, the progress on the Blazing Frog is fairly slow.  I've built the gearbox (with MIP diff), loosely assembled the chassis, painted and loosely assembled the front end and have otherwise purchased and gathered a lot of the parts together, (although I still need the chunky stepped screws for the front linkage).  Now that I've settled on a colour (and how I'm finishing the pieces) I've ordered the AMPRO back end and some of the other bits I need to continue the build.

This thing is costing me a small fortune, but hopefully it will be super cool.

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Those Frogs look the business!!! 👍👍👌

I'd say welcome to the Hobby.... But your work isn't that of a N00b! Your Warhammer experience REALLY shows on your Driver Figures. 

And yeah.... Alberto has been my buddy for nearly a Decade. His AmPro Engineering designs have done a LOT for our corner of the RC Hobby!! BTW, they're stronger than he claims!!! He's just doing a little CYA.... 😉

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Thanks for the nice comment @Carmine A I do have a lot of experience building various things with plastic, metal, wood, carbon and I studied physics at Uni and have painted lots of small things.  I think all of this helps, but none of it stops me making plenty of NOOB errors!  I just maybe choose to omit some/all of them from my hobby updates. ;)

RC parts seem to be the perfect application for 3D printing, the options available to customise your builds are fantastic.  So far I really do like the AMPRO parts and especially the videos, (they're interesting, informative and Alberto has such a soothing voice).  I'm really looking forward to getting the rear double wishbone setup for the Frog and testing it out!

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..... Alberto is RC ASMR!!! 😜😁  He's a good Guy. Being an Engineer doesn't hurt his endeavors! The last thing I got from him was a Double Wishbone FRONT Suspension Kit for my Lunchbox....

Talk about an amazing transformation! 😁  It's still a wacky Lunchie, but it can actually TURN now.

BTW I'm like the LAST Guy on Earth without a 3D Printer!!! 😭😭😲  I hope someday. Opens up a World of possibilities. I'm Poor though😭

I've been in RC since 1984.... Doesn't stop me from bone headed N00b mistakes! Feel free to share the blunders here as well.... This Lot has a sense of humour!!

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All the AMPRO bits have now arrived so I can get to work painting and installing them.  You can see the difference between the "orange" Nylon from Shapeways and the intense Troll Slayer orange after painting.  I've also nearly done the body, I just need to cut the rear section to fit the wing mount frame, before spraying white (or maybe black I can't decide).

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That looks so tempting... I want to do one too!! 😁 Can't wait to see it put together.

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I've made some good progress on the Blazing Frog, although it's fairly slow going.  I've nearly finished all the paintwork and the build is getting there, it's all wired up but I'm still waiting for a few more parts to arrive. 

The lights are getting swapped out for slightly smaller ones, and I'm hopefully making a custom wing which will be black.  I didn't bother with the AMPRO battery door, I made the stock one open by cutting and drilling some bolts, it was fiddly but I think it's a more elegant solution.  I used 32mm turnbuckles with Tamiya low friction balls and cups for the rear upper link arms.  The orange nylon rear arms were dyed black and then painted black, sanded and sealed to get as close a finish to the front arms as possible. 

At the moment I've used a piece of rubber PC case edge trim on the rear window where it runs close to the wing mount; so that if/when I roll this thing, the lexan wont cut into the nylon.  I could cut the body back further to prevent them from touching, this would look nicer but would weaken the body, I've not decided yet.

Overall I'm fairly happy with how this is coming along.  I might do a more thorough write up or maybe even video showcase/review when I get it all done as there's quite a lot of things I could talk about with this build.

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On 7/25/2020 at 2:03 AM, NulnOilTycoon said:

So I take the Frog out for it's first full throttle blast around (exhilarating) and 30 seconds later after doing a wheelie I crack the body, thanks to my stupid home made rear light box catching the ground and rolling upwards.  

crack.jpg.75c062edeaa8a931f61486228584aee3.jpg

I knew the body would get scratched and maybe break but pretty gutted it happened so quickly.  The light box is going to need some significant remodelling before I try it again.  The other issue is the brake light goes off when you actually use the brakes, it's only on when the throttle is released.

Otherwise, the Frog goes really well with the UGT motor in it, and I must have built the MIP ball diff. correctly, although I wasn't sure how many O-rings to use in the axle cups, (I used 2 in the left 1 in the right).  The offset motor mount for the Monster Beetle is a bit of a pain in the Frog as it moves the motor closer to the back. I'd rather the body didn't rub on the motor.

I had to trim it further cause i didn't want the motor to touch it. 

Now waiting for ps paints to get delivered. But the overall cut didn't look too good. 

Probably should have used curved scissors. 

 

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The Blazing Frog is edging ever closer.  I picked up some hot Super Astute wheels and tyres for when I want something a bit higher performance than the stock Frog wheels and tyres although it will have the stock ones on most of the time as I like that classic look.  I might try and get hold of some of the Aluminium side rails that I'll paint orange to tie the front nylon parts to the rear parts and balance with the orange roll bar look on the roof.  I'm not settled on the lights yet, I'm trying a few LED options and waiting for another set to arrive before I decide on which ones looks just right.  

The shocks are much smoother now that I've filled them up with oil and there is some bump steer to try and reduce by altering where the rods connect to the servo horn.  Lastly the wing... this is the most tricky part, I bought a small second hand vacuum forming machine and I've made a mould of the stock wing but re-sculpted it to not have the post mount parts, to achieve as close to stock look as possible.  The wing shown was one of my first attempts but the Lexan wasn't hot enough and I damaged my mould so I need to try again, to hopefully make something unique and has the look I'm going for.

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On 9/8/2020 at 5:52 PM, Edo Rally said:

I had to trim it further cause i didn't want the motor to touch it. 

Now waiting for ps paints to get delivered. But the overall cut didn't look too good. 

Probably should have used curved scissors. 

 

This is a weak point on the shell . I've repaired mine in the same place . I reinforced it on the inside . Nice Frogs there (ribbit ) . 

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