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Not my kind of car... But great modifications and storytelling! Thank you for sharing!

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Universal joints have arrived:

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Listed as equivalent to 56 mm pin-to-pin dog bone drive shafts, these were a cheap bet from online.

Initially, impressions on the test chassis were good:

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As a reminder, this is the inside of the gearbox that these drive shafts will complement:

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The use of splined outputs for the Rising Fighter differential were the reason I could not reuse the original Striker drive cups. Having been fortunate to experience few failures with those parts, I would have been willing to proceed with them. However, this system should be smoother in operation.

I kept the 20T motor, but swapped in the steel 18T pinion:

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And once situated:

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Elation gave way to disappointment when I realized that the suspension and drive shaft bind at about 60% travel, where the drive shafts are completely parallel to the ground. This is where the universal assembly is at its longest in the suspension stroke.

I attempted to solve the problem with spacers to move the axle cups further outboard; however, this resulted in each axle being supported by only one 1150 bearing each instead of two, and thus more free play. The slop was almost as bad as it was on the front end - more on that in a moment.

And so, unfortunately, this modification ended up being mere millimetres (maybe even one) from a perfect upgrade. This is not the end of this experiment, though!

The more successful venture involved reducing the aforementioned front-end slop with another suspension link:

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The front suspension was free to flex longitudinally in the presence of only one upper suspension link. Adding a second one therefore increased the rigidity of the system in this plane. The screw sitting just above the pivot attached to the front shock tower is purely decorative, plugging a hole that was made for the same purpose but with unfavourable results.

Since the trailing link is not perfectly parallel to the leading link (I think a product of poor measuring on my part), a bit of bump steer is introduced into the system. Setting the pivot to the location of the upper screw only made it profoundly worse, so the lower setting remained.

The trailing links are the ones made from the 3 x 32 mm rods, initially used as leading links. They were replaced at the front by types made from 3 x 42 mm turnbuckles, tightened all the way down:

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When budget permits, the turnbuckles will be replaced by shorter units.

A cooling fan also made its way onto the ESC:

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The Striker has not encountered overheating issues yet, and as the temperatures drop further, I do not anticipate any more for some time. Still, this fan is a welcome addition to a chassis that is quite enclosed.

The next day's test run proved the effectiveness of the upgrades that did work:

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Steering is even more direct, and operating temperatures are now well below prohibitive levels.

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Sadly, the double-deck rear wing did not survive this particular session, as a few rollovers too many ultimately snapped the brittle plastic of the Rising Fighter wing clean off its mounts. Stock wing it is, until I can get that Egress/Super Astute wing painted...

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The other modification I attempted was subtle, but something I wished to attempt:

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I clipped the ends off the body mount posts and drilled them to accept M3 machine screws. This was done to increase the rigidity of the chassis, as well as to address my apparent inability to remove body clips...

With the upper shell screwed onto the bottom component, the upper shell now offers a greater structural element to the chassis than when it was held in place by body clips. If the result does not stress the upper shell beyond its limits in normal use, the lower shell should now be able to disperse some of its forces to the upper piece to make a true monocoque chassis (inasmuch as a two-piece chassis can be a monocoque).

These flat-head screws were the first choice; I have some hex-head screws that may reduce the chances of stripping the heads inadvertently. If I feel adventurous, I may even be able to countersink the holes to fit the appropriate screws and get a flush finish.

And so the gradual transition to hex-head and/or machine-thread screws continues:

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And as I write, these new 56 mm (pin-to-pin) dog bone drive shafts have just arrived in the mail:

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More soon!

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While the 56 mm CV joints did not quite work, I was a little more optimistic about the dog bone drive shafts. One reason was that the dog bones would be paired with shorter drive axles, meaning less space taken up in each suspension arm and therefore more room for the dog bones to fit.

Once in, I found the same issues as I had with the CV joints, with the axles binding near the middle of the suspension stroke. I discovered that this was not necessarily due to the length of the dog bone, but the depth of the drive cup. The drive shafts fit the drive cup slots neatly, so the binding had to be in the cup itself.

After reaming out some material with an appropriate-size drill bit, everything fit better:

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Much better indeed!

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And so, it is with excitement that I announce that I have successfully fitted a semi-sealed differential into a Striker! The Rising Fighter diff may not be perfectly sealed, but it can still use Tamiya Diff Putty, which cannot be said for the original open-gear type. Perhaps more importantly, it means that I have much greater parts availability for future maintenance. The implications of this discovery are positive for Striker/Sonic Fighter/Falcon owners out there, I think - especially as the original differential's large bevel gears have not been re-released yet...

A few days passed before my Egress/Super Astute rear wing arrived (henceforth, I will refer to it as an Astute wing; rest assured, it is not an original!), after which I reinstalled the rear shock tower brace/MSC resistor holder:

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I did this, realizing that the original rear wing actually provided structural support for the rear shock stays. That wing was made out of a sturdier plastic than the polycarbonate of the Astute wing, so the brace/holder will now provide the necessary reinforcement.

The lesson learned from my unfortunate Rising Fighter wing experience was that I needed much better support for the rear wing. By providing more surface area to mount it on, it will be less likely to break in a rollover. Polycarbonate is also a resilient material, so hopefully the combination of the new material and better practices for mounting will result in a longer-lasting rear wing.

To increase the surface area of the mounting point, I added two plastic bushings, to serve as spacers:

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This will now allow the rear wing to sit on the bushings and the flats of the rear shock stays. It is a vast improvement over the double-deck wing design. I initially entertained a similar treatment with the Astute wing (using the original Striker wing underneath), but decided that the car would be more aesthetically appealing with a single-element wing. In my visions of the design, I had always pictured it this way...

But first: paint and decals. Wishing to finish the project without spending too much more money, I sprayed the rear wing with a can of PS-4 Blue paint I had lying around, and used decals I had stockpiled from previous builds and purchases. The PS-4 Blue is a bit darker than the shade used for the Striker (perhaps PS-30 Brilliant Blue would have been closer), though I did not want to back the blue with white paint.

The decals were a bit more interesting. I sourced them from: a Tamiya TB-02R sheet; a Tamiya sponsor sheet printed by MCI Racing that I had ordered some time ago; another MCI Racing-printed sheet that I had designed; and a reproduction Tamiya Striker decal sheet. I spent more time contemplating the design of the rear wing than applying the decals, with the following results:

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And assembled:

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The notches cut into the leading edge are there to clear the rear damper stays and bodies. They allow the wing to sit flush with the flats on the damper stays, thereby providing more support for the rear wing. Once again, I used a cut "Super Gripper" decal for the "Super" text. The "Striker" text was actually cut from the side-pod sticker of the reproduction decal sheet; a replacement sheet is on the way, should I decide to repaint and refinish the buggy.

Installed:

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All things considered, I am actually pleased with the addition of the Astute rear wing. This one sits even better than the original one I mocked up, as it has been drilled specifically to fit the Striker. The outboard mounting holes above the ones being used are for a dual-element configuration, although I doubt it will appear anytime soon on this chassis.

Without further ado: the Super Striker!

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Just as Henri Pescarolo saw fit to put his name on the Courage prototypes he modified extensively, so too does my name appear on this Striker:

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Incidentally, the grid pattern of the "Grastens" font was actually due to the decal's intended purpose as a front grille decal for an as-yet unbuilt Lancia 037. I used spares from those decal sheets on this rear wing.

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It is certainly not everybody's favourite Tamiya, but it now might be my pick!

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"Shakey" Roop has survived long enough to drive a Striker that will finally allow his skills to shine:

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And with that, I believe this concludes the journey of the Super Striker! It has been a wonderful test of my problem-solving skills and design work, even if it pales in comparison to the more elaborate projects out there. The entire process has been quite engaging, and I am now rewarded with a very unique example of one of Tamiya's most-maligned 2WD buggies :)

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... But don't Formula 1 cars have front wings, too?

I was in an odd mood when I modelled my spare Striker rear wing on the nose of the buggy:

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Because after all the aesthetic improvements, I decided it really had to be in the spirit of the original car :P Alternatively: if the Super Striker is super-fast, super-driveable, and super-modified, it should also be super-controversial!

I had mulled over the idea of adding a front wing to the Super Striker before, but did not come up with a satisfactory solution until now. To allow quick, non-destructive removal, as well as reducing collateral damage to the body and chassis, I realized I could affix the wing to the nose of the car with double-sided tape - much in the way I had modelled the Astute rear wing previously.

So I went for it!

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If ever used for its intended purpose, the Japanese "Tamiya" text will be inverted, but it will be less obvious to the English-literate witnesses I expect for this car. In the meantime, it needed a bit of decoration, I think...

And now, in its full March 711/Tyrrell F1/1970s F1 in general shovel-nosed glory:

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Driver visibility remains largely unchanged!

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Will the front wing actually produce any meaningful front downforce? Who knows?!

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And suddenly, the next drive got even more interesting... Like many good projects, this one still has some life!

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Really beginning to like the look of the Striker in your second to last post! But the frontwing does nothing for me...

Unless it makes the Striker go faster. :D

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16 minutes ago, bavee said:

Really beginning to like the look of the Striker in your second to last post! But the frontwing does nothing for me...

Unless it makes the Striker go faster. :D

And I will only leave it on if it does ;)

:P

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As an aside: it seems front wings on 1:10 2WD RC buggies is nothing new. LiveRC has a short history on their use in this link. It surprised me to learn that they have been in vogue since at least 2015, and that the concept has been rather well-developed by the likes of JConcepts and Team Losi, among others.

Reading on the history, as well as current offerings, has me thinking two things:

- The current installation on the Super Striker is probably nowhere near as effective as it can be. Modern shapes sport high incidence, and vary radically in size. The sophistication of aerodynamic design in full-scale motoraports has truly reached RC cars; Gurney flaps are even a feature on some front wings! If I really want to notice some sort of performance gain, the Striker wing is purely ornamental, so I should do away with it...

- ... Or what if I mounted it out front of the nose, in true Formula 1 fashion? :P I would probably mount it on the bumper in a manner that can hold up to driving, yet not harm the rest of the car in a frontal impact. Perhaps zip ties could work? This would also allow me to adjust the angle of attack, since the wing would be independent of the upper shell. By that, I mean the angle of the front wing would no longer be dictated by the angle of the bodywork, as it is in its current position.

Really, this would be of the most benefit if I actually went racing. Sadly, I am far closer to London, Ontario, than London, U.K., which means nowhere to race - all the tracks seem to have closed down around here :(

Nonetheless, like everything else on the Super Striker, it remains an intriguing thought exercise! As it stands, the early Tyrrell F1 cars (which I feel this front wing evokes the most) were designed on very different aerodynamic theories than what we have today, and so were definitely not as efficient as modern racers...

... But then, this is still a Striker! I should be fine :D

Aesthetically, I believe I initially had the "Evolution" Group B rally cars (think Peugeot 205 Evo.2 or Audi Quattro S2) in mind when I put the wing on the front, and it just so happened that it fit the technical description of F1 cars, too. It had the fringe "benefit" of making the Super Striker even stranger-looking than the original, too :P We shall see how it drives!

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7 minutes ago, Grastens said:

- ... Or what if I mounted it out front of the nose, in true Formula 1 fashion? :P 

Please do! I think it will look better than your current setup ^_^.

Don't know if it will benefit driving because most front wings pictured on LiveRC seem to be placed way higher up on the body...

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I noticed that as well. The placement of front wings on modern 2WD RC buggies is likely informed by clean airflow, application of front downforce, resistance to crashes, and of course the aerodynamic design of the rest of that particular chassis.

The Super Striker's front wing placement is informed by clean airflow, resistance to crashes (hence, the mounting on the nose, inboard of the bumper), and the Peugeot 205 Evo.2 :P

I am fortunate that the Striker rear wing is very sturdy, so I have fewer reservations about mounting it out front of the bumper. Already, I have some ideas...

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loving this build thread - some really innovative problem solving!

Just had a thought about your rear driveshafts not fitting quite right - there is a similar issue with the double cardan driveshafts in the DB-01/DN-01 and Tamiya get around it by supplying a thinner bearing, which gives an extra 1mm for the driveshaft to "swing(?)" into.

In theory, I guess you could do the same here:

image.png.82ecaa68ca711c345df2a25eb5a1c5ef.png

 

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Good thinking! I will be sure to look into it.

Meanwhile, there was the front wing to address. I had a few ideas, most of which involved zip ties and spacers:

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This was a decent start. The zip tie heads are partially recessed into the Striker rear wing, so with this, I have a sturdy mount that is easily removable and can flex in the event of a frontal impact. What I could not find was a satisfactory solution to keep the wing at a given angle of attack, i.e. prevent it from swinging back and forth on the bumper.

Rubber tubing under the zip ties was considered, but there remained the likelihood of slippage. More zip ties were added, but were unable to provide the longitudinal rigidity required. I even put screws into the front mounts of the wing and tried to fix those onto something else on the bumper or chassis, but was unsuccessful.

It was while I was working closely with the chassis that I realized it could really use that refresh sooner than later. As a diversion, I then removed the upper shell and driver head, washing both before air-drying them. The reproduction Striker decal sheet I had on hand was not perfect, since I had cut out one of the side-pod decals to use on the rear wing, but I had enough stickers to complete the upper shell. Additional motivation was provided by the commitment to enter Round 17 of the TamiyaClub Racing by Post challenge - now, the refresh had the feeling of donning battle dress, ready for combat...

Which is how we found ourselves here:

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I removed every decal except for the racing numbers, BFGoodrich stickers, driver name, and instrument panel:

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As I would not be repainting the shell (a full restoration will follow some time later), I washed it like this and left it to dry. The driver head was also stripped of decals before being washed and dried. The air intakes were painted black; hence, they remain in these photos. Additional "paint bleeds" were actually ill-advised attempts to touch up peeling dark-blue decals, and there was dirt where dust had managed to get under the previous decals.

Once dried, I broke out the paints, as I was also committed to touching up the cockpit and driver helmet:

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I would like to think that my painting skills are improving. This time, I focused on achieving proper lighting conditions for detailed paint work, and so used several lanterns, flashlights, and lamps to get the visibility I needed.

I took the time to repaint the driver torso in XF-7 Flat Red, as suggested by the box art. White gloves were added (XF-2 Flat White), with a black dividing line between suit and glove on each arm as a nod to the original paint on this particular figure. I used a paint marker to colour the seat harness in X-3 Royal Blue, with a coat of XF-86 Flat Clear to dull its sheen. Buckles and a zipper were painted in X-11 Chrome Silver. I also gave the cockpit cowling a proper two coats of X-10 Gun Metal, per original manual suggestion, instead of cutting more carbon-fibre decal to cover it, as had previously been the case. The steering wheel was given light detailing with X-10 Gun Metal and XF-1 Flat Black.

The rest of the cockpit was retouched with XF-1 Flat Black, in both paint marker and brush paint formats. In progress below:

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The driver helmet was retouched with XF-1 Flat Black for the rubber trim, as a good amount of the original finish had chipped away from gravel driving. I elected not to repaint the shell of the helmet, to keep some of the history of the model intact. I glued the two halves of the helmet together with Tamiya CA Cement, and replaced the screw on the back of the helmet with a tapping step screw, to bring the screw head closer to the surface of the helmet. This way, while there would still be a hole in the back, it would be less of a gaping one!

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"Shakey" Roop's face was retouched with: XF-2 Flat White for the balaclava; XF-15 Flat Flesh for the rest of the face; and small dots of X-2 White, X-9 Brown, and X-1 Black for the eyes, irises, and pupils, respectively. The dots of paint were applied with carved toothpicks. I have much to improve on for this technique, but at least I can paint the "reflexes" on the eyes:

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It is still a vast improvement over my first attempt! :D

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Like a live-action remake of an anime film, next to said anime film :P

As I did not paint the driver figure previously (it had been painted before I had purchased it back in 2012), I could not compare my skills then to now. However, I have been steadily improving, especially with the confidence-inducing qualities of the XF-7 Flat Red:

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I had similar success painting driver figures for my Hotshot and VQS in the same suit colour ^_^

The driver helmet decals went on first. While I did not quite position them per box-art, I cut out the decals on the lines, and went with the layout that made the most sense without additional trimming. The upper shell decals were next!

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I must comment that MCI Racing has come quite a way in the quality of its offerings. Their reproduction Striker decals were easy to cut and massage, if a bit tricky to apply - but that complaint had largely to do with the window-cleaning solution I was using to position and set them.

Curiously, though, these decals were not in the original colours. The dark blue ("Intense Blue" in MCI Racing's catalogue) is easy enough to dismiss, but the "Cyan Blue" is definitely not the teal that the original decals featured. I did not complain, though, because I felt the subtle colour shift was keeping in character with this particular Striker's transformation.

Still, they were easy to work with, evidenced by my successful attempt at applying the nose decals:

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I definitely applied the previous decals without a liquid solution or a hair-dryer, meaning plenty of wrinkles and lifts. I have a much better hand on these techniques now, and so I was quite optimistic I could get a good finish.

It all came together mostly without incident:

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Unfortunately, I did not line up the side stripes with the front decal (with the "Hyper Offroad Racer" text; notice the lack of an upper border), so some creative trimming and judicious massaging were required to reconcile everything. Otherwise, it was a very pleasant experience!

I have also gotten much better at opening round holes in decals:

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A combination of a body reamer and a sharp X-Acto knife blade made it happen. The previous decals lifted where I had made messy cuts in these areas, so having a much neater effort on these pleased me.

And then, inspiration struck!

Recalling that the Ferrari 312T3's front wing was not actually attached to the bodywork nose cone of the car:

Ferrari-312-T3-Formula-One-Car-8-1480x98

And frustrated in my attempts to use zip ties to brace the front wing against longitudinal motion, I found some paperclips and bent them around the bumper and into the front wing:

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The wire is sturdy enough to hold up the wing and resist vibration/airflow(!) forces, but sufficiently malleable to yield in the event of a frontal impact, as well as to bend (somewhat) easily around the bumper bars. Excellent!

The shape on the left side was simple to make, but duplicating it for the right side was a bit more tedious - I think one paperclip was stronger than the other... Nonetheless, I managed to get two floating wing stays assembled and fitted:

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I was very pleased with this development, especially as it put the wing in a better position than right on the nose of the car! I briefly entertained switching the front zip ties to more wire, but decided to keep them, as they were sufficiently robust.

The front wing is, of course, quite vulnerable to collisions, but so are Formula 1 front wings - and the flexibility of the wire should make for some rather gnarly-looking "damage" should the car take a hit :lol:

Like Walter Rohrl once told his concerned family members: "Listen, I'm not planning on having an accident." Some of us can't help it, of course :P

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I was quite proud of my work by this time, so I stepped outside on a crisp autumn day to take some pictures!

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A first test run is next!

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My camera ran out of power before I could embark upon said drive, but I do have the following impressions:

- The Rising Fighter differential and dog bone drive shafts work beautifully! No binding under driving, and no visible gear backlash. I no doubt overestimated the effects of running a 49T differential gear in place of a 50T differential gear without adjustments. This was the most satisfying observation of the session :)

- The wings might actually be making a difference. I lost the rear wing in spectacular fashion - it simply flew off in a hard turn! It turns out that I had lost one of the wing screws, and the second one had loosened up to the point that it could escape. No appreciable damage to the wing, though, not even after the two grip-rolls (I was testing on asphalt) that put the Super Striker on its (figurative) roof. I replaced the flange nuts I was using with nyloc nuts as insurance against vibration-induced loosening:

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I have the suspicion that the shock towers flex just enough under hard driving to allow the wing to come loose. If the rear wing flies off again, I will be switching to an alternative/more robust mounting solution. Maybe the resistor stay could get involved?

But I digress. I drove without the rear wing as a result, and the car felt "looser." Adjusting the angle of the front wing also seemed to make a slight difference, but its actual effect on performance remains to be determined... It did manage to stay on during rough-terrain tests, and when it did come unclipped following a rollover, it was easy to reapply :) We have a winning design here, I think!

- If the Striker was the concept of an off-road Formula 1 car, the Super Striker really looks the part with its front wing and wide tires.

- I should probably run the car on looser terrain for Round 17 of the Racing by Post challenge...

Either way, I did not push it too hard, but it was a very reassuring ride! I am looking forward to testing it on proper dirt and gravel, as well as jumps.

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Until then, I put together these pictures comparing the Super Striker to its original form in the early days:

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We sure have come a long way, haven't we? :wub:

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And now, the Super Striker turns a wheel in anger!

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... Maybe "turns a wheel in mild irritation" would be more apt :lol: I participated in Round 17 of the Racing by Post challenge, using an empty parking lot and a few hockey pucks to recreate the miniature Watkins Glen course for this round. I had hoped to do so on a loose surface (rules are free on those), but this was the only available surface I had. However, the full-size Watkins Glen is all pavement, so there is some authenticity here!

It was my first time "racing," or at least participating in a time trial. It was also the first time I have run the Super Striker exclusively on pavement, and the first time I have run the Super Striker in its current form, excluding the first shakedown run.

As I had misjudged the course dimensions, I opted for a high-speed setup: the front wing was trimmed to low-drag (:lol:), and I left in the larger 18T pinion gear. However, I swapped the motor down to a 23T brushed unit, over the previous 20T can that lived out back, feeling that the higher turn rating may make on-throttle response more predictable.

With a sticker, that motor is the Twin Star Racing 23T Inter:

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... In a badge-engineering project with GoolRC :P

I ran the course six times while timed, which means as many laps as possible in a five-minute span. I used the built-in timer on my radio, after learning how it worked. It was not the only thing I learned my radio was capable of, as I also made use of the expo. settings for throttle and steering. The former was very helpful in lowering my lap times, but the latter still requires some experimentation.

The circuit, being very small-scale, was therefore quite technical, and it became clear that the Super Striker was not ideally configured for the course. It was over-geared, over-dampened, on the wrong tires, and understeered consistently. That is not to say I did not have fun, though! :D

After collecting my results for the Racing by Post challenge, I decided to enlarge the circuit a bit:

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The subtleties of the car emerged here. With a bit more room to run, the car's understeer was less pronounced, and braking was a less-punishing exercise. There is still no getting around the fact that the original Striker bears a passing resemblance to an on-road car and has none of the latter's on-road traits, but I felt I got to learn the car better with more space.

If nothing else, hitting the track markers at least did less damage than it would have to an on-road car - except for that one time I flipped it over while cornering :P The Astute wing showed a fringe benefit here, for the rollover merely scraped the tops of the end-plates, leaving the main span unmarred. I do believe that "Shakey" Roop has more road rash on his helmet, though!

Despite the car being out of its element, however, I was impressed by how solid it felt while driving: its behaviour, while not entirely ideal, was nonetheless consistent. The Rising Fighter differential did not slow the car down (I think the understeer was due to a combination of damper setup and lack of negative front camber - at lower speeds, the front wing would not have helped, admittedly), and when I had more time for braking, I could actually set the car up for a decent racing line.

And of course, the biggest improvement I could make is my own driving ;)

I will be able to test the Super Striker on dirt tomorrow, for the first time in its current form. I wonder how it will behave, if at all differently...

I have also decided that perhaps some Tamiya Wide Grooved front tires and Square Spike rear tires would be aesthetically-pleasing on this car, mostly when coupled with a set of these:

q5mBZ4v.jpg

I was really hoping to find a set of plain dish wheels in a colour similar to this, but have had no luck so far. Nonetheless, the visual accent of these blue wheels may add some flair! With time, I can acquire more wheels and tires and experiment with those...

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Some more pictures from the session, mostly of moderate-speed passes:

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As well as some still ones to wrap up the day:

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I did not take any photos while running the Racing by Post challenge, for reasons one can imagine :P The time spent afterwards was used to examine the car's high-speed behaviour and other performance aspects on pavement. Amazingly, I noticed a slight decrease in turning radius with the front wing set at a steeper angle - could it be...?

The adventure continues!

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Unfortunately, any further testing was postponed on account of being hospitalized. I was released with a clean bill of health, but will not be at work any time soon... And work (specifically, on break!) is where I have access to a dirt lot - the kind of surface that off-road buggies were built for.

On the flip side, my schedule has therefore cleared itself, and so I got ambitious:

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I used the rest of my Tamiya Polycarbonate Body Cleaner to remove the blue paint I had laboured so hard to apply to the rear wing :wacko: But there is a good reason for this, and it had everything to do with a new order from MCI Racing:

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The combination of white, red, and green has great personal significance to me. I was already committed to spare reproduction decals from the same source, and the ease with which custom decal sheets can be ordered over MCI Racing inspired me to take the proverbial plunge on a new colour scheme.

But that was not all:

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Switching to the spare upper shell I had, which was in rough shape, I attempted the removal of the MSC hump in the cockpit, and also experimented with making a visor for the driver. I used an unpainted head for the latter, which was modified from one originally attached to a Ferrari 312T3 sprue.

In the meantime, I finished up the spare lower body I had (which was in good shape) and paired that with the completed upper shell:

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I quite like the Striker's box-art scheme, finding it simple, yet bold, and attractive. This is probably why I never saw fit to deviate from it.

Also part of the Striker decals order was a sheet for the "Super Special" monster truck, which I had never heard of until going through MCI Racing. I ordered one for one purpose alone, which is not too difficult to imagine:

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While I only really needed less than half of the sheet, I am sure the leftover "Special" scripts and Gulf logos will appear elsewhere...

And so, after painting the new upper shell and previous lower shell in TS-26 Pure White, I masked off the cockpit for some brush painting:

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All black sections were painted with XF-1 Flat Black, in both brush paints and markers. The cowling got X-10 Gun Metal, per the last upper body I painted. At this point, I realized I no longer had to stick with the number 6 for the new paint scheme; this was going to be different from box art, anyway! I was still deciding on one; hence, the cut number decals in the background.

Meanwhile, the rear wing is finally as I had envisioned it:

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No doubt about it now! The new paint was PS-22 Racing Green.

"Shakey" Roop got brown eyes, so for this driver, I switched to grey. Coincidentally, I noticed that the box-art driver has grey eyes. I also attempted to paint the layer of foam padding visible from the facial opening, in X-9 Brown:

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The visor is definitely a rookie attempt, though:

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I had attempted to use paperclip wire for the pins, but with no satisfactory way to make pin heads, I skipped to screws. They are definitely not scale, though at least I can be confident that the visor is secured.

The driver eventually got a suit of X-3 Royal Blue, with a seat harness in XF-7 Flat Red and gloves in X-9 Brown. The suit and gloves were brushed over with two coats of XF-86 Flat Clear to dull their lustre. The suit and harness colours are, incidentally, the reverse of the stock Striker driver I had painted. The harness buckles and a zipper were painted with X-11 Chrome Silver, and I made the decision to leave the tops of the buckles unpainted, to better emulate modern harnesses.

The FIA guide to proper seat harness fitting actually states that ideally, only one of the three horizontal bars on the adjusters (buckles) should be visible from the front, with the other two being obscured by the properly-folded harness within the adjuster. That was good enough for me, even after seeing other safety belts that had the top bars visible. In any case, it further differentiates the two driver figures.

All assembled:

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I was less competent with the reflexes of the eyes, though, so his appearance seems a bit unhinged compared to "Shakey" Roop!

Decals got underway not long after:

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Perhaps I should have specified a darker green, but the Alitalia/Castrol Racing aesthetics are nonetheless pleasing to me!

With the wish to use a different driver for the Super Striker (with the existence of a separate upper shell using "Shakey" Roop), I cut a decal I had originally printed for the aforementioned as-yet built Lancia 037 project. "E. Grastens" is therefore the new pilot.

Numbers were among the last decals, as I was still indecisive. Having narrowed my selections down to 4, 5, 20, 26, or 31, I came to figure that single-digit numbers looked better in the usual positions. Between 4 and 5, I came to appreciate the the possibility of sequential numbering for the Super Striker and Striker, which made the decision for me:

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The fonts are not identical, but reasonably close!

I have to say that I was doubly inspired by this Striker from TamiyaClub member Cameron PS, which used the number from a Tamiya Fox:

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It convinced me that a different number (that was not just the 6 turned upside down) would further differentiate this Striker from the rest.

And once finished, it sure looked different!

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I have come to enjoy painting driver figures, and feel my skills are improving with each successive project. The custom decals for E. Grastens' seat harness are visible here; I had custom "Progear" decals printed for this exact application, and are on the shoulder padding.

Another subtle deviation is the replacement of the BFGoodrich decal of the original with a modified Super Gripper sticker:

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A tire for a tire, as they say.

And now, the Super Striker shell is ready!

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Well, almost ;):

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Reassembly is next!

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All this time, I have been fascinated with the Super Striker's evolution from the original. But how do the drives compare?

Well, I need wonder no more!

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I now have enough parts to build ANOTHER Striker! And a stock one at that :D I never thought I would actually miss the uncontrolled bouncing or the massive understeer, yet here we are! And it was all made possible by the following acquisition:

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I would learn later that the Futaba FX-10 front arms are not a direct fit for the Striker. However, the rears fit perfectly, and as the Super Striker had already broken both front arms (which precluded its evolution) and one rear arm, these represented the missing parts for a complete second buggy.

The reason the fronts are not a direct fit is because the FX-10 had its lower damper eyelets mounted on the underside of the arm, as opposed to the top side for the Striker. This necessitated either longer step screws for the dampers (which I did not have), or taller lower damper mounts...

... And way back from the first time I attempted to repair the Striker, I had Grasshopper II suspension parts which, with even more modification than last time, could possibly work! They had been cut down to fit that first iteration; I cut them down even further, as seen here:

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By clipping the edges of the reinforcing ribs to seat the front springs, and drilling a hole in the centre to accept the step screw, I created the required parts. Next to the Striker's stock lower damper mounts, for reference:

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This gave me the extra height required to make the FX-10 front arms work. However, the springs were a bit short, so I cut some leftover 1280 plastic bushings from my F103 kits to serve as pre-load spacers:

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This gave the stiffness I required to keep the car from sagging excessively at rest.

The only other modification I made was to extend the motor cables on the MTroniks Sport 20 ESC I was using. With better soldering skills, I was able to do this, and thus fit a standard silver-can motor with plenty of slack in the wires.

Oh, but I was not done yet:

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Alongside the Super Striker decals was a sheet of standard-colour Striker decals. I was surprised to learn that these were in the correct dark-blue and teal, unlike the previous sheet that had dark-blue and lighter blue. As I did not recall making the previous one a custom order, I believe this is another sign that MCI Racing is stepping up its proverbial game, since the first sheet was ordered a long time ago.

It gave me the chance to correct my mistakes with Shakey's helmet:

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As well as the rest of the shell:

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Namely, to apply the "Hyper Offroad Racer" decal before the side stripes, which I had reversed last time. Everything lines up perfectly now!

I now had everything ready to build a stock Striker - as well as the Super Striker...

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I reassembled the Super Striker, with the twist development that I had discovered an uncut green-painted Avante reproduction rear wing in my collection of spares. I had been wondering what to do about the front wing, now that the Striker rear wing I had been using no longer matched the car's colour scheme. And as I no longer had an Avante, I had all the licence I needed to trim it as much as I needed to make it fit.

I carved away the deep endplates of that wing; cars rarely use deep profiles on the front wing, and the wing's high variable incidence was more important, anyway - you know, if any aerodynamic gain can come of it! :P It was an amazing stroke of fortune, though, finding a wing in the right colour doing nothing else.

I must have spent equal amounts of time on reassembling the car and designing a decal pattern for the front wing. I went through my entire supply to select eight decals to adorn the new addition. The other aesthetic touches were to paint the blue rear bumper and pinion inspection cap in XF-1 Flat Black, to create less visual incongruity out back. Perhaps the paint will wear soon, though in the interim it matches the rest of the car a bit better.

The end results were: another Striker, a direct comparison to the Super Striker, and another photo shoot!

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The Pennzoil decal on the front wing compensates the obscuring of the original nose sticker by the wing.

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The differences are very apparent now!

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I also managed to bend E. Grastens' visor to better conform to his helmet, using a lighter for heat. The Progear decal on top was another addition.

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From the front, they almost look like completely-different buggies, at least in my opinion:

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The Tamiya Striker is not overly popular, but I sure like it :wub:

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I wonder what @Jason1145 would think if he could see this...

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I really wonder why this car was not more popular. I think it looks really good but then I like the new TD4 and TD2 🤔

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I'm not a fan of the Striker to be honest, but I really like your Super Sticker. It's a great customised buggy! Great work.

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On 11/19/2021 at 6:42 AM, Busdriver said:

I really wonder why this car was not more popular. I think it looks really good but then I like the new TD4 and TD2 🤔

So do I :D I have read around TamiyaClub that the Striker's controversial appearance was only part of the reason for its lack of popularity. A stock Striker also tended towards heavy understeer (can confirm) with so much weight at the rear of the chassis, which made a collision all that more likely. The reason that is important is because the Striker also had several structural weaknesses at the front of the chassis, mostly where the front shock tower sat. Consequently, it handled poorly and broke often - and this at a time when the Falcon was available, too...

Since then, Team CRP made a metal chassis brace and bumper that replaced the Striker's plastic front bumper. The chassis brace stiffens the front end, eliminating the weak points in the lower shell. It is considered essential for more spirited running.

As such, it remains an unpopular car. But I like mine ^_^

On 11/19/2021 at 4:48 PM, Aerobert said:

I'm not a fan of the Striker to be honest, but I really like your Super Striker. It's a great customised buggy! Great work.

Thank you! Even during its development, it drove a lot better than stock, which made me happy :D

Part of the reason I modified an original Striker is because over on Instagram, a user going by kinomasa0320 has already realized a "Neo Striker" on the DT-02. It looks quite good, actually:

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He had also made the interesting decision to put a Brabham F1 body on a Dirt Thrasher:

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Looks like somebody else likes the concept, too! With the TD-2's inboard front suspension, I think a "Striker 2022" would be spectacular ;) Already, I am wondering how to incorporate push-rod suspension on the Super Striker...

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