To complete my 'patriotic' Cornetto Trilogy of crawlers, I've elected to re-paint Desmond in a similar red to the previous iteration [See Part 2] - as a homage to the Top Gear HiLux, and add a few extra scale details including a customised Wild Willy driver.
March 2019 - showroom update:
Status: update of existing new-build
Name: Desmond [the 2.2]
Chassis: 4-link Trailfinder/Gelande copy
Body: Trailfinder II Toyota Hilux and Vaterra K10 Ascender cage ( both narrowed)
Along with rusting and painting the main body shell in Tamiya Red Mica, I have also replaced my previous rear load-bay side panels with a shorter version, allowing me to incorporate a scale oil drum as a fuel tank (complete with filler neck and cap), and add a centra recovery point to the rear cross member too.
Otherwise the latest modifications have mainly focused on the cabin and driver - a full body Wild Willy with customised open-face helmet (and cigarette in Steve McQueen style) - his right hand and arm modified to hold into the internal roll-cage. I also ground off his moulding seat-belt harness, and replaced this with a Yeah Racing scale self-assembly version.
The dashboard (a cut down Wild Willy part) has been further detailed with the cassette player painted, plus the addition of a single gear-shift lever (fitted where the steering column used to be in a WW2), while the central steering column itself has been extended and beefed-up with a length of aluminium tube as this is the main support for the driver (the driver is essentially suspended an remains attached to the body when it's removed).
The cabin scale details include a fire extinguisher, beer keg (and bungee), a milk-crate with dirty blue shop towels and an old bottle of oil in, and a packet of Camel cigarettes! There is also a scratch-built scale battery cut-off switch on the scuttle panel (where a wiper would have attached originally).
To recap the general specification, the original donor vehicle was a Mad-Gear Cliff crawler, which featured 2.2 size tyres and heavy duty axles, which are really the only parts left if I'm honest! Fortunately the front and rear axles are the same, so it was easy to use spare parts to incorporate 4-wheel steering (together with a Y reversing servo lead), and the original transmission was replaced with a centrally mounted SCX10 pattern part (from ebay) together with longer custom 4-link arms, metal prop-shafts and internally sprung 100mm long dampers.
The body (a HiLux cab) and the rear cage (from a Vaterra K10 Ascender) were narrowed by 40mm so that the huge 5' diameter tyres would not touch even on full articulation and steering lock, retaining it's maximum off-road and rock-crawling ability. Although I've added a lot of scale detailing more recently, foremost the focus of this particular build has always been to create a robust and capable crawler - and in that regard, all the accessories are glued/taped in so that even if it rolls over, everything should remain intact.
If you liked those pictures, you should see these...
Desmond [the 2.2] - part 4