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Lil, Belter Sand Rover. ( ( featuring ‘Jimmy’ )
This was the third and last car built for the next Tamiya101.com DVD and was filmed running at Shell Island called ' The Outer Limits '.
It has full lighting and moving drivers head and arms when the wheels are steered.
I modified the standard Sand Rover gearbox with a prototype Belt Drive system
that I have developed.
The build started with development of the Belt Drive system and this did take a long time to get to this stage. I have made 4 prototype changes to get to this final result.
It was a perfect opportunity to test my idea in the sands of Shell Island.
I bought this Sand Rover from a TC Trade a couple of years ago and I must say it was not a perfect example when I got it. I had to store it in my garage for a year because of the overpowering tobacco smell the model came with. Not nice at all !!!.
Firstly the whole model was stripped down. The body, which looked like it had been sprayed in a sand storm was dipped in brake fluid or approx 3 weeks to shift the bad paint. The driver figure and all the other painted parts were also stripped.
Once all the paint had been removed an inspection of the body showed some cracks and scrapes that were repaired with filler.
I wanted to slightly customize the body to give it a more individual style. I was helped to get the final shape by my friend an TC member 7.2inchdriver . Christian sent me some pictures of a Beach Buggy he had spotted in the Ford Museum in the USA.
Thank you Christian, you are a Gent.
I started the body modifications by removing the moulded lip that runs around the edge of the body and blending it in with the rest of the body.
The shape of the front wheel arches was deepened and the rear of the body was cut away so I could show and also see the Belt Drive system working.
The rear arches were then shaped to flow with the rest of the body.
A hole was drilled into the middle of the bonnet to fit a fuel filler cap and given a base with a piece of plasticard glued from the inside of the body. The large tooling hole by the gear lever in the middle of the drivers compartment was also filled with plasticard and filler, as was the area below the steering column. I also added a small instrument cover to the centre console, this would house dials and a radio cassette player.
The underside of the body was next to get the plasticard treatment. I filled all the gaps between the chassis and the body. The rear motor side wheel arch has a plasticard panel with a window cut into it with a mesh screen to give the motor extra cooling.
Now when the body is fixed to the chassis it looks like one piece.
I drilled small holes for the cloth roof poppers around the back of the body, these would later have small pinheads glued into them. I also drilled mounting holes for the handrail on the back of the body.
The whole body was primed and inspected again for any mistakes. I wanted to paint the body in Metallic Bright Orange. The best colour I could find was the Orange used on the full size Ford Focus ST. I had to have this specially mixed up for the Sand Rover body. The orange was sprayed on in several coats, then several clear coats after that, rubbing down between coats. The final clear coat was a heavy one and when this was thoroughly dry approx 2 weeks the body was rubbed and polished down to a wet look shine.
The windscreen pillars were sprayed semi gloss black and a new window was cut from a piece of 1mm Perspex sheet. Both of these were mounted to the body and fixed in place with some Alloy mirrors from TC member Mike00top. The mirrors were masked and sprayed semi gloss black also. I wanted there to be a minimum of chrome on this car, as the orange really contrasts well with black chassis and trim.
The body was masked and the interior and underside were painted matt black.
The handrail was hand made and silver soldered together and treated to a coat of satin black.
All handrail mounting holes had tiny photo etch flange part fitted over them and then the handrail was glued into place.
The interior was carpeted with black adhesive felt and the seats painted Tamiya red/brown matt paint.
A fuel filler cap was added to the bonnet and detail painted. I used Blitzer Beetle wipers sprayed black and fixed them to the front screen.
All the dials and steering column boot , radio and cassette player were found from my spares box, painted, decaled and fitted to the interior.
Now I added all the interior luggage. Skateboard came from my Mate Scollins
( Thank you Steve ) Classic Guitar, Coffee promotion 1/100th scale Rough Rider, which was detail painted ( even the tyre lettering). I also added an antenna with flag to the Rough Rider and painted a black line wrapped around the antenna to resemble the receiver antenna. I also added some scale Cola cans, Baseball Bat and ball, Camera and film. The small parts were glued in place and the larger items were fixed with tiny screws to the body.
I also made a sports bag for the passanger footwell from a foam cylinder coated in aluminium foil. The bag was sprayed matt black and all the stitching and zip painted on. I made some handles with tamiya masking tape and used some Boss waterslide decals for the side and ends of the bag.
Next for the body was to add lights and micro servo for the steering wheel. A small servo with a steering tube fixed to it was positioned and glued into position for the steering wheel to be mounted to. Once fitted the steering wheel was glued on with the servo in neutral position.
The front lights are from a Hi Lift Roll bar light bar, cut to individual light bowls, The base of each light was drilled and then helicoiled 3mm for strength. These were then mounted to the body with 3mm screws. The rear lights came from a Tamiya 1/6th Honda CBR 750 kit. They are the same as the ones I used on my Snap On Scorcher.
The lenses were painted clear red and the backs were cut down to look like rubber mountings. These were glued to the rear of the body. A Tamiya TLU01 lighting kit was added and the bulbs fixed into position.
A small hole was cut into the back of the drivers seat to allow the servo wire for the Drivers head to pass through.
Now its time to make Jimmy the driver. ( He has been christened this by the T101 Crew).
Jimmy was made from a standard Sand Rover driver. His arms were made from cotton stitched to suit the diameter of each arm. The insides of his arms are made from aluminium foil jointed with rubber tube. The wrists and hands are standard. Jimmy’s head was given a plasticard panel inside with a screw and rubber tube to fix to the head servo, mounted in the body. The Cowboy hat was not used, so the top of Jimmy’s head was shaped with plasticard and filler. The filler was filed to resemble hair and a groove in his head had a head scarf fitted into it and tied at the end. A hole was drilled at the back of the head and some brush hairs were fitted into it and cut to resemble a pony tail. I made the glasses from thin wire and the lenses from some thin clear plasticard painted Tamiya smoke, this was put through an office hole punch to make the lenses. Jimmy’s head was then detail painted.
Jimmy’s body had a small servo fitted below the shoulders and shoulder stubs made from plasticard to mount his arms to. The body was detail painted then had a chain added to the neck and a belt made from Tamiya masking tape painted brown. I also added a chain around Jimmy’s wrist.
All of this was put together and Jimmy was now ready to be fitted.
Jimmy’s left arm was fixed to the steering wheel and his right arm to the gear lever.
The Chassis had some plasticard framing added to the sides as they looked like they needed some detail. All of this was painted matt black on the outside only.
I painted all the light grey chassis and suspension parts matt black to better blend in with the rest of the chassis.
The Belt Drive was fitted and the chassis was fully ballraced.
I fitted Rough Rider tyres to this model, just to go with the custom feel I was trying to get. I fitted Awesome Alloys Rough Rider Speedline Alloy Outers to each wheel and detail painted the rivets and yellow tyre lettering as I do for all my runner models.
TC member J-Man made me some fantastic front and rear alloy bumpers. John you ate a Genius Mate. Thank you. I sprayed these satin black and fixed them to the chassis.
All the radio gear was fitted and I needed Y connectors and servo reversing connectors for the steering and Jimmy’s head. All of this was connected up and tested.
I added some home made decals for the Lil,Belter 22 markings for the front and back of the car and made some angled end exhausts from thin walled alloy tube.
Lastly I would like to thank Moosey and Stevo309 for getting this car on film for the next Tamiya101.com DVD and a BIG thank you to my Wife and our Baby Girl for giving me the time to make these models.
Thankfully this car also survived the filming and the Belt Drive worked well.
Once again sorry for the long description, but I hope you find it an interesting read.
Pictures by Dino-F and Stevo309. Thanks Guys.
If you liked those pictures, you should see these...
Snap-On Scorcher, Jimmy^s SR and 7Up Special during filming