Yes the latest episode is up, catch it here
Yes the latest episode is up, catch it here
I was ecstatic when RC4WD contacted me to review their new hard body for the Trail Finder 2 chassis late last year. However try as I may I couldn’t wheedle out of them what it was until it arrived at my door. As we know now, it was a Toyota 4Runner from 1985 that came out of that box, and today we can now reveal the finished product in all it’s 80’s glory!
My first impressions of the kit when I opened the box was of amazement at the level of detail that it included from big details like opening doors, tailgate and bonnet, down to stickers for the dashboard, instruction placard for 4wd and even the tiny indicator stalks on the steering column. At this time my excitement moved a little into the arena of panic. Whilst I have built an worked on a lot of RC cars from Kits to RTR’s, this was my first detailed hard body from any firm, let alone one with a reputation for amazing detail like Rc4wd, and I really didn’t want to make a mess of it. But then how different could it be to the model plane and tank kits I used to make not so many years ago…. right?
So working with a combination of tools for my radio control racing pit bag, and my modelling toolbox I set off on the build. Naturally the first step was reading the instructions and then I put it all away for the next most important step, research. Below are the images that I used for inspiration.
No, i’m not mad (ok, maybe a little) but a key part of any project like this is knowing what the vehicles looked like in real life, and knowing what colours you want to paint it, what markings (in this case stickers) you need to use, and details like bumper colours etc etc. With that done and deciding to go with a bright red colour scheme I purchased a can or red paint, some black and browns for the interior, and the build could begin in earnest.
Tip 1: know your size, 1 pressure pack of tamiya paint may be fine for a small tank in 1:72 or 1:48, but not a big 1:10 4wd! In the end I used 3 cans of paint.
Tip 2: Don’t spray on windy days, I suspect I lost almost a whole can battling the wind in trying to get the bodywork painted. Don’t Rush, take your time.
Now I mentioned research and planning earlier, and planning is an important part of this built. If you just put the kit together as stated and tried to paint it, you would be left in a nightmare of close together parts that should be different colours. Even step one can’t really be completed until later in the build as you need to paint the taillights in 2 different colours, and the body needs to be painted before you can attach them. So plan ahead, and work out what gets put together before and after painting and you will be far happier with the result.
One thing I loved about the instructions is that they presume you know what you are doing. Parts are rarely needed to be labelled by their numbers, and the screws are also labelled clearly as to size and number needed for any given step. Not only that but each screw is in it’s own labelled bag, often with a spare in each size which I did need.
Tip 3: The screws that hold in the tail lights need 2 different screwdrivers, get it right or you strip the small M1.6 philips head screws. Spares in the kit to the rescue!
So whilst a first glance at the kit may be panic inducing, the steps move through logically and smoothly. All parts were good fits, especially the metal parts. I had to remove some moulding flash from a few parts, but it probably doesn’t show up when you look at it on a larger scale. I probably spent more time worrying about what colours what part would be than any concerns with the build itself.
I loved that all the lights have provision for LED lights to be fitted, and I thought the magnet built into the bonnet and frame to keep the bonnet closed (and a similar arrangement with the passenger doors) were very clever additions to this detailed kit. Similarly the great looking, but actually made of rubber so they don’t break off so easily rear view mirrors were also a clever inclusion.
Painting the large body proved to be my biggest headache with a lot more real estate to cover with paint than I am used to. As a result of rushing (yes, again take your time!) and inexperience I can see a slight variation in the colouring on a couple of my panels. Whilst it isn’t particularly noticeable it has given me a few ideas to weather the model from an as new look, to a work and repaired look of a well used vehicle, but that will be a topic of a different article.
Tip 4: Paint all of your exterior panels at the same time, and shake the c^@& out of the cans before you start spraying.
Tip 5: Don’t skimp on masking tape, the Tamiya tape is worth it over normal blue masking tape, and take it off as soon as you can, even between coats.
Tip 6: if you need to remove masking tape residue without damaging the paint, I found WD40 does wonder after trying about 20 other products.
Bits I didn’t like about the kit, well they are few and far between. The back of the headrests and interior of the canopy on the tray could have had a little more detail, but considering the detail there is to be found on this kit, it really is nit picking.
The Final Result
Well I would be telling porky pies of I said I was 100% happy with the result, but that is entirely down to small mistakes made on my part. As far is the kit is concerned, it is magnificent. It more than justifies it’s asking price and is rich in detail and features. Be it for a hard working crawler or shelf queen, it has certainly entered the annuls of the Crawler Hall of Fame as an iconic vehicle recreated with perfect clarity.
I have learnt a lot from the build, and enjoyed it more than a little, in fact I found myself contemplating what I could or would do differently, or improve upon, next time. I wonder what else RC4WD have up their sleeve. In the meantime, Brady, didn’t you have a Gelande 2 that needed some repairs ……
Want to get your hands on this 80’s goodness, then hit up RC4WD at
I love finding small Australian RC businesses, and Grip RC is no exception.
Based in Brisbane, Grip RC is a lifestyle brand for R/C specialising in apparel & clothing. For more details visit their website at https://www.grip-rc.com/
We can finally release details of the new 4Runner body from RC4WD. It has been in our hot little hands for just over a week now and we couldn’t say a word! For those that don’t know the 4Runner, it was basically a Toyota Hilux with an extra row of seats, a roll bar and a removable fibreglass canopy over the tray, and now you can have an RC one .
Now rc4wd have a reputation for amazing scale products, but I could not believe my eyes at the evel of detail when I opened the box, it was more like a fine scale model than rc model body. Opening doors, bonnet, removable tailgate, even warning label stickers! Newbies beware, some serious model making skills will be needed to complete this body to its full potential.
Needless to say, I will be taking my time to do the model justice, but I am wondering what colour I should paint it, any suggestions? Of course we will be keeping you all in the loop as the build progresses so keep an eye out for updates.
Injection Molded ABS Plastic
Clear ABS Windows
Dashboard with Steering Wheel
Opening Hood and Doors
Magnets Keep Hood/Doors Closed
Removable Top for Open Air Feel
Wheelbase: 11.3in / 287.0mm
Length: 19.1in / 484.2mm
Width: 7.73in / 196.4mm
Height: 5.57in / 141.5mm
Weight: 35.2oz / 997.0g
Finally a massive shout out to RC4WD for sending us this exciting body to test, as well as a trailfinder 2 to test it on, so keep your eyes peeled for that review too.
Pre order this body at https://store.rc4wd.com/RC4WD-1985-Toyota-4Runner-Hard-Body-Complete-Set_p_7220.html
Yes the man in the red suit has delivered not one, but two boxes from RC4WD to the Aussie RC News office, so we have some building to do. Keep your eyes peeled for more news as this project progresses!
Over the last few weeks HPI racing have been posting a number of refreshed vehicles that will be new for 2019. These include versions of the WR8 rally car in Flux and Nitro versions (and colour changing paint), a F-150 Crawler King, new bodied E10, Jumpshot MT, RS4 Sport 3 Flux GT40 and Savage XS.
So details of this new radio are starting to emerge, and I gotta say I like what I can see from the video on Horizon Hobby’s youtube channel, check it out here
OMP who distributes for Horizon Hobby in Australia have a great rundown of the radio’s features on their website too https://www.omp.com.au/spektrum-dx5c-rugged-surface-transmitter-w-sr515-receiver.html
So if you are reading lads, i’m more than happy to test one for you !!
Ok, so I saw this one on facebook and honestly, I didn’t know who Jeff Johns was. However it was the crawler that he was holding that got my attention (see below)
This truck it turns out is the new Redcat Racing Gen 8 which looks awesome, and is due out soon, details of the vehicle in the video below. However the importance of the photo it turns out was in the man, not the machine. Jeff was a founder, co owner and president of Axial Racing (after a start with HPI), a somewhat famous name in the crawler scene, and with the purchase of Axial by Horizon Hobbies many have been asking if Axial will stay at the forefront of crawler development or just keep making trucks. However it is quite possible that this appointment will see a new name, Redcat, permeate further and further into the crawler market. Only time will tell I guess!
Whilst I have been busy, I’m not dead yet. As always life has it’s ups and downs, and of late spare time to report the latest RC News has been at a premium.
So keep an eye out for news and updates, as always we want to hear about your rigs, events and news at firstname.lastname@example.org. We even want to hear if you want to be a regular, or even irregular contributor, so write in and let us know.
For 1:10 Electric off road races sanctioned by RCRA (Formerly AARCMCC) events in the last couple of years, it has been a requirement that you run a control motor for 2wd and 4wd stock buggy.
There is a lot of sense in this because it means that there is a level playing field in terms of power so that the contest within a race comes down to driver skill, not equipment and who can spend the most on a fancy 17.5 turn motor.
On the flip side it means people have to cough up for just one specific motor if they only have a motor that was previously allowed under the ROAR / BRCA regulations. Both cheaper and more expensive motors are not allowed and if the motor changes, it is not only useless in sanctioned races, but valueless second hand within Australia too.
So as they should, RCRA is asking the opinion or racers via their clubs. Now only clubs can vote on the matter, but you need to tell your club which of the 4 proposed models below you think will work best. At my local club a voting form was put online, with the results surprisingly in favour of on particular option.
Personally I am a little split which way to go, I like the control motor situation in terms of equality, but not that they appear to be wanting to chance what the stock motor is so soon.
Leave a comment with what you think!
The EP Offroad section has been running control motors in 17.5 Stock class since 2018. Following the EP Offroad drivers survey split results, the section committee feels it worthwhile to reach out to clubs to determine the type of stock motors to be used for the 2019 racing season and beyond.
The current control motor has created negatives and positives depending on your preferences even to the extent the drivers survey results were approx 50/50 split between those who like and those who don’t.
Implementation of the control motor has seen some of the closest racing in stock in a long time and a performance parity between cars on track. From all accounts 2WD Stock with the current control motor has an acceptable performance but 4WD Stock needs more performance. Negatives could include the performance of the motor is lacking for 4WD stock and the actual driving in 4WD stock is not as much fun with the current motor and lack of tuning available to the individual racer.
Now we’ve had two years running a control motor, it’s best to go back to clubs to decide if we continue this path or change direction for 2019 racing season.
Some racers and clubs wish to move to 13.5 ROAR approved motors of their choice in 4WD stock, some racers and clubs want to go back to using 17.5 ROAR approved motor of choice and some racers and clubs like and want to use control motors.
Option to Add a 13.5 4WD Class
One option we would like to propose in this vote is adding a 13.5 4WD “Super Stock” ROAR/BRCA approved open motor class and continue with 17.5 control motors for 4WD and 2WD Stock. We feel this is worth consideration by clubs and racers as the survey results show racers in different states and clubs have different preferences. This may be a way to have an option for those in either camp.
If clubs choose to continue with one of the below options that has control motor the committee will approach market for a high performance next gen control motor with adjustable timing. We feel this would provide the performance boost people are looking for.
The EP Offroad committee want to clubs to choose the direction of stock motors for 2019 and beyond
The options we would like your club to consider a vote on are:
A: Control Motor for 2WD and 4WD stock – 17.5 adjustable timing next gen control motor
Continue with a 17.5 control motor for 2019 and beyond in 2WD and 4WD Stock – if this option is voted in, a new approach to market for a 17.5 open timing motor will be conducted in a tender style process and the motor with the best performance v price will be chosen for use for 2019 and 2020.
2WD and 4WD Stock 17.5 Control Motor – adjustable timing motor
B: Add 13.5 4WD Super Stock open ROAR approved motor class and Control Motor 2WD / 4WD Stock – 17.5 adjustable timing next gen control motor classes
This option adds a 13.5 4WD class to the racing schedule and provides for those who want 13.5 4WD class with motors of choice and those who want the 17.5 control motor concept to remain.
2WD and 4WD Stock 17.5 Control Motor – adjustable timing next gen control motor as per A
4WD Super stock – 13.5 ROAR/BRCA approved motor of drivers choice
C: 17.5 ROAR/BRCA approved motors for 2WD and 4WD Stock
Bring the rules back to the way they were before the control motor was implemented in 2017.
17.5 ROAR/BRCA approved motors open for drivers choice
D: 13.5 4WD ROAR/BRCA and 17.5 2WD ROAR/BRCA approved motors
Change the 4WD stock class from 17.5 to 13.5 ROAR/BRCA approved motors of drivers choice
17.5 2WD ROAR/BRCA approved motors
13.5 4WD ROAR/BRCA approved motors