Category Archives: RC Build

RC4WD 4Runner Review

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!

First Impressions

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?

The Build

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.

Interior detail is amazing!

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
https://store.rc4wd.com/RC4WD-1985-Toyota-4Runner-Hard-Body-Complete-Set_p_7220.html

Intech Racing ER-12M 2.0 Lite build review

Intech Racing ER-12M 2.0 Lite build review

There is no doubt that the ER-12M 2.0 lightweight is a good looking 2wd buggy with its milled alloy chassis, carbon towers and beautifully presented shocks. I have also found that it is very similar to the Team Durango DEX210, which is probably a good thing considering these are a popular and well regarded buggy. Over a week I set out to build the ER-12 and review it as I went about building it.

Chassis and Towers

The chassis of this car is possibly the most striking I have ever seen and it went together very well, there were no issues at all and the car feels rock solid. The chassis has braces running the full length to add strength and the shock towers are made of 5mm thick carbon fibre. The chassis and towers are for me the most impressive part of the car and if you’re seeking a solid and tough platform that can handle the big impacts then this car is most definitely for you.

The arms on this car are made of a nice strong plastic and they have very little free play. Arms feature a grub screw so that you can adjust suspension droop in the same manner you would on an on-road car. Both front and rear arms are gullwing style, however there is currently no straight arm option available for the front of these cars, which would be more suited to Australian track conditions.

The space for the electronics can be tight, depending on what electronics you are fitting into your vehicle. I found that you must use a low profile servo with this vehicle or you will really struggle to fit anything in the front other than the smallest of electronics. I have used the electronics from my stadium truck in the test vehicle and I had to lightly grind a small section of the chassis brace in order to neatly fit it all in.

Another great feature of the chassis are the Intech monogrammed brass weights which can be placed in the front to improve weight distribution. I also liked the swing away carbon fibre battery straps and alloy thumb screws which not only look great but will make battery changes quick and easy.

Steering and Suspension

Steering on the ER-12 is an all alloy and carbon fibre affair with the drag link being carbon fibre and all other components being alloy. The steering is super smooth with the servo sitting inside a frame rather than on individual mounts.

Suspension is also impressive with an all alloy body, alloy cap and red anodised collar. Shocks went together pretty much the same as any other shocker I’ve built, are smooth and do not leak a drop. The pistons are slightly oversize at 12.4mm which means that you won’t be using your big bore TLR or AE pistons in this car. I found this a little frustrating as I have a plethora of 12mm pistons which would not fit the ER-12. The stock pistons are all 6 hole of varying sizes, I have chosen to use the 1.2mm up front with 30wt oil and the 1.3mm in the back with 25wt oil.

Driveline

The ER-12 comes standard with a traditional style 4 gear transmission, however a 3 gear is also available. You also have a choice of ball or gear differential and I have chosen to build our ER-12 with the 4 gear transmission and with the ball differential. The ball differential went together easily and is very smooth, but make sure you fully compress the spring before assembly. I especially liked the caged thrust bearing which is carried on the inside of the outdrives, rather than outside, where they would be more susceptible to dirt ingression. The differential rings are also keyed and sit securely on the inside of the outdrives. The differential also has an all alloy T-nut which retains the main spring on the differential, rather than a plastic one. The top shaft of the transmission on the ER-12 is an interesting setup, as it is reversed with the slipper being adjusted from the rear. Overall the driveline has no slop, moves freely and is precise.

Body and wing

The body and wing is made of a quite thick and strong polycarbonate plastic, however the cut lines were not clear around the transmission and you will need to mark your own lines. This is necessary to get the body to fit around the transmission. Once you have cut a hole for the transmission the body fits well and comes with Velcro to secure it as well as a pin arrangement. I removed the pin arrangement and will just use the Velcro around the edges of the chassis to secure it.

Improvements

The kit as a whole is very good but if I was to make any changes I would like to see the instructions printed a little bigger to make them clearer and also the screws placed in bags with labels telling you their size. This would speed up the build particularly if it was your first time building an Intech vehicle. I would also like Intech to provide in their instructions the spring rate of the kit springs, the number of teeth on the kit spur and the final drive ratio to make setting the car up easier.

Conclusion

The whole kit went together very well and has taken about 10 hours to build. Tolerances throughout the car are precise and overall the car has little to no slop in key areas such as the arms, steering and shock mounts. Components on this car are all top notch and you certainly get a lot of standard parts that others would call hop-ups and charge you extra for.

I originally intended to build and race this car in the stock buggy class but as I built it I have come to the conclusion that it would be better suited to the modified class. The solid build and lack of smaller spur options has meant that getting the ER-12 setup for modified will be far easier than stock.

In the new year I’ll be bringing you a full race and track review of the ER-12, so bring on the 2018 season!

Rcstore.com.au are currently offering 15% off the entire Intech Racing range and throwing in free Australian postage!

If you’d like check out the full range of Intech Racing cars and products check out www.intechracing.com or to get your hands on any of the cars in the Intech Racing range, contact the Australian distributor, Duncan at duncan@rcstore.com.au or (TEL) 0408 906 326. We also need to give a huge Thankyou to the team at Intech Racing and Rcstore.com.au

Intech Racing ER-12M 2.0 buggy Lite- Unboxing Review

Intech Racing, I had never heard of them either until recently, but they are a Taiwanese manufacturer making a fresh push into the Australian market with some unique and innovative ideas. Intech Racing is a relative newcomer to Australia but they have been building cars for over ten years with a focus on continuous improvement. Intech Racing manufactures a range of off-road buggies and trucks in both 10th and 8th scale, with either electric or nitro power trains.

Intech Racing has kindly provided Aussie RC News with an ER-12M 2.0 Lite 2wd buggy to build and review. Prior to sending a test vehicle, Intech Racing contacted me to discuss which vehicle we would like to test first. After looking at their range of smart looking vehicles the ER-12M 2.0 Lite 2wd buggy stood out to me as a vehicle which would be well suited to racing and being 2wd we could put it to the test in the 2wd stock class, racing against the established brands.

The ER-12 2.0M is a rear wheel drive buggy, with a mid-mounted motor design and a narrow aluminium chassis. This type of design is now the most common in Australia, with rear mounted motor platforms now a rarity. Continue reading Intech Racing ER-12M 2.0 buggy Lite- Unboxing Review

Postie arrived with a Team Durango Present

photoI was lucky enough to catch the postie this morning before heading to work.  Lucky because he arrived bearing gifts for me, my new DESC210R kit from Tower Hobbies. I know there is probably a new V2 version on the way, but as I have the original DEX210 the parts commonality will be helpful, as well as the price on tower being a staggeringly low $160 USD. Why so low, well as I said before, a V2 is on the way! Talking to local Team Durango Driver Leo Lorenzen, Tower sold out of the cheap kits less than a week after I ordered and they have been marked as Discontinued (although not on the TD website yet), for once I was able to take advantage of a good deal which I normally manage to miss out on.

I suppose it’s a little bittersweet as this purchase marks a transition for me from being in the HPI camp, to my race vehicles all being Team Durango, but it’s not such a bad thing really as I ave been very impressed with the one Durango I have.

So keep your eyes peeled for photos from the build, and later on a report of how it goes on the track etc.