Scale RC Forum Forum Members’ Builds Off-Road builds My first build – D90 custom chassis (pic heavy)

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 45 total)
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    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    Last shed update for now. Tables and benches in, new power installed and wired up.



    I can start getting on with things now.

    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    So I did a quick POV video test. I used my phone and some gaffer tape but I have a small phone tripod mount that I think will fit nicely onto the centre console.

    I’m hoping to get out a bit more and do some longer POV runs, not sure if anyone will want to watch that but I kind of do…

    • Scaling Like A Pro
    • ★★★★★


    sorry. Such perspectives are great to get a completed view of a trail. But it only works as addon in a video. As a main theme it is too restricted in his visual impression.

    A good, but quiet long sequence of a trail, broken up  with roundabout 10 sec of such a perspective, will be more fascinating for the audience as without it.

    Additionally it will be a better clip when you get a part of the dashboard in it.

    maximum of course if you can show a moving steering wheel 🙂



    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    Yeah I agree, I may make some  longer ones for my own viewing pleasure but I don’t think people will want to watch any length of it.

    I think it’ll work best on certain obstacles like steep climbs where it points to the sky or side-hilling to show off the angle (Not that this thing can side-hill at all).

    Anyway, made a start on the cage this afternoon…

    I realised after making the front hoop that my little rod bender wasnt going to cut it for the other two hoops, I needed more of a radius on the bend to match the roof radius, so I made another bender, this time with some 30mm(!!) square bar as the handle (It was the only suitable offcut I could get at my suppliers). Being square made it much easier to drill the required holes, no silly clamping methods.

    I cut a small piece of the 1″ cast iron bar and drilled a hole (sort of) through the centre.


    Seems to work well, the handle is a little heavy and cumbersome though!


    Anyway, the radius isn’t large enough and the cage still looks a little square.


    Obviously the legs are still long in that image, but I think it looks stupid with those sharp corners, I estimate the bender bushing needs to be around 1″ radius, not diameter.

    I’m not sure whether or not to weld it up and chalk any dodgy bits down to first time or keep the front hoop and wait till I have more 5mm rod for the rest and try again, it will involve making yet another bender though… Although I will keep the handle and drill it for the new sizes on the other end.

    I did make some little tabs to weld onto the front hoop, drilled for m2.5 hardware. I used some 16 x 1mm box section, cut a flat piece and went from there.




    So yeah, not sure where to go from here. I’m waiting on a big delivery of tools, I’ll probably just distract myself with that till something clicks and I know what to do!

    Again, thanks for reading! My long winded-ness is getting worse…


    • Scale Off Road Pro
    • ★★★★★★

    I have shed jealousy.  That’s it, I’m fixing the roof and building me a workbench!

    Retrocosm On YouTube   Instagram   Website   Twitter   Facebook JSScale Team Driver

    • Scaling Like A Pro
    • ★★★★★

    I’m not sure whether or not


    that’s 80% of my modelling life 😀



    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    I have shed jealousy. That’s it, I’m fixing the roof and building me a workbench!

    Do it! It’s immensely satisfying! Although I’m now a bit scared to get it dirty, I’ve basically stopped wood working to avoid sawdust. I used fence posts for legs and bought scratched up work surface to keep the costs down, got the worktop for 15 quid instead of 75! It was putting the leccy in that got me…

    I’m not sure whether or not

    hihi that’s 80% of my modelling life 😀

    Yup, I know my truck is far from perfect in most ways but the cage is very visible, right on the top, not sure I can live with it if it looks a bit odd.

    I’m a bit disappointed at the moment, it turns out the company I have ordered the machine tools from has lied to me. They told me 12 days ago that the lathe I ordered was part of a shipment that was clearing customs and should be ready to post to me any day now. Turns out the boat still hasn’t arrived in England and I’m still weeks away from getting it. I did manage to swing a mill for a good price which should be arriving tomorrow but its a bit over shadowed by bad customer service (and the fact I have a good few people waiting on stainless links that have to wait longer now).

    Anyway, I’ll post a few pics of the mill tomorrow, I’m going to try and make a new front servo mount if it all goes well.

    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    I’ve been a bit busy with work over the last week but the mill arrived last Thursday, I think.

    It’s a Warco WM-14, their second smallest milling machine. It’s only a 500w motor but having the ability to rotate the head, a separate column and quill and a DRO on the quill made this a no-brainer for the price compared to other available machines.

    Here’s the install, before I installed it…


    The mill came shipped with a drill chuck and arbor, I purchased a ER25 – MT2 collect chuck, a set of square and hex collet blocks and a really cheap set of parallels (of which I’m not convinced of the parallelism).

    milling tools

    I also got a few milling cutters, just the cheapest ones for now since I’m probably going to break most of them learning…


    6mm, 6mm ball nosed, 10mm and 12mm.

    I also had a 3mm but I broke that on its first outing…

    I had a play to learn the machine and made a few little bits, mostly non-parts just for learning but I did throw together a draw bar hanger since the mill came with both M10 and 3/8ths.


    Anyway, back to RC.

    For my first little part, I remade the front servo mount.

    I had a piece of 12x6mm aluminium and set about squaring it up and laying out holes accurately. This is one of the main reasons for a mill. I could technically do this on the drill press, and I’m sure many people do without problems, but its always touch and go for me how well lined up it comes out. This time no such issues!



    I think a fly cutter would be a worthy addition to get better surface finishes on parts like this.

    I’m still waiting for the lathe, supposedly it’ll arrive next week, although I have learnt not to hold my breath when it comes to China, ironically…

    Anyway, it was a nice day when I finished the servo mount and I hadn’t been out with the car since the video on page 2. So, up the moors for a nice evening walk.





    That about wraps up this update. Once the lathe arrives I have a fair bit of 6mm stainless rod for links and some 8mm for some beefy links if I or anyone else feels they need that much weight in them.

    I did, however, make the greatest improvement to the shed of all time, way better than all the tools and machines…


    If there is anything that deserves a special place in hell, its wasps… And wasps apparently love the sweet smell of GT-85, which I am using a lot of while milling and drilling aluminium. Best £3 I’ve ever spent…

    Thanks for reading.


    • Scaling Like A Pro
    • ★★★★★

    Same mill as mine 🙂

    good luck with this little beauty.

    Nice trail pics too.


    If you get your lathe, you can  built your own flycutter easily as a piece of practising

    And you’ll see, you‘ll need much more equipment for the mill than for the lathe.


    Collets (er32 and er11)  were my first additional tools.




    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    Hey thanks man, I had a search for yours and I think mines a bit smaller, albeit the same design. I think it’s the best design at this price point, I just wish the Z axis handwheel was either on the side of the column or at the base like the Seig SX3. But I’m really happy with it so far.

    Great call on making the fly cutter as well, I was wondering when I’d get to use this left hand cutting tool.


    It has all the correct relief angles, I can mill the slot square rather than 10 degrees or whatever normal ones use.

    And yes, milling accessories…

    I’m after a 70-80mm vice, a boring head and a rotary table to start with, alongside all the cutters, 2 flute, 4 flute, HSS, carbide, rougher, finishers, T slot, dovetail ect… Its looking a bit daunting tbh but I’ve dove in headfirst so I better swim or I’ll sink!

    Looking forward to your next Samil installment! I’m hooked on it, I don’t even think it’s ugly any more!

    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    Well, the lathe arrived.

    Again, its a Warco, a WM-180. Again, the second smallest machine they do. Its about the same size as the infamous ‘mini lathe’, but a bit more stout.


    And the first thing I did was chuck a big piece of cast iron in it to make the fly cutter Raven suggested.


    Came out spot on!



    And leaves a stunning surface finish (on aluminium)


    Anyway, back to RC.

    The first proper job was to replace some of these ugly aluminium spacers.


    I drilled some 6mm mild steel rod out to 3mm and cut them 10mm long, I dont have a parting off tool yet so I used a hack saw, don’t tell the safety police…


    Looks a lot neater. There’s a few more around the car, I think I’ll use stainless next time.

    Speaking of stainless… Links! I’m finally getting around to making some proper links.


    6mm solid stainless bar with 5mm of M3 thread turned on each end. This is the short steering link. And it is much heavier…

    link  on scales

    I was pretty happy with how this turned out, so instead of making all the links for my car, I made a full set for an SCX10.




    Took me about 4 hours and waaay more stock than I anticipated. Anyway, dimensions are as follows:

    1x 107mm

    2x 101.5mm

    2x 93mm

    2x 80mm

    1x 70.7mm

    2x 56.5mm

    Threads are M3, 10mm per end.

    I’ll probably be selling these on Facebook but if anyone on here wants a set, I’d be happy to make some more.

    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    Since I’m going around and replacing all the bodged parts with machined ones, the next thing that needed doing was replacing the body mounts.

    A reminder of the nightmare:


    As you can see, these don’t look great, are bending and its a PITA to line the screws up through the body, especially on a trail, in a snow storm… (badly cross threaded one trying to rush through this).

    So I decided to have a thread on the end of the body mount and use a nut to hold the body on, this is what I came up with, all steel of course.


    I even milled some flats in for tightening purposes.


    These do look great in the raw steel finish, but I want to start making everything black underneath, so I heat blackened them along with the new lower links and the spacers.

    heat blued parts 1jpg

    Far from good but good from far…

    Some works needs doing on perfecting the process for smooth results, a couple of these look fantastic but the others are a bit patchy. I’m not sure if its cleanliness or something else, afaik they were absolutely spotless before I started heating so more R&D needs to be done.

    They do clean up the underside quite a bit though, my plan is to give all the steel parts this treatment, including the chassis rails and skid.


    Anyway, I took it out for a run and was thoroughly underwhelmed and bored on Saturday, so I bit the bullet and drove down to the G6 just for Sunday, and only took 1 decent picture… Too much fun to keep pulling the phone out.


    But what a great event! Even if I didn’t win anything on the raffle…

    I’ll definitely be back next year for the whole weekend. Hopefully with a more capable rig, this was fun but it certainly has its shortcomings.

    And with that I’m thinking of starting something new, or overhauling this. It was a fun build but there’s lots of little bits I’m not thrilled with, it doesn’t look that great and leaves some performance to be desired.

    • Ready To Trail
    • ★★

    Real good read, and the progress on this was great…. I was also looking at the very same type of shell but decided not too..

    maybe I should..


    models :) and yet more models  ..... and some other stuff for making models :)

    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    Real good read, and the progress on this was great…. I was also looking at the very same type of shell but decided not too.. maybe I should..

    They’re not bad, but if I had your scratch building skills I may not bother… I wouldn’t pay over £50 for one, I’m actually looking into getting some masters 3D printed and vac forming my own.

    I got some brass and drill rod delivered the other day and decided to have a bash at some shock absorbers on the lathe!

    Since I don’t run oil in my shocks (for that scale wobble) I didn’t need to worry about all the seals so I decided to concept the first one in aluminium.



    Looks a bit crap I think…

    I decided to go back to an ordinary style of shaft in a brass body with aluminium piston. The aluminium is a bit softer than the brass so the little, easy to make piston wears faster than the internal shock body, I hope.

    This is what I came up with, soldered together for now.



    Going to need some threadlock on that…




    Ah f***

    Soldering looks terrible! I’m pretty sure no brand electronics solder is not the right choice for this…

    Still, it definitely looks like a shock absorber. I’d like to thread the body and lower cap to make it easier but I’m not sure the right way to go about it on my machine yet, threading up to a shoulder is hard when you don’t have a spindle brake!

    Forgot to mention, these will be internal spring shocks, the eye to eye measurement will be 80mm and I will use the RC4WD internal spring kits when I get around to ordering some, might just learn how to make my own springs…

    • Hitting The Trail
    • ★★★

    Well, it’s been 1/3rd of a year since I made an update, I’ve been a bit busy with other things so RC and workshop stuff has taken a back seat.

    I have, however, got round to making a pair of proper shocks and some prop shafts.

    The shocks are essentially the same as the mock up I previously made, however this time round I got my hands on an M9x1 tap and die so I could thread the lower portions. I made a separate post a while ago about these so here’s a few pics.





    I then proceeded to nose dive the rig off a 4′ rock, cracking the welds on the bumper and bending my body mounts, shocks were fine though…

    Next up were prop shafts. I’d love to be able to make scale splined shafts but cutting the internal splines is a bit outside the scope at the moment, so I settled on a slot and pin design.

    The larger body is a mystery engineering steel I picked up as scrap off a local machinist, seems pretty hard. The smaller shaft is 316 stainless and the pin is drill rod. Dimensions are as follows: 10mm OD, 8mm ID, shaft OD 7.8mm and the pin is 3mm, as are the slots.

    I turned a 5mm boss on each end to accept standard UJ’s, which I got off ebay.



    I suppose I should start looking into sorting out the drive line angles…

    And that’s as far as I’ve gotten in 4 months… I think it might be time for a new body, new wheels and tires and another 4 months of building…

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