Archive for January, 2015

25
Jan
15

Still Truckin’

What’s this? Three posts in one month? Almost in a single week!? Madness! This post is back to my RC truck thing, and it’s really long, so I’ll use the “read more” break tag thing, which I just discovered in the tool bar. Continue reading ‘Still Truckin’’

23
Jan
15

Swerve’s Angels

swerve_angels1

 

Been meaning to take this picture, for nearly a month. These TFs are all fairly current, depending on how well your local store stocks. (mine seems to do so, only begrudgingly) Left to right, across the back we have Chromia, Windblade, and Arcee. The guy with the goofy grin is Swerve.

 

WARNING: Somehow, this post turned into mini reviews of the figures in the picture.

I like swerve, a lot more than I should. His transformation isn’t very involved; not only does he not have ankles, he doesn’t even have a swivel joint in his legs; the range of motion in his shoulders is restricted by his sculpt, and his pickup truck mode has a bed full of robot legs. I’m also more of a fan of blue, than red. And yet, I really like this guy. He’s kind of fun, and he’s got gobs of personality. It’s not just his silly smirk. His overall build and proportions just seem to ooze personality. He’s got body language, just standing there. His truck mode looks good, too.

 

Chromia and Arcee are pretty good too. Well articulated, with good proportions, and nicely involved transformations. Arcee is supposed to be based on the one from the current comic books from IDW, but her head is very much modeled on the 80s cartoon character. In fact, she pretty much looks like she walked right out of the animated movie. The only real fault I have with her, is a QC issue on mine. The wrap around part on the driver’s side of her windshield is missing. It looks like the mold didn’t fill all the way. I’ll probably make a new one, out of Lexan. My current radio control project has left me with plenty of it. (RC for Arcee?) OH! Her elbows have a near human range of motion. The bend so far, she can get her wrists very close to her shoulders. This with a single hinge, and no compromise to the sculpt to allow for it. It’s not even necessary for her transformation.

 

Not much to say about Chromia, other than I like her. Her vehicle mode is a bit odd. Looks like it’s based on the motorcycle guy from the Technobots, back in the day, with a little old school Tron light-cycle thrown in for good measure. Robot mode looks good, though there is a bit of back kibble; mostly just a wheel and canopy. Not as bad as Arcee, who wears most of her vehicle mode on her back. Despite having narrower shoulders than Arcee, Chromia is a little more imposing looking, with her bulkier, armored looking forearms and lower legs. And, I really dig her color scheme.

 

Windblade…. Y’know, I want to like her. She looks great in robot mode, and her vehicle mode’s not too bad. It’s the obvious robot shins and feet on the back of a jet that throw me off. I love that she’s a V/STOL. Thrust was always the one Decepti-jet that I really wanted, when I was a kid. Windblade has a similar lifting fan setup going on. It’s too bad that she’s a floppy mess. Sometimes, her vehicle mode will peg together just right, but often things just don’t quite line up. The entire front of her torso is hinged at the waist, and that hinge is pretty loose. It doesn’t peg into anything, and her arms are connected to it. It makes keeping her robot mode together interesting. The same piece is the bottom of her jet mode, but her arms keep it in place. If, you can get them tucked in where they go. She also doesn’t stand up very well. She has tiny feet, and instead of heel spurs like the other gals have, Windblade has stiletto heels. The heels fold into the feet for vehicle mode, and their hinges aren’t very tight. This leads to some balance issues. I just find handling her to be really annoying. The functional scabbard, with it’s multiple locations to peg into her robot mode is pretty boss, though.

17
Jan
15

BUMP! ….er

Since Christmas, I’ve been modifying a Tamiya F350 High-Lift body to fit the chassis of my Blizzard/truck thing from the last post. It most likely wouldn’t have taken so long, but I’ve been making a lot of changes, including cutting out most of the bed, as well as shortening said bed. Then there’s various holes in the body that had to be patched up. All of that is for another post.

 

For the last fifteen years, I’ve had a Clodzilla twin tube front bumper/brush guard on the chassis. It’s primary purpose to help prevent any hard direct hits to the drive sprockets. However, I had it mounted on some scraps of metal I’d found lying around, from the last people that owned this house, and couple bits of aluminum sheet I’d had left over. The whole thing was kind of ghetto, and the factory equipped P clamps that came with the bumper just don’t help. The hardware I’d used to hold everything together was grossly over-sized, meaning I couldn’t get enough in to keep things stable. A good smack or two on the bottom of the bumper would leave it leaning forward, there was just no tightening it up enough to stop it.

 

I’ve had enough, and I wanted a new bumper mount that actually holds the thing in place, and looks like at least a couple of fucks were given in its construction. The new one is made from aluminum angle. Four small pieces of ½”x½” and two small pieces of 1/2″x3/4″ angle stock from local home destruction center. (Why is there code for ½ and ¼ but not for 3/4? It’s fractist!)

 

The 1/2×3/4″ stuff was used, mainly to let me use the holes I’d already drilled for the old setup. Due to the slope of the front of the chassis, I had to cut it at an odd angle, to get it to hold the rest of the rig horizontal. The old one angled down; I didn’t want that on the new one. The asymmetrical angle was cut with the short legs pointing forward. The longer legs were needed to reach the existing mounting holes, and since there was to be no more than 1¼” between chassis and the bumper, there wasn’t really enough room for the longer legs. These are effectively mounting brackets. Two 1¼” long pieces of the symmetrical angle were bolted to the brackets, with the horizontal side on top, and towards the inside. Had I attached them with the horizontal side on the bottom and towards the outside, I could have bolted the bumper directly to them, and saved myself some work. I didn’t do that, for two reasons. One, I don’t like the way it would look, two I want those top surfaces for mounting other things. Eventually, I want to put a winch on this sucker. For now, I’m bolting on a pair of tow hooks I got from RC4WD. Two small ½” pieces of angle are bolted to the inside of the longer pieces, with their horizontal side on the bottom and outside. These are what the bumper is bolted onto.

 

truck9

 

The bumper sits a little bit higher than it used it, but is still low enough to protect the drive sprockets from most things the truck can’t simply climb over. The new mount is solid, with no fear of anything pivoting. And, it looks so much nicer.

 

That said, I’m going to remake the long side pieces. I screwed up mounting those tow hooks, leaving a hole and a few divots on the tops of those rails. Since part of the reason behind this rebuild was to have something that didn’t look like it was kludged together from scraps, I’m replacing those. They’re not hard parts to make, and the angle stock I used was like three feet long. I’m using less than four inches, here.




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