Posts Tagged ‘Kyosho Blizzard EV



A burst of activity, and then I go silent again, huh? I really need to work on that.

Anyway, remember those brake shoes I made? The old ones weren’t the problem. Aw well, I still figured a better way to cut the new ones, doing that. The problem was the aluminum collars that the brake disks ride on. Each collar has two flat sides. The flats being how force from the disks is transferred to the collars and axles. As I said, the collars are aluminum. The disks are stainless steel, and it’s their edges that press on the collars.

Anybody seeing a problem here?

Yeah, so the collars had V-shaped grooves worn in them. The left side was bad enough, that the disk was getting stuck in it. I filed the sides of the grooves to shallower angles, so the disks could ride out of the valleys easier. Then, I swapped the collars between the left and right sides of the truck, since they wear on opposite sides of the flats. This has cured the problem, until I can get new ones ordered. Probably gonna do that, in a week or two. (parts for this thing are cheap, but those aren’t the only ones I’ve worn out.) This week, I just ordered a dual motor driver for a model tank I converted to RC years ago. I’m looking forward to driving that again, with a better control setup, than its current kludged together conversion.

Me and tracked vehicles….

I’m still happy with my new radio. I know it’s only been a couple of weeks so far, but there’s been no sign of the controls going south. And, I’m still driving it nearly every night. Braking in a set of new brake shoes means I’m adjusting the dual rate every two or three days. All the buttons being programmable means I can keep the dual rate control conveniently located. I’ve settled on the largest grip on it. I’ve never been a big dude, but most pistol grip RC transmitter handles have always felt a little small, to me. The largest grip just feels best, to my hand.


Wear and Tear

I feel like I should apologize, for turning this in to an RC car blog.

I was having some trouble with the Truck cat’s brakes binding on one side. Low speed crawling resulted in the left side track repeatedly locking up. I tracked it down to the brakes, that it uses to steer. My homemade Formica brake shoes had worn more than I thought they had. It’s hard to get a good look at the shoes, when they’re in place, but I noticed a notch worn into one of them. Once I had them out of the truck, I could see the full extent of the damage.


Continue reading ‘Wear and Tear’


Greetings, from the Swamp

So, that post I made, about all that water coming down in such a short period time? Apparently, there’s a price to paid, for finding fascination in such things.


postcard1 Continue reading ‘Greetings, from the Swamp’


Truck-Cat Finished (for now)

You can spend forever adding details to a model, and I will be detailing this one, as the opportunities present themselves. But for now, it’s finished. This, of course, means that I took too many pictures. All outdoor shots!


Continue reading ‘Truck-Cat Finished (for now)’


Cagey Beast

Short post this time. The truck-cat’s chase rack is finished, with all the light bar mounting brackets, and tie down eyelets in place.


Sanded, and ready for paint:



It’s since been painted with the same satin black Rustoleum I painted the rear slider bar with. At this point, it’s just a matter of finishing the light bars, and getting them wired in. Hopefully, I’ll have the light bars finished, within the next couple of days. Most of what needs to be done on them is trivial. There are some side boards for the bed rails I want to make, but they’re not vital.


The Truck-Cat Lives

Finally getting close to finishing this thing. Mostly need to finish the new chase rack and the light bars. The rack is just set in place, in these pictures. I was more and more unhappy with the first one I built. It doesn’t have mounting feet, yet. It still needs tabs to attach the light bars, and I want to add some small tie downs to it. Those will probably just be little tabs, with holes in them for hooks or scale rope. Still need to get the fuel filler painted, too.



Continue reading ‘The Truck-Cat Lives’


Another Truck-Cat Update

I should have numbered these….

I built a slider bar for the back of the chassis, to prevent tearing up the body, when the truck drops off of things. I built it to extend past where the bumper will be, and kick up at the end to come up behind the bumper. That kick at the end, gives me a place to attach a couple of D-ring tabs from Mad Dog RC. To those, I bolted some King Kong mini tow shackles, from RC4WD.


Continue reading ‘Another Truck-Cat Update’


I’m Still Here

No pictures, this time through. I just felt the need to post something. Real life kind of hit me upside the head, so I’ve not felt like working on much of anything, for last month or so. Most of my energy has gone towards expanding my comic into a couple of side comics. Comic Press is kind of clumsy, with multi-comic sites, and converting the site over to a network was a massive pain. Nothing ever seems to work the way it’s supposed to.


I’m back to working on the RC truck-cat thing, however slowly. Just trying to get the body painted, right now. Spent a few hours last night replacing the brake pads on the thing with new ones cut from a Formica sample. (Matte finished travertine, it was all Lowe’s had in the sample rack.) I’m hoping the more slippery surface will help tame the steering. The super thick diff oil has helped, but stainless steel pads on stainless steel disks lack finesse. The steering goes abruptly from wide, gradual turn to a snap turn with one track locked up.


I guess, there’s a reason differential breaking fell out of favor on full-sized tracked vehicles. I have ideas in my head involving cut down crawler axles driven by two 55 or 80 turn motors. But, lets not go there.


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’’


From Crap I Had Lying Around

WARNING: This is the one where I get long winded.


The RC bug has bitten me again. I dusted off my long neglected truck, and I’ve been running it around on some fallen branches I should probably pick up. Using them for crawling is more fun. I call this a truck, but I should clarify. The “truck” is actually a Kyosho Blizzard EV. This is a 1/12 scale snowcat, I’ve got a 1/10 scale truck body on. I bought it to drive in the snow, forgetting that I hate the cold. This version of the Blizzard didn’t come with a plow, though the current one does. Plowless, I found the stock snowcat body kind of boring. So, I stuck a truck body on it. It was never the body that had drawn me to it. I have a life long fascination with tracked vehicles. I just wanted a tracked chassis that I could put a body l Liked on it.


That’s an old picture, from probably around 2000, or so.


Bit of history on this particular vehicle, because it’s my blog, and I’ll ramble if I want to. Feel free to skip to the next paragraph, if you really don’t care. In the late 90s, the venerable Blizzard DX received a massive overhaul. The twin electric motors and their gearboxes, each driving one track were gone. They were replaced with a central differential, with a disk brake on either side. The brakes slow or stop the tracks for steering. This was done to run the model off a gas engine. This version was called the Nitro Blizzard. The Blizzard EV is basically an electric conversion of the Nitro Blizzard. Yeah. An electric conversion of gas redesign of an electric RC. The nice thing is, it uses a standard 540 size motor. Most 1/10 and 1/12 scale electric RC models use this size. There’s a huge variety of them available. Adjusting the track tension is a bit of a pain, due to Kyosho’s love affair with phillips head screws, when everybody else is using allen head hardware. This isn’t too bad, but there’s a chain on each side running from the differential, to the track drive sprockets. These are nigh impossible to properly tension. The only way to loosen and tighten the hardware is to take one side of the chassis off, so you can get a proper angle on the phillips head screw. The other part that the screw tightens into is a smooth round piece of steel. There’s nothing to get a hold of! Seems they fixed this design flaw in the mid 2000s, with the release of the Blizzard DF300. The sprocket axle now ends in a hex head, instead of holding the sprocket on with an E clip. (Hobby grade RCs are riddled with these hateful devices.) Instead of the phillips head screws, there’s a machined aluminum bar, and long grub screws thread into each end. The axles tighten down onto those. These parts are drop in replacements for my EV. So much easier to adjust things, now. The current Blizzard SR uses the system, despite the return to twin motors. (The old DX didn’t use these.) I bought my EV, new in 1999.


With the days getting shorter, I wanted some lights on the truck. I don’t want to do anything permanent, because I have eyes towards dressing it up more like a scale trail truck. If you don’t know what those are, go look them up on YouTube. I find them fascinating, especially when run slowly, like a real truck. Check out Bill Feely’s Extreme Hagglunds, and the Peak Adventure van-cat, before you call me for not being scale. My preferred truck body, is a late 90s/early 2000s Ford Super Duty. That’s what the current body on it is, but I want to go with sort of stealth body mounting. You can’t really patch holes in Lexan bodies. Unfortunately, Parma no longer makes this body. Tamiya makes a styrene “hard body” of it, but that’s expensive. Especially after getting two shells, to splice together, and turn Tamiya’s regular cab long bed body into an extended cab short bed.  JConcepts makes a current style Super Duty that appears to be close to 1/12 scale, and should look spectacular on this chassis. I plan full lights, for whatever body I put on it. Anyway, since I’m planning to replace this body, before too long, so I really didn’t want to spend much money on adding lights to it. The old Clodzilla front bumper I’ve got on the chassis is perfect for bolting some lights to. I can just use the existing bolts that hold it together, then remove things later, when I have the new body ready to install.


Anyway, like I said. I didn’t want to spend money on something that’s intended to be temporary. So, I looked around my stockpiles of assorted junk. Turned out, I had everything I needed. If it wasn’t for the chronic allergies and asthma, I would totally win the apocalypse. Yeah, probably not. (for the record, I actually managed to spell “apocalypse” right on the first try)



I only have a four cell AA battery holder, and that’s about twice what you want for LEDs. Sure, they’ll be brighter, for while. Right up until they burn out. I cut the battery bay out of a busted up remote from an old cable box. Electrical tape and a piece of scrap styrene keep the batteries from bouncing out. Initially, I had batteries in that had just been lying around. I think I pulled them out of a Transformers toy. (friggen automated sound effects….) Messing around with things, I accidentally dead shorted the system, and drained the batteries in short order. The switch is a spare from a package I bought for my model train layout. (It’s true. I collect hobbies) The bracket it’s mounted to is cut from the battery door of the same broken remote that provided the battery holder. The wires are from some old computer case fans, that had died. I tend to clip the wires, before I toss them. The LEDs are from a flashlight I’d managed to break. (I liked that flashlight. 😦 ) I pulled five LEDs out of it, because one stopped working between testing and desoldering from the board. The light buckets are actually LED mounts from an old set of solar-powered exterior accent lights. Some asshole ran one over with his truck. I’ve always hoped that the broken glass gave him a flat tire. Anyway, despite having the little mounting boxes from three of those lights, I can only find the LEDs from one of them. That’s two LEDs, I needed four. That’s where the broken flashlight came in.

truck5 truck8

(That leather patch is supposed to be a splash guard to keep water off the speed control. Theoretically, I would remove it when I’m not running in the wet. That’s the theory….)


I used some styrene tube and sheet to close in the backs of the light buckets. The insides of the buckets were lined with chrome Monokote trim strip, for reflectivity and light blocking. The trim strip on the outside is mostly just to dress it up, and hide the mismatched plastic. Lenses were cut from clear plastic taken from packaging. The brackets holding the buckets to the brush guard are aluminum sheet. I’ve already hammered a skid plate out of the stuff, and I plan to make a new bumper mount from it. The current mount is kind of ghetto. I covered the brackets with electrical tape on the back sides, with a second layer down where the screws are. That, and bending the brackets slightly away from the sides of the guard will hopefully keep the brackets from scuffing the guard uprights. I attached the brackets to the buckets with 3M automotive plastic and emblem adhesive. I wanted to make sure the buckets never fell off. I think I used Shoe Goo to glue the lenses on. Might have been the 3m glue. I forget.



The combination of the narrow boxes, and being mounted vertically, they throw fairly narrow beams of light. Still, it nice to have, when it’s getting dark out.



I’ve realized that I have enough lights to add lit headlights and tail lights. I’ll have to make buckets for those. I’ll turn these current lights on their sides, and set them into the bumper. I’m probably just going to let the headlights shine through the sticker, so they’ll just be decorative. I’ll have to see how hard it is to make the light buckets fit all the curves of the body.



August 2020