Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Next project started: RC Tamiya Sand Scorcher

It's been a big week, I've spent a lot of time just staring at the trophy I won eight days ago, resting on my laurels and basking in the glow of victory... which would make me an insufferable douchebag. In all seriousness, of course I haven't - I've moved on to the next project, my 1/10 scale remote controlled Tamiya Sand Scorcher.

I have to admit, it is an absolute pleasure to put together. I was a tiny bit daunted when I opened the box - so much serious looking metal! So many tiny screw and bolts and nuts! Electronics! But as soon as I started building the engine case and gearbox, it all just fell into place. The engineering of the pieces is just astounding. the tolerances for 3mm diameter screws to work in cast alloy gear casings - just wow.

Perhaps it is because I've spent the last ten months scratchbuilding. You know, every single thing you want on your model you have to construct it yourself. In contract, it feels very breezy and simple to just open a box and pull out the exact piece you need at that very moment.

The very first step.

The rear end.

One disappointment I have is that my kit was missing one single 6x22mm screw. Doesn't sound like much, but that single missing screw is one of two that holds the entire back rollcage together, and that back rollcage is what supports a large part of the rear engine and mounts it to the chassis. So I've had to put those steps on hold while I ordered a replacement online (AU$4.50 for six screws, courtesy of ebay) and wait for them to be delivered. That's been a bit of a pain in the arse if I'm being honest, but it's just a case of bad luck I guess - someone had a sake hangover that morning at the Tamiya factory while filling the tiny plastic bags full of their prescribed selection of screws!

My other disappointment so far is that the shock absorbers leak damper fluid. They go together beautifully, but they do seem to seep. I had done a little research online before I started building, and I knew this was a fairly common problem with Sand Scorchers. I also knew that one solution was to mount the shock absorbers upside down, so that gravity isn't working against me.

Other than that, I have nothing but praise for this kit. It really is a pleasure to put together. I'd estimate I'm about 30% through after less than a week - I'm not bothering to video the entire build like I did with The Seahorse, partly because I just wanted a fun, fast build and partly because I don't think I have the credibility on YouTube to publish many RC videos - I'm an utter noob, and there are a gazillion other channels out there who can discuss RC more authoritatively than I can! Plus I also don't think that it's really what my audience are interested in.

Front suspension and steering. These shock absorbers are deliberately mounted upside down, I promise!

Ooooh, shiny hubs!

Anyway, back to the build. Even when I encounter problems, I'm still finding myself sitting there thinking "Ahhhhh, this is easy!"



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