Revell 'Colin McRae' - Nissan Pickup - Paris - Dakar 2004

Revell 'Colin McRae' - Nissan Pickup - Paris - Dakar 2004

Postby wixwacing » Thu 05 Mar, 2009 7:22 pm

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For those who know me and race with me it goes unsaid that if there is a bit of a technical problem with any aspect of a race night then I’m the guy that ends up with the screw driver, soldering iron, computer mouse…whatever. I don’t have a problem with that as anything I can do to get a bunch of guys racing together smoothly and without hitch to me is the main goal and task. Likewise I would like to think this spills over into my personal side of the hobby. I am a prolific repairer and scratch builder and there is always something of somebody’s on the bench in need of some TLC.



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This week there is a Teamslot Toyota Celica GT4 which has been through the wars and has finally expired on its owner. Once opened up there are a whole host of other fixes to be carried out. There are also a couple of Proslot Ferrari 360’s which have had a hard life! eBay purchases which, whilst procured at a knockdown price, require a good deal of TLC to restore them to their former glory or better! A Lotus 38 still waiting for a lifelike set of exhaust and the perpetual Rolls Royce waiting in the wings for its chassis. So, all is non-stop at Wixwacing Engineering.



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Then there are my own projects. A look through the scratch build section will show what has gone before but there is always something ‘on the boil’ so to speak. This week sees the end of another project. This time it is the Revell ‘Easykit’ model of the Colin McRae Dakar Nissan ‘pickup’ The real car and driver contested the Dakar Rally in 2004, Check out this link.

Nissan Motor Co, Dakar Rally official site



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The Revell model is a faithful reproduction of the 2004 contender as driven by Colin McRae and navigated by Swede Tina Thorner, a rally veteran in her own right. Although they didn’t win the rally they had a couple of good stage wins and team-mates De Villiers and Jordaan managed seventh overall with McRae and Thorner coming in at twentieth. This is one of four raid models made by Revell, the others are the Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution, the BMW X-Raid X5 and the Red Bull Volkswagen Touareg. All readily available on eBay and as far as I know still in production, so they should be available at your local hobby store.



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So the good news is that the model comes already detailed and as it is a snap together model, it shouldn’t take much modelling. The first task was to decide what sort of chassis and motor where going in to it. Raid is not a serious class in my local racing groups so there were no delusions about making this some kind of race winner. Just a good drive was going to be fine for me! Once again I opted for the faithful old PCB board for ease of construction and having a whole bunch of standard SCX RX41 motors, I opted for one of these as the motive force. Next was a thinking session on how it was all going together.



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The front axle pretty well solved itself and not feeling inclined to build a huge chassis front to rear I opted to mount the front axle in place in the original position with a bit of glue and some plastic axle bearings from an old discarded model. The chassis was to hold the motor and the drop down guide. The main chassis was measured to ensure there was enough space for motor, axle and guide mount and then cut to size. The rear of the chassis needed to turn up along with the rear chassis on the model. This was achieved by cutting three quarters of the way through the circuit board and bending it up to shape. I then soldered a piece of small diameter rod in the cut. This held the rear chassis spot on in place.



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The motor was next and before I could finalise its position I would need to calculate the rear axle position and height. The Wixwacing axle bearers were made and fitted in the chassis central to the wheel arches. These were left unfixed as the model height still had to be determined. The motor aperture was cut and the chassis mounts were calculated and glued into place. One extra job was to brace the rear end of the chassis where the axle passed through. This would cause the rear end to become detached, so, before I detached it I made two plates to hold the rear end.



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The model is made of some type of ABS as all the Easykits are, and polystyrene cement is not effective. Even ABS solvent is less than adequate so I fixed the plates by drilling the mating surfaces and the chassis contact area in a regular pattern with a 3/32 drill. I then scored the mating surfaces in a cross hatch fashion and finally epoxied the plates to the chassis and held them in place with some crocodile clips. Before the epoxy started to set, I mounted the chassis into the body so that it would all line up when dry. The holes in the joint allowed the resin to pass through and form a key, almost like resin rivets!



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The wheels and axles were in the kit!! Surprised as I was, the hunt for comparable wheels and tyres were instantly negated. Much like the ‘D’ type Auto Union by Revell; this model also had totally usable wheels and tyres! The bonus was it also had 2.5 mm axles! So, I sorted the axles, wheels and tyres and bored the axle bearings to 2.5 m.m. and then the model’s standing height was finalised. In another life I might have tried some working suspension but that wasn’t for this model. The drop down guide was the only new Wixwacing achievement. And a running model was the goal.



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Once the axle heights were set and soldered, the motor was soldered in place and the crown wheel was fitted to the axle. The crown wheel was a spare 28z Slot.it gear I had in the spares department. These have a 3/32 bore and this doesn’t fit a 2.5 mm axle. Counter boring could be a problem but the easiest way was to mount the contrate boss end first into a small drill chuck. The 2.5mm drill bit was mounted into a vice and on low speed the drill and gear were pressed onto the stationary drill. Why this way? Well, if I had tried to run a drill through a static contrate, there was a chance of running off centre and ending up with an eccentric gear!! By mounting the contrate boss first into the chuck I was revolving the boss around the drill and any hole drilled HAS to be concentric. Any in line deviation will be reflected in the exit hole diameter and not the hole eccentricity! Savvy? There is also a greater probability of the chuck following the drill bit centre line.



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Now, where was I? Chassis made, axle mounted, motor fitted interior painted and installed. Oh yes. The model comes ‘sans driver’ and navigator. I had planned ahead so I had a Fly driver painted and ready to install (courtesy of Kevin at Scalexworld, Adelaide). Rather than waste another Fly figure as co pilot/navigator, I had an older ‘Penelope Pitlane’ driver in the parts department. So this was fettled and painted, the exception being that I had a contemporary driver’s head which was duly painted and fitted to the ‘navvie’. It is at this point I have to apologise to Tina Thorner. Before I had researched this model I had three quarters built it, so Tina in my model is actually a bloke! Unless Tina is flat chested of course!



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Well, we’re getting close to finishing. I devised the drop out guide and built that also of PCB. The guide was mounted in a brass tube at the end and the lead wires were held half way up by a soldered strip. They then passed into the model via a couple of conveniently placed holes in the lower front edge of the chassis. The mounts for the drop out guide are very similar to the ‘Wixwacing’ axle mounts. In this case a 3/32 brass rod is soldered at right angles to the top end of the drop out arm. These are then picked up by two tubular ‘T’ mounts at the chassis end, ‘et voila’, one drop out guide. In an ideal world the guide and drop out should be some sort of trammel device. This would follow the track surface but at this time that is a pipe dream, maybe next model?



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Finally after more than several weeks, the model is looking full on. Final assembly reveals only that the Slot.it gear is a bit hostile towards the SCX pinion. An application of Tamiya fine paste and Vaseline would be the solution and the chassis was run for several minutes bearing this concoction. Eventually it was washed off and the model lubed and placed in the race box for the next track visit!



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The Red Team’s home track was the first outing. The model was placed in the slot and then the controller tentatively squeezed. The model pulled away and was very quiet. Taking it a bit at a time it wasn’t long before it was obvious the tyres were fine! The gears were fine and the motor, too, was fine. In fact, this must be the first scratchbuilt model I have placed on the track and not had to take back to the workshop for alterations. The tight gear freed up and the model was going well. The tyres amazingly enough had plenty of grip. Not competition type grip but more than enough to confidently push it round the sweeping bends of the Red Team’s circuit.



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As expected it is a little top heavy, but so too are the SCX and Ninco models. My judgement is that it isn’t, and never was going to be as fast as a Ninco but it sure is faster than the SCX models. Next up is to find someone with an SCX Rally circuit, to test out the drop out guide!



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So out of the box the model is well detailed. My conversion is sympathetic to scale and the body dimensions and its on track performance is good and more amazingly, whispering quiet! So there are a few more pluses than I was expecting! Next up is to arrange a raid event, Mmmmmm?


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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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