Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Body Build - Yokomo RS☆R JZA80 Supra, Part 1.

Body Build - Yokomo RS☆R JZA80 Supra, Part 1.

Background details & unbagging.

The Toyota JZA80 Supra, with its plethora of headlights and taillights, flowing body style, and 3-door hatchback design strikes me as one of the essential bodies to own. Compared to its sibling, the Toyota JZZ30 Soarer/Lexus SC 300/400 it is aggressive while the Lexus is refined, though both of them would look great sliding around your local 1/10 scale drift course. Several companies make 1/10 JZA80s, including HPI, Pandora, Tamiya, and Yokomo. As I own neither Supra nor Soarer, I decided to purchase the Yokomo D1GP option, complete with Sport-Service RS☆R livery. But before I show you what comes in the D1GP option's bag, let's take a look at both the real car and Yokomo's product photos:

Photos of the RS☆R Supra in Action:

Photos of the Yokomo RS☆R JZA80 Supra:

Comparing the two, several differences are noticeable. First, the Yokomo does not feature the fog lights mounted in the front bumper. Why this is, I do not know, but it could be due to changes in the car between its first appearance in the mid-2000s and how it appears now in the mid-2010s. Second, the sponsors logos in some areas have chanced, due to a change in sponsors. Third, the wheels have changed from 6-spoke Yokohama AVS Model T6s to some 12-spoke wheels, perhaps Rays Gram Light 57Extremes. Lastly, but more of the byproduct of manufacturing is the shape of the roof-line and the side windows. The Yokomo looks decidedly shorter when compared side-to-side with the real thing. Nevertheless, I think this replica would look great mounted on the upcoming YD-2 chassis.

Unbagging Photos:

Body Shell

Rear Diffuser and Side Diffusers (behind front wheels)

Wing, Wing Mount, Exhaust, Wipers, & Mirrors

Yokomo Body Catalog

Instruction Booklet

Window Masks

Decals for Lights, Carbon Fiber Areas, & Front Bumper

Front Headlight Trim & Window Decals

Livery Guide

Body Markings

RS☆R Decals

Sponsor Decals

Not pictured was the piece of pressboard that keeps the decal sheets from being crushed or wrinkled. While the body markings and RS☆R decals are precut, the sponsor decals are not so you will have to take your time and cut those out. A nice feature of the body markings is that there are guide lines that will help you with placing them. I do not intend to use the window decals or the light decals as I plan on using Yokomo's chromed light buckets for this body.

In part 2 of this series, I will be prepping the body for painting, selecting the paint color, and finally painting it. Applying the decals and accessory parts will make up part 3 of this series. Thank you for following along.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tools & Storage Solutions, part 2.

Tools & Storage Solutions, part 2.

Part two of a multi-part series about how to keep things from getting lost while building, store your spare parts, eliminate (some) frustration, and generally stay organized.

Part one of this series focused upon how not to lose things during construction and storage. This article will focus on the tools that I use to build and tune RC chassis. I will not go into painting as that is a topic for another time.

Cutting Implements

I use two different tools for cutting plastic parts off of their spurs and to clean them up. First, I use a pair of side-nippers such as these Xuron 2175 Maxi-Shear Flush Cutter to remove the part. Then I use a standard X-acto knife to clean up the remaining seam line and left-over excess plastic. This is something I've always done when working with injection-molded plastic parts, whether it be for a 1/35 Tamiya tank, a 1/100 Master Grade Gunpla, or a 1/10 Overdose XEX chassis. Depending on the plastic, I'll use my special Tamiya Sharp Pointed Side Cutter NO.123 (74123) but this is only for ball-end caps as I prefer to save these side-cutters for Gunpla.


I use either Tamiya screwdrivers, Wera Kraftform hex and nut-drivers, or Bondhus Allen-keys when building as I found that with tools, it's better to spend a little more for something that will last a long time than to cheap out and use something that could break over time or worse, round-out a screw, leaving it stuck in the plastic or metal.

The Wera drivers I use are the Wera Kraftform Plus 354 Hex-Plus 2.5mm, the Wera Kraftform Plus 354 Hex-Plus 2mm, and the Wera Kraftform Micro 2054 1.5mm. I first was introduced to these screwdrivers at my local hardware store, which had some extra-long, serrated Phillips-head screwdrivers. They are made in Europe and depending on the size, have either the hex or Hex-Plus heads, which are very similar to a hex but have slightly rotated sides so that more or the tool contacts the fastener. I don't know if this really makes a difference, but I've yet to round out any fastener using them. However, Wera screwdrivers are a bit pricey for some at ~$10 each, but given that chassis average ~$300, spending maybe a tenth of that on a set of tools that you'll have for the life of the chassis is well worth it in my opinion.

If your wallet needs a break, Bondhus makes several excellent sets of Allen-keys. Either in their "ProGuard" or "BriteGuard" finish,these tools feature a ball-end hex that allows you to angle the L-wrench around 20-degrees, which helps get around things that might get in your way. This really isn't a feature that helps during construction, but it does help immensely during maintenance and disassembly.

Soft-jaw pliers have been my most-recent tool purchase as they allow me to remove turnbuckles and work on shocks without worrying about marring the parts. You can purchase either the Tamiya pliers or the IPS pliers, which make those pliers for Tamiya and are several dollars less. Having the Tamiya name will not make your car three-times faster or drive three-times better, and they're not red.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Tools & Storage Solutions, part 1.

Tools & Storage Solutions, part 1.

Part one of a multi-part series about how to keep things from getting lost while building, store your spare parts, eliminate (some) frustration, and generally stay organized.

I'm sure that every single one of you have encountered that sinking feeling of knowing you had a specific part, but couldn't find it. It happened to me yesterday when I was building my Nervis 2.0 and I was looking for a 0.3mm shim that fits between my servo and servo horn. Luckily I found it in a plastic bag in the Nevis 2.0's box, but it could have ended very poorly as that particular shim was sized for this specific purpose and Wrap-Up only included one.

Keeping Parts off the Floor and Out of the Carpet

When building an RC car kit, whether it be from MST, Overdose, Tamiya, 3Racing, or Yokomo (the brands I have experience with), the parts normally come segregated in plastic bags that are numbered. These numbers often correspond with the step in the instructions where they are used. However, sometimes parts from one bag are not used completely and are later used in a subsequent step. Therefore, you're going to have to store them for later.

What I used for storing parts during construction are Plano 3600 ProLatch StowAway boxes. Plano makes StowAway boxes in three series- 3500, 3600, and 3700. The 3500-series has the smallest boxes, the 3700-series has the largest boxes, and the 3600-series has boxes that are in the middle. Additionally, the 3600-series of boxes has the greatest variety of boxes, which is more important than actual box size in my opinion.

You can buy the boxes by themselves, or you can buy them with a carrier such as the Plano 1364 3600 Stowaway Rack System, which comes with 4 of the 3600-series boxes. I bought one off Amazon and it is currently holding my spare parts and hop-ups. I have one box dedicated to just hardware and shims, another dedicated to suspension components, another dedicated to drive train components such as axles and gears, and the last box dedicated to miscellaneous parts. At $40 shipped, I think it is a good investment as it is a pretty big step up from storing parts in plastic bags in cardboard boxes. I have a Plano 7271, which also uses the 3600-series boxes, which means I have 7 of those boxes that I can swap from one box to another, depending on which items I'll need (building vs upgrading & maintenance). I keep one on my workstation and the other under it so as not to take up too much space.

Another items that I find useful is a magnetic parts tray. While we work with aluminum, stainless steel, and other non-magnetic items, the vast majority of parts that we use are magnetic and had a tendency to end up rolling around on your desk after you've removed them from your plastic parts bag. You can use a plastic cup or the large section of the 3600-box for this, but I find the former aren't really big enough and the latter has the lid which takes up space. I think the rectangular ones, such as this TEKTON 1903 Rectangle Magnetic Parts Tray, do a better job of using space than the round ones and would recommend that you use one that is large enough to hold everything in the bag without clumping them together. Often screws look very similar and if you take the time to sort them out on your parts tray, you can avoid having using the wrong screw.

My next article in this series will be on the tools that I use to work on RC-cars.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Happy Hachi Roku Day

Happy Hachi Roku Day!

A very busy day this year too.

Today is August 6, which many refer to as "Hachi Roku" Day in celebration of the classic Toyota AE86. Regardless of if it is a  coup or hatchback, has the Levin's fixed or the Trueno's pop-up headlights, these cars are definitely some of my favorite, with my personal favorite being the Trueno hatchback. For those who didn't know, Levin and Trueno are not Japanese words, but rather are the Middle English and Spanish words for "lighting" and "thunder", respectively.
I painted a Yokomo Trueno street-version hatchback shell not too long ago (featured in an earlier post) and I thought purchasing the opposite style, a D1GP Levin coup with T&E body kit, as a celebratory body kit but decided against it as I had already purchased several bodies last week. However, one body I would like to eventually purchase would be a modern 86/BRZ/FR-2 and Yokomo makes several D1GP replicas:

The HKS Racing Performer 86*

The Up Garage Falken 86*
The Drive M7 Advan Max Orido Racing 86*

Of the three, I like the HKS and the Up Garage the best due to the nature of their body kits. The Drive M7, while it has the increasingly popular rear-mounted wing that I like, has a rather busy front bumper. The HKS, with its rather simple single-opening for the intercooler is rather fierce and the Up Garage's #-pattern flows well into the front fenders. However, which shell do you like the best?

Overdose and Tamiya also make some rather nice body shells, though the Overdose shell is of the Scion FR-S and the Tamiya shells are more often than not subjected to an Addiction Rocket Bunny body kit, which would add to the overall cost and complexity.

*Images courtesy of Yokomo.com.