Thursday, 13 December 2012

Maritime Raceway . . A permanent new off-road venue.

We are now in the icy grip of a UK winter.
It's dark and gloomy outside and even if by some miracle it's dry then you can bet it's bloomin' cold.
What's a southern RC buggy racer to do?
Get yourself along to Maritime on a Tuesday evening that's what!

For the past couple of months the new permanent indoor facility in the historic dockyard at Chatham has been open and attracting drivers from across the South East.
Maritime is a well known touring car club, run by Ian Knight and an enthusiastic crew, that have hosted the Off Road World Cup for the past couple of years attracting top drivers not just from the UK but from Europe as well.
Ian has bought his experience to bear and, with the help of his merry band, has worked hard over the last year or so to produce this great venue.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

TORCH Winter Series Rd1

So beginith my adventure into the world of 2wd.

A couple of weeks back I was at TORCH for the first round of their winter series.
I have written about TORCH before so anyone who visits regularly will know about this great club in the south of England.

For those that don't know TORCH is a club that boasts a national level facility based around a high grip astro track with a lap of around 25-30 secs depending on the layout.

The committee put on some great events and regularly change the track in order to keep things fresh and interesting. Whatever the layout racers are guaranteed a fun but challenging circuit on which to test their mettle.
Being a bit of a slow learner this doesn't particularly suit me and usually just as I am getting the hang of one layout the buggers go and change it!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Cougar SV2 vs Cougar SVR

 I have decided to dedicate my average efforts on 2wd next season and to this end have put together 'Team Cougar'.

What you see here is my mid motor SV2 and my rear motor SVR.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Associated TC6 . . . I feel the need for speed!

Over the summer my Mi4 has been set up for 17.5 blinky racing at my local club Adur.
This has been fun and makes for some great close racing. It certainly forces one to be clean and tidy as the smallest mistake can be the difference between winning and coming nowhere.

Despite enjoying this I have found myself hankering after the thrill of extra speed.
The quickest class that is run regularly at Adur is 13.5 boosted. I have run in this class in the past and enjoyed it so have decided to put together a new ride and once again mix it in the tyre munching boosted class.

As the class seems to be gaining popularity around the clubs I didn't want to sacrifice my 17.5 blinky car, which is top fun.  The only option was to add yet another chassis to the Pipski man cave!

Much as I love my Mi4 funds would not allow the extravagance of a brand new Mi4CXL so I had to settle for a pre-loved car. I held out for a Schuie but nothing came up, eventually I spotted a tidy looking TC6 on Oople available at a reasonable price so I raided the RC fund and made it mine.   

Monday, 15 October 2012

Eden Park Raceway . . . Winter Series Rnd1

I am really just a big kid at heart.
That being so it is not unusual for me to get excited before a race day, especially if I am visiting a track I haven't raced at before.
So you can imagine how I felt when last Sunday dawned and the sun was shining, I couldn't wait to load the car, jump in and head for Eden Park Raceway.

I set off into sunrise like a child on his way to the seaside.

Eden Park Raceway has had its ups and downs.
In 1999, having once been the premier race track in the South, it was forced, due to various problems, to close its doors. In 2007 a dedicated group of racers decided to resurrect this once revered venue and after much hard work on the track and facilities refurbished it to the high standard you see here.
Well done guys.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Schumacher Cougar SVR build . . . Part 2

Sufficiently rested and refreshed I ventured back to the man cave to finish building the little gem that is the SVR.
Time for some of the less glamorous but nonthelesss important jobs.

First up is the gearbox. A steel geared layshaft and sacrificial nylon intermediate gear both run on more of the smooth red seal bearings. These slot together nicely and mount to the nicely machined motor plate, black again instead of traditional Schumacher purple. A small pouch of grease is supplied be sure to use it to guarantee a silky smooth transmission.

(Click on pics for full size gallery)

Friday, 5 October 2012

Schumacher Cougar SVR build . . . Part 1

OK Summer, such that it was, has come and gone and an RC racer has two choices:
Go racing indoors where it is dry and warm (Area 51 excluded where it was brass monkeys!)
or man up, don a scarf and a bobble hat and stay outside.

I will probably do a bit of both but have decided that the Cougar SVR might be a good choice for those slippery outdoor tracks over winter, at least that is my justification for another new kit.
Come on though, in these days of £500 plus 2wd super cars the SVR is a bargain at under £200.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Does the Schumacher SVR shell fit the SV2?

I'm not really sure if the SV2 needs a cab forward bodyshell but it certainly doesn't hurt to have one in the armoury as an option should the need arise.
The SVR shell is available from Schumacher at a reasonable price so I decided to get myself one and try it for size on my SV2.
If nothing else it would give me a bit of painting practice!

(Click on pics for full size version)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Airbrushing . . . A beginners perspective.

I see a lot of questions on various forums from people who want to have a go at painting their own body shells but don't know how to go about it.
I am still something of a novice but I enjoy painting my own shells so I thought I would share some of my limited experience in an attempt to help anyone that fancies giving it a go. 
This is how I went about a simple paint job on my Cougar SV2 shell.

The first job is to decide on the design. I decided on something flamey, as I often do.
I then freehand the design onto the outside of the shell with a sharpie marker.
I make lots of amendments at this stage and use a meths soaked tissue to remove my plentiful errors.

On this design I used a red and a black marker to help me identify the different coloured flames I intended to paint.

When I am happy with the design I mask the inside of the shell. For this I use a liquid mask. I apply 3 coats of this with a small sponge allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Once dry I am left with a green tinted clear rubbery coating. This is easy to cut with a craft knife or scalpel and, because it is almost transparent, it is also easy to follow my pre-drawn design.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

An evening session at Adur RC

I made a return to touring car racing yesterday.

Adur RC Club have been running an evening series over the summer so I popped along. The series comprises 10 rounds held on Tuesday nights.
I prepped a car at the beginning of the season with a view to contesting this series but alas the awful weather put paid to that idea so last night was the first time I made it along.

I was glad I did, it was a lovely balmy evening which prompted a decent turnout of around 30 drivers across the classes.
For the very reasonable entry fee of £6 we all enjoyed 4 heats of qualifying and a final.

I know what you are thinking.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

SRS Series rolls into town at Adur Off-Road

The popular SRS series arrived at the Adur off-road track at the weekend.

I wasn't competing but dropped by for a quick visit and took a few pics.
I have compiled them into a slide show below.

Given the difficult weather we have had this summer the Adur guys seemed to have prepared a decent track.
It looked like a testing day for the drivers, plenty of dust and a few stones escaping from the track surface meant the winner would need to bring his 'A' game.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The postman cometh .. With my Cougar SVR

Mid motor?
Rear motor?

There are almost as many opinions as there are cars although accepted wisdom amongst much better drivers than myself seems to be that on high grip tracks mid motor is the right choice whereas on lower grip tracks rear motor has the edge.

I dunno, I just like a new kit!

Whatever your opinion the arrival of the new rear motor Cougar SVR Schumacher has you covered.  

Manufacturers such as Losi, with the 22, and Durango, with the 210, have adopted the jack of all trades approach whilst others, including AE have gone down the conversion route, although great cars these inevitably end up being something of a compromise.

Friday, 27 July 2012

2wd Mid South Regional at Stotfold

Sunday was an exciting day for me, I was visiting a track that I have never raced at before.
Stotfold Model Car Club were playing hosts to the 5th and final round of the popular 2wd regional series.

I love to go to new tracks even if it does mean dragging myself out of bed at 5.15am . . I must be mental!
Rob Elmes was to be the driver for the day despite my reservations about sharing a cab with him and JR on a Sunday morning. If we ignore JRs navigating our journey was fraternal and relatively odour free!

(Click on pics for full size version)

We arrived in the sunshine at this secluded countryside venue and set up camp amongst many familiar faces. The host club had clearly spent some time preparing, the grass was cut and wherever one sat there was a speaker not far away keeping all informed of ongoing events.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Pro-line Bulldog SX3 Paint

I have managed to make time to get some paint onto my new Bulldog shell.

I am yet to run it but the plan is to give it a run at SHRCCC on Thursday with a view to using it in anger at the 4wd Mid South Regional hosted by TORCH this coming Sunday.

I will report back with my thoughts but in the meantime have a look at the pics.

I am pleased with this, the white is a Createx pearl which looks reallly cool in the sunshine.

What d'ya reckon?

Monday, 16 July 2012

TORCH Summer Series Round 4

The RC gods smiled upon us for once this summer and granted us a decent day on Sunday to go racing.
I took full advantage of this and headed off to TORCH for round 4 of their popular summer series.

The TORCH committee have worked hard over the last year or so to turn this venue into a top notch off road destination for southern buggy racers that now regularly attracts national and even international drivers to darkest Hampshire. This season they have already played hosts to a round of the 2wd drive mid south regionals with a round of 4wd scheduled in a couple of weeks. 

(Click on any pic for full size version)

As has become the norm these days there was a decent turnout for this event, I estimate around 70 drivers.
All were catered for with a wide range of ability across 2 and 4wd classes. There was also a juniors class who were to be rewarded with trophies for their efforts at the end of the day.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Pro-line SX3 Bulldog Body Kit

I know this is a controversial subject but I have succumbed to the hype and indulged myself with a forward cab body shell for my trusty Schumacher SX3.

I think I am correct in saying that Pro-line are the first mass producer to offer this kind of shell for the SX3 although the final product is very similar to the versions already available for the B44.

I got mine from MB Models for the princely sum of £21. When I opened the package I was very pleased to discover the kit included not just a matching undertray but window masks and a full sized rear wing . . . Result! 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Schumacher Cougar SV2 build . . . Part 2

Suitably sober I decided to delve back into the SV2 box to complete my mission.
I found more familiar parts in the diff bags, including the decent quality Schumacher thrust and diff bearings.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Schumacher Cougar SV2 build . . . Part 1

Right then.
Time to break out the wrenches and put together my new ride.
The latest, much anticipated, offering from Schumacher, a Cougar SV2. 

Regular UK racers will have seen alloy chassis prototypes at varoius events late in 2011 and early 2012 so the switch to an alloy chassis plate a la Losi 22 and Centro was not unexpected.
The thinking behind this, I am told, is that the alloy chassis offers more flex and feedback to the driver thereby delivering faster more consistent laptimes.

 Time to pour a glass of cheeky red and dive into the Schumacher box that hs been sitting on my bench for a few weeks now.

(Click on any pic for full size photo gallery)

Anyone who has built a Schuie in the past will be familiar with the sight that greeted me upon opening the box. A very well packed and organised selection of labeled bags, all of which correspond to a particular build stage in the functional, if unexciting, manual.
I can recommend a Schumacher to anyone considering building their first kit, it's difficult to go wrong so well organised are the various little packets.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

2wd Mid South Regional at SHRCCC

Ok so I am a bit of a donut.
I forgot my camera on Sunday so there are only a couple of pics of a great days racing under a glorious blue sky.

SHRCCC were the hosts for round 3 of the BRCA Mid South Regional Championships. I was pleased to be visiting a familiar venue for my Regional debut.

I had hurled myself in at the deep end as this was to be my first Regional event and a 2wd one to boot!  I was also rockin' a brand new car, my sparkly new Cougar SV2 was popping its racing cherry.
Oh well that's how I roll!

To make things fair for everyone the SHRCCC crew had made big changes to the track unveiling a completely new layout, perhaps their best yet.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Serpent 966 Evo . . . Ready to rip.

Regular visitors will know that I recently got myself a Serpent 966 Evo with the intention of going 1/8 circuit racing.
After an extensive rebuild I have finally gotten around to fitting some electrics and an engine.

In the end I opted to use an engine that I already have, an SH PT21XT2-P8 with exiting gasses being disposed of by a matched SH pipe set.
This is a relatively mild engine and, at £200, not too expensive. That said it is still plenty powerful enough to get me into all sorts of bother! It will be quick enough to hold its own at Adur club meetings but will, I suspect, be a little out of its depth at national meetings.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Layin' down the astro at SHRCCC.

 Everyone loves a bit of old school grass action but when the weather doesn't play ball the post race clean up can become a little tedious. This, coupled with the inevitable wear and tear of a grass track, has prompted SHRCCC to up sticks and relocate just down the road to a year round astro based facility.

I made the trip on a nippy Sunday in April for the innaugral meeting.

The enthusiastic committee, headed up by Neil 'Dudders' Dudman and Darren 'Tartman' Parker, have put in some hard graft to turn a 5-a-side footy pitch into the bristly green oasis seen in the pics below. The various members have bought their respective skills to bear and produced an interesting track with something for everyone.

(click on the pics for full size versions)

Saturday, 31 March 2012

I'm going 1/8 Circuit racing with a Serpent 966 Evo.

They say a change is as good as a rest and I'm not one for resting so change it is!
I am going have a little dabble at the F1 of RC racing, 1/8 on road.

I picked myself up a used Serpent 966 Evo. It wasn't in as good condition as I had hoped so I have been beavering away in my man cave for a couple of weeks executing a major overhaul.

This is the result of my labours.
I am now the proud, excited, owner of a very tidy Serpent 966 Evo.
It is fitted with a full alloy pulley set, blade roll bars and the Serpent 'flex' rear end.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Offroad Wars 2012 at Maritime Raceway

I recently attended the Offroad Wars meeting at Maritime Raceway.
I didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much as I have some other big meetings but there are many who did..
I took a few pics while I was there so thought I would post them up so those who didn't manage to make it along could get a flavour of the venue and the meeting in general.

The track is situated on the top floor of a fantastic old building in Chatham dockyard. It used to be a rope manufacturing facility so is long and low.

The access is certainly not wheelchair friendly as one needs to ascend three narrow flights of stairs.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Schumacher Cougar SV2

Well folks the long wait is over.
The nice chap from UPS came knocking this week cradling in his arms my new Schumacher Cougar SV2.

This has got to be one of the most hotly anticipated buggies of recent times and I can't wait to get stuck into the build.

Things are pretty busy in my 'real life' job right now but I am determined to make some time to bolt this beauty together over the next week or so.

I will be taking plenty of pics and writing a few words so please check back regularly for updates.

I am a lucky boy!

Monday, 20 February 2012

TORCH wrap up the winter series.

A nippy Sunday saw the final round of the TORCH winter series.
Over 50 drivers braved the cold to contest the final round of what has been a popular southern series.
We arrived to a frost covered winter wonderland of a track.

I have not been able to make it for most of the rounds and with nothing at stake decided to give the Losi 22 a day out on the astro. Regular readers will know I have just fitted a gear diff and installed a Darren Bloomfield setup which I was looking forward to trying out.
It would be nice to enjoy a fun day of racing with nothing at stake and no pressure.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Losi 22 Gear Diff . . . but Associated SC10 really!

I have only run it a couple of times but have been struggling to make my Losi 22 diff work consistently.
I am the first to admit that I am not so experienced setting up 2wd slipper clutches so to be fair am probably the architect of my own problems.

Much as I would love to keep on blaming my equipment for my poor performances I have taken steps to eliminate this particular excuse from my not inconsiderable repertoire!

The solution?
A gear diff.

I struggled to find a UK dealer with the Losi gear diff on the shelf. I had read that the Associated SC10 gear diff was a drop in fit so opted for this instead. An added bonus was that it was a few pounds cheaper. Which, as long as it fits, is a result.

It is a well made unit with steel outdrives, metal gears and cross pins.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

TORCH . . . Onwards & Upwards . . . Bring on the Regionals.

2012 looks like being a big year for local club TORCH.
All the hard work put in by the lads recently has been rewarded with an invitation to host 2 and 4wd Regional meetings during the coming season.

In my opinion this is well deserved.

I have been racing here for a relatively short time but have seen the club go from strength to strength. There is, it seems, a will amongst the committee to keep pushing the club forward and as a result everytime I go along I see new evidence of this desire to improve.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Area51 ... RC's worst kept secret!

It's a shame about the Petit and all the associated acrimony but as the saying goes 'The King is dead. Long live the King!"  (Or for the French "Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!")

So named because of the top secret location on military land in deepest darkest Oxfordshire this meeting was organised by the very capable crew from the Silverstone club.
If pre-event interest was any guide then this was going to be a big one.
270 entries across 3 classes (2wd, 4wd and SC) all looking forward to a weekend of racing and camaraderie.

The cars were prepped, the hotel was booked (2 nights in a Travelodge) and I was on my way.

 We were greeted at the gate by security who checked us in, warned us to behave, and directed us to a big mysterious hanger which was to be our home for the weekend.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Bullistorm ESC update ... "The Test"

I had decided to use the 60a version of this Bullistorm speedo in my 12th car. A change of plan means it has now been replaced by it's bigger 120a brother.
This is destined to end up in a sportsman stock touring car but in the meantime I wanted to give it an outing so I wired it into my spare Cat SX2. 
Today I gave it a spin at TORCH, an off road club at which I am a member.

Here it is all snuggled up and ready for some off road action. 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Ivan Mitchell Memorial Christmas Charity Cup at Adur MCC

There was a decent turnout on a crisp Christams bank holiday for the annual Ivan Mitchell  charity meeting at Adur Model Car Club on the south coast.

This annual inter-club event is held each year in memory of well known oval racer Bob Mitchells son who sadly passed away 5 years ago. The proceeds are donated to a nominated charity, this year it was the Royal Marsden Hospital. 

This event is unique on the Adur calender because both the oval and on road circuits run concurrent meetings ensuring a great atmosphere and plenty of banter.

The nippy weather did nothing to discourage gratuitous displays of flesh. Even local superstar Chris Betts waived his huge . . . . . appearance fee to turn up and support the event.