Father of Dragons(Bakugan Dragonoid monster truck replica)

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johnnydmd

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154
Thanks all :D

More progress....lighting and shocks.

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Have to tweak the rear shock set up slightly, I ran out of standoffs, and wound up mounting both lower ends on the same peg, but will correct that as soon as I get the new parts. Got some other upgrade parts on the way(and 4 wheel steering conversion kit), but I really gotta do something about the wheels and tires. Probably going with RC4WD 2.6 beadlocks and JC MT tires, but still shopping around.
 

BobP

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I guess I have to ask the obvious, are you going to run with that body on it? If so is that easy enough to make the parts again? Just asking because I built my dually and love to take it out but I would never use it in the rock crawling events I go to.
 

johnnydmd

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154
I guess I have to ask the obvious, are you going to run with that body on it? If so is that easy enough to make the parts again? Just asking because I built my dually and love to take it out but I would never use it in the rock crawling events I go to.
Yup, I will run it with this body, I can make new parts if they break, in fact because the body is so "modular" it's a bit easier to maintain since I generally wouldn't have to replace and repaint the entire body. I specifically used colors that I didn't need to mix too, so that I don't have color matching problems. It should be pretty durable, it's using .060 poly sheets, and I also back the inside with clear Flex Seal to protect the paint. I suspect the part that would fail the most are the wings, but we shall see. The horn is silicone and easily replace if it somehow rips(though it's pretty tough, but flexible). Not sure if it's evident in the photos, but the insides have a plastic roll cage anchored to the body that give it some serious reinforcement as well.

I'll probably make a few more of these as spares too, in different colors for fun. I decided against using it on my Tmaxx, it's too large for it and doesn't look quite right sitting on it. This one fits the Mad Crusher/Force/Kruiser perfectly(lucky guess, for me, lol).
 

johnnydmd

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Did some reconfiguring of the rear shocks, and now it's much, much better. Travel is good, and compression is smooth with no binding. Overall there was some trial and error making a four shock setup work(and I've seen some of the Mad Force 4 shock attempts that are almost silly looking), but I have it looking pretty scale now. It was late and I forgot to take pics...but will put some up soon. Only one "error" hole drilled ;)

Ordered my wheels and tires, I did wind up going with the RC4WD beadlocks(delrin innards), and the JC Firestorm MT tires. Going to dye the beadlock rings red to get it to match the real Dragonoid.

Removed the pullstart to put in a rotostart. Whoever assembled this thing at Kyosho used a crapton of Loctite...I couldn't get the chassis tube off behind the engine, so tried to remove the engine via the mounts, wound up snapping off the screw head. Decided to give the chassis tube another go and managed to free it. So then had to drill a new hole through the chassis plate and into the engine mount for a new screw. No biggie, but dayum...easy on the Loctite there Kyosho!
 

skurtzicus

RCNT Member
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26
This is actually ridiculously amazing, I can only hope to become a craftsmen even close to that of your caliber. This is really inspiring ideas in my head. Only thing is I'm a beginner (kind of). So do I start small and practise or do I just test out all the possibilities that come to my mind?
 

johnnydmd

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154
Thanks, I don't have any videos or anything like that, just threads.

I wouldn't suggest starting out "small" so to speak, I would suggest if you're really interested in forming your own bodies to make a former that is large enough to create what you eventually will be creating, assuming 1/10-1/8 scale car/truck bodies. 12 years ago I wrote a thread on how I built a vacuum former https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc...m-forming-truck-bodies-101-a.html#post7737477

I've learned a few things since those days, and eventually built the heating system and stopped using the wife's oven(smart move!). I think in my other thread I go into that a bit, I'll dig it up. Also the way I made forms has evolved quite a bit. I originally used sculpy clay and wood inserts to fill it out some. I think I learned that from another guy back then, but after that tried silicone(bad idea, and real expensive). Then I heard about using water putty, which is IMO the best way by far, and super cheap. I also used to use .040 PETG, but since have moved to using .060 which is much more durable.

I would build a former first, then buy a body(and don't trim it). Fill the body with water putty, remove it, fix the imperfections with wood putty paste, and coat with slow cure epoxy(like 20 or 30 minute working time - don't use less than that, it's too thick). That would be the real first step, then you can get more into doing total custom things with 3d modeling/printing of forms which is getting more expensive and intricate.
 

D3MON

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i do not know what all that would entail to do this, but i am almost curious if you could talk to the company that owns the real monster truck and get licensing to sell your bodies, might not be something you would be in to, but throwing that out there.
(please excuse if you feel this is out of line)

your work is top notch and is some amazing pieces of art. (too good to be called work lol).

Was wondering if that was you on that forum, was checking out some posts on that site and saw some of what i now know to be yours regarding body work and such.
around 11 years or so back me and my now brother in law actually tried our own hand at doing vacuum forming more or less following your thread... small world haha!
 

johnnydmd

RCNT Qualifier
Messages
154
i do not know what all that would entail to do this, but i am almost curious if you could talk to the company that owns the real monster truck and get licensing to sell your bodies, might not be something you would be in to, but throwing that out there.
(please excuse if you feel this is out of line)

your work is top notch and is some amazing pieces of art. (too good to be called work lol).

Was wondering if that was you on that forum, was checking out some posts on that site and saw some of what i now know to be yours regarding body work and such.
around 11 years or so back me and my now brother in law actually tried our own hand at doing vacuum forming more or less following your thread... small world haha!
Yeah, that's me, it was you that pointed me to these forums when I came back to RCUniverse after that long break :D

That's awesome that you guys tried that and used my thread, glad people found it useful. Did the pulls come out good? Glad to see the guys on this thread getting interested in vacuum forming bodies, I feel like it's a lost art and not too many people do it anymore. Hope to see some of the works people do.

Spinmaster owns the truck and licensing, not sure how much they'd charge. I have thought about it since this one came out so close to the real thing. Might be a good way to make back some of the cash I've blown on this hobby lately, lol.
 

D3MON

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well definitely glad you made it over, didn't even realize with the timing and all!
at that time we were both pretty young and broke, so our materials we used were pretty sub par, and were mostly sourced locally from what our hobby store could attain for us, coupled with our understanding of the concepts or lack thereof.
we ended up using hard plastic walmart body as the base and used some sort of semi-heat resistant filler foam for the inside, and i dont remember what we used on the outside think some sort of epoxy.
they actually came out semi decent for what we used to build the former (build a box out of wood, and caulked to seal it, and peg-board for the lid) and materials we used for the body. there were some ripples in the plastic most likely from not having a very efficient/consistent heat source to warm the material.
but in the end turned out half decent.
the body we were experimenting with was of a size that we had no RC that would fit. then shortly after our vacuum box got wet and the pegboard got destroyed so we put it on hold and sadly never returned to it.
i do want to try again, as i really want to make a scale version of my fathers truck but i want to do it right and not cut corners as we did before.
 

johnnydmd

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Messages
154
One more time...as usual, an amazing piece of work. Just perfection.
Thank you! Got a chance to run the truck a bit this weekend, no damage to report yet :D

(mostly because I was just breaking in the engine)
 

johnnydmd

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154
So I got my RC4WD wheels in, and installed....

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The offset is just a bit....much. Very wide stance, looks like it'll spin like a top, or worse, snap axles on jumps. The hub adapters have very little offset too, it's all in the wheel itself. Though I'm sure with a stance like this, it'd corner like a mofo :D, but...not happy overall. So, what I can do is flip the wheels, and mount the hubs on the other side. This gives too much negative offset though, and the wheel rubs on the steering links. My solution is 3d printing out a shim, and getting longer machine bolts to mount the hub. I think I can shave about 1.5 inches in overall width or so, which looks a bit more sane to me. This also means that the outside hub pieces(really, they are weights) won't work because that side isn't threaded. I could thread them though I guess, but probably won't bother because I really don't want the weight anyway. As it is, these tires/wheel combo is pretty heavy, about a 2lb difference between these and the stock wheels.

I'm going to replace those crappy plastic links with Crawford lower links, and RC4WD uppers. I have my 4WS kit, will install that tonight. Probably going to leave the axles alone, don't really want to add any more weight at this point, I don't need to be hurtling a 20lb truck around.
 

D3MON

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not that it was ever doubted, but craftsmanship still blows me away! those tires look really good on there, hope you can get the offset you want out of them easily enough!
 

johnnydmd

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Messages
154
not that it was ever doubted, but craftsmanship still blows me away! those tires look really good on there, hope you can get the offset you want out of them easily enough!
Thanks!

So I was able to 3d print the shims with some trial and error(exact measurement was difficult), and reverse the wheels. You can see before(right) and after(left) in this pic. Was able to shave off about .75 inches per wheel, which took 1.5 inches off the width. Doesn't seem like a lot, but it's a huge difference. Should be much less leverage/pressure on the axles, and also my servo was able to turn the wheels while sitting again. Also without the hub weights installed, the wheel/tire combo is much improved weight-wise. I need to do some measurements on a scale, but I think now I've got it back under 11 lbs (it was pushing close to 12 before).
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I spent much of the weekend on the suspension. Replaced the plastic links with RC4WD aluminum. They didn't have anything that was an exact fit to the originals, but I was able to get it very, very close with some spacers I made using a couple of spare links. Some of it was a little bit dicey, I had to make some changes after I thought I had it right because the driveshaft was binding due to the axle angle and so I needed to extend the upper links on that axle a little. Articulation feels really good, and there's no binding when fully extended or compressed, and it stays straight(I swear the stock setup seemed to veer the chassis to the right when compressing, maybe the panhard bar was causing it, not sure, but it works good now).

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I installed the 4 wheel steering kit, easy enough. However the stock servo really wasn't up to snuff, so I grabbed a Savox 1230SG and installed that one. A bit better now for sure. Ready for doing some donuts :D :D

There's still some stuff I should upgrade. For starters the steering turnbuckles are a joke, there's no way to adjust them while mounted, they've got to be upgraded for sure. Might play around with some different alloy servo arms to see what works the best it terms of turn radius and leverage. Not sure about aluminum axles...need to see how much weight that adds. Also, they are...expensive. I'm definitely thinking of changing out the clutch - not that the stock one is bad - but Reds makes a really sweet 4-shoe adjustable one that I think would come in handy being able to easily adjust spring tension. The stock one has really heavy springs, but it is a nice 3 shoe setup.

On a side note, I actually got messaged by the driver of the truck himself, Camden Murphy, who wanted to give me some props for this mini version of his truck :D Pretty cool dude, and a great driver!

camdenmurphy.jpg
 
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johnnydmd

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154
Beautiful weather this weekend, so got plenty of time in with the truck :)

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I replace the servo arms with nice red alloy ones, and with the steering it was helpful in that it moved the pivot point in by 1 mm or so, not much, but enough that I could notice a difference. After that I took it in the backyard and puttered around a bit to finish the break-in. Speaking of the break-in, I tried the Kyosho way using the air restrictor ring, but it was so rich it was like a garden hose of nitro coming out of the exhaust and was ridiculous to keep running, so just went to the usual way of running it rich with the needle and puttering around, gradually ramping up the action with each tank. As now I start to tune, getting a better idea of how this engine is, definitely has a lot of power, but I don't think it has as much as my SH .28 so we'll see. Won't really know until it's dialed in.

I had a few issues/kinks discovered in the yard. First, one of the wheels flew off. The only thing holding them on the hub is a 5m machine bolt, and it's pretty easy for them to work loose. So I went to Lowes and bought some slightly longer ones and put some lock washers on. That did the trick. Then one of my links fell off, and I didn't notice right away so then the link end fell off, lol. Luckily I found it in the grass(but I have spares anyway), and re-attached everything. I honestly think I forgot to put one of the nuts on! (I'm using locking nuts so I don't think it backed off, unless it was defective or something). Then the four wheel steering started having issues. The clamp on the rear axel started slipping. Fixed that by putting servo tape inside the clamp, that sucker will never move now :) Also, the 3m bolt that the pivot arm is on that came with the kit was not long enough to go through both halves of the clamp, and get a nut on, just threaded into the clamp itself. Well that worked loose too, or really, just stripped, so put a longer bolt and lock nut on, problem solved.

Overall, man I love the four wheel steering! First MT I've had with that, and it just moves like a 1:1 MT. Highly recommend it for any solid axle machine. Not sure about these el-cheapo shocks tho. Might look into upgrades...
 

johnnydmd

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Messages
154
Just nuts. That thing is amazing.
Thanks man! I really enjoyed this build more than any other. I really loved working on the chassis and experimenting with stuff, and though I made some mistakes and there are some things I'd like to still do or change slightly with it, I am really happy with how it came out. I still haven't beat on it too hard, so durability has yet to truly be assessed. I did roll it a couple of times without anything breaking so that's a good sign ;) I really want to see how it handles jumps with all of these suspension mods. I'm so glad though that I chose the Mad series over the XTM X-Factor. Not that the X-Factor is a bad truck at all, but in the end this chassis I could get closer to a scale look I think. There's nothing stopping me from constructing a tube chassis to replace the stock vertical side plates either some day.

[EDIT] - Added a couple more pics. Little(very little) dirtier. Gotta take 'em while it still looks new, lol. That will change when I take it to the ballfields and really give it a thrashing in the dirt. I'll get some action pics from that :) Time to start setting up a course and practicing...
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johnnydmd

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Messages
154
Small update. Painted the beadlocks with anodized paint to better match the 1:1 version. I also re-aligned the front shocks, now attached to the same bolt as the link, which is a more parallel alignment(and I would have done that had I done the custom links first, and not after setting up the 8 shock system. Tweaked one of the rear shock mounts because I had it slightly off as well. Now that the "Proof of concept" appears complete, I'm going to write up a Mad Crusher guide for 8 shock and custom link setup. As far as I know, this is the first such conversion of the Mad Crusher(see some oddball Mad Force attempts though).

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