Bodyshells & Builders

Pandora RC Japan Part 1

Pandora RC Japan Part 1

After issue 5 was released and ended up going completely worldwide, we couldn’t believe what happened next. The one and only Pandora RC got in touch with Matt and wanted to get involved with the magazine. Well, who are we to turn down such an offer, I mean, let’s face it, their bodies are one of the most detailed around, and that’s before you’ve even painted it.

So what did Pandora have to offer you may ask. Two of their best bodies is the answer. A Nissan Silvia PS13 Origin Labo and a Nissan Silvia S15 Origin Labo which explains why this feature is part 1.

 

The first body

The first of the 2 bodies will be the S13 which I (Ash) chose to have a crack at, I had to choose the S13 with it being my favourite S-body and coupled with my favourite body kit as well it was just perfect. I already had quite a few things laying around including a D-craft sunroof kit, Yokomo light buckets and a few other choice details. To top it all off the main man Ralph from P!pes got in touch to offer us exhausts for these builds but I won’t divulge too much into the details, simply check out the separate article for those.

The Shell

So, onto the shell itself. The body comes with separate bumpers, lexan light buckets (I chose not to use these as I much prefer plastic), boot spoiler and roof spoiler. The thickness of Pandora shells is always a taking point and I will agree, compared to others they’re thin but this is a positive if you ask me. The thicker makes tend to crack, far easier, whereas with Pandora, they flex then pop straight back into shape, no cracks or damage, this was put into practice when I picked this shell up off Matt, popped it in the back of my car on top of a set of full scale wheels (not my most clever moment) and what happened next was inevitable, I heard a crunch going round a corner as one of the wheels crushed the brand new shell, instantly my heart dropped and I pulled over, not one bit of damage, now if that isn’t proof that these shells are worthwhile then I don’t know what is.

The parts

Onto the bumpers being separate, I hear a lot of people question this as so many other makes just have theirs as one piece with the shell, but to add the detail you get from Pandora these need to be separate, especially with the Origin Labo kit and if cut out and fitted correctly, you can barely even tell they were once a separate part.

Another great detail is how prominent the window trim lines are on these, makes life so much easier when it comes to those must add details, but with this one I decided to take it a step further and have added inner and outer window trims, I feel with the detail in the shell it was a must.

Anyway, I feel that’s enough talking and I should let the pictures do the rest. Don’t forget to check back soon for part 2 of the Pandora feature to see how the S15 comes out.

The finished product

Think you will agree it looks pretty epic!

Thanks for reading

Ash

#Getmuki

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Drift Talk

Maverick Strada DC 1/10 Brushless RTR Electric Drift Car…

RC Drifting! It’s about style, technique, drift trains and having the best chassis money can buy right? NO! it’s about having fun and enjoying yourself. Now I am not saying that style, technique, drift trains are not fun because they are, but before all those things come you need a chassis and you need to try the hobby out. So, what if you don’t have enough money to buy the latest space age carbon fibre masterpiece created in a wind tunnel by a drift Jedi then what do you do.

Well many moons ago before RC drifting became a viable money-making scheme you grabbed something with four-wheel drive and headed to your local car park. This was the early stomping ground for drifting. Was it less fun? Hell No it was a blast groups of friends going flat out and having a laugh. At MERC we like to throw in a curve ball every now and again, so how do you get back to basics and begin the journey again.

Well the Maverick Strada DC 1/10 Brushless RTR Electric Drift Car is a great place to start, it’s not going to break the bank and you’rre not going to take top spot at the world championships with one. What you will have is a ton of fun and taste of whether this hobby is for you.

So, what do you get for your money?

you get a brushless powered 4WD shaft driven touring car chassis, locked rear diff, pre-built oil-filled shocks and dual-wishbone independent suspension to the front and rear. The Strada’s drivetrain uses efficient ball bearings throughout and is powered by a 3215KV brushless motor and the waterproof MSC-30BL-WP brushless ESC.

The Strada offers a fair amount of adjustment for an entry level model up front you can adjust camber and toe, at the back you can adjust the rear camber and there are several options front and back for adjusting shock positions. Everything except for 4 x AA batteries for the handset is included in the box.

On test

The big question I guess is does it drift, well yeah it does! The Strada was totally at home in the car-park crazy fast angles and loads of aggression as you would expect. That isn’t really a benchmark though because most touring cars with some drift tyres will do that. So, what we did was take it to MDS (Midlands Drift Society) and put it round an out an out drift track. Its worth mentioning for this test we had to use the control tyres that the track requires.

The out the box settings were okay you could get around the track, but it was tough, that’s not to say it wasn’t fun. That however is where the Maverick has your back, this is where you can start to tweak all those little set-up options and that’s what we did.

Despite being four-wheel drive we found the Strada had far more rear end grip due to its layout, so it was pushing on in the corners. You can go down two methods of tuning here in our opinion and the choice will be governed by the surface you are running on. MDS runs on Prima GT carpet so it was a pretty slick surface, so your two choices are as follows.

  • Reduce some of the grip from the rear end to bring the front end in to play, you can do this by stiffening up your suspension or adding some more rear camber to limit the contact patch the rear wheels have with the surface.
  • Adjust the front end, this will take away none of the aggression the chassis has. To do this you can soften the suspension set-up at the front to try and get a little more traction up front. You can also experiment with toe out, by adding toe out to the front wheels the set-up becomes a little snappier. You do sacrifice a little straight-line stability, but you can initiate with a little bit more control.

As we were on a relatively tight track we decided to take some of the aggression out of the set up so we went for a little of 1 and 2.  The Strada didn’t look out of place and handled the track very well we are going to continue playing with the set up and come up with some simple set up guides for HPI to display on there website to help out beginners.

To sum things up

We are not saying sell everything you own and go for a Mav because the likelihood is if you are reading this blog you probably already own a top-level chassis, in fact you probably haven’t even read this review. So, we are talking to you, yes you! The person that has stumbled upon this blog because you are interested in drifting and are wondering how you can get started. Well you can do far worse than starting out with a Maverick Strada, it is a ton of fun in a car park and can handle itself well on a track with the right amount of care and attention. Bit of advice if you are thinking of buying this for young children it may be worth considering the brushed version as this model can be a bit of an animal. The brushed set-up has all the same set-up options but is a little slower. Older kids and adults however spend the extra and get the brushless version ITS FUN!!!

Settings we found worked for us

After the first few laps we started to adjust simple settings till we had something we could really control, the following setup was all done track side but don’t make these settings all at once because what works for us may not work for you!. Start off small change things one degree at a time to find your sweet spot get used to what each aspect does and adapt to the surface you are drifting on.

Front camber -3°  we wanted to dial as much of the natural touring car grip out as possible

Front toe out – 3° Made the car easier to initiate the drift (Will sacrifice some stability in a straight line)

Rear camber – 5° reduced the grip levels at the rear

Front shock position  top mount position middle hole, bottom holes as supplied standard

Rear shock position top mount position furthest outer  hole, bottom holes as supplied standard

We will continue to push this chassis at the next event we attend and also take it out to a car park and let it loose! we will report back soon….

 

Drift Talk

A positive look at drifting

I have been taking a break from writing about drift stuff, I have been sat on the side-lines watching and reading stuff and observing the current goings on. I have spoken to various people in the hobby who I haven’t really spoke to before and tried to look at the hobby differently. By speaking to other people I have realised that elitism doesn’t exist (I hold my hand up to thinking it did) some people just have a bigger budget than others. Speaking to Overdose fans has been a real eye opener for me and learning more about the brand and what it offers. I think people (myself included) have been a little to wrapped up in budgets etc. to see how truly epic their stuff is.

Speaking to people who own the really high end stuff has been very positive for my outlook on drifting, these guys don’t think they are any better than the plastic YD owner they have just invested more money in their chassis. Understanding why they like Overdose and other high end brands makes sense, they don’t believe owning these makes you a better drifter.

I will hold my hands up and admit to being negative in the past but when you cut to the core of it we are all the same. We all do this because we enjoy it, some like to compete and some don’t but when we are all on track we have fun and really that is what this hobby is about. It isn’t about siding with people in arguments or club rivalry, the reality is there is no club rivalry not that I am aware of any way. People will drift where they want and that is up to them, some will travel and some won’t but it doesn’t matter as long as they are helping one track keep its doors open.

Social media is a great thing for promoting the hobby, it is also a terrible thing as well because all the issues you see on Facebook never translate to venues. I have never been to a venue and experienced any hostility or bad atmosphere whether that is MDS, Unit 4, WRCC or NRD I have only ever seen people enjoying themselves. So clearly there isn’t really any issues in the real world away from a keyboard.

I would also like to congratulate Dan Cotton and everybody else involved with getting a qualifying round sorted for the worlds. It is a really positive step for drifting and will insure that only the very best drifter’s end up representing the UK. Also it means everybody will have a fair shot at getting over to the worlds. I hope everybody embraces the idea and gets behind it.

Thought I would write something positive for a change, hope to see you all soon I am back off to write geeky stuff.

Matt

Bodyshells & Builders

Drift Talk: Wheel Addiction

Drift Talk: Wheel Addiction

Today is a bit of a change from our usual top quality blogs, Matt is running himself ragged as always trying to do everything so I figured we could give him a little break from being superman. So here it is, my first blog for you all.

Addictions. We all have at least one and we have touched on this in the past with bodyshell addiction but we seem to have let another addiction slip through. Until now. I’ve not been drifting for that long really, not compared to some of the old timers in the U.k scene. This doesn’t stop me having a healthy supply of wheels, in fact I have over 20 different sets, some I prefer to use and abuse, others are left on the display chassis as I like them so much I refuse to use them. I would say I’m not alone either when I admit that for every new bodyshell I make, I buy at least one more set of wheels.

So, the symptoms of this rather serious affliction:

  • The most serious, as I said above, New body, New wheels. Not happy with those wheels? Yeh, that’s fine, Ill pop them in a box and buy another set.
  • More than one set of the same wheels? But, but, but they look so good in every colour!
  • Hiding them, I know Mr Tim Ansell over at Unit4 is a culprit of this. Let’s face it, the other half doesn’t need to know how many sets you have.
  • That one proper pretty set, the ones that never turn because let’s face it, they’re rare, honest.

With all that said, it’s time to hear what you guys say on this rather distressing subject. How many sets have you got? Don’t forget, pictures or it never happened. Do you suffer from the “New shell, new wheels” problem? Also, let’s see those killer display only wheels.

And finally. “Hello, my name is Ash and I suffer from a wheel addiction.” Ahhh, much better.

 

Drift Talk

Drift Talk: Usukani YD-2 upgrades part 2

Drift Talk: Usukani YD-2 upgrades part 2

I was recently sent some new upgrades from Usukani for the YD-2 I haven’t fitted them all yet because the last time I changed loads all at once it took a while to get the chassis handling right. So this time round I have been a little more methodical with things. I changed the rear diff for the new Usukani 7075 AL Integrated Rear Solid Axle Set with Ceramic Coating and added the Usukani x Sanying/High centre of gravity/AL Motor Mount + Fan Holder US88138.

Let’s start with the motor mount, my Yokomuki team mate Slideshow Bob has been banging on about the benefits of a high motor mount for a while after adding one to his D4 so I was delighted when Usukani sent one through to test.

As with all Usukani parts it was nicely packaged and very well finished but let’s not bore you with that, it was simple to install and done in a matter of minutes. I have to say for me it made the world of difference on my first run with it. I noticed an instant difference in how the car handled the change to the way the chassis transitioned was just what I have been looking for. With the weight shifted higher up I found I could be far more aggressive on entering a drift and exiting the corner I was able to get the power down much quicker the upgrade certainly helped with the rear grip level on my chassis.

I am not saying everyone will have the same results it depends on how you chassis is set up and how you like to drive. For around £23 from Asbo-RC it is well worth experimenting with one on your YD-2, personally I am over the moon with the upgrade and it is definitely staying on the chassis. It looks great as well which is a bonus, in the void left by the motor I am tempted to shift my ESC and receiver in to the gap.

 

The diff was a little harder to spot in terms of the difference it made, I certainly had a more direct throttle response on the carpet at MDS. The diff fit perfectly and again was a relatively straight forward job to do. Again the diff won’t break the bank so it is worth experimenting with.

 

I still have version 2 front lower and upper arms to fit so I will get that done and review them in part 3 of my Usukani YD-2 build. The chassis is very close to where I want it to be now and the Usukani upgrades I have used have all made a huge difference to the chassis, but how my chassis drives may not be to everyone’s taste but I bloody love it.

 

For all your Usukani parts in the UK contact Dale at Asbo-RC.

 

See you track side

 

Matt

 

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Drift Talk

RC Drifting is about having fun, lets not forget…

RC Drifting is about having fun, lets not forget that!

I have been taking a back seat recently and have been looking at drifting from the outside, seeing people packing up and leaving the hobby, people bickering and the so called “Banter bus” rolling along crushing all in its way. There has been a certain level toxicity in the hobby at the minute, lots of jealousy and bad feeling.

I had sort of made the decision that after JAE with MDS I was walking away from drifting, I have had a tough 18 months and have found myself enjoying drifting less and less. I had kept my decision to myself and my mind was made up but Saturday at MDS changed my mind all together. I had an epiphany of sorts while drifting at MDS.

I sat at my pit table and watched the crowd at MDS for a good while, doing this really opened my eyes to what this hobby is all about. As I sat looking around all the good in drifting was on show, people helping each other, friends laughing and joking, friendships being forged and some bloody good door to door drifting. When you cut through all the bullshit and bragging we are all in this hobby for the same reason, to have fun.

Whatever chassis you own, it doesn’t matter you started up to have fun. Those that can afford the best of everything should not be hated for it and those that are on a budget shouldn’t be frowned upon. Most people will embrace each other regardless of what budget they are on, there will always be a few bad eggs that want to spoil things and stir up shit that is life.

People who have put the effort in to running track or venue should be applauded for it regardless of how much detail or what surface they have, the time and effort involved is the same. Those who have started pages or groups to try and help should not be given shit if they get something wrong at least they are doing something positive. By all means point out the mistake but don’t be a dick about it. Too many good people leave this hobby and not enough is done to encourage people to take it up.

I will be the first to hold my hands up and say I have been negative in the past and a bit of dick, that stops now because that kind of shit doesn’t help anybody. I look at how far this hobby has come in such a short space of time and that is credit to everybody involved, it would be a shame to see it fall apart because of a few negative people.

World champ or newbie it doesn’t matter this hobby needs both to flourish. Of course some people go balls deep in to drifting and want to study technique and become the best they can be, others just want to have fun a couple of times a month and don’t really get involved with all the technical side of things and both attitudes are fine. What I think about drifting the next guy may not agree, it doesn’t mean one of us is right or wrong we may just share different attitudes to the hobby, doesn’t make one of us more important than the other either.

So let’s cut through all the crap and just see things for what they are we are a bunch of grownups playing with toy cars. Some people’s toy cars are more expensive than other people’s toy cars but when all is said and done they are still toy cars.

So whatever it is RWD, CS, 50/50, Overdose or Sakura just have fun and make friends because that is what RC is really all about.

 

Over and out

Matt