FAN FRIDAY FEATURED BUILD BY FREDERICK MELLINI
Frederick’s tale is another aspect of RC that we love, everyone has a story of how they came to RC, with Frederick it has definitely been a journey that is still evolving.
I am a retired Police Sergeant having retired in 2006 after 21 1/2 yrs. of service. I currently operate a Haunted Hayride with my wife Terrie called “13TH HOUR RISING HAUNTED HAYRIDE” in upstate New York. I am 55 yrs. old and have been involved in hobbies for over 45 yrs. and have never stopped building models or building anything RC related be it planes, boats, trucks, cars, etc….Having a background in Art along with the Hobby background has helped tremendously in our Haunted Hayride as I also build and create our monsters and animatronics in our haunted Hayride as many of the hobby techniques can be applied. I also work on real 1:1 hot rods as I own a 1963 ford F100 Rat Rod pick up.
Grand Hauler was built stock out of the box except for the addition of full ball bearings throughout, a Tamiya MFC sound and light unit, and finally the addition of a RC4WD 540 crawler motor for a more realistic speed and pulling power. Truck was painted a Turquoises and Black with a silver vinyl pinstripe between the two colors. Bare-metal foil was used on the hinges of the cab and sleeper doors and then everything was sealed with several coats of clear. The truck is a blast to drive and I just love the sound and feel of the MFC unit as it is really loud and just adds that realism to the truck……I might just end up keeping this one for myself and I am planning a matching van trailer in the future for it.
“El Toro Loco”…….this build is a little humorous because I was unaware at the time of MCI Racing and the great decals they make for RC vehicles so when I took this project on I decided I was going to have to do all the painting/graphics by hand. I had an Axial SMT10 Max D and wanted to do something different with it when I came across a Bull Dozer (more commonly known as El Tore Loco) body in Lexan made by Team Blue Groove out of Canada. I knew then what I wanted to do. I received the body and started the basic paint job for “El Toro Loco” spraying the red on the inside of the body, then spraying the yellow red on the horns which were a separate piece. I then used the protective covering on the outside of the body for a mask and drew the flame pattern, mouth area, and then took an x-acto knife and careful cut out the patterns I needed. I then sprayed the yellow/orange flames on the outside of the body. (I build to display, not to run and abuse) Next I sprayed the white are for the teeth, followed by the black for the window trim, again all on the outside of the body. I then removed all the plastic film from the outside of the body and proceeded to paint by hand all the black in the mouth/teeth area. I then took some bare-metal foil gold and made the nose ring, followed by more hand painted black outline. I then moved on to the “El Toro Loco” lettering and decided to get some mono-coat trim vinyl and hand drew out the letters on yellow mono-coat, followed by using a sharpie permanent marker colored in the orange, then outlined in black. This was then followed by hand cutting each letter with an x-acto knife and then each letter was placed onto the truck body. It wasn’t until this point that someone on Instagram informed me of MCI Racing and they had the Decals for this truck!!!!! I then finished off the driver to match the racing suits the drivers wear. The Axial SMT10 chassis is relatively stock with the exception of the JConcepts 2.6 Monster Truck Rims which I painted metallic silver, center hubs black and detailed lug nuts with silver. JConcepts Firestorm 2.6 monster truck tires which I hand painted the letters in white. Motor was upgraded to a Castle Creations kv4600 and sidewinder brushless ESC.
I really love the realistic look of the full monster truck that the Axial SMT 10 kit delivers, so I thought I would have a little fun with the Max D version that they offer and paint the truck up a little differently. I think this version gives it a much meaner look. The truck/chassis is pretty much stock except for the addition of a Traxxas 12T brushed motor to replace the slower 27T motor that comes in the kit. I then added some JConcepts 2.6 offset monster truck rims that I painted Metallic Silver and then clear coated and a set of JConcepts 2.6 Firestorm monster truck tires that I painted the letters in white. Radio, receiver, and ESC are all stock from the kit. I then took the Max D body and carefully removed all the decals and chrome trim pieces, masked off the window areas, then lightly scuffed the outside of the body. I then took gloss metallic black and sprayed the outside of the body, followed by several coats of clear and then placed the factory decals that I wanted to use back on the body. I did add the extra spikes that are included in the kit, which required drilling numerous extra hole in the body. I reinforced the individual spikes by adding hot glue to them on the inside of the body. I then added headlights and taillights that had multi-function and can stay on, alternate, strobe slow, strobe fast, and turn off. I like to go the extra distance so I painted the driver figure to match what the real drivers of Max D wear so I painted the fire suit in Max D design/colors. This truck also has a new home and owner!!
While looking through some of my other previous builds I came across this Vintage Kyosho Semi truck kit that I had found on Ebay about 2 years ago. It is called the KYOSHO TRACTOR WITH ALUMINUM CONTAINER VAN KIT 2440. I had never seen this kit before ever (I am 55 yrs. old) and I made an offer on it and it was accepted. I received the kit shortly thereafter and immediately went to work building it. I tried to research the kit on-line and I just couldn’t find much about it. I had to assume that it was most likely made in the 80’s as it was pretty simple in design compared to the Tamiya Rigs that are available today. The truck went together relatively straight forward however I did install an ESC to replace what the kit supplied which was an outdated wiper arm style servo controlled speed control. The Cab body was made of a white plastic, kind of similar to what old plastic Halloween masks were made of (Now I am really dating myself here!) with a clear window insert that you added. I painted the cab on the outside with gloss black and sealed with clear, then I went and bought a plastic 1/14 scale Peterbilt toy truck at a local farm store and proceeded to take the side mirrors, roof lights, air horn, roof visor, side breathers, and exhaust stack and add them to the cab for more detail. I then applied the blue kit decals to the black paint job which set it off nicely. The chassis was very simple in design, made of aluminum which I painted a brilliant blue metallic, followed by a clear coat. The kit motor is direct drive to a large gear which in turn feeds to a single drive rear axle. The chassis does have a tandem rear axle look, but the rear axle is just a floater, only the front tandem is a drive axle. The suspension is pretty basic, but works fine on smooth surfaces. The battery placement for this truck allows only for a 6 cell 7.2 volt wrapped back, I do not think anything else would work because of the way the cab mounts over it. (I did not try at the time, but maybe a 2 cell lipo would work also?, but then again this truck was made in the eighties and was designed for what was available at the time.) You do have to remove the whole cab each time to place battery in its holder which was then covered by the sleeper part of the cab. The trailer was made completely of aluminum parts including the frame which I also painted Brilliant Blue Metallic to match the truck chassis. The landing gear to hold the front of trailer up when not attached to the truck was a simple swing down loop of metal wire, simple design but it worked. I did add the kit decals to the trailer as well. Thinking back on it now, I really should have held on to this truck and trailer just because of its rarity, it ended up going to someone over in Germany.
Many of builds are no longer in my possession as many have been sold to new owners. I truly love building and creating these RC trucks, and I take great pride in the painting and detailing of them, however I just do not have the heart to run them aggressively and get the bodies all scratched or damaged! (LOL) Once I finish a build the truck will be bench tested, then ran on my concrete basement floor to test steering and throttle, braking of the ESC and then placed on a shelf to display until I decide to sell it. A few of my builds have gone to the actual Monster Truck owners/drivers of the real truck (Gary Bauer of Lon-Ranger and Jerry Richmond of Terminator) in their cases they are for display only as well.