FAN FRIDAY FEATURED BUILD BY JEFF UNDERWOOD
Jeff’s build info;
The micro shark is the culmination of an idea I have had floating around in my head for a while. I have been a longtime fan of rock buggies. Not necessarily the Ultra 4 type, but more W.E. Rock pro mod style crawlers. Their simple and efficient designs/styles have always drawn me in… only enough to do the job and do it well. I have felt that the RC market, despite all the cool options we have, has been missing a true scale rock buggy to enjoy. Compromises must be made for mass production, and often it seems scale takes the hit for the team. It’s just the nature of things. I was really inspired by the Vanquish Ripper when it came out. It is a very true to scale Ultra 4 style truck and obviously high end (and worth it). I originally wanted to do something similar as a 1/10 scale 3D printed rock buggy, but after evaluating the project I felt that it would be expensive for what it was. More importantly it might not be that durable with all the tubing scaled to the right diameters. When Axial introduced the SCX24 it really caught my attention. Finally, it seemed like something that would scale well, be more durable, and more affordable for 3D printing.
The number one goal for the project was to make a true scale kit that would be an easy conversion for the average hobbyist that could also be taken to the next level of detail if desired. Additionally, I wanted to maintain or even improve on the performance of the Axial SCX24 chassis. The bulk of the parts for the conversion are available in the Mod19RC Shapeways store with only a few additional items required (screws, connectors, servo). It’s not as easy as clicking “buy now” for a complete kit, but it ends up being a fun shopping spree that gets you a rewarding project to build.
From a design standpoint, the key decision up front was deciding what scale to make it. Based on the SCX24 frame dimensions, wheelbase options, and some basic 1:1 rock buggy dimension, I decided to go with 1:20 scale. There are some other 1:20 scale model body options out there that could be run alongside the Micro Shark and look just right. The design process took well over 100 hours spread out over a couple of months. I tend to be a perfectionist, and if I am asking people to shell out their money it should be a good experience for them. A lot of time was spent making sure all the components would fit and work together well. There are lots of small details in the design from both a functional and aesthetic standpoint. There are routing and anchor points for wiring, the stock electronics integrate into the chassis, and there are multiple shock mounting locations for using both stock and aftermarket shocks. The interior is full depth as much as possible and it hides the stock drivetrain pretty well. The seats are replica suspension seats, and the dash/console feature all the gauges, switches, and levers that you would find in a typical rock buggy. 3D printing through Shapeways is not inexpensive, so it is a goal to always try to pack in extra detail and ensure the fit is right so that people get their money’s worth.
Currently the Micro Shark can be built in two styles using a common frame. There is Suzuki Samurai style bodywork and Toyota FJ40 style bodywork. There are a couple more styles planned for it as well, including a Jeep. Another thing I would like to do for the truck at some point is a scale driver. It seems like it would be a shame to be ghost riding that thing around all the time.
For anyone wanting more info about the Micro Shark they can find it on the Mod19RC Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Mod19RC/ , follow me @rexracer19 on Instagram, or visit the Mod19RC Shapeways store https://www.shapeways.com/shops/mod19-rc .