Project Shorty

Project Shorty is one of the shortest 1/10 scale rock crawlers out there. It has a wheelbase of just 250mm which is 63mm shorter than a stock Axial Honcho! Project Shorty was built as a gift for my fiancee. Built entirely in secret over a 5 month period working whenever she left the house it was an interesting project to say the least. In the hopes that she would get as excited about RC Rock Crawling and Trailing as I am I tried to customize it in a way that matches her tastes and style to make it uniquely hers. From what I have seen so far, there is nothing else quite like Project Shorty anywhere else in the world.

The following are all the build posts:

Project Shorty

So you might know if you've watched the Project Expedition videos this far, I purchased two Axial SCX-10 frame sets to be able to create an extended frame for Project Expedition. I removed 6cm

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Project Shorty part 2

In the first installment of Project Shorty I had built up the shortened frame rails using whatever spare parts I had on hand to determine if I could make it short enough to fit

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Project Shorty part 3 - wheelbase, links and driveshafts

In part 2 I had shortened the standard Axial wheelbase by relocating the stock shock towers and adjusting the link length to match which left the wheelbase at 25cm but the body was listed

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Project Shorty part 4 - wheels and tires

Project Shorty's wheels and tires have finally arrived!

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Project Shorty part 5 - 3D Printed Parts (motor / trans, skid plate and servo mount)

Like Project Expedition, Project Shorty is going to require some custom 3D printed parts. Among them will be the skid plate, motor and transmission mount and servo mount. If you've been looking at moving

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Axial Icon Shocks

Project Shorty part 6 - Shocks

The shocks from the donor chassis are actually quite nice. They are Axial Racing Icon II shocks which have a dual spring design over an oil filled main shock body with fake reservoir bodies

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Project Shorty part 7 - Powdercoating

The look of Project Shorty was created by combining the look of two different full size vehicles which have the same make and model body. One was built as a rock crawler and the

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Project Shorty part 8 - The Rolling Chassis

If you were at Aeroseum 2015 or watched the Aeroseum 2015 video you may have caught a sneak peek of Project Shorty's rolling chassis, but if not, here it is!

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Project Shorty part 9 - The Radio

Now that we have a rolling chassis, I bet many of you were probably hoping that this post would finally be something about Project Shorty's body but I'm going to leave you waiting for just a bit longer.

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Project Shorty part 10 - The body (finally!)

When I introduced Project Shorty it began with two shortened SCX-10 chassis rails and a collection of spare parts. The next step was to determine what body might fit on such a short chassis.

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Project Shorty part 11 - Axle Skid Plates

As Project Shorty has painted axles, which will obviously be scratched up during everyday use, I decided to install a set of skid plates to at least protect the center section as it is the lowest hanging part.

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Lights in Alingsås - Urban Assault

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfED6WWfv38

Every October since the year of 2000, leading lighting designers gather in Alingsås, Sweden. Throughout this time, dark evenings and outdoor environments are transformed into exciting lighting design installations. Facades are transformed into warm and colorful spaces, futuristic forest lakes can acquire a whole new perspective and these oases of light provide examples of good urban lighting and make for new and attractive venues in the city.
 
Lights in Alingsås is an important international meeting point for lighting designers, students and companies. Around 80,000 people visit Lights in Alingsås each year. It has become the largest exhibition of lighting design in public spaces in Northern Europe. Following a route through the town, visitors get the rare opportunity to experience top quality architectural lighting.

For the last 2 years the RC Crawler clubs of southern and western Sweden have decided to gather and follow along the route through town to showcase their RC Crawlers. Each year there has been over 30 RC Crawlers. 

Find out more about Lights in Alingsås at http://www.lightsinalingsas.se/

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The Successor to the Tundra

So while searching for the replacement to the Tundra I knew I had to have something that I was going to enjoy for a long time, after all I've had the Tundra for 4 years and I still like it a lot. The only reason it is getting replaced is that I don't want to destroy it as it has a lot of sentimental value. I spent most of the summer considering this question and looking around on eBay trying to find something that held the same sort of excitement that the Tundra has, would allow me to customize it and would be something other than the typical Jeep and Toyota Hilux bodies that are so common.

The Toyota FJ Cruiser

What I found was a Nikko Toyota FJ Cruiser body. The FJ Cruiser was one of the many vehicles that have been created from the late 90's through to today where car manufacturers try to recreate and re-imagine old models that have long been retired. There are many of these vehicles now such as the Camaro, Charger and Mini Cooper among others. The Nikko body is hard plastic like I wanted and is a bit shorter than the Tundra so I will just need to shorten my links slightly. It won't be as short as Project Shorty though so it shouldn't require the same level of major modifications. The FJ Cruiser body comes with working headlights and the taillights and other lights can be modified to have working lights as well. 

Nikko FJ Cruiser

Size wise, the FJ Cruiser body is very similar to the Land Rover D90 body. It is a bit shorter in height and a tiny bit shorter in wheelbase, but not by much as you can see.

FJ Cruiser

 

FJ Cruiser

 

FJ Cruiser

The Plans

There are some areas of the body that need to be repaired. For example the hood has two cracks in it from where the stock body posts have been pushed on too hard. There are lots of scratches as it was a toy grade RC body and I really don't care for the yellow anyway so the entire body will be repainted.

My plans for the FJ Cruiser so far include:

  • Repaint the entire body white and re-detail it.
  • Custom wire mesh front grill.
  • Remove the roof rack.
  • Remove the plastic spare tire carrier.
  • Install working headlights, tail lights, running lights and of course the rock lights I developed with Happy Ape RC as well as multiple "accessory" lights.
  • Custom front bumper.
  • Custom rear bumper with integrated tire carrier and accessories carrier.
  • Custom rock rails.
  • Larger tires to get over those pesky obstacles that bothered the Tundra, probably Pit Bull Rock Beasts.
  • New beadlock wheels, possibly SSD with custom outer beadlock rings.
  • Different shocks.
  • Possibly a custom interior but that would require custom windows as the stock ones are tinted very very dark.
  • Possibly powdercoat the chassis rails and links like I did for Project Shorty.

The inspiration for these plans comes from one particular 1:1 vehicle that I found on a forum. The FJ Cruiser that I found has been modified extensively, almost to the point of not being able to be driven on the road daily. My plan is to basically make a scale replica of this vehicle. As the 1:1 has gone through several evolutions I may pick and choose the features that I like the most to keep the overall feel and make it my own however it should have this kind of look to it when I am finished.

FJ Cruiser

My goal is to have all this finished by Aeroseum in the Spring of 2016 so it's going to be a busy winter.

* Credits to Gnarly Tree Photography for the opening image.

* Credits to Captures by Colin for the closing image.

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