Big Update! Many Things!

June 18, 2010

Hello World!

I realise I’ve not updated this since March but I’ve had a lot on my plate. Not long after the last post my Fiance gave birth to our son Elliot (at an eye-watering 10lbs 11oz), who wasn’t very well at first and had to spend a week or so in an intensive care baby unit. Elliot had a thing called a pneumothorax which he didn’t want. Thankfully the good doctors of the Royal Victoria Infirmary sorted the little guy out and he’s been getting bigger and happier by the day. The initial problem he had was fixed and there’s nothing to worry about now, other than maybe a few cases of pink eye. He is especially pleased when dad takes him ‘Pram Offroading’.

And here he is looking very happy with himself!

So how’s my Honcho doing?

Well I blew a load of cash on it after my birthday (which was ages ago) at RPP Hobby and got a whole stack of kit to install on the truck:

  • Integy 35t Motor
  • Proline Powerstroke Shocks
  • Rear Fourlink setup
  • Axial NVS LED system + bunch of LED strings
  • King Kong Shiny Winch Hook
  • Set of Toyota Tacoma decals
  • Bunch of scale goodies – proline roof rack, light bar, hi-lift (etc.)


I also started to play with styrene and made an interior which I think adds a lot to the overall model – as well as the big ‘TOYOYA’ banner across the top of the windscreen (which is never a bad thing).

Blacked out the wheels and installed the rear four link after destroying another soft as clarts 3link Y piece (cheaped out there Axial). The four link works superbly and after adding some weight to the wheels it’s even better. I run a 70 rear 30 front split with the weights as NiMh battery packs are heavy enough up front as it is. Lipo? Pah!

 The Powerstroke shocks were easy to install, setup and they perform excellently. I’m very happy with them. They bring a tear to my eye when the Honcho flexes.

Did I mention they look the dogs as well?

The Axial Night Vision System (NVS) is a superb little unit with a boat load of aux sockets for rock lights etc. The only gripe I have with Axial is that the LED Strings that come with the unit (and the extras you can buy) have very short wires which required that I soldered some extensions to in order to route them around the chassis and body without leaving wires pulled drum-tight around the inside of my cab, and looking generally crap.

Other people might not have this issue and say ‘Stu, you’re talking out of your backside, I had no greif at all!’ – and to them I say ‘Bollocks mate!’

The NVS has an ‘indicators’ feature which blink the indicators depending on the direction you turn. I left that out. I can’t imagine using my indicators when I’m driving offroad in 1:1 so why have them on my Honcho? The headlights brighten when you throttle forward and the break lights get brighter when you, er, reverse. I suppose you could swap the red LED’s for white ones if you really wanted white reversing lights but I didn’t.

Here they are in action. I drilled out the backs on the Proline Light Bar to fit the 5 LED string that came with the Axial NVS kit.


While installing the headlights and light bar led strings I realised (to my horror) that the bloody wires were so short it was virtually impossible to take the shell off the chassis to insert / swap a battery. It took some drastic engineering to solve this: I used a PC audio cable and soldered the wires to the ends of it so I had a fully disconnectable system through one socket / plug arrangement.

Here you can see the male end of the plug poking out of the black box (a plastic BB pellet box) that attaches to the female end on the shell.

Sadly after a roll I smashed the hell out of the light bar (which admittedly was catching on all sorts of stuff). I never expected it to last as long as it did, I’ll think long and hard about a replacement (if any). Flopping around ontop of the roof-rack was not an option so I cut off the wasted limb.


I didn’t take any photos while I was building this up (that I can remember) but I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. Yes I know one of the seats is way bigger than the other but this was my first go. Styrene is nice to work with and pretty flexible. It will form some good solid bonds if braced together correctly. The Dashboard is from some toy car I butchered, but eveything else I made from styrene sheet.


The Honcho ran for a couple of months and went out to play at the UKRCRC Craster meet and at Kielder Water where it got to do a couple of interesting winch challenges and some general trailing.

Winch Challenge:

Things I’ve done recently?

  • Sealed everything up with silicon including the box that contains the NVS and all the connectors
  • Removed all the Tamiya connectors and replaced them with Deans (thanks Brucie!)
  • Installed new MG995 servo to replace the old one that was getting sort of loose
  • Replaced bodged plastic servo arm with Ansmann Racing CNC Alum Servo Arm

Things I still need to do:

  • Install a generally better steering setup. I’m not happy with the one in place as it gives way more throw in one direction than the other. Not sure if it’s knuckles C hubs or what, needs attention though
  • Get some new drive shafts – something metal
  • Get some solid anchor points – ripped off loads of hobby grade chain trying to winch off it
  • Trim the bumper or tuck it in a bit
  • Possibly install a rear winch

Found an excellent spot for some scale rockcrawling and was pleased at the honcho’s performance on them. Still no fixed lightbar or replacement but I quite like the look of the truck without a lightbar. If I get another I’ll relocate it from the front of the roof rack.

Photo Op Rock:

Honcho you big poser…

There’s a video of the Honcho in action at the location above on my youtube channel



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