Still here still Honcho

February 27, 2013

I’ll be adding this Blog to my other site soon enough, I still have the honcho (and now a trick X Trail rig) that I’ll be updating the blog with soon.

Sorry for the delay!


Honcho Lights etc

September 6, 2010

Hi All!

Sorry (Diego) that it’s taken me so long to get these pics online!

Here we go.

All I did to attach the light buckets was cut them out, spray the interior (the reflector) silver and the rear white. Superglue should hold them in place but it’s worth bearing in mind that the front of a Honcho takes quite a beating (mine does at any rate) and over time I’ve managed to knock the buckets off and sort of mess up the paint. When affixing them to your shell, make sure you use a generous helping of glue.

The black electrical tape is there to help hold the LED in place in the bucket and to keep most of the mud and gunk off the led legs. Depending on your paint job it’s probably a good idea to use some aluminum tape to hold the leads in place as well; electrical tape or masking tape won’t last long unless you only drive in dry conditions.

Here’s a couple of them running on the Honcho via the Axial NVS system.

(The rear white LED isn’t a reverse light it’s just a ‘work light’)

The light buckets I used came with the shell for the Honcho in the kit. I have heard in the forums that lots of people managed to throw them (the light buckets) out, not realising that they’re part of the kit. If you really wanted them I suppose you could buy a new Honcho shell from Axial and use them from that for whatever model you were working on but it’ll always leave you a set down ūüė¶

Other good news is my fiance has said I can get another 1:1 4×4 so I’m hunting for one of those. I’m considering the 1.6 16v Suzuki Vitara (Short wheel-base version) to (mildly) modify into a mini expedition rig. I’ve learned from my past experience that Isuzu Troopers, and I had the 3.0 TD Duty short wheel-base version…

Stu’s old Trooper:

…are too expensive and nice to use as a daily driver (unless you have very deep pockets).

Also that extremely modified Suzuki Jimny’s…

Stu’s old Jimny:

…are too silly to use as a daily driver (unless you have very deep pockets).

No, a Suzuki Vitara is cheap to get your hands on and can be tricked out quite nicely (without ruining the drivetrain) so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one. I can’t wait to drive a 4×4 again as I loved driving those two vehicles I owned before I had to get something a bit more sensible to carry the family around in… Grumble.

Take care all, happy wheeling!

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


I’ve known about ‘Codgers Fort’ for many years, it’s a folly built in the 18th century for Sir Walter Blackett, then owner of Wallington Hall, Northumberland. I went up to have a look at it yesterday with my best mate Damian and on the way it seems like I found an excellent spot for some crawling or perhaps some ‘extreme trail driving’ (if you were feeling ballsy enough!). There’s pleanty of rocks to be going at some more severe than others…

Anyway here are a couple of photos of the spot, I’m hoping to get back up there soon for a better go at it!



Wireless Winch Control YAY

February 25, 2010

Sorted out my winch control on the Futaba T6EX – so for anyone out there wondering if it’s possible to mod a T6EX with a 3 position switch then the answer is a resounding ‘YES!’

The mod was actually very easy to perform, I soldered a spare channel wire from a stick channel I wasn’t using onto the middle pin of the new 3 posistion switch and then just hooked onto a neg / pos feed for the other two pins on the switch and hey presto!

As it stands the T6EX can be easily turned back into ‘stock’ format as I didn’t have to cut off the origional 2 position switch, I just taped it up and secured it inside the transmitter.

Here’s a pic of the new switch installed:

modded T6EX

I have to provide thanks to ‘The CrAwLL BLACK’ of crawlanz for providing the origional post on rccrawler which led me to adapting his post to use as winch control instead of dig control, the only difference with what I ended up with was I used a different channel. It’s worth bearing in mind I don’t use all of the channels on my sticks so if you do you might have to think again if you need this capability.

(also it’s worth further bearing in mind that I used a switch that doesn’t ‘snap back to centre’ when you toggle it, you don’t have to hold down the switch in order to spool in / out the winch, which could cause problems if you accidentally knocked it and the winch tried to wind in until it burned itself out.)

New Youtube Video

February 21, 2010

Went out for a bash in a local woodland that some kids had made a bike track in. Honcho ate the track no problems even with a spattering of snow.

There’s my Winch!!

February 18, 2010

My 3Racing Winch finally turned up in the post today, once home from the office I wasted no time in getting it all hooked up.

The sharp eyed amongst you will notice I opened up my TX to investigate the option of modding one of the channel switches into a 3 position switch so I can control it via the remote, rather than by pressing a little button on the winch control module. Having inspected the tangle of wires in the TX I decided that hacking at something expensive with not much to go on other than a thread on rccrawler wasn’t such a good idea. I’ll have another go at that when I know better which wires to de-solder from the TX pcb and attach to the 3pos switch.

Nevermind, the thing works and I’m pleased with my nights work ūüôā

Hmmmmmmmmmm……. Inside the Futaba T6EX there are many wires, none of which mean much to me.

Gave up on the above and just installed the winch:

Here’s a little demo video!