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Old Jan 06, 2013, 01:45 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
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Her name is "Christine"

After many years of working on this, I finally just spent a few weeks working on it and got it done. Thought I'd share it with the micro car crowd, since we don't really have a scale car forum...

Probably one of my favorite movies of all time is Christine, based upon the Stephen King novel. In case you're unfamiliar, it's about a possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury that ends up killing the adversaries of its owner. I've always thought that car was perhaps one of the most beautiful from the 1950's, and ever since buying a Kyosho Mini Z MR-01 back in the late 90's, thought Christine would be a good custom body project. The problem was, there were no 1958 Fury kits to start from back then.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 01:52 PM
Registered User
Burlington, NJ USA
Joined Apr 2001
407 Posts
Well, that eventually changed, as I found a couple of these AMT/Ertl 1/25 1958 Belvederes (identical body to the Fury) on a popular auction site. Trouble was, this was long after the original Mini Z stopped working due to the interference prone AM radio. The chasses was still mostly good, however.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 01:57 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
Joined Apr 2001
407 Posts
I don't have more pics from this process unfortunately, but this was probably the most tricky part- actually aligning the body to be proportionate to where the wheels rest. This is done by extending the Mini- Z chasses. I used a piece of that springy aluminum plate sandwiched with a trimmed old credit card plastic. I will probably change this to making an extension out of G-10 fiberglass, then adding the H-plate to the end of the extension, but for now it works fine. Note the Audi TT rims from the original Mini Z the way I bought it. (That body also was the donor for the body mounts) These wheels had to go...
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 02:06 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
Joined Apr 2001
407 Posts
I haven't built or painted an actual plastic model since I was about 14, so this part was pretty tough. Painting alone was a good reminder as to part of the reason why I no longer build models; it's a pain. Lots of wet sanding, and polishing, repainting, etc. I've never used that chrome bare metal foil before either, but it was a "must have" on this one. The paint used was Testors Laquer, but clear coat was Rustoleum Lacquer. Figured the thicker clear would be best for the occasional bang or scrape into the base board or chair. Also to address that, was the use of some carbon fiber stripping around the body attachment points, a lot was used up front (not pictured, behind the radiator housing.)
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 02:15 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
Joined Apr 2001
407 Posts
One of the other big problems was how to have scale wheels. I don't race, and truth be told, really don't do a whole lot with RC cars anyway. I just wanted the model to be drivable, yet fun, and retain its scale look, and look nice on a shelf. This meant using the included "pizza cutter" car model tires, and somehow finding a way to retain the stock hubcaps that came with the kit. Fortunately, Atomic Mods sells these plain dish rims for the mini z that made the scale white wall wheels possible. With a little grinding, the model car tires fit perfectly over the rims, and grinding the inside of the hubcaps out allowed them to fit nicely over the nylon wheel nut without any obstruction. The included plastic "whitewalls" that came with the kit were sanded down until they just about "clicked" into the dish rim, allowing the hubcap to be tack glued in place for easy removal when doing maintenance.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 02:25 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
Joined Apr 2001
407 Posts
Next, I had to turn my attention to the chassis. I mentioned that the AM radio no longer works; radio interference must be way worse in 2013 than it was in 1999, with all the cell phones, blue tooth accessories, household electronic devices, etc. I suppose a better alternative (and might do in the future) would've been to buy a newer, Kyosho MR-03 chassis for this project, but they are crazy expensive. It was cheaper to buy a Losi Micro rock crawler, pull out its combined 2.4 receiver/esc, then wire it to the Kyosho steering servo. I almost forgot, that was a hurdle as well. I tore an old Futaba servo apart, and was able to wire it into the existing Kyosho pot to convert their 4 wire servo into a three wire. (I have a thread on here about how to do that somewhere.) This makes it possible to use any radio with the mini z, and, provides the added benefit of being able to power the lights from a Y harness. However, an MR-03 still sounds appealing. I'm running it on a 7.4 Lipo- gives plenty of power for the extra heft. Of course, this car would not be complete without lights. So, I picked up a micro rc LED light kit from rclighthouse.com. Very bright, with low power draw, fit very well.
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
Joined Apr 2001
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The result is a scale looking model that's very unique! The LiPo gives it gobs of power, I can't even open it up all the way inside! Even goes well over carpet with the taller scale tires. As you can imagine, it drifts and spins very well, especially on linoleum. The new, 2.4 technology really makes it shine, not having all the glitching (or ridiculas looking long antenna coming through the roof) to contend with as the AM radio did. A special thanks to atomicmods.com and rclighthouse.com, for it just wouldn't be the same without their rims or lights. I'll have to try and get some video of it eventually, just brainstorming where I want to shoot it before going ahead with that. Thoughts? Thanks for looking...
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Old Jan 06, 2013, 09:11 PM
obey gravity, it's the law
USA, IL, Rockford
Joined Nov 2005
412 Posts
Sweet. Nice work
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Old Jan 07, 2013, 09:10 AM
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Canada, ON, Markham
Joined Aug 2008
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Awesome build!
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Old Jan 07, 2013, 06:45 PM
in memory of dez RIP
rcphreak's Avatar
USA, FL, Fort Myers
Joined Jun 2008
2,481 Posts
wow this is a realy great build for sure a one of a kind and with an icon of a car you make us jelious for sure .
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:26 PM
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Long Beach, CA
Joined Sep 2006
104 Posts
Badassness! Great job!
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 09:43 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
Joined Apr 2001
407 Posts
Just thought I'd give an update for anyone else looking to do info on custom bodies for their Mini Z. I finally bit the bullet, and broke down and bought an MR-03 chassis to replace the hacked and admittedly tired MR-01. What a difference in the way this car drives now- wish I did it sooner! Very responsive and controllable. This time I used carbon fiber for the extension, with the stock H-plate at the end. Absolutely no flex except for at the suspension point. I think in the future I may change the motor mount to a mid mount, and possibly add a gyro since it has so much umph with the modified motor and lipo. This weekend, I managed to get a picture of it with the real Christine used in the movie at the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, where they were commemorating the 30th anniversary of the film. Now it's time to start on a 59 Cadillac ambulance with functional lights and siren...
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Old Jul 22, 2013, 02:51 PM
Cow R/C
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United States, MI, Grand Blanc
Joined Nov 2007
1,128 Posts
Very nice work. Looks fantastic!!
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