Toy bash original design RC Sci Fi truck


Well-Known Member
A long time lurker, this is my first post to the RPF. I have a blogsite where I very infrequently post my modeling projects, but a forum has more of a community spirit which helps in adding to the motivation to complete projects, so I thought i would have a go at putting up some of my stuff here starting with this.
While I admire greatly the modellers who build the studio scale replicas down to the very last kit part, readers of my blog will know that I prefer to make my own designs. This may well be attributed to laziness but I enjoy the process of designing sci fi vehicles and particularly assembling shapes from disparate parts to make something new, known as kitbashing but more precisely in this case toy bashing.
I have always been a spaceship nut and started in the 1980's building original spaceship models, but before that I was always a Gerry Anderson fan and in particular I loved the ground based vehicles. I also had an interest in Radio Controlled offroad car racing. Some years ago now I thought about combing the two interests and that is what I have been doing in my spare time ever since.

One of the main issues with putting detailed sci fi bodies onto RC chassis's is the greater weight. Most Rc cars only have to support a thin shell of lightweight lexan, whereas in the models I like to build there is a great volume of dense High Impact Styrene (known as HIPS), not to mention PVC parts, kit parts and other detailing paraphernalia. The suspension systems always have to be modified to some extent to compensate. Sometimes this is simply to move the shock positions or to upgrade the springs, but more often than not it is all this and more.

More than a year ago now I was looking at the toys in a discount store that may have interesting plastic shapes and found this rubbish truck toy which was not too expensive.

A little bit later I purchased a Bruder Toys large tracked dozer thinking It might be fun to try and use the tracks for something. The cool thing about the Bruder range of toys is that they are all at a standard scale of 1/16 and reasonably accurate to the subject at least as far as most toys go. The pain of the Bruder toy range is that they use no screws in the assembly, its all tabs into slots with barbs that make it fiddly if not downright difficult to pull apart. Anyway it sat around in a box in bits for quite some time.

Some months later I found another of the rubbish truck toys for $3.50 at a thrift store or charity shop as its more commonly referred to in Australia.

Many more months later (only last week) I had the idea to see what would happen if I put them all together. Here is the result of that toy bashing.

Its basically the dozer cabin, back to front, joined to the combination of the two back ends of the rubbish trucks joined end to end, split down the middle and widened. A pile of 2mm styrene ties it all together. Parts off the dozer and the truck are re-purposed for detail bits and pieces along with a few kit parts, a small amount of foamed PVC and more styrene and assorted evergreen strips and textured sheet. A few urethane cast parts have also been employed here and there from silicon molds I made in the late 80's. It has a wooden frame underneath for reinforcement.
The wood is superglued to the plastic parts with thick superglue. The plastic is sanded with very coarse sandpaper to roughen the glossy surface so the superglue has something to mechanically bond to. All the PVC and Urethane parts are also superglued with a sanding treatment first. All the styrene parts are glued with Methylene Chloride solvent ( a known carcinogen) from an old EMA dispenser I have had since my professional model making days way back in the early 80's. The original polyethylene bottle eventually went brittle and broke apart but I just happened to have an ink container made from the correct plastic and with the matching thread to screw into the stainless steel dispenser.

The chassis, which is still to be completed, is based on a Venom Creeper seeing as I had a few parts still left over from another project which is still underway, see Creeper 6X6 project. Readers of my blog would also know I start a lot of projects and have many on the go at the same time. Its finishing them that can be elusive. I find that some times what seems an insurmountable problem on a project becomes very much simpler after you have fiddled about with something else for a while. I also find that sometimes solutions to the more mechanical aspects of RC vehicles can take some time to bubble up and present themselves.

Here is the body work balanced on top of the chassis so far to give a rough idea of the way it will sit.

The yellow lump at the back is from the rear of the Bruder dozer. There is some more to do at the back and quite a bit more to do at the front including adding a driver figure and fitting a seat. The original cockpit has been cut up as it faced the other way. I may be able to adapt the existing seat for re-use, its not a simple exercise at it was all molded in one at an angle with the rest of the interior. Much butchery has had to take place to extract it.
The wheels and tires are the old Axial Rockster beadlocks with Rock Lizards which, true to form, I have had sitting in a box for years waiting for a project to come along.

You can see how messy the bench gets with all the butchering and sanding of parts to get them to fit. I think I'll have to have a clean up before going much further.
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Well-Known Member
toy bash original design...something...something...

I don't mean to be critical....but....WTF are you actually building...??:confused

I suppose you are building SOMETHING...and that's always cool;)

Your descriptions have no line breaks....I don't like that.


Sr Member
I like what I'm seeing so far. I love original designs like this and you're making this RC too. I can't wait to see more.


Well-Known Member
toy bash original design...something...something...

I don't mean to be critical....but....WTF are you actually building...??:confused

I suppose you are building SOMETHING...and that's always cool;)

Your descriptions have no line breaks....I don't like that.

I thought I was building an RC Sci Fi truck... What would you like me to call it?
You gonna have to explain about the "line breaks" I'm not sure what you mean.


Well-Known Member
great work here,i'm a big fan of kit bashing and toy bashing.good to see some original stuff.:thumbsup
glad to see we have another western aussie on here.:)


Sr Member
Awesome blogsite, Mung! I especially liked the Moonbus and the original Creeper! :) And, man, you seem to have all the right tools to build your cool projects. Plus CAD and artistic skills to boot!


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the kind encouragement. Some progress has been made.

I finally completed constructing the chassis.
The creeper chassis plates have been extended by some aluminium angle and channel section.
The plates are held apart by some 6mm and 8mm aluminium rod spacers that have been drilled on the
mini lathe and threaded at both ends to accept M3 cap screws.

The shocks have been mounted to the link mounting points on the axles with the links moved inboard.
A piece of silicon fuel tubing has been inserted as a flexible bush into the hole in the shock shaft to allow
some angular movement.

The top of the shocks use the mounting system that is included with the Hot racing shocks.
These include a couple of silicon O rings and an aluminium ball shaped insert to allow for angular movement.

A styrene tray was made by heating some styrene with a hot air gun at specific points and bending it onto
a wooden form one bend at a time. The trick is to shield the parts that need to remain flat so that only the
plastic at the bend area gets heated. It is secured to the frame with some philips headed plastic screws
salvaged from some old toy or appliance dis-assembly. The battery, speed controller and receiver are held
on with self adhesive velcro. The battery is further sandwiched by some yellow EVA foam cut from a child's
learn to swim surfboard.

The speed controller is a Castle Sidewinder 3 which can control both brushless and in this case a brushed
motor using two of the 3 connectors. It can also be programmed through a Castle link and USB cable from
your computer. It is set to crawler mode which gives a no delay reverse which I like as well as a drag brake at idle.
The rear steering servo connects to a Hobby King servo reverser then to a Y connector with the front steering
servo giving 4 wheel steering. Due to the 4 wheel steering it has a very small turning circle and is very maneuverable.

Unfortunately as expected the top heavy body tends to flop over to one side or another as can be seen below.

A solution to fix this was to attempt to make a sway bar. After some fiddling about, this was made from some
2.5mm piano wire and a couple of small brass plates. Only the rear of the chassis had enough room to fit this as the motor
gets in the way at the front.This turned out to be entirely successful at curing the flop. A small DuBro collar
secures the ends of the sway bar into the original shock positions on the axle. The piano wire is pretty old as
can be seen by the surface rust, it'll need cleaning and possibly some paint. The hole that the sway bar pivots
in has to be slightly bigger, preferably elongated into a slot to allow for the fact that the pivot position does not
match the apparent pivot of the 4 link suspension. Its needs some play to compensate.

Here you can see the result of adding the sway bar with a nice level body.

I think the body probably sits a bit too high overall, but there's not a lot I can do about that at this point.
I am going to add a bunch of tanks hanging down at the sides which may cure that perception.
There is still some more volume to add to the body work at the front so that will help as well.

I completed the detailing of the top and nearly finished the rear.

The yellow part of the rear platform was originally from the top of the cabin of the dozer.
The dark grey checker plate floor was from one of the rubbish trucks. The two black shapes that say Dick Smith
upside down on them are the servo cases of my very first radio control unit from about 1980.
They've sat in a box for nearly 35 years waiting for the right spot to glue them.
Got a small amount to add to the back and then finish the front before the grey primer to see how its all looking.

The chassis also needs some paint.
The worst part about that is having to dis-assemble and then re-assemble everything over again.

More soon...

Oh I forgot to mention that I have made an attempt to format this post to to make it easier to read, taking on board "troops" stated preference.
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Mike J.

Master Member
Wow, I thought this was a cool project before this last post! This is great!

It kinda makes me think of the vehicles in "Moon", but IIRC, they were pulled by wires, not RC'ed.

So, what's next?

And the creeper is awesome as well :)

I'd say LMK if you need any greeblies, but since I'm on the other side of the world, you'd probably be finished by the time they got there.



Well-Known Member
Thanks again to everyone for the encouragement.
This forum really helps to keep the motivation up and to press on.

I made up pairs of headlights using some Cree Led aluminium penlight torches I got from China on Ebay.
The torches worked out costing about $4 each which I thought was a pretty good deal.
They claim they put out about 1000 lumens, I suspect it may be a bit lower than this but they are incredibly
bright for their size and only use 1 AA battery at 1.5 volts.
They conveniently unscrew at the business end making for a really nice lens and reflector housing
and are easy to mount and solder some wires to.

I wired them up 4 in series thus requiring a 6 volt supply.
The battery for the chassis is 7.4 volts so I am employing a Turnigy Ubec which can deliver a switchable 5 or
6 volts at 3amps from any input battery between 2s or 6s which in LiPo battery speak means between 7.4
and 22.2 volts. These 4 penlights are only pulling 1 amp from the battery so there is plenty in reserve.

The Ubec is wired to a little adapter which is made from a deans connector plug and socket soldered back to
back with the feed wires coming off the positive and negative at the join.
The join is then covered with some suitable heatshrink. It is a convenient way of plugging it in between the
battery and the speed controller.
The lights are wired to a servo extension lead with one end cut off and the appropriate end plugs into the servo
style female connector on the output of the UBEC which stands for ( Universal Battery Eliminator Circuit).
In the old days of RC you used to have an extra separate battery for the receiver, servos and any other electrical
systems it is this legacy battery that is supposedly being eliminated by the UBEC.

The lights are switched by a push button toggle switch mounted on the side of the cab which when painted
will just look like a random bit of detail.
It probably would be cooler to make a switch that can be controlled from the transmitter, I am only using 2
of the three channels, but that was laying around in a box so I used it. I like to use whatever is to hand where possible.

The cockpit has been started but still has more work to come.
A 1/16 Bruder Toys man sits in the seat.
I'm thinking of eventually making some sort of space helmet and converting his rolled up sleeves to be more
space suit like.

I made up some tanks from PVC pipe end caps and the next size up pipe which has had a slice removed from
it's circumference to bring it closer to the outside diameter of the caps.
Mounting pieces were made from 10mm foamed PVC, first a hole is made of the same diameter of the pipe
and then sections are cut to suit.
These slightly domed end caps are getting hard to find.
All the new stock at the hardware store have totally flat ends which are not as interesting a shape and I can
make those myself easily enough with a disc of flat sheet.

The chassis was shortened at the front to fit the body work that has been built, but yet to be detailed.
The olive green radiator looking shape is a leftover spare part from a Tamiya Wild Willy Jeep kit.

More soon...

Mike J.

Master Member
This looks great :)

IIRC, they used LED torches for the headlights on the Moon vehicles as well.

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