Monday, June 15, 2015

Building the B&E Crusader - Part 1

How-To build a 1/24th hard-body racer with the new B&E Slotsport "Crusader" stamped brass chassis. Photos and text by Brian Meharry. Please click on any photo for a larger view.

The first step is to choose your body.
In this example I am using the 1970 Ford Torino.

Next let's test fit the body to the chassis.
The Crusader chassis gives you the option of 4.375 and 4.5 wheelbase.
The Eliminator frame is infinitely adjustable over 4-1/8"

At this point, I go ahead and put the tires on axles so that I can mark the wheel wells in the right spot.
You can use some round lane stickers for a perfect circle template,
but on my own cars I like to freehand draw with a fine-line marker.
This gives a rough short track look.

Here's how the body looks after the fenders are cut.
I always take my time doing this and double check clearance around the tire.

I tape body parts together and use "Shoe goo" to secure everything together.
I lay generous amounts of it inside the front and rear fenders to provide a little extra strength in a crash.

The front fascia needed a little tape to hold it in place while the glue dries.

The same taping job is done with the rear.

After taking some time to make sure everything is flat and square,
I use a jig and jig wheels to solder the rear bushings in.
This set is sold by Precision Slot Cars.
In the front on this car I'm going to use a Bud Bartos threaded front axle.
I soldered it in, but you can use Loctite or epoxy if you desire.

The Torino is a fairly narrow body, so the mounts will need to be moved inward on the frame.
Very gently bend down the mounts, and cut them off at the line that is provided.
Here the body mounts are soldered in the new position. You can use epoxy to secure them if you want.
The motor tab holes are a little higher than I wanted, so I just took a Dremel and opened the holes up until I liked how the pinion would be centered upon the axle.
Once I was happy with the way the motor sat, I soldered an .055 music wire hoop along the back uprights and motor bracket.
Not only will it provide some strength in a crash, but it keeps the vibration from that torque-y little neo motor in check.

Velcro mounts still work OK for hard-body racing, but I prefer to float some brass pin tube through the body, and then I bend some .025 wire to hold the body in place; more on that later.

After soldering is completed I cleaned the chassis in the sink with some Comet and a toothbrush. I might throw it in the tumbler for a few hours later.

Here is the bottom side of the chassis after being scrubbed with a Scotchbrite pad.

Next I painted the body a mean looking purple; I use Tamiya or Model Master Lacquer paints because they are generally dry within an hour.
All the work that you see up to this point took just over an hour to complete.

Here's the 1/16th inch brass tubing poking through the body.
I'll bend some .025" wire to make the retaining clips.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this build.

More information on the products mentioned can be found on the B&E Slotsport web page:

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