Well lets kick things off with the unboxing video of all the goodies I got from RC4WD and TGN Distributing. I got the package from RC4WD first and it damn well near killed me to let it sit on my desk while I waited for the second package to show up. i wanted to do a true unboxing so I had to wait till I had everything!
To kick of my build here is the first in a series of videos I’ll be posting about Project Wraith.
After pulling the kit apart it was onto the manual!! A very necessary step for any builder when starting a kit.
I was pleased with the layout of the manual, all of the photos were in 3D and it had the standard ledger down the side of the page showing you the full scale size of the screws and such.
Sooo, lets get started!!
The start off for the build went fairly smoothly. The part trees and bags are laid out in a very typical fashion that you would expect in a kit. The one thing I did not was that there seemed to be a lot of pieces off the trees which made things a challenge at times. I spent a lot of time searching through bags looking for stray parts. Now, I don’t know if this is typical or just a case that the post office used my kit as a football! The other thing that kind of threw me is how the part trees are not logically packaged.
The one thing I noticed during the construction of the axles is that directionality in this kit is very important and something you really need to pay attention to. Take your time when setting up to build a component as it will save you from having to rebuild, which I had to do a couple of times.
Check out my video for the step where I construct the axles!
The axle build and the attachment of the connecting hardware went well. I’m kind of jumping ahead of myself but this is how the axle sections looked like when they were completed. In the next section we will talk about the shocks.
The shock build was very smooth no issues beyond locating the bits and pieces. The shock setup is just a variation on a theme with many different shocks I’ve built. The one thing I was not really impressed with is that the shocks are completely plastic. I talk a little about this in the video and maybe this is just me being too critical but in a builders kit it would have been nice to see a little of bit of alloy in the shocks.
Now, I looked around for some upgrade parts and reached out to Tom at RC4WD for his opinion. He recommended the King shocks for the Wraith as an upgrade. Now I looked at these on the RC4WD site and found found these King Shocks with a fake piggy back reservoir.
He recommended going with either the 100mm or the 110mm. I elected for the 100mm because it would limit ride height a little bit and maybe help a little with stability. When doing my research the one thing I found is that having your ride height too high can cause problems. I looked at the Pro Line Power Stroke shocks and also at the shocks from GMade and finally decided to go with the King Shocks. I’m not crazy about the colour but it’s best to stick with what the experts are telling me!
The last component I have to get is the brush-less system. Now I had every intention of using a brushed system I took out of my Slash to help keep the budget down. After a night of lying awake starring at the ceiling I said screw it and decided to go brush-less. Now you can ask a room full of people about which system is better, which company is better and everyone will have a different answer. I have always been a Castle Creations fan. Their customer service has been great and I have had a lot of luck with the three other brush less systems I own, scratch that, four brush-less systems I own. I consulted with my local LHS, Ed is a very knowledgeable guy and he recommended the Castle Sidewinder 3. The main thing that appealed to me about this system is that it is waterproof. This is a key component for what I have in mind for when I get this baby up on its wheels, so to speak!
With the last few things on order all I can do now is wait!
FINALLY me Castle brushless system arrived. I selected the Castle Sidewinder 3 Waterproof Brushless system with a 4600kvh motor. And YES we will be putting the whole claim about it being waterproof to the test!
The one thing I immediately noticed about this engine was the length of the wires. Holy engine wires Batman!! I measured it out and there is 13″ of engine wire and 4″ of battery wire. Ever seen the arms versus the legs on a Tyrannosaurus Rex…
The install of the engine and ESC went without issue and I started to bang together the rest of the frame and attached the roll cage to the lower chassis. One thing I started to notice was that the part numbers on the instructions weren’t lining up with the part numbers on the plastic parts trees. There were several occasions where I had to go by the picture of the part because the part numbers weren’t the same, weird, I’ve never had that happen to me before.
The length of the battery wires was going to be an issue. I want to wait until I finish but i think i am going to have to lengthen the battery leads to make it easier to connect the battery.
It was also now that I began to get the tracks ready to attach to the axles. It took a little tinkering but i managed to get them bolted on. You basically have to change out the steering hubs and the axle hubs for the aftermarket ones that are meant to fit the tracks. Things are starting to come together!
The next hill I am going to climb is wiring up the lights. I’m kinda kicking myself for not getting a Killer Light Controller when I had the chance at Power Jam. I’m not sure whether or not I am going to use a commercially available light kit or build my own! I want really bright LED so I imaging I may very well just build my own.
So I started to hammer away on the light rack. I couldn’t find a commercially available light rack that suited my needs so I decided the build one of my own. I managed to lay by hands on some 3W LED that had an MCD of 15000. I will eventually work in a Killer RC light controller so I wired the 7 lights on the upper rack into 4 separate circuits.
I was stumped as to how to hide the wiring on the rack and after rummaging through my old GI Joe stuff (yes it’s all boxed up in storage) and found a fuel barrel that fits perfectly into the appearance of the light rack.
Now the issue I have is that the output voltage on the battery out strips the limitations of the LED’s. So I incorporated a resister to reduce the voltage going into the LED. After some refining I got a good balance of input voltage.
Now I am going to work to make it all pretty before I mounted it on the roof!
Well Folks, here is the final build!
I can honestly say overall this was a very enjoyable project and fun build. I was pleased with the overall result. These tracks were not fabulous in the sand but I didn’t expect they would be as the tread isn’t aggressive enough. You can get sand treads for these tracks from RC4WD and if you are going to run the beach it would be a worthy upgrade.
I think I am going to throw the tires back on just to try them out but I am looking forward to getting out and doing some more crawling very soon. I will post up some video as soon as I can .
Thanks for following my build and I look forward to bringing you coverage of my next project!!