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Starting work on my next project, which will be a lifted Nissan Xterra! Got a full set of RC4WD Rock Crusher tires (essentially the same tread as the popular BF Goodrich tires), and I've also started modeling a fully functional transfer case based around the new (to me) driving rings. New Tires and things! by VKTechnic, on Flickr The green axle is the motor input, orange is rear axle drive, and yellow is front axle. In the middle, the lavender and blue gears are for HI/LO, respectively, and as expected, the FWD can be disconnected as a 2WD/4WD switch. Fairly compact, as the geared part is only 5x5x7 studs! A couple of things are still undecided with this model, the first of which is how to activate the functions. Right now, the transfer case is actuated by mini LAs, which would mean that I would likely be using mini LAs to lock the front and rear diffs. However, there is the option to use small pneumatic cylinders, in which case the axles will be a little simpler to build (more on axles later). On the other hand, using pneumatics means integrating a pressure-regulated compressor and remote controlled valves (or a valve-pump combo), which could end up being bulky. I do have the option of manually controlling those functions, but what's the fun in that? The other undecided aspect is suspension. The Xterra I'm modeling after has A-arms in the front and leaf springs in the rear, so from an accuracy standpoint that is the way to go. On the other hand, 4-link live axles front and rear would be great for off-roading. The tradeoff with 4-link suspension would be space, as independent suspension in the front would let me cram the driveline components in front of the "firewall". TL;DR I've started on an Xterra, but I've got a lot of thinking to do...
I'm back with my latest model, a lifted bugeye Subaru chopped into a ute! Subarute by VKTechnic, on Flickr First off, the features: Remote control drive with 3-diff AWD, central differential lock through a lever in the cabin, and fake boxer 6 engine Remote control steering with linked steering wheel Opening air-shock hood, doors, and liftgate, all with latching mechanisms Headlights, foglights, and taillights, with an in-cabin switch for foglights Fully adjustable seats, with under-seat lever to move seat forward and back Front McPherson strut and rear trailing arm pneumatic suspension Custom flags representing Axial (maker of the Ripsaw 1.9 tires) and Mighty Car Mods (the main inspiration for the car) Subarute by VKTechnic, on Flickr This model was a fun one for me. After seeing what Mighty Car Mods could do to a 2002 Subaru WRX wagon in less than 3 days, I wanted to take my own spin on the Subaru ute concept. The first main challenge was suspension, as I had to design a McPherson strut with drive, and the rear trailing arm suspension was completely new to me. I did have to compromise -- using CV joints in the suspension meant I could get everything compact, but the off-road performance tanked. Definitely a little disappointing, but I think I made up for it with all the other fun features. Subarute by VKTechnic, on Flickr Every opening feature of the model has a latch on it. The hood has an air shock, and can be released from the driver's side footwell. Door handles were based off an old design by Nicjasno (aka LPEPower), which I managed to slim down to fit within 2 studs of the door panel. The tailgate latch is probably the least realistic since it's activated from the inside of the bed, but I mainly did this to keep the continuity of the bodywork. Subarute by VKTechnic, on Flickr The seats were also something new for me, and it's an area I've struggled with in past models. I did manage to make these seats fully adjustable, with a lever under the seat to slide them forward and backward. Aside from that, the cabin also has a lever to lock the central diff, and a switch for the front foglights. Subarute by VKTechnic, on Flickr Overall, I'm happy with how the model turned out. I think I captured the bugeye look fairly well, and all the manual functions were fun to try out. Of course, it is disappointing that the model didn't perform too well off-road, but I can say for sure that my next model will destroy everything off-road! P.S. I did make a video of the functions, thought it would be short but it turned out to be almost 10 minutes. Enjoy!