After months spent working on the chassis and the bodyshell, my Toyota Celica LB Turbo Gr.5 on an M-02 chassis is finished. It is the longest and the most difficult project I have ever done so far. When I started back in december 2009, I confess that I didn't expect it would take so long. I probably spent more time searching for solutions than to actually make them, but I'm glad with the overall result:
Real car reference driven by Harald Ertl in 1977
The final result
As far as I know, this model is unique and I wanted to share this project every single step for you to get some inspiration if you want to. One advice I could give to anyone who plan to start such a project: take your time. You need a lot of time to look for and find technical solutions, but most important, try to get the best possible idea of what you will need to do get the result you want to achieve. Even with a pretty long preparation, sometimes I remained stuck for weeks before I found a solution.
Paradoxically, the most difficult part for me was the bodyshell: ABS is much more difficult to deal with than lexan (hopefully, there was no need for masking). Apart from the weight and the molding technique that were improved over time, lexan is much easier to paint. ABS has a specific "static model" charm that lexan doesn't have, but it requires a true paint talent. I definitely improved my skills compared to the time of my Blackfoot Xtreme and my Monster Beetle but I'm still not fully satisfied with the result. Who knows: may be I can do better for the next bodyshell?
It took place on a real RC track with a band of friends. But prior to running it, a photo session was required:
After working so long on it, the time to switch on the radio and to plug the stick pack finally arrived. The chassis handling is what you would expect from an M-02, except from the grip: the Tamtech High Grip Slick tires are just great. In comparison, my Suzuki Swift with standard tires would let you believe it's a drift car . Anyway, this chassis is quick as you would expect from an M-chassis and I didn't notice significant handling differences between this rear wheel drive version and my Suzuki Swift front wheel drive version, apart from rolling.
Yet, I didn't try to reach the chassis limits since I wanted to preserve the bodyshell. My driving was very conservative as it was all about cornering at low speed using smooth racing lines: accelerating was progressive but I had the pleasure to drive full throttle in straight lines before anticipating the next corner.
The conclusion about this model is definitely positive: of course it needs to be driven carefully to preserve the bodyshell, but my quite special Celica LB Turbo provides a true driving pleasure... and a permanent tension due to the required concentration you need at every moment not to fault and possibly damage the bodyshell. The photos show all the realism of this model when it is driven on the track, but they can't reveal the pleasure I had when driving it.
Thank you Manon for the photos
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