I was recently asked by Joe and Vince if I would like to begin contributing to ScaleFreak.com. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to audience and give you some background on myself and my addiction! You will be seeing a monthly update on my many projects and events throughout the year. So lets get into the back story!
I was a little late the world of hobby grade RC cars, starting with a Tamiya TXT in 2004. I bought it with the plan to convert it into a RC rock crawler. At that time RCCrawler.com had only been going for about 6 months. I registered to the website and it was all downhill from there! My obsession grew, I read for hours, looked at hundreds of photos on my dial-up internet (yeah it was that long ago). The scale appearance of the RC crawlers was always my biggest draw to them.
At that time there were no parts made specifically for crawlers as there are now. We fabricated all of our own parts from whatever materials we could find. Some of our old favorites were
- Cheap cutting boards from Walmart for anything from skid plates to chassis plates
- Airsoft pellets instead of tire foams (keep the weight low and still try to support the tires)
- BIC pens, used for the small springs inside to use inside our shocks
In 2007 I graduated college with my civil engineering degree and got myself a real job in Kansas City, MO. Since I was no longer a poor college kid I started to get more serious about my hobby. Being that I have an engineering background I began to draw my own designs in CAD. It was shortly after the HPI Wheely King hit the market that I drew up a servo mount to move the chassis mounted servo on to the axle. I offered to send the template to anyone who wanted it via an email PDF. Kevin, the owner of TCScrawlers.com saw my work and asked if I would come design products for him. That is when things started to get serious for me. I began designing parts for anything Kevin would ask for and I had a blast! It was the first time that I started to be given parts, both to design off of and as compensation for designing.
It was not long after that time that the Axial AX10 was released. Shortly after it’s release I designed the first scale chassis that was meant to convert your AX10 to a frame rail style design. The wheelbase was adjustable from 12.5″ to 11″ using only stock parts. The product was extremely successful and hundreds, if not thousands, of trucks were built off of them. I designed many other products before and after that.
From 2007 to 2011 I competed on the national level in many of the USRCCA classes. I traveled all over the united states to compete, from California to Georgia and many place in between. I met hundreds of people and made many friends. I have done design work for some of the biggest companies in crawling, and have been brought on as a team driver for many of the very best companies in our industry.
In 2011 I bought a house and began to built myself my ultimate RC workshop. Transforming a large portion of my basement into a purpose built area to create exactly the type of rigs that I always wanted. I filled the space with welders, lathe, grinders, saws, drill press, CNC Mill, storage, work areas, etc. Since building my workshop I have greatly expanded my skill set and confidence in fabrication.
That brings us to today. I’ve recently built myself a new studio area for pictures, video and my soon to arrive 3D printer. I hope to use this new room to bring a more professional and higher level product to the viewers. As we move forward I will fill you all in more and more about what I do. For now, you can check out my latest monthly update video to get a quick spin around the shop and see a run down of the rigs. I’ll try and do a intro to the current projects soon as well.
More to come soon, see you all on the next one.