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Old 12-16-2004, 05:04 PM   #61
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I have to agree with rick howart that the r/c bodies have to somewhat resemble the make of the car. I don't think it needs to be a replica but as long as the governing bodies keep approving these handling bodies people will be forced to use it to keep up with the next guy. The only thing that concerns me is we will end up driving half eggs with giant wings.
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Old 12-16-2004, 05:05 PM   #62
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I guess if you don't wanna run a body that is loosely based on a car... why not just run a TCS race with realistic looking bodies? And who cares about Roar? I think it only matters at "Roar" races. Not too many club races follow the Roar rules to a "Tee". They are just loosely based on them. Besides, it could discourage a new person at a club race because his RTR body or whatnot isn't legal because it don't look real. hehe... I say keep the rules as they are. Or what AMG said. 'Sides, how many Roar races do we attend a year?? A National and/or Regional?

PS. I believe TCS races do not allow the Tamiya Legacy B4 body because it is a "Race only" body. Plus it would take away from the realism from the cars. Not to mention everyone that wanted to be fast would have to have one.. hehe
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Old 12-16-2004, 08:15 PM   #63
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Default PROTOform Stratus 3.0

I guess I'd better weigh in, considering I'm the instigator. Wow. Where do I begin.
First, let me thank you guys who have had complimentary remarks. This occupation tends to be rather tedious and sometimes lonely, working alone as I make dust. Its nice to know that there are those out there that like what I'm doing.
This whole body realism/body legalization issue has been dogging me since day one. When I started PROTOform in 1992 I couldn't get ROAR to even look at any of my bodies, let alone approve them. I had to threaten then Pres John Thawley with a "restraint of trade" lawsuit just to get an answer as to whether my bodies were eligable. A couple of years later my NASCAR bodies were systematically being rejected by NORRCA. At the same time, oval bodies from Georgia (that had all the detail and realism of a bar of soap) were legalized instantly. The NORRCA body officials doing the scrutinizing were guys that had never been to a stock car race. At the time, I was travelling to the race shops in NC to photograph and measure the real cars in an attempt to get these little bodies right. There have obviously been many changes in these two organizations but its still an increasingly complicated issue. As PROTOform grew (with the help of Proline) and the RC racing scene evolved with the trend toward 4wd sedan racing, we now are faced with new issues and a half dozen RC sanctioning bodies around the world.
ROAR will now legalize just about anything. It started to go downhill back in about 1996. They legalized a HB Diablo GTP - no such thing. It got worse in 2002 with the Parma Speed 8 (and the direct backpour Trinity Speed 9) As manufacturers we are supposed to submit photos to ROAR to authenticate the rc version. The Parma body looks like no Bentley Speed 8 race car I've ever seen. And, why was'nt Parma "protected" by ROAR when an obviously backpoured (Trinity version) body was submitted?
Back in about 1997 Andy's Bodies did the first Stratus body. Whether it was luck or genious, there was no doubt that the body was good. If you will recall, it was by no means realistic. The front fenders had sharp peaks leading to the a-pillars (now normal on most sedan bodies) and I questioned ROAR at the time
about this apparent deviation from realism. No responce or answers. It was pretty apparent the the funky fender tops and Dodge's "cab forward" design was a winner. I resisted doing a Stratus for over 2 years but it was pretty apparent that BMW's and Modeo's were never going to be competitive with a "cab forward" design body. Every other race-body company in the world did a Stratus body. Finally, I got sick of losing (races and sales) and did a Stratus body in June 1999. Our distributors were requesting it non-stop. That car was based on the real Stratus that raced in the still-born North American Touring Car Series. After a few years of 10-Stratus A-mains at every race in the world it was definitly time for a change, at least to make thing more interesting. Problem was, there was no other 4dr "cab-forward" cars being made (let alone being raced) in the real world. Dodge brought out a nicer looking car in 2002 and I followed suit with the PROTOform 2.0 version. ROAR approved it as did a few other sanctioning bodies. It seemed at the time to be a natural progression away from an outdated looking 1996 body style.
In late 2002 I could see that the day would come where "realism" would eventually take a backseat to "performance". So at that time I sent up a VERY detailed proposal to ROAR in hopes that the trend could be curtailed and the essence of sedan racing preserved. It was a pretty serious effort on my part, with diagrams and explanations etc. It outlined a simple but effective way of scrutinizing the bodies when submitted for ROAR approval. The only tools needed were 12 inch level and a tape measure. In addition the existing height/width rule, there was a MAXIMUM LIMIT for trunk length, roof crown, lower windshield width, windshield length etc and a MINIMUM LIMIT for hood length, side window height, roof width, rear body overhang, rear window width etc.
For 12th scale there was a cockpit width/height MINIMUM and side spill-plate MAXIMUM.
As usual, there was no responce from ROAR. I was very disappointed. As I had feared, the "funny cars" showed up in 2004. After a 6 week fight to get our Mazda 6 body on the IFMAR Worlds approved list, I got to see first hand some pretty wacked-out bodies at that race. The Yokomo Stratus that zero styling cues from the real car. The roof is 6 inches wide at the front tapering to a svelte 4.5 inches at the rear. The Ride Accord (used by Hara to finish second) has a 3 (yes three!) inch long trunk lid and a flat shelf extending out from the window sill that rivals John Forces Mustang funny car's shape. And yes, they were all IFMAR approved. ( the real Accord has a 17 inch trunk lid = 1.7 in. to scale)
The much vaunted Parma Alfa is no tribute to realism either. It's roof has a raised crown and is radically narrowed at the rear, so it's far from realistic as well.
It's not my intention to bash other manufacturers bodies or bore you with trivia. What I'm trying to say is that its pretty tough to try to weave your way through this maze as a manufacturer. I'm very competitive by nature, and hate to lose as much as the next guy. I want to improve my brand, but how do I do it when the rules are so blurred and the official sactioning bodies "don't officiate"? The BRCA guys want one thing, the rest of the world wants another. To tell me to "back up" and produce uncompetive bodies is as ridiculous as me telling Rick Howart that his motors are too fast, and for the sake of the less proficient drivers he should make them slower. For the benefit of the class, naturally.
Bottom Line: we will never come to a full agreement. This is why we need the sactioning bodies to do their jobs. They need to hear from YOU. They're sick of hearing from me. Of all the organizations out there, the BRCA is by far the best. They have a passion for what they are doing that is sadly missing in most organizations. They still make some pretty inconsistent decisions in regard to race-bodies, but that aside, they are flat out the best. Just too bad I can't afford to cater exclusively to such a small market. (UK)
The other reason we will never come to full agreement - the whole topic is so subjective by nature. Some people actually like the look of PROTOform bodies, and some think they suck. Some people like the "new look" BMWs in the showrooms, I think they suck! There's probably people that actually think Ride Bodies look realistic. Some people think I'm the Dr. Evil of rc bodies yet others think I'm some kinda genius. (judging from some RC Tech comments)
NASCAR went to common templates not only to bring parity to the 3 brands of cars racing, but also to stop the daily bickering once and for all. If ROAR (and others) accepted some kind of "measurement criteria" using minimums & maximums for key body measurements, we may end up with similar looking cars that have different grill, hd lights and window outlines, but at least we would have some absolutes to work with instead of the foggy subjectivity we have now.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for taking the time to read this rather long post

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Old 12-16-2004, 08:30 PM   #64
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Only one thing needs to be said after reading that....

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Old 12-16-2004, 08:34 PM   #65
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Exactly Josh.

Thanks for posting that Dale.
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Old 12-16-2004, 08:38 PM   #66
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Dale thanks for the piece of insight. I agree the true problem lies with the sanctioning body, not the manufacturers. We have issues with ROAR, typical of what happened with the Worlds Bodies, do you think you could share the paticulars of your solution to the "Funny Car" dilemma ?

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Old 12-16-2004, 08:40 PM   #67
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Its funny...we talked at the worlds and you explained to me the standards system you submitted to ROAR a year a go. I was hoping you would bring it up again and there it is.

I think you should fire off a detailed description of your system for min and max standards to all sanctioning bodies (again ).

That said we really need to do something about ROAR. We have a huge leadership/experience vacuum at the top of that organization. Unfortunatly, you couldn't pay anyone qualified to do the job enough to take it on.
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Old 12-16-2004, 09:09 PM   #68
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Default PROTOform Stratus 3.0

This is to answer a few questions and seen on this thread and the other " new Protoform body" thread.

WHY ANOTHER STRATUS? - simple, its a cab forward car. Makes for good handling while maintaining a semblance of realism.
No - the car doesn't have NASCAR Dodge headlights. Other than being a couple of mm shorter and lower, they are the same as the 2.0 headlights
Yes - I did fudge a bit on the front end detail. The real Stratus has a total of 7 cavities and grill openings. IMHO it was a little much, so I purposely left off the lower grill opening to get a cleaner look. I couldn't imagine anyone cutting all those decals anyway.
The (red) wing in the photos is actually even with the roof height however the spill plates are .062 too high. The wing in the photos is cut to the IFMAR/ROAR 20 x 40 mm height and cord length rule. The wing is molded a little oversized to give a tuning option to the novice thats racing on an unprepared surface.
Yes - the truck lid is low. Ironically, its virtually the same height as the Parma Alfa
The white wing in the one photo is the optional PROTOform molded wing.
Yes - the body is light in weight. Trimmed identically, it is 90 grams and the Parma Alfa I weighed was 93.7 grams
No - the trunk is not lengthened. Same as 2.0 & true to scale.
I left the side windows large because that is what many pro racers told me they liked.
This body was not a knee-jerk reaction to the competition. I simple thought that the Stratus could be improved for carpet racing. The Japanese companies offer A,B, & C versions of many bodies that are optimized for different track sizes and surfaces
This body does not reflect any of the shapes I have recently seen on any of the competitions newer body styles. The pattern was finished in August and them I went to the Worlds in late Sept. and I actually saw my first Parma Alfa in late Nov. at the Cleveland US Indoor Champs.

Proline is going to be shut down next week for their annual one week Christmas holiday. I know this will kinda mess with the shipping schedule on early orders.....but, thats the time of year we're in.

Have a very Merry Christmas! - Dale Epp - PROTOform
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Old 12-16-2004, 09:29 PM   #69
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Originally posted by AdrianM
That said we really need to do something about ROAR.
When the existing sanctioning body falls apart, just make a new (and better) one. I can see it now, the 2006 R/C Tech Nationals.

Dale, that was a great post. I love hearing these "History" bits from the people who were involved.
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Old 12-16-2004, 09:36 PM   #70
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WOW.. ROAR forum trolls are going to have a field day with this thread!

Dale, any chance you can fly up to Milwakee for Novak race with about 100 3.0 bodies! I bet they'll sell in 10 mins! doesn't look like us mortals will be able to get our hands on one before then (I know Parma alfa works great on carpet, but refuse to run one based on its fuglyness!)
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:37 PM   #71
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What Dale said is very true IMO. What has happened is inevitable when the sanctioning bodies are not doing what they're supposed to do.

The sanctioning bodies really do need to take control, there should be clear rules that define all vital measurements much like Dale described. These rules should be followed strictly by the sanctioning bodies and then every manufacturer will know what is allowed.

Manufacturers/people will always try to find loopholes in the rules and even with strict rules there will be more extreme bodies but the sanctioning bodies need to be the ones deciding what is allowed and not. Not the manufacturers... then we end up with what we have now. The manufacturers should however be asked to help with making the rules as they have more knowledge about making bodies than anyone else.

We definitely don't need the kind of mess that we had this year with the EFRA body list and the IFMAR body list. I wish that from 2006 there would be new clear rules on bodies and that we could see a return to more realistic bodies. But somehow I don't believe that will happen...

And touring car bodies should be based on any 4-door sedan (no need for them to have raced in full-scale but they should be realistic according to strict rules)...IMO
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Old 12-16-2004, 11:36 PM   #72
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well said dale,

your right the guy's at the brca over here are pretty switched on and fair, they will always really look into things, the chief scrutiner is a pretty fair and good guy ( hello steve) as well, keep up the good work

when will they be avilable over here in the uk????

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Old 12-17-2004, 01:52 AM   #73
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Very well thought-out posts Dale, thanks for sharing your side. I didn't mean to make you out as a bad guy, I hope that it didn't come across like that. Certainly there are other companies that make questionable bodies and copies of bodies, but the PF Stratus' are so popular they draw a lot of attention, and debate.

I used to submit bodies to ROAR and NORRCA for HPI when I worked there and experienced some of the same problems Dale experienced with getting some progress in the body rules. Admittedly, Dale's a much bigger fish in the R/C scene but I had been told that some new rules would probably be coming into effect, and those never arrived, plus a few other things that just never seemed to materialize. I used to submit side photos, rear, front, angled photos, race results from magazines, etc., for the HPI bodies and very rarely would questions come up about the bodies.

Anyway I am a bit shocked that IFMAR would allow some of the Japanese bodies to be used in sanctioned competition but it's an ever-growing snowball effect - a dodgy body (no pun intended) is allowed to slip past the rules and a world champ uses it to win, so people buy it, then the rules organization has to allow similarly styled bodies to pass. The Japanese market is so fast-paced, though, they are starved for the motor-of-the-month, the body-of-the-month, the option-part-of-the-month, etc. So I can understand why Ride has 3 or more Stratus bodies but they really should be more carefully scrutinized before allowing them to run.

I hope ROAR sticks to its guns on their 5-year rule for bodies, but maybe there should be an additional rule saying the full-size version must have been raced in the last few years! I tried looking for this on the ROAR site but the body homologation guidelines don't seem to be online any more.

I said it before and I'll say it again - if you want to change the ROAR rules to allow any type of sedan car, join ROAR and do something about it, don't just complain on the internet that the rules are bunk. Vote out the people that aren't doing anything and get some change happening.

FYI, in case anyone is interested, the BRCA now allows not just race replica bodies but any saloon (4-door) body shell to be used at BRCA competitions. For 2004 the foam 1/10 IC (nitro) class was allowed to use can-am bodies but for 2005 onwards they must use saloon shells. Small club races generally don't strictly follow BRCA rules but larger non-BRCA races usually have "all other rules will follow BRCA rules" included in their rules sheet.
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Old 12-17-2004, 02:14 AM   #74
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Originally posted by Jack Smash
I disagree that we need our cars to look like replicas of the full size car to get people interested in the sport. It its cool that if your a Dodge fan or a Honda fan you can get a body "based" on what you like but most racers could care lees if it said Ford, Chevy, Hyundai, Yugo or AMC Pacer on the package as long as the body worked well. R/C offroad cars look absolutley nothing like a full size offroad car, when was the last time you saw a full size offroad car with a huge wing and 4wd? And last time I checked, full size offroad cars didnt have 22" wheels.

I race R/C racecars, not scale models.
Good point, but ask your local shop if they've sold more monster trucks than racing touring cars lately. Go to a modified car show and look at the people that have R/C or model versions of their full-size cars sitting on or near their cars.

The issue of getting people into the sport is moot if big race organizers can't get spectators to big races to see the excitement of top-level racing. Look at the on-road electric Worlds report in R/C Car for comments about how hidden the event was from the public.

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Old 12-17-2004, 04:47 AM   #75
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Default Re: PROTOform Stratus 3.0

[QUOTE]Originally posted by daleepp
[B] Some people like the "new look" BMWs in the showrooms, I think they suck!

I like to add that the Volvo S60 is a "Cab-forward" as well. At least thatīs whatīs my boss tells us....
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