My Rock Crawler Is Smaller Than Yours!

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Hello RCTech users, and fellow RC enthusiasts. I’m Matt LeMay, and I’m new to writing on this RC forum. I hope by allowing me to show you what’s going on inside my odd little mind, you will somehow be entertained a little. For my first article, I’ve chosen a subject hopefully many of you can relate, 1/24 scale crawlers. If you’ve ever owned a 1/24 scale crawler, you know how much fun they can be!

I was sitting in my living room the other day and decided, hey, I’d like to take a little adventure across my couch cushions or climb over a pile of books. Now I’m sure I could have done this without an RC vehicle, but my wife would have probably had some concerns if she walked in on that. So, I decided to break out the mini crawler instead.

It’s true that these tiny crawlers don’t perform anywhere near as well as their larger counterparts but, if you have an imagination, you can come up with some really cool obstacles. I mean, throw down a scrunched up blanket and you’ve got a mini grand canyon. How cool is that? There is, however, one gripe I have with these little mechanical marvels. They all look similar. They look like toys. Well, duh! Of course they look like toys, they are toys. Let me explain further.

Have you ever looked at your 1/24 scale crawler and thought, Eh? The included polycarbonate bodies are great for covering the electronics and all, but you’ve really got to use your imagination to get any realism out of these things. So, why not put a realistic body on it? One that you can completely customize and have hundreds to choose from. 1/24 scale plastic models are the perfect choice! They look realistic, are completely customizable, and are fairly easy to alter to fit your mini crawler.

Here are some pictures of a couple of models I’ve experimented with, and though they’re not as good as I know some of you can do, I definitely get more enjoyment out of using my little crawler now. I’m sure some of you fellow hobbyists out there are absolutely amazing at building life like models and I am excited to possibly see your creations. So what do you say? Are you willing to give it a shot?

Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way while doing my first two bodies.

  1. A Dremel tool, or similar rotary tool, is a big time saver although you can use an x-acto knife and small file if you don’t have one.
  2. While model glue works great for building the overall model, a small hot glue gun is great for altering the model for a good fit.
  3. It’s OK to butcher your models interior so the body will fit low enough onto the crawler. If you look inside my VW bug, the seats were drastically shortened and there’s a big notch taken out of the center of them, but at least there’s some color where you expect to see it and it still adds “distant” realism.
  4. You can use the original unaltered body posts on your crawler, but you may find yourself drilling holes in the side of narrow bodies like the VW bug.
  5. Lastly. You can be as creative as you want to. I’ve seen some great creations where they used fire to melt the body and paint on some rust to give it battle scars. Your imagination is the only limit.

I’m sure many of you already have some of these laying around, add some pictures or links in the comments. We’d love to see them.

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About Author

I built my 1st real RC vehicle in 1986 and have enjoyed this hobby ever since. I like all RCs, cars, trucks, boats, planes, helis, etc. I think every RC vehicle has its place, whether it be toy grade or hobby grade. They’re all fun to me, but the best part about this hobby is the people I’ve met and friendships I’ve made. But hey, enough about me. Share your background in the comment section of this article.

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