1/8 scale Camaro - Monogram conversion

markbt73

Member
Hey all,

Been away for a while, after some internet issues... but now I have a new build brewing, and I'm trying to decide which way to go with it, so I'll go ahead and start a thread for it.

Last year, I had not one, but two lucky finds: I got these two 1/8 scale Monogram Chevy Camaro kits for cheap. One was $30 and one was $60.

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IMG_20200725_131828244.jpg


The boxes were both toast; the red one was in a flood and the black one had been started (badly) and thrown in someone's attic for years. But the kits are in fine shape. The red one is complete and near-perfect; it will get built as a static model eventually. But the black one, the "glue bomb," needs some help.

IMG_20210201_081550054.jpg


So why not repair it, and build it up as an RC model?

Current thinking is to use the last few remaining useable pieces of my old trusty Tamiya CC01. The width is close, and that way I can easily get a live axle on links, and an independent front end (but no front driveline), and hex hubs all around. I think I'm going to try modifying/strengthening the kit's floor pan and frame to hold the axle, make a new front subframe for the suspension, and hide the motor inside the kit engine. Probably just a little 380; this thing will be fragile, so I want it to look fast, but not actually be fast.

IMG_20210201_081842157.jpg


Leaning towards an 80s pro-street look, maybe with some of the new drag tires made for the Slash or DR10. Need to see if they'll fit. Something like this, I think...

8896288581_89c1bf5f57_z.jpg


I'm just starting this one, and I'm not 100% set on what I'm going to do, so if anyone has any suggestions or ideas, I'm all ears.
 

JunkGTZ

Supporting Member
Already a fan! I've done two builds using basket case Monogram bodies. I didn't have their chassis to work with, just the shells and my chassis was a home built I had some other bodies for so I ended up shortening the wheelbase on the Monogram bodies to fit rather than building a new chassis. I sometimes wish I built a new chassis because shortening the bodies was a huge chore.

A 65 Vette as a more modern FIA GT.
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A 63 E Type as a speedster.
fullsizeoutput_3e7.jpeg

A Camaro build similar to what you're planning:
https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc...3-custom-built-1-8-scale-electric-camaro.html

Looking forward to seeing where you take it.
 

joe122

Well-known member
What a steal!!!! You were so lucky to find not just one but TWO kits for cheap!!! Been looking for some time for the Z-28 cars. You will have fun with this build, Pro-Street is a great direction IMO. I used a 1/8 scale Monogram basket case half started '65 Vette body for a Pro-Mod build a while back, very fun build, was on a scratch made tube chassis. Looking forward to this build!!!IMG_3942.jpg
 

markbt73

Member
Thanks guys. Some great-looking builds you've both got there! And JunkGTZ - I have one of those Jag kits, too, but it's stayiing in the box for a good long while yet.

I built one of the '82 Z28 kits when I was about 11 years old, and I had thoughts of converting it to RC then. But I think that one will get built up as a static model, strictly a display piece.

BTW, are my photos showing up OK for everyone else? I noticed last night that they weren't loading on my phone.

Edit: Shoot! Now they're not loading for me again. I'll try hosting them elsewhere. Stupid Google.
 

Lem

Member
These 1/8 bodies look very nice. 1st photo isnt showing for me, the rest is visible for me.
 

JunkGTZ

Supporting Member
Thanks guys. Some great-looking builds you've both got there! And JunkGTZ - I have one of those Jag kits, too, but it's stayiing in the box for a good long while yet.

I built one of the '82 Z28 kits when I was about 11 years old, and I had thoughts of converting it to RC then. But I think that one will get built up as a static model, strictly a display piece.

BTW, are my photos showing up OK for everyone else? I noticed last night that they weren't loading on my phone.

Edit: Shoot! Now they're not loading for me again. I'll try hosting them elsewhere. Stupid Google.


Haven't seen your photos other than the real life Camaro shot you posted. Try reducing the photos to an 800 X 600 pixel size. If they are much over 1 MB they don't load easily, and anything larger than 2 just stalls out.
 

markbt73

Member
Haven't seen your photos other than the real life Camaro shot you posted. Try reducing the photos to an 800 X 600 pixel size. If they are much over 1 MB they don't load easily, and anything larger than 2 just stalls out.

They are 800x600, and somewhere around 200k. Google is just apparently not the way to host them any more (still mad at them for killing off Picasa, that worked so well). And I axed my Flickr account after getting hacked twice. I'm working on another hosting solution, and I'll edit the original post once I get everything set up.
 

JunkGTZ

Supporting Member
They are 800x600, and somewhere around 200k. Google is just apparently not the way to host them any more (still mad at them for killing off Picasa, that worked so well). And I axed my Flickr account after getting hacked twice. I'm working on another hosting solution, and I'll edit the original post once I get everything set up.

Since you are a member on this site you should be able to upload but one of the moderators can weigh in and say for sure. I think you have to pay for a subscription to upload to the site directly. Otherwise it's 3rd party hosting. Photobucket was the most common but then they decided not to allow their site to be used for as the 3rd party host.
 

markbt73

Member
OK, image problem all better now.

Did a little playing around with it yesterday, just to get a feel for tire sizes. Here it is propped up on some old Duratrax 2.2 street tires, and Tamiya Wild One fronts. Looks about right...

IMG_20210203_171122978.jpg


I also made a template for the wheelbase/width/centerline to start playing with chassis components. Current thinking is the Tamiya CC01 rear axle, with Associated 10L front suspension.

IMG_20210203_171136320.jpg


I've been looking at images of pro street Camaros online and trying to decide how to go about this. I suppose I could actually "back half" the plastic Monogram chassis using styrene; it would be strong enough for the sort of gentle exhibition running I have in mind for this. Next big question: cut open the doors, or not?
 

markbt73

Member
So I was all set to build this as a drag car, and then, while looking for reference photos, I found this:

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and this:

attachment.php


and a whole bunch more like it. I knew about the Pro Touring thing; I didn't know it had gotten into cars as new as 3rd generation Camaros. And I absolutely love it. Pro Touring is more my style anyway; I prefer going fast around corners to going fast in a straight line.

So I'm re-thinking this. And I think I'm going to end up losing the scale undercarriage, at least for now. My current thinking is an RC10 rear suspension/gearbox, with the on-road Dynamic Struc front end, on a custom chassis plate. I'll keep the chassis separate and removable from the body/interior tub, so I can maybe make a different, more scale-accurate, chassis for it in the future. But I know me, and I need to keep my plans simple and achievable, and this is a whole lot easier than trying to make a live axle work.

And it looks like the RC10 parts will work just fine...

IMG_20210206_092913829.jpg


IMG_20210206_093014064.jpg


Wheels and tires are yet to be decided, but I'm leaning towards the old HPI Super RS4/ Kyosho Super Ten size. Probably black wheels. The paint is going to be silver, with the IROC decals, and the interior will still be red.
 

JunkGTZ

Supporting Member
So I was all set to build this as a drag car, and then, while looking for reference photos, I found this:

24962320130_large.jpg


and this:

attachment.php


and a whole bunch more like it. I knew about the Pro Touring thing; I didn't know it had gotten into cars as new as 3rd generation Camaros. And I absolutely love it. Pro Touring is more my style anyway; I prefer going fast around corners to going fast in a straight line.

So I'm re-thinking this. And I think I'm going to end up losing the scale undercarriage, at least for now. My current thinking is an RC10 rear suspension/gearbox, with the on-road Dynamic Struc front end, on a custom chassis plate. I'll keep the chassis separate and removable from the body/interior tub, so I can maybe make a different, more scale-accurate, chassis for it in the future. But I know me, and I need to keep my plans simple and achievable, and this is a whole lot easier than trying to make a live axle work.

And it looks like the RC10 parts will work just fine...

IMG_20210206_092913829.jpg


IMG_20210206_093014064.jpg


Wheels and tires are yet to be decided, but I'm leaning towards the old HPI Super RS4/ Kyosho Super Ten size. Probably black wheels. The paint is going to be silver, with the IROC decals, and the interior will still be red.

With regard to wheels and tires, Kyosho Superten rims offer more options but tend to be more expensive. Super RS4 rims are a bit harder to find but less expensive and only offer 2 choices - the star pattern and the BBS Style multi spoke rims. Tires is another problem if you are looking for the HPI tires. Those are really hard to find. Thankfully these two options fit:

They are both for slicks, but Customworks also makes a treaded version though it looks more like a rain or rally tire.
This is the link to the slick for a 2.2 Rim w 12mm hex.
https://www.customworksrc.com/product/rear-slick-tires-std-compound/


https://traxxas.com/products/parts/3470

These are slightly wider, but do fit the rims quite well. The sidewall extends out a bit. I have these on the rear of my cars with HPI Super RS4 tires on the front, but those will have to be replaced before long and the Customworks will be my replacement tires for the front.

Good luck with the rims and tires.
 

markbt73

Member
With regard to wheels and tires, Kyosho Superten rims offer more options but tend to be more expensive. Super RS4 rims are a bit harder to find but less expensive and only offer 2 choices - the star pattern and the BBS Style multi spoke rims. Tires is another problem if you are looking for the HPI tires. Those are really hard to find. Thankfully these two options fit:

They are both for slicks, but Customworks also makes a treaded version though it looks more like a rain or rally tire.
This is the link to the slick for a 2.2 Rim w 12mm hex.
https://www.customworksrc.com/product/rear-slick-tires-std-compound/


https://traxxas.com/products/parts/3470

These are slightly wider, but do fit the rims quite well. The sidewall extends out a bit. I have these on the rear of my cars with HPI Super RS4 tires on the front, but those will have to be replaced before long and the Customworks will be my replacement tires for the front.

Good luck with the rims and tires.

Thanks for the info! If I had a bit more money to play with, I'd get these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/vitage-kyosho-1-8-superten-super-10-alloy-wheels-set-D-type/333520804127?hash=item4da763991f:g:BeMAAOSwTz1eTg0F

...but then I'd still have to figure out tires...

I think I may have one more trick up my sleeve as well: I have an old set of foams for the RC10 that are worn down but still in decent shape. I might look into gluing some rubber tires over the foam. The cool thing about these is that the wheels are just about exactly the right size to use the outer half of the kit wheels as "hubcaps," so I could have scale-looking IROC 5-spokes. (It would also save me the trouble of switching everything over to 12mm hex.)
 

JunkGTZ

Supporting Member
Thanks for the info! If I had a bit more money to play with, I'd get these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/vitage-kyosho-1-8-superten-super-10-alloy-wheels-set-D-type/333520804127?hash=item4da763991f:g:BeMAAOSwTz1eTg0F

...but then I'd still have to figure out tires...

I think I may have one more trick up my sleeve as well: I have an old set of foams for the RC10 that are worn down but still in decent shape. I might look into gluing some rubber tires over the foam. The cool thing about these is that the wheels are just about exactly the right size to use the outer half of the kit wheels as "hubcaps," so I could have scale-looking IROC 5-spokes. (It would also save me the trouble of switching everything over to 12mm hex.)

I saw those rims when I was looking for replacements too and I believe they are the right size, but the money was too much for my budget as well. Sounds like you have a workable plan there nonetheless.
 

markbt73

Member
So I cut out a flat plate chassis for this thing, from Alupanel (PVC sheet with .010 aluminum skin on both sides) and bolted up the RC10 parts. Looks pretty good...

IMG_20210207_162821876.jpg


...and everything lines up, except that the gearbox doesn't clear the bottom of the interior tub.

IMG_20210207_162929763.jpg


It needs to sit about half an inch lower.

So now my deilemma is: do I cut up the back of the interior tub, or try to come up with a different gearbox? Gotta ponder that one a while...
 

JunkGTZ

Supporting Member
I am curious as to how stiff the chassis deck material is and where you get it. Is this an aluminum skinned Sintra panel? Where do you find something like that?

Since you are doing an interior it does make things harder. I didn't attempt that with mine as it was going to complicate something that was already pushing my build skills. Looking good.
 

markbt73

Member
I am curious as to how stiff the chassis deck material is and where you get it. Is this an aluminum skinned Sintra panel? Where do you find something like that?

Since you are doing an interior it does make things harder. I didn't attempt that with mine as it was going to complicate something that was already pushing my build skills. Looking good.

Thanks! It's aluminum skinned rigid PVC, so much stiffer and stronger than Sintra, which is expanded/foamed PVC. Sold under a few trade names: Alupanel, Dibond, some others. It's a common building material for wall cladding, and also widely used for signs. I work for a sign company, and we often have yards of scraps of the stuff. It's quite rigid, and very lightweight. I'm not sure I'd trust it for a chassis that gets a lot of use/abuse, but it's strong enough for this.

I've managed to get everything sitting where I want it, I think, without having to cut into the interior. Working on body mounts now.
 

joe122

Well-known member
Very cool project!!! I do know that you can reverse the mounting position of a Traxxas Slash motor/trans mount, you may be able to do the same with the Associated unit. Rotating the rear assembly would place the "gold" trans/motor mount clear of the back obstruction. Then just use a reverse rotation motor.
 
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