SLIGHTLY ALTERED – Recreating A 1993 RCCA Reader’s Ride Tamiya Clod Buster

SLIGHTLY ALTERED – Recreating A 1993 RCCA Reader’s Ride Tamiya Clod Buster

On the younger age of about 9, my stepdad Jeff got here dwelling from work sooner or later with a few milk crates crammed with RC Automotive Motion (RCCA) magazines from his pal “Tiny” at work. Tiny, very like my stepfather and I, was into RC, and even had an unique Tamiya Hilux 3-speed truck. Tiny handed the magazines onto me to take a look at and I spent what could be a number of days studying via all of them.

On the time, one among my favourite sections was the “Readers Rides” division. I seen that inside these points from the early 90s, there have been fairly a number of customized Tamiya Clod Busters submitted. A specific truck that stood out to me was known as “Barely Altered,” a Clod constructed by Tom Faircloth of Longmont, Colorado that was featured in RCCA’s March 1993 problem.

Recreating A 1993 RCCA Reader’s Ride Tamiya Clod Buster

Pure Nostalgia

This truck particularly actually stood out to me, it was the epitome of a late 80s, early 90s “Jamboree” fashion present truck. It had a scratch constructed cowl, induction hood, a Lund visor and fastback (all constituted of plastic styrene). It was additionally fitted with Sees Precision Machining aluminum wheels and high-end (for the time) electronics corresponding to a Novak 610 Velocity controller and Trinity matched Insanity motors had been simply a few of these extra prime grade goodies. I keep in mind considering to myself, “man I want there have been extra pics of this truck”.
Quick ahead 25 years later to 2018, I’m feeling nostalgic and going via some outdated problems with RCCA. As I strategy the Readers Rides part of the March 1993 problem, I see “Barely Altered” once more. As this level, I’m in full swing of constructing old style fashion Clods myself, however I couldn’t assist however assume to myself “The place is that this truck now?” Does it nonetheless exist in a set? Has to been offered or traded? Or is it simply gone for good?

The original “Slightly Altered” Clod Buster was built by Tom Faircloth of Longmont, Colorado and was featured in RCCA’s March 1993 issue Readers’ Rides.

Happily, we now reside in an period the place you’ll find the reply to absolutely anything on the web, in a YouTube video, or different social media platforms. This acquired me considering and a fast title search into Fb revealed solely a handful of Tom Faircloths from Colorado. Now I do know what you’re considering… “Bro…that’s some stalker stuff,” however is it? I used to be actually simply curious if the Clod nonetheless existed and if it did, extra importantly, is it on the market?
After a number of clicks I seen one profile of a “Tom” which seemed to be a “automobile man” and thought to myself, “I’m into RC vans and I’m additionally a 1:1 automobile/truck man”. I figured if it had been to be the Tom who constructed the Clod, it could be him. A fast message revealed a relatively speedy reply, which said, “Sure, I nonetheless have the shell however not the chassis.” At this level, I’ll admit, I used to be past stoked…my “detective work” (if we’ll name it that) paid off! I continued the dialog with Tom and struck a deal to purchase the physique. The physique was actually the middle of the construct and I knew I may re-create the truck again to its unique glory as soon as I had it. A few week later, the physique confirmed up, completely packed, and in good situation; in actual fact, it appeared even higher than it did on the Readers Trip image. Now it was time to get to work

Recreating A 1993 RCCA Reader’s Ride Tamiya Clod Buster

The author not only recreated the Clod Buster, but recreated a photo originally taken in 1993 too. (The 1993 image is above.) The handsome looking pair still look fantastic today.

The writer not solely recreated the Clod Buster, however recreated a photograph initially taken in 1993 too. (The 1993 picture is above.) The good-looking trying pair nonetheless look implausible in the present day.


Tom’s truck featured a inventory Tamiya Clod Buster chassis however was labored up with some goodies. I sourced an excellent situation ESP Clodzilla heart chassis brace and handled it to shine work on the buffer wheel. This truck additionally had a SWB 4 hyperlink package from ESP Clodzilla as properly however these explicit hyperlinks aren’t as fashionable because the LWB variant from the later mannequin Clodzilla conversions. I made a decision to go along with some CPE hyperlinks and polished them up as properly.

For shocks, it wasn’t clear which of them had been initially on the truck and Tom didn’t recall the precise ones apart from that they had been aftermarket aluminum ones. I needed to spend some massive bucks and sourced a set of classic Trinity Energy Plus shocks. These explicit ones got here with a gold anodized end and those within the pic seemed to be both uncooked or polished aluminum so I sanded off the anodized end after which polished the shocks to a mirror end. To be able to maintain them our bodies gleaming I opted to assemble the shocks with inside springs.

The body used on the new replica build is actually the original from the 1993 Slightly Altered build.

The physique used on the brand new duplicate construct is definitely the unique from the 1993 Barely Altered construct.

The original “stainless” style scratch-built wing and bedliner are unique pieces that make this Clod really stand out.

The unique “stainless” fashion scratch-built wing and bedliner are distinctive items that make this Clod actually stand out.

The wheels and tires that had been on Tom’s truck have lengthy been discontinued; very like most of the aftermarket elements it possessed. Happily, I had a set of Sees Precision Machining wheels in my assortment. They had been a bit tough however after some work with scotch brilliant and Mom’s Polish utilizing a Energy Ball and drill I used to be in a position to receive an excellent shine. I then sourced a mint set of Duratrax V Spike tires from eBay and acquired them wrapped across the Sees wheels and secured the combo with Sees Knock Off nuts.

The axles on Tom’s unique truck had been coloration matched to the blue on the physique, however as a result of lapse in time Tom wasn’t in a position to recall the colour used so I opted for brand spanking new Clod gear circumstances and left them of their pure Tamiya end and assembled them with ball bearings. Within the readers journey picture you may see the truck featured ESP aluminum tube gear case bumpers with non-obligatory skid, once more, not the best to seek out gadgets, particularly in good situation.
For these, I phoned longtime pal and Clod guru Dan Wyatt whom was glad to half with a mint set with a purpose to have the construct be as correct as attainable. I mounted them to some chrome manufacturing facility mounts much like these you’d have seen from CCP (Customized Chrome Elements) again within the day. I completed off the circumstances with aluminum polished steering hyperlinks from CPE and a lock out for the rear steering. The entrance steering retains the middle mount servo arrange however I changed the inventory bell crank servo saver with a discontinued aluminum unit from JPS Professional.

With Novak Racing having sadly closed their doorways after serving the RC neighborhood for many years, I knew discovering the 610 ESC was going to be a job. Not solely did I would like one for the interval correctness of the construct, I needed one which labored. 25-plus yr outdated working electronics aren’t all the time the best to seek out so one other telephone name to longtime pal Brian Martonick of House Coast Customs (previously The Paint Manufacturing facility) was an order. Not solely did Brian have a working ESC he additionally had the matched Trinity motor set to finish the construct. Amazingly his set included a reversed rotation motor that’s required for the Clod. I finishes off the electronics by binding it up my Spektrum radio, whereas not interval appropriate, I can’t run the chance of 90s AM/FM radio tech glitching out and sending the truck right into a curb or onto its roof.

Recreating A 1993 RCCA Reader’s Ride Tamiya Clod Buster

Recreating A 1993 RCCA Reader’s Ride Tamiya Clod Buster

The author painstakingly searched and scrounged for vintage parts to complete this build. He was able to source everything he needed with the help of some great friends.

The writer painstakingly searched and scrounged for classic elements to finish this construct. He was in a position to supply every thing he wanted with the assistance of some nice pals.

Whereas I needed to maintain the construct as correct because it was within the journal, I did add an extra couple of touches. I swapped out the inventory Clod Buster plastic chrome bumpers for a set of polished aluminum bumpers courtesy of Chatham CNC Machining. They preserve the inventory look however are a very nice machined aluminum and after some polish work on the buffer wheel they actually look the half. I topped off the entrance bumper with a classic Autographics license plate decal and registered it as “RCCA1993” to pay homage to the originality of the construct. I additionally added set of classic APM double tube nerf bars, which I believe flowed properly with the present truck look, and equipment it retains.

Re-creating “Barely Altered” wasn’t a simple job, with most of the elements being out of manufacturing and really pricey; this challenge constructed wasn’t low cost nor a breeze to drag off. Nonetheless, the completed product is nothing in need of superior and rewarding to have the ability to construct this time capsule construct again up. There are such a lot of nice touches to this construct, from the superb paint job, to the customized wing, and “stainless” fashion scratch constructed headlight covers and mattress liner, you actually should see the truck in individual to understand all of its particulars. Nonetheless one of the best half was gaining the data on the back-story in addition to a brand new on-line buddy. After finishing the truck I despatched photographs to Tom and he gave it the “thumbs up” approval and that’s priceless.

Recreating A 1993 RCCA Reader’s Ride Tamiya Clod Buster

The Interview
The perfect a part of discovering this physique and being to construct it again up was how cool the unique proprietor of “Barely Altered,” Tom Faircloth, was about the entire thing. He was fairly stoked to share the back-story of the construct, in addition to one other Clod Buster of his (which, I used to be additionally in a position to receive) and several other photographs of his mannequin constructing and paintwork. I performed an interview with Tom in regards to the truck; that is what he needed to say.

ML: How did the construct on “Barely Altered” start?
TF: I like issues which can be totally different. I had constructed a number of plastic fashions and with the (Clod) physique being plastic; I went into it no holds barred.

ML: Any particular challenges you may keep in mind when constructing it?
TF: Most likely attempting to get the truck to trace straight with the chassis set-up.

ML: What key options of this construct set it aside and had been most essential to you in the course of the construct?
TF: The ultimate look of the truck.

ML: Is there something you’d have completed totally different?
TF: Not likely, I used to be fairly proud of the way it turned out, although I used to be iffy in regards to the look 1 of the wing.

ML: I do know in our earlier discussions you had informed me that you simply offered the unique chassis of the truck with a customized painted lexan painted physique. What made you retain the unique “Barely Altered” physique all these years?
TF: I get hooked up to my creations. (lol) I don’t have an issue customized constructing or portray initiatives for others, however I’ve a tough time parting with my very own stuff.

Textual content and Photographs by Mike Lohmann

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