Mrs.oOple ("Wife") decided to try her hand at Buggy Racing after attending nationals in 2005 and befriending the likes of Em Sheilds, Top Girl-Racer sponsored by Schumacher (not anymore since schumacher ditched off road - but hey).

This is just a brief run through of the process of building one of the best cars around, the Associated RC10 B4, to be suitable for an utterly clueless beginer ! (harsh, but fair- hehe).

My main focus was on making it easy to drive, so I set about building the car with this in mind.

The Car in question is the RC10 B4 Factory Team version, with the full graphite package it's actually not considered as easy to drive as the plastic team car. The plastic chassis being more forgiving. The car does however have lots of shiney alloy parts, and being a car for a girl - the looks are of upmost importance!

I assembled a who's who of top end components (!) in order to make the car as drivable as possible.

MOTOR: Mabuchi RS-540

ESC: Tamiya Teu 101 bk

SERVO: Futaba 3003



CELLS: Team Orion 2400

The Mabuchi motor and Tamiya Esc are from the new Tamiya Hornet kit. I chose the motor in particular for its smoothness, it's not rapid thats for sure, but easily enough for vicky.

You see a lot of beginners, and even experienced drivers, with far more power than they can handle, Not making that mistake here!.

Problems building the kit were few and far between, the rc10 B4 is a quality item. There was however a problem with all the silver ball studs in my kit, every one of them was incorrectly manufactured. The threads were not sharp enough or deep enough. Check the first photo on the left is the same ball stud from an early B4, on the right you can see the new one has a thinner shoulder, its not entirely clear but the threads are not enough. This basically meant you could screw them in all the way with your fingers. well, not quite all the way, since they had no grip they wouldnt sit flat.

Left: Old kit ball stud, Right: New Malformed threads on this -wont sit flat.

Luckily I had some spare ball studs so I wasnt held up, Otherwise I might have had to wait on replacements. I'm sure this is a rare thing, but something to watch out for if you have a new Kit to build. CML Distribution (Team Associated Distributor in the UK) from past experience are very quick and profesional in helping with problems like this, so it shouldn't really be a great concern.

The rear camber plate / brace is a revised item to what I've seen before, basically it's higher - giving the effect of using 2 washers under the ball studs, aparently this is what all the team drivers in the USA use as standard so its been built-in. I'm not very convinced by this, especially since I run 1 washer, I cant see how taking adjustments away is a good thing, just to save the cost of 4 spacers in the kit.

In order to slow the reactions of the car and make it easier to drive I decided to add a Lot of lead to the car. I popped into my local tyre place and aquired some stick-on lead. A long time ago, Mick Cragg modified a rear camber plate for me so it was possible to attach lead, I did the same with this this camber plate and added about 30g of lead under there.

Left: New camber plate, Right: original. Preparing the plate for some Lead

I also added lead to the chassis in the 2 rear triangles, 25g each side, and the front triangles - 5g each side. Altogether there's approximately 95g of lead in the car. If I had more lead, it would be in there!

The Mabuchi motor wouldnt fit through the motor plate, it was CLOSE but no chance. So I used a sanding drum on a Dremel and just ran it around the opening a few times until the motor fit through and was able to be moved back and forth easily. I could have used a metal file or nail file or anything, it really doesn't need a lot of material taking off.

I dropped the stock 81 tooth spur gear in favour of an optional 79 tooth item, this is more suited to the 540, it means I can gear the motor up more (bigger pinion) to give it a reasonable speed but very smooth and easy to drive.

The Tamiya TEU 101BK ESC Is supplied in many current Tamiya kits, It replaces the old 3-step mechanical controller. It's a very basic forward and reverse ESC without many features, I wouldn't want to try running much more than the Mabuchi it was designed for. The one "feature" that is useful is the ability to disable the reverse for racing, so you can brake without fear of accidently sticking it in reverse! It also means Mrs.oOple can use reverse when she's practicing. This combo is super easy to drive when geared up for half-decent speed.

Cells will be sanyo 2400, unmatched orion packs. I have a few of these left from when i started racing back in 2002, more than enough run time for the mabuchi.



The servo is a Standard 3003 Futaba, nothing fancy for sure, It would be a good idea to put in a metal gear servo as I imagine there might be the odd "incident". I will have to see how it does as I don't have anything better right now.

Thanks to Atomic Carbon I added some extra "bling" with their shiney new battery strap, its half the weight of even the carbon fibre Factory Team strap that comes in the kit. For this car, weight is not an issue ofcourse (all that lead!), But looks are important and this strap looks the business.


I wanted to do something a bit better than my usual "single can" paint, since this is Vickys car, and looks are more important than speed. So i designed some simple hearts and her name in Adobe Illustrator. I cut these on the plotter cutter to create paint masks, easier than doing it by hand it has to be said.

I airbrushed some shadow in the corners using a transparent grey paint by CREATEX, and used Iridescent Purple and Iridescent Pink CREATEX colours for the main shell colour. The hearts were shaded then white hilites were brushed on before the FASKOLOR Pearl Red.

I used a scalpel to cut the window edges from the window masks and painted the surrounds Iridescent Pink backed with white.

Vicky was rather pleased with the shell, It's definitely "girly" enough.

Test Session: we went to a very cold and deserted bury metro over christmas for a play, after I broke my zx5 being silly, vicky went out with her car on a very frosty and cold track.

With the lead in the back the car was understeering a little which is a lot easier to control than oversteer. Vicky had a brief run out until the cells went off. The track was icy and fairly slick but the now-heavy B4 dug in well and though the top speed was nothing to get excited about the car looked very stable and easy to drive.

There was even one point I had to look round to make sure neil cragg hadn't climbed the rostrum to take over !! .. No, I'm lying - but she did really well.

After a few meetings with the car, including 2 nationals there were a few things to tally up and note about the build.

The lead has done a great job of making the car very easy to drive, you only need to see it go round the track to see how planted it usually looks. Likewise the Mabuchi motor is smooth and reliable with a surprising amount of speed, the car is usually the slowest at any race (and the heaviest) but so easy to drive that through the tighter sections the faster cars end up slower.

Vicky at speed, at her first National (kidderminster)
Vicky got her photo in RRCI magazine!

The front suspension arms have been the main thing to go, with about 8 broken so far. I made a mistake when I used alloy screws for the front shock tower mounting - they may have looked cool, but these broke off and the car needed a new top plate.

The cheap servo didn't even last the first race, and was replaced by a metal geared Sanwa item. Since then, all has been well.

Apart from a steering arm breaking and a Ti Turnbuckle bending (we bent it back) the car has remained together well through all its many "incidents".

This isn't really a review of the B4 FT, nor is it a comprehensive build guide for the 'noobie' - merely a little write up on how I went about building a car that could be driven by someone who never really drove before.

Vicky competed in 7 Nationals in 2006, including the F345 Finals - admittedly finishing in the bottom final in all but the last National - the F345's, where she was genuinely quicker than several people!

The B4 held up well - at the time of starting this article, the B4 was THE best and strongest car for any one, especially the beginner - and this is probably still quite true. With the right setup the car can be made very controlable and easy to drive. Vicky will again be racing ALL the Nationals in the upcoming 2007 season - and hoping to claw her way out of those bottom finals!



Thanks to the following for their help writing this article: Vicky oOple, Paul Rotheram, David 'bathy' Mudford, Matt Benfield, CML, Jonathan Clarke / Atomic Carbon.


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all images, designs, texts and concepts copyright 2003-2005. All Rights Reserved. Jimmy Storey. rc(at)oople(dot)com.