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Old 2018.02.11, 01:15 AM   #1
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It's been a while, but I'm gettin' the itch again.

When I was last in the scene, the Overlands were hot stuff, the MR-02 had just come out, and everything was hunky dory. I floated off in other directions for a few years, find the RC bug biting hard, and pop back over to the Mini-Z section on eBay.

To my dismay, the Overland...my personal favorite of the whole lineup...was all but unheard of! And the prices. Hoo-lee the prices. 250-300 bucks for these things now! Yeesh, they were a third that when I first found them. And now there's competitors! Quite appealing ones, too, at least for on-road cars.


Toss me the cliff notes, if you would! Key points on my mind:

* Radio. 2.4g is nice, yes, but I put my models on a Spektrum DX-6i and I'd like to do so with a Mini-Z. How feasible is it to rig a small park flyer receiver to one of these things? I've already got one that's small enough for the task...it's in a 1/35th M88A1 ARV I turned into an RC...so no problem finding them.

* 2s life/lipo packs plausible? 4xAAA NiMH was my go-to back then and I had fine runtimes on the Overland and the MR-01 with that(Somewhere around an hour with a plastic shell).

* Overlands. Can I even get one anymore?

* They finally figure out the magic of the servo saver?

* Still possible to extend them? One of my favorite aspects of the Mini-Z platform back in the day was custom bodies, indeed I had a die-cast Dodge Ram 1500 body on my Overland way back when, and it's something I'd for sure do again.

* For on-roads...possible to lift them up a bit, make 'em more of a rally car than a touring car?
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Old 2018.02.11, 10:33 PM   #2
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Welcome back to RC. Im stepping back into it as well. Havent fully caught back up, but heres a few answers to some of the questions.

2s LiFe is doable, the current is relatively low, so there isnt much punch but the the rpm is there due to the voltage. 2s LiPo on a brushed car is just too fast. Even a 70t is equally fast to the fastest AAA modified car. With low speed brushless, like a 3500kv, speeds are much more manageable on the 2wd platform. AWD, a 5000 pretty much nails the sweet spot. The motors just arent quite ready for 2s LiPo at the moment.

My opinion would be that 1s would be the better option for power at this scale, but would need a voltage booster for the servo speed unless you can find a decent low priced 1s receiver with booster built in. On an AWD platform, it can handle 2s, but 2wd its a little too fast in its tamest form without reducing power.

As far as receivers, PN has a mini-z PCB that is Spektrum, but designated for 4xAAA. The extent of its compatibility is unknown to me, so some reasearch would be needed. If going with a seperate RX, there are good micro brushless ESCs available, just need to figure out the wiring to servo.

The overlands faded quite a bit over the years. I had three at one point, and enjoyed them in the house where I couldnt run my racers. The Mini-Z buggy is fun, but expensive to hop up if looking to throw a lot of power into it.

The servo saver works well. I build my cars with one alloy servo gear from the start, but rarely need to open the servo after a lot of mileage on the cars.

The MR03 can be extended, but custom t-plates are needed. As for a buggy, not really without a custom chassis.

Cant really lift the racers... bigger wheels would be the only real way to do it, and you wouldnt be going up that much.

What are you looking to do with the car/truck? Race track, obstacles/crawling, tinkering? The cars now are 2wd racer (MR-03), AWD MA-020, and new FWD MA-03F. If you are not running on a track, I would suggest the latter, as it would be much easier to lengthen a FWD than an AWD if you wanted to fit a custom body. You still wouldnt be able to get much ride height out of the cars, so I wouldnt recommend them for street use.

My opinion, is that if you plan to go with 2s lipo, a seperate RX and PCB, the Mini-Z may not be the best option. It takes a while to convert the car, and then its just too fast for this scale, and too small to use on the street. The Monsters were perfect for that. If you are not looking for speed, but want Lipo, a 1s config would be better.

If you want to get the Mini-z, and swap out the electronics, you may have a difficult time fitting it all in there on the racers, where the AWD and FWD you can more easily mount them on top. The buggy would need more custom work for LiPo, but can run the Lion AAA with swapping the wiring to parallel and modifying the contacts.
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Old 2018.02.11, 11:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMU View Post
Welcome back to RC. Im stepping back into it as well. Havent fully caught back up, but heres a few answers to some of the questions.

2s LiFe is doable, the current is relatively low, so there isnt much punch but the the rpm is there due to the voltage. 2s LiPo on a brushed car is just too fast. Even a 70t is equally fast to the fastest AAA modified car. With low speed brushless, like a 3500kv, speeds are much more manageable on the 2wd platform. AWD, a 5000 pretty much nails the sweet spot. The motors just arent quite ready for 2s LiPo at the moment.
Whole reason I brought up LiFe instead of LiPo is the nominal voltage of 2s pack is more or less equal to a set of alkaline triple-A's, so I won't have to worry about the car being excessively fast or melting FETs/brushes while having all the other advantages of a lithium battery. Already run LiFe receiver packs in my 1/10 nitro models so I have a suitable charger. 2s LiFe should give me the same speed, punch as Duracells without the downsides of Duracells, hence my desire to use them.

I don't much plan on running brushless. For what I'm doing the factory brushed motor is more than peppy enough. If the car I choose comes factory BL, sweet, if not no bigs.


Quote:
As far as receivers, PN has a mini-z PCB that is Spektrum, but designated for 4xAAA.
I'll check it out. IIRC, Spektrum air radios don't like to bind to Spektrum ground receivers...whole reason I'm using park flyer receivers in my other models...so it may be a bit of a gamble to grab that. Might actually be jumping ship to Futaba here soon, tho, the 6J is a lovely looking radio with more model memory, more tuning options than my aging DX-6i, better sized to my hands(Holy hell the DX-6i is HUGE), and car receivers will bind fine with air radios over there.

I wonder if the stock boards in the 2.4g Mini-Z's will bind to Futaba radios...

Quote:
If going with a seperate RX, there are good micro brushless ESCs available, just need to figure out the wiring to servo.
Yah, it's always been that funky four wire servo that's been a problem with these little things. Shame Kyosho didn't go for a 3-wire, it'd be piss easy to connect to aftermarket receivers then.

Quote:
The overlands faded quite a bit over the years. I had three at one point, and enjoyed them in the house where I couldnt run my racers. The Mini-Z buggy is fun, but expensive to hop up if looking to throw a lot of power into it.
Mm. The Overlands are probably the best fit for what I'm doing(More detail below, since you did ask about that). Shame they faded but I do still see two of them on eBay. Neither body option really appeals to me but that's nothing a little hacking around with plastic models won't fix. Just gotta find one close enough in wheelbase. My old custom body from 15+ years ago is still on the forum, seems shortbed halfton pickups fit the Overland pretty well.

Quote:
The servo saver works well. I build my cars with one alloy servo gear from the start, but rarely need to open the servo after a lot of mileage on the cars.
That's wonderful. The MR-01s never had one at all and it was always reported NEVER RUN WITHOUT THE SHELL, even then, people still cracked servo gears from hitting pebbles or other similar things with them, or sliding into the baseboards with the wheels cranked hard over. I never had that problem with my overland, don't remember if it had a saver or not. Think it did.
Quote:

The MR03 can be extended, but custom t-plates are needed.
Ahh, good, no different than the old MR-01's for that.
Quote:
As for a buggy, not really without a custom chassis.
I've eyeballed these and, honestly, some of the replicas of classic 1/10 buggies look too awesome as-is for me to want to extend them and mount a custom shell on. If I go that route I'll probably be fine with the existing look.

What about the AWD cars? I'd be fine with losing front drive...most likely I'd be putting a muscle car body on it anyway...if they're too much of a pain to extend I'll prolly just go with a RWD if I go with a racer.

Quote:
Cant really lift the racers... bigger wheels would be the only real way to do it, and you wouldnt be going up that much.
Mmm, I see.

Quote:

What are you looking to do with the car/truck? Race track, obstacles/crawling, tinkering? The cars now are 2wd racer (MR-03), AWD MA-020, and new FWD MA-03F. If you are not running on a track, I would suggest the latter, as it would be much easier to lengthen a FWD than an AWD if you wanted to fit a custom body. You still wouldnt be able to get much ride height out of the cars, so I wouldnt recommend them for street use.

40% chasing my cat around the kitchen
20% bumbling around in my carport(It has a roughly textured, but smooth concrete surface)
20% bumbling around on my bed/the carpeted hallway
20% light offroading(But only if I get an Overland or a Buggy, otherwise just roll this 20% into chasing the cat I'm not gonna take one of the cars into the dirt).


I didn't know they had a front drive mini-Z. Been browsing ebay and I've seen plenty of MR03's, MA-020s, a few H2 and G-wagen Overlands, a smattering of F1 cars, and....surprisingly enough, quite a sizeable chunk of mint-in-sealed-box MR-01 chassis complete with that lovely looking KT-2 radio. And these are the most affordable ones there for some bizarre reason. But I haven't seen a single front-drive Z on eBay.

Almost makes me wonder, since I'd be using aftermarket electronics anyway, if I could put the motor pod from an MR01/03 on the arse end of an FWD and have a twin motor AWD Z!

Quote:
My opinion, is that if you plan to go with 2s lipo, a seperate RX and PCB, the Mini-Z may not be the best option.
I have looked into competitors. Atomic Racing, in particular, for cars, and the Orlandoo micro-crawlers have caught my eye. But there's just something that keeps drawing me back to the Mini-Z platform. Nostalgia, maybe? The custom bodies? IT is muuuuuch easier to extend the MR-01 and MR-03 platforms than the AMZ cars, and the Orlandoo crawlers are 1/35th, which makes putting custom bodies on them a bit trickier. Not impossible, but trickier, and limited mostly to those old Toyota technicals you see on war news broadcasts and other military-related static models.

I've pondered XMods as well. They regularly go for a fraction what a Mini-Z does, and I had one of these back in the day too. But with RS having gone under, there's no way in hell I'm getting spares for the thing, and it's just nowhere near as well built besides.
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Last edited by 379; 2018.02.11 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 2018.02.12, 12:38 AM   #4
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...I just went perusing Kyosho's website looking for the MA-03F. Had to search to find it, not even listed in the normal categories yet, but I did find it. Rather disappointing selection of Auto-Scale bodies for it, but the chassis is a fascinating little thing, and I'm sure I could find something fun to put over it from the plastic model section.

I also found a very compelling argument for an MR03 chassis. As I'm quite a fan of the cars they run in NASCAR(If not the rules governing the racing...), this is...mm, yes, a VERY powerful argument in favor of an MR03. Or even an MR-01, and it might be easier to run the MR-01 with a stick radio as it's AM. I could just buy up an old Futaba 2DR in 27mhz and it'd work perfectly.
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Old 2018.02.12, 06:57 AM   #5
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The Nascar side of Miniz is pretty small, only two cars as I recall were released (Harvcik's Monte Carlo SS 06) and a Ford Taurus (Carl Edwards 05).

There were white bodies but they are damn hard to find now. At least with the white bodies you could paint up some other cars.

Miniz really takes after European/Asian Motorsport (Miniz actually got me into watching SuperGT and other series).

---

The Overlands never had 4 wheel drive so they never got anywhere. Too bad, in this day and age of RC Crawlers being so popular, a scale Overland with proper 4x4 and better suspension would be a great addition.

---

The other side of this hobby is the "3D Printing". It's "all the rage" now. Just go look at shapeways. At least half the cars at my local track are custom builds that are 3D printed.

I'm surprised someone hasn't 3D printed a Mini-Z crawler that uses the Overland bodies.

---

Team Associated now has two 1/28's out, a Short Course truck and their iconic RC10 buggy. However no idea of build quality and likely far short of a Miniz.

Cheers
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Old 2018.02.12, 07:12 AM   #6
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I went ahead and bought the stock car bodies. At that price it's a steal and, even if I don't end up with a running chassis to mount them to, I'll have a lovely little display piece. And if I ever decide to paint my own livery, I'll just strip one of the painted ones. Probably the Ford since I'm more of a Ford guy and that livery looks worse than the Chevy one to my eye.


I think I might actually be getting one of each. Kyosho listed the Taurus body as well, but it was unavailable to buy and had some glitchy text saying 'Buy the Harvick shell get this one free' in its description. I'll find out in a day or three.

I'll definitely poke Shapeways. I'm no stranger to that lot, they've supplied a lot of goodies for my N scale model railroad.
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Old 2018.02.13, 01:53 AM   #7
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Hmm... if I'm not mistaken kyosho came out with a 2.4ghz asf overland variant...
I also remember seeing pics and a video a looong time ago of a rally body put on a overland. It was a really good job too. If I remember correctly it was an Audi Quattro rally body... I will try to do a search... welcome back...

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Old 2018.02.14, 12:22 PM   #8
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Yeah, all the Overlands I see on eBay these days are 2.4g.


I got my order from Kyosho in. Only got the #29, oh well, still an absolute steal. And holy *$(%ing $*%( is it gorgeous. I'm....almost hesitant to actually run it lest I chip the paint on it. This thing's practically a museum quality model.
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