When you have a passion for a particular make of vehicle you tend to look for anything that relates to that. I have a few radio control cars at home. One of them is the HPI Crawler King with a Defender 90 pick-up body. It works well, looks pretty good, but it is no-where near what is the real thing.
Fortunately for us, Land Rover lovers, a couple of recent developments in the RC world are going to help us and this is the first article that will cover the build of a -hopefully- good looking 1/10-scale Defender 90.
I found a detailled hardbody (ABS plastic, as opposed to Lexan) bodyshell of a Defender 90 that is coming from China . This body is originally fitted to a ready to run toy over there, but people are selling it on its own for our great benefit.
It is a right hand drive (perfect for a vehicle that was born in Britain), 6 seaters, Defender 90 station wagon with air-conditioning. I have not managed, as yet, to work out the exact trim or the exact model year !!!
This body came in white, with black interior and chrome add-ons (like grills, door handles, fuel cap.). You can also find it in other colors. I saw it in black and red.
Length : 450 mm
Width : 205 mm (exclude side mirrors)
Height : 165 mm
Wheelbase : 275 mm
Is suitable for the following chassis with modifications or any custom-built crawler project :
Tamiya Ford F350 High-Lift, Tamiya Toyota Hilux High Lift, Tamiya Toyota Tundra Highlift, Tamiya Toyota 4x4 Pick Up, Tamiya Blazing Blazer 4x4, Tamiya Toyota 4x4 Pick Up Bruiser, Tamiya Toyota 4x4 Pick Up Mountaineer
Tamiya CC01 / CC-01 chassis :
Mitsubishi Pajero Metal Top Wide,
Jeep Wrangler, Isuzu MU, Isuzu MU Type X, Honda CR-V , Volkswagen Race-Touareg, Toyota Land Cruiser 40
Tamiya CR01 / CR-01 chassis :
Toyota Land Cruiser 40, Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 Series U900, Jeep Wrangler
Tamiya TA01 / TA-01 based off road vehcile :
M1025 Hummer, JGSDF Light Armored Vehicle,
Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia 2007 (DF01 / DF-01)
It is also almost perfect for an Axial chassis with a bit of modification but is absolutely perfect for the RC4WD Gelande 1/10 scale truck kit that was developped especially for this body.
As it is a white body without any glass or add-ons , it is very easy to paint it in the color you want, or if you like white Land Rover, just leave it as is.
I painted the grills in black to make it more Land Rover-like. I am not fan of chrome bling on a Defender (or any other vehicle). I will also have to paint the wheel arches.
The interior is made of only a hanful of pieces and can be built in a matter of minutes.
Building the shell did not take more than one hour, and was just a matter of gluing the windows, interior parts and grills, wipers, mirrors. The windscreen elements is attached to the front airvents, so you will have to paint that to make it real.
The picture below shows the status of the build after 15min (excluding paint for the grills). As you can see the windscreen needs to be painted. You can also paint the windows surround for better effect.
Some of the fitting could be a little bit more exact, however (a) it is the only bodyshell on the market that properly look like a Defender, and (b) at this cost (see below) you cannot ask for more.
The next phase will be to find a chassis for it and some good looking 1.9 size wheels and tires to go with it.
What I like:
- details: the only trully detailled Land Rover bodyshell on the market
- size: can fit a wide range of chassis
- price: hard to beat
What I did not like:
- Not enough to mention
What could be improved:
- better quality stickers: they don't stick very well
- build instructions: even if there is not much to do
So..... if, like me, you want to build a great looking Defender, this is the bodyshell to use. And if, again like me, this is your first build and you are making a mess of it or you want to make it even better, it's cheap enough for you to get another one !!!