Is there any merit in....

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Pete Mallett
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Is there any merit in....

Post by Pete Mallett » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:32 am

...Armortek producing a metal chassis and set of wheel hubs to replace those in the DML 1/6th Plastic Jeep Kit. A cheaper alternative to making a full vehicle and a solid way of making the DML Jeep a runner. I know some people have already RC'd one or two DML Jeeps but the kits, as they stand, don't appear to be to be robust enough to be properly RC'd. With a metal chassis, and wheel hubs, and an easy way to snap in a small battery and motor it might actually be a good cross-over point between the RC hobby and the 1/6th scale model builders? What do you think, would any of you be interested in replacing the chassis and wheel hubs on the DML Jeep kits you have sitting around? Would the Chassis and Wheel hubs be enough or would something else need to be added to make it the killer upgrade set? Answers on a Postcard please... :D
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Stephen White » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:43 am

Pete

Interesting idea but here are some things to consider:

- Is this consistent with being the "world's leading manufacturer or 1/6th scale metal model kits"? Association with a plastic model would be a departure from Armortek's current product base. Metal model kits with RC are at the high end of the market, whereas the plastic kits have a different appeal and therefore customer base. A hybrid product might compromise Armortek's considerable reputation in its niche market.

- As the global market leader in its field, Armortek might not benefit from association with Dragon, which is pulling out of one sixth and is therefore not a market leader.

- There is a commercial and design risk. Armortek has no control over the Dragon parts and therefore over the interface. Who would be responsible if a modeller claimed his new chassis didn't fit the old body?

- Armortek has a finite design and production capacity which is fully committed to Armortek products.

- The market for such a product would be dependent on sales of the Dragon product, which is of diminishing availability. Demand for such a product is untested.

Eisenhower claimed that the Jeep, the Dakota and the Higgins boat were the three tools that won the war. Certainly, the wartime SAS would have been less capable without it. Nevertheless, does it's appeal compare with armoured vehicles and towed artillery?

That said, innovation is clearly at the forefront of Armortek's offering, with the Bailey and Rolls and clearly an idea such as yours would open new markets. The more new ideas the better, Pete, although I'm sure Kian and the team don't want for inspiration.

Best regards as ever

Stephen

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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Robert Reid » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:22 pm

So much armour... so little time!

I know for sure, Stephen, your statement about Kian, Mark and the team "Not wanting for ideas" is very, very true!

Of course... for an entrepreneurial spirit... what's to stop someone from becoming the leading all-metal manufacturer of 1/6th Jeeps, Mutt's, Schwimmwagens, Kubelwagens, Seep's, Austin Champs, Hummv's, SAS Land Rovers... There is always room for another innovative, quality, highly-engineered and beautifully-executed... anything! And with the advent of the small, inexpensive home machining center... and inexpensive 'seats' of CAD software available for small users.... what's to stop anyone from doing their own one-off's or small runs.

I would add that one of the challenges that any company faces with some of these items... is copyright. Noone has a copyright on a Tiger Tank design... or a Panzer IV. American hardware is public domain, built under government contract. But start trying to make anything in the shape of a Jeep (which is not only a trademarked name and logo... it is a trademarked shape) and a bunch of lawyers from Fiat/Chrysler will be on you like a hobo on a ham sandwich.

Old tanks (especially those built by the losing side) don't come with trade-infringement headaches.

Cheers,

RPR

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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Pete Mallett » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:12 pm

Well Stephen, I'm not sure you actually answered my question there, which was "is there anyone here who'd be interested in such an offering?", but you certainly take the prize for smug arrogance, so well done there! I will say this though, Laurels do have a tendency to wilt over time and as such they do not make for a good bed upon which to rest! Otherwise IBM would still be the leading computer firm 21st Century would not have yielded the field to DML and lots more people would know the name of the UK-based RC tank supplier Armortek eclipsed.

Secondly, DML are not out of the 1/6th business. I have been known to exchange the odd email or two with the owners of DML (Freddie and his son Adrian) and they are adamant that they are not out of the business, merely taking a break whilst they let the market recover and they concentrate on different lines. Diversification is the key to any successful business. If DML were out of the 1/6th arena they would not continue to release 1/6th kits. This year they are offering a slight variation on the Sherman kit and the Jeep kit, again! As far as I know they have now released 7 different pre-built Jeeps, and at least four, maybe five, seperate runs of the Jeep Kit. That's a lot of jeeps out there! In fact the Jeep kit is the 1/6th model kit that DML have released the most copies of. It's small, it's popular and it appeals to 1/6th enthusiasts as well as straightforward plastic model kit builders - a few of who could possibly be encouraged to RC it (possibly), after all once it's been built and sat on the shelf a few years it sort of invites an upgrade or two!

As for Copyright infringement that only applies to the name 'Jeep', which is why DML make the most accurate Jeep model in 1/6th scale but actually market it as a 4 x 4 Truck. No-one can actually agree on who owns, or who designed, the original Jeep especially as it was designed under Government licence and by several different companies, all of whom added their own features. So making a chassis for a Jeep, well that'a might attract the odd copyright lawyer, but making a Chassis for a 4 x Truck, that's a whole different ball game!
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Armortek » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:06 pm

Let's keep it civil.
Kian
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Adrian Harris » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:37 pm

> would any of you be interested in replacing the chassis and wheel hubs on the DML Jeep kits you have sitting around?

When I get round to it, I'll use the tried and tested method of fitting the running gear from a Maverick Scout, which only costs £120, including radio gear, and appears to result in a very good runner, with minimal damage to the donor kit.

I can't see it being viable for Armortek to produce hop-up parts for other suppliers. If a punter sees a Jeep running around at a show, they'll ask what it is and most probably be told it's a DML kit. I would have thought that whether it's running on Maverick or Armortek running gear would be irrelevant to most people.

What is the benefit of spending design, development and manufacturing time on something which could only sell for £400, when that time could be spent on their core business of complete vehicles which command a price of up to ten times that ?

Adrian.
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Phil Woollard » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:24 pm

Example of a beautiful Armortek Panther chassis mated to a "plastic" Dragon 2cm Quad, a one off maybe but commands lots of attention at shows, lots of free Armortek advertising! :D , free thinking indeed.
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by mark lawson » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:34 pm

I’m one of a very few people who has converted a Dragon Jeep to RC, though I didn’t use the Maverick scout method which leaves a large gear protruding into the driving compartment and is on display, the method I used was considerably more expensive I think all in the cost was £800 plus the cost of the kit, I can’t see many people prepared to pay this amount to convert a Jeep, I used the standard plastic chassis and have never had a problem I also don’t have any intrusions in the driving compartment.
I had a set of alloy wheels and rubber tyres made for the jeep these cost 260€ I have the drawing for wheels and hubs.
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Pete Mallett » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:56 am

Let's keep it civil.
Apologies Kian, I get a bit thin-skinned when I'm being condescended to. I'll try to keep it in check buddy!

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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Pete Mallett » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:00 am

I’m one of a very few people who has converted a Dragon Jeep to RC, though I didn’t use the Maverick scout method which leaves a large gear protruding into the driving compartment and is on display...
Mark, thanks for the reply, very interesting post indeed! What kind of speed do you get out of it and how/where did you hid the battery and motors...under the bonnet?

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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by mark lawson » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:02 am

Pete, I will post some more pictures this evening, the Jeep is not fast the motor is a rock crawling motor as is the transmission.
Everything is under the bonnet including the battery.
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by mark lawson » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:14 pm

Sorry for the delay posting these images, apart from the images, I can’t remember where the axles came from or the transmission something tells me these may be discontinued as it was 6 years ago that I built the Jeep, the chap who made the wheels and tyres no longer makes these but as I said I have a drawing for the wheels and hubs these would be possible to reproduce I may also have a contact for the tyres if anyone is interested.
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These pictures are under the bonnet as you can see all the electrics and battery are located here.
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Pete Mallett » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:44 am

Mark,

thanks for these, it's fantastic mate! it looks like a nice neat job (especially in comparison to some of the other hacks I've seen) and I think I've seen these pics before somewhere. Have you posted these anywhere else? It really does look great mate and I can't believe you got it to work wih the existing chassis. Obviously you've run metal axle bars through the existing plastic ones, what kind of mods did you have to make to get that to work?

I'd like a lead on who you used for the tyres, I've CAD-ed some 3-part road wheels for a Cromwell and could use someone who makes good quality rubber tyres.
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by mark lawson » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:23 pm

Pete, this jeep has been posted on your own forum and SAG some years back.
I will have a look for the original maker of the wheels and tyres I think it was skopti.de but I belive he no longer makes them, I will email Guido who has had a set of jeep tyres made i can't remember who he used but it was a German based company.
All I did was fill the gaps in the original chassis with plasticard but when the chassis is bolted to the bodywork it becomes very stiff, the axles are from a 1/10 scale RC car and are all metal as is the transfer box and drive shafts, all in the parts are off the shelf 1/10 scale and are simply bolted in the place of the original parts the only modifications are for mounting the servo and motor, I even used the original plastic bracket to mount the transfer box.
Decals came from Pedinghaus as no one made decals for a British jeep.
Will post whatever links I have when I get home from work
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Re: Is there any merit in....

Post by Pete Mallett » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:08 pm

Mark,

thanks again buddy, wonderful stuff. Now that you mention it do think I remember your jeep from OSUK, although the old memory isn't as good as it once was!

It would be nice to know a good supplier for making rubber tyres, someone tried and tested as it were. I have a plan to CAD several WWII Era Britisg Military rims and mating them with the correct tyres would be a great help.

John's stuff in the US used to make absolutely fantastic decals for British Vehicles but he stopped a long time ago. However, I did manage to grab several sheets before he stopped so I'm pretty well stocked for them. That said there is a deficiency in the market for this sort of thing and I may see if I can talk Dave Dibbs into doing something along these lines, John my still be contactable and he might be open to letting Dave have his old artwork.

Pete
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