After many projects and lots of cash spent,
I wanted to see if I could restore a car on a
budget. This car was the perfect starting place.
It was in good condition to start with and only
needed time and effort to put right. In fact,
The only parts replaced were the front bumper
& roof for the body. I had a few new small
parts spare too.
My idea was to clean, Polish, Spray paint anything
I could. Most of the alloy parts have been sprayed
with some silver automotive paint, And the results
are pretty good.
The rest of the chassis has been polished or cleaned
I find polishing a pain in the @rse! But if you
do it right, You can get some good results. There
are many ways of polishing, But here's a few use.
I don't go mad trying to make everything a mirror
finish, It just don't look right. Were any of
the parts shiny new? No. I used 1500 grain wet
& dry paper to do the roll over bar &
rear hoop around the gearbox. The fibre glass
chassis parts can be cleaned up nice with the
same paper, But use 400 grain around the edges
to get rid of the ground in dirt & freshen
the fibre glass up. Works a treat. Try it on the
upper & lower decks. A wire brush can also
Where ever you can, Try & use new screws/nuts.
If you don't have many use them in places where
they are seen the most. All wires can also be
cleaned up with meths. We are now ready to begin
build if everything is clean & ready.
You don't need to know this really, But just follow
the manual carefully & the build is very simple
with no problems. Here's a break down anyway..
Steps 1, 2 & 3
Are the gearbox build. Remember if your building
a shelf queen, Don't worry too much about loads
of grease & oil. And you don't need the silicon
sealant & screw lock.
Steps 4, 5 & 6
You are just finishing off the gearbox & onto
the rear shock. Remember not to tighten those
screws up too much. It just cracks the plastic
Steps 7, 8 & 9
Finish off the rear shock build & mount everything
to the gearbox. The tie wrap around the neck of
the damper oil bottle needs to b very tight to
try & stop oil escaping. But it will anyway!
Fit the main chassis parts & mounts.
My fave! Dampers.. Not!! If you have never built
any SRB dampers before, Be very careful not to
mark those nice soft alloy damper bodies. If you
do have to use pliers to hold them, Use a thick
cloth & pliers with no gripping teeth on them
if possible. Again don't bother with a lot of
oil if it's going on display.
Servo saver. I had some rusty steering arms, So
I cleaned them up with the wire brush & sprayed
them satin black using automotive paint again.
Great result! You can spray the ball end connectors
too as they are black metal.
Steps 13, 14, 15 & 16
It's time to build all the front end. No problems
here. But don't forget those tie wraps!
The front bumper is always a nice thing to fit.
Be careful though, Sometimes the holes are a tad
too small & will take a good push over the
four allen screws.
Steps 18, 19 & 20
If you are fitting radio, Now is the time. I did,
But I usually don't. My radio I got with the car
is illegal here in the UK (75mhz) so it stayed
in there & to be honest it's better for the
Champ as the chassis looks bare with no radio.
Step 21, 22, 23 & 24
Chassis upper deck time. This again is all very
straight forward stuff. If you don't want to cut
up a nice new switch cover to glue on the under
side of the upper deck. Find an old perished one
with a good top. Mine had the sides bust, So it
was perfect to cut up. If your radio is not much
good to look at cover it up with some nice new
balloons like it says in step 22.
Steps 25 & 26
Great! Time to build & fit those wheels. Love
this. Don't use any glue. Not needed anytime on
any SRB wheels/tyres. Just makes a dam mess!
Steps 27, 28 & 29
The body! Oh yes, It's time for some hard work!
You know you want it! Right, Well forget about
using the blue plastic body of the Champ as a
starting block. They need some proper paint to
look good. My body was good, But needed a bit
of work around the body mount holes as the clips
had been digging in the plastic. I sprayed all
the body first with primer after a good clean
to see what I needed to work on. Primer shows
Now after another coat of primer & flatted
back with 1500 grain paper, We are ready for some
colour. I chose a nice dark metallic Tamiya colour,
TS51 Racing Blue. I just don't like the standard
Tamiya blue it's soo dull! Plus the metallic brings
out the decals better. Remember to start spraying
the inside of the body first to get rid of the
white primer overspray. Easy body to spray this
one. Just don't go too mad & get those horrid
runs! Oh and use something to hold it with on
the inside. Make something up
After a day or so, I put just one coat of lacquer
on. Then after leaving for a few days to rest,
You can start flatting back the paint with 1500
grain again & polishing. Be very careful not
to go through!!
Time to detail. Well, I put the decals on first
as I couldn't wait! And they are simple to apply.
Just be careful with those front stripes.
Not a lot of detail to do, But it's gota be done
right as it's on show. Especially that red roll
cage. I didn't spray any of it. I just painted
some matt yellow on first as a base, Then the
matt red or satin red will do. It looks nice because
I used new paint & it goes on great with a
When it's dry you can fit that gorgeous new roof.
I masked up the side vents before I painted them
The spot light are easy to paint if they haven't
been glued together. Mine had. So I just masked
Last as usual is the driver. Keep him/her simple
if you don't like painting. I always do mine simple
& maybe a bit of a design on the helmet if
I'm in the mood. Always use matt paint on the
driver, Looks far more realistic. Use gloss on
the helmet colour only. Even the black helmet
trim is matt or satin. Eyes can be easy to paint
if you have a steady hand. Just pop a tiny bit
of white in there & when dry all you need
is one tiny drop of black paint for his pupils.
Keep them both central & keep him looking
forward. Always looks daft with bog eyes! Fit
your driver & window meshing. If you don't
have any wire for the mesh. Cut up some motor
or battery wire & take out a strand of wire.
Works great. Now you should be all done &
looking smart! Oh, Be very careful fitting those
body clips. See steps 30 &31 in the manual.
Cheers for reading, I hope it's helped in some
way. Before you go have a look at the before
and after shots,
I'm sure you'll appreciate the improvements!