Rogue ELement Components drop bed kit review
Hello all and welcome to my review of REC's CLOD DROP BED KIT
Well this is my first fully fledged product review so bear with me if it seems a bit different from the normal format. Ill start off by saying I'm not a paid spokes person ... LOL
I'm doing a basic review on REC's drop bed kit for the Clod body. It is very similar for his other bed kits as well, the Hilux/Mojave and Blackfoot. This will be a two part review, I'll be showing the standard install at this time and will follow up later with a secondary thread showing some homemade modifications and added realism.
First impressions company:
Chris is a stand up business man and has some of the best customer service that I have ever dealt with to date PERIOD wether its a big box store or a ma and pa restaurant hands down he has far surpassed anything I could have expected as far as support goes. He has been machining custom RC parts for as long as I've been In the hobby and is always offering up new and innovative products.
First impressions packaging & Product:
His product is more a work of art than just an RC accessory. The packaging was as expected for what I purchased. It's in a sealed bag with a retail hanging style placard with his logo and part info on it. Included with the parts is a detailed set of instructions and a line drawing of the parts showing there positions by using lettered locations.
Beginning of assembly:
After removing the product you'll see how impressive the machining is not only in the finished product but the layout of the pieces alone shows a lot. Below is the basic layout of the parts, the only thing I have done is removed them from the spruces to better show the final pieces.
All you need is a few basic tools tape, knife, files,sandpaper, and a quality styrene bonding agent. I prefer tenax 7r but its becoming harder to find as the company has been off and on discontinuing it, but there are a few others available that work just as well.
Here's the two main bonding agents, different brands same basic mix.
The following pics will show the finish quality of the machine work. Remember this is styrene so the clean cutting is the impression of high quality tooling. If you've ever machined plastic before you'll know lower quality or dull bits tend to burr or melt the plastic a bit and it shows through distortion lines in the styrene,or jagged edges.
Now we'll begin assembly of the kit by following the instructions step by step. You'll see he explains things very clearly and gives more information than expected to help ANYONE build one of the kits. He covers all the necessary tools needed to do the basic assembly and all the finishing work to contour the edges as needed for the fender-wells. I won't cover every detail and process here just an overall basis of the build.
basic bed form You'll see the fitment is very nice w/o even bonding the sections together.You don't glue the entire bed together yet as it wouldn't allow the fender install.
Next comes fender assembly: the tape is just to help hold the proper position as you apply the bonding agent,once the pieces set it comes right off, once completed then comes the fun part of sanding and filling to form the correct shape.
This nifty little tool he includes has the correct radius cut for all the contours you need to sand into the fenders. This is the most "work" you'll do with this kit. I recommend taking your time and go slowly, you remove more material than you think with each pass. Also be sure to use a nice fine sandpaper to do this as it will make less fill work at the end.
The following pics are from a previously finished bed,with the fender wells in place you can check your fitment of the contours before bonding the entire bed together. I'd recommend checking this fitment multiple times throughout sanding as one side may be perfect but not the other, causing a misalignment of the bed sides.
Again take your time and don't rush this step.
Now comes the cutting of the stock bed. It's easier than it sounds and its a straight cut around the top lip. You can do this by hand but it will take some time. I'd recommend a Dremel for this step but you need a steady hand to cut it straight, and you'll want to sand the edges smooth and straight once its removed. I recommend leaving a bit extra material to bond the kit to, this helps for long term use and abuse. You'll also need to remove the lower section that the tailgate butted up to, and trim the screw tabs off the back of the tailgate.
I recommend test fitting the dropbed several times and trim any additional material off the stock bed to get the best fitment. Be sure to check its sitting square and flush to ensure the best look and bonding.
Once its fitted bond them together as you did the kit itself,install the tailgate and viola you have a killer looking scale truck. Kick back stare at the awesomeness and pat yourself on the back, knowing you didn't yourself.
It Really was a pleasure building this kit and as far as scale realism goes you cant have a scale truck without a real bed. From the second I opened up the package to the time I finished the install it was all a joy, which makes building it that much better. I've had the pleasure of building a few drop beds now and have yet to be disappointed.
This kit is a very easy way to get started in working with styrene and could be built by just about anyone with some basic hand tools,a bit of patience,and the ability to read. I know this because the first styrene work I did was a drop bed. I am in the process of building another one now (hence the diff timed pics) and am planning on making a few modifications as stated earlier so stay tuned for further updates.
I hope this review helps someone out and gives you the push to try your hand at one. Check out some of the build threads from other builders and you'll see these kits are well worth the time and effort you'll put into your rig. I'd like to give thanks to Budhatrain for help with the pictures and especially Chris at REC for allowing me to write this review and for manufacturing some of the baddest custom parts on the market!!!!
I know he's getting ready to run these kits again so contact him through his website to get yours ordered you don't want to miss out!!!
You can't keep a good douche bag down It's a douche world, we're all bagging in it- Quoted from thorsteenster
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