• Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build

Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build 3 months 3 days ago #51952

Note: This build log is excerpted from my web site . You can check there for larger versions of every photo or further reading.

What is a Midnight Pumpkin? Well, the reference to the carriage made from a pumpkin in Cinderella is pretty obvious, but what does that have to do with a 1950 Ford pickup truck? I don't know, and neither do you. This is Tamiya we are talking about. The flame design was apparently inspired by a truck the designer took with him from California to Japan. I've seen pictures of that original. Nice truck: no pumpkin.

The first wheelie chassis came with the 58035 Wild Willy way back in 1982. The 58070 Midnight Pumpkin showed up in 1987 with a different chassis, the CW-01 which was shared with several other vehicles. In 2006 Tamiya re-released the Midnight Pumpkin as 58365 which was a special metallic edition and then again as a 58547 black edition in 2013. Oddly, at the time I was buying the newer 2013 edition was not available but I was able to get the one from 2006.

This thing is fun but strange to drive. Within the first five minutes of driving it I shattered the servo saver. It turns out that when your front wheels are not on the ground (which is a lot), you have no steering. This makes it really easy for those big front tires to run into something. I guess the servo was saved, but I'm surprised the saver wasn't more flexible. I didn't have another one so I just glued it. No more protection so I guess I have to be a better driver now. The model is not very fast but has plenty of torque for pulling wheelies off the line. This is really only possible from a dead stop; the application of throttle once moving is like any other vehicle. The performance in grass is actually pretty good due to the big tires and high ground clearance, even with 2WD and an open differential. The trailing arm rear suspension, swing arm front suspension, and friction dampers make for really terrible handling, but I don't think carving through the corners is really the point. It is super fun to drive, and that is the point.

Here's the rather pretty box. Only the sticker indicates that my copy is chrome plated; the box art still shows the painted version. Inside the box you find everything nicely arranged as per usual for Tamiya. The tires are really big compared to the body. These are the same tires used on the Konghead. You can see the plated hard shell body carefully packed in its own area.
The instructions for this particular model start out with setting up the electronics which is shown on the left. The kit came with the TBLE-02s speed controller and the motor. I added the cheapest Futaba servo and a Spektrum receiver. On the right you see the steering servo installed in the one piece bathtub that makes up the chassis. This is a really simple build because all you really need to do is add suspension to this.
This is a 2WD truck so all the gears are in back along with the motor. These pictures show the construction of the gearbox and the bevel gear differential. All the gears are nylon. I upgraded to ball bearings throughout. These are really big gears and should easily handle any reasonable amount of power. This is good because as a wheelie machine this will see a lot of full throttle starts.
Here the gearbox is finished up. I've inserted the axles and installed the motor. On the right you can also see the wheelie bar to keep the model from flipping over backwards.
The model features a very interesting kind of rear suspension. The solid rear axle pivots on a trailing arm, but if this were all then it could not accommodate any side to side motion. To solve this the rotation axis sits in a slot which is spring loaded toward the bottom. You can see the torsional springs on the left. The allows the axle to roll from side to side which is why Tamiya calls it a rolling axle. The side effect is that the whole axle rotates down when under torque while accelerating.

Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build 3 months 3 days ago #51953

The rear shocks are not so much shock absorbers as bounce generators. They do not have any damping at all, but they do have a lot of travel. These are just open springs with a rod that protrudes through the upper deck when the shock is compressed. The right hand image shows the completed rear suspension as well as the battery installation. Because the battery is forward of the rear wheels it does affect the ability to wheelie. This is a really heavy battery (5000mAh) which created a bit of a problem. I went and bought a super cheap 1800mAh battery which works better. I never thought I would say that.
Here the front suspension is being built. The lower arms are attached on a pivot line which is angled. There are no upper arms which makes this a bit like a McPherson strut, but it is really just a swing arm which therefore produces camber changes as it is compressed. The giant front bumper has also been installed.
Time to put on the wheels and tires. The instructions say to glue these but I've found no need. There are no foams so if this wasn't already bouncy enough for you, it is now. That's all there is to it. The rolling chassis is complete.
Because the body is metal plated there is no painting to do. You just need to install the roll bar, grille, and bumper. This is not a typical silver chrome, it has a blue tint to it which looks really good with the decals that get installed next. I am not usually a big fan of these special editions which are prepainted or plated since I'd rather do it myself. In this case, I bought this version only because I couldn't find the regular version, but I have to admit that it looks really good.
This is not a particularly big model at 1/12th scale although it is quite tall. However, when placed next to my 1/35th scale F150, it looks positively enormous.
The following user(s) Liked this: stingray-63

Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build 3 months 3 days ago #51954

Because this is a plated model, no painting was required which means my copy probably looks just like everyone else's. But that's OK because it looks really good. One thing I don't like is the opening in the bed for the original power switch which shows the wires. I'll need to find a way to cover that.
The following user(s) Liked this: stingray-63

Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build 3 months 2 days ago #51955

blakbird wrote: ...
What is a Midnight Pumpkin? Well, the reference to the carriage made from a pumpkin in Cinderella is pretty obvious, but what does that have to do with a 1950 Ford pickup truck? I don't know, and neither do you. This is Tamiya we are talking about. The flame design was apparently inspired by a truck the designer took with him from California to Japan. I've seen pictures of that original. Nice truck: no pumpkin.
...


It's named after the 2nd generation (1953-56) Ford F series pickup, which was nicknamed the "Pumpkin" (I guess because of the curves?)

:)

:)
The following user(s) Liked this: stingray-63, AJB

Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build 3 months 2 days ago #51957

Jonny Retro wrote: It's named after the 2nd generation (1953-56) Ford F series pickup, which was nicknamed the "Pumpkin" (I guess because of the curves?)

Interesting, I had never heard that before. Usually "pumpkin" refers to the differential housing of a truck. I can see how that rounded 2nd generation truck might use that moniker though.

Regarding the battery placement, I find myself wondering about that nice big square platform in back. It seems like it would be a good place to put the battery behind the rear wheels to enhance the ability to wheelie. However, the damper rods poke through this area when compressed, but wouldn't if you used CVA shocks. Is that platform for a battery or does it have some other purpose?

Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build 3 months 2 days ago #51958

The lunchbox/pumpkins is the same base of chassis than the first pajero. And this one was lower without the lunch battery home. The square boxed battery took place in the square plateform.

Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build 3 months 1 day ago #51961

  • AJB
  • AJB's Avatar
  • Offline
  • No Guts No Glory!
  • No Guts No Glory!
  • Posts: 18
  • Likes received: 23
Attachments:

Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build 3 months 1 day ago #51962

Thanks, that makes sense now! I've never seen the original Pajero in person, and the database does not list it as the same chassis as the LB/MP so I didn't think of that. Looks like the Pajero uses different shocks so it doesn't have the same problem as if you tried to do this with the Pumpkin. I have the re-re Montero, but of course that uses the CW-01 chassis so does not look the same.

Blakbird's 58365 Midnight Pumpkin Build 3 months 1 day ago #51963

Yep the chassis is very similar but not exactly the same. The first montero has a different front body fixation. Like the wrangler/pajero. The rest of the main bathtube is the same. Look at your pumpkins, you will find the pajero front arms fixations.
  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: Jonny RetroAndyAus
Time to create page: 0.551 seconds