Feb, 6 2021
So in early February I get a Facebook message from a gentleman looking to have an R/C car built. Since we do that type of thing on a regular basis I asked the basic questions; What kit are you wanting built?, What surface are you running on?, Racing or bashing?. His answer was " I don't know. Can I call you?" I forwarded my number to him, he called and explained what they were looking at needing. "I need a remote controlled car about "normal" size but the caveat is that it must be able to carry 40lbs." I asked.... "Forty as in Four Zero pounds?" he said "Yes and it must remain completely functional with that much weight."
At that point I said that this would need to be custom built for the size you want it (Roughly 18"x12") to hold that much weight. I asked at that point finally what are you doing with it? He stated; we are looking to do a Demolition Derby with R/C cars for a show called LEGO Masters. (I about fell out of my chair! ) We started hashing out some details, he stated that it sounds like I could handle the build and suggested we meet over a Zoom call with other producers and one of the LEGO Masters (That works for LEGO).
After the Zoom call the details were set, I had an idea what I wanted to build and I went screaming like a little girl down the stairs to tell my wife (Carna) that we have a custom build to do for LEGO MASTERS!! Right then and there Carna grabbed a pencil and paper and started to draw out what I was explaining. Our very next thought was: "How are we going to cut all of this material in this short of time? The answer was Joey Abica from TJR Parts in San Diego. I shot him a text and explained what we needed and I sent via email our drawings. (No not CAD..... Good old fashion graph paper and lead pencil)
Joey got to work on the pieces we needed for the Prototype and Carna and I scrambled to find other parts we needed at the local hobby stores, hardware & robotics supplies. Joey really saved us a great amount of time. All the parts and materials showed up, we picked up the CNC parts from Joey and got the Prototype done and tested in 4 days! Off to the Studios it went the next morning.
On the 15th of February I received an email and a text with some video of their testing. They were happy with the proto only wanting better access to the battery and gave us an order for 9 more plus the retro fit battery door on the Prototype. We had 8 days to build 9 more units! The truck leaving for the studio back in Georgia was leaving the 25th, so the Production Assistant was to pick these up on the 24th which means we had to be completely done and tested on the 23rd! JOEY!! I rushed a text and call to Joey and we scrambled to purchase all of the raw materials that we didn't have left over. This took 3 days to get parts etc here into the shop.... AH!
In the end Carna and I spent 4 days and nights making parts, cutting and fitting to get done with everything including testing at 1am on the 24th. WHEW!! Needless to say Joey at TJR Parts came through with flying colors. (Thank you Joey!) I can't thank my Wife enough for spending every single minute of this process with me. She had some great ideas to overcome some machining hurdles and some last minute changes that she engineered and jumped right on the drill press to make some things happen.
I hope you all enjoyed the episode as much as we did. It was so much fun to build and to do work for one of my favorite childhood toys; LEGO Bricks.
Link to the demolition derby: https://youtu.be/XRR6LHhueIo
BTW..... Those loose tires in the arena... Those were provided by Dave Enstrom at DE Racing! The Set Decorator called 2 days after picking up the "cars" and asked if we could get some tires. Dave came through that day and shipped them directly to Georgia! Thank you Dave!