2011 SEMA Show – Bender Edition

As most of you know, Axial attended the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada recently. We had been secretly working with some strategic technical partners to give a sneak peek at the show of our latest vehicle, the Exo. Since Axial is predominantly known for making R/C crawlers, the release of the Exo was a big surprise to the general public because it was so vastly different then our previous vehicles. So, a handful of us made the trip to SEMA to witness the reactions and get some first hand feedback. This was my first trip to SEMA, and it was amazing to say the least. There is so much to see, that it is tough to cover everything. We were only in town for a few days, and barely scratched the surface of what SEMA had to offer. Armed with my camera and a backpack, I ventured out into the sea of people and shiny metal components. Here are a few of the photos I snapped along the way.

Cool low-rider Dually……

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

…..with some serious chariot-like wheel spikes.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got to love green and black.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

They had a drift track set-up in an empty parking lot. Spectators could take a ride along with them if they wanted.

SEMA---Brad-017

If you are into Jeeps, like me, there was no shortage of eye candy at the show.

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A few more shots outside on the first day.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Sweet Overland Journal JK, with integrated roof rack tent.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another sweet 4 door Jeep JK.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More random goodness from inside.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got milk?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Our first stop was at the Griffin booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

What do we have here?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Raw metal and carbon fiber together just looks cool.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Wilwood booth

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Wilwood Wraith

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Cool Jeep pick-up.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Shannon Campbell’s rock racer, IFS front and solid axle rear. I have seen this rig in action a few times at King of the Hammers, and it’s just sick!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Tron Audi built by West Coast Customs

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Raceline wheels booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Raceline Wraith was on display too.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More randomness…..

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Walker Evans wheels.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Custom 4 door Jeep JK 6X6 pick-up………..say that 10 times in a row as fast as you can.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Next stop was the Icon Vehicle Dynamics booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another custom JK build. Not really my style, but I can appreciate the time that went into it.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Dana Spicer booth. If you are looking for tough off-road axles, most people start here.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got driveshafts?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There were tons of cool trucks to drool on at the show as well.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Or maybe old Broncos are your thing?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

How about an old school Bronco built to play in the desert? One of my favorite vehicles from the show.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More desert vehicles.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Cool Jeepspeed build.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There were a few sand-rails on display too.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More photos from around the show.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

After lunch we ran into a couple of Rodney’s old friends, Dennis and Ryan Anderson.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Chevy displayed several variations of their new Sonic. I have to admit for a small car, these things are pretty cool.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got ear plugs?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another one of Rodney’s old friends/co-workers Andy Williamson (right), he is one of the masterminds behind the Chevy Sonic display.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I even managed to spy a few nice full suspension mountain bikes, another one of my hobbies.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Giant’s Reign X1. I have a 2010 X2 at home.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More random shots……

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I don’t remember the ice cream truck in our neighborhood looking anything like this when I was a young lad. Kids these days have it made!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More Jeep based vehicles.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

My favorite Jeep from the show, AEV’s 4 door JK pick-up.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Next we went by the Hankook booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Does this tread pattern look familiar?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

A little F1 action, Kimi Raikkonen’s Mercedes.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More spy shots…… not very often you see a Ferrari that isn’t red.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There was an immense number of wheels on display.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I think they made these custom for either Liberace or Elton John.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

My last stop for the day was the Turn Key booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Even Charlene, the Turn Key model, couldn’t keep her hands of the Exo.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Woah, my feet and back were beat after a few days!! Those are my highlights from the 2011 SEMA show. If you have never been, it is well worth the trip for anyone that considers themselves a gearhead.

Here’s one last little sneak peek for you guys……………..enjoy!!

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part VI – Final Assembly

For the final installment of our Wraith kit build series we will turn this beast into a roller. We will finish the chassis assembly, marry the chassis to the transmission and axles, install the body panels, mount the tires to the wheels and bolt them up to the axles. Start on page 34 of the manual, at step 34.

Find bag F in your remaining parts supply.

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All the parts required to complete step 34.

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Starting with the rear shock tower, bolt it up to the left chassis plate with the supplied hardware.

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Then move forward to the lower part of what will be the windshield area.

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Next cross member.

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Last one at the very front.

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Now we can move to step 35 and install the top of the cab.

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Step 36 will complete the main chassis structure. Everything needed to complete this step.

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I started at the rear shock tower again, install the supplied 3x12mm self tapping screw. At this point we need to just start assembling the cage at all the points required.

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Rear frame cross member.

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Upper cage area.

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Lower cross member in the rear, under the battery tray.

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Rear cross member again.

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Front A-pillar area.

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Top of the cab again.

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Front shock tower and cross member.

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Next I installed the second support for the front bumper.

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Tighten up that second bumper support, and the last frame cross member in the front.

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Complete chassis.

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Install the last few screws to secure the interior.

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On to step 37, and page 36 in the manual. Everything needed to complete this step.

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Start by installing the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the big light buckets.

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Flip the light buckets over and snap the clear lens into place.

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Snap the light guards into place.

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Install the light buckets into position on the front bumper.

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Attach the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the small round light buckets.

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Snap the clear lens into place.

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Install the light guards next.

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Bolt the small light buckets up to the front grill’s tube work.

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Step 38, and everything needed.

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Set the front grill tube work into place, and attach using the supplied 3x12mm screws.

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Set the front bumper into place next.

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Install the supplied 3x18mm screws.

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Step 39, attaching the chassis to the skid plate and axles.

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Set the chassis into place over the skid plate, and attach using the supplied hardware.

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Next we will bolt the shocks up to the shock towers. I deviated from the instructions a little here too. I moved the upper shock mounts in towards the center of the Wraith. I did this to lower the ride height a little, and to soften up the shocks.

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Shocks all mounted up.

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Time to move on to the tires and wheels.

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First thing I did was open up the breather holes in the wheels. I chased the existing holes with an 1/8″ drill bit. This will help the tires conform to the terrain a little better. Stock on left, modified on right.

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Next tuning tip I will throw out there is to trim the edges of the inner diameter on the foams. This will let the beads of the tire sit in their natural position. It also makes gluing the tires a little easier, as it stops the foam from working it’s way into the bead seats while you are trying to glue your tires.

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You can see here that you don’t need to cut much, keep your cut about a 1/4 – 3/8″ wide max.

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With the foam installed, you can see there is no interference between the foam and the tire’s bead seat.

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Next slide the wheel inside the tire, and seat the bead properly. I usually glue my tires little by little, with “stitches” of glue. Add a dab of CA to the bead seat, and seat the tire into place. Then spin the tire 180 degrees and add another stitch of glue, then let the tire sit for a few minutes. Then, repeat these steps until the tires are glued all the way around the inner and outer beads.

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All glued up. I love the looks of these wheels in black!

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Next we will move on to step 43. Find bag G in your dwindling parts stash.

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Everything needed to bolt the wheels up.

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Thread the small M3 set screws into the drive hexes part way.

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Slide the drive pins through the outer axles.

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Install the hex into place over the drive pin, and tighten down the M3 set screw.

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Bolt the wheels and tires up to the axles.

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It’s a roller!!

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Here’s a little sneak peek at a part not yet released from the Axial arsenal, aluminum diff covers. Sexy!

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Now we can ream the holes out in the body panels and mount them. Wallah!

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Close-up shots of the hood, side panels and interior.

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Mandatory articulation shots.

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There you have it, a complete step by step build of Axial’s Wraith Kit. I will be doing more articles with this particular build in the near future too, like electronics install, hop-up parts, tuning tips, etc. And of course there will be video too, so stay tuned!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 7

4 Door Hi-Lux Build – Part II

Builder: Mike Lohmann
Location: Long Island NY
Build: Custom Axial SCX10

After applying the first coat of filler on the roof, I allowed it to cure for 24 hours, sanded it, and applied another coat. I noticed that I had more filler than I wanted, so I sanded a lot of the filler back out and went back in with strips of .01 in. plastic styrene which is paper thin. I then sanded it all down and skim coated it with a regular car body filler (Bondo). The Bondo cures a lot faster than model putty and sands just as easy as the model putty filler.

At this point in the process I noticed that I was losing some definition in the drip rails – the body had a dip on each side of the rails where the two cabs joined together. The solution I came up with was to even out the rails by installing some .060 square stock in the low spots and then sanding it down to match the existing rails.
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A piece of .060 square stock was then added down the entire length of the drip to build it back out and give it definition again.
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I then sanded the edges smooth and blended them into the existing drip rail. As you can see now the passengers side roof and drop rail is all smoothed out and is for the most part done.
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I dropped the cab onto the chassis to get an idea of where I was at, so far so good
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While the glue and filler was drying on the cab, I got started on the bed. I had to shorten the front half of the bed to make it resemble how the bed is on the 1:1 4 door Hiluxes. To shorten the bed, I made measurements and then taped it off using some blue painters tape (masking tape). I made the cuts using a small hack saw. I have used a hack saw in the past on the beds for doing bed bobs and have always had good results. After making the cuts I joined the beds together and reinforced it from the back side with .030 plastic styrene (just as I did the cab).
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After the glue dried I filled in some of the gaps with styrene and then threw on a coat of filler.
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I started sanding excess filler off of the bed and smoothing the seam. As you can see the seam is slowly starting to disappear
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Quick mock-up shot showing the bed and cab together
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After I get the front of the bed done, I plan to bob the back of the bed to help with the departure angle since this rig is going to have a lengthy wheel base.

4 Door Hi-Lux Build on an SCX10

Builder: Mike Lohmann
Location: Long Island NY
Build: Custom Axial SCX10


When Axial released their SCX10 kit, I knew I had to have one. It has an awesome realistic C channeled frame that reminds me of the old Tamiya Bruiser frame, and had awesome 1.9 bead locks and proline flat iron tires. At the time of their kit being released, I had so many projects going on that I didn’t have the chance to pick one up. With the winter upon me here in NY, the temps have dropped and its back into the shop for a winter of pure building. I picked up a kit and started thinking what I wanted to build. Since I am huge Toyota fan, work as a tech at a dealer, and own 2 1:1 trucks (an 02 Taco on 35s, and 86 4runner soon to be SAS) I knew I wanted to build another Toyota. Only problem with building another Yota is that there are tons of them out there, so I knew I needed to build something that hasn’t been done yet. I started looking around my shop at previous and on going builds… Drop bed…been done, Half doors…been done, Missing fender…been done too. Finally the gears started turning and it hit me…a 4 door Hilux would be awesome! There are only 2 or 3 that I know of on the web so I figured why not. I have never tried any sort of 4 door build myself so I figured not only would it be cool but it would be something to challenge me to step up my game.

I grabbed 2 NIB Hilux cabs off the shelf, grabbed the masking tape and fired up the Dremel.
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I carefully cut the 2nd cab in less then half and cut the rear window section of the 1st cab .After that, I joined the 2 cabs together using .030 styrene on the side of the door areas of the cabs and the underside of the roofs as well.
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When building scale RC Crawlers I always find it best to use the least amount of body filler as possible. In the past I have found that 2 much filler tends to crack easier and the weight will actually start to add up quickly. In order to avoid the roof being full of filler I decided to skin the roof using .030 piece of plastic styrene on the top and .010 on the sides.
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After getting the roof skinned, I applied the 1st coat of filler. While the filler was curing I decided to get started on making the rear window frames. I started 1st by making the front uprights.The main frame support was .060 styrene square stock and the sub frame being .030
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I then made the top part of the frame using the same pieces of styrene for the front portion of the window frame
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Well that is it for now, please be sure to check back often for more updates on the 4 door lux.

Thanks
-Mike