View Full Version : Hasbro Chenowth Light Strike Vehicle Build Log

7th October 2012, 05:43 AM

After having now finished and flown a multitude of LOS and FPV aircraft - and having very little to show for it after 3 years (Crashes and impatience be damned) I am starting to making a slow move into FPV ground vehicles.

This is my first post in my new build log for my first 'Ground Pounder' - The Chenowth Light Strike Vehicle (LSV).

(stock photo)

(Purchased this one)

These models were produced by HASBRO had a limited production run in 2000 for 12" tall GI Joe figurines, they are now a collectors item! They are not true scale, but definitely better than what I could do with aluminium pipe and styrene.


She is 25" long (635mm), 13" wide and tall (330mm). It cost me $80 on Ebay - however it is used and does not come with the original weapons or figurines. Boxed models are going for $150 to $450 dollars!

After having seen heaps of really well done Tonka Summits I decided I would try reinvent the wheel and do something (I think) is unique. So I've gone and bought the body before the chassis!!

The LSV is inbound to Brisbane, Australia from the USA, through a mail-forwarding agency (SHIPITO) - So I don't expect it here until mid to late November.

This is going to be a slow-burn build, I expect I will have to sell off some of my other models to finance her.

I need some help from the LAB though; I have no idea what chassis to mount the body onto.

The plan so far is that I will remove the wheel stations and suspension from the body, and shoehorn the body over an appropriate-sized buggy. Nothing new there.

I'm really looking for suggestions here!

I want the model to have a reasonable speed, excellent handling and a low center of gravity for traction and turning. I am prepared to sacrifice battery life/longevity for a scale appearance.


I am aiming for semi-scale like most of the current "Tonka Summit" builders are doing. A vehicle needs a crew, so I plan to purchase three of the new line of GI Joe figurines:


One of them will meet the guillotine and have a nice new camera installed, leading me to..

I plan to mount a stabilised, 2 axis GoPro Hero2 to the head of the gunner located in the top rear seat - the view will be elevated, protected by the roll cage and with a servo mounted to the 50 cal or Mark19 40mm AGL to simulate the gunner scanning for enemy!

In a perfect world free from RF interference, I would like to have two cameras on board - driver and gunner perspectives - and be able to switch between them. One step higher is a 'slave' VRx which would let a bystander/onlooker pan/tilt a cam separate to the driver's cam. I will investigate the opportunities.


I haven't gone firm on specific VRx/VTx electronics yet - I figure I have time to study up and find out what works best. To save money I'd like to be able to use my EZUHF and existing 2.4ghz ground station and TBS electronics.

So guys, there it is for the moment.

Noting the limited information I have on measurements, what Electric off-road chassis do you recommend for the LSV?

7th October 2012, 07:17 AM

Not long after my first post I've realised that 24" is bloody massive for a RC electric buggy. Most electrics are 1/10 and 1/8 scale, anywhere from 350 to 590mm in length.

I found what appears to be a suitable chassis for this long frame, with all the electronics packed down low and a wide wheel base for stability in tight turns.


1/8th Scale 4WD Electric Truggy with
Flux Scream Brushless Motor,
Flux Rage Speed Controller,
2.4GHz Radio System and Painted Body

Length: 580mm
Width: 405mm
Height: 180mm
Wheelbase: 365mm
Track Width Front/Rear (from center of tires): 365mm
Drivetrain: Full-Time Shaft 4WD

Some obligatory pictures:


The kicker is that it's length is 580mm; only 50mm short of the LCV.

So, I can see my original plan of being "semi-scale" becoming more "if you squint real hard it will look kind-of scale".

If anyone sees any other rc electrics similar to this one that are available now, please let me know.


7th October 2012, 07:35 AM
What about 1/5 like this ?
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__23846__Turnigy_Trailblazer_XB_1_5_4WD_Brushless_ Race_Buggy_RTR_USA_Warehouse_.html

7th October 2012, 07:54 AM
That's awesome!
Great length and it's a decent price too!
Interestingly, looking for it in the normal hobbyking menu shows nothing. I can only access it through your hyperlink. Bit weird. Thanks for the suggestion I'm going to have a good look at it.

7th October 2012, 08:42 AM
Where are you based ?
It shows up for me in the UK,USA and Europe but not the global warehouse

7th October 2012, 08:41 PM
Australia. Yeah, two left in the Aus warehouse.

8th October 2012, 11:19 PM
Hey, that's a very cool project DD :)!
I recently got one of those Trailblazer XBs. I'm pretty happy with it for the price. It does have some weak points though (as you would expect for the money). The servo savers are rather annoying so you need to lock them up. Also, if you get one, do a spanner check on everything before you run as things don't seem to always be tightened up properly. I also stripped the servo horn (easy fix). I have also taken a lot of slop out of the steering. So they aren't perfect but if you are prepared to fix a few things they are pretty fun!
I also have the shorter wheelbase Monster truck and the XB is actually much better I reckon (more ground clearance, bigger hubs, and the longer wheelbase makes it much easier to control) - I have set it up as a super fast offroad FPV vehicle (driven by steering wheel) and it is awesome! It has very good suspension and you can jump it off things without worrying to much. I have only yet run it on 2S (designed for 4S) and it is still plenty fast! :)

9th October 2012, 01:17 AM
Thanks for your points BlueStreak.

I was thinking the same thing - cheap Products, especially complicated sets like rc cars might have more issues or ongoing problems than their more expensive counterparts.

I have been reading through the RCGroups tonka summit thread and im concerned about the final weight, and if the cars suspension can handle it. The LSV body is about 5kg to start with!!

While I don't plan on any crazy jumps, I still want the suspension to be flex enough to provide a semi smooth fpv video feed. The trophy flex truggy is still the best match I can find - its nice and big, without any components sticking up to get in the way of the frame.

I'll end up getting the body first and taking it to the local hobby store to test fit it on different models.

9th October 2012, 01:49 AM
Awesome! I've seen those vehicles and they are cool, pricy, but cool! There are a bunch of 1:6th scale vehicles but they are usually over $200 just for the vehicle and usually collectors items... many plastic and more fragile and not so good for some of the bashing we do with the Tonka Summit.

Still, I think you could doe a few strategic things to protect it all maybe with a more sturdy roll cage. That HK frame could work well if it can keep much of the stock feel of the buggy. Suspension will be the toughest I've found as there are so many bumps on the ground, absorbing them is hard and in many cases the ground vehicles aren't designed for the added weight of figures, FPV gear and all that.... still, that's the challenge!

I'll be following this.

9th October 2012, 07:31 AM
Thanks CaliDave, agree with your points - ill need to stress test the frame when it arrives.

12th October 2012, 07:08 PM
Watching this one, Where abouts in Brissie are you, I'm southside. More into boats but inspired by the vehicle side as I can run near home without packing everything into the car.


27th November 2012, 02:31 PM
Look at the Traxxas Stampede 2X4, it is has an easily modified (length) frame and has some speed. I have used these frames before, check out the link below for possible ideas.