Everybody’s Scalin’ – Night Moves
Awhile back I had a conversation with a scaler buddy that seemed completely bewildered and confused when I explained to him how hard it was for me to do what seemed like a basic thing to him – building a kit or tearing down a rig after heavy use. “But Doug, you’ve been doing this for 20 years and it takes you THAT long?” It’s called kids, man.
As a father of three age 5 or younger, almost all of my wrenching is done after the crew goes to bed. 9pm – 1am is my “prime time” for getting work done (if I’m not too tired), and this has a tendency to make builds drag on and on. Every once in awhile I get in a hurry (typically for a Squid truck needing to be built for review or a monster truck being gone over for a race) and do my work during the day, which of course becomes a beacon for my brood to descend upon and wreak havoc. Yes, they sure do love to “help Daddy”. And by this I of course mean any of the following:
- Ramming hex drivers into a fresh paint job (last year for our review of the Rc4WD Gelande Cruiser I had to paint it twice)
- Shoving screws into any hole imaginable, save for the one they are supposed to go in. This includes eating them.
- Chewing up plastic parts past the point of recognition. Those Axial parts trees are apparently mighty tasty.
- Squeezing out all the shock oil onto the assembly manual and/or decal sheet.
- Using tire foams for bath toys (unbeknownst to me, of course).
Hey, I love my kids dearly. I also do enjoy having them help sometimes. The look on their face when they put a screw in or tighten a bolt is priceless. But it doesn’t take long for me to remember why I only work late at night.
Ah yes, that magical time from when my kids and wife pass out til I call it a night can be a magical time for tinkering. I typically fire up a podcast or some classic 80’s monster truck races via YouTube and off to the races I go. Well, sometimes. Other times I get started and 15 minutes later realize “I’m too tired for this sh*t tonight, ugh.” Many times though I just soldier on because hey, it has to get done somehow. This leads to all sorts of wacky errors and/or incompetence on my part….almost all of which are found out in after midnight testing sessions.
- Hitting the throttle on an Axial Wraith to figure out that both axles spin opposite each other. Yup, I put a diff in backwards.
- Pinging the throttle and hearing the motor instantly hit full RPM with no load. Yup, forgot to even put the pinion on.
- Picking the truck up and all the wheels fall off. Ugh, I forgot I just “mocked it up” without wheel bolts to see what it would look like finished.
- Unexpectedly rocketing off a table backwards. Damn it, wired the motor backwards.
- Terribly sloppy paint jobs. Folks, DO NOT paint late at night.
- Finding screws in the manual binding RIGHT as I’m packing up the kit box. This of course means that I’ve forgotten to put said screw somewhere in the vehicle.
I love the hobby. I feel like sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me sane. Of course, it’s also a good reason that I am insane.
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