After years of longing to relive my first hobby grade RC car build, I recently had the chance to pick up the first RC car I ever built, the Tamiya Bullhead. It was awesome! The waves of nostalgia flowed through my veins like a drug. I felt exactly like that 14 year old kid back in the early 90s, doing it all for the first time, again. At that moment, I thought for sure that I’d keep the truck box stock forever. Then, a few months later, while browsing Ebay, I stumbled across a pretty rare gem. It was a JPS Pro Clod Buster chassis. There it was, the Clod upgrade I could only dream of owning back in the day, and now it was available for sale. I knew it would be scooped up quickly so I leaped into action and bought it. Now it was mine! The following photos document the conversion from a stock Tamiya Bullhead to the JPS Venom Clod!
Here she is in all her glory. My Tamiya Bullhead RC monster truck. She was completely box stock except for a set of vintage Kyosho option house gold shocks. The paint was barely dry and the body wasn’t even assembled yet. For those wondering what will become of all those stock parts, don’t worry. I am determined to keep every stock part so they can be built back into another stock Bullhead as soon as I upgrade the rest of the parts on the JPS Clod.
A while before the JPS chassis was even a twinkle in my eye, I decided I wanted a beater body so the stock Bullhead body wouldn’t get damaged. The JConcepts Ford F-250 body had just been released so it was the obvious choice. At first I was just going to do a plain jane blue paint job, because, afterall, this was going to be a beater body. Then my artistic insanity took over, and before I knew it, that beater body was even nicer than I could have ever hoped for. I introduce to you, the Venom Clod Buster body! Believe it or not, everything on this body, except for the grill and lights, is all paint!
Yes, that is all paint. No decals here.
About a week after ordering the JPS Clod Buster chassis, I finally received her in the mail. Here is what the chassis looked like out of the box. As you can see, it needed a good cleaning and polishing, along with some some fixes. Those sway bars look like they’ve been through one heck of a beating!
Since the chassis didn’t include the JPS front bumper that it was designed to work with, I had to come up with a way of mounting a steering servo on the truck. I always wanted an excuse to buy a Bennett Clod Buster bumper so I figured that would be a good choice for this truck. Unfortunately, finding an original Bennett bumper these days isn’t easy, so the next best thing was a replica I found on ebay. It sure does shine up nicely.’
After many hours of cleaning and polishing, the JPS Pro Clod Buster chassis is finally back to its former glory! I bought some new piano wire to replace those beat up stock sway bars but in the end it was easier to just straighten the stock parts. Now I just have to get those axles off the Bullhead and bolted up to the JPS chassis.
Introducing the Venom JPS Clod Buster! I used plasti-dip to “paint” the wheels black and added a set of gold anodized steering links to give the truck some vintage flair. I also had a set of gold body mounts I planned to use but unfortunately they were too short for this chassis.
Keen eyed readers might notice that some of the electronics were snagged from our Clodzilla II build.
Now that you’ve seen the pictures, go check out our JPS Clod Action Video. Also be sure to watch the slow-mo action video. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to upgrade this truck.