1:36 Scale RC Kinsmart AMG GT

converting a die cast shell to working radio control
December 31, 2021
lipo-1s 3d-print radio-control

While the 1:64 scale vehicles and smaller are fun to build, their size limits the number of realistic, working parts you can use, especially in the suspension. I started looking at other sizes of die cast car to expand the options for my die cast-to-RC conversion project, and quickly found the Kinsmart lineup. They offer a huge variety of licensed cars with a good amount detail for very reasonable prices - while there are brands with more detail, the price is considerably higher, and the construction on some larger and more realistic cars can actually make them more difficult to convert. The realistic detail requires a more accurate body and chassis, while the Kinsmart cars are mostly hollow and held together with a pair of screws.

The first subject of this experiment was a red Mercedes-AMG GT. Most of the Kinsmart cars are 1:36 scale, while their trucks tend to be 1:46 or 1:48, with a few exceptions. Even with the coupe’s long nose, there was plenty of room for a small steering rack. Each knuckle has a small spring, providing a little bit of suspension, although travel causes more negative camber than I would like. The front wheels are mounted on short stubs of brass tube, with a bearing in each knuckle.

The inner bucket piece, with the seats and trunk cover, provided the perfect place for a monolithic motor, gearbox, and rear axle mount. Using the axle as the pivot, I put a few springs on the trunk cover above the mounting box, which made a very effective rear suspension. There is not a lot of ground clearance when the car is resting on its wheels, but that is not unrealistic and it still drives well on flat surfaces. This was never supposed to be an off road AMG GT, so overall I am pleased with the performance. The motor is geared down TODO RATIO, so it is a little bit slow off the line, but picks up and has a decent top speed. The turning radius is not great, but the placement of the steering servo meant a wider stance, which causes the wheels to rub against the fenders. That could be fixed by filing and flaring the fenders, but I have been trying to do as little metal-working as possible for these conversions, so they will be easier for others to follow along.

These parts also work in a few other Kinsmart sports coupes, and I am working on more generic instructions as part of my diecast conversion project. Detailed instructions and the 3D printed parts can be found at:

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