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  • Writer's pictureKL Forslund

Splendid Teapot Racer, Part 1

Shortly after Steampunk November, I decided to try my hand at Splendid Teapot Racing. I bought a remote control truck at RadioShack (non-returnable). Two weeks later, Kroger had them on sale for half as much. Now I have the week off for the holiday and it is time to make my racer.

What is Splendid Teapot Racing

Over in the land of Hobbits and Weta Workshop, the steampunks have come up with an exciting contest. Take a remote control car and turn it into a remote control teapot. Then run it through an obstacle course on timed trials. The best score based on time, appearance, entertainment and bribery wins.

Racer Requirements

Per the New Zealand rules, the racer must be no larger than 30cm by 30cm by 40cm*. It must also have a teapot on it. Usually people remove the original body and creatively build a new one to support the teapot. The courses are designed to be silly and hard, so a fast car isn’t a bonus.

* That’s Height, width and Length respectively. 30cm = 11.8 inches. 40cm = 15.7 inches. I should measure my rig, but I suspect it’s below the limit and the ship has sailed.

The Remote Control Vehicle

I purchased a remote control truck for $40 from RadioShack. It’s not as awesome as the one I had in college. But it will probably do the job. I think you can find a cheaper one of the same quality. I chose a truck because it would ride higher and have large wheels and be level. My model has a black chassis with fancy truck body screwed on top. I think it will be easy to unscrew and remove the body, giving me a nice level base to work with.

The Teapot

My wife loves me and ordered a new $18 tin teapot set from eBay. It comes with a tray, cups, saucers and teapot. I think I will mount the tray to the chassis via the same holes the body used. Then bolt the teapot and a cup and saucer to the tray. Using screws and bolts will make it easier to move this to a better chassis or repaint anything.

The Tear-Down

There’s something about getting a brand new thing and taking it apart to be used as something else straight away. I must admit, I put batteries into my truck and tried it out once on my driveway. But now, it’s time to tear it down and prepare it for the real reason I bought it.

Flip it upside and find the screws

Body top removed
The chassis and the lift/exhaust bits
Check out those pipes.  shame to throw it away...
Just the chassis remains

Next Steps

In the next installment, I’ll have drilled and screwed and possibly painted this back into a working Splendid Teapot Racer. If you want to see details of how I disassembled or rebuilt this, please add a comment so I know to take more pictures and document. Every car is different, and being rather handy with tools, I can zip through the work and skip something you want to see more of*.

*I darn near finished the entire project this morning, but I’m painting some parts and then I’ll be gluing them on. So I have to be patient, and so will you.

Note: Part 2 is now published, click HERE to continue reading


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