If you live in an area where the snow flies, odds are you have dreamed of having an RC plow. Since there aren’t any companies selling stand-alone ready-built plows, the only way to get one is to find someone selling hand-built plows or get fabricating yourself. For many people the idea of fabricating is a bit intimidating. How about a plow that works great, is inexpensive and doesn’t require any really special tools or skills to build? Keep reading and you’ll be pushing powder in no time.
This is the key to this project. Most people naturally look to make there plows are of the same material most real plows are made out of–metal. The problem with aluminum or steel is that it can be heavy and difficult to work with. The better choice is plastic and the best plastic to use is PVC–specifically large-diameter PVC tubing. many home improvement stores and plumbing stores sell short sections of pipe. Even better, you may be able to find a scrap section. Odds are you’ll only need about eight inches of pipe. You can use a small-diameter pipe such as 2 1/2 inch diameter, but a pipe that is 4 inches in diameter will work best and look the most realistic.
MAKING THE CUTS
Only three cuts are required to make a plow blade. But, before you get cutting, you will need to mark your lines. Use a straight edge. A T-square will go a long ways towards helping you create square corners. The easiest way to make the blade is to make two parallel cuts and then a cut across the pipe.
MOUNTING THE PLOW
Old camber or steering links work well for mounting the plow. I used Traxxas links I had in a parts bin. The tricky part is finding hardware that will allow you to mount the links to the back of the plow blade. The best part I found is from Tamiya. It is part no. BN1 from a TLT-1 kit and is called the lower suspension stay and are included in the “Grease bag” in the TLT-1.
The easiest and most effective way to mount the plow is with two lower link and one upper link. These links can be fixed or you can attach the upper link to a servo to raise and lower the plow remotely. I used a waterproof Traxxas 2075 servo. Even if all three links are fixed, you can take full advantage of using turnbuckles as mounting links and adjust the height and angle. You could even use two servo to control the height and the angle, but that would require a far more complex setup and at 4-channel radio system.
The goal was to create a scale plow–not just a plow. More specifically, a plow that was easy to make, inexpensive and realistic. Realistic meant attention to details.
The first step here was painting the blade. I choose red and used easy-to-find RustOleum Plastic paint because it doesn’t require primer on the PVC. make sure to wash the PVC with dish soap and water before painting.
While making the blade a realistic color made a huge difference, the The Boss decal I added cranked the cool factor up to 11. The decal is cut vinyl from Digital Designed. These guys know RC and will work with you any design. They are my go-to company for custom projects. If you can think of it, odds are they can cut it.
The side guides are yellow antenna tubing that I cut down and attached with ring terminal eyelets for attaching wiring. After crimping the tubing in place, I used a small amount of heat shrink tubing to cover up most of the eyelet.
The black bottom edge of the blade is simply some Lexan scrap cut to size and painted black. Same as it is on the real deal, it is attached with screws.
Continuing the keep it simple and cheap theme, I made the bumper-mounted light bar out of some Styrene tubing that I painted black with Lexan paint. The end result was the desired flat black look. The lights are Pro-Line light buckets that I drilled out and filled with LED bulbs.
The truck I used is my old Project Beater which is a Tamiya CC-01 chassis topped with a Pro-Line 1980 Blazer body. It’s a no-frills fun truck that is used in a manner that lives up to its name. Elitists may scoff at it, but the CC-01 is a great foundation for a scale build that is going to see action. A brand new, sharp looking plow looks a little out of place, but some wear and tear will make it better suit the truck…or maybe a real rust treatment is in order.
About the Author: Matt has over 25 years of experience in RC and has worked professionally in media for over a decade. Matt enjoys everything from racing to rock crawling to bashing, and he believes RC should be all about having fun. Matt is as at home covering a world championship in an exotic country as he is showing a new hobbyist how to set gear mesh. His desire to share the hobby with as many people as possible inspired him to create RC Truck Stop and RCTruckStop.com.