My, How Time Flies at Mark Twain Hobby Center

My, how time flies. Dan McEntee, our longest part timer (32 years) stopped by yesterday and showed me the first Mark Twain Hobby Center newsletter. It was dated November 1980. Since it was only 2 pages I thought that it would fit into this post. What is really interesting are the products and prices from 33 years ago. One great example was the Lindberg Blue Devil Destroyer plastic model kit. Back then we had it on special for $17.99. Now they retail at $129.95 with a street price of about $80.00. Or how about the Kraft 6 channel sport series radio with servos and receiver for $235.00. Those were the days.

One other thing that you don’t see much of any longer is the fact that I typed this newsletter on an electric typewriter. I know, some of you that are quite young are asking what is an electric typewriter. Heck, sometimes we didn’t even use correcting fluid, we just typed right over the mistake.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy going back a few years in time.

Dennis

PS Don’t expect these prices to be valid today. (That’s a disclaimer)old newsletter

old newsletter-1


SLASH4X4 LOW CG CONVERSION

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Traxxas created another hit when they introduced the 4 x 4 SLASH. Durable, fast and most of all, fun to drive. Traxxas is the company that started the short course truck craze, just like they did with monster trucks several years earlier.

Check Out our Low CG Photo Gallery Here

 

It didn’t take long for the other names in RC to come out with their version’s of short course 2wd and 4wd vehicles of their own. Manufactures like Losi and Associated who tend to make competition level vehicles, were quick on Traxxas’ heels and released better handling versions that the more racer oriented folks typically purchase.

 

Enter the Traxxas low CG conversion. The already good 4 x 4 SLASH could now be made to handle even better by converting the chassis and a few other components, which lowers the overall center of gravity significantly. The lower the CG, the less potential for body roll, the better handling the vehicle will be, which should make the vehicle faster through the turns.

 

Since the shop has an older SLASH 4 x 4 demo vehicle for customers to drive we thought it would be neat to see just how much better the new chassis design is. The idea being that we would bring the stock SLASH to our local indoor track, (Smac Trac), to get some average lap times from a couple different drivers. Then convert over to the new low CG chassis, and have those same two people get average lap times for comparison, hopefully proving that lower CG will improve lap times.

 

Traxxas part #7421 includes everything needed for the conversion. Chassis, new style battery strap (no more body pin), motor mount, and front and rear suspension arm mounts. It also includes a little instruction sheet exploded view showing how it all goes together. The conversion itself took about 3 hours to complete.

 

After tracking average lap times for Dennis Fischer and myself, our two average lap times came out to 25.29 on the original version. The low CG conversion dropped our average time to 23.67. That is over 1.5 seconds faster!

 

The addition of sway bars, GTR shocks, and a center diff should make it faster still. This is a perfect example of creating speed, not by increasing horsepower, but by making a better handling vehicle.

 

Conclusion: We thought that lowering the CG would make for a better handling car, which in turn would make for faster lap times, it did!

Check Out our Low CG Photo Gallery Here

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-Darren Vancour
(Manager, Mark Twain Hobby)


Are You Immersed In Your Hobby?

World War 1 Soldiers in France with a Bee Suit

World War 1 Soldiers in France with a Bee Suit

While this picture is not related to any of the hobbies that we carry at Mark Twain Hobby Center, I am using it to ask you “Are You Immersed In Your Hobby”? This fellow certainly is. This is a group of World War 1 soldiers in France obviously taking some needed rest. The “Bee Suit” that the one soldier is wearing is actually a swarm of honey bees. To do this he took the queen from the swarm and placed her on his clothing up around his neck. When the rest of the swarm located her they lit onto his clothing and neck and hung out forming the “Bee Suit”. Obiously, this soldier had the hobby of beekeeping back in the states and was used to being around the bees as he is very comfortable with them. Do you take the time to show people your hobby, or spend time telling others about the neat things that you do? Do you get really excited about the things that you do or build and want to share it with others? I certainly do and think that if you were to put out a survey it would show that those that enjoy their hobby the most are the same ones that share their excitement and joy with others about that hobby. Clubs are a great place to find others that have the same hobby interest and passion as you. How about sharing with others through such outlets as nursing/adult day care centers or at the library or in the schools?

Over the years that we have been in business, we have put different groups in touch with hobbyists that would go out and spend a little time with others sharing their interest and passion. One such event dealt with older men in an assisted living facility that enjoyed building balsa stick models. Dan McEntee spent time with them talking about the models and showing what was available and tips on building these models. The feedback from the facility was phenomenal as each person shared their memories of building models as a kid. Or about the times that were spent with Cub Scouts giving tips on building better Pinewood Derby cars.

Check with your church or local community center to find out the possibility of setting up a beginning model building class or take a youngster out to the field the next time you fly. You will be surprised at the effect that your enthusiasm will have on them.

Take a look at the soldiers that surround this bee hobbyist. Want to bet some of them will go back to states and set up a bee hive.

Spread the word, hobbies are fun

Dennis


Radio and RC Airplane Setup Class by FUTABA Sponsored Pilot

radioclass


Fall Sale

Well, here we go again. Friday, Saturday and Sunday (November 16,17 and 18) only. Mark Twain Hobby Center will be having a 20% OFF whatever you can carry to the register sale. So load your carts into your car and come on in. Just as a reminder this sale does not include gift cards, lay-aways, consignment or used items or special orders of our Ebay store. However, anything else that does not fall into those categories is on sale, even stuff that would normally not be discountable.

This is our way of saying thank you to all of our valued customers and friends.

Mark Twain Hobby Center 20 percent off sale

Mark Twain Hobby Center 20% OFF sale


Hobby Clubs and You

Over the years I have seen many a hobbyist go strong in their particular area of interest only to peter out as time went on because they did not have anyone to talk with that shared the same interest. Or there were times when the kids soccer games were over and the hobby interest was rekindled and the search was on to rejoin the group or club once again. While the number of clubs or number of members might not be as great as it was years ago before competition with the web or television there are a surprising number of groups or associations out there with your particular hobby interest. Here is a list of groups that we have put together:

http://www.hobby1.com/Hobby-Links.html

I am sure that there are some clubs or groups that were missed, and I welcome your response to let me know of them. Whether your interest is Model Railroading, Radio Control Airplanes, Boats or Car/Truck racing, War Gaming, building Scale Models, it really doesn’t matter, there is a group of like minded people like you. As a rule there are also blogs and forums on the web that cater to your interests as well. Even if you are not a “club person” per say, just hanging around friends that share the same interest has always been motivation to keep plugging away at a project for me and will do the same for you.

I encourage you to look into and join or support the local hobby club or association that shares your hobby interest.

Keep on hobbying

Dennis


Mark Twain Hobby AT NHRA Midwest Races

Last weekend at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison Illinois (just across the river from Saint Louis) Traxxas set up a booth showing their RC trucks and cars.  Mark Twain Hobby Center was represented in the booth by Sean Cason, Dennis Fischer, Darren Vancour, Bob Fowler, Sherrie Stueck and Jerry Dean. Way to go guys (and Sherrie). For more pictures check out this link at KPLR TV:

http://kplr11.com/2012/10/01/pictures-nhra-midwest-nationals-sunday-sunday-sunday/
Dennis


What up?

Things are always a little nuts around here at Mark Twain Hobby Center. There are always some new products arriving in the warehouse and of course tons of restocks. Rachel does a great job keeping things straight back there in receiving. I would imagine that there are times when she is a bit overwhelmed after FedEx and UPS have arrived. Anyway, here are just a couple of new things that are hot!

1/8 scale DXR8-E Pro Roller Off-Road Buggy Rolling Chassis

Duratrax 1/8 scale DXR8-E Pro Roller Off-Road Buggy Rolling Chassis

http://www.hobby1.com/product.php?productid=51444&cat=&page=1

This is the new 1/8 scale DXR8-E Pro Roller Off-Road Buggy Rolling Chassis by Duratrax.

Or how about the TKR5000 by Tekno RC.

Tekno Radio Control TKR5000 EB-48 Electric racing buggy

Tekno Radio Control TKR5000 EB-48 Electric racing buggy

Here is a link for more information:

http://www.hobby1.com/product.php?productid=51445&cat=&page=1
and finally, we received the NEW 2013 Walthers HO Reference book in today. What a great book to sit down and drool over the cool train items and layouts that are shown.

Walthers 2013 HO Scale Train Reference Book

Walthers 2013 HO Scale Train Reference Book

Well, that is it for now. Keep on hobbying……….
Dennis

 


Traxxas Robbie Gordon Speed 1/10 SLASH

The Traxxas Robbie Gordon Speed 1/10 SLASH 2WD RC race truck had only been available through Robbie Gordon and they were really not for sale but promotion. Due to a shipping error from Traxxas to one of our suppliers we were able to get hold of some and have them available ready to drive. Here is a link to them on the website:

http://www.hobby1.com/traxxasSlash2wdRobbyGordonEdition.html

This is one cool truck. Take a look at the other graphics:

They will go fast so don’t delay.

Have a great day.

Dennis


Rumor Alert! RC8.2e RS RTR from Team Associated | rcdriver.com

Rumor Alert! RC8.2e RS RTR from Team Associated | rcdriver.com.

Associated RC8 2E

Here is a quick video