Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Mod: Complete Rapidpistol Build, 3S HoneyBadger Issues


This is something I've worked on for around the past two weeks, and I'm fairly happy with it. I've never been a fan of the Rapidpistol, I never liked how they force battery pack placement above the pusher or in the stock. I also personally much prefer having a full fore end or proper foregrip as opposed to the snub nose of a typical Rapidpistol. However I acquired this Rapidstrike in parts, pre cut for a reasonable price, so I set about to complete it.
I started with the bodywork. As all the main cuts were already made, I just needed to clean them up then patch the holes. Some transparent blue plastic sheet was provided with the Rapidstrike, specifically for patching these holes, and they'd already been cut to roughly the right size and shape. All I needed to do was to set them up right and attach them.
I started with the butt plate and the top piece. The butt plate was easy to do, line up the piece, drill the holes and put the screws in. The top rail needed a bit of shortening, but otherwise fit in nicely. I attached it to the right side of the shell using several layers of 3 day epoxy.
With the top and butt plates in position, I just needed to add the extras. The lever mag release is something I do on all my Rapidstrikes, as I hate the stock RS mag release. It's really squishy and hard to press with my middle finger, so I just make them all lever releases to make my life easier. I usually just get a long piece of spare plastic from my parts bin and glue and screw that on, it's worked well for me so far.
The stock attachment point was simple, it's joined on with more 3 day epoxy and two screws.
To patch up the front, I used the piece from the original RS battery. I even used two of the screws that the battery tray uses. The way it's currently set up, the plate can be easily unscrewed and removed. It also locks barrel extensions into place, although very loosely.
I added a section of tac rail from the remains of a Retal barrel extension on top. As is, it currently sits just in front of a hole left by the orange sling point piece from a regular Rapidstrike. I considered moving it back a little further to look a lot cleaner, but left it as is as that hole provides an ideal location for the balance lead of the internally contained LiPo to be easily accessible.
I intended to use Hellcats for this build, so threw on my spare Hobbymods motor cover. It was a very simple installation, just cut the slot for the motors and stick the cover on.

With all the bodywork done, it was time to do up the internals. I acquired it completely gutted, with no switches or wiring.
I elected to do a "two switch" wiring scheme, popularised by MakeTestBattle. I intended to run a Honey Badger pusher on 3S with Hellcats on flywheels, so a "dead centre three switch" setup would likely have had trouble with pusher overrun. Additionally, I simply could not be bothered doing another cycle control switch, something I've done for my other Rapidstrikes and am completely fed up with setting up. The two switch wiring scheme offers far superior circuit simplicity and gives much better direct pusher control. With no cycle control however, it is entirely possible for the pusher to stop partially out, getting in the way of a reload, and the time between trigger pull and dart firing is highly inconsistent. For high ROF setups, this time between trigger pull and dart firing is less of an issue, but for a typical ~10dps Rhino/Hellcat/Blade 180/XP180 build, is quite noticeable. I would only consider doing a two switch setup for lazy high ROF builds, where cycle control becomes really annoying to set up and you intend to go full auto all the time.
For the rev trigger, I'ved use a full size microswitch, which gives it a nice sharp click press. The main trigger on the other hand uses a submini, which makes it far easier to fit in, but also makes the trigger pull much more squishy and springy. For this Rapidpistol build it's less of an issue, but for any build where you want good trigger response, you'll want a full size microswitch.

I've currently set up the RapidPistol to store its LiPo on top of the pusher box. It protrudes a little and prevents the insertion of the jam door, but shouldn't get in the way unless something goes seriously wrong. The LiPo it's currently using is the one from my Bullpup RS, a 1000mAh 45-90C 3S Turnigy Nanotech. Once I'm completely happy with it, I intend to give it it's own LiPo, so I don't need to move the LiPo back and forth.
The LiPo plugs in at the back, so the main leads need to be threaded through the top of the blaster. This is not a particularly difficult task, but it is a little annoying. Once it has its own LiPo, the balance leads will stick out the top hole, perfect for quickly checking voltage with a cell voltage checker.

With the internals done, the Rapidpistol is complete and ready for use. The Hellcats are great as usual, super fast spinup and have no issue with high ROF. Accuracy is not very good but that's to be expected considering I'm using stock RS flywheels in a stock RS cage, both of which are known to be quite bad. I'm personally not a fan of the snub nose look, but I'm quite happy how it turned out considering it's my first Rapidpistol.
The HoneyBadger pusher on 3S is ludicrous, just about matching an MTB Reaper/Wolverine - capable of about 17dps at full charge. However, as with the MTB Reaper/Wolverine, I've had issues with the Honey Badger getting damaged on 3S, and slowing down substantially. Probably around 100 darts after the above video, the HB suddenly slowed down and became rather inconsistent. I ran it for a bit longer, and eventually it settled down to around 13dps at full charge. Comparatively, this is pretty slow, and I can easily match and exceed that with a variety of other motors. For instance, my Bullpup RS is currently running an XP180 with a drop diode, reaching about 14dps at full charge, and it's lasted several events with no issue. I've also run it with a Blade 180/-3240 for some time (also ~13-14dps), and that motor suffered no noticeable damage.
I've put in a spare HB for now, but I'll be checking with others who have HB pushers on 3S to see if it's a common problem, or I just have terrible luck. If this HB toasts as well and it turns out to be a significant issue, I'll probably just find another motor that can reliably achieve ~15dps on 3S. I hope to have all issues resolved by the September MHvZ.

As mentioned before, this Rapidpistol is set up to take a full set of attachments, akin to a Retaliator/Recon. It doesn't take barrel extensions very well, so I'll likely just stick with the faux flash hider, and I quite like the Raider stock extended by one notch. The extended butt of the Rapidpistol increases stock length significantly, which makes shorter stocks like the Recon MkII's usable. As to why I'm running a stock on a Rapidpistol in the first place, I have a significant preference to shouldering blasters, unless they're pistols (e.g. my Sweet Revenges).

Barring that pusher motor issue, my Rapidpistol is pretty much done for now. Everything else functions well, and aesthetically there's not much I can do at the moment besides cleaning up the edges a little more. It was a fun and relatively easy project (considering how much I've struggled with other projects), and it's turning out to be a really fun blaster.

If you have a functioning RS build with a HoneyBadger pusher on 3S, do please let me know what ROF you're getting, and how much you've used it.

EDIT 10/9/15: I gave my Rapidpistol some combat testing today at MHvZ on 3S with a new HoneyBadger pusher. It seemed to work really well and so far has not shown any signs of damage, so hopefully that lasts.


  1. I think I know why the motors are breaking. For high rof use, they need to be broken in (as per MTB Rapidstrike guide) first.

    1. Also a possibility, I'm thinking of breaking it in with a few AAs and maybe running it on 2S for now, at least until I can figure out the 3S issue.

  2. What 2s battery will fit above the pusher box?