Introduction: RC Santa Sleigh

Hi all.

Today I will be showing you how to make a foam board RC Santa Sleigh.

I had the electronics left over from a plane that didn't work, and the idea had been in the back of my mind for a while. I had a free day, and because it's Christmas time I decided to give it a shot. After I made the prototype and tested it, it kept going in a circle, no matter what I did, and the rudder could only help control the speed at which it turned. I tried various things before discovering that the batter has to be centred, otherwise it presses down on one side too much.

I thought it was cool so I decided that I would make an Instructable of it, so here we are.



1x Emax Brushless Motor - MT1806-2280kv

1x Brushless ESC 12A

1x 5x3 Prop

1x Receiver + Transmitter

1x 9g Servo

Foam board - Red if you can get it otherwise I would recommend spray painting it, or covering it in a red tape, which is what I did.

Packing Tape

1.5mm plywood


Thin blade knife

Hot glue gun + glue

Wire Cutters

Soldering Iron

Wire strippers

Step 1: Cut Out the Foam Board

Print out the PDF called Sleigh Side, or download it from the source - Use scissors to cut it out, but leave the section between the rails as that will be structurally important.

If you are taping I would recommend doing that now.

Place it on the foam board and trace out two of them. Then trace out two 100 x 85mm rectangles. Finally trace out one rectangle that is 60 x 75mm. Cut out all the shapes.

If you are spray painting I would recommend doing that now, Remember to paint both sides of the sides but one side of the rectangles.

Step 2: Prep for Gluing

Heat up your hot glue gun.

Place a side piece flat. Place the long side of a large rectangle on the side piece level with the bottom. Place the battery right above it, and mark the top of the battery.

Repeat for the other side piece.

Mark out two 85x100mm rectangles and one 55x100mm rectangle.

Cut out all the pieces.

In one of the 85x100mm rectangles cut a square hole 10mm on a side, 50mm from the front.

Step 3: Glue It Together

Glue a large rectangle level with the bottom, and glue the other 1mm below the battery mark. This will ensure that when we slide the battery in it is held stationary.

Then glue on the other side in equal positions.

On the top plate in the centre, 50mm from the front of the plate cut out a square that is about 10x10mm.

Glue bamboo skewers to the insides of the skis, and also use them to reinforce the front ski curls, as shown.

Step 4: Electronics Time: Part 1 ESC

The electronics in this are relatively simple. Mostly it is plugging stuff in.

To start with we will need to setup the ESC. The ESC and motor I got already had bullet plugs in so all I need to do is add a switch in the positive wire and an XT60 plug to the end.

Step 5: Electronics Time: Part 2 PLUGINS!! (Hardware Not Software)

Plug the servo lead of the ESC into the throttle port on the receiver. Thread the servo lead through the top hole, so that the servo is on top while the lead comes out the bottom. Plug the lead into the aileron port on the receiver.

Then plug the ESC into the motor, ensure that the switch is in the off position and plug the ESC into the battery.

Step 6: Rudder

Cut out a rectangular piece of foam board 100 x 55 mm. Cut a line 10mm out from the long edge, not all the way through, and bend the foam board so that it splits. Use the knife to cut a 45 degree bevel on the large part. Use packing tape to reinforce the join.

Cut the centre of a servo horn off and glue it to the upper section, about 10mm from the bend.

Step 7: Motor Mount

Score lines on the small rectangle at 20 and 23mm from both 60mm edges. Bend the foam board so that it splits, and use the knife to cut out those parts. Put hot glue in the splits and bend them up so that the two sides sit on top of middle section.

Cut out a rectangle that is 25 x 35, and drill holes for the motor. Place glue on the end of the motor mount and press the plywood on. Bolt the motor on.

Glue the motor on the centre of the top plate, ensuring that it is aligned so that the propeller has room to spin in front of the sleigh body, but behind the skis.

Step 8: Electronics Time Part 3: Mounting

Push the battery into the centre of the gap between the plates. Use double sided tape or hot glue to secure the other components inside the plates.

Use glue to secure the rudder onto the rear of the sleigh. Glue the servo on behind the motor mount. Use a strong wire to connect the rudder to the servo.

Step 9: Final Checks

Ensure that the prop is not on the motor. Turn the switch on. Spin the motor and make sure it is spinning in the right direction. If it is not switch any two of the leads. Ensure that the rudder is moving in the right direction. It should be possible to switch it on the transmitter.

Mount the propeller onto the motor now.

Step 10: Maiden Drive

I don't know if this is a thing, but if it isn't I am now making it one. I would recommend testing it on wooden flooring. It doesn't work well on carpet, and tiles can be a bit bumpy.

Be careful though, don't drive to close to walls as the prop can collide with the wall. It can also spin out so don't stand right next to it.

Have Fun and Merry Christmas!