What is going on at Team Durango?

At this stage the answer to the question many people seem to be asking is nobody knows!

Ok, let’s go back a step, there has been a few things that have been annoying me about Team Durango over the last year.  Trying to get a DEX210 V2 or V3 body for example.  for the last 12 months few if anybody seems to have managed it! But I never put anything together with something happening until I read this Inside Line RC article this morning http://www.insidelinerc.com/off-road/durango-dnx8-discontinued-is-there-more-to-the-story/ .

 

The gist of it is that the new DNX8 buggy from Team Durango is showing on Tower Hobbies/Hobbico as Discontinued. Now this car was only announced early in 2015, a 1.5 year lifetime is extremely short for any platform. Ok, so the IFMAR 1/8 World Championships are coming up, but it seems a little off to me.  Other models are also listed as temporarily unavailable as well.  Of note these items are not listed as unavailable or discontinued on the Team Durango website.

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Next came the confirmation this afternoon (again hinted at in the Inside Line RC article) that Travis Amezcua, who is to many the public face of Team Durango, has parted ways with the company. Again this could be a case of greener pastures, or just time to move on, however the only thing hinted at in recent online postings from Travis was only hinting at new products that couldn’t be revealed.  Exciting maybe, but then to leave in the next breath seems … odd.  Maybe it’s the conspiracy theorist in me LOL.

I would suggest that something big is in the works for Team Durango.  A swath of new vehicles seems unlikely, however big news at a company level seems to be a likely outcome.  What that news is for better, or for worse, is yet to be seen. Certainly it would be a pity to see such an innovative player in the market disappear, especially one that discards the norms that have been set by other manufacturers and stands up to clearly say, “i’m doing things my way.”

Still, it adds a certain amount of drama to the lead up to the IFMAR Worlds doesn’t it!

 

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Racing Lines 241 hitting shelves for October

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Yes the October 2016 edition of Racling ines is out.  Here is a look at what Aussie goodness you will find between the covers of this month’s edition.

  • Auto Alley (news) looks at the Thunder Tiger Bush Master RTR and breaks news of the new X-ray XT2 Stadium Truck that has performed very well in the recent EOS race series. It also looks at some of Team Associated’s latest small scale offerings as well as prolines new Mini Rock Crawler.
  • Testbench examines the Sanwa MT-S
  • Second look re examines the Helion Four 10SC RTR which has recieved some new gold bling hopups which seems to be taking it’s punishment well.
  • Quads and Drones look at the Traxxas Aton, something I have been interested to see some direct feedback on.  The Air break feature is an interesting on that will be of great help for those trying out the Expert mode on the Aton that’s for sure! and all in all it looks the goods.  There is a second look here detailing a crash between the Aton and a camera quad after teh initial review, and let’s say the Aton survived, and stayed airborne in less than desirable conditions!
  • RC History examines the history of one of the big names in RC, Traxxas.
  • In the reviews DHK’s Optimus XL gets a shakedownby Chris Lander.
  • Rau Munday looks at the Team Associated B6Din details and tests the vehicle.
  • Christian Brunelli gives the Helion Intrusion XLR Monster truck a bashand seems very impressed.  Personaly I am very impressed with Helion as a whole from what I have been reading and experiencing myself.
  • And of course Racing Lines has all the info on upcoming races, race results and reports from around the country.

RTR Stadium Trucks in 2016

So as promised, let’s have a look at some of the Ready to Run (RTR) Stadium Trucks out there.  Now strictly speaking a Staduum Truck (ST) Should be 2wd, however here we have a mix of 2wd, 4wd and eve some Nitro 2wd trucks added to the mix.  I have included the 4wd Trucks because they seem to fit this genre best, and 1:10 Truggy really isn’t a term used much, and it tends to confuse them with their bigger brother the 1:8 size truggy.

Team Associated

The T4.2 is the RTR offering from Associated, and while it’s not the most up to date platform from the brand, that far from makes it a bad truck.  Associated know how to put together a good car, and so you shouldn’t overlook this offering which comes fitted with 3300kv Reedy combo, and there is even a Lipo combo with Lipo instead of the older NIMH batteries.

 

HPI Racing

Now HPI have a lineup of 2 (and 3 depending on how you look at it) stadium trucks.  My first stadium truck was one of their E-Firestorm 10T trucks fitted with a 15T brushed motor, and that is a vehicle that  is still available to this day as well as it’s Flux (Brushless) version with a significantly more potent 4000kv brushless combo which is waterproof.

There is also the first Nitro offering of the group in the form of the Firestorm 10T, which while it shares the name and some parts, it really is a different platform to the E-Firestorm.  With a Nitro Star 3.0 pul lstart motor for grunt

The newest offering is a little different and appears in the form of the Jumpshot ST.  The Jumpshot range of vehicles have drifted towards a Savage style Twin Vertical Plate (TVP) chassis rather than the horizontal plate or tub chassis you find in most other ST’s.  The Jumpshot ST is an entry level vehicle designed for bashing with only a brushed motor, higher clearance than the more racing stance of the E-Firestorm and

Traxxas

Now we really can’t complete this list without looking at the trucks from Traxxas.  The classic Rustler starts at the top of the Traxxas list, with of course the Brushless VXL beside it with it’s 3500kv, waterproof, brushless combo to push it along.  Of note in the lineup is a Courtney Force and Pink editions of these trucks aimed at female bashers and racers.

On the nitro side there are two offerings, the Nitro Rustler and Nitro Sport.  Now outwardly the two look much the same, however chassis and motors are different on the two vehicles, with the Sport being a little paired back, and perhaps being the more budget of the two, and also has a lower top speed as well.

ECX

Many have not heard of this brand, but it is filling a niche at the entry level of RC cars very well.  Yes their styling and paint schemes aren’t as pretty as some others, but they are a fairly new company at the bottom rung of the Horizon Hobby tree. The Circuit & Circuit brushless are the two offerings here in Stadium Truck.  So you have the Circuit, 2wd Brushed truck, The Circuit 4wd Brushed Truck and the Circuit 4wd brushelss truck.  Confused? Me too! However for their price, they have a lot to offer so they are worth checking out.

 

ARRMA

A part of the group that owns Team Durango, ARRMA have a fairly rugged and practical line of vehicles ranging across most genre’s including ST. The Vorteks Mega Brushed is the entry level car with Brushed motor, plastic chassis and a battery compartment you access frum under the car.  Move up to the middle of the line Vorteks BLS and you get a Brushless motor and speed controller, a new fancy paint scheme and a 7 cell nimh battery.  At the top of the ladder sits the Vortekx BLX with a better brushless motor and speed controller including an in built fan on top of the BLS upgrades over the Mega car. You also get a TVP metal chassis rather than the plastic one of the Mega and BLS. All the cars in the range have waterproof electronics and seem to work well in any environment. A good package at a great price point.

LRP

Ok, most people know LRP for their electronics in race cars, not for entire vehicles, however that’s no reason to discount them when trying to choose a new truck. Blast and Twister are the names of their 4wd (Blast) and 2wd (Twister) platforms. Both are available in brushed and brushless guises utilising the renowned LRP speed controllers and motors. In fact in the Twister Extreme a Outlaw X100 4.5T 4700kV Brushless motor is fitted, expect some serious speed here!

Tamiya

One of the original Stadium Trucks the Stadium Blitzer was the RC car that first got me interested in proper hobby grade RC cars after seeing a pair on an oval track at a display in Devonport probably around the time of their release in the early 90’s. Along with the Stadium Thunder they are iconic vehicles in the RC circles, almost as much as the RC10T, perhaps more depending on who you talk to. Ok, to clarify, these are technically kits, not RTR’s, however there is a joy in making your own truck, and you certainly wouldn’t call these vehicles racers. So don’t overlook these classics when making your choice of ST.

 

Kyosho

Kyosho has the twin offerings of the Mad Bug VE and the Mad Bug Vei. Both are attractive 4wd Short Course Trucks with VW Beetle bodies,  The Vei has the interesting feature of having one of the Orion all in one motor/esc combos, so there are less parts to fit in the vehicle, although one downfall is that if one part fails, both need to be replaced as it is the one unit.  However the theory is sound and keeps the car’s electronics nice and simple.

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Losi

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Now in the past Losi has made a rather nice 1:10 Desert Truck, but alas they no longer make it, however if you are looking lower on the scale chart you will find the 1:18 Mini Desert Truck.  Same thing, but smaller! And smaller is not another word for worse, you can zip around in a smaller area, or even inside with these 1:18 vehicles, although they are far larger than the micro size of some of the smaller Losi offerings.