RC in the Mainstream – Aaron Hess on a Monster Truck Freestyle Course

It’s pretty rare to see RC in the mainstream, be it at events, or in the media in one form or another. This is the reason  I was surprised when my local Radio Station, Chilli 90.1 FM, came on board as the naming sponsor for my club’s major race for the year. 

However today Proline posted some photos and information on a display some of it’s drivers did at the Mega Promotions Monster Truck Tour at RWR Rodeo Arena in Denison,Texas.  I’ve reposted below what transpired and how popular they were with the crowd.

ARON HESS ATTACKS THE MONSTER TRUCK FREESTYLE COURSE

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We were entertaining a crowd of around 2,000 spectators during intermission of Mega Promotions Monster Truck Tour at RWR Rodeo Arena in Denison,Texas.

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We gathered up a lot of our RC friends to put on this show along with fellow P-L teammates Aaron Royston,  Mark Santa Maria and Bo Brock.

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We were asked to go out before the show started to allow the ticket lines to enter the arena. We stole the show right from the start with big air soaring over the crushed cars on the arena floor. The crowd was very loud letting it be known that they loved what we were doing.

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Intermission came and we went on. The crowd was once again very vocal with all the whips and flips avoiding all the carnage that the Monster Trucks had left behind. The fans were coming to our pit areas looking over our equipment as we were answering a lot of their questions. This was a lot of fun.

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We have two more shows lined up in Baytown,TX and Lawton, OK. We are looking forward to these next two shows. We have 5 more shows already lined up for 2015 as well. If we are putting on show in your area feel free to come join in as we try to move forward with a different venue in the RC Community.

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Thanks to all my sponsors and anyone that contributed to help put this show on. We have lots of crazy stunts planned in the near future as we entertain these rowdy crowds bringing them closer to the RC Industry.

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Keep up the good work Aaron and the guys at Proline!

Source: http://www.prolineracing.com/blog/2014/08/16/aaron-hess-attacks-the-monster-truck-freestyle-course/

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1/4 Scale Grave Digger

You see some weird and wonderful things that have been made radio controlled on the internet, but occasionally they are magnificent, and this 1/4 scale Grave Digger is no exception!

Running a Stinger 609-mini V8 engine (with a cost by itself of some $7,400 USD reportedly) it looks and runs very well, but check it out for yourself below.

RC Rally Car Size Comparisons

As a slower news day, I thought I would shamelessly post about one of my favorite RC niches, RC Rally Cars!  There has been a welcome boom in the number of RC Rally cars on the market in the last few months. Most of these are in the larger and more capable category of Short Course Truck based cars as opposed to the more scale 1:10 vehicles which are touring car sized, although the latest offering from Kyosho is 1:10, but only an update of an older model.

I had been becoming a little disheartened with my XV-01 if i”m honest.  I’d had little time behind the wheel, and on the times I had been driving, the terrain was just too large for the vehicle, meaning it wasn’t as fun as it could have been.  I had started looking at the larger vehicles as a replacement that could handle a broader variety of surfaces. Then my local club had a family BBQ / practice day at the track.  It had been wet and the road outside was wet, muddy and about the right scale of surface.  It was  just begging for some rally action!

Yes, I know, I need to trim the body posts!

Yes, I know, I need to trim the body posts!

The result, I had a blast, as on the right surface the XV-01 platform really is hard to beat for fun and scale handling. But it did get me thinking, the different scales of RC Rally cars from the Losi 1:5 Rally Mini down to the 1:16 Traxxas rally can be a surprising distance apart in size, so I thought i’d post some photos and videos that I new would highlight the different sizes clearly!

So what sizes are there?  I’ve categorised them into a few groups below for reference. I have not included the micro cars that have limited off road ability, but have included some recently available models. Personally I love the 1:10 / Scale size cars for their realistic scale appearance.

Mini 1:10 / Scale SCT Based Larger Scale
Vaterra Kemora
Vaterra Kalahari
Traxxas 1:16 Rally
Tamiya XV-01
Tamiya DF-01RA
Tamiya TT-01
Tamiya TT-02
Kyosho Fazer
Rally Legends Models
Traxxas Rally
Losi TEN Rally-X
Team Associated ProRally
Vaterra Ford Fiesta Rallycross
HPI WR8 (scale 1:8)
Kyosho DRX (1:8)
Thunder Tiger ER-4 Mini (1:8)
Losi Mini WRC (1:5)

As a useful visual guide, here is a great video from Jang over at Ultimate RC comparing the size some of the above vehicles side by side.

And this video talking about the capabilities of each, and which he would choose.  You can find individual reviews of each from Jang as well.

And this great photo from the rally section of the RC Crawler forums showing from Left to Right, DRX, WR8, XV01, XV01, Atomik, DRX.

Axial ESC – Motor recomendations form Team Novak

The guys over at Team Novak are always a helpful bunch, and the other day released a helpful guide showing their recomendations for ESC and Motor combinations for the Axial Racing lineup of vehicles.

If you are in the market for a new system for your Axial rig it is certainly worth checking out at  http://teamnovak.com/file_download/1405096973Novak_System_Recommendations_Axial_%28web%29.pdf

Vaterra Twin Hammers

They teased us with photos the other day, and today it’s been revealed as a Twin Hammers

But don’t dismay, this is a Twin Hammers Rock Racer Kit, paint your own body, install your own equipment.  And, well I want one!!

Kit VTR03001 comes with no electronics at all so you can put your choice of equipment in. It includes the 2 speed transmission, metal gear differentials, 4 link suspension, licensed Interco Super Swamper tyres, unpainted body panels, front differential lock, metal wheel hexes, metal transmission gears, heavy duty front outdrives swaybars and alloy bodied shocks.  So basically it includes the pick of upgrades for the Twin Hammers RTR !

A kit without paint hasn’t looked so good for some time!

Source: http://www.vaterrarc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdId=VTR03001

Tune up tips for the WR8 from HPI

I love rally cars, I just find the appeal of going sideways on dirt irresistible! To fulfill that dirt urge, I have a Tamiya XV-01 that I use, but at the time it was a real toss up between it and the WR8 from HPI.  At the time, the bodies and parts available for the XV-01 won me over, but this article from hpi shows just how many parts are actually available for the larger WR8 (happy to take donations of WR8’s from anybody that doesn’t want theirs by the way).

The article can be found on the HPI website here http://www.hpiracing.com/en/article/view/2014061302 and covers pretty much everything you could ever want for one of these beasts along with some great information and photos, enjoy!

 

What to Buy – Rally Cars

Hello to all on my first blog post for Aussie RC News!

For those of you that know me, you know that I love Rally, in both it’s full size and small scale versions.  Even to the extent of keeping up with what is happening with the fairly active Colorado RC Rally Championship.

Given the recent release of a Rally car from Team Associated, I thought we would have a stroll through the RC Rally cars that are available on the market today, or soon in some cases.

Today I am going to focus on three similar vehicles mostly, the Losi TEN Rally X, the Team Associated ProRally and the Traxxas Rally.  Why?  Because all there are a similar size, 4wd Short Course truck based, Ready to Run vehicles. These are a good compromise between looks ,handling, durability, capability and price. Let’s start with some numbers, prices I have pulled from Amain Hobbies and are a guide only.

Traxxas Rally Losi TEN-Rally X Associated ProRally
Length 552 mm 540 mm 535 mm
Wheelbase 324 mm 334 mm 324 mm
Width 297 mm 296 mm 296 mm
Based on LCG Slash 4×4 Ten-SCTE ProLite 4×4
Waterproof Yes Yes Resistant
Motor 3500 KV 3900 KV 3500 KV
Tech  – AVC  –
Price  $410  $520  $380

Traxxas Rally

Of these three focus vehicles the Traxxas Rally was the first to the party with the first release of the official Low Center of Gravity (LCG) Chassis for the slash 4×4 platform.  Fitted with a low hatch type body and rally tyres the Rally expanded on an already popular shaft driven 4×4  platform for Traxxas. By all accounts it has certainly hit the spot with regards to durability and price although there has been some criticism of its BFGoodrich replica tyres and handling, but it was never a dedicated rally platform to start with so you shouldn’t expecting handling like the rally cars on television. Some criticism has also been leveled at the car for it’s lack of resemblance in shape and livery to a real vehicle, but I don’t think that is enough to not want to buy it. http://traxxas.com/products/models/electric/7407rally

I am quite partial to the Traxxas Rally in green.

Losi TEN-Rally X

Whilst the Traxxas Rally isn’t exactly an older vehicle, the Losi TEN-Rally X is a fairly new release and was one of Losi’s first models to be released with Active Vehicle Control from Spektrum.  Similar in appearance to it’s 1:24 micro scale cousin, it is a much larger package with a bigger punch.  Shaft driven and in the conventional layout of most 4×4 short course trucks, it is fitted with rally inspired tyres and a hot hatch style rally body. However the addition of the AVC to this vehicle appears to contribute to it’s price, almost a clear $100 more than the offerings from Traxxas and Team Associated. http://www.losi.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=LOS03000

Looks great in action.

Team Associated ProRally

Released less than a week ago this rally beast is based on the Prolite 4×4 short course truck from Team Associated.  The associated has a much more realistic looking hatch body with a Rockstar sponsored livery that makes it look spot on like a real rally car. A good price point which appears to be under $400 USD this vehicle is listed as having water resistant components, whereas the other two vehicles here are listed as being waterproof.  How waterproof any are in real life I can’t ascertain from here, but as more real world reviews appear that will reveal itself. http://www.teamassociated.com/cars_and_trucks/Pro_Rally_4WD/RTR/

Looks more like the real thing, and a good price.

Other Rally Options

Now these three are far from your only options when it comes to rally cars, there is everything available form 1:24 rally cars up to the gigantic 1:5 Rally Car (both form Losi actually).

The HPI WR8 Flux available currently in the Ken Block 2013 GRC (Global Rallycross) livery is one that comes to mind.  Marketed as a 1:8 scale vehicle it has a similar wheelbase to the above three vehicles, but is actually a much smaller vehicle than these supposedly 1:10 scale vehicles from Traxxas, Losi and Associated.  The big difference is the WR8 is much narrower and is not only a licensed body shape with a real livery, but is nearer to a more accurate model in it’s scale.  At $480 USD it is a great looking vehicle for the money, and very durable and powerful, but a bit of an orphan when it comes to wheels, tyres and bodies with it being almost a unique size and scale outside of HPI. http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/112715

The Tamiya XV-01 is another that I really wanted to include, mainly because this is my personal rally ride at the moment.  With a range of realistic bodies available because it is the standard 1:10 size of most touring and drift cars. For scale realism, this is the car that ticks the boxes.  This belt driven vehicle has protection for not only the belts from dirt and debris, but for the electronics of the radio and ESC as well.  The motor is front mounted giving this vehicle an amazing scale handling characteristic.  However where it falls down is it’s small scale.  You really need to find some scale terrain to drive it on.  On blue metal, it suffers and gets rocks jammed in the steering, on a 1:10 off road course the obstacles are simply too large.  Whilst I have loved it, I have found fewer off road places to drive it than I expected.  Don’t let that put you off, if you have the right kind of terrain, it is an absolute BLAST to drive.  https://www.tamiyausa.com/items/radio-control-kits-30/4wd-rally-on-road-(xv)-36180/rc-subaru-impreza-wrx-sti-58528

Rally cars can not be spoken of without looking at the Rally Legends models.  Whilst not the most technically complex or advanced vehicles, they more than make up for this in incredible scale looks.  With licensed bodies and liveries of famous rally cars such as the Lancia Stratos, Fiat 131 Abarth, Lancia Delta S4, Lancia 037, Ford Escort and Iveco Tracker Dakar Truck.  http://www.rallylegendsrc.com/ and http://www.rallylegendmodels.com/RLM_-_Online_Store.html

In the LARGE scale, you have the monstrous, $2000 Losi Mini WRC car, complete with AVC, 29cc petrol engine with EFI, 800 cc fuel tank, remote operated start and a licensed Mini Body.  Great looks and would sound great, but out of the budget of many drivers. http://www.losi.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=LOS05000

Slightly smaller is the Kyosho DRX VE, marketed as a 1:8 and 1:9, but more like a 1:7 scale vehicle.  Realistically it is a similar size to the three short course converted vehicles featured in this article, but the electric and nitro versions of this model have been on the market for some time.  With a few licensed bodies available the DRX VE is more like a converted 8th scale buggy than short course truck in it’s layout, size and configuration fitted with tenth scale electronics.  At around $400 USD it is a big model capable of covering a broad range of terrain.  There are some weak points of the DRX design, however while the model price is good, bodies can be very expensive to replace. However all in all it is acknowledged to be a good rc car.  http://www.kyosho.com/eng/products/rc/detail.html?product_id=108654

There are a lot of other rally cars of varying scales available, but I thought I would cover the more popular ones today rather than every one on the market!