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Ask Cubby’ Category

ASK Cubby

I’m thinking of buying a hellion dominus, can a lipo be used in the truck in its stock form?
thank you,
Frank B.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Franky B, thanks for taking the time to shoot out an email.

For those not familiar with the Helion Dominus, it’s Helion’s 4wd 10th scale short course truck. It has an affordable price point, $199, and won March Bashness a couple years ago, which is voted on strictly by our readers. We liked the one we got to review, the Dominus is a basic, affordable, bash machine.

So… does it do Lipo in stock form? You are gonna love this answer, yes and no.

Yes you can! If you use a Lipo that has a relatively small form factor and you don’t mind driving without an LVC (low voltage cut-off).

No you can not! If you use a ROAR sized Lipo and want some low voltage protection.

Now… the BigSquid Bash Crew doesn’t really freak over the lack of an LVC. We routinely drive vehicles that do not have an LVC in their speedo. We have learned that when you first start feeling a pack getting soft you pull off and re-charge. However, if you are a noobie noob, an LVC can come in handy to keep you from over-discharging your Lipo pack.

Also of note, we ran Lipo in our test truck, a ROAR sized one at that, but to fit such a pack requires some elbow grease. You can find the details on what it takes Here, but if you don’t feel like doing any modding, you might want to look at another platform.

“Send to Cubby
Who you think the number one company that makes bashing trucks and cars is, all my friends say Traxxas but I like HPI the best.
Shiloh F.”

Cubby- Hey now Shiloh, what’s up and be sure to shoot Brian your snail mail so we can hook ya up with an uber BSRC sticker set.

So who do I think the numero uno manufacture (<- sorry guy from last week, LOL) of bash machines is? Wow, my cell is gonna blow up tomorrow for answering this one, but of course that isn't a deterrent to me.

Well... it's not Traxxas, that’s for sure. I sure like their parts availability, but that’s about it.

HPI- has put out solid basher gear for years upon years, but no doubt they’ve had their issues the last couple of years. They didn’t release much last year, and what they did seemed to be drift/on-road oriented, which is fine for some, but not for the people I hang with. My crew needs a machine that works on pavement as well as hucking vert ramps. Oh and, the whole Octane thing…. oooofffaahh….

ARRMA- is known as Durango’s basher line, and they certainly do have some kick butt machines. Their line-up is modern, their marketing is coming together, all they need is one big 4wd gnar-core bash truck to be on top of the heap.

Thunder Tiger- TT has a winner with their epic G3 platform, but some of their lower-end models could use some freshening up.

ECX- still a relatively new brand, they got off to a slightly slow start, but their line-up now days is real solid. While some may hold their very low price points against them, we don’t care about such things here, if they work, they work, and we drive Torments and Ruckuses nearly every day.

Vaterra- is my preferred basher line-up (at the moment). Ya, they are still new to the scene, and it will take another 3-5 years of marketing to cement their name to an average hobbyist, but the product they’ve put out thus far is amazingly good. Pretty much everything in their line-up has class leading looks, while the platforms underneath are typically solid bash machines. Hot looks, decent price points, and vehicles that can survive a good hucking off your roof, now that’s what bashing is all about.

However Shiloh… if you were to go around the table and ask every member of the BSRC Bash Crew what their favorite is, I can assure you there would be several different answers. We have guys that are big fans of HPI, big fans of Axial, and some that even still like Traxxas. And… just because our answers might be different, it doesn’t mean a single one of them is wrong. What’s best for me might suck for you, while the best brand for you might just not work for me.

That’s it for this week ya bunch of lugs, shoot me your vintage ’72 Unadilla GP t-shirts, questions, rants, and F1 swag to Cubby at If your letter makes the bigtime you’ll get a free sticker set, if I proclaim yours as “letter of the month” you get a brand spank’n new BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hey Cubby,
I implore you to please quit using the word manufacture when you should be using manufacturer. A manufacturer is the company that manufactures the products.
Joshua H.”

Cubby- Yo hey Josh, you’ve made the big time, hit Brian up with your snail mail for a BSRC sticker pack.
Ok, a couple quick things here-
1. While I merely dislike Grammar Nazis, what I really hate is a bad one, and that would be you. When other Grammar Nazis write in they typically list dozens of issues, you only list one. If you are gonna live in a dictionary the very least you could do is pay attention.

2. I’m betting you were born after the internet was, thus you’ll never know the freedom that comes from letting misspelled words go, using internet shorthand, using lots of …. before and after each sentence, etc. You see in the era I grew up we had teachers breathing down our necks ready to bust out the red pen of death for every “i” we forgot to dot. Sadly you’ll never know that feeling of “freedom” by writing however you want to like in the early days of the internet.

3. I’ve explained multiple times that BSRC made a conscience decision years ago to not look like the dinosaur media. While some former 5th grade English teacher may be proofing every sentence at a dinosaur mag, we basically don’t have anyone. We do it this way so our readers see we are human just like them, making a few mistakes here and there. We want our readers to know 100% that we are just like them, down in the trenches of rc, more worried about how high the new HPI Octane truck can jump than the finer points of the written English language.

“I need expert advice
I’m a gearhead looking for a new hobby. Drag racing has gotten cost prohibitive and I stumbled across the RC world just recently. I’ve done a lot if reading and you guys have become my favorite source of what seems to be unbiased info.
I know from reading your stuff that I am going to be a basher so I need your opinion of the best 4×4 sct rtrs in electric and nitro. I love the test result and review of the ECX Torment but it was a 2wd. I live in rural Arkansas so parts will be mail order.
I only know what I read, mainly on Big Squid, so I can use any help you’re willing to give.
Chad P.”

Cubby- Ya know Chad, we have really worked hard to attempt to be unbiased, but… I am absolutely sure that we are. When it comes review time we attempt to blind test as much as we can and spread out our test ratings over as many reviewers as possible to fight this, but in the end it is impossible to be unbiased.

And why is it that I think it is impossible that we are unbiased? Because some companies treat us extremely well, while others treat us like dirt, so of course we can’t help but want to “like” the companies that treat us awesome. Still, when it comes review time, we do our best to block all that out.

Anywhos… on to your question. What are the best 4×4 SCT RTRs? You want the list for electric and nitro, but I am gonna stamp out the nitro thing right now. You might be a big-time gear head, but at this point I would never recommend nitro to anyone. Why? Yes, they have the sound and smell of the real deal, but with current technology they are a PITA to keep tuned and running.

With that said… several of our staffers are big fans of the Traxxas Slash 4×4, while we have others that are big fans of the Losi SCTE platform. I have only bought 3 cars in the last year, one of which was a Losi SCTE (then I added the MIP conversion and some STRC and RPM parts). To give you a feel for how much I like the SCTE, I can pretty much shoot a text to whoever I want and get a free car, however I actually cut the check to buy an SCTE. The SCTE rails on the track and you can torture the heck out of it when bashing. The SCTE is one of those rare vehicles that can do it all, and it comes in at a reasonably affordable price point.

But then… if you talk to other members of our Bash Crew they will emphatically recommend the Traxxas. It certainly has some upsides, with parts availability being at the top of the list.

Thanks for the props and whatever you end up buying shoot us an email and let us know how it turned out.

That’s it for this week ya freaks. Shoot me an email to Cubby at If your letter hits the front page you’ll win a free sticker pack, if I proclaim yours as letter of the month you’ll win an uber new BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Vaterra Cogging
How can I get rid of all cogging from my halix vaterra? 2s Lipo
Aspen Sam”

Cubby- Yo hey Aspen Sam, what’s up and I hope you’ve been bashing the heck out of your Vaterra Halix. While it is still a very new model it has become a favorite among the BigSquidRC Bash Crew.

The Halix comes geared somewhat tall out of the box, which is great fun of course. We’ve shot it with a radar gun at 46 mph on 3S and it has enough power to “wheelie out” at pretty much any speed under 40. But… with the tall gearing comes a few downsides. One being shorter runtimes, two being higher temps, and three, the potential to induce cogging. Our test unit exhibited just a small amount of cogging from a dead stop, but if yours is having more of an issue here are a few things you can do…

1. Use a smaller pinion gear. We’ve popped on a smaller pinion and our test truck still had plenty of rip. It also extended the runtime and had virtually no cogging.
2. Make sure you use a good battery. A battery that can’t keep up with the current demands of the brushless system will cause excessive cogging.
3. If all else fails, go medieval on it. By that I mean install a Castle Mamba Pro with a 1415. With proper gearing you’ll have even more power with zero cogging.

Peace and love, peace and love…

“you know its strange ive been in this hobby for close to 30 years my first truck was a mauri big bear with a 6 volt NiCad. seeing these “new” losi universals kinda makes me sigh a little. these were all the rage until mip came out with the cvd which at the time were leaps and bounds beyond the universal, so is the cvd obsolete? its strange to see this hobby come full circle. ive seen the aluminum chassis get upgraded to carbon fiber, then to composite and it appears were back to aluminum. every 4×4 1/10 scale still shares the same layout as the xx4 which is almost 20 years old.
well theres my rant of the day, happy new year to all.
Jeremie H.”

Cubby- Yo congrats Jeremie, I am proclaiming your question (off our FB page) as “Letter of the Month”. Hit Brian up with your snail mail and shirt size so he can give you the hook up.

And ya, the hobby, as well as life in general, is cyclical. It happens in clothing, it happens in full size cars, and it sure as heck is all over the place in rc. Years ago electric dominated, then nitro, now it’s back to electric again, but it will be dominated by gas/nitro again at some point in the future.

As far as driveshafts are concerned, it was interesting to see Losi putting out “universals” again. Back in the day they were the bomb, now they are more of a tuning option. But… what I really want to see is- some blind testing to determine just how many drivers could tell a difference between CVDs, universals, and sliders. My guess would be not many…

Anyways… congrats Jeremie, enjoy your new t-shirt and keep in touch.

That’s it for this week ya freaks. Don’t be a slacker, send me your questions, answers, smansers, and utter non-sense to Cubby at If you are lucky enough to hit the big time you’ll get a free sticker pack, and if you are luckier still, all our “Letter of the Month” winners get one of our uber new t-shirts.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby


I am in need of a new power supply for my battery chargers, which one are you recommending now days?

Btw, I read your last Cub Report and I totally disagree with you on the Associated B5, I can’t wait to buy one.

Martin V.”

Cubby- Yo hey what’s up Martin, thanks for the email and be sure to shoot Brian your snail mail so we can send you a BSRC sticker pack.

Which power supply am I recommending now days? My vote goes to the Racers Edge Prime 30, you can read our review Here. No, they aren’t an advertiser of ours, I simply like their power supply, and here is why-

* It is so quiet. The internal fan doesn’t always run, and when it does, it is very soft. Quiet is a Great thing in my pit area.

* It has plenty of power for most uses. I rarely charge a pair of Lipo batteries at over 20 amps each, and even when doing that, you aren’t really pushing its power capabilities.

* It has a nice display on top that shows both voltage and how much current you are pulling from it.

Cut the check for one, for most normal uses it rocks.

About the B5, to each their own and I certainly respect everyone else’s opinions (read- not really), and in return you should respect mine. Yes, I tend to hold AE to too high of a standard, and yes, I need to lower it. But… I will never lower it to the point where I will rejoice when they come out with a vehicle that simply catches them up to where the competition has been for years.

Peace and love, peace and love my friend…

“Please pass this along to Cubby.

Cubby keeps talking about how 18th scale is dead, but how can he say that with all the new trucks on the market? Just recently there have been 3 new 18ths from Dromida and the ECX 18th Ruckus and Torment. Where I live 18th is alive and well, I don’t know how he can say its dead. I read your website every single day, but what he is saying is dead wrong.


Cubby- Yo hey Chase, thanks for the email.

So I take you are core into 18th scalers. Good for you, I am also a big believer in them. A good 18th scaler is fast, fun, and more importantly, affordable. Where it can take hundreds of bucks to keep a larger scale running on a weekly basis, it costs only a small fraction of that for an 18th scale.

Is 18th dead? You make a great case about Dromida and ECX putting out new small scalers, they wouldn’t put them out if there wasn’t a demand, and we’ve certainly had a lot of fun with them around the office.

But… we tend to get out a lot. Whether it be the local tracks, or the local spots known for bashers to congregate, we most certainly are Not all about writing, we are all about getting out and living the lifestyle by actually driving. With that said, yes, we do see small scalers here and there, but… and there is always a but… we just don’t see them out in the wild like during their glory days in the mid/late 2000′s. Back in those days it was common to see a “Mini-T” or “RC18″ class, now days about the only 18th scalers we see being raced are Losi Mini-T based oval cars. And at local bash spots, it reflects the same. Back “in the day” you would see multiple 18th scalers at a bash, now you are lucky to see a couple.

So while there have been several new models released, I think it would be a stretch to say that they are still “popular”, although we are totally for them blowing up and getting huge again. Both the Dromida’s and the new ECX’s are durable and a bunch of fun to wheel, hopefully they will help bring back some of the popularity of the small scale scene. Six months from now we would love to be able to say the mini class is more popular than it has ever been.

That’s it, I’m done. Well, for this week at least. I’ll be picking a “Letter of the Month” next week so get in those wacky emails of yours, you could win a new uber-boss BSRC t-shirt. Shoot your questions, balance inquiries, or off-beat jokes to Cubby at

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby


I am looking for a telescopic piston for r/c truck.
I am not using it for a specific truck, but assembling something general, so almost any type would be ok, as long as it is relatively short (not 10-12 inches, but less).
Can you help me?

Cubby- Yo to the yo Gal, and I don’t think the question is so much “can” I help you, but whether or not I feel like doing so.
Luckily for you I am still full of X-mas cheer. :)

So… you are looking for “telescopic pistons” for your rc truck, AKA hydraulic rams/cylinders. Boy do I just happen to know of someone that can give ya the hook up, at least with units that look proper. And just who is that company… wait for it… our friends over at RC4WD. But seriously, I am not expert on scale looking hydraulic cylinders, but check out This Link. If those don’t work, cruise the rest of the RC4WD website. If all else fails, shoot them an email, the RC4WD crew are gnar-core scalers, if they don’t have exactly what ya are looking for they can most likely point ya in the right direction.

“Ask Cubby

Hey Cubby have you guys heard anything about Losi discontinuing the LST line. I thought for sure they were just bringing out a new truck , but its been awhile now and still no word. I would really hate to see that line die. Of all the trucks that have passed though my garage it is a blast and really tough. Anyways just wanted to see if y’all had heard anything.
Thanks and great section.

Cubby- Hey now FrontEdge. I truly believe that alpha & omega are the only two things guaranteed in this world. So while you had a way super dope time with your LST, all good things must come to an end. There was a first time you took a breathe of air, and there will be a last. Yes, I am a bit of a fatalist, but I prefer to call it realism. Perhaps one of the most important parts of life is simply learning to move on…

Even when the LST line-up goes bye-bye forever, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. I don’t have any first hand scoop on the LST line, but I do know some seriously hardcore truck people at Horizon who want nothing other than to put out the best trucks on the market. A good example of this would be the Vaterra Halix, which might not be as big as your old LST, but is indeed a burly bash machine.

So… you never know when Horizon might pull the trigger on a new and improved Revo/Savage sized bash machine, but I would suggest that you hit them up on their G+, FB, or email and let’em know how much you would dig a new 8th scale bash truck.

That’s it for this X-mas edition of ASK Cubby. Have a legit question? Have a fake one? Just send it to Cubby at If your letter hits the bigtime you get a free sticker pack, if yours is the letter of the month we’ll even hook ya up with a t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hey my name is Garett. I was wondering if you had some info on the Axial Exo Terra Buggy you guys put the tracks on? I really want to put tracks on mine and was wondering if i could get some info on what you guys did to get them to fit. Please get back to me i would absolutely love to know how everything worked out and what was needed to do it.”

Cubby- Yo Happy Holidays Garett and shoot Brian your snail mail so we can hook ya up with some totally boss stickers.

So… you want to put RC4WD tracks on your Axial EXO. First off, for those that didn’t read our article on how we did it, you can see it HERE.

When our track shod “Terror Buggy” was all done, it was a beast. It didn’t have nuclear top end, but had respectable speed, and it was a much different driving experience than expected. Perhaps its biggest asset was the strange looks we got when showing up at the local bash spot. Overall, normal wheels/tires do a much better job for bashing, and are a whole lot easier to keep working properly.

But sure…. you want to tackle the project just for the fun of it like we did. For more details on how we did it, refer to the link above, we listed roughly everything that was needed to make it happen. Pay particularly close attention to the details in the pictures. However, from having “been there done that”, I want to stress to you that it is a lot of custom work, and once finished they are even more work to keep running properly. A lot of getting them to work is simply looking and/or running the Exo, see where it is binding, then busting out the Dremel. If you like custom wrenching you’ll have a blast, if you are easily frustrated, you might want to pass on this little project.

Go fast, spin tires, and shoot us pics once you get yours done.

“Hey Cubby

I have a 2,5 year old son who’s into RC (el cheapo 1/32 Hummer), but we just can’t find a suitable sized pistol or gamepad-type transmitter for the bigger cars, that can fit his grubby little paws. Size wise, the kid is as big as a 4 year old. I’ve looked at 2 systems but am in two minds about them. Do you have any recommendations?

Mark-Temba C.”

Cubby- Hey now Mark-Temba, what’s up?

To answer your question- no, I don’t know of a “normal” pistol type transmitter that is designed for hands that small, so you are tough out of luck. But… you bring up a very good point. A point about how pretty much 99% of transmitters are set-up for one specification of user (right handed, medium size adult hand).

I am not a statistician, but worldwide, approximately 15% of people are left handed, and who knows what percentage of rc users don’t have “medium size adult hands”. If someone were able to calculate how many rc users don’t fit the current mold for a standard transmitter, it would probably surprise us. Hence the reason there needs to be be transmitters for non-average users.

We were disappointed when the original ARRMA transmitter disappeared from its RTR line-up. The old ARRMA transmitter had a wild look, but most importantly, it performed well and at a touch of a button could instantly be flopped over for a left handed driver. It was perhaps one of the most affordable transmitters ever sold to cater to the left handed crowd. I am big into archery, the big bow manufactures don’t force lefties to shoot right handed, it has always baffled me why the big rc transmitter manufactures typically only have a left hand option on their top-of-the-line units.

Also… while all of our BigSquidRC Bash Crew are right handed, we have one member who has huge hands and fingers. His trigger finger has been known not to fit into today’s tighter fitting units, and the grip to trigger ratio on pretty much every radio is uncomfortable to him. Ya sure, he’s a beast, but there has to be more rc drivers like him out there.

This is a topic that just isn’t brought up much. Ya I know, radios that are smaller, larger, or are just set-up for lefties won’t be huge sellers. It is hard enough to sell aftermarket radios in these “RTR times” as it is, but if marketed correctly, they might just be a surprise hit. Most average handed consumers are dialed with the radio that came in their RTR, but those that are different might be begging for the chance to dish over some cash on a radio that fits them properly. I know if the world only had left handed radios I would be more than willing to pay a hefty sum for a righty.

That’s it for this week ya lunatics, shoot your emails to Cubby at (but don’t hold your breathe for a response).

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Animus 18TR

I was recently reading a thread on your website that reviewed the Animus 18 TR. I believe it was posted by Tim Mohr in Nov. of 2011. Near the bottom he talks about mods over $5 being a good quality charger, which would be around $50. I was wondering what the brand of charger (model # too) was and how long it would take to charge those batteries on that newer charger.



Cubby- Yo hey Pete, thanks for taking the time to shoot in an email.

If there is one thing I truly hate it is using a wall charger that takes 5, 6, 7, or 8 hours to charge up a pack. I am just not wired to sit around that long waiting on a pack to be ready to jam.

There are a plethora of good chargers at the $50 price point to quick charge the Helion Animus 18TR’s 1100mAh Ni-MH pack. But sometimes those pesky Ni-MH packs can like to false peak, so I am going to recommend this one to you- the Duratrax Onyx 210 (#DTXP4210). It sits right at the $50 mark, is AC/DC, has more than enough power to charge the stock 18TR pack in under an hour, and I’ve used one extensively around the office with minimal false peaking. Oh ya, I really like its big LCD display as well.

How long would it take to charge the 1100mAh Ni-MH on the Onyx? You could set the 210 for a .8 amp charge rate, resulting in a charge that would take just under an hour and a half, or the stock Helion pack might be able to take a 1.5 amp rate, if so, you would be looking at charge times under an hour.

If you want to stick with a Firelands product, I would recommend the Radient Primal. The Primal is an AC only charger, but I’ve used it extensively and it has worked well for me. Oh ya, it also has plenty of power for small packs, plus it can charge Lipo, which if you haven’t switched over to yet, you really need to pull the trigger on. The price point is awesome too, just $40.

Hey Pete, when ya pick up a new charger shoot us an email on what ya ended up buying. Later homie, go fast, spin tires.



So some people are getting wound up because of the quadcopters appearing everywhere. Never mind, now how about an update on the first quad shootout. I’d love to know what’s the best one to get now, especially with Christmas on the way.

The reviews and shootouts are great. Keep them coming.

Gary F.”

Cubby- Hey, good to hear from ya Gary.

I hate quads, or maybe I should say, I used to hate quads. I am truly a surface kind of guy, it is just how my brain is/was wired, but I have actually been using the Estes Proto X quite a bit around the office. It flies for a while, it is super fast to charge, and it takes some skill to put it where ya want it. If you are looking to pick one up for X-mas, I highly recommend it.

So… ya, you can put me on the list of people wanting to see an updated quad shootout. We’ve been toying with ideas for a bunch of different shootouts for a while now, but we get relentless emails about the quads. I need to crack the whip on Brian and make that one happen. There are bucket loads of new quads on the market, heck even I want to see how they stack up.

That’s it for this week ya freaks, shoot me your letters/questions/rants/manifestos to Cubby at If your letter makes the front page shoot us an email with your snail mail so we can hook ya up with a sticker pack!

YOUR Rub-a-dub-Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“I am interested in getting one of the new avc systems and running it in my T4 this winter. Is the avc system legal for racing? thanks,
Jason K.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Jason, I just want to let you know you were ohhh sooo close to being letter of the month. You came in second, hope you weren’t holding your breathe for a t-shirt, but you do get a free sticker pack.

Is the Spektrum AVC (Active Vehicle Control) system legal for racing? Yes and No! Gotta love answers that completely conflict each other.

Yes! AVC is completely legal at local tracks that proclaim it to be legal. Hopefully local track directors are smart enough to realize that AVC isn’t gonna cut 5 seconds a lap off anyones time, but it can make a vehicle easier to drive in slick conditions. But… knowing the racing crowd the way I do- 1. they are typically idiots, and 2. they are more resistant to change than a Baptist church congregation. So… finding a local track that doesn’t care if you run AVC or not will probably be next to impossible.

No! No sanctioning body that I’ve heard of has made electronic stability control legal. The drift guys are against it (even though their cars are freak’n impossible to drive without it), the drag guys are against it (even though it would make zero freakn difference in cars that only go straight), and the off-roaders are against it (because they would rather spend countless hours working on their tracks to make their trucks easier to drive instead of just popping in AVC).

But me being Cubby, I think the more important question is “Should AVC be legal for racing?”. On one hand- our tiny cars are ridiculously hard to drive, especially in the wayyyy overpowered brushless age, on the other- it should all be up to the driver no matter how hard their car is to drive. Of course I am very pro electronic stability control, our small over-powered cars are frustrating to drive as they are now, with some stability control they are simply more fun. If I was running a track, stability control would absolutely be legal, heck I might kick drivers that showed up without it just to help get the ball rolling.

“I have an Animus for my 9 year old daughter and she likes it. We upgraded it with most of the aluminum parts and a losi mini insane motor. We looked at this truck at our local Hobbytown and it seems better than the Animus because the esc and steering servo are seperate, and it seems a touch bigger. Would you consider the SC4.18 an upgrade from the Animus?

Jeff D.”

Cubby- Yo Jeff, you didn’t finish second, you have won the highly coveted and sought after “Letter of the Month” award as proclaimed by me. Shoot Brian your shirt size and your snail mail so we can hook ya up.

So… what’s better (I love these questions) a Helion Animus or a Dromida SC4.18? Ok, I could totally make up some crap answer, but I’ll make an exception here and give ya the real scoop. Yes, we’ve tested both, but we haven’t tested them back to back. Without doing so it is incredibly hard to say which one is the best. Both vehicles are similar in the way they are both 18th scale 4wd brushed SCTs, but they both differ on their high and low points. Without a true shootout, I simply can not hook you up with a real answer. However… I can say that we’ve had a bunch of fun with both, and they both are decent bash machines.

Peace and love, and enjoy your new BigSquidRC t-shirt.

Well that’s all there is for this edition of ASK Cubby. Submit your questions, rants, or obvious trolling to Cubby at Make the front page and get a free sticker pack, have your letter proclaimed as “Letter of the Month!” and get a free t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hey Cubby,

I need your advice on 4×4 Short Course trucks. I’ll initially bash but grow into racing and am currently looking at the SC10 4×4 Factory Team and the Losi SCTE 2.0.

Obviously I don’t want to start a fan war between the two platforms, but can you give any advice on which way to go?


Matt M.”

Cubby- Yo hey Matt, thanks for the email and a super uber Thanksgiving to you and to all our readers.

Ummm… if you know me at all, then you already know the answer to this one, I’m going with the Losi SCTE (or 2.0) all the way. The SCTE has proven itself to not only be a freak’n animal on the track, but also an incredible bash machine. The AE on the other hand… takes too much time to dial in, is comparatively a PITA to work on, and while its belts may be able to handle the average racers 2S set-up, they live a short life on crazy basher power. Buy the Losi and never look back.

“Snow plow for a Honcho rc

I want to buy a plow for my grandson for Christmas. how can I find one?

Jean P.”

Cubby- Yo hey Jean, what’s up?

So…. your grandson is totally dialed with an Axial Honcho and you want to hook the lil’ fella up with a snow plow for X-mas. You sound like a pretty cool Grandpa. Have I mentioned all I want for X-mas is a case of perfectly preserved Dom Rosé ’00? Just a subtle hint if you feel so inclined (hint, hint).

Oh ya, about the snow plow. RC4WD is your friend on this one. Check out their # Z-X0007 snow plow which runs about $80. You’ll need the plow itself plus some mounting hardware which is also available from RC4WD and your Grandson will be uber-dialed for X-mas. Oh ya, look for our “Product Spotlight” on the RC4WD snow plow next week.

That’s it for this week gang. If you are working this Thanksgiving extra props to you, it sucks being away from family on a holiday. Btw, if you have a question just shoot me an email, Cubby at

YOUR Cub Reporter

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“Hey Guys,

I wanted to thank you again for the Invictus. Attached are some pictures from my Sons 6th birthday where we gave him the truck. He was screaming with joy!! Made his birthday. We had it hid away for a few months that is why it has taken time to get you pictures! My wife was laid off her job 2 years ago so we were able to give him a great present from Big Squid RC!!! Thanks soooo much! He has already put Big Squid RC decals on it!

Nathan M.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Nathan, thanks for checking in after winning the Helion Invictus monster truck. And ya, your son looks crazy stoked in the pics, glad Helion and BigSquidRC were able to help put a smile on his face. Happy to hear he is digging the truck, and congrats again on the big score.

Here is a little side note on our Helion Invictus review. During our review period we experienced a significant amount of cogging with it. The review went up and the crew over at Helion read about it and suspected our test sample had issues. Our test truck was a pre-production unit, something we were not aware of during the review. Anyways, we shipped the truck back to Cali and got it back with full production electronics. We haven’t had any cogging issues with it since, and we’ve been bashing it on a regular basis.

“I have a question, do you know of any hobby shows in the New York area?

David M.”

Cubby- Hey now Daveee M, thanks for the email.

No, there aren’t any “major” hobby shows in the greater NY area. We’ve actually batted around the idea of doing something in that area. The New York/New England area is crazy for rc, I personally think a show in that area would freak’n blow up huge. So who knows, give us a couple more years to get some big bucks together and we might put on something cool out your way.

Until then, the closest thing to an rc trade show in your “area” would be Motorama in Hanover PA. Several rc manufactures set up booths in additional to all the rc racing that goes on over the weekend. The dates are Feb 15-16 in 2014, check it out if ya get a chance.

“Hi Cubby,

I have a 1/8th scale 4wd buggy with a center, rear and front fluid filled differential. Im not sure what wieght the factory used to fill the differentials and i would like to know your recommendation on what fluid weight i should use when i go to perform maintenance on the diff’s. A general guideline for bashing would be great as i dont race at the track.

Thanks and keep up the good work over at BSRC!

David O.”

Cubby- What’s up Daveee O? Word up on the email.

So… what is a recommended starting point for diff oils for bashing? Should they be different than racing?

In racing, changing weights of the diff oils is a great tuning aid. If you need more rear traction you go to thinner oil in the rear, if want less front bite, you go higher in the front. Things are a bit different for the bashing crowd where diff oil is truly used more to help keep tires from ballooning and to help pull gnarly tricks. Bashers also tend to have a LOT more power on tap than the average racer.

In a typical basher set-up you’ll usually find much heavier center oil for sure. This helps a basher in a number of ways. First off, it helps keep the front tires from becoming pizza cutters when you tag the gas on 6S. A heavier center oil will force more of the power to go to the rear, resulting in less pizza cutting. Thicker center oil also makes it easier to pull back and front flips when jumping. A buggy with heavy center diff oil will be much more reactive to throttle input while in the air. Also, bashers like wheelies! A loose center diff will prevent a buggy from pulling a wheelie, forcing all the power to the front wheels when they lift from the ground. Going to a super heavy center diff oil will ensure plenty of power goes to the rear wheels, making it easier to pop wheelies.

As far as the front and rear diffs go, bashers tend to run somewhat heavier oil than a “racer” set-up. Because bashers aren’t looking for maximum corner speed, they are willing to trade some traction for the ability to keep the inside tires from pizza cutting in the corners.

So what weights should you run? That is entirely up to your personal driving style and taste. Light oils are easier to drive and jump, heavier oils can help you pull more extreme bashing moves. Personally I would recommend you start at 20k center, with 10k front and 5k rear, all oil Mugen. This might sound heavy, but if you are a core basher running crazy power, you might very well end up going much heavier to keep things under control. I recommend Mugen diff oil because it is relatively affordable and easily found at hobby shops and on-line. If those weights are hard to drive, go lower for more traction, if you are still having issues with ballooning, go heavier on the applicable diff.

Ask ten different guys and they will give you ten different recommendations, but at the end of the day you gotta do some bashing to figure out what works best for you.

That’s if for this week ya bunch of lunatics, keep those emails pouring in, I promise they will get read (eventually). Shoot me whatever is on that seedy mind of yours to Cubby at If your letter makes the big time you’ll win a free sticker pack, if I proclaim yours “Letter of the Month!” you’ll get a brand spank’n new BSRC Bash Crew t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

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“Hey Cubby,

I just picked up a 2013 Savage x 4.6! What would be the best upgrade you recommend for a routine basher? Most bang per buck vs. Best Bang if money were no object?

Thanks in advance!
Jose C. Jr.

p.s. I’m also bumming it for a free decal :-)”

Cubby- Yo yo yo Jose, BigSquidRC Raps! Actually we don’t, we just dig phrases from the early ’90s.

Word up on the stickers, shoot Brian your snail mail and we’ll not only hook ya up with stickers, but Brian just might stick a “surpise” in there too.

Now to your question. What is the best hop-up for a Savage 4.6? IMO that would be a hammer to smash it to bits, then go out and buy the Flux version. Ya, you probably already know I am not a fan of nitro, so there is my “money is no object” upgrade.

Ok, but what if smashing it into a pile of rubble was not an option? I consider there to be two key hop-ups to any vehicle, regardless of scale or what powerplant it uses.

1. Gearing
2. Tires

In the case of your Savage it comes properly geared right out of the box, so you can scratch that one. So now you’ll be looking at some new kicks. The type you buy depends strictly on you and your driving habits. If you drive on pavement stay away from small pins, if you only drive in loam look for the biggest lugs you can find, if you do a little bit of everything buy Pro-Line Trenchers because they work well on just about any surface shy of snot covered ice (sorry for the ugly mental image… actually, no I’m not).

Have fun with your BSRC stickers and shoot us pics if you pick up some new tires for your truck.


I saw that you did a review on the DXR8-E last year sometime, and you gave it pretty good marks. Did you run this machine any more after your test? I see some kind of crazy low bids on ebay these units and I am wondering if somebody knows something that I don’t know. . . . or is it that Duratrax just has a not great rep but this one is really a good ride?

My big concern is the composite motor mount, and secondly the plastic chassis. I have found one guy on the web that says he has had trouble with the motor mount, but everybody else says they do OK.

My driving is more of the bashing style, but not really a “fly it 25 feet in the air” bashing style.

Think I would be better served to save up for an 835E??


Patrick C.”

Cubby- And greetings to you too Pat C, thanks for your questions.

Ok, so… is the Duratrax DXR8-E any good, or should you save up some cash and buy the 835E?

Brian, Wrench, and Adam put our review DXR8-E through a legit beating and didn’t have many issues with it. They were doing all the stupid stuff you shouldn’t do and it proved to be a very capable bash machine for us. I also need to mention that most of the testing was done in cold weather for that buggy, making it even more difficult for it to survive. If you are on the fence for getting one, get off it and cut the check.

However… the DXR8-E comes as a roller with no electronics. Electronics to get it up and cranking will run at least a couple hundred bucks (and a lot more than that for the “good” stuff). The 835E comes RTR completely ready to jam. If you don’t have a bunch of 8th scale electronics sitting around, the 835E might actually prove to be cheaper.

Also… I’m a big fan of the 835E. It handles well, takes a legit beating, and basically does everything you want a good bash machine to do. In years past DTX would use OEMs that maybe weren’t quite up to par, but the OEM they have build the 835E is who I’d use if it was my job to whip out an 8th scaler. The 835E has quality plastic, quality metal parts, and is put together by people who know what they are doing with 8th scalers.

Btw… we’ve been seriously tossing around an “affordable buggy shootout” for quite some time now. DTX vs ECX vs RedCat vs Ofna, we really should get off our butts and knock that one out.

That’s it for now ya bunch of lunatics, shoot me your questions, epic meltdowns, verbose rants, and anything else to Cubby at If your letter hits the bigtime you get a sticker pack, if I proclaim yours as “letter of the month” you’ll win a BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby


My question is about a common belief that is passed around the internet. When an R.C. vehicle is discontinued is it really necessary to start stocking up on parts, or do the manufacturers continue to produce replacement parts? I recently had a vehicle I own become discontinued and am now faced with this question. (I would mention the vehicle but it is just too embarrassing to admit I made this purchase).

I realize that R.C. cars aren’t on the same level of investment as a one to one counterpart, but one of the major advantages of hobby grade vehicles is the ability to purchase replacement parts. If certain manufacturers simply stop production on replacements once a vehicle is discontinued that would effect a consumers initial decision to buy something. I would love to get your always unbiased insight on this question, Thanks,


Cubby- Word up and congrats Ryan, you have just won “Letter of the Month” and thus you get a free BigSquidRC t-shirt. Shoot us your snail mail and size so we can hook ya up.

When an rc car is disco’ed does the manufacture continue to produce parts? The answer is… it depends.

Now days, most “manufactures” literally have to wait in line to get parts produced from an overseas OEM. A big Asian OEM might make parts/cars for Team X this week, then Team Y the next, and Team Yeehaww after that. When Team X has a hot new truck they want out ASAP, many times the release date is at the mercy of the schedule of the Asian OEM. I say this to get across the point that even if Team X wants parts for a discontinued vehicle, sometimes it isn’t easy to get them produced. But… you can bet that if getting parts made is sure to make Team X some major cash, they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure they end up on LHS shelves.

Also… I’m sure you’ve noticed quite a few manufactures have been on a rampage of putting out new cars. It isn’t like the old days when a manufacture might put out a “new car” once every couple of years. Now days, it’s not uncommon to put out a new car every couple of months. With that philosophy- put out lots of new cars, drop old cars fast, they typically don’t support old product. Once they discontinue it, they don’t look back, there are simply too many old cars to realistically support.

However… some more popular models, and some models from small manufactures, do get some parts support after the kit is killed off. Shoot off an email or give the manufacture of your vehicle a ring, most likely they’ll let you know what the future of parts support will look like for your specific model.

Furthermore… IMO, lets say you have a really awesome truck that you like. It gets discontinued. Sure, buy up a spare truck and the commonly broken parts so you can drive it a while. But for the real long term, you are going to have to put it in storage.

If it’s a pile that you are so ashamed of that you don’t even want to mention its name, I say beat it with a hammer, huck it in the trash, and never look back. It’s just a toy car and I can assure you there are plenty more out there that you’ll like better.

“Hey Big Squid.

My co-workers and I like to go out during our lunch breaks and do some racing. Recently we have started doing time challenges to reduce the amount of carnage, and have been on the hunt for an affordable, portable and easy setup/tear down Lap timing system.
A perfect solution would record each lap and total time to do X number of laps for several cars at a time (so we could race staggered)
Thats alot to ask for, but even a single car solution has been hard to find.
Do you know of any?
Duston D.”

Cubby- Wow, lots of brainwashing going on in your letter Duston, maybe I can help open your mind a bit.

You do realize you are playing with toy cars on your lunch break right? I would think you would be looking for some stress relief, not a way to heighten it.

Heck, you even want to use IFMAR staggered starts. IFMAR starts blow in regular rc racing, you have been listening to all the wrong people if you are even considering using them for your informal lunch racing.

Yo Duston, wake up! Have some freak’n fun at lunch, not the IFMAR worlds. If the only way you and your homies can have fun is by racing, there are plenty of places to get your fill of that.

Instead… bust your cars out and have friendly competitions that don’t require a timing system. When we have limited time we usually play something called tag. Yup, simple old tag. Whoever gets tagged is it. This isn’t full on demo derby, it is just tag another car and they are it.

Should you need a bit more of a competition edge, try a measured long jump. Try high jump, heck, spend the $50 for a cheap radar gun and measure your top speeds. Rc soccer is a blast, but I would skip tug-of-war, it is crazy hard on parts.

BTW… lets say you did get your lunch break racing going and decided to invite the BSRC crew, this is what would happen. The tone goes off and guess what? Half our Bash Crew would start driving the wrong direction on your track. Why? Why the heck not! We are bashers and track direction has no relevance to us. Next, we would start smashing into every car we could find. Why? Why not! We are bashers and smashing stuff is fun. Then… well, I think you get the point, track “rules” mean pretty much nothing to us.

To boil it down, on a limited time lunch break, there are LOTS of other ways to have fun with your guys than wanna be racing. I know “Racing is the only fun you can have, you must race!” has been shoved down everyones throats forever, but luckily BSRC is here to tell you that you don’t have to drink that Kool Aid.

That’s it for this week, congrats to Ryan, the winner of our “letter of the month”. Every writer that hits the big time gets a free sticker pack, so send in those emails- Cubby at is the addy ya want.

YOUR Cub Reporter


“Hi Cubby,
I must say I am thoroughly impressed with the Granite BLX after seeing the bash video and reading the review. However, I couldn’t help but notice that you guys gave it a “B” on the Bash-a-Bility rating. A buddy of mine has the brushed granite, and that thing is INSANELY tough. Once you replace the servo its pretty much indestructible. So, my question to you is why the “B” rating on the brushless? Does it have some redesigns that make it weaker? Or is it just not as tough due to the insane power (and I know you guys love to huck your trucks). The truck looks as tough as the Tumbler from Batman Begins in the video, so what’s holding it back from “A” grade?

Jon O.”

Cubby- Hey Jon, thanks for the email and congrats, you actually have a really good question.

We hate giving out an “A” unless we really have to. To get an “A” in our Bash-A-Bility category it pretty much requires that the vehicle not break at all. And we define “breaking” as the vehicle can’t not be driven anymore. A truck might be tweaked here or there, might have bent parts, or might have a tie rod fall off, but if it can still be driven we don’t hold it against the score. If it takes a trip to the hobby hop to get it going again, that is a break.

The brushless BLX version of the Granite is still one tough customer, that took a lot, actually a pretty insane amount, to break. But… it did break, therefore it received a B for Bash-A-Bility. The BLX and the brushed version share a bunch of parts, but being brushless the BLX is hitting everything much harder, which of course just makes it that much more difficult not to break.

To boil it down, for the BLX to have received an A, it could not have broken, even though it was jumping higher and hitting walls much harder with its new brushless powerplant.

“Hey there Cubby,
A few weeks ago I had the urge to look up some kits that I had been eye balling in years past and see how they were doing. I was happy to see the Kyosho Mad Force and Blizzard are still around. Something that almost made me cry is that it seems the RC10GT2 has been discontinued. Is that true? Don’t really see it on the RC10 site and towerhobbies lists it as discontinued. I also don’t see Losi’s equivalent anymore either. What happened?

Cubby- Yo hey what’s up Mikey? Thanks for the email.

So… what happened to the 10th scale nitro trucks? A few things actually…

ROAR ditched the class years ago, thus killing them at the competition level. Local racers could have stood up and supported the class locally, but instead were lured to the plethora of other classes to run.

Electric was blowing up huge when the Associated GT2 came out and has continued to do nothing but grow. Tuning a gas truck engine just isn’t for everyone.

And finally… have you ever tried driving one of those things on a slick surface? They are kinda like a 3S Lipo/brushless 2wd electric stadium truck, they just aren’t easy to drive. Sure, doing some donuts is fun once in a while, just not ALL the time.

That’s it for this week ya freaks, next week I’ll be selecting a “letter of the month” winner who will get a free t-shirt, so get those letters in. Cubby at

YOUR Cub Reporter