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trigger-king-rc-grave-diggerA few weeks ago you may of seen my piece on building a Tamiya Lunchbox for use in a retro monster truck racing series. Last weekend we held the first event and, despite mother nature throwing a curve ball, it was a blast!

There are 3 classes; Scale Monster Truck (Axial based hybrids, modded Tamiya TXT-1′s and Clodbusters), Retro Monster Truck (old style monster kits like Clods & Lunchboxes), and Mega Mud Truck (Axial hybrids and modded SCX10′s). The format is similar what you’d see in a “real” monster competition. There are racing, wheelie and freestyle events. Points are awarded for each event with the winners being who score the highest combined total.

The monsters race on their own course separate from the slop that the mud trucks call home. Originally all the trucks were going to be running on dirt but thanks to torrential rains we had to audible and build the monster course on asphalt. The whole crew did a fantastic job throwing things together at the last minute and the track was awesome for both racing and freestyle.

Racing was tight across all classes. Watching the old trucks rumble around the track was great fun, and then seeing the “modern” monsters literally fly over the same course was very eye opening. I’m well aware of how far the hobby has come since the old days, but actually racing different generations of vehicle back to back make it VERY noticeable. My race truck handles like an F1 car compared to the stiff and bouncy retro machines. That being said, both types of truck are equally fun to race!

Congrats to the  winners: Chris Blank won the retro class with his old school Sassy Chassis Clodbuster, Josh Rhodes took scale monster in his wicked ZRP Diablo based Grave Digger, and Jeff Bourgoine took the Mega Truck title with his Axial / CPE Barbarian. I had a great time and can’t wait to come out to the next one in the fall!

To see more of where the BigSquidRC crew has been lately you can click here. For more scale r/c news click here!

Click the “Read More” below to see more pictures. READ MORE

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If you didn’t see it already, I took a lot of pictures over last weekend when I was at the IRCHA Jamboree 2014. I even walked out of there a winner! In a lot of cases, pictures do the Jamboree justice, but there still is a lot one can talk about that the pictures can’t start to describe. I thought I’d make a few points of what I saw whether it was pilots, products, experiences, or just things I wanted to point out in general. See what I have to say about it all after the jump!

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IRCHA Welcome Sign

This past weekend I had the privilege to join my fellow helicopter and multirotor pilots in Muncie, IN near the headquarters of the AMA for the IRCHA (International Radio Control Helicopter Association) Jamboree 2014. This almost week long festival is a combination of RC helicopter competitions, product showcase, and shopping for all things RC Helicopter. There were speed competitions, product demonstrations, partying, fireworks, and all kinds of fun. Don’t just read about it: check out the gallery below and a ton more after the jump!

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jerseyville-rc-truck-pull-13Last weekend I loaded up the SUV and huffed it over the Mississippi River to the small town of Jerseyville, IL for a big r/c truck pull. The Central Illinois R/C Pullers (check em out on Facebook) were nice enough to invite me out, and it just so happened I had two trucks prepped and rarin’ to go (my RPM Mock Intake installation article last week featured one of them).

For those that don’t know how pulling works, it’s a cousin to drag racing. Whereas the object of dragging is to see how fast you can go, in pulling it’s how far you can go. Drivers pull a sled that transfers weight from a rolling to dragging load via a weight box that bears down on a skid pan the further a vehicle travels. Every class pulls the same amount of weight with distance measured from where the chain attaches to the sled pan.

The Central Illinois guys run the standard 30 foot track and give drivers two pulls; distance is combined to get a final total. 60” is max. If multiple drivers make 60” (i.e. full pulls) then there is a final pulloff where more weight is added to the box. Drivers then get one final yank for a tiebreaker.

CIRCP runs 3 main classes. Pro stock trucks are basically tweaked scalers with added front weight boxes (Axial SCX10′s are a popular platform and make quite capable pullers), and then the purpose built mod 2wd and 4×4 trucks pack big power and mega wheel speed. I had a great time pulling in 2wd and 4×4 (Modified and Smokin’ Mule trucks, respectively) and I’m already looking forward to my next trip up to Jerseyville. Big thanks to the CIRCP folk for running a great program and showing me lots of hospitality!

For full event results and more pics click the “Read More” below! READ MORE

BashLink

That’s right, folks! We are teaming up again with our friends at HobbyTown Orland Park for a good ‘ol bash! There will be Obstacle Courses, Shopping Cart Slam, Demolition Derby, and Two-Car Sumo Wrestling!

Join us on Saturday, August 30th as we celebrate the last days of summer in one action packed event! Sign ups will start at 9:30am with events starting at 10:30am.

It’s only a few weeks away, so prep your 1/10th and 1/8th RC vehicles now!

See you then!

For previous coverage and general information regarding our infamous bashes, Click Here and Here.

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Coming up on August tenth is the NWI T.T.C. event number 5 of 2014, and will be taking place at the Indian Caves Park in Bradley, Illinois. The NWI T.T.C. group consist of a bunch of people who all share a love for scale crawling, bashing, and having a good time. There are a wide range of classes to ensure that your crawler runs against other crawlers with similar capabilities. There will be raffles and prizes awarded for first, second, and third place in all classes so be sure to get your crawlers ready and head out for a day of scalin!

If you have any questions you can visit the official NWI T.T.C. website at Scale Event Gallery

RC Fest Tolono 2014
For several years RC Fest has been held to raise awareness for blood donation and blood transfusions. The organizers of the event, the Munds family, work year around to make the event bigger and better than the year before. Last weekend was the 2014 edition of RC Fest, so Brian, Hawaiian Chris, Craig “The Uber Ramp Guy”, and myself, loaded up and went to the quaint town of Tolono Illinois for a day of bashing for a good cause.

The events were a bit different this year, the high speed run and high jump were gone, but new events were added to take their place. This year the events included California style side-by-side racing, figure 8 racing, tug-of-war, and freestyle. RC Fest also included demonstrations for drifting, rock crawling, and airplane/heli/quads.

Our BigSquidRC Bash Crew had a great time at the event, especially the figure 8 racing. The figure 8 was held on a loamy baseball diamond with a jump across the center lane. It might not sound too crazy when written out, but once you put 10 drivers on the course it was pure bedlam, which of course we love. Drivers were jumping, drivers were crashing, drivers were smashing into each other head on, to boil it down, it was pure bashing fun.

Want to learn more about blood donation? Check out This Link to visit the official BloodCenter.org website.

Click Here to check out our coverage of RC Fest last year.

Click the “Read More” button for five more photo galleries after the jump->

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roughneckscalers-trailrun6Happy 4th of July!

I recently had the pleasure of heading out to one of the first official trail runs for the Roughneck Scalers Missouri Chapter and had a heck of a time. The club originally hails from California but recently expanded to St. Louis, MO due to the exploding scale off-road scene in the area.

The trail spot was Bangert Island Park in St. Charles, MO. The densely wooded trails run along the banks of the Missouri River and are a popular destination for those looking to get their scale on. While the park generally houses a wide array of terrain (river silt, rocky creek, dirt paths) today it was mud, mud and mud. The area saw torrential rains the night before but there are no rain outs in scaling. You kwitcherbitchin’ and get out there!

Despite the thick mud and awful Missouri humidity about 20 people showed up and we had a blast. It was also a lot of fun watching a few tug-o-war competitions take place on the sandy river banks. Motors were smoked, parts broken and a good times were had by all. Big thanks to the Roughneck Scaler guys for having me out and letting me wheel my trusty old “Missouri Mule” Axial SCX10 with them. For more info on the Missouri branch of the Roughneck Scalers you can check them out on Facebook right here. Have a safe holiday weekend everyone!

To see 5 more galleries of scalers getting very, very dirty click the “Read More” below.

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Horizon Hobby Road Trip
The crew over at Horizon Hobby are hitting the road and they invite you to join them. This summer Horizon is hitting various full size events across the country to show off their products, put on demonstrations, and to hang out with you, the rabid rc hobbyist. Check out their schedule below, and you can hit up This Link for more information.

* June 21-22 4 Wheel Jamboree Nationals, Springfield, MO
* June 27-29 Street Machine Nationals, Du Quoin, IL
* July 11-13 4 Wheel Jamboree Nationals, Bloomsburg, PA
* July 18-20 Chevy Car Craft Summer Nationals, St. Paul, MN
* August 9-10 Quad City Airshow, Davenport, IA
* September 19-21 4 Wheel Jamboree Nationals, Indianapolis, IN
* September 26-28 Route 66 Mother Road Festival, Springfield, IL

Click Here for more Horizon Hobby news on BigSquidRC.

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The Trigger King R/C Mega Truck Series held it’s first official event last weekend in Wentzville, MO (suburb about 50 miles west of St. Louis). The series was put together to combine the fun of scaling/bashing with the excitement of full scale elimination mud racing. While the aforementioned mega trucks are the main event of the show, there is also a “run what ya brung” open class where any vehicle that can safely fit on the track is welcome.

The track consists of two similar “lanes” featuring jumps and mud holes where the drivers race against each other heads-up style. The event starts out with qualifying. Drivers are allowed to run each lane once and take their best of the two times. Qualifying not only seeds the elimination bracket, but the highest qualifier between trucks will always get lane choice. Once the brackets are set, it’s time for elimination racing. After each class crowned a winner, the track lane markers were removed and people started to freestyle bash on the open course.

The most popular setup for the mega class is combining Axial running gear with a CPE Barbarian chassis. The scale rice & cane tires were mainly narrowed Traxxas Maxx, Tamiya Clodbuster, or RC4WD Mud Bashers. All the trucks looked really scale (including replicas of the famous King Sling and Opielicious 1:1 mega trucks) and most of the drivers have finally figured out how to set these beasts up. The open class saw everything from Axial Wraith’s to Traxxas Slashes compete and were extremely wild to watch. When all was said and done, the event belonged to Jeff Bourgoine as he swept both classes (light blue Chevy Axial/Barbarian mega and black Traxxas Slash).

The series is something that myself and a few buddies have been wanting to launch for sometime now, so it was great to see everyone’s hard work pay off for a fun first event. And while us hardcore scalers got our fix, it was also great to see some of the noobs bash the crap out of their rigs. I had a blast running my “Mega Mule” and look forward to beating the snot out of my truck all summer long.

Click the “Read More” below to get event results and see a ton of pictures.

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RC Freaks Speed Challenge 2014
Everybody likes to go fast and last weekend we had the pleasure of attending a High Speed and Drag Event put on the RC Freaks. The RC Freaks are a Facebook Group that are very active on-line, and they also like to put on various rc events. Last weekend they invited anyone and everyone out to have some fun going really, really fast.

The RC Freaks are based out of St Louis Missouri, so they found a big empty parking lot in Fenton Missouri (a suburb of St Louis) to host the event. There were two different style events held, a 300 foot high speed run where the winner was decided by top speed on a radar gun, and 100 foot side-by-side drag racing.

In the unlimited 300 foot speed run there were all sorts of different entries. From 5th scale buggies to 2wd stadium trucks, you name it and it was going really fast. In the end it was Roderick and his 96 mph XRay NT1 (converted to electric) that posted the fastest speed. Second place went to Chad (one of the event organizers) with a run of 89 mph by his Ofna DM-One. Third place went to Franklin at 85 mph with his XRay 8th scale off-road buggy.

The 100 foot drag event was up after the high speed run. Drivers could call out other drivers and race the best 2 out of 3 to determine a winner. Roderick, Phoenix, Jamie, and even our own Hawaiian Chris got in some wins during the drag racing. Once again a wide variety of vehicles were used, some were nitro, some were electric, and everyone had a good time seeing if they could beat the person in the lane next to them.

Special thanks to RC Freaks for organizing the event and to all the guys from the STL Drag Racing Club for coming out and supporting the event. The RC Freaks event had a solid turn-out (my guess was around 40 drivers) so hopefully we’ll see more events like this one in the near future.

Click Here for more coverage of bashing type events right here on BigSquidRC.

Hit the “Read More” button for 4 more photo galleries after the jump…

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Suburban AeroClub of Chicago  Memorial Day Float Fly (22)I attended the Suburban AeroClub of Chicago (aka SAC) Memorial Day Float Fly last weekend and checked out all the float plane fun going on. There were planes powered by electric, nitro, and gas and it was fun to watch them fly off the water and sometimes bounce and nose over on landings only to be rescued by boat when landings didn’t go so well.

There were lots of neat planes (and a helicopter or two) and I can’t wait to check out their other events, which can be found on the SAC website Right HereRead More to see more galleries and video from the event!


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cliff-cave-rc-trail-run12With beautiful weather on tap, last weekend my scaling club decided it would be a good time to explore a new trail. We hit up Cliff Cave Park, just south of St. Louis, MO (a popular spot with the Big Squid Bash Crew), and decided to run a very tight stretch of mountain bike trail to see what it held. Batteries were charged, parts were packed, and off we went into the woods.

The pack of vehicles was very diverse with many manufacturers represented; Axial, Gmade, Tamiya, RC4WD, Vaterra, TraxxasRedcat, and various scratch built rigs were out roaming the wild. Variety is the spice of life and it’s great to see so many quality options available right now.

As we trekked uphill in a single file line we kept finding rock formation after rock formation to tackle. The best part about trailing is finding a good spot and seeing who can make it over or through…even if it destroys your vehicle in the process. The wooded forest canopy finally gave way to what we were looking for; expansive craggy bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. The view of the river and park from the high vantage point was spectacular. The terrain was also top notch as the jagged rock was a blast to crawl. We eventually made our way back down to the trail head and decided to play in the adjacent creek before calling it a day.

By the end of the afternoon we were all tired and many of the trucks were broke or waterlogged. Nonetheless, a great time was had by all. Days like this are why I love scaling.


Click the “Read More” below for more pictures.

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