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rock crawling’ Category

Tamiya TLT-1 FJ

A few weeks ago I wrote about a recent club outing and tried to answer the question, “What exactly is an r/c trail run?” The article actually spurred a good number of questions from people wanting me to go more in depth on the subject so it’s now going to be a recurring theme.

Running on trails with scale trucks presents an interesting battery dilemma. This is one of the few forms of r/c where a hobbyist plans to play all day yet (most of the time) has no access to a battery charger. You won’t find many power outlets while deep in the forest or climbing the side of a mountain. The right battery(ies) is imperative because no one wants to run out of juice and be forced to make the “walk of shame” all the way back to the parking lot.

While everyone has differing opinions, I’ve found the sweet spot for a scaling lipo to be a 2S around 5000 mah with a 20-30c discharge rate. With a high turn motor (27t+ brushed, 18.5t+ brushless) I get run times of around 2 hours per battery. If I’m really heavy on the throttle this drops to about 1 hour. The bottom line is that most guys don’t use much throttle when walking behind a truck and really only give it gas when attacking an obstacle. I always take two 5000 mah packs with me and it works out great. 3S has also become popular while using high turn motors because you get the torque/run time associated with them but the increased voltage gives you good wheel speed when you need it. Just remember that the hotter motor you run, the quicker you will suck juice.

If you are serious about going on longer trail runs then I would always recommend at least one spare battery, even if you don’t necessarily think you’ll need it. I’ve seen lipos quit due to being dunked, de-soldering during nasty tumbles, or simply just losing charge due a manufacturing defect. A bad battery sucks with any type of r/c bashing/racing but when you have a very long walk back to your house/vehicle it’s downright infuriating.

Ok so you have your brand new Axial SCX10 or Deadbolt, have a nice battery or two, maybe even a shiny new pair of tires…what else should a newbie do to prepare for the really gnarly stuff? Next week I will write a short checklist for a backpack as well as a few simple (and free!) mods to do to your stock truck. Have a great weekend!


I hope everyone is having a great holiday season! I’m normally not one for New Year’s Resolutions, but since I’m feeling lethargic after eating the caloric intake of a bull moose and it makes for an easy topic…let’s talk resolutions! Scale crawling is always going to be my favorite r/c activity, but variety is the spice of life! Here are a few things I plan on doing this upcoming year (and covering them in this very column) in addition to standard scaling:

Build a Bash Truck – I’ll be the first to admit I’ve always been a guy who has built vehicles for specific purposes (i.e. racing, crawling, etc.) and haven’t been much of a basher. Yes, I know BSRC faithful, shame on me. The last bash truck I had was my Traxxas Summit (pictured below) but even that rig was much too heavy (and expensive) to go completely nuts with. I plan on building a monster truck that will be tough, way over powered, and (most importantly) won’t get me laughed out of a bash fest.

Learn to Drift – R/c drifting is a niche of scale r/c that I’ve always wanted to try, so I recently bought an HPI Sprint 2 Drift at the urging of some friends. I set it up with a locked rear and front one way differential and I’ve been having a freaking blast! I hope to spend a lot of time in 2014 getting sideways.

Lots of Tractor Pulling – After wishing it would take off forever, r/c truck & tractor pulling has finally exploded around my home region of eastern Missouri. I just finished my scale Ford 9600 pulling tractor and can’t wait to get it on the track. The tractor is a Sutton Motorsports Prostock Tractor chassis and the body is made out of balsa wood hardened with resin. I made a test pull with it during an event back in October, but that was before it was finished. It’s now completely ready to rock. I also have a new 2WD modified truck I’m trying to piece together as well. I hope to make many hooks this spring and summer.

Feel free to share your r/c related resolutions below and have a safe New Year!


No, it does not really have anything to do with RC, though the aerial footage was probably shot from a quad-copter. I think Adam ‘The Intern’ needs to give up the Suzuki toys and get to work on one of these! At least a RC version.

If you are skipping around the video, the tracks are around the 2:10 mark. Was hoping to see it use those back wheelie bar tires.

RC4WD Hilux Interior copy

I don’t know about you guys but one of my favorite scale rigs are of the Tamiya Hilux/Bruiser and the RC4WD Trail Finder 2 platforms. So many times I find myself on the fence about most scale interiors that it drivers me bananas! Ask around, I have been working on a one off interior for over a year(but who is counting). So if you look at this from a practical standpoint spending, over a Benji on an extremely detailed dash may not sound so nuts… This kit comes with everything on the dash perfectly molded, fully decaled and has amazingly tiny metal dash trim to boot. So unless you have a serious cad program and a super amazing Laser to cut these micro sized panels you had better get one of these ordered up pronto!


In the kit you will find:

  • 1x Central Console
  • 1x Base
  • 1x Steering Wheel
  • 2x Gear Levers
  • 1x Hand Brake Lever
  • 1x Metal Panel
  • 1x Dashboard Decal Sheet
  • 1x Steering Wheel Base
  • 1x M3 x 12mm Self Tapping Screw (Silver)
  • 4x M2 x 10mm SHCS (Black)
  • 4x M2 x 6mm Self Tapping Screw (Silver)
  • 4x M2 Nut (Silver)

For other amazing RC4WD doo dad’s on Big Squid … CLICK HERE

To head on over the RC4WD try this Hittin This!


Pit Bull Tires Rock Beast II Scale 2.2
Pit Bull Tires are perhaps best known for their 1:1 and Atv/Utv tires, but they have also made quite an impact in the scale crawling scene. Their latest tire, the Rock Beast II is now shipping and ready for your driving enjoyment. Some of its key features include-

* Komp Kompound™ for outstanding grip
* For use on 2.2″ rims
* Stepped Lugs aid in lateral traction
* Multi-Varied Tread Blocks for maximum traction, especially off-camber
* Inside Ribbing
* Integrated Sidewall Protectors
* Over-The-Shoulder Lugs
* 5.75 inch Mounted Diameter
* No Foams included to save you money
* (2) Two Tires per package & (1) Decal sheet
* Weight – approximately 5.2 ounces per tire (w/o foam)
* Part #PB9002NK

Street price on these bad boys is $30 per pair and they are available right now. Hit up the official Pit Bull Website for more information.

Looking for more crawling news here on BigSquidRC? Take a look HERE.

Axial ultra 4 king of the hammersThe crew over at Axial has just announced their new affiliation with the Ultra 4/King of the Hammers 2013 event. The King of the Hammers event sounds like one of the toughest races on Earth, which should make for a good fit for Axial. Check out below for part of the official press release-

“Axial R/C Inc., A subsidiary of Hobbico Inc., is proud to announce Axial as the Official R/C Vehicles of Ultra4 / King of the Hammers for 2013.

Ultra4 Racing is the latest and greatest off road motorsport event on earth. This style of racing challenges man to a duel with the elements. Unlike standard off road racing in a stadium or in the wide open desert, Ultra4 vehicles face challenges that no other motorsport demands. Competitors are not only made to cross vast areas of open desert, they also travel up boulder strewn canyons and negotiate terrain that appears impassable. To compete in such a demanding environment, competitors build custom four wheel drive vehicles that are made to crawl over the harshest terrain, then conquer the wide open desert at exhilarating triple digit speeds. This element of automotive enthusiasm is precisely what Axial R/C has set out to deliver in 1:10 scale, so the relationship between Axial R/C and Ultra4 is a very natural fit.”

For more information on Axial and all their fine products hit up their Official Website. And for more Axial news right here on BigSquidRC check out THIS link.

Sometimes all you need is a good HUB! Well that’s what I think the peeps over at GMADE where thinking when they designed these scale 1.9 Wheel Hubs. These little aluminum beauties come in 5 different styles and in your choice of Black, Red or Silver. They have a nice M4 nylon lock nut that is bound to fit tons of vehicles as well as including all the necessary hardware to get you mounted up and rolling in no time. Retail should be under 15 bucks and it should add that extra bit of scale detail to finish off your rig.

Check out other trick GMADE loot on Big Squid by clicking here!

April 2012 marks the five year anniversary of the Axial AX10™ and the peeps from Axial felt that it was time for the product that launched them into the crawling segment to undergo some evolution and receive some trickle-down technological advancements of its own! They have not changed the original scope of the vehicle; the AX10™ Ridgecrest™ is still the “Leatherman” of the Axial product line and it’s where backyard crawling begins.

The AX10™ Ridgecrest™ is a highly capable, affordable starting point for anyone looking to get into the RC crawling game. If you are not sure what you want to do and how you want to do it within the various segments of crawling, the AX10™ Ridgecrest™ is the most versatile truck with scale looks, performance driven components and the right amount of speed mixed with technical crawling prowess – all in one rig.

Here are the specs (AX90019):

• All-new tube style chassis design.
• AR60 OCP-Axles™.
• 87/20 gearing (87T spur gear, 20T pinion gear).
• Competition legal 12″ wheelbase.
• Adjustable tray that accepts standard stick packs or lipo batteries.
• Adjustable suspension and shock mounting positions.
• WB8 Wild Boar™ splined driveshafts.
• Ripsaw™ tires mounted on Raceline Renegade wheels.
• 4-link suspension.
• Double shear link mounts.

MSRP is $575.00, street price should be a bit lower.

Head over to the Axial website for more information

 As some of you may know I love rc rock crawling and scale crawlers, a few weeks ago I got a chance to go for a ride in a real crawler with one of my friends Eric. I went out to The Cliffs Extreme Off Road Park. We did some very serious 4 wheeling. I had a blast! Eric’s truck goes anywhere. It was completely unstoppable, we went up close to vertical hills, over rocks, and through water. His crawler is and old Toyota 4 runner that he chopped up and built a tube chassis for and turned into an all around go anywhere machine! While we were there I noticed something surprising, the cliffs actually has an rc rock course and an rc track. The rock course was awesome and the track was really good quality (well kept with no weeds). It’d be cool to have a crawl/bash event there.

Looking to take your Axial Wraith to a new level scale-wise? Add a winch! But, where to put it? Rogue Element has you covered with their new winch mount for the Axial Wraith. The mount sits right behind the front bumper to give you both function and an awesome scale appearance.

These are a totally custom part that you’ll need to contact Rogue about so make sure you hit up their website if you’re interested. It looks like the mount will be around $30 bucks and of course, the winch is not included.

If you’re looking to add some more performance and maybe some lipos to your crawler or rock racer, Axial has you covered with their new AE-2 Forward/Reverse ESC with Drag Brake. This ESC was developed in partnership with Castle Creations, and is completely programmable with CastleLink. It also features a lipo cutoff set on from the factory, bullet connectors for easy installation, and instant foward/reverse and drag brake, making it perfect for your crawler. If you saw my post about the Axial Wraith earlier this week, you’ll notice it ships with this very ESC!

Check out Axial for more information!

It looks like Axial Racing has finally got their website updated with some real information, pictures, and even a video of their until now secret Axial Wraith. No lie, watching the video gave me chills! I’m not sure what it is that has me so pumped up about this truck. Maybe the fact that it looks freakin’ awesome! From the specs here, it looks like it will feature fully locked diffs, a lipo and CastleLink capable Axial AE-2 ESC, 20T brushed motor, a 2.4 GHz radio, and a waterproof receiver box (whoo hoo!). 6 LEDs are included on the truck, 2.2 Ripsaw tires, and it even comes with a dig-capable transmission!

Click the MORE to see the video after the break.

Looking to add some strength, bling, and better heat transfer to your XR10 Crawler? Axial Racing’s new heavy duty gear plate has your covered. Precision machined from billet aluminum, the plate is 4mm thick at the motor mount, and designed to dissipate heat quickly and efficiently for better perfomance and all-day crawling. It even comes with three 5x9x3 flanged rubber sealed bearings for increased strength and durability.
Head on over to Axial to pick one of these up for your bad rad crawler!