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What's new: Friday, January 17th, 2014

6x6 clodbuster semi

Exceed announced their RTR Mad Torque 6×6 last week and it’s caused quite a stir in the scale/crawling community. Regardless of what you think of the actual truck (personally, I think it looks pretty cool) it shows that 6×6 trucks are growing in popularity. In many cases they are actually 6x6x6 (that means six wheel drive with six wheel steering). It’s becoming more and more common to see one of these monstrosities out at your local bash/crawling spot. To this point they are all custom built but I expect to see those Mad Torques start popping up at club meets soon.

Most of the 6×6′s I’ve seen locally are Tamiya Clodbuster based due to the simplicity of not needing to mess with extra driveshafts (Clods are motor on axle i.e. no driveshafts or central transmissions, the new Exceed is the same setup) but shaft driven stuff is gaining in popularity due to the availability of Axial axles and parts. The 2nd axle typically has two output shafts in which the backside connects to a standard third axle via driveshaft. It’s not very complicated and just requires a few additional axle pieces and an extra set of shocks to hook up to the back of the frame.

The colossal truck in the picture above deserves special recognition as it has become something of a local legend here in St. Louis, MO. It belongs to my good buddy Dan Ryan and is always the most popular vehicle with drivers/gawkers when he has it out. It uses a custom chassis with trick aluminum Clodbuster axle housings. Power is supplied by three Tekin ESCs, three 45 turn motors, and an 8 channel radio (!). The tires are gargantuan RC4WD 40 Series Roc Lox that tower almost 9 inches off the ground and all three axles steer. That kind of rubber needs big torque so 400 oz servos are equipped on each axle. It’s topped off by a Tamiya Bullhead cab and tips the scales at a whopping 20 lbs. Whenever we hook it to a pulling sled we have trouble finding enough weight to stop it! Even a Traxxas Summit looks like a puny vehicle in comparison to this big rig.

A conservative pricing estimate places this truck just north of $1,500, but that doesn’t include all the blood (and I literally do mean blood…when this thing falls off a hill it freaking hurts to catch it), sweat, & tears. If you are hoping to see video of this big boy in action then soon you will be in luck! I hope to launch a scaling video series very soon as a sort of companion piece to this column.

A six wheeler like Dan’s is a nice mix of engineering, redneck ingenuity, and sheer lunacy…basically everything scaling is all about! I’d also like to give a shout out to Dan for hooking me up with the Big Squid crew last spring. If not for him I wouldn’t be able to waste several minutes of your work day each week! I hope everyone has a great weekend and be sure to check back next Friday where I’m taking a look at my favorite niche of hardcore scale R/C…truck and tractor pulling!

Pro-Line Apocalypse Body
You never know when the next Zombie attack will happen, prepare now with a Pro-Line Apocalypse clear body. Formed from genuine GE Lexan right here in the USA, the Apocalypse Armored Military Styling was designed to stand up to the toughest Zombie hoards and to the rigors of your local bash spot.

The Apocalypse is made to fit the Traxxas Summit, its part number is #3422-00, it has a street price of $32, and they are expected to hit hobby shops in early February. Hit up This Link for full information.

Click Here to check out a certified TGIF Mystery Link.

The video is now up of the Helion Volition SCT to go along with the Volition Review we recently posted. We bashed in snow, on a carpet indoor track, and all sorts of other crazy condition.

Don’t forget to watch it in HD. Enjoy.

Uh oh.. it’s Friday, that means I need a Mystery Link

Ares Winter Video Challenge
If you own an Ethos QX130 quadcopter or a Chronos CX100 helicopter, the folks over at Ares have a contest for you. They want to see videos of your Ares in action, and the top three will win HobbyTown USA gift cards. The gift cards range from $50 to $200, and the winning videos will be posted up on the Ares Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. If you win your video might even make the front page here on BigSquidRC. :)

Submissions are due by February 10th and you can get more information at This Link.

Happy Friday, Click Here to see a BSRC TGIF Mystery Link.

What's new: Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Team Orion R8.1 Pro ESC
Team Orion has a new ESC for all you hardcore 8th scale drivers out there. Their Vortex R8.1 Pro was made just for 8th scale applications and even comes with a machined aluminum case. Some of its other specifications and features include-

* Works with sensored and sensorless motors
* Includes reverse and crawler mode
* Comes with Deans connector
* Comes with cooling fan
* BEC output of 6 or 7.2V
* Rated for 180amps continuous
* Maximum cell count- 4S Lipo

The Team Orion Vortex R8.1 Pro has a part number of #ORI65125. For more Orion news check out This Link on BigSquidRC.

Pro-Line Mirage SS RC10
Pro-Line has released a new teaser picture of their Mirage SS RC10 Body featuring a classic Cliff Lett paint scheme with retro Associated and Pro-Line stickers. We really like the look of the Mirage SS, especially with the sweet retro livery.

The release of the Pro-Line Mirage SS is later this month. It has a part number of #3421-00 and a street price of just under $30.

Click Here for more Pro-Line news on BigSquidRC.

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.
Thanks,
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.
Thanks,
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 BigSquidRC.com. 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

Align 150DFC Bind-to-Fly

As I mentioned in my first Raging Rotors about a week ago, the Align 150 DFC Bind-to-Fly helicopter was on its way to shelves. Not 48 hours after that, I was graced with a new 150 DFC for all my hard work.

Below are pictures from the unboxing of my Align 150 DFC helicopter. It retails for around $270, and can be found on store shelves now!

ARRMA Polar VORTEKS Snowmageddon Video
The good folks over at ARRMA have a new promo that makes it easy to score a free t-shirt. All you have to do is film your ARRMA RTR out running in the snow then post the video up on the ARRMA Facebook page. Assuming you have some snow in your area it sounds like an easy way to score a t-shirt to us.

The ARRMA Vorteks Snowmageddon t-shirt giveaway ends on February 15th and you can get complete information on the official ARRMA Facebook Page.

To read the latest news from ARRMA check out This Link on BigSquidRC.

RPM Green Tie Rod Ends Traxxas
RPM RC has added a new color option to their lineup of Traxxas rod ends, green. The green rod ends will go great with your Grave Digger, Monster Energy, or Kawasaki themed truck. Or, you might be like Brian and simply like the color green.

The part number for the short green rod ends is #80474, while the part number for the longs is #80514. Both come in sets of 12 and have street prices of $9 and $10. For more information simply click This Link to head over to the official RPM website.

Click Here for more RPM news on BigSquidRC.

What's new: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Aquacraft GP-1 Ultra Review
We have been water bashing the Aquacraft GP-1 Ultra for a couple of months now, today we are posting what we found out during our review process.

The GP-1 Ultra is a fairly small (18″) and affordable ($139) Hydroplane boat. Ours came as a Rx-R, meaning it came fully assembled but needed a radio system and battery before hitting the water. Installing a receiver and mounting the battery took us under 15 minutes.

While driving the GP-1 we found out that its powerful brushless motor likes some space to run. The GP-1 has more power than you can use in a small area like a pool, it is better suited to pond sized areas at your local park. We also found out that it likes fairly smooth water. When the water got rough it was difficult to drive the GP-1. While the water was smooth the GP-1 would absolutely rip across the lake.

Out of the box, the GP-1 tended to nose down into the water. This was easy to fix as we adjusted the prop higher and slid our battery pack towards the rear, solving the issue. Once this was done we didn’t have a problem getting the boat up on plane and it still cornered well.

The GP-1 comes with a watercooled, 2200kV, brushless system. Combined with an ElectriFly 3S 1200 Lipo it had very strong performance on the water. If this is your first boat you will be impressed with how much power it has.

We didn’t experience any issues with our review GP-1 Ultra. Our test unit ran well, didn’t break, and never failed to keep a big smile on our faces. If you are looking for an affordable first boat that is easy to hit the water with (and has some real power!), we highly recommend the Aquacraft GP-1 Ultra.

To get more details on the GP-1 Ultra check out This Link over on the official Aquacraft website.

For more boat news on BigSquidRC simply Click Here.

Pro-Line Apocalypse Traxxas Summit
Today we got a sneak peek at the latest creation from Pro-Line, their new Apocalypse clear Lexan body for the Traxxas Summit. As you can see in the picture, it is one tough looking body that will make quite a statement at your local bash spot.

The part number for the Pro-Line Apocalypse is #3422-00, it should have a street price around $35, and you should be able to get your hands on one in early February.

Click Here for all the latest Pro-Line news right here on BigSquidRC.

Be honest.. this body makes you want to own a Summit!

Team Durango DETC410
Team Durango has been teasing their new DETC410 high-end touring car for months. Now they’ve released a video that shows one of their team drivers, Elliott Harper, building the first production unit. The video is sped up to show the entire build, in the end it looks like a pretty trick piece of machinery.

The Durango DETC410 has a part number of #TD102023, they should have a street price of just under $400, and we are told they should start showing up at your LHS in late February.

For more Durango news on BigSquidRC check out This Link.