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What's new: Monday, December 9th, 2013

Pro-Line Big Give Christmas
The charitable folks over at Pro-Line have announced their 12 Days of Christmas Big Give. What can you win during Pro-Line’s Big Give?

* A brand new Pro-2 SC truck every day from Dec 8th to Dec 19th.
* Apparel prize packs that include a hat and t-shirt.
* Gift certificates ranging from $50 to $100.
* A $1,000 to $2,000 donation in your name to one of these charities- Casa Hogar Belen home for orphaned children, One Egg that helps malnourished children around the world, The Sheepfold who help homeless and abused women, Both Hands that helps widows and orphans, or Teen Challenge that helps fight drug and alcohol addiction.

How do you get entered? Simply click This Link.

Click Here for more Pro-Line news on BigSquidRC.

What's new: Sunday, December 8th, 2013

aquacraft revolt 30Hello, I am Iron Mike and welcome to a new weekly boat column on BigSquidRC, Prop Wash.

Most boat pilots have swamped out, turned into a submarine. Whatever term you use, water in a boat is not good. Most boat hulls have the capability of being taped shut. This will keep out most spray and splash, but what if you truly swamp a boat? Sealed or waterproof electronics are a must in my opinion. Almost all boat electronics are waterproof these days but that upgraded radio system needs to have a waterproof receiver or you will need to seal it somehow. I like to pot my receivers in electronics grade silicone. This is a good low cost way to protect your expensive receivers. In future editions of Prop Wash I will walk you through the waterproofing process as well as other tips to help new boaters have a good experience with their first boat.

The video shown below is from Aquacraft, watch it to get some waterproofing tips from Mike Zaborowski. Mike is known as the “GrimRacer” and has a wealth of knowledge on rc boating.

Want more boating news? Find more at This Link on BigSquidRC.

What's new: Friday, December 6th, 2013

RC4WD Snow Plow Blade
Tis the season for lots of snow, thus we were pretty stoked to receive a legit snow plow blade from RC4WD. The blade is like everything else RC4WD makes, heavy duty, made from real metal, and it looked true to scale. We’ve been using (ok, mostly abusing) the snow plow blade for a few weeks now, here is what we found out-

* The RC4WD blade comes stand alone, so you’ll need to also buy a mounting kit for either your RC4WD or Axial truck (also available from RC4WD). Make sure you use an all metal mount because plastic mounts will sag under the load of blade making it difficult to keep off of the ground.

* Springs are used to help keep the blade down. The springs combined with the raw weight of the blade present a heavy load to the servo.

* The RC4WD is really designed to push snow. When we tried pushing dirt/gravel we ended up bending its mounting screws.

* The blade looks really cool and isn’t made out of cheap plastic. It has a street price of $80 and it feels like you get your money’s worth.

* We had loads of fun using the blade on our review RC4WD Trailfinder 2. Sadly nobody wanted to play demo-derby while we had it mounted. We can highly recommend it for that reason alone. :)

If you want to get your hands on one simply hit up This Link. For more RC4WD news on BigSquidRC Here is the link you want.

Vaterra Halix RTR Unboxing
The Vaterra Halix 4wd Monster Truck is one of the most eagerly anticipated bash truck releases in quite some time. Why? Because 4wd tenth scale monster trucks typically make great all around bash machines.

We are still in the middle of our review process on the Vaterra Halix, but while you wait for our full review you can check out the unboxing pictures. Below are four galleries that show you exactly what it looks like when you crack the box open on a brand new Halix.

To get more information on the Halix simply click This Link, to read more Vaterra news on BigSquidRC just Click Here.

Hit the “Read More” button for two more galleries after the break…

READ MORE

gmade_sawback_3

Two weeks ago I got word from my hobby shop that, lo and behold, my Gmade Sawback had finally arrived. I wasted no time in picking it up and starting to wrench. After the build was finished, I tested it out over a variety of different terrain. While this isn’t a true review, with so many scale off-roaders wanting to find out if this truck is worth their time (especially with Christmas coming up) I wanted to post some detailed first impressions.

Being a completely new kit, I expected the gremlins you typically find in early production runs (misdrilled holes, missing parts, etc.) but was pleasantly surprised to have the whole thing go together very smoothly. The instructions were detailed and all parts were present. Having Phillips hardware instead of hex is pretty lame, but it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought because at least the screws weren’t the cheesy “will strip if you look at them” variety. For those wondering about electronics, I used a Savox SW-0230MG Waterproof Servo, Axial AE-2 ESC, 27t motor, and a Spektrum SR3001 receiver. I also painted the wheels white, put 3 oz of lead weights in each front wheel and topped it off with an action figure in the driver’s seat (a Demoman from Team Fortress 2).

Listen, I totally expected this thing to be more of a shelf queen than a rugged trail truck…but it appears I was way off in that line of thinking. I have bashed this truck on the beach, wooded trail, rocks, creek and construction yard, and it’s handled them all with ease. Despite having a very scale leaf-spring suspension, the Sawback still has plenty of travel and can hit lines you’d never think it would be able to. The included tires are soft and work well but are too small for my taste.  I wound up ditching them for some taller Axial Trepadors that I had lying on my bench and it really helped performance due to increased ground clearance. The drive shafts are thick plastic with screw-through design and seem to be holding together very nicely. I’m running 2S lipo and have had no problems and I have a friend with one that runs a 35t motor on 3S (a popular crawling setup) and the drive train has held up just fine.

 

The truck does have negatives. As I mentioned before, the Phillips’ hardware isn’t cool and the truck is too heavy and stiff to be a good all-around basher. If you plan to jump this rig I hope you are ready to purchase new leaf springs because it wasn’t made for that style of driving. It also doesn’t perform as well on the rocks as a 4-linked truck (i.e. Axial SCX10).

That being said, from a scaler’s point of view, this truck is great. I’ve been very impressed with the durability, looks and performance. I know of several other “early adopters” who share similar opinions. Many hobbyists aren’t familiar with Gmade, but, given the buzz the truck is creating amongst the scale community, I think the Sawback changes that.

So what’s next? I’m preparing the Sawback for a club Top Truck Challenge next month, where it will be put through the meat grinder of mud bogging, rock crawling and truck pulling. I’ll be chronicling the whole thing in this very column, so be on the lookout for that soon. Have a great weekend and remember to stay dirty my friends!

MIP Axial Wraith SCX10 Center Driveshafts
If you want the toughest driveshafts in the business you have to look no further than MIP. Now MIP has center driveshaft kits for the Axial Wraith and SCX10. The stock plastic driveshafts can twist or break, the heavy duty MIP units are built to take punishment. Some of their key features include-

* Spline drive technology
* Made from tough heat treated steel
* MIP includes Loctite & grease with each set
* Pin set screws
* 100% made in the good old USA

The part number for the MIP SCX10 set is #13360, the part number for the MIP Wraith set is #11116 and they are each priced at $75.

Thank Goodness It’s Friday, check out THIS mystery link.


Simple_Tricopter_06

Hey guys, it’s 3DBill here with something a bit different for you:

Multirotor (Tri, Quad, Hex, and Octo-Copters) aircraft are the new rage and quadcopters are THE item to pick up this Christmas at all the local hobby shops. Tri copters are a bit different from your standard quadcopter and quite fun to fly as well. Read More to check out the review and video of a fun tricopter kit from Simplecopter!

READ MORE

Video Pro-Line Gladiator 2.8 Tire
Pro-Line recently announced they are manufacturing Gladiator Tires for Traxxas sized 2.8″ wheels. Gladiators are known in the bashing world for providing excellent traction on loose/loamy surfaces and the new 2.8″ size makes it easy to glue a set up to your favorite Traxxas wheels.

To showcase the new Gladiators Pro-line has whipped up a video. The video not only gives details about the tires but it also shows them doing some real bash action. It’s cool to see Pro-Line showcasing the new Gladiators in a true basher setting like a city park, not on a track.

To get more information on the Gladiator 2.8s, hit up This Link for their product page on the Pro-Line website.

Happy Friday, it’s time for a BigSquidRC TGIF Mystery Link.

What's new: Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Savox-SW-0230MG-Waterproof-Servo-Gmade-Sawback

In the not-so-distant past, it was a pain to get a quality waterproof servo. You had to either fork over a king’s ransom or try to do it yourself (usually with messy adhesive plastic). Thankfully, that isn’t the case anymore as manufacturers are finally starting to pump out affordable gear for those of us that want to play in the wet stuff.

Big Squid recently received a Savox Waterproof Digital Metal Gear HV Servo (Part #SW-0230MG), so I decided to throw it in my new Gmade Sawback and give it a thorough torture test. I spent a good amount of time crawling the local creek, submerging it multiple times attempting to short it out. Not only did it keep trucking without so much as a single glitch, it also had no problem turning the lead weighted (and now completely soaked) front tires with the suspension at full bind. For those not familiar with crawling, that scenario has smoked many a servo. The Savox never even got warm during these dunk & crawl sessions. I came away impressed. At a street price of $43.99, it’s a great choice for the budget-conscious basher looking to take the (literal) plunge.

Savox SW-0230MG Specifications:

  • Dimensions (mm): 41.8×20.2×38.0
  • Weight (g): 59
  • Speed:
    • @6.0V: .16 sec/60
    • @7.4V: .13 sec/60
  • Torque:
    • @6.0V: 90.3 oz-in
    • @7.4V: 111.1 oz-in
  • Gear: Metal
  • Bearing: 2BB
  • Case: Plastic (Light Blue Color)
  • Output Shaft: 25 Tooth Spline

Hit up This Link for more information on all the products that Savox has to offer.

Click Here for more Savox news on BigSquidRC.

Speed Passion LM-1 LeMans Spec Racer
When Speed Passion first announced their new LM-1 LeMans car we were immediately interested. It’s a pan car so it should be fast and it has some pretty cool scale looks, nobody can resist that combination.

While we are finishing up the LM-1 review, have a look at the unboxing pictures. It comes in two boxes, a small box containing the actual car kit, and a larger box with the body inside. The biggest thing we noticed during the unboxing was how trick the multi-piece body looks. If it looks this good clear, it should really knock our socks off when painted.

Also pictured but not included in the kit are a Speed Passion Reventon S ($59) speed controller and a Speed Passion V3.0 17.5R ($49) brushless motor. We are looking forward to seeing how much rip these affordable units have during our review.

To get more information on the Speed Passion LM-1 hit up THIS LINK, to get more Speed Passion news on BigSquidRC THIS is the link you want.

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 BigSquidRC.com. 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

RC4WD Tough Armor Front Lightbar Bumper for Axial SCX10
RC4WD has another way to scale up the looks of your Axial SCX10 with their Version 2 Tough Armor Front Lightbar/Bumper. Made from steel, this lightbar/bumper should be able to take a beating while giving you a place to mount some cool looking lights to the front of your truck.

* Welded by hand
* Constructed from strong steel tubing
* Powder coated finish
* Corrosion resistant
* Weight- 2.71oz

The part number is #Z-S1102, it has a $29 street price, and they are available right now for your bashing pleasure. Hit up This Link for complete information.

Click Here for more RC4WD news on BigSquidRC.

Tamiya alfa romeo jagermeister
The crew over at Tamiya have announced a new release on their affordable TT02 platform, an Alfa Romeo 155 V6. The Alfa comes in Jagermeister livery just like it looked during the ’94 German touring car championships. The Tamiya TT02 4wd platform is easy to build and comes no frills with plastic friction shocks and bushings. Expect a street price of $220 with a a release date of early next year.

Click Here for more Tamiya news on BigSquidRC.