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Hey guys, Adam the intern here with a review of Axial’s 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Kit!¬†I put it though some serious tests to see what it was made of and had some interesting results… ¬†Press READ MORE to see my complete thoughts.


We got our hands on Axial’s Jeep Wrangler Poison Spyder Wraith and it looks great! The color of this Jeep is awesome it really stands out and catches an eye! Looks like a sweet truck but you have to wait and see how it performs. Review coming very soon!!

Make sure to hit the Axial Racing website for info and details.

Looking for more Axial News? Click here for Axial News on Big Squid RC.


So a few days ago we posted a very dedicated Spektrum fan and his Spektrum Tattoo! Shortly after we got an email from another hard core RC fan with his Axial Logo Tattoos! Check it out. This was from Jeremy H. from Toronto Canada. Awesome stuff!

Are you this hardcore, and you’ve also gotten an rc related tattoo? If so, shoot us an email right HERE.

It’s Friday.. that means it’s MYSTERY LINK TIME.

St Louis SupercrossHello everyone, welcome to THE Cub Report, and I hope all you guys have a great week filled with trigger time.

First up- we are still looking for an account rep (or two, or three). The job involves being a kick a$$ guy (or gal) and taking care of our advertisers. If you know what’s up in the hobby shoot Brian an email. If you can’t figure out his email address chances are you can’t handle the job. LOL

Second up- Wavy Davi gave up the red plate last night in Daytona, “sigh”. 2013 was a breakout year for Millisaps in the big boy class but it seems a couple of injuries have thrown a monkey wrench into his plans for supercross domination. Lets hope RV2 doesn’t win out and make the rest of the season a bore. Btw, it was sure refreshing to see bright red Honda logo’s at Daytona instead of the Monster claws plastered everywhere.

Third up- The Formula 1 season is officially here! 6 days, 4 hours, 17 minutes and 51 seconds till the tone goes off in Australia for the first GP of the season. Alonso FTW, bank it! And… it should be interesting to see how the tv coverage on NBC Sports stacks up to previous years when it was on Speed and ESPN.

Fourth up- Don’t forget our Google + LIVE Show this Wednesday night. Last week Brian was wacked out of his gourd on Red Bull and Pez and couldn’t make the show, so this week expect something extra special from him. But seriously, we always seem to say something that ticks off half the rc community each week, so it can’t be all bad. Mark it down on your calender for 9 pm CST every Weds night from here on out.

Fifth up- The BIG news of the week is that BigSquidRC March Bashness is under way! If you are a new reader- March Bashness is the ultimate contest where you guys select the top bashers of the year, then just like in the basketball version, we do bracket style eliminations (based on your voting) to determine which is America’s favorite bash vehicle. Voting for the initial “Sweet 16″ is going on right now, click THIS link to get all the info on how to place your vote.

Hands down, March Bashness causes the most smack talk around the BigSquidRC offices. Brian has his favorites, Jeff has his, Bill always gets in his two cents, Craig lets it fly on his picks, Adam gets quite adamant about his fav, and of course I live to state the 82 reasons why my top bash-mobile is better than theirs. Here is a quick Cubby break-down on how I see March Bashness stacking up-

Axial- Axial doesn’t have a dedicated “racer” in its line-up, every vehicle they make can be considered a legit bash-mobile. Perhaps leading the pack for Axial would be the EXO and their new Jeep Wrangler.

ARRMA- The ARRMA Granite took home our “Basher of the Year” award (which was voted on by the staff here) for 2012, so it has got to be considered a serious player in March Bashness. The rest of their line are also bash-mobiles, so perhaps another one (or two) of the vehicles might be in the starting sweet 16. The ARRMA brand has been picking up momentum among the bash main-streamers, and it’s well known ARRMA is the “basher line from Durango”, so the odds of an ARRMA doing well in March Bashness look pretty darn good.

ECX- Mainstays like the Torment and the Ruckus have really taken off with the bash crowd, I would expect to see at least one go deep into the tournament. One of the new 8th scale buggies from ECX might also make it into the show.

Duratrax- Duratrax is known for their bash-mobiles, but they haven’t had many new releases the last few months.

Traxxas- There is no doubt Traxxas is the sales leader at local hobby shops and one of the highest regarded brands in the entire bashing world. Traxxas has several vehicles that should be capable of making it deep into the tourney. Their new LCG 4×4 Slash and Rally Car might very well be players in the big show.

HPI- Arguably the second biggest name in the bash world is HPI, and once again they have a half dozen vehicles that are enormously popular among the bash crowd. Their 5th scalers have an insane cult following, as does their Savage series of monster trucks. Will the Block Rally Car make the show? We’ll find out in just a few days.

Helion- The crew from Firelands Group took home a controversial win with their Helion Dominus last year. For 2013 they’ve got a new truggy and a monster truck on the way, but with the depth of the field it will be incredibly hard for them to repeat again this year.

Thunder Tiger- Just a few scant years ago Thunder Tiger was looked down on like their cars were made by Tyco. Now days, things are a lot different. Some key changes in their product line-up combined with a much improved marketing plan have resulted in a whole lot of happy Thunder Tiger owners out there. It is also a brand that many Traxxas haters have fled to. I would have to think their MT4-G3 and eMTA monster trucks will be in the hunt, as well as the truggy they released last fall.

Associated- Ummm… while their parent company is looking so good among the basher crowd, Associated has focused on re-hashing old platforms for the race crowd and fell off the face of the bashing planet. Certainly AE is still considered a good name in the racer game, but it is increasingly rare to see anyone actually bashing an Associated product.

Vaterra- The newest kid on the basher block is Vaterra. We’ve only gotten the chance to bash their little scalers and both of them took a pretty good beating. I would think their biggest threat to take home the March Bashness title would be their Twin Hammers crawler/basher, but I’ve yet to drive one, so I have no idea if it’s worth owning or not.

Losi- The 5th scale Losi 5T is a well regarded bash machine, as is their SCTE 4wd short course truck. Who knows, a Losi might just surprise some of us and make it deep into the bracket.

RedCat- There are a Bunch (an insane amount actually) of RedCats sold each year. Will they get enough votes from their hardcore army to make it into the show? RedCat has yet to place a vehicle into our sweet 16, will this be the year the RedCat faithful put a rig into the big show?

There are a bunch of vehicles I haven’t mentioned that might very well make it deep into the voting. I feel like I was only scratching the surface, there are simply a ton of great bash machines on the market right now. Everyone on the BSRC crew hopes that you take the time out of your busy day to vote for your favorites, wear your brand loyalty proudly, and show not just the other readers of BigSquidRC which machine is your favorite, but show the entire industry what machines are hitting the mark with the bash crowd. We don’t do the voting to try and spam you or get your email address or phone number, we do it simply because we want to learn exactly which bash vehicles are the best ones in YOUR eyes. This is entirely your vote guys, we hope you have a blast with it.

And on to…

Sixth up- Last week I asked for you guys to shoot me proof that the class action suit against ROAR actually exists. We have yet to receive anything from anyone other than the original PR. Are the courts just that slow down in Florida or….. Ya guys, if you can dig up some concrete proof the the suit is legit shoot it to us so I can post what an idiot I am for even having questioned it.

Seventh up- Adam “The Intern” has a new job around here- he’s the head of our New BSRC Tumblr Page. Look for a post on our front page early in the week with a link so you can check it out. Tumblr is the big player of social media with the “young” crowd and Adam has tons of cool pics and things to share with the sub-20 crowd. If you are “young” (in body, or at heart) and looking for something more your style, checking out the BSRC Tumblr page should be a must.

That’s it for this week folks, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter


So a certain squid was hanging out in Champaign Il. this week with the Hobbico gang while they were working on some photo shoots for some upcoming press stuff. Looks like he had a good time! He’s been in the Axial before, but this may be the first time he’s been in a nitro Duratrax Nissan or a Aquacraft Boat! I know he’s been dying to get his hands on that Thunder Tiger eMTA!

Thanks to the awesome people at Hobbico for letting Squiddy hang out during the shoots!


“Scale” short course comments

As a long time – 30 years – RC enthusiast and racer, I feel that you guys are way off the mark with your “scale” comments lately regarding short course. The class will never grow if we don’t move it more and more towards performance. We cannot go back to Slashes and hard “realistic” tires. Do that, and the best selling RC kits in a long time will wither and die.
Also – dish wheels are not only scale and realistic – they look cool.
Tony F.

Cubby- Yo hey Tony, thanks for the email and congrats, I’ve just proclaimed yours as “letter of the month”, thereby entitling you to a free (and quite uber) BigSquidRC t-shirt. Be sure and shoot Brian your snail mail and shirt size so he can hook ya up.

Don’t ya just love America? The land where everyone can have their very own opinion, one that can never be swayed.

There is a reason why DE Racing and JConcepts are selling “dish” short course rims, people like you Tony. You dig that look and that is totally your right, it’s part of the beauty of America.

However… my view is different than yours. I regularly “quiz” muggles on things like “How does this truck look to you?”, and I’ve found they immediately warm-up to a scale looking SCT, and come up with some pretty baffling answers when shown an 8th scale buggy or 10th scale “stadium truck”. It only goes to reason that if most “outsiders” find SCT’s attractive and inviting then that’s what we should be racing.

And… going to scale looking tires has absolutely nothing to do with going to a rock hard compound tire. On the full scale side of things, I don’t know if you’ve held a full scale SCT race tire in your hands lately, I have, and I can assure you
it was not composed of a rock hard compound. On the small scale side of things, a tire in M4 compound doesn’t “look” any less scale than one molded in the rock hard stock Traxxas compound.

On that subject, do you think it’s impossible to have a great performing rc tire in a “scale” tread? I can tell you from first hand experience that the stock tires on the Axial EXO Terra Buggy are phenomenal. They provide great mechanical grip on blue groove and drive like champs out in the fluff. Nobody talks about the EXO tires because they are rarely raced, but I’ve driven them on well over a dozen tracks from coast to coast, and while they do not give quite the traction of the preferred tire at each track, they are Amazing on a wide variety of surfaces. Given some development time I have no doubt that a company like Pro-Line could put out scale looking tires that would amaze you. Based on this I see absolutely no reason why scale looking tires are not mandatory in the SCT and SCB classes.

You say “The class will never grow if we don’t move it more and more towards performance.”. Here I think you sound like some sort of hard-core long time rc racer. Racing isn’t about knocking tenths off the track record, it’s about beating the guys you lined up against. Rc racing is horrible about it all being about knocking out faster lap times at any cost, not about actual competition, and really that’s one of the many reasons rc racing has become the joke that it has. And you say you’ve been in the hobby for “30 years”, but if you actually knew anything about rc racing you’d know that faster does not mean more fun or higher turnouts, far from it.

Lastly… you mention that dish wheels look realistic? Realistic to what, cars running on the Bonneville Salt Flats? In case you’ve never seen a full scale SCT wheel/tire combo in real life, HERE are three pictures. The pics are representative of what every truck in the TORC and LOORRS series are running. The photos were taking by me at a TORC race last season and I can absolutely assure you I didn’t PS them to remove a dish (LOL). If you still think I’m full of it simply Google Image search “TORC Racing” and see how long it takes before the first “dish” wheel pops up.

And finally… have you ever thought about what you can do for your hobby? Just because you can run UFO looking dish wheels on your SCT does that mean you should? How many muggles see you driving/racing each year? Do you want to leave them with the impression “OMG what the hell are those things?” or would you rather leave them with “OMG those trucks looked awesome!”?

Hey Cubby, I have a question to you I have an hpi blitz with all stock.. im looking
to upgrade it with a brushless system Im thinking about buying the castle creations
sv2 4600 So here is my question: Can I use this brushless system with the stock hpi
radio and receiver??
Thanks! (no name given)

Cubby- Hello Mr No Name. I’m about all written out after Tony’s email so I’ll keep it brief. Yes, a Castle system will work with your stock HPI radio gear, but I’d recommend the 3800kv SCT system for your Blitz. Why? Because it has a bit more torque and it’s a lower kv, meaning it’ll be easier to gear properly, it will run cooler, and it’ll have more low end snap.

That’s it for this week folks, shoot me your questions, answers, comments and various rants to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com. Get free stuff (read stickers) when your email hits the big time, and maybe even win a free t-shirt if your email is extra kick-a$$.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby iHobby Truck Give awayThe AMA Supercross series is 4 races deep and Davi Millsaps is still sporting the red plate, who would have guessed that before the season began? Dungey visited the LCQ again Saturday night but went on to win the main, Speedy Reedy has become a first lap human torpedo, RV2 is the fastest guy on the track but 4th in points, and Bubba’s knee is a mess but he looked faster than he has in the last two years. Bam-Bam’s sx season is over points wise, but he put it on the podium, Shorty is a riding a bike off the showroom and beat a bunch of factory talent, and Canard’s early season speed seems to have gone missing. Yes my friends, supercross is awfully good this season.

On to rc…

First up a couple of reminders. This coming Saturday, February 9th, the BigSquidRC Bash Crew will be doing special coverage of the world’s largest indoor flying event, eFest, from Champaign Illinois. Expect news posts and a live video feed (as much as the net will allow) from the event floor. If you can’t join us in person keep an eye on our front page to see exactly what we come up with.

Last week we posted three reviews- the Axial Jeep Wrangler, iMaxRC X200 charger, and Radiant Reaktor brushless system. This week we’ll be posting reviews on Pro-Line Pro-2 performance upgrades, TrakPower DPS power supply and VR-1 dual charger, Atomik 8th scale Deegan SCT, and the electric Thunder Tiger Mini Cooper. Yes, another huge week for reviews here on BigSquidRC. Btw, shoot us an email on how you are liking our new A/B/C/D grading system, we’d like to know if you like it better than our old 1-10 system.

Also… try and catch our Wednesday night Google+ LIVE show. This week we just might be breaking more big news (like we did last week, more on that later), and we will once again be inviting you, yes you, to join us live in the Google+ Hangout live video feed. To be able to join in with us, you’ll need to have a G+ account plus a webcam and mic already set-up. More details on Wednesday…

Also in rc news…

The Nuremberg Toy Fair was huge last week, so huge it put a serious hurt’n on us media outlets. It’s pretty rare when we simply can’t keep up with all the new products being introduced. In fact, I think last week was the first time ever. Congrats to the big German show, and congrats to the industry for its continued growth.

What was the biggest news from the Toy Fair? You’d have to have been living on Mars to have not heard about Vaterra yet. Horizon has been teasing about an all new brand for months now and they did the official unveiling at Nuremberg. It was a nicely done introduction- a big reveal at the Toy Fair, the Vaterra dot com and FB page went live with perfect timing, and they even sent out some pretty sweet press kits to the media.

It’s quite obvious someone over at Horizon has been eating/breathing/shit’n Vaterra for the last 6 months. For example- the unveil was amazing, all the pics of the new vehicles were incredibly well done, all the videos were amazing, and all the products look to be solid inside and out. I have the feeling a bunch of midnight oil got burnt by the Horizon crew the last few months, but it turned out awesome and hopefully those guys are finally able to get some much needed sleep.

The actual Vaterra product looks incredible, to the point of being legit shelf queens that you can actually drive. As a hobby grade rc’er it was burnt in my brain from the start that you can either have a high performance hobby grade rc, or you can have an incredibly detailed scale looking body, but you can’t have both. Vaterra is the first entire line (off and on-road) in our industry that shows that yes you can, you can have your performance cake and incredible scale looking icing too.

Horizon already had two solid line-ups, the legendary Losi line, and the upstart ECX line of surface vehicles. Was there a need for a third? Some industry types will say definitely, the third brand name helps put even more Horizon product on LHS shelves to help push other brands off. Then other industry types know how long (and how much money) it takes to get a new brand off the ground. Certainly it takes years for a new brand to earn its keep on LHS shelves, and certainly it takes millions of marketing dollars to firmly plant the name into consumers heads.

Vaterra is certainly off to a stellar start. Everything they’ve done thus far has been top notch, certainly a testament to the rc passion of the staff over at Horizon. 2012 was very quiet for them, but thus far Horizon owns 2013. Now it’s a matter of waiting to test the actual product. Does the performance and reliability of the new Vaterra gear stack up to all the marketing hype and incredible scale looks? We’ll find out soon enough, and should the actual platforms be rock solid, Vaterra has a long prosperous future in rc. In fact, the Vaterra line might go down as a real game changer, the line that proved that us rc’ers can finally have machines that look as good as they perform.

On a different note…

We broke some pretty big news on our Wednesday night Google+ LIVE show last week. We broke the news that HPI will soon be exclusively distributed by Hobbico/Great Planes. In the past HPI was distributed by Great Planes, HRP and Horizon, starting later this year they will only be available from GP. No doubt Great Planes is the premier distributor of rc products in the entire world, they’ve got their act together, and they should be able to take HPI to new heights. Rumors have been floating around for years about the financial status of HPI, hopefully exclusive distribution by GP will fix any ills that might be going on over there. Look for the official announcement to be made March 1st.

Speaking of HPI, they once again had their Octane gas engines on display at Nuremberg. If there is one thing that can put HPI on top of the heap it would be their Octane powered vehicles taking over the market. If the Octane works as advertised, HPI is staring directly at a sales floor success like they’ve never seen before. Unfortunately, and I know first hand, that there is at least one other “big” name that is getting close to announcing their own gas power-plant for smaller scales. I hope HPI’s decision to announce their gas platform well over a year before it could hit shelves does not come back to haunt them.

That’s it for this week ya bunch of rc fanatics. Thanks for reading, and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

axial jeep

Axial has really been cranking out the quality scale stuff lately. If you are into the crawler scene, or looking to make the jump, Axial is the name you need to know. So how does their new SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon hold up with their high standards? Does it leave the competition stuck on a trail waiting for a winch? Or does the Axial need to use the winch? Keep reading to find out…


Around the end of November a buzz starts to happen around the office. People start chatting, discussing, then arguing about what vehicles should be considered for our “BASH VEHICLE of the YEAR” award. This years decision was EXTREMELY close. Last years winner, the Thunder Tiger MT4 was a little easier to settle on, but this year there were two standouts. It was so close, we had to go to the white board and list off the good and the bad to get a better idea of a clear winner. Even then there were people on both sides of the fence.

arrma granite

All that being said, we’d like to congratulate ARRMA RC on the ARRMA GRANITE as winning our BASH VEHICLE of the YEAR 2012! The Granite proved basically indestructible as you can check out in our Beat Down VIDEO, and it also won the 2WD Monster Truck Shootout, and Basher Approved Status! It’s at a great price point, and a awesome vehicle to get into the hobby with that will bring smiles to many backyard bashers.

Props to the runner up. In a VERY close second was the ECX Torment! The Torment has been a great go-to vehicle for the last year, but there were just a few more things keeping it from winning. It is also a great truck, and you can’t really go wrong with choosing one. There are a lot of companies that should take a look at the durability of this short course!

Other considerations were the Axial EXO and Atomik 1/18 Metal Mulisha Rally Car. Both great vehicles that saw a lot of use this year.

Congrats again to ARRMA RC and their awesome monster truck, the ARRMA GRANITE!

axial scx10 jeep

We just got our hands on the Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 2012, and wanted to share some unboxing photos before we start the testing (beating) for our review process. Out of the box first impressions, it looks good, and we are happy that there are not 35 body pins keeping us from getting to the guts on the inside! Looking forward to hitting the trails soon.

Keep reading to see more pictures after the break! READ MORE

Novak recently posted two new Vehicle Application Guides for installing Novak equipment into your HPI or Axial rides. So for all those with questions about which Novak setup is the right choice, these should help you out!

Looking for more new from Team Novak? Click Here.

Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimied on the Rubicon Trail
Axial recently posted a cool video of their new RTR SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon on the Rubicon Trail. The video documents the 15 miles of gnarly terrain the SCX10 covered to earn the coveted Jeep Trail Rated badge. Be careful, if you didn’t want a new crawler before viewing the video, you will after.

For more information on Axial and all their gear check out the Official Axial Website. For more information on the new Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon check out THIS link right here on BigSquidRC.

Cubby Hello everyone out there in rc land, welcome to another Cub Report and I hope you all have a kick ass week.

We’ve got another busy week here at BigSquidRC. We’ll be giving away yet another new rc at 10pm CST tonight, so get your entry in now. This weeks entry has to do with whether or not you listen to podcasts. All you have to do is tell us whether or not you are a podcast listener (of any type) and you are officially entered. Personally I have zero time for them, but we have staffers that can’t enough of them. It doesn’t matter if you like them or not, we are just looking for some data on the subject, nothing more.

Btw, it looks like we’ll be extending the amount of vehicles we’ll be giving away to nearly the end of the year. 2012 has been a banner year for give aways here at BigSquidRC, we’ve already given away well over 10 Grand worth of prizes and we aren’t stopping any time soon. Read BigSquidRC and win stuff, ya gotta love it.

To get back on point, Monday is THE Cub Report and a car give away, then we have Review Tuesday. This week we’ll be posting at least two reviews. Tuesday will feature the review of the behemoth Dynamite Passport Ultra Duo. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a 200 watt x 2 AC/DC charger from Dynamite that has tons of features and is generally a freak’n beast. However, we’ll be doing something a bit interesting with this review, we’ll actually be testing the Quality of the charge that it puts into your pack. How would someone go about such a thing? Well… we charged a Pro-Match 2S test Lipo (multiple times) on both the Dynamite and on a Hyperion 720 iNet3 (which we consider to be a great reference charger), then we did discharge tests on a West Mountain CBA to see how voltage and run-times compared. I really hate it when reviews are full of opinions, with this review we can actually back it up with data whether the newest Dynamite gives a quality charge or not. I will say (read- tease) one of the two chargers yielded higher voltage and longer run-times, you are gonna have to read the full review to find out which one. :)

Later in the week we’ll be posting our review of what is generally considered to be the reference uber-top-of-the-line Futaba 4PK Super R transmitter. Life is all about uber-bashing now days, who can be a high end basher without a high end transmitter? Oh and yes, we did drop tests with it. It took me 3 drops from over 4 feet before I finally felt bad about trying to destroy such an elite piece of electronics. Did the Futaba survive our drop tests? I am such a teaser, you’ll have to read the full review to find out later this week.

The Wednesday Interview isn’t in hand yet, hopefully we’ll get that one together for you guys. :) The people we are interviewing seem even busier than we are which can sometimes make hitting a deadline lots of fun.

Thursday is ASK Cubby. We’ve been getting records amounts of emails lately and some of them are even some positive! Shoot me your questions/comments to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com.

On a different note…

Have you seen the new JConcepts “Scalpel” body for the Slash 4×4? It’s a body made just for running your Slash 4×4 high speed. It’s not especially handsome, however it is aimed right at uber-bashing. Amazing how the industry has changed lately. A few years ago the after-market community wouldn’t touch bash machines with a ten foot pole, now it seems to be completely the opposite. Any which way, it’s nice to see some of the after-market companies making products just for the bulk of rc’ers, the bash crowd.

And finally…

We’ve started our internal discussions on just which vehicles are in the running for our “Bash Vehicle of The Year” award. Early in the year we didn’t have any solid contenders, but lately that has changed. The ARRMA Granite has to be near the top of our list, it’s a tank and won our 2wd Monster Truck Shootout. The Axial EXO Terra Buggy is up there, as is the Durango DESC210 short course buggy. And better still, we’ve got some pretty tough contenders for the title being reviewed right now- vehicles like the new Thunder Tiger truggy, the new Thunder Tiger Rally Car, the new updated ECX Torment, and the Helion truggy (among others). Just a couple more months left in 2012 and we’ll be testing right up to the very end before we declare what vehicle was truly the best of the year.

Ok, that’s it for this week gang. Support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter