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Posts Tagged ‘Gmade Sawback


I’m still recharging from a crazy RECON G6 weekend but have emerged my garage just long enough to bring you this week’s column. If you haven’t yet, check out my two part coverage from earlier this week (mega truck race here, RECON G6 here). Before I close the book on it I wanted to share a couple things that I found interesting.

Since we had an Axial SCX10 CR Edition laying around the office (due to our recent review) and one it’s big features is lights, I decided I would run it bone stock during the shorter night stage (leaving the tougher day stage duties to my modded SCX10 Wrangler) to see how it performed. It just so happened that a non-scaler friend of mine called and asked if I could loan him a truck to try out this whole “G6 thing” during the day. All of a sudden the C/R edition would be running a full 2-stage event (with a noob driver for the day stage to boot) with minimal modifications. One caveat, I did move the battery up front utilizing included extra mounts and some screws I had lying around.

The truck performed awesome! It was dunked, slammed, and rolled but the big Jeep kept keepin’ on. It completed the 3 hour day stage with no problems at all. My friend really dug the Jeep and the whole concept of scaling in general. After he left, I took the reigns for the night stage and came away very impressed. The truck finished and performed admirably among all the modified vehicles, and the lights provided ample visibility. Very cool to see a stock RTR finish an event like this with no issue. Those new 1.9 T/A tires really are the hotness.


The other truck that raised a few eyebrows was a Gmade Sawback. I’ve made it no secret that I really enjoy mine, but when my friend Matt decided to G6 his I figured he was nuts. His F150 bodied Sawback finished both stages with not a single breakdown. Considering this was a leaf spring truck competing against (mostly) four linked performance vehicles I’d say that’s impressive. The kit has developed a strong cult-like fan base and it’s easy to see why. It’s a vehicle that punches above it’s weight class.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to cleaning up my filthy mud truck. Have a great weekend!

For more scale news here on Big Squid you can hit this link.


When I posted my first Everybody’s Scalin’ video on our YouTube channel a couple weeks back, user “Bad Wobble” asked if I could provide an update on my Gmade Sawback. Well Mr. Wobble, it’s your lucky day! The “first impressions” article I wrote went up a few months ago (view it right here), and in the time that’s passed I’ve put a few miles on the odometer. Time for an update.

You may of noticed I switched drivers and tires since last time. Yeah, the first driver I picked was a little small (people didn’t hesitate to let me know this, heh) but the new “Hunter Dan” figure from Cabelas is just about right. I had to make a few modifications with my dremel to get him to fit (Dan no longer has feet) but now he’s perfect. The second big change was putting on a set of Pro-Line TSL’s (the smaller ones, NOT the XL’s) as they perform extremely well and look great.

I guess the biggest news to report is that there isn’t much news to report. My initial thoughts are still pretty much how I feel today. It’s not going to replace your Axial SCX10 but it’s still a stout little truck. The only problem I had with mine were the stock driveshafts – the yokes are pretty weak and snap easily. I replaced them with Axial Wild Boars (they are a direct fit) and I haven’t had any problems since. Despite the transmission being loud as heck and the ring and pinions being made of a cheap pot metal it’s held up fine with no other breakage to report. My leafs are still springy with no sag and provide good articulation for what they are. The axle hop that happens when fighting for traction on certain obstacles really adds to the overall charm. You can see what I mean in the video I linked above. I’m not trying to give this a free pass for having a stiff suspension…but come on man, that’s kinda what you are paying for here. You want an authentic experience and it gives it to you – I’ve had my teeth rattled driving a 1:1 1942 Willy’s MB and I’d imagine Hunter Dan would probably be able to relate.

All in all I really enjoy the Sawback and it’s found a permanent spot in my collection. It handles very realistically and is great fun when trying to tackle the terrain accordingly. A hardcore bashing scaler this is not though, so if you want an all out performance machine you should look elsewhere. For the hobbyist that loves the iconic look of the classic Jeep and/or that wants to dip their toes into the waters of extreme scale suspension I think you’ll be happy.

Want to see more Gmade news? Click here.

Axial RECON G6 SCX10

This week I’m taking a break from the standard “written” column to debut a new YouTube video series. I’ll be doing an episode about once a month and will try to give it a “Wide World of Sports®” vibe that covers all different areas of scale rc (trails, monster trucks, drag racing, sand rails, hill climbing, etc). This first video features both my modified RECON G6 edition Axial SCX10 and bone stock Gmade Sawback. Myself and good friend Mike Ewens took them to the banks of the Missouri River for some wooded trailing and had a blast on a very chilly day.

A couple pieces of housekeeping before we go. In case you missed it earlier this week I started a build series converting an Axial Deadbolt into a high flying mega truck. Part 2 should go live early next week. I’ve been testing the truck and it’s a beast! Also, do you have a cool build/ride that you want to showcase to the scale community? Shoot an e-mail to showmescalers at gmail dot com and if you have some pretty pictures of your rig doin’ work you could see it right here (and score a few Big Squid RC stickers to boot).

I’d also like to thank all the readers who have thus far been reading my scale ramblings every Friday. I have quite a bit planned as far as builds, event coverage, and how-to’s for 2014….if it would ever stop snowing! It’s getting to the point where if I ever plan on getting outside again I’m going to need to build a Kyosho Blizzard. Hmm, a Blizzard does sound pretty cool, right?



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!


A belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope you all gorged yourself on fixin’s and football like I did. If you’re out and about on Black Friday, best of luck to you. And please, remember to keep your head up and eyes sharp so you aren’t trampled by some lunatic who will stop at nothing to get $10 dollars off a crock pot.

It’s been an extremely busy start to the holiday season for your scale columnist. I’m in the process of finishing up an Axial RECON G6 SCX10 JK. I’ll soon be handing it off to the Big Squid Bash Crew for a proper review, so expect that within the next couple weeks. The included two-door JK body is dovetailed and much leaner than the bigger 4-door version currently available, so I thought it needed a different type of paint scheme to reflect that. Big thanks to my buddy Todd Claire (of Bodyz by TC) for giving it a hot rod airbrush job. The truck will be left stock for review, but wait until you see the modifications I have planned for it. Trust me, it will be worthy of those flames on the hood!

The SCX10 isn’t the only new truck sitting on my bench, though. Matter of fact, it’s not even the only Jeep! I have a brand new Gmade Sawback that’s begging to be built. I’ve been excited to build this leaf-sprung Willy’s ever since it was announced months ago, so it will be interesting to finally see if it’s all show or has plenty of go. Most guys are doing them up in classic WW2 inspired Olive Drab, but I’m going for a civilian look – blue with white wheels.

Well, these kits aren’t going to build themselves so I guess I’d best get going. Be sure to stop by next Friday as I’ll be showing off both trucks and offering my initial impressions.