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Pro-Line Closed Cell 2.8 Insert ReviewThe name leading the pack for performance tires and inserts is Pro-Line. They recently released some new Closed Cell Foam Inserts for 2.8″ sized tires so we decided to give them a spin to see how they held up in a hardcore bashing environment. Here is what we found out -

* The closed cell foams weigh more than old school foam. A mounted PL Trencher with closed cell foam weighs in at about 206 grams. The same wheel and tire with a traditional foam weighs in at 180 grams. The upside to the increased weight is that it is easier to pull trick maneuvers like back flips and front flips in the air. The downside is increased rotating and unsprung mass, which can make your electronics run slightly warmer. During our testing we did notice slightly warmer temps but nothing drastic.

* We mounted a closed cell set-up on one side of our review Pro-Line PRO-MT and the same wheel/tire with traditional foam on the other side. We then popped in a 3S LiPo pack and stabbed the gas HARD. The result? There was noticeably less ballooning of the tire with the closed cell insert. Less ballooning makes your truck much easier to drive at high power levels.

* We drove the inserts on a wide variety of surfaces. From the high bit carpet track at the iHobby Expo hall, to the damp high bite dirt inside of Leisure Hours Raceways, to the high bite asphalt at our local CostCo, the closed cell foams drove noticeably better than old school foam. The closed cell foams gave all the trucks a more precise feel and they also seemed to have more mechanical grip.

* We found the trucks we used the closed cells on much easier to drive when doing speed runs. We did speed passes with two different trucks, the PRO-MT and a Vaterra Halix. Both were using MaxAmps 3S LiPo and Castle brushless power. We found the tires ballooned less with the closed cell inserts and were much easier to drive as they neared their top speeds.

Overall – for general bashing we found the Pro-Line 2.8″ closed cell inserts to be a huge improvement over old school foam. The inserts are priced at $11 per pair and you can get more details at This Link over on Pro-Line’s website.

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THE VRX Racing XR4 Rally Car Review

VRX Racing XR4 Review

Who is VRX Racing? They are an Asian company that makes affordable basher type vehicles, that’s who. They were recently picked up here in the states by IMEX RC so we received an XR4 Brushless RTR Rally Car for testing. Is a VRX worth considering? Could it stand up to the BSRC Bash Crew? Did we turn it into a pile of rubble? Hit the “Read More” button to find out…

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Duratrax Onyx 110 ReviewMany bashers are on a budget, while others aren’t looking for the best money can buy, they just want products that are easy to use. The Onyx 110 battery charger from Duratrax is aimed right at these types of hobbyists. It comes with an ultra-low price point, $24, and could not be easier to use. We’ve been using one for a couple of months now and this is what we have learned-

* Seriously, the Onyx is incredibly easy to use. Flip the switch to the amp rate you want then plug your pack in, it is that easy.

* The 110 is very light and has a small footprint, it takes up almost no space in your pit box.

* If you have LiPo batteries (or plan on getting some), the 110 probably isn’t for you as it only charges NiCd and NiMH type batteries.

* We used the 110 on a wide variety of packs. From small 5 cell receiver packs, to 7 cell 5000mAh primary packs, the 110 always seemed to give a solid charge.

* Many lower-end chargers like to “false peak” all the time. That was not the case with the 110.

* Out of the box the 110 comes with a “Tamiya” style connector and a port for plugging in receiver packs. If you use Deans or Traxxas connectors you’ll either need to buy, or solder up, an adapter.

Overall, we were big fans of the Onyx 110. It was easy to use, gave good quality charges, and took up very little room in our pit box. We can highly recommend the 110 to all you NiMH/NiCd users out there. To get full details on the Onyx 110 Here Is The Link to its page on the official Duratrax website.

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THE Tower Hobbies Cutback SCT Review

Tower Hobbies Cutback Review

The Dallas Cowboys are “America’s Football Team”, just like Tower Hobbies could be considered “America’s Hobby Shop”. While Tower is certainly known more for being a mail order Goliath than being a truck manufacturer, they do have a new 4wd Short Course Truck on the market called the Cutback. How does it handle? Is it fast? Can you slam it around without breaking it? Hit that “Read More” button to find out…

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Bob Smith Tire Glue ReviewNo doubt there are about a million different tire glues on the market. The latest and greatest is Ultra-Cure from Bob Smith Industries. We recently got a chance to try some and this is what we found out-

* Some of our testers like super thin glue but the sample we received was medium, intended to set in 5 to 10 seconds. We found the medium thin enough to easily get into the tire bead, but didn’t dry so fast that we couldn’t make an adjustment here or there before it set. All of our testers (Iron Mike, Cubby, Sam The Noob) we big fans of how the medium flowed and how long it took to cure.

* We found the Ultra-Cure gave a top notch bond. Needless to say we “throw” a lot of tires here at BigSquidRC, but we found ourselves throwing fewer when using Ultra-Cure.

* The cap comes with a “pin” to help keep the tip from clogging.

* The included tip was larger than what we prefer using. We normally use fine extender tips when gluing tires but none of the ones we had in our pit bag would fit. That can be fixed, Bob Smith does sell fine tips to fit the Ultra-Cure bottle, we just didn’t have any for testing.

Overall- the Bash Crew felt Ultra-Cure was perhaps the best holding tire glue we’ve tried. It was easy to work with and is a great value at $6 for a 3/4 oz. bottle. Look for it at your local hobby shop and you can get more information over on the official Bob Smith Website.

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Futaba 4PX Review

Futaba has long been known to make some of the best transmitters that money can buy. Their latest top-of-the-line transmitter, the 4PX, comes with copious amounts of features, faster speed, a high-zoot screen and telemetry. Is the Futaba 4PX the best radio on the market? Click the “Read more” to find out…

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Simplecopter mini tricopter  (16)

Hey guys, 3DBill here with another fun multirotor kit to review!  This year the mini quad class really exploded but this isn’t another quad from the average consumer hobby brand: it’s the Simplecopter Mini Tricopter. See my setup as well as my impressions of this small class aircraft after the jump…

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Pro-Line Car StandsIt’s hard working on a truck that rolls all over your tailgate or pit table, therefore many hobbyists use car stands when they wrench. We recently got a chance to check out both of the new car stands (1/10 & 1/8) from Pro-Line Racing and here is what we found out-

* We found the PL stands quite sturdy, they could handle the heaviest bashers we popped on them no problem.

* The powder coated finish held up well, even when bouncing around inside our pit box.

* We are used to stands that fold down to save space when not in use. The PL stands are solid but found they still fit easily into a pit box. When not in use we packed ours upside down and stored parts inside of them for a more efficient use of space.

* Our Bash Crew really liked the motocross look of the PL stands.

* The 8th scale stand was plenty tall, even for big monster trucks like the Thunder Tiger MT4 G3 and Savage Flux.

Overall we found the Pro-Line car stands to be top notch and well worth the cash. The Pro-Line 8th Scale Stand is priced at $44 while the 10th Scale Stand is $34.

TrakPower TK955 ReviewTo get a job done right it is always best to have the right tool. RC hobbyists sure do a lot of solder work so it only makes sense to invest in a good soldering station.

One of the newest digital soldering stations on the market is the TrakPower TK955. We’ve spent a few weeks putting it through the ringer and here is what we found out-

* The TrakPower had more than enough power to handle everything we threw at it. The TK955 easily made short work of 10 gauge wire to bullet connectors, one of the toughest jobs we have around the BSRC Bash Compound.

* It comes with two different tips, a medium sized flat tip and a pencil tip. The flat was the tip of choice for soldering up battery connectors, while the pencil came in handy for smaller work like putting a wire back on a circuit board.

* We purposely banged the TK955 around and it still works fine today.

Overall, we found the TK955 to be a powerful and great looking solder station. From small work to large, it never failed to get the job done and we can highly recommend it to you. The TK955 is priced at $109 and comes with a 5 year warranty. Hit up This Link for full details over on TrakPower’s website.

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THE Pro-Line PRO-MT Monster Truck Review

Pro-Line PRO-MT Review

Low slung buggies and stadium/SCT trucks are great for busting out fast laps, but for real bashing monster trucks still rule. With bigger tires and more ground clearance, monster trucks can blast over the roughest of terrain, land from the highest jumps, and smash into hard objects better than their smaller counterparts.

Recently Pro-Line decided to throw their hat into the 10th scale 2wd monster truck ring. Their new PRO-MT is made up from a slew of high-end hop-up parts, do they jell to form the ultimate basher, or fall short into an overpriced shelf queen? You know the drill, hit the “Read More” button to find out…

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Dromida in Flight (3)

The quadcopter market, as I mentioned earlier, is continuing to grow. I can’t help but note my surprise when Dromida announced they were expanding from 1/18  scale RC cars to joining the multirotor world. Enter the Ominus, a brushed 238mm sized quadcopter with full stabilization and flip capabilities. Is it as tough as the box says? Will it survive the Tomato Treatment? See the full review after the jump…

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ARRMA Kraton Review
Ever since it was seen at the Nuremburg Toy Fair in January, the ARRMA Kraton BLX Monster Truck has been creating a lot of buzz. The Kraton is not only ARRMA RC’s first 4wd, but also their first 1/8th scale machine, hence the reason bashers are biting at the bit to hear how it performs.

Since receiving our review Kraton we’ve been bashing and thrashing it like the true bashers we are. What did we find out?

* Handling – The Kraton comes with soft sprung but heavily damped suspension, making it handle like a champ. It attacks a track like a race truck, yet it’s big monster truck tires love chewing up loam and grass. We also found it soaks up big hits (via multiple roof jumps) like a beast.

* Power – Oh ya, it’s got plenty on tap. We normally ran the Kraton on a pair of Reed Wolfpack 3S LiPo batteries wired in series for 6S, and it does not fail to impress with power. On 6S it is a beast right off the bottom, tears through the mid-range, and has tire exploding top end. When compared to the E-Revo, MT4 G3, and Savage Flux, it is right in the mix for power output. When run on 4S it is noticeably softer off the bottom and on top, but still has plenty of rip.

* Durability – We have yet to break a plastic part on the Kraton, but did manage to explode one of the rear tires with all its power (we ended up running Pro-Line Big Joe IIs). The pinion on our test unit came loose, but it was simple enough to pop it back on. We also noticed that the included Deans connectors looked to have been overheated when they were installed at the factory, making them a loose fit on our battery packs.

* The cage used to keep the body from crushing in worked like a charm. Even after lots of abuse the stock body has yet to be destroyed.

* The Kraton comes with perhaps the most powerful RTR steering servo we’ve ever seen, it truly has no problem throwing those big front tires around. To make sure all that power makes it to the wheels, an aluminum servo arm comes standard, a very nice touch for a RTR.

* We measured the top speed on the Kraton to be 38 mph (on 4S LiPo) and it got there in a hurry.

* Typical bashing moves like pulling wheelies and backflips are easy with the Kraton. Big power and big tires help it pull off those moves even with a center diff.

* While the Kraton might be called a monster truck, it comes with a center diff and a massive rear wing, items typically found on truggies. Speaking of the rear wing, all our reviewers liked how it was molded to match the body lines.

We found the ARRMA Kraton to be a gnarly bashing machine, easily capable of running with all the big hitters in its class. It should be hitting hobby shops in the next couple of weeks with a street price of $499, much lower than most of its competitors. To get complete details, check out the Kraton Page over on the official ARRMA website.

Want to read more reviews? Check out This Link on BigSquidRC.

THE Kyosho Mad Bug ReadySet Review

Kyosho Mad Bug Review

You might know Kyosho for their world championship winning buggies or perhaps from one of their classics back in the day. Today Kyosho still has high end race machines, but they also offer a plethora of bash mobiles. We’ve been bashing on their Mad Bug ReadySet for a few weeks now to find out what kind of bash machine it is. Does it have good power? Can you slam it hard without breakage? Is the Mad Bug a solid bash machine? Click the “Read More” to find out…

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