THE Cub Report, Version 10.19.09
News on several new “minis” has broken as of late, is there really any interest left in the small scale trucks? Horizon has released info on two very interesting models, first the 1/24th scale Micro Rock Crawler, and secondly, the 1/18th Mini Desert Buggy. The Micro Crawler may just be a bit too micro, I mean, just how many core hobbyists would consider crawler over pebbles any fun? Looks to me to be yet another Horizon/Losi offering that should have been taken to the head buying office of Wally World, instead of your LHS shelves. The 18th scale Mini Desert Buggy actually has some potential, in fact, had this been done in 10th scale, it might have been a huge hit. Unfortunately, 18th scales simply require a very smooth surface to run on, limiting the number of potential places to drive, and likewise, potential buyers. The Mini Desert Buggy looks fairly realistic, and as we’ve all learned by now, realism sells! Lets hope Horizon/Losi breaks this out in the 10th scale platform, as it might just take off and do for buggies what the Traxxas Slash did for trucks.
Associated has released info on their new 18th scaler, the SC18 short course truck. On one hand, props to AE for creating a whole new platform to base this truck off of, on the other, their old platform, the RC18 platform, was rock solid, reliable, and had tons of upgrades already sitting on dealer shelves. The new SC18 uses belt drive, and most of the weak links from the RC18 platform have been addressed. Let’s hope it brings all the upsides of the better motor placement and belt drive, with none of the downsides. Btw, look for this truck to be the hit of the AE booth at iHobby.
Speaking of iHobby Expo, support your sport and try to make it by the show. The iHobby International Hobby Expo is the largest rc convention in the world. Most of the major players in the rc market will be exhibiting, and all kinds of cool stuff will be going on. For the second year in a row, BigSquidRC will be the track sponsor, and will be putting on some SICK demo’s twice a day. Try and not miss the last demo on Sunday, as I hear the BigSquid crew will be giving away a Really Cool new truck that’s not available to the public quite yet! I hear the trucks name rhymes with It’s. 🙂 Anyways, you can find complete info about the iHobby show HERE! Unfortunately I’ll be missing the show this year due to a scheduling conflict, but look for daily updates from Brian right here on the main page of BigSquidRC.
Castle Creations has released full information about their all new Mamba Max Pro speed controller. This speedo contains a number of firsts for Castle Creations. First 10th scale speedo rated for 6S, first speedo intended for use with sensored brushless motors, and first speedo with programmable BEC output voltage. Castle was once known as a company that just produced units for bashers or high speed fanatics, that looks to change after the Max Pro hits the market.
Ever notice how lame your local carpet track is? Ever notice how they have way too many rules? Ever notice all the lanes are too narrow? Ever notice there are no noobs or kids there (kids are the future of our sport after all)? Every notice how fierce a headache you get from sitting in a small room clouded with Paragon traction compound for several hours? Ever notice how there is always one long straight, one sweeper, and a chitload of tight 180’s on each track? Every notice how bitchy carpet racers are if you happen to touch them on track, even during practice (and how can you not touch them on tight 4-6 foot wide lanes)? Ever notice that every carpet racer thinks he’s racing some uber high end piece of technology instead of a toy car?
I say the vast majority of carpet racers (and rc track designers) need to be set loose on Road Atlanta just outside of Braselton Georgia in an old turbo era F1 car. Road Atlanta is a Real Race Track for Real Men with Real Cars. It’s the type of track that lets you know very early on that it can, and will take your life if you push the limits too hard. The type of track that is spiritually rewarding when you take the Esses while barely lifting. The kind of track that rewards the finer nuances of toe/heeling. Road Atlanta features incredible corners, elevation changes, and a touch of off-camber here and there to keep things interesting. It is a challenging, and most importantly, fun track to drive, even if you know your life is in jeopardy. Suzuka, Road Atlanta, Interlagos, Laguna Seca, and Spa are just a few of the legendary full scale tracks that our modern rc track designers NEED to aspire to. Current rc road courses are an F’n JOKE, they are simply an exercise in how soft of a tire, and how hard of a spring you can get away with. And worse yet, they are just plain boring, and nothing like the real thing. Rc off-road tracks, while not exactly scale or realistic, are much, much more realistic (and more fun!) than any carpet on-road track I’ve ever seen. RC carpet track designers are a sorry lot, and the sport suffers because of it.
That’s it for this week. Make it out to the iHobby Expo if you can, and be sure to visit your LHS’s and local tracks on your way back home!
Your Cub Reporter