For Bashers, By Bashers!

Everybody’s Scalin’ – Recommendation For Your First Scaler

Without a doubt, the absolute number one type of question we get from readers is “What vehicle should I get?”, or a slight variation of that. If you’ve ever read our Thursday “Ask Cubby” thing then you know what I’m talking about.

With tax return season in full swing I figure now is a good time to answer the variation of the aforementioned question that I get the most – “I want to try scale crawling and am wondering what’s the best vehicle to start out with?”. While many manufacturers offer good stuff, I have a “go-to” answer that I always give.

Get an Axial Deadbolt SCX10. You can thank me later. To me, this is an absolute no brainer. Let me explain why.


For a street price of $299 (even cheaper than that in some places or after discounts) you are getting a whole lot of truck for the money. The AE-5 ESC is a nice piece, the motor is plenty torquey, the tires are quality R35 compound Trepadors, it has a decent servo and it’s waterproof. Other SCX10s in the lineup boast similar or more features, but at this price I think it’s the best value in scaling.

It’s Tough & Capable Out of the Box

The truck is a great performer right out of the box. All of those things I mentioned in the affordability part come to roost here. You have a truck that, within 5 minutes of opening the box, can handle the rigors of a RECON G6 style competition. It needs zero modification to work great, save for perhaps changing out the Tamiya-style battery plug on the ESC. As with all the others in the SCX10 line, it can take a massive beating without breaking.


The aftermarket for the SCX10 is near an early 2000’s Traxxas T-Maxx level as far as manufacturer zeitgeist. If you decide you really enjoy scaling and want to trick out your truck, you do not need to upgrade platforms. Parts support is also very strong with most hobby shops worth their salt now stocking Axial product.

Good Used Market

Hey, scaling isn’t for everyone. If it’s not for you then at least you’ll find it’s really easy to offload an SCX10 without totally losing your lunch. That also means you can usually score a good condition used one for a fair price!

Let me end with a recommendation for something you probably SHOULD NOT do. If you buy a cheap off-brand truck just remember that most of the time you get what you pay for. Paying around $150 for a vehicle that immediately needs another $100 in upgrades to be trail-able and that lacks any sort of parts support seems like a terrible proposition to me, but to each his own. I just know that from my years of hardcore scaling you can spend a few dollars to buy once or go thrifty and buy twice.

Whichever vehicle you choose, give scaling a try! May your tax return be fat and your weekend merry. Talk to ya next week.

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Posted by in Everybody's Scalin', scale rc on Friday, March 6th, 2015 at 1:54 pm