Intech Racing ER-12M 2.0 buggy Lite- Unboxing Review

Intech Racing, I had never heard of them either until recently, but they are a Taiwanese manufacturer making a fresh push into the Australian market with some unique and innovative ideas. Intech Racing is a relative newcomer to Australia but they have been building cars for over ten years with a focus on continuous improvement. Intech Racing manufactures a range of off-road buggies and trucks in both 10th and 8th scale, with either electric or nitro power trains.

Intech Racing has kindly provided Aussie RC News with an ER-12M 2.0 Lite 2wd buggy to build and review. Prior to sending a test vehicle, Intech Racing contacted me to discuss which vehicle we would like to test first. After looking at their range of smart looking vehicles the ER-12M 2.0 Lite 2wd buggy stood out to me as a vehicle which would be well suited to racing and being 2wd we could put it to the test in the 2wd stock class, racing against the established brands.

The ER-12 2.0M is a rear wheel drive buggy, with a mid-mounted motor design and a narrow aluminium chassis. This type of design is now the most common in Australia, with rear mounted motor platforms now a rarity. Continue reading Intech Racing ER-12M 2.0 buggy Lite- Unboxing Review

Rough Stuff the Movie in Miniature

Movies written, produced and shot in Australia is something of a rarity.   Movies featuring four wheel drives instead of sports cars are uncommon, but those showing them in action off road can almost be counted on one hand.  A movie with both of those features is something that should be celebrated, and unfortunately in this instance it is sort of hidden in the sidelines for most people.

Yes, I understand I am one of the few people that enjoy taking my 4wd off road, and yes, I know this is a radio control website, but stay with me here! In movie making in major movies before computer graphics miniatures were often used to make scenes realistic, and Rough Stuff was no exception using radio control four wheel drives to shoot or supplement many scenes.  We decided our readers needed to know about this so we asked the Director (and Writer) of Rough Stuff,  Jonathan Adams, a few questions about the movie and the miniatures that they used.

ARN: Thankyou for answering some questions about the Rough Stuff movie and the miniatures used during filming.  Can you give us an overview of what the movie is about and how the movies production came to be?

JA: I had always wanted to do an honest-to-god adventure film which harkened back to the serials and jungle adventures of the 30s,40s, and 50s like “King Kong”“The Lost World”“The African Queen”, and “Jason and the Argonauts”. I’m also a huge fan of classic pulp adventure authors like Robert Louis StevensonSir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. So that kind of “journey into the unknown” genre just happens to float my boat in a big way.

At some point the idea of doing a kind of Australian “Indiana Jones” collided with my love of offroad adventure in what I felt was a compelling way – that I could substitute the Canoes from “The Lost World” or the venture from “King Kong” with 4WDs. Its also a bit of a “Western on wheels”. They become integral to the fabric of the story, and I thought that would be a really fun way of modernising the genre and grounding it in something I can relate to. So once I had that, I started to think what I could call the characters who drive these rigs, and I conceived something between a cowboy and a pirate in the Australian Outback. That got me very excited for the possibilities.

ARN: Why miniatures, was there a specific reason to shooting some of the action in miniature rather than full size?

JA: Absolutely – we needed to use VFX of some sort to create sequences that would be far too dangerous or costly achieve with the 1:1 vehicles. For the climax of the film I wanted to see the two rival vehicles face off in a final challenge – a daring climb up a mountainside. I wanted to see the vehicles climbing a mountainside without tracks, and I wanted the vehicles to be tiny compared to the scale of the mountain. Showing the scale of this sequence without VFX would have been impossible at any budget.

Of course, RC fans will be able to spot the vehicles, but the vast majority of audiences actually can’t tell. I’d wager our miniatures are more effective than any CGI vehicle that’s ever been used. We all know when we see a visual effect shot, but that’s kinda part of the fun.

ARN: Once you had decided on using the miniatures, how did you go about finding a suitable model, and what led you to RC4WD, did somebody on the crew already have experience with their vehicles?

JA: There’s a bit of chicken and egg here, because I was aware that lifelike RC scale vehicles existed, and I had a sense that if we got the technique right in terms of how we photographed them, we could make them look very close to the real thing. So it was a matter of keeping that in the back of my mind, and then when it came time to get serious it was a matter of doing a lot of googling and visiting hobby stores and just generally trying to get a sense of what was out there, and how much legwork has already been done that we could build on. I can’t remember if it was Andrew or myself who found RC4WD, but when we did it was obvious they were ahead of the game in terms of scale realism.  And it wasn’t just the bodies and the mechanics, it was all the accessories, like the branded ARB accessories and the Mickey Thompson tyres. I figured those were things Andrew would have to mould himself, or 3D print them, but RC4WD had already done a lot of that work for us. So, it made perfect sense for us to go with them.

 ARN: Did your choice of real world vehicles hinge on the availability of small scale ones at all?

JA: Not at all actually – I didn’t want to put too many limits on the hero vehicles, because they had to have an sense of identity and represent the characters who drove them, so it was always a case of hoping somehow or other we could manufacture the shell’s we needed.

ARN: So which models did you use in the end, did they need much modification?

JA: There are only two RC miniatures that appear in the movie – the Toyota FJ40 driven by the The Ranger, and the Nissan Patrol GQ driven by the hero Buzz.

ARN: Was much of the footage shot in miniature make the final cut of the movie?

JA: Shooting miniature footage is actually very time-consuming and fiddly. Because we shoot them in slow motion (most footage in the movie is shot at 60fps) and at a very tight aperture (usually f15 or above) we need a lot of light, so we can only shoot in broad sunny daylight. So we didn’t shoot a great deal of stuff that didn’t make the cut. There was one sequence we did some testing for, which was a Man from Snowy River-inspired high-speed descent down a mountainside.

ARN: I have seen photos of a patrol ute model that looks amazing and came all the way from Italy, how did you make contact with the model maker there?

JA: Like most things these days, it was with some help from Mr Google. We were just looking for someone who had already done the moulding for a GQ shell, and Giuseppe Musumeci it turned out has already done an amazing one. So we snapped that up and used it as a base to work from.

ARN: It wasn’t just the models that were made in miniature, but sets too, was it hard to find a matching place to build the sets, and then to make them look believable at the right scale?

JA: In a word, yes. I made the decision to shoot outside with real light with real bush backgrounds, with the belief that with the high speed and with some creative editing the scale wouldn’t really be noticeable in context. Then to fill it out Andrew added some scale trees and foliage detail to really sell it. I think it works really well. It just looks they’re driving through a forest of big trees, which is fine! The hardest thing was probably having to rake up all the leaves and create field of fine dirt. If you look carefully, you night see a few stray leaves still in a few shots!

ARN: What was the biggest advantage, as well as the biggest challenge, while doing the shoots with miniatures?

JA: The biggest advantage was that we could perform action without endangering people or the 1:1 vehicles. We didn’t have duplicate vehicles, so we didn’t have the option of rolling them or putting them in really precarious situations. So the miniatures allowed us more flexibility and to push the action into more epic and exciting places.

The biggest challenge from my point of view was replicating the dynamics of full scale action with the physics of a 1:10 scale vehicle. As all RC enthusiasts know, RC cars move really quickly and we it can be difficult to respond. This is because gravity and inertia effect smaller objects very differently to large ones. So trying to perform very specific actions with vehicles that seem to move from A to B before your brain even knows whats happening, was very challenging.

ARN: Do you think the movie would have had the same look and feel if you had not been able to shoot some scenes in small scale?JA: No, definitely not. As realistic as the miniatures look, I do think they contribute somewhat to “old fashioned” appeal of the movie. Miniatures were a major feature of the movies I loved growing up, like Star Wars, Aliens, Indiana Jones and many others. Having miniatures in Rough Stuff just helps place it alongside those films in style and texture.

ARN: What was your favourite scene in the movie, and favourite miniature scene?

JA: The miniature scene I think works the best is actually the GQ Patrol rollover in the opening scene. Almost no-one, even dedicated RC enthusiasts as wheelers, know its a miniature. So we’re really proud of that one. Fun fact, that rollover was shot by me and my friend Gabe – just the two of us, two idiots sitting outside in the dirt playing with toy cars. And there it is, in the movie, completely convincing.

ARN: For those who are interested, where can you see Rough Stuff the movie?

JA: Head to roughstuffmovie.com/how-to-watch to see all the options.

It is currently only available in Australia, but it will be released in the US soon (hopefully before the end of the year) and the rest of the world soon after again. Its a long road!

Aussie RC have a number of great exclusive videos, some of which you can see here, and a few others on our Brand New Youtube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F_24NNA4_M

For more visit Rough Stuff’s website, Youtube channel and Facebook page as linked below.

http://www.roughstuffmovie.com/

https://www.facebook.com/roughstuffmovie

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGPBSplO8yBMn3k_dDpImUQ

The worlds according to Crash

Walking out as Team Australia! what a feeling… Photo Credit: Jconcepts inc. on Facebook

Since I was just 8 years old I’ve been racing Karts, Formula Ford & RC cars, I’ve spent the majority of my life being a total fanatic about racing in all shapes and sizes.

When I started RC racing around my 20th birthday I quickly got hooked on the competition that bigger events had to offer, and when I made a start in EP Off Road, it didn’t take me long to set my sights on competing at an IFMAR World Championships. Continue reading The worlds according to Crash

Australian EP On-Road National Championship Report

Held over the weekend at the West Coast Model RC (WCMRC) track in Perth Western Australia, the 2017 Essential RC Australian Ep On Road Nationals will go down as one of the closest Nationals in recent memory. The WCMRC track located in the industrial suburb of Bayswater in Perth is a very impressive facility. Originally built for 235mm 2WD IC cars in the 1980’s, the track provides a challenging mix of flowing, high speed corners with a high grip undulating surface and an exciting banked corner at the end of the main straight.

1/12 modified results:

  1. Ed Clark – XRAY X12
  2. Mark Wallin – XRAY X12
  3. Paul Sims – Teamsaxo
  4. Warren Buttriss – Teamsaxo
  5. Chris Schmidt – Serpent
  6. Graham Hayward – Teamsaxo
  7. Luca Polizzi – VBC
  8. Gerard Elias – CRC

Ed Clark set a fast pace during the early rounds of qualifying but suffered some reliability issues later in the day which allowed Mark Wallin to relegate him to 2nd on the grid for the finals. Paul Simms had to work hard to hold off Warren Buttriss for the 3rd place grid spot for the finals. Simms took advantage of errors made by both Wallin and Clark to take an early lead in leg one final. However he was not able to hold off Wallin or a recovering Clark who went on to take a victory in leg one. Clark followed up his win in leg one by taking the 2nd final after a race long dual with Wallin which gave Clark the title. Wallin secured 2nd and Simms finished 3rd.

F1 results:

  1. Michael Clark – XRAY X1
  2. Graham Hayward – Roche
  3. Brian Stewart – VBC/Roche Hybrid

Graham Hayward took top qualifier (TQ) by one point from Michael Clark who qualified 2nd from Brian Stewart in 3rd. Hayward wasn’t able to convert his TQ in the finals as Clark found some pace and won the 1st two legs and took the title. Hayward was able to hold on for 2nd overall by winning the last leg from Stewart.

Source: https://www.teamxray.com/

Intech in Australia

Taiwanese company Intech has been pushing into Australia recently with RC Store now carrying a range of their vehicles as well as providing spares, manuals, race setups and more. So lets have a look at the vehicles that Intech are selling.  

in 1:10 there are four vehicles in the line;

  • ERCS-10 a 4wd short course truck Kit
  • ER-14M 4wd buggy Kit
  • ER-12M 2.0 Lite 2wd buggy Kit
  • ER-12M 2.0 2wd buggy Kit.

In the 1:8 line you have the choice of;

  • BR-6E Sport  Electric buggy Kit
  • BR-6 E Electric buggy Kit
  • BR-6 2.0 Sport Nitro buggy Kit
  • BR-6 2.0 Nitro buggy Kit
  • BR-5 Nitro Buggy Ready To Run

So Intech have most genres and vehicles covered in their range at an excellent price point.  So check them out on their own website at http://www.intechracing.com/ or at RS Store https://rcstore.com.au/

 

IFMAR World Off Road Champs – 2WD Results

The 2wd word champion has been crowned for 2017 in Xiamen China, and it was Ryan Maifield from Team Yokomo that has claimed toe top spot from Ryan Cavalieri and Lee Martin.

However I know you want to know how the Australians fared because unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that we have a strong contingent of drivers in China this year. Continue reading IFMAR World Off Road Champs – 2WD Results

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