Open Source RC Cars

Recently I had the pleasure of having access to a Prusa 3d printer at work, which led to  a lot of interesting discussions about just what you can do with it.   From cookie cutters to vases and figurines, what you can do is in many ways limited only by your imagination, as long as you have a bit of  technical knowledge about the printing as well.  I can assure you it isn’t as straightforward as it looks!!!

So naturally applications in R/C formed the basis of some of my searches, and what a lot of things there are, from scale accessories, to witches hats, trailers and more.  But then  I wondered how far you could go  when  I saw some 3d printed r/c rims and tyres (not in  actual  rubber, but a substance with similar properties).  A little bit of searching found Daniel Norée’s Open RC project.  Yes an entire Truggy that you can print from your very own home. Now this isn’t just a few bits to  add other rc bits into, all the parts are printable, even printable versions of shocks are available for  some cars.  There is also a touring car and F1 car that can be found in a variety of places,  but i’ll list the thingiverse links below.  Now not every 3dmodel is available, although  the community sharing files is quite astounding.  Some models you pay a small fee for, but the results are truly worth it.  While looking for a Land Rover body to print for my Trailfinder 2 I stumbled upon a small model available for free from Prusa  themselves (Manufacturers of the 3d printer that started me down this rabbit hole).  Now whilst it  was too small, and the wrong model for what I was after, the article was about the team at 3d who, for a small fee, have  quite a variety of rock crawler kits available for you to  print, Chassis, wheels, bodies, the works!! Not only that, but the quality and detail were astounding!

So I have to say, that my mind is blown somewhat by some of these amazing, home grown projects out there.  It also reminds me of another article I have not printed about this as well, oops. These are also some amazing rock crawler bodies, and ground up models out there as  well.  There is a trailer that I want to try my hand at personally.

Now as I mentioned, don’t presume that these are quick and easy, from failed prints,  different filaments, different print settings and modeling mistakes to out of whack tolerances and sheer number of hours of printing needed, these are a labor  of love no doubt, but they are a fascinating addition to our hobby.


Open RC Project:

Open RC Project Links


Team Associated SR10 Dirt Oval

It seems that following on from their recent DR10 Drag / Street car (based on the SC10), Team Associated have looked at the platform and said, what else we can do …… Dirt oval is gaining some popularity, lets do that!!!

And so the SR10 Dirt Oval car is born. Yes, it’s still a tarted up SC10, but is that such a bad thing?

The body looks great, and under the hood they have kept it simple with minimal changes (which also means parts commonality) I have to admit this would be fun as a rally car with a different body too, might have to try and get one…


New Traxxas Hoss 4×4 VXL

Traxxas have just released details on another fast4x4 monster truck called the Hoss.  Yes, it looks like  the new Maxx truck. It purportedly has a bulletproof drivetrain (like the Maxx) and is capable of 60mph + (like the Maxx) on a  3s battery (the  Maxx needs a 4s battery for this)

Unlike the Maxx this seems to be base3d on a beefed up slash 4×4 platform, but with a big 540XL brushless motor which appears notably longer  than a standard motor.  the “Big Block” motor if you like. Now while on the surface this model seems to  be cutting the grass on the Maxx, or even canablilising it’ sales, it is priced at a full $70 USD cheaper than the Maxx, so a more budget friendly (ish) variant.

I am digging the reinforced, and quick connect  body, but it’s not exactly a new innovation any more.  Stability control etc is becoming expected on these kinds of models now, but it is a welcome addition to the truck.  All in all I  suppose it’s aimed as a fun, fast, cheaper monster truck since the Maxx is a little more on the expensive side these days.

For more details visit Traxxas at the link below.


Vale to the HPI Blitz

For  a little while now most of the focus of my collection of RC cars has been on my sons, and my own cars for off road carpet racing.

However later this  year I will be moving to a property that has enough space to build my own r/c track.  Now this got me thinking what would be the most fun to run around that dirt track as well as bashing in general.  So I turned to the recovering  HPI’s website to see what vehicles  they sold these days as in the past they had been my favorite bashing vehicles.  There is pretty much something for everybody in their range.

The Original Blitz
The Original Blitz

Eventually my thoughts came back to the venerable HPI  blitz that I used to race at my local club, as well as wherever I could find space.   I actually had the white and grey beast that was the Blitz ESE racing   version with stiffer plastics and a ball differential (and on  that note, me and that ball differential did not get along, and it was a replaced with a eFirestorm grease filled gear diff fairly quickly).  However to my horror I found that the new HPI post financial crisis have killed off the Blitz, and it’s older brother the eFirestorm! In their defense they have been replaced with the jumpshot range featuring a twin vertical plate chassis like the very successful savage trucks.  Now the  blitz wasn’t the first, it probably wasn’t the best.  But it was a tough truck that looked great, was heaps of fun and generally did whatever was asked of it.  Mine was only retired when our club moved to a carpet track and the blitz just didn’t work well on it at all.

My personal Blitz ESE

So now the dilemma is what to purchase.  I have to admit true Short Course Trucks like the Traxxas UDR and Losi BajaRey etc look and work incredibly well and are 4wd. But I also love the simplicity of the 2wd stadium trucks like the Losi 22S and Associated SC10 Short Course Trucks.  Somehow the TVP chassis of the Jumpshot Short Course Truck doesn’t appeal.  Even the Kyosho Outlaw  Rampage looks like fun. I suppose it will probably comedown to budget, so we will see what happens I guess.

In the meantime, rest in peace to the mighty HPI Blitz, we will see who inherits the SCT crown in time …..

RC Podcasts – Action R/C

There are a few r/c podcasts out therefor those that have the spare time to listen. Now I can hear a bit of a ringing silence out there, so I shall explain.

A podcast generally speaking, is a radio show that is recorded, and released online at regular intervals. You can either have your podcast app automatically download them for you to listen to at your convenience, or listen to them online as you go.

The best thing about podcasts is that you can pick a topic of interest, and get a show just about it, be it Cars, True Crime, Comedy, Anime or RC Cars

I have a couple of RC podcasts i listen to at times. Big squid RC and Extra Lap RC among them. However these isn’t a lot of Australian Content out there. Enter the Action R/C Podcast, exploring the sport of R/C Car Racing with Scott Guyatt.

Many of you will recognise the name from racing in QLD, Articles in Racing Lines Magazine, and founder of my local club, Launceston R/C. Scott is back in the saddle now interviewing some very recognisable names in RC Racing including Andrew Gillott, Ray Munday and Luis Sola to name, well three!!

Where you can find the podcast varies, I have found it on Castbox that I use, as well as Podtail and Podbean. It should also be on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Some links are below.

COVID-19 Lockdown Entertainment thanks to Ray Munday

COVID-19 sucks, we can all agree on that, and depending on your situation at home, the consequences of it suck even more.

For those that are suffering RC withdrawals, go on, put your hand up, there is plenty out there…. well Ray Munday has been posting a fix for this in the vintage form.

Ray has been digitizing a number of videos of older Australian race meets and championships and uploading them to the interweb. The videos are long, but for those who have been racing for a while, you should recognise a few names and faces.

1992 Australian RC Electric Off-road Nationals Bayswater WA (Finals day plus trophy presentations)

1993 West Australian RC Electric Off-Road State Titles (Rockingham). Retro R/C

1995 Australian R/C Car National Titles (Jimboomba, QLD) Retro R/C

998 Australian R/C Off-Road National Titles (Bayswater)

And for bonus content, some footage of the 1989 IFMAR Worlds at St Ives

You can see all of these videos on the playlist on our youtube channel at

Axial Racing release SCX10 III Kit!

Axial have done it again and released the 3rd version of their popular SCX10 platform. This time around the first release is a kit version, and there is certainly some new items to look at!

One item that is very obvious under the skin is a replica V8 engine which the motor can hide within for those that like to make opening engine bays. To take full advantage of the gearbox features you will need a 4 channel radio a the gearbox can not only be set up for high and low range, but it also has a DIG function (the ability to lock the back axle to allow tight turns, easier descents etc). Each function will need it’s own servo, so plan on 3 servos if you want it all running from your radio. But don’t rush out and get full size servos, the DIG and 2 speed use aircraft style micro servos to save space.

Portal axles with offset front differential for more clearance, and less axle twist are incorporated into the kit, as are shorty and standard battery configurations, inner guards, floors, scale interior and roll cage, there is even 3 piece beadlock wheels. Overall the chassis looks somewhere between the TRX4 from Traxxas, and the previous SCX10 II

The body itself is interesting in that not only does it include an interior, but a driver figure with a variety of hats. It also has the body posts cleverly hidden out of sight in the wheel arches. It certainly harks a little to the Proline Metric body with it’s inclusion of hard plastic components for lights, wipers, hood vents, wipers etc. It is certainly a kit that will appeal not only to those that want a crawler that performs well, but that also has some great scale looks far in excess of a plain lexan body.

For more details see the axial website at

We Want Your Help!

One of the main reason I started Aussie RC News, was to promote R/C events around the country in one central place. I even put in an Event Calendar into this website, but as you can see at the moment it’s a little empty!

And this is where you can help! We are calling in reporters from clubs around the country to help us fill in this calendar. So if you race 1:12 pan car, all the way up to 1/5 scale off road, we need your help. All you need is some enthusiasm, a little computer aptitude, some time and a willingness to help. Just email is at with some information about yourself, and we will set you up so that you can post directly into the calendar and Aussie RC News itself, which in turn helps to get information on these events out in the community!

We Want You!

Team Associated DR10 Drag Race Car

I knew that RC Drag Racing was a thing, it’s been around for a while with various manufacturers making bespoke cars or conversion kits.

However you know that it’s popularity is hitting mainstream levels when Team Associated release a Ready To Run Drag Car, the DR10. Based on always popular SC10, the DR10 Drag Race Car features a water-resistant high-power Reedy brushless speed control and 3300kV brushless motor, a 2.4GHz 2-channel radio system, as well as Associated’s ALL NEW DVC (Dynamic Vehicle Control) receiver unit with built-in adjustable digital gyro. 

DR10 Drag Race Car RTR

I’ve not driven a car with AVC or DVC, but I can certainly see it being advantageous in a drag car while trying to keep control and not hit the gutter. I have to say it looks like it would be a lot of fun, how many people buy one, well time will tell I suppose.

The importance of Maintenance

I’ve been an advocate for the purchase of 2nd hand cars for some time, although I don’t know a single RC driver that doesn’t love opening the box on a brand new RC car.

However for some of us that is simply financially impossible. I’ve purchased 2nd hand race cars for some time and been very pleased with what I got. However before Christmas I purchased another rally car, this time a 2nd hand HPI WR8 Flux and it reminded me of the bubble that I have been living in. You see I race at an indoor carpet off road track, and the cars that race here, well they stay pretty clean. Blow out the fluff and astro turf between races and you are good to go. Cars that operate in dirtier conditions however don’t fare so well!

So in the advertisment the car looked ok for the price, although well used for sure. And as it’s a relatively uncommon car to find, I had a hankering for a rally car that could cope with a wider variety of terrain. I mean I love my Tamiya XV01, but it has to be a fairly level surface and small rocks to operate at it’s best. So the WR8 appealed to me. Parts seemed reasonable as it shares a platform with the HPI Bullet, Vorza and Trophy series vehicles. So many parts are common. So through a friend I made the purchase and had him do the pickup, and eventually got the car myself about 2 weeks later when I was in that town on a work trip.

I mean it looked OK in the advertisement ….. but in hindsight, it looked wet in the photo…

Now here is where reality but a little, there was rust in a number of places and a little more wear and mismatched parts than I had bargained for. Not helped by me seeing other WR8’s for sale just one state over for a similar price, but better condition. On driving the car, it drove awfully and wow was there some noise from the mechanical components of the car. One arm on the rear was broken and the body was rougher in the flesh. Breathing deep I started to tear down the car, re grease and clean parts, and see what needed to be replaced. I ordered some ebay special alloy rear arms, as well as wheel hexes. In the defence of the rust, it seems the vehicle was cleaned for the for sale photos and boxed slightly damp still, it all cleaned up off the rusted parts.

The more I tore down the car, and cleaned it up the happier I was with it. I found that the platform inherently has a noisy drivetrain, although it seemed from my investigations that 80% of the wheel and differential carrier bearings were either very rough, or completely collapsed. It turns out that my stash of bearings for my old HPI Blitz had the right number of the right size bearings to do the job, thankyou HPI Racing!!!

What remains of some of the bearings

Then another setback, the WR8 hexes that I ordered for the ebay special price of about $6, whilst the right size, were about twice as tall as they needed to be, leaving the one wheel that needed a new hex looking somewhat odd poking further out of the bodywork, and the wheel nut barely going on. But until I get the single hex I need, it keeps the car going for now!

Some adjustment of the mismatch of turnbuckles fitted to a better geometry, combined with the replacement bearings and a few greased, cleaned and adjusted parts meant I was ready for a proper test of the vehicle in earnest.

Mid teardown and clean.

And then all of my apprehension evaporated. The car is fantastic fun to drive, copes with rough gravel roads and areas with aplomb and despite the mismatched bits and additions, it was well worth the asking price. The drivetrain is bloody strong and exhibited only minor wear outside of the bearings. I’ll continue to fix some small bits and pieces, but for now, it proves the point that regardless of the price, the smiles per mile factor is incredibly high no matter what your RC car is worth.

Ready to go somewhat cleaner and tidier looking.

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