new losi DBXL-e 2.0

Losi have unleashed an improved version of their already impressive DBXL, and for me, like may others, have added it straight to the top of our wish list, I mean what is there not to love!

Losi is proud to introduce the new 1/5 DBXL-E 2.0 4WD Brushless Desert Buggy! We have taken the legendary DBXL-E to the next level and left no stones unturned. With the inclusion of SpektrumRC Smart Technology, you can now get telemetry sent right to your phone (with the optional Bluetooth module) and have the confidence that everything is running smoothly.

Speaking of Spektrum, the DBXL-E 2.0 comes with the new Firma 160 Amp Brushless Smart ESC capable of running 8s LiPo’s. Pair that with the Spektrum Firma 4-Pole 780Kv Brushless Motor and the DBXL-E 2.0 will hit speeds of 50+ mph.

Think this is just an old DBXL-E with new trim schemes slapped on them…Think Again! Losi went back to the drawing board and updated the 2.0 to be the fastest and toughest electric 1/5 buggy on the market. The Losi DBXL-E 2.0 now comes standard with all the following updates:

*NEW* Spektrum™ Firma® 160 Amp Brushless SMART ESC
*NEW* Spektrum Firma 4-Pole 780Kv Brushless Motor
*NEW* Spektrum S906 1/5th scale metal gear servo
*NEW* Chassis Braces
*NEW* Pinned Center Outdrive Cups
*NEW* Gear Boxes
*NEW* Front and Rear Bulkheads
*NEW* Shocks with Laser Etched FOX Logo Shock Caps
*NEW* Aluminum Shock Towers
*NEW* Heavy Duty Drive Train
*NEW* Radio Tray
*NEW* ESC Mount
*NEW* Race Themed Livery
*NEW* Authentic Bead Lock Wheels

Worlds 2wd vehicle breakdowns

Huddy arena posted this chart showing the breakdown of the 2wd leg of the worlds in terms of who is racing what. In terms of chassis Associated, Xray and Yokomo have the lions share, with Schumacher trailing behind Kyosho and TLR. Maybe I should be buying an Xray to replace my older Associated car…

Electronics are also showing people’s confidence in Hobbywing reedy and LRP. Interesting to see only one Tekin in the list. Motors also show a similar breakdown, but with many sponsored drivers attending the worlds, they tend to be matching pairs. An interesting list to contemplate if you are wondering what the top drivers in the world are running at the moment.

4wd Prototypes at the Worlds

2wd has been run and won, and now the 4wd’s are on the track. I was surprised to see no new developments or versions (that I could spot) amongst any of the 2wd chassis vehicles, as the worlds are usually when new vehicles are tested or revealed. 4wd however rings true to the norm, with TLR running a prototype 4wd, Team Yokomo running a prototype 4wd, and apparently Team Xray are running an as yet unreleased 4wd as well (although i’ve yet to see any pics) It will be interesting to see what works well in the conditions in Slovakia, time will tell I guess.

Only body on pics of the TLR so far
8th style 4wd prototype from Team Yokomo

It’s Raining Crawlers – new cars from Traxxas, Axial Racing and RC4WD

The past weeks seems to have been a veritable storm of new crawlers appearing from a number of manufacturers.

In alphabetical order, hot in the heels of their 6×6 Unimog, Axial racing have released the Capra Unlimited Trail Buggy. Featuring portal axles, 1.9 tyres, dig transmission for FWD or 4WD this builders kit is every bit the competition buggy for those wanting more performance. More details at
http://www.axialracing.com/products/axi03004

From RC4WD there is the new Class 2 truck, the C2X Comp Truck with Mojave II body. Designed with performance in mind, the C2X features a 4 door Mojave body with a Marlin grille and a separate bed. for more details visit
https://store.rc4wd.com/RC4WD-C2X-Class-2-Competition-Truck-w-Mojave-II-4-Door-Body_p_7589.html

Last but never least, Traxxis have jumped on the 6×6 bandwagon with their version of the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6. Hardly what you would call a subtle vehicle in real life, the licenced RC version is no less flashy! With a high detail body, LED lights and an apparently radical chassis design this vehicle certainly stands out from the crowd. For all the details visit Traxxas at
https://traxxas.com/products/landing/trx6-g63/

Hearns Hobbies 2019 Tasmanian State Titles

Last weekend the Hearns Hobbies 2019 Electric, Off Road, Tasmanian State Titles was held at the Launceston R/C Track at Quercus Park in Carrick Tasmania. Supported by Hearns Hobbies and Launceston Toyota the event was another success for Launceston R/C.

Aussie RC Racing in 2wd Stock, and placing 1st in the B main.

On the predominantly carpet track small mistakes were punished by big losses in an event that is always tough and competitive. To see all the action, check out the videos from the live stream courtesy of Leo Lorenzen at LX2 RC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zVdddVkRcQ&list=PLY-DxCsEP_U6m6HXn8VqBOjowtPscek8_

Here are the results, also thanks to LX2.

PROTOform Corvette Pro-Mod Body

Got a Traxxas Slash, but you really want a dragster, then this new body from PROTOform is for you!!!

Transform your Slash® 2wd truck into a scale 1/4-mile beast with the new PROTOform Chevrolet Corvette C7 Pro-Mod! Our first body dedicated to the growing SC Drag Racing class features a ton of realistic details to give your car a super unique, race-inspired look.

The C7 Pro-Mod is a convenient 1-piece body design with no assembly necessary: just paint it up in your favorite colors and start burning rubber! We recommend using Pro-Line Racing #Hoosier 2.2″ Drag Racing Front Tires on the front and Hoosier Drag Slick SC 2.2″/3.0″ Drag Racing Tires in the rear combined with a set of #Pomona Drag Spec Wheels for the ultimate scale hot-rod stance.

To create a more scale look, this officially-licensed body is designed with a narrower track width than a traditional SC body and will require some modifications to your 2wd Slash® in order to fit correctly. Check out the product page link below for more details!

OMG, Axial have released a 6×6!!

Scale or real, hard to tell with photos like this!

I’ve seen so many 6×6 builds over the years based on the SCX10 chassis, and of the mainstream crawler manufacturers, the trucks from Cross RC are about the only 6×6 on the market, well no more. Hot on the heels of their latest 4×4 Unimog, comes this mighty 6×6 Unimog truck you can see all the details at
http://www.axialracing.com/products/axi03002

With a Dual cab body and massive tray, there is no denying that the truck looks amazing, and from the video Axial Racing have posted it looks to be functional as well. Whilst not the cheapest crawler on the market, there is no denying it has that X factor to it, and buckets full of “I want that!”

The hinged tray for battery access is a clever idea, and I can see so many other 6×6 builds beginning from this vehicle. I only hope that they also release a kit version for those keen for their own build.

This vehicle also answers another question that many asked when Horizon Hobby took over Axial Racing. “Will they continue to innovate”. I think this truck places us well on the path to a resounding yes!

Talk about a tidy and functional 6×6 solution.

RC4WD Trail finder 2 Review

Yes yes, I know that the trail finder 2 has been around for a while, but this one is new to me and the amazing team at RC4WD were generous enough to send me one to test out their amazing new 4Runner body which I built and reviewed earlier this year, details can be found here.

Unboxing

I have made a few kits in the past, although admittedly none have them have been rock crawlers, and certainly nothing like the Trail Finder 2 from RC4WD. To put it simply, opening the box is like uncovering a paint by numbers masterpiece, especially with the chassis rails taking centre stage when you first open the box. Every nut, bolt and screw is in i’s own clearly labelled bag, and the instructions are incredibly thorough with very little ambiguity, if you read them through. I was honestly amazed at how small the box was as well, however there is a lot packed into that box very cleverly. Another thing you will find is very little plastic, almost all of the kit is metal parts with a few small exceptions, so make sure you pack some threadlock if you don’t already have some ready when you are building this kit.

Building

So you have gotten over your initial excitement and it is time to start building. The instructions follow a logical sequence stepping through the build of the vehicle. The screws and small parts are in bags labelled very clearly, and the instructions don’t presume to try and tell you numbers for the major parts, simply choosing to show an image which is more than enough to identify it by.

With all the metal screws in metal parts you will need your threadlock handy throughout most of the build. I found the build of the kit a somewhat cathartic experience compared to my past build of predominantly composite kits. once the two chassis rails come together for the first time to form that familiar ladder chassis was also a satisfying moment. With metal parts fitting so precisely and screws always just the right length, I know I sound a little OCD here, but I enjoyed the build.

Steps 29 and 30 however I had a little difficulty with as once they were fitted (and I had to back of the chassis side screws just a little to get the transmission to drop in), I was getting a little binding in the transmission and I couldn’t work out why or where. I ended up isolating the issue to the screws in step 19 which holds the transmission. It was like tightening them too much caused some tightness, however leaving them a little looser, but with some threadlock to hold them in place resulted in a silky smooth movement in the system.

One fascinating part of the Trail Finder 2 chassis is the 2 speed transmission, just like a full size 4wd. Initially I didn’t have a spare radio so I did not install the 2nd servo to control the High / Low shift. You still can use the vehicle and manually shift this from beneath the vehicle if and when it is needed, however there is something infinitely satisfying about hitting the channel 3 button to switch into low range from the radio. A 4 channel radio is the best money I have spent on a radio in years!

The place that I made the most mistakes in the build was step 46, the wheels. I got to this step on page 25 and thought yup, just bolt the wheels together. So I pushed and shoved the screws to try and get the wheel parts to clamp the tyres onto the internal beadlocks. It was hell on my hands and I ended up snapping one of the little M2 screws to boot. However I got them done and turned the page to 26 to continue the build. Then I saw step 48 where you use two longer screws to pull the wheel together before inserting the correct screws to finish the wheels. Then I cried for a while for being so stupid, dried my tears and moved on.

Then about 2 weeks later and a few runs on the trail I noticed I was missing wheel nuts on the right hand side of the vehicle, two on each wheel in fact. After puzzling over this for a while and examining the wheels I realised that after all the trouble I had with the beadlock wheel nuts and screws I had never thread locked those tiny nuts. I had also had trouble holding the nuts with pliers to tighten them as I didn’t have a small enough spanner to hold them, or so I thought…. I reached out to my local crawling group on Facebook and received an excellent piece of advice from Stephen (thanks mate) about a small set of Supercheap Spanners in a funky paint scheme. This rattled a memory and after a search of my tool box I found a set that I had purchased for a job on my Series 2 Land Rover, and low and behold, the smallest one (4mm) worked like it was made for the job, and made that job far simpler!

Building the body, well you can already read about the 4Runner build, so I won’t double up on that here. In terms of equipment, well an old 27 turn silver can took the motor stage as well as a couple of spare servos and finally a Spektrum DX4s took the radio slot and a spare hobbywing speed controller to drive the operation. Essentially what I had lying about the place. That said, a crawler isn’t a static thing, so expect that combination to change and evolve along the way, the same goes for accessories, a rig like this NEEDS some scale accessories added to the build!

The Drive

Now came that part I had been itching to do since I started this build, drive it!

To begin with, most of the time I had spent behind the wheel of a crawler to date has been driving a SCX10, what is probably one of the most common rock crawlers out there. Now before anybody yells at me, the Trail Finder 2 really is a Trail Truck or Scale Truck, rather than a Rock Crawler I know, but the SCX is an excellent baseline for me to compare to.

Dynamics of the Trail Finder 2 (TF2) are somewhat different to the average crawler, it is a little heavier than your average truck, and a LOT heavier than your average racing buggy. As such it has a much higher centre of gravity than I am used to. This certainly has an adverse effect on some obstacles such as side slopes and climbing / ascending. Even with leaf springs it will not tolerate as extreme angles across a slope.

Crossing rough terrain is a similar problem, large rocks and cross axle situations see the TF2 struggling to articulate enough to gain traction, and the narrower tyres limit the opportunities for grip. The locked differentials do help keep the vehicle moving forwards however. Approach and departure angles likewise mean that larger obstacles soon stop progress as compared with a SCX10.

BUT, this is a Trail Truck, not a rock crawler. Both it’s appearance, and performance are fare more accurate representations of a real life leaf sprung vehicle, in fact on suitable scale terrain, it is an absolute delight to watch traversing obstacles and trails, something it does with aplomb and grace. The more you drive it the more the suspension seems to loosen up and move with the terrain. Yes, the body can be hung up, but that is part of the fun ensuring that you pick lines where this isn’t a problem, and it is so satisfying when you get it right and glide through a tough section of track. From rocky terrain, to walking trails, 4wd tracks, playgrounds and paddocks, i’ve not found anywhere that the TF2 doesn’t shine at doing exactly what it is designed to do, with zero complaints or problems. Even the low range change is smooth and satisfying when it snicks home.

In honesty, I think this truck has spawned a new addiction for me, and my land rover addiction has me eyeing off the RC4WD Gelande II D110 , but I have more plans for the 4Runner first……

Bringing RC News and Reviews from right across Australia