All posts by Richard Green

AARCMCC wants your Opinion Electric Off Road Racers!

AARCMCC (The sanction body for RC Racing in Australia)  is undertaking a survey of as many Electric Off Road Racers as possible.

This survey has been produced to better understand the Racer opinions (which inform club opinion) on the issues we see relevant to the future of the section..

We have put together a list of questions from our own observations of racing at events, feedback from the racing community, from reading lots of posts on social media and forums and also speaking with international racers on a number of the topics below.

We thank you in advance for your time, look forward to analysing your responses and using this information to shape and inform future proposals and improvements for Championship events in the future.

To add your opinion visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdKZX1pcTYnJHK2cJxadRduQo5WgtYlB8G6rng0irXg_TTZEQ/viewform

Lachlan Munday at the Worlds

Here is what Lachlan had to say about his trip to the worlds in China!

2017 Worlds in China are all done, and boy do I have a lot to say! Ok, so in 2WD I qualified 63rd with some runs in the 40’s and 50’s but it was really hard to do better as I had some hacks in my group. Just crazy to see how different their racing etiquette is! In my final I led until the last lap, then hit a random bump and my car flipped  Such bad luck   Finish 62nd. In 4wd I also had some top 40 and top 50 runs. I was getting pretty tired by then and I qualified and finished 66th^-^ even though I tried my hardest. I was hoping to win that race but I got hit pretty hard and I had to race with a bent shock absorber from lap 2! It was actually pretty fun taking the jumps with a broken car and still finishing 6th with a car that wouldn’t jump or turn properly. It was pretty funny. The early starts, late nights and dark racing were really challenging, as well as having a sore stomach, but I am very happy with my results overall as I smashed my top 100 goal🔥

My highlights (not in order!!!!)

  • Holding the Australian flag at the opening ceremony. Representing Australia
  • The worlds best drivers signing my B64 body
  •  Meeting Masami Hirosaka
  • Holding the World Championship trophy with Ryan Maifield
  • Ty Tessman giving me his 4th place trophy and pass
  • Meeting new friends Clement Boda and Matthieux from France. Stéphane Boda
  • Getting interviewed by Liverc and visiting the Liverc box Aaron Waldron
  • Being on the drivers stand with Dad at a World Championship
  • Seeing the massive facility!
  • The bus ride home after the banquet with the funny Aussie team
  • “waiting for a taxi”
  •  Sitting with the ‘rockstars’ in the AE team Spencer, Kyle, Ryan, Dustin

After the racing finished, we also did some sightseeing around Xiamen City. Now , i want to talk about my expectations vs reality side of things. I thought it would be like a giant metropolis! Well it was like that, but different in many ways. I thought it would be more tall buildings and apartments- well there were, but there were also lots of small buildings and traditional buildings. Was the traffic like i expected? No. Just.Plain.No. The drivers are crazy!!! Every day we thought we would be in an accident. There are huge buses and trucks swerving, people going the wrong way down the freeway, tuk tuks, mums on scooters with babies and no helmets, three cars wide in two lanes. One day we had a supersonic bus ride- we all cheered when we arrived back at the hotel safely.

I thought crowds would be like Australia, but with more room! Nope. It was very squishy, and it was a bit push to the front-ish. Actually it WAS push to the front-ish.Very much so. You have no personal space, and people kept wanting to touch and photograph me and my sister.

Now enough about that for now. Im going to talk aboutall the wonderful experiences! (well, mostly😂) One of the coolest things In my opinion was gulangyu island, nanputuo temple and the hotel! At the botanic gardens get this, we saw 30 weddings going on!!!! We also did a bit of rock hopping 

Gulangyu island, which was a tourist island, had a great view of the ocean and some nice street food! The temple and botanical gardens was a massive day where we saw such beautiful gardens but had to climb hundreds of stairs. We also went to the hot spring in the hotel which was bliss 😁

The last day we basically spent nearly the whole time at the Airport waiting for our planes. Aaaaaaaand, now where back in Aussie Australia!!!!!!

All in all I learnt a lot and did much better that I thought I would. I also learnt that I have to do a lot more practice to be able to drive like the amazing drivers in the A-main final. I screamed so much watching them as they changed positions and raced so close. Maybe one day I can do that. I also learnt that China is an interesting and different place to visit, and that we are very lucky to have our life in Australia.

Thanks very much to everyone who has supported me in this journey to China! I read your messages but was too tired to respond. It was awesome having all of you cheering us on. I can honestly say I did my very very best.

Finally thanks to……
#HelloWorldWatergardens for helping me get to China and supporting me
#RCRS Matt Griffin for his support
ACE- Matthew Kellett and Gary Kellett
#TeamAssociated #ReedyPowered #JConcepts for the awesome products.
Mum and Dad for working on the car.
Jasmine for being a great sister.
Andrew Selvaggi for always helping out.
My Australian Team mates for their support and encouragement
The organisers for putting on such a cool event.

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

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