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.
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.
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 …..
It is strange the things that motivate you sometimes, after racing at a major race meet on the weekend, and being perfectly happy with my RC Fleet, I find myself desiring a Stadium Truck once again after having a HPI E-Firestorm many years ago which had a number of modifications for racing, only to have nobody to race against!! Unfortunately Team Durango are no longer making their DEST210R truck, so maybe I need to convert my Short Course DESC210R with a few parts….
However this, combined with teasers of the new Xray XT2 Stadium Truck got me thinking about what is available out there, so let’s have a look! I’ll look at racing kits at this stage, I will cover RTR Stadium Trucks another day as there is a lot of them out there.
Now don’t be fooled into thinking that all stadium trucks are electric, this is far from the case with many nitro powered trucks appearing over the years and a few that are still available. Kyosho and HPI both still sell Nitro powered Stadium Trucks, they have just fallen from favor when 1:8 Truggies started taking center stage.
Now a little history for those who may not be aware, Stadium Trucks, often just referred to as trucks are based on 2wd buggies with truck bodies, wider arms, larger tyres and often longer chassis. And while that remains true of many of the original Stadium Trucks like the Tamiya Stadium Blitzer, the same remains true today.
Team Losi / TLR
So the current ST from TLR is the 22T 2.0 which is an upgrade from the original 22T released not so long ago as a part of the re invigoration of the Losi racing range under the TLR banner. Rear or mid motor mount is your choice in this kit in a very sleek design with a narrow (and not so spacious, chassis.
The newest Stadium Truck on the block, and the one about which we know the least! We presume it will be based on the XB2, and that is about all we know. When we know, you will know!
RC10T5M or the shorter name it is most commonly known by, T5M is the latest from Team Associated, however with the release of the B6 and B6D there may well be a new version out some time in the near future. This kit can trace it’s roots back to one of the original Team Associated Classics, the RC10T, and what a classic that is. Honestly with the original RC10 being re released, I am amased the RC10T has not followed suit.
The T4.2 however is also still available in it’s rear motor mount only setup, but as an RTR, so that is for another day. The T5M conversely is mid mount only so you really need to choose a kit to suit the surface that you are driving on, loose dirt or high traction clay or carpet/astroturf.
The Ultima RT6 is the latest truck from Kyosho released not too long after the new RB6 buggy. Kyosho design and quality is hard to go by if you can afford it. All in all a beautiful truck that has all the adjustment and tuning you could ever need. It almost goes without saying that Mid and Rear engine mount configurations can be built from this truck kit.
Team C isn’t a name you hear that often about the traps, but they do still sell a Stadium Truck in the form of the TC02T truck based once again from their buggy. Whilst it is a slightly older design than some of the other trucks available, it will still put a smile on your dial.
This one is slightly from left field, but X Factory have been making conversion kits for Team Associated cars for many years. Their X-60CF kit takes a T4 / 4.1 / 4.2 and turns converts it to the X Factory ST with a carbon fiber chassis and Mid motor configuration, something Associated only has done with the T5M recently.
Last but not least I do have to mention one sadly departed kit, the Team Durango DEST210R. Yes, I know that it is no longer in production, but I mention it because A) I hope a new version will appear, and B) because it was the first ST (correct me if I am wrong here) to come where you could choose a Mid or Rear mounted motor position right out of the box, and switch them as needed. Team Durango’s kits have been doing this since they released the DEX210 in 2011 and this feature has carried through to the Stadium Truck and Short Course Truck based on the same platform. As i’ve gotten back into ST’s I am thinking that I will buy the needed parts to convert my Short Course Durango into a Stadium Truck (Chassis, body and wheels), so i’ll let you know how that goes!
Ok, ok, I know that touring car racing is not dead, but there has been a significant increase in the number of cars designed to either cater to those wanting sideways action, or some social street driving or racing. Much like their crawling cousins, scale accessories and scale detail are also king in this arena of public opinion. However this new brand of on road driver has certainly resurrected some interest in On Road chassis.
Today’s release of two muscle cars from Kyosho on the Fazer platform, a 1970 Dodge Charger and a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat are further evidence, and while I don’t know how these vehicles are selling, I certainly see a few around the place, and there is certainly a lot of chatter generated by them. Heck i’d be quite happy with one the the offerings on the Vaterra V100 platform or the new HPI RS4 Sport 3 platform (and I almost forgot the Team Associated Apex cars). All of these platforms have a number of attributes in common, great looking scale bodies, scale tyres and rims, basic shaft driven platforms and affordable pricing. This is fast turning into a what RC car to buy for street fun article, but I will resist!
Now none of these are what you would call drift vehicles despite being labeled as such and coming with hard tyres. Yes they do a decent job, but in my mind a drift car has to at least have an optional set of gearing to allow a Counter steer (or CS) conversion. What does that mean? Well the rear wheels turn faster than the front ones. Why? Because it’s easier to keep the car sideways, and who doesn’t like a bit of sideways action sometimes. None of the cars mentioned before have much in the way of adjustment either with all having fixed suspension links, but most have aftermarket or factory adjustable ones available to allow for some adjustment. That said, this keeps the price of these units down, and there is nothing like a car that is fun to drive, a decent price to buy and looks great as well. Personally I love how the BMW M3 and Subaru BRZ models on the HPI Sport 3 chassis look, but the 1969 Corvette from Vaterra looks amazing as well.
Many of this new breed of street cars also come with waterproof electronics, so even a rainy day isn’t able to keep you off the streets. About the only feature that I am a little disappointed is still on these cars is the ubiquitous post body mounts. Yes, they work well, but there are some great magnetic body mounts available today which eliminate the posts and give the car a much clearer look, but are still strong enough to stop the body coming off easily.
There is a whole range of chassis and bodies out there, and there are some offerings from Yokomo, MST and Sakura which are true drift chassis, but expect to be paying more than the cars we are discussing here today.
I guess what I am saying is don’t be a chassis snob, grab one of these budget street brawlers, grab some mates and go outside and have some fun! And because everybody loves some eye candy, here is a slide show of some of the offerings on sale at the moment.
PS, yes, I completely missed out on the Tamiya TT-01 and TT02 platforms, I could say I was focusing on new platforms, but the TT-02 is a new platform, Maybe i have a bit of tunnel vision, but check out the Tamiya cars as well as they have a huge range of cars and bodies available.
Yes, I already posted this on facebook, but it needed a blog post all of it’s own. I have to say that this and a HPI Mini Trophy have fast moved to the top of my “RC cars I want” over a SCX10 of late (ok, the Tomohawk went straight to the top this morning).
So the details, well it’s awesome, although I suppose that doesn’t count as a feature. The design is a little different from the original, but those improvements have all been a good thing. From what I can find the original was released in 1985 and was developed from the recently re released scorpion, this year marks 30 years since it’s release. The changes include:
A unique battery mount to allow a full size stick pack to be mounted side-to-side instead of the original hump packs
Ability to fit a shorty lipo lengthways in the chassis
improved servo mount
gearbox housing is now a two-piece design made of die-cast aluminum
A gear differential wiht optional ball diff (original had no differential)
slipper clutch to cope wth modern bushless systems
48 pitch gears
soft compound tyres with foam inserts
arms, chassis plates, and the rails of the main chassis feature full 6061T6 aluminum construction
Countersunk hex-head machine screws are used throughout
bright red anodized aluminum shocks are slightly larger in diameter than the original shocks, and they feature polished stainless shafts for much smoother, more durable shocks
a slight increase in suspension width for stability
Expected Release Date: June 2015
To Dawn Trading and Hobbies Australia (the Australian Kyosho Distributors), I am happy to get down on my knees and beg you to send me one of these to review, pretty please with a cherry on top?
Kyosho is re releasing the HONDA NSR for 2014 for those who love their RC bikes! The documents refer to two bikes, although I could only see one model or colour scheme, but as it is Mick Doohan what more do you need!
THE MOST REALISTIC SCALE MOTORBIKES ON THE TRACK!
The ultimate in scale realism! These two bikes not only lean realistically through the curves, but the rider moves from side to side at the same time! These two models are moulded for even greater scale accuracy and easier access to radio equipment and mechanical parts. The rider is made from an astounding twenty separate parts for natural movement! Fully functional suspension using sprung front forks and a sprung monoshock swing arm at the rear ensure efficient road holding. Oil filled sprung dampers can be fitted as optional uprate parts for even better handling on rougher tracks. The powerful Kyosho Le Mans DM20 motor (included) drives the rear wheel via a real chain system. (Optional ballraced motors can also be fitted for even better performance). Each kit includes two gear ratios, allowing you to match the power to the track. A comprehensive sponsor decal sheet is included for both the rider figure and the bike itself, allowing you to create a scale masterpiece that really works! Great looks and fun to drive too!
There is something irresistable about LM cars, but then I suppose i’ve never really been an F1 fan so this is the next thing really.
Kyosho soon have a new bodyshell variant of the Plazma LM 1/12th scale chassis kit available. Joining the Toyota TS020, the Porsche 962 and the Mazda 787B is the 1990’s Nissan R90CP No. 23. Based on the Plazma Ra competition pan car the Plazma LM series of cars build on a long wheelbase chassis with conventional T-bar rear suspension, a single central shock and dual side dampers. The highly adjustable front suspension is directly taken over from the LM’s competition sibling as are many parts of the rear suspension including the adjustable ball differential. The car is useable with a wide range of battery configurations including 1S to 2S LiPo batteries and four to six cell NiMH battery packs and comes almost ready-to-run including a brushed G20 standard motor, pre-mounted high grip foam tires and the highly detailed Nissan R90CP body shell.
Kyosho have released details of the 2014 version of their classic Beetle Buggy. Have a read of what the 2014 version has in store 😉
The Second ultimate revival! Get ready for the resurgence of Kyosho’s famous Beetle!
In the spirit of the original but with upgrades throughout!
The legendary Kyosho Beetle is credited with taking the racing buggy category into the realm of pure motorsports. Even after 30 years since it was first released in 1983, the indelible mark of the Beetle still exists with its many fans around the world. Kyosho is proud to renew this machine to all its former glory! While maintaining the wild and free spirit of the original baja bug style body and chassis layout, the 2014 version features the latest in performance technology and sacrifices nothing in speed and endurance on modern buggy racing tracks. Externally it may look like the original Beetle with its semi-trailing suspension arms, but the advanced 6061T6 forged aluminum material delivers futuristic levels of strength, rigidity and durability. Following the original design, the Beetle 2014 features a new two-piece die-cast aluminum gearbox with differential gears. In addition, the included slipper clutch protects the transmission as well as delivers efficient traction that takes the Beetle’s control feel and durability to a new higher level. Precision 48 pitch gears reduce traction pulsation for direct driving control characteristics while the flat under surface of the countersunk chassis has no protruding screw heads for minimal contact resistance and scraping, resulting in higher durability. Stainless shafts combine with aluminum shock bodies on the oil shocks for smooth stroke from top to bottom and running performance worthy of a true racing buggy. Like the original Beetle, the 2014 version is packaged as an unassembled kit, but nearly all tapping screws and nuts have been replaced with the improved lightweight and security of hex screws. From expert racers who knew the magic of the original Beetle to modern-day racers, discover for yourself why the Beetle 2014 commands such respect!
Kyosho have released details of their Mad Bug VE racing buggy to their USA website today, and it looks like a good package with a $300 USD price tag. With waterproof electronics, a NiMH battery and trickle charger, off road tyres and a cool looking body in two colours, it looks like a great bashing vehicle.
The 4wd platform reminds me somewhat of a 4wd stadium truck rather than a buggy, but the beetle body gives it that buggy look, although it’s not a race buggy so not sure why the racing name, probably because of the looks as compared with a full size off road racing buggy. S
Good review videos can be hard to find, but this one ranks pretty well. Short Course world have posted part 1 of their Kyosho SC6 review to youtube. You can see it below for yourself, it’s long, but thorough so enjoy!
Oh, and the track at the end looks fun as well 🙂
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