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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
It’s big, it’s orange and it signals HPI’s return from the brink of the abyss.
HPI, once a powerhouse in the RC industry, has been Team Durango levels of quiet in recent months, however under new ownership they seem to be returning to the market with a revamped Jumpshot ST, with promises of more products back in the pipeline soon.
Promising more speed in the form of a 12t motor and revised gearing and parts (up from a 15t motor in the original), this truck uses a Twin Vertical Plate (TVP) chassis like the savage that allows for an under body battery compartment. Honestly there is a lot to like about this truck, and I love the new orange scheme with orange wheels. Hopefully a sign of good things to come (or return) for HPI.
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.
Sometimes you see Aussie products all around the world, and today we’ve seen them at the Worlds at Huddy Arena in Slovakia with Aussie racers Jordan Isergin and Lachlan Donnelly. Good luck not only to these two, but all of the Australians racing at the Worlds.
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.