2011 Axial/MSD Scale Nationals: Class 1 and 3

Axial teamed up again this year with Montana Scale Designs (MSD) to be the title sponsor of the 2011 MSD Scale Nationals in Helena, Montana. For those that may be new to the “Scale Nationals”, it is basically a hardcore competition for scale R/C rock crawling vehicles. Unlike the standard 2.2 competitions, these rigs are built to be as realistic as possible. Guys spent countless hours building these custom one off trucks, then show up in Montana to compete with some of the best builders/drivers in the country. These trucks are then put through a 3 day torture test to see which driver and vehicle can prevail/survive the weekend.

The setting for this years event was similar to last year, but with more water obstacles mixed in. If you have never attended the scale nationals, building waterproof vehicles is a must. Every year there is usually a fair share of water and mud to negotiate out on course, which is half the fun. This year was no different, there were many natural “scale” waterfalls integrated into the comp courses. Weather forecast for the weekend was rain too, so that just added to the mud and water levels.

The weekend started off for me and my companions at 6am sharp Friday morning when we met in the parking lot of our hotel, showered and ready to roll. From there we grabbed some coffee and supplies for the day, then hit the road for the short 15 minute drive to the comp site. We pulled into the comp site as rain and drizzle fell from the sky. Dark gray clouds assured us it would be a wet one, but the temps were warmer then expected which was nice. On Friday we ran 2 classes, the class one vehicles (aka the Street Class) and the class 3 vehicles (aka the Modified Class). For more info on the different classes and rules check out the scale rules thread on RCC. Here’s a rundown of the competition from Friday.

Competitors wait in line to have their trucks inspected to make sure they meet the rules.


One of the endless custom builds at scale nats this year.


Driver’s meeting


Event organizer Ben Palmer goes over the itinerary for the day.

A few course shots, there were a handful of bridges set-up for drivers to negotiate as well.



Bulu production’s Brett Carlson was on hand shooting video all weekend. Brett produced a full blown DVD of the event last year for sale to the public, which was awesome. Brett will also be doing a DVD of this year’s event as well.

Here’s a short teaser video that Brett edited together from this year’s event.

Axial team driver Dean Hsiao from northern California winching his custom class 3 rig up a slippery rock face.

Minnesota’s Ryan Overbye getting ready to start his first course of the day. Ryan was one of many that ran all 5 classes this year.


Andy Brooks made the trip out from Ohio with several cool custom rigs. Here’s his custom “Hack-a-lac” build in action.


This off-camber rock face was extremely slippery. Many competitors ended up sliding into one of the gates, if they didn’t fall off the rock, because of the total lack of traction. Ripsaw tires excelled here, Andy walked through this set of gates with zero drama.

Class one rigs awaiting their turn on the courses.

Class one Hummer doing work.


Once the day was done and all the scores turned in, everyone headed over to Ben Palmer’s shop for awards and some general mischief.

Ben starts the award announcements.

The Class one winners
Congrats to Team Axial Driver Patrick Norton from Texas for winning Class one. Also would like to thank team driver Zach Chatelain as well, for his 5th place finish. Great job guys!
1. Patrick Norton
2. Luis Muzquiz
3. Jerry Norton
4. Lance Parker
5. Zach Chatelain

The Class three winners
1. Luis Muzquiz
2. Lance Parker
3. John Ripplinger (Chad Hand pictured)
4. Devlin Shipley
5. Larry Lawther

That pretty much covers day one. Keep an eye for the next installment, Class 2 and the Axial Spec Class. Followed up by the Top Truck Challenge coverage. Who is ready rumble, and get really muddy?!?

2011 AWCC FINALS Axial West Coast Championship INFO

Click HERE to enter

There will be no 1.9 or Super comp at 2011 AWCC

THURS June 23
2.2LCQ / 2.2COMP / SCX10 Scale Challenge

FRI June 24
8:30AM 2.2 LCQ Judges Meeting
5:30PM AXIAL SCX10 G6 Challenge – Registration – OPEN
6:30PM AXIAL SCX10 G6 Challenge – Registration – CLOSE
*7:00PM AXIAL SCX10 G6 Challenge – STAGE ONE > START
*8:30PM AXIAL SCX10 G6 Challenge – STAGE ONE > FINISH
*Yes, NIGHT RUN! A personal head lamp is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

SAT June 25
8:00AM 2.2 Comp Drivers Meeting – MANDATORY
8:30AM 2.2 Comp Judges Meeting
9:00AM 2.2 Comp – START
3:30PM 2.2 Comp – FINISH
6:00PM 2.2 Comp AWARDS Ceremony + Scale Show & Shine
*10:00PM AXIAL SCX10 G6 Challenge – STAGE TWO > START
*12:00AM AXIAL SCX10 G6 Challenge – STAGE TWO > FINISH
*Yes, NIGHT RUN! A personal head lamp is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

AXIAL SCX10 G6 Challenge
10:30AM G6 Challenge – Stage 3 – Start
11:30AM G6 Challenge – Stage 3 – Finish

The 2011 Axial West Coast Championships will be contested in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, once again at Cisco Grove Campgrounds June 24th-26th, 2011.

Everyone knows that the Axial West Coast Championships is more than just a comp, this is family getaway! Come early and bring the off road toys, fishing poles or hiking boots and enjoy exploring the local mountains. Don’t forget the GPS and hunt for some great geocaches. Bring your XR10 Comp Rig and SCX10 Scale’r and challenge yourself in what is sure to be one of the most challenging Comp & Scale events for 2011.

2.2 COMP EVENT INFO [Friday & Saturday]
The 2011 AWCC has a similar format as the 2010 season with Drivers having to qualify for a spot in the line up on Championship day. These qualifiers are the Arizona Copperstate Crawloff hosted by PARC, the Shamrock Showdown hosted by 801RCC, the Long Beach Qualifier hosted by ORCRC and WPRCCA, and the R.E.C.O.N. West Coast Qualifier hosted by R.E.C.O.N. Crawlers. 

The Axial West Coast Championships has crowned R/C crawling champions from all over the country and in 2011, the East Coast R/C crawler will have a chance to earn a guaranteed spot in the AWCC.

For the first time ever, the two biggest Championships in the country will be giving the top 10 drivers invites for Championship day. What that means is, this years top 10 overall drivers from the 2011-ECC will be in the hunt for the 2011-AWCC title and the top 10 overall drivers from the 2011-AWCC will have spots in the 2012 East Coast Championships. There will always be a friendly rivalry between East and West R/C rock crawlers and now those drivers can show the country who is most talented!

2011 Axial West Coast Championship – Comp schedule:
June 24th 2011 – Friday…………2.2 LCQ.
June 25th 2011 – Saturday…….2.2 Championships w/Awards dinner and Awards Presentation.

Axial drivers finishing 1st-3rd place will be awarded special prizes.

Axial Scale Challenge at 2011 AWCC [Friday-Evening, Saturday-Night & Sunday]
The 2011 AWCC will host the Axial Scale Challenge comprised of both the famous RECON G6 Challenge and Tuff Truck Competition. No qualification needed – just sign up!

Axial Racing continues to bring the R/C rock crawler new and exciting events. Participants and bystanders at the 2010 AWCC witnessed the first Axial Scale Day. Drivers who participated were treated to TTC styles challenges with 3 driving stages that tested a R/C scaler’s driving ability while pushed their rig to new capabilities. If you did not have a chance to participate in the scale activities, but heard about all the fun, seen all the pictures, and witnessed the aftermath… Relax! IT’S BACK and it’s BIGGER!

The 2011 Axial West Coast Championships is one of the best comps for R/C crawlers – period! But, now R/C Scaler’s too can rejoice! Axial has unshackled the madd scientist from the chains of scaleistic-sanity to bring the G6 Challenge in conjunction with TTC to the 2011 AWCC! The 2011 Axial Scale Challenge is a truly unique experience that you do not want to miss participating in! 

The 2011 Axial Scale Challenge will start Friday evening with Stage #1 of the RECON G6 Challenge. This stage time will be the first of several scale challenges that will continue on Saturday night and Sunday. Sunday will be a scale driver’s paradise with several TTC style challenges that must be survived to complete Stage #3 of the G6 Challenge.

2011 Axial West Coast Championship – SCX10 Scale Challenge schedule:
June 24th 2011 – Friday ……………………..…G6 Challenge Stage #1
June 25th 2011 – Saturday NIGHT……………..G6 Challenge Stage #2 – night stage
June 26th 2011 – Sunday………..………………TTC Courses and G6 Challenge Stage #3

Scale Challenge participants must use Axial SCX10 frame/chassis, Axial Axles and Axial Transmissions.
Scale Challenge participants must meet the requirements in scale class to recieve special Axial awards/prizes.

G6 / SCX-10 Scale Challenge Classes.

- 1.9
- 2.2
- Modifieds

I am honored to once again to be part of such a great event. From the get go, I want to thank Axial Inc’s; Jeff Johns, Matt Kearney, Rodney Wills, Brad “Bender” Dumont, Scott Hughes, Brandon Coonce, and the rest of the Axial Team for their support! Without the help from the AWCC volunteers, this great event would not be what it is today. Thank you Stuart Gartner, Brad & Cole Bailey, John Riplinger, John Halman, all the members of WPRCCA (I love you guys), and every Nor-Cal driver who puts rubber to rock or has ever helped judge, keep up the good work, I’m proud of all of you who are passionate and willing to show others how much fun R/C crawling is.

Axial Racing is the only R/C manufacturer to back an entire series of qualifiers that leads up to a championship and last year, with the help of OCRCRC, SDRCRC, 4CRC2, 801RCC, ORCRC, WPRCCA, CCRC, NCVRCC, and RECON Crawlers the AWCCQ Series was second to none, due to the fact that all the great people that make up all these R/C clubs were the utmost professionals and went above and beyond to ensure that every driver had a great time. Dwayne Oliver, Nabil Jamali, Curtis Miller, Ryan Gerrish, Ron Mesa, Dan Bowes, and Amer Sahtout are just some of the drivers that make a difference in the quality of any competition. Whether it’s on the local level or playing a key role in the Axial West Coast Championships; their efforts are an asset to all drivers.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to pm and I will see you at the 2011 Axial West Coast Championships, until then keep having fun and support those that support our great hobby/sport.

-Brian Parker / Axial Team Driver & AWCC Event Coordinator

The Axial West Coast Championship [AWCC] is an annual event where radio controlled hobby enthusiast gather, specifically those interested in the sport of competition rock crawling. While the event is both timed, scored and awarded first through third place for three different classes, this event is more of a festival where the whole family is invited. The AWCC event is held in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains at the Cisco Grove Camp Grounds nestled in the Donner Summit. The AWCC takes over the 406-site campground as many of the AWCC competitors make this a vacation, coming early bringing off road vehicles exploring the campgrounds OHV trail access to adventure. Yes, this is a LIFESTYLE and R/C is an extension of that lifestyle!


Axial Wraith Spottings – PHASE I


Here is a collection of recent Wraith spottings as one MSD Winner won a Wraith and our media and technical partners are starting to get Wraith samples:
Click the text for links: [More to come.. stay tuned!]

Xtreme RC Car Magazine

JKRC Axial Wraith Build Thread

BigSquidRC Axial Wraith Unboxing Photos

The Axial Wraith Arrives at RCSparks Studios

Poison Spyder Customs

Griffin Thermal Products


Chris Olander of PIAA visits AXIAL

Chris Olander, avid off-road enthusiast and Regional Sales Manager and Motorsports Manager for PIAA. They have been in the business of manufacturing since 1963 of world-class lighting products, wheels and wiper blades with a large commitment to supporting motorsports globally. We at Axial have a great relationship with Chris and PIAA, thus many of you know we have the PIAA logos and scale replica lights with the globally recognized PIAA logo across the protective grill covers.


Chris is also an Axial fan with his two Axial AX10′s and SCX10 Dingo. And he usually has these in tow with him on his full-size off-road excursions! While visiting we discussed some upcoming projects, full-size and R/C rigs, compared industry notes and talked about our AWCC event coming up in June…

Yea, that’s all we are going to say right now… stay tuned and have a great weekend!

Visit PIAA’s website: PIAA

Dorkstar & Bulu Productions LIVE Travel Blog to MSD Scale Nationals!

Axial drivers Dorkstar and Bulu Productions are on their way to the MSD Scale Nationals happening this weekend [May 20-22, 2011]. They have a travel-blog-thread running on RCcrawler.com so grab your popcorn and soda or milk and cookies and lets follow these two characters to where I wish I was going this weekend!

Read the Travel Blog here:

Also in route from the Axial camp is Brad “Bender” Dumont and Brian Parker will be in route as well if “White Lightning” gets its issues sorted out.

See what everyone who signs up for the Axial Scale Challenge gets to drive and more info about the MSD Scale Nationals – click to link.

Good luck to everyone out there!!!

AWCCQ Round #3 in Long Beach, WA

Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier (AWCCQ) – Long Beach, WA

Long Beach, Washington, is famous for its clam digging, pristine coastal/drivable beach line, kite flying competitions and other summertime activities and this year was host to AWCC Qualifier Round #3. In 2010, Rocky Carlson, or Rockpile as he is known on the rccrawler.com boards, stumbled upon this very unique spot at the south end of Long Beach. Nestled against an amazing backdrop and what looks to be like a natural rainforest, especially if you’re from Southern California where vegetation grows because you bought some plants and irrigation from Home Depot, the spot could not have provided a better mix of scenery, accessibility and most importantly, amazing rock. With the compilation from the local clubs of ORCRC, WPRCCA, and WARCRC the event saw over 60 competitors in the highly coveted 2.2 Pro Class and 7 new competitors in the sportsman class ready to get their feet wet in the creative, exciting and just plain fun hobby of RC Rock Crawling.

With Brian Parker behind the wheel of course creativity, we were in for a special treat this qualifier. There were two courses that were your standard 10 gate/6 minute time limit for the pros and 5 gates for the sportsman drivers. The remaining courses, let’s just say, we were in for a special treat.

The look on Parker’s faces says it all.

Course 1 was a mix of rock crawling, rock racing and some true off-road racing. This course was four minutes in time length and two laps long. Each lap was scored just as you would score standard course-all penalties applied and so forth. You really had to manage your time on this course. If, you spent too much time at one gate it jeopardized your chance of finishing your second lap. If you went too fast and hit too many gates and pointed out before you even completed your first lap, your points were 40 for the second lap.  It was difficult to remember that if you finished your first lap, your points were tallied and you were back at zero for your second lap. So, just as standard crawling courses, it’s most important to finish the course.

A glance at Course #1 – Rock Racing

Course 2 was something new as well. You had the first 10 gates as a standard course – points, penalties and timing was all the same. If you completed the course, however, your points were tallied and then you went on to a 10 gate, 3 minute bonus course. Again, making sure you completed the first course was important so you could then take advantage of the bonus course. If you didn’t finish the first course, your bonus course was a 40.

The Crack on Course #3

Rocky’s showing us how it’s done.

Mr. Ryan Gerrish of Tammie’s Hobbies doing work on Course #3

Course 3 was all about time management and really knowing the course and, again, a whole new thought process to course design and creativity. It had your standard 10 gates but between each standard gate were bonus gates. The bonus gates made you decide if you wanted to take the risk and spend more time going through gates and earning the -2 bonus points while not timing out on the course. A perfect score on this course, including bonus, was -40. If you had some bad courses and wanted to make up points, this was the place to do it. What was cool, you could decide to do one bonus or all the bonuses, it was your decision. But, they had to be done in sequence.

A view after Gate #3 on course 4. Only 9 competitors were lucky enough to make it past Gate 3.

Rock Candy President Mindy Howe doing work on course #4. She was one of 9 drivers to clear Gate 3.

Tazz doing work on Course 2.

Scott Hughes and his XR10 with only genuine Axial hop up parts takes 2nd.

With all the creative courses there was slight confusion during the driver’s meeting. However, the judges and all the club members were knowledgeable on each of their courses making each course easy to understand before you started. The diversity of course designs and difference in course strategies really played to the success of the event and the buzz around the beach after the comp. The bench talk after the event is poised to go on and be remembered, especially at the Long Beach comps in the years to come.

To top off the competition, each participant received a commemorative dog tag and chances to win some Axial swag were high since raffle tickets were given to each participant.

Axial also had two XR10’s to handout-one to the winner of the sportsman class and one to the youngest 2.2 pro competitor. Congrats to Chris McMullin who won the sportsman class who then turned around and gave his kit to Denzel Judkins; he’s been looking at getting a XR10 since came out.

Chris McMullin (left), hands his XR10 over to Denzel

Pro 2.2 Top 5. From left – James Skiles (3rd); Scott Hughes (2nd); John Ripplinger (1st); Ryan Gerrish (4th); Scott Roberts (5th)

Gunner Ripplinger was the youngest competitor in the 2.2 Pro class earning himself an XR10. He then turned over his kit to his younger brother Gage Ripplinger who had yet to experience competing in the 2.2 Pro class. Let’s just say he’s ready to compete in style.

Sportsman Top 3. From left – Danny Hanna (3rd); Chris McMullin (1st); Tazz Judkins (2nd)

Amazing clubs coming together, great people, a breathtaking location and a fearless leader named Brian Parker truly made this an event that will be remembered by all who attended. Bookmark Axial’s blog now and check back often so you too can have the opportunity to be a part of the event next year.

Special thank you to Photos by Tristan (Tazz) http://photosbytristan.blogspot.com/

The AXIAL Geocache #2 – Found!

Axial Geocache #2-2011

Congratulations to Steve Barry of San Diego, CA. for finding the Axial Geocache #2.

Axial Geocache #2 Finder Steve Barry

Steve found the Axial Geocache #2 on May 14th, 2011 at 3:30 pm. He already had a trip planned to Big Bear, CA and noticed on our Blog he looked up the coordinates and realized that we had a Geocache stashed away in the area. During his off-roading trip in Big Bear he was able top locate and grab the Axial Geocache #2. Not only did Steve find an Axial AX24251 NVS – Night Vision System, he also found some cool Axial Swag that is limited to our Geocaching program. By reporting back to us that he did find the Axial Geocache #2, we have also sent him an Axial AX80045 Light Bucket Set (Black).

Here are a few other pics from his find.

Axial Geocache #2 Finder Steve Barry

Axial Geocache #2 Finder Steve Barry

Axial Geocache #2 Original Post:

If you were unable to get out and search for the first ever Axial Geocache #1, or if you could not find it, here’s your chance to get in on the action and search for the Axial Geocache #2. If you are out and about, plug in these GPS coordinates to see if you are close to some Axial Geocache swag.


Axial Geocache #2
N34 16.676 W116 55.290 (it works dropped into googlemaps)

Once you find the box, it’s yours. This is a cache and carry find.


What we want from you:

Name / Address / Email / Phone

Photos of you and your Axial Rig at the Geocache site.

Time / Date of when you found the Axial Geocache #2


What you get from us:

More prizes on top of the prize that you will find.

View from the spot #2

Here are a couple more hint pics. We have not been informed that it has been found yet.

Burried #2
View from the spot #2

2011 MSD Scale Nationals Spec Class Details

Axial is back again for the 2011 MSD Scale Nats as the title sponsor. This year’s dates are May 20th-22nd 2011.

We are very excited to be a part of this event again, and look forward to being there with our core customers. Last year we tried something a little different by doing a “spec class”. Basically, we donated five RTR Honchos. Four of those trucks were assigned to courses, and those trucks stayed at those courses all day. If you entered the spec class, you had to run the rig that was at each course in bone stock form. This class ended up being one of the most talked about classes all weekend, as it turned into a driver’s class, since no one rig had an advantage over the other. To top it all off, Axial gave the spec class vehicles to the top five drivers in that class when the event was over. So not only did drivers get to treat these rigs like a rental vehicle, they had a shot at keeping one if they placed in the top five.

Well, we are coming back to Montana this year to do the spec class again. Only this year there will be a Wraith on one course, a 2.2 Honcho on another course, a standard 1.9 RTR Honcho on another course and a stock Dingo for the last course. So, instead of driving 4 vehicles that are exactly the same, drivers will have to drive a totally different rig on each of the 4 courses. Should make for an interesting event to say the least, and we can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. Plus, this will be the first time the general public gets a chance to drive a Wraith before they are even available in hobby shops.

So, without any more delay, here is your 2011 spec class line-up. We may have one more twist to add to this as well, but we will keep that a secret until it’s showtime!

Here’s the little “twist” we were talking about last week. All spec class competitors will be required to tow a trailer through the courses with the spec class Dingo. A huge thanks to www.ajsmachine.com for donating this sick trailer to us for use in the spec class this year. I think it will be a great new twist for this class.

Axial SCX10 Dingo with AJS Machine Adventure Trailer for MSD Scale Nationals

Interested in attending? Here’s a link to the MSD Scale Nationals Forum on RCC with all the event info.

If you pull into town and are needing any last minute parts, be sure to swing by The Hobby Garage. Ben and Aaron always have a full stock of parts on hand.

The Hobby Garage
2611 North Montana Ave
Helena, MT
(406) 422-1222

Axial Exposed! 2011 Portland International Auto Show

Sent to Axial From Team Driver Ryan Gerrish:

A few months ago I was approached by Jeff Fishback, a Tammie’s Hobbies customer and the director of the Auto Show. He was thinking of ways to make the event more interactive and dynamic, and not just a ‘look at the new models’ affair. We discussed having a R/C crawling display, and I immediately thought it’d be a fantastic way to showcase Axial’s products, and expose crawling to thousands of people that might not otherwise get involved. Axial agreed, and we were off!
I began construction in my shop. I knew I’d have about 20’x20’ to work with, so I settled on (6) 4×8’ sections, lined up to create a 16’x12’ course. In order to fit everything in my shop, I ended up cutting 2’ off the end pieces, leaving the display 16’x10’. I knew I wanted it to be as light as possible while still being durable enough to withstand endless ‘crawler impact,’ and after some research, I went with a special concrete over layered foam.

Basic Material list:
- (18) 50lb bags of V/O Patch Concrete.
- (25) 4’x8’ sheets of foam, 2” thick.
- (6) 4’8’ sheets of plywood..
- (10) 8’ lengths of 2”4”’s.
- A few boxes of different length wood screws.
- 90 degree shelving brackets.
- BBQ skewers for pinning foam.
- Drywall knives and a Sawzall for foam carving and cutting.
- Mixing buckets, trowels, Nitrile gloves for applying concrete by hand, respirators for mixing.
- Paint, spray bottles, Woodland Scenics train layout greenery.
- Compound miter saw, drill, screw driver.

Construction took a couple months of casual working, with a few non-stop weekends tossed in. Big thanks to the Brett Carlson and the other ORCRC members who assisted with the construction!
Here you can see the basic plywood platforms and foam in my shop:

The elevation change was accomplished by building up plywood shelves, and they also provided good storage at the show:

The foam sheets stacked and the beginning of the carving:

I kept a Honcho on hand to be sure the obstacles would be suitable for a vehicle of its design:

I went back in with expandable spray foam to adhere various sections together as well as fill areas that needed build-up:

The V/O Patch concrete is good stuff- it sticks nicely to vertical surfaces. We hand mixed and applied it all in buckets, although next time I’m renting a little cement mixer! Here’s Brett hard at work:

We applied multiple coats (probably ¼” thick) to the whole display, leaving it thicker where the trucks would be impacting it often:

“Two by Two, Hands of Blue!”

We found some perfect 1/10 scale trees at Michaels, and added a bunch of bushes, ground texture and paint from Tammie’s Hobbies to ad realism:

Transport was accomplished with a rented 26’ U-haul truck, my pickup and 18’ trailer. Unloading at the Auto Show was made easy thanks to forklifts:

Once unloaded we arranged the pieces and set up all the furniture, as well as the TV which looped the 2010 Axial MSD Scale Nationals DVD:

The test fleet of Axial Honchos before their 40 straight hours of abuse! I installed 55 turn lathe motors and smaller pinions in all the trucks to slow them down for the beginners. They averaged about 2 hours of run time on a 3000mah 2 cell Lipo battery.

Considering the torture they endured, the trucks sustained zero damage for the first 2 days. As Saturday and Sunday wore on, we saw only minor breakage, such as LED wires snapping, body cracks, bumper mounts and shock tower breakage. Nothing that stopped any one truck for more than 10 minutes! We were all very impressed by their durability, as were the show drivers. The environment they were exposed to was definitely outside the realm of normal usage. Enjoy the pictures! To see them all, as well as many of the cool 1:1 cars at the show, please visit:



Many thanks to Axial racing for enabling this awesome event. We exposed thousands of new people to the joys of crawling!