OCRCRC – Comp One / 2012 Series

Orange County Radio Controlled Rock Crawlers (OCRCRC) held their first event of the 2012 calender year this past weekend. Winners of this series will get an invite to the SoCal Regionals later in the 2012 year. Winners of the SoCal Regionals event will get invites to the 2012 USRCCA Nationals. So, it is the beginning of a long road to the 2012 Nationals.

Being located in Orange County, Ca., we have access to limited terrain, and part of that terrain is man made. For the first stop of this series we hit up a local wash that is lined with concrete and rocks. There are some tough lines in this area, and there is traction for days, which allows the course designers to set some pretty crazy lines. While walking the courses before I ran I saw a few gates that made me go hmmmm. But, all gates were possible if you could find the right line through. The sun was shining and the weather forecast was calling for 80 degree temps, so the stage was set for a great day of competition.

Here are a few highlights from the event:

I set-up course one, which was a technical 20 gate marathon. The first few gates had some tough spots that you had to negotiate slowly in order to clear them without any penalties. Then, after gate 6 you had a series of technical off camber, as well as descending obstacles to clear. The last couple gates were easy if you found the proper approach.

Brandon volunteered to run my 20 gate course first, and who was I to deny him that pleasure. Of course him and his XR10 made it look easy as usual.

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OCRCRC club member/starter Tyler Schuldt broke his leg recently, so he competed on crutches all day. Not an east task in this terrain. On this particular course you had to stand inside a circle and let your spotter guide you through the course. This was the only course that played into his favor.

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Brandon spotting for Tyler.

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A few random shots.

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I spy some shafty axles, a man after my own heart!

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Jake Wright’s latest custom build with XR10 axles.

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Don Hughes attempts the 20 gate marathon course with his XR10.

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More random goodness…….

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This off camber gate forced you to blip the throttle on the way through in order to clear the lower gate.

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Another blip was needed here……..

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……..and here.

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More blip action.

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Here’s how the top 3 finished:

1st Rich B. -101

2nd Chris D. -88

3rd Jake W. -76

Congrats guys, see you at the next event!!

Axial Wraith Sway Bar Sets

Axial Wraith Sway Bar Sets

Front – AX30781

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front-installed

Rear – AX30782

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Is your Wraith set-up for high speed rock racing, or G6 style events? Then this is the option part you have been waiting for: the Axial Wraith Sway Bar Kits. Designed for high speed this system will let you soften up your suspension for jumps, while keeping torque twist and body lean to a minimum during acceleration. A sway bar’s main function is to control body roll, yet still allow your shocks to move vertically with the changing terrain. What does all this mean? It means more stability at high speed. A must have upgrade for any would be rock racer.

CNC machined for precision.

Black anodized aluminum sway bar arms.

Each kit includes three different steel sway bars for fine tuning body roll and suspension articulation (soft, medium and firm).

Laser etched Axial logos.

All required hardware is included.

Simple bolt on application.

Kits available for front and rear separately.

 

Poison Spyder Customs is Preparing for “King of the Hammers”

Poison Spyder Customs is one of the fastest growing names in the off-road game. If you own a Jeep and hit the trails chances are you are are well aware of the Poison Spyder brand. Being known for creating some of the most high quality accesories for your Jeep vehicles is just the beginning for these guys. They have a long history in Motorsport and off-road competition.

Last year Poison Spyder ran the King of the Hammers in a full Body Jeep JK, check out the videos!!

We recently dropped in to Visit the Poison Spyder crew and check out their newest creation, the “Venom One” rock buggy. This particular vehicle is being developed to compete in the Modified class at the world famous “King of the Hammers” event. Due to their extensive knowlege and complete product line for Jeep vehicles, the Poison Spyder team elected to make Venom One resemble a Jeep vehicle as much as possible. While we were out in the shop, the guys were kind enough to allow us to slip into fender lizard mode and climb all over the truck with a drool rag and a camera. Check it out!

Poison Spyder Owner Larry McRae and Master Fabricator Shad Kennedy standing at the front of Venom One

The guys at Poison Spyder are on the tip of technology. While most vehicles for the King of Hammers event are professionaly built, very few of them have been designed and modeled in 3D. I am not sure if we were supposed to take pictures of these drawings, but I just couldnt resist, these were way cool to check out in detail!

After seeing the drawings My eye was drawn to the Axles under the Venom One, Currie Enterprises worked closely with the Poison Spyder design team to source the best Axles for the Job. A “Rock Jock 60″ was selected for the front, and a 9″ for the rear. The fab work on these housings is a work of art!

The chassis tubes were completely laser cut and ready for assembly. The design itself screams simplicity and strength. The engineers did a tremendous job laying out the tubework for ease of maintenance and repair. The key to a successful race operation is often effeciency, and the Venom One is sure to turn heads with its striking good looks as well as its well thought out design.

Of course the Venom One is sporting a Griffin Radiator…..

The Griffin Radiator helps keep the powerplant from TurnKey in it’s happy place

With all that Turnkey LS horsepower the Poison Spyder crew selected some massive brakes from our friends at Wilwood

The interior of this rig looks really cool! I wish I had these gadgets in my full size rig!!

You can see Shad is calling on some of his vast desert racing experience. Venom One is equipped with a UMP air filter and a full Parker Pumper system. The Parker Pumper system pumps fresh air directly into the driver’s helmet during competition.

Here is a video of Venom One with the TurnKey LS3 fired up!

Here is the first run video with the Venom One in action!!

This vehicle was not complete as of our vist to the Poison Spyder facility. Please visit the poison Spyder website for the most up to date information here

Full Size Honchos at Portland International Auto Show

We have been following the build process for Team driver Ryan Gerrish and friends as he prepares for the Portland International Auto Show. What we didn’t know is Ryan had a few full size Honchos lined up to be a part of or near his rock crawling display. We received images this afternoon and just had to share. These rigs are really cool!! Be sure to check out the display Ryan and company have built here.

The pictures we received today of the full sized Honchos were really cool!

This little red Tacoma is awesome!

And then there is this old school Toyuta Hilux, what a beautiful machine!!

Be sure to go and check out the full display at the Portland International Auto Show, you can even drive some Axial Honchos on the handmade crawling environment pictured here… (this is still not the completed version, you will either have to attend the show and have some fun with these guys, or wait to see the action until after the show).

Birth of R/C – Do You Know Your Roots? RC HISTORY

I stumbled across an old school R/C video recently on YouTube that covers the early beginnings of remote control cars. Little did I know that when I clicked that link I was going to be given a lesson in R/C history. I think most people will be surprised to learn that the R/C movement started right here in sunny Southern California, and not overseas as I personally thought. That’s right, the first R/C car was built by Norbert Meyer here in the states. Norb is also known as the “Father of R/C Racing” because of what he and a handful of others started back in the mid to late 60′s.

The background:

According to my research Norb Meyer and his neighbor Bob Blair built the first two R/C cars in existence. These were basically high end slot cars, without needing a slot to race in. Of course with any new “outside the box” idea there will be nay-sayers that say it can’t be done. Experienced hobbyist told them the radios wouldn’t work in the cars because of all the chassis vibration. Well, apparently they found a way to make it work and I would personally like to thank them for that. Not long after Norb had invented the first true remote control car, a guy by the name of George Siposs would meet Mr. Meyer and the official history of R/C was started. If you are not familiar with the name George Siposs, he started R.O.A.R. (Radio Operated Auto Racing Association) in Anaheim, Ca back in 1967. He is the voice narrating the video below too. In an effort to spread the word about R/C, George even ran ads in Road and Track magazine back in the day. When George and Norb would show up to race, they would lend their spare personal hand-built cars to spectators to race as well, just so they would have more than 2 cars on the track at the same time. Now that is dedication!! Keep in mind every part on these vehicles was hand fabbed, wheels, body, chassis and suspension.

1968:

Norbert Meyer and George Siposs started the first ever R/C manufacturing company, RA/CAR. They built parts to support the classes of R/C’s they were racing at the time. These guys are credited for inventing servo savers, heat sinks, and a handful of other well known R/C parts that we use today, according to my findings. One thing that always comes up in the articles and videos I have seen is how important “scale realism” was to these guys, very similar to the scale rock crawling builders of today. It seems that every aspect of this hobby comes back to the scale details in the end, I think that is the biggest attraction for R/C newcomers. The rules even required cars to have a driver figure, realistic number plates and realistic bodies to be legal for the races. And at one point they contacted BFGoodrich and got permission to run the BFG logos on their tires.

1969:

Fast forward the reel to reel projector to 1969 and the first National R.O.A.R. race. This is the race that is featured in the video below. The video description says it is the race from 1967. But, after my research, and watching the video, it appears the first true nationals was held in 1969 in Garden Grove, Ca., and this video is from that race. There were many variables that had to be overcome to win the national title. It wasn’t just about who could complete the race the fastest, you had to look good doing it too. They also incorporated “Lemans” style starts as well, which is awesome in my opinion. For the start of the race the drivers stood on the opposite side of the track from where the drivers will stand during the race. Once the race was started drivers had to run to their car, put the car on the starter box, fire the nitro engine up, and run 50 laps without breaking down. If that task wasn’t tall enough, you had to compete in a slalom course and your vehicle’s scale looks had to be judged in the contours event too. Something that I find to be very cool!! I can see many similarities between this form of racing back in the day and R/C rock crawling back in 2004 and 2005. Back then rock crawlers had to hand fab 75%, if not more, of their rig themselves. Not long after Axial came in and brought crawlers to the masses, and saved everyone a ton of fab time, and let us concentrate on making cool custom scale mods to our crawlers. While scale detail is all the rage right now. It seems that these pioneers were on the cutting edge of scale realism, before scale realism was cool. It is great to see the hobby come back around to it’s original roots after 45 years. Very interesting…….

The video!! Sit back, grab a drink, some popcorn and settle in for a little R/C History 101!! The volume is set extremely low in the video, so you may need to turn your volume up to hear the narration, as it is worth listening to.

Jake Wright Wins 2012 Copper State Crawloff

The first big USRCCA nationals qualifier of 2012 was held this past weekend in Tucson, Arizona. Competitors from all over the southwest gathered for a shot at a national invite for the 2012 Nationals of R/C Rock Crawling. Team Axial driver Jake Wright made the trek down from southern California, with his XR10 and a handful of other SoCal locals, to test their grit against some of the best in the southwest. After the hard fought scores were tallied up, Jake and his XR10 were victorious by a slim 8 points. Axial would like to congratulate Jake on his win, and thank him for being part of our team. Way to go man!!

A few shots of Jake and his XR10 in action at a recent San Diego competition.

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The SBG County Mounty Wraith

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Kevin Jowett and the Scale Builder’s Guild crew are on a mission as of late. Not that they would spend their time in any other way, but, the builds coming out of that community are fantastic. We recently featured a full custom project built by Kevin Jowett and company using a substantial amount of SCX10 components. Well, they are at it again! This time they applied their handy work to an Axial Wraith. The Wraith is one of the most popular scale vehicles currently, the personalization taking place on all of the forum cummunities amazes us. This particular project grabbed our attention due to the use of SCX10 Axles. While most builders are focused on high speed, bigger, faster vehicles, Kevin was putting his nose to the grindstone to build more of a Scaler. The County Mounty theme really seemed like a great idea, and we were patiently awaiting the end result. Well, this vehicle is here and we just had to share it!

All of us at Axial have built a custom scale rig or two, and are no stranger to the amount of hours and effort it takes to complete a project of this magnitude, so our question to you Mr. Jowett, Do you ever sleep? Check out a few cool shots of this rig out in the elements as well as a video of it in action. Very well done SBG, awesome Wraith!

For an in depth look at this build and the step by step process please visit the build thread on the SBG website.
Build thread here

SBG JKRC County Mounty in action!

Axial and Portland International Auto Show “The Build”

Axial Team driver Ryan Gerrish and long time friends Brett Carlson, Mitch Warner and Maren Holmboe are once again preparing the interactive display system with Tammie’s Hobbies for the 2012 Portland International Auto show. Last years display was a hit with show goers of all ages. The news media even stopped in to interview the crew and try their hand negotiating Ryan’s rock course with an Axial SCX10. The course itself is a complete work of art. We wanted to show you just how these talented and creative folks put together the ultimate rock course. Just to give you a preview of what we are talking about, have a look at some images and video of last years demo course…..

The course itself was decked out with scale trees and a bridge. The object was to make it all the way around the course without rolling over or falling off the edge!

People lined up all day long to give it a shot!

and well into the night!!

Here is a little video footage from the 2011 Portland International Auto Show courtesy of Bulu Productions

To see the full blog post from last year’s Portland auto show, click here

FAST FORWARD into 2012…

Ryan and crew have been running full speed to prepare a whole new display for the auto show this year. He has been keeping us up to date with the group’s efforts and supplying photos as they work to build an even more challenging and enjoyable experience for Axial fans and customers. These guys are really going the extra mile to bring people into our hobby. The amount of work that it takes to build these displays is no easy task as you are about to see.

First step…
Figure out how much space you have and build a false floor to hold the scale obsticles

The next step is to “rough in” the main lines you want to have the trail follow, this is done with wood and is made to be a guideline as to where the driving surface will eventually be.

The next step is to cut and lay out foam to generate a general shape and design

Once the foam is completely laid out the next step is the fun part. Using power tools and hand tools the guys shape and contour the course to give it the effect of a rock wall. As you can see, this is an extremely messy portion of the job

The result is very cool looking, the rock wall is starting to take effect. The scale trees are a nice touch and will will really add some realism when the job is done

The next step is to mix and apply V/O patch concrete. This process requires gloves, masks and a little know how to get it just right. This particular type of concrete is great due to its ability to stick well to verticle surfaces

Ok, so maybe this is the messiest part of the job!!

The result is a very cool looking surface

The entire display system is made to come apart for ease of transport, so it is importand to not cement it together at the edges!

After a few test runs, some cement is added in strategic locations for extra strength or to help the vehicles to negotiate the terrain

The display is coming out really cool!!! As of this posting this is where the guys are with the project, we can’t wait to see how this looks when it is finished!

The SBG Wall Rock Rig

We at Axial are constantly amazed by the creations of the scale rock crawling community. There is so much talent and imagination floating around the internet, that we often spend some time passing links around the office showing our co-workers the unique approach to using Axial products. In 2011 we were contacted by Kevin Jowett of the Scale Builders Guild (Formerly Crawl Canada), he expressed interest in tackling a big project using almost all Axial product. He explained that he wanted to build a rock racer style buggy based on the CopiousRC chassis featuring independent front suspension made from an SCX10 axle housing. Truth be told, the marketing staff sat back with one eye wide open and one slightly closed trying to put together mentally how he was going to pull this off. The reality was, we did not know how he could pull this off, we only know that when Kevin says he is going to do something, he does it, and does it well.We promptly gave Mr. Jowett the thumbs up and thanked him for his continued support of Axial.

Almost immediately we started receiving images from Kevin. This little “Wall Rock Rig” is going to be cool. It featured a full tube chassis created by one of his forum members “Copious” (Jason Wall). Most if not all of the drivetrain components would come from the SCX10, including the axles, transmission, shocks. The SCX10 front axle was dissected and made into a 3rd member that delivered power to each of the independently suspended front wheels. This is an absolutely awesome custom made rig, we cant wait to see some video of it in action! For the complete step by step build, be sure to visit the Scale builders Guild thread at:
Build thread here

A few more shots of this really awesome machine…….