Axial Deadbolt AX90044 RTR Simple Body Mods

Starting with a stock Axial Deadbolt RTR straight out of the box, before ever putting power to it. I am going to try and make this different than any other! I have heard it both ways as far as this body goes. This is actually one of my favorites.20170917_113319 (Custom) 20170917_113348 (Custom) 20170917_113358 (Custom)

I really like the hood scoop, dovetail, and I truly love this green! It’s a perfect platform to start with in my opinion. 20170917_113421 (Custom) 20170917_113451 (Custom) 20170917_113501 (Custom) 20170917_113529 (Custom) 20170917_113541 (Custom)

Now that you have seen what I am starting with, let me show you my idea. I happen to have an Axial Ridgecrest, I have always liked the bumpers and tubing. I want to try and put these bumpers on the Axial Deadbolt.

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I have always been a fan of reusing parts, or just using them in ways they might not have been specifically designed for. So lets just see where this takes us. If you do not have a Ridgecrest the part number is AX80117, but I will also try to have a hyperlink at the end of this blog! Just in case you want to do this. 20170924_210205 (Custom) 20170924_210403 (Custom)

The rear seems to fit like it was made for this body. The front is wide enough at the open end, but it tapers a bit more at the front. I still don’t think this will be an issue.20170924_210553 (Custom) 20170924_210556 (Custom)20170917_113606 (Custom)

After removing the Poison Spyder front bumper, I am looking really hard at the front grill. 20170917_113610 (Custom)20170917_113639 (Custom)

I have a plastic grill from another truck I never used, it is a very simple grill. I want to try and incorporate it into this build. I think it will help in this makeover.  20170917_114441 (Custom)

I drilled the center posts of grill and I reamed the holes to the appropriate size. Also marking the headlights with a sharpie.20170917_120333 (Custom)20170917_123359 (Custom)20170917_124252 (Custom)

I used a body reamer and scissors to start. I also trimmed away the outer corners of factory stickers. Next I used a dremel to round out the headlights. 20170917_124807 (Custom)20170917_124948 (Custom)

The goal is to fit some headlight in the grill. so I keep test fitting the hole until I like the fit of light. Once I have the holes big enough on both sides, I turn my attention to the back.

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After simply holding the rear bumper where I want it to fit, I mark it with a sharpie and drill the mounting holes.20170918_110517 (Custom)20170918_110520 (Custom)20170918_111059 (Custom)20170918_111113 (Custom)

After drilling the holes, it bolts right up! No modifications at all. Be sure to slide the end tab to the inside of the body. After the rear is done I am returning to work on the front. I painted the new grill black, used solid black stickers for outer corners and Axial Dingo stickers for the marker lights. I ran two screws through the back side of the grill and that’s what holds it in place. 20170918_111400 (Custom)20170918_112454 (Custom)20170918_112458 (Custom)

After the grill I simply hold the front bumper to front and cut as straight as I can to the outer edge of grill. After test fitting again the Axial Ridgcrest bumper is still a bit to narrow. Using a dremel I slowly start cutting closer to the grill. You can see picture below for reference.20170918_113112 (Custom)20170918_115105 (Custom)

After several test fits and finally getting the fit I wanted, I bolted on the front bumper. Just a tip, if you look in the picture below, you can see the posts used to mount tube bumper to the front of the Ridgcrest stick directly into the headlight holes. 20170918_115116 (Custom)20170918_120138 (Custom)

From the side profile maybe you can see why I said I tried to cut as straight as possible. Pictured below you can see I removed the bumper and cut mounting posts off I was talking about earlier.20170918_122300 (Custom)20170918_122348 (Custom)20170918_122356 (Custom)

So I did run into one issue. Nothing with the bumper, but rather with the headlights. I ran out of Axial light buckets, I had planned on using and measured for. I am sure if you build you have had to improvise. I happen to have some glass lights for home interior, they are designed to go under your cabinets as custom lighting. So off comes the front bumper once again, you can just take out corner screws and it makes it easier.20170922_112818 (Custom)20170922_112810 (Custom)20170922_112013 (Custom)

Well they look good to me, so after some shoe goo, I put the front of the bumper back on. I am very pleased with how this makeover is turning out. 20170922_113134 (Custom)20170922_120332 (Custom)

With the bumper back on I add my last to Axial Light buckets. They are Part AX80045, there will be a link to part at the end of this blog. After this I am going to add a little to the stock Axial Maxxis Trepadors.

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A couple of Sharpies I purchased should do the trick. I am putting white down first.20170919_083946 (Custom) 20170919_090322 (Custom)

Putting the white down first really helped the yellow to pop and stand out. I am very happy with the look. If you have never done this before, I will just tell you now. It is not permanent. You WILL have to touch it up  and or redo it! How often just depend on your driving style. I like the look, so I do it. Next some silver model paint and a red sharpie are used to create scale hubs. Your RTR should have these hubs on it, solid black in color. I think it is an easy scale look.  20170919_090648 (Custom)

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Going back to the body, up top you can see exactly how it looks out of the box. So with an exacto knife I carefully lift the stock sticker and relocate it to the back. For this exact look you must swap stickers from driver to passenger side to follow contours of the fender. I also used a black sharpie on the door and hood jams. Here is a tip, rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover with acetone will take the sharpie completely off should you mess up the lines.  20170919_093632 (Custom) 20170919_093629 (Custom)

As I mentioned before, I like using parts from other cars. Can you guess what part this is by the outline? 20170919_095414 (Custom) 20170919_095521 (Custom)

First using a body reamer and then getting as close as I can with lexan body scissors. I use the dremel again test fitting until I like the fit.20170919_094135 (Custom) 20170919_094201 (Custom)

Once the Axial Yeti Rock Racer exhaust fits (found on part tree Part AX31116), I decide to dress it up a bit with some silver model paint. Once it dries I hold it in place with shoe goo!20170919_100034 (Custom) 20170919_100716 (Custom)

Once installed I am really happy with the over all look. I feel it has completely changed the look. I throw on one of my scale antennas just for a touch more of scale detail.20170919_115821 (Custom)

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I am not to worried about interior, but just to make it different I will do another easy trick. Take some 1/4″ open loom conduit, cut one side to the contour of Axial driver helmet. Use a body reamer where ever you want to run hose in the car, only ream hole big enough to hold the hose snug. I painted the drivers helmet, you can do as you want. Shoe goo the hose to the helmet, and once it is dry. Feed hose into the hole you made with body reamer! That’s it, you now have scale fresh air hose on your driver. A tip for you, take the drivers helmet off the vehicle to glue on hose and let it set. There is a screw underneath helmet that is simple to remove.20170920_165718 (Custom) 20170920_114409 (Custom)

Moving onto the chassis, this is the only mod this will get at this point. Open the clear plastic bad that came in your RTR and remove the three long post with bevel on one side. Remove the battery tray from the rear of chassis.20170920_114406 (Custom)

Place the posts as pictured above, you will need to remove two small screws from receiver box before fitting beveled edges. Next place battery basket over posts.20170920_114644 (Custom) 20170920_114418 (Custom)

Axial Screws AXA471 work perfectly for this relocation. Tighten it down with three of these screws and reuse the small screw to attach battery tray on rear section.20170920_114551 (Custom) 20170920_114756 (Custom)

You have just relocated the battery for forward weight and performance. Yes you can definitely spend money on a battery tray to move the battery from the rear to the front. In my opinion this is the most inexpensive way to go, the parts are provided, minus the longer screws! Something to think about. So what’s next?

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Well I installed the lens inserts and lens covers on the Axial light buckets on the bumper.

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Take step back and look at the transformation. Now the hubs are on after being painted, the driver helmet is also installed. Ummm next I would say take it outside and take it for a drive! That was my plan anyway!20170924_193944 (Custom) 20170924_113436-01 (Custom)

The repositioned battery tray is a huge gain for climbs, and I love how the wheels and details pop when its outside. 20170924_113449-01 (Custom) 20170924_132353-01 (Custom) 20170924_132627-01 (Custom) 20170924_123046-01 (Custom)

Well this is my attempt at simply changing the look and one performance gain with the battery relocation. Hopefully this has inspired you to try new things or build one like this. This crawler is the most bang for the buck in my opinion. If you are looking to get into scale crawling, I would suggest looking at the !

Axial Parts Used:
AX80117 Axial Ridgecrest bumpers

AX80045 Axial Light buckets (You will need 2)

AX31116 Axial Yeti Rock Racer Exhaust Tips

AXA471 Axial Screws for Battery relocation

Scale on the Con – Day trip


Words: Anthony Rivas
Photography: Brad Perry

I believe everyone has that one trail they would love to go scale crawl on, maybe even a bucket list of places. The opportunity recently presented itself to return to the Historic Rubicon Trail in northern California with the annual event called Cantina for the Con going on for 1:1 vehicles. CKRC Hobbies of Reno, Nevada was doing Scale on the Con In conjunction with the event and I knew I just had to go!  I was able to go out and trail with a few guys on this over the top scaled out course.

But first, lets back up and talk about Cantina on the Con.
This is an annual Fundraiser for the 501(c)3 Non-Profit Mission: To Enhance the Future Health and Use of the Rubicon Trail while Ensuring Responsible Motorized Year-round Trail Access. The Rubicon Trail Foundation is an advocate for your Continued Motorized Access to the Trail and Surrounding Public Lands. Please go read more about the Rubicon Trail Foundation and what they do for the Rubicon Trail!

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Brandon Caton of Snowmod RC brought his son up for the event, but he made some time to wheel his Axial Scx10 based LC70. This was definitely no shelf queen.

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Last Chance Gas Station #2 was open for service at Loon Lake Dam! Note those power lines in the background! Yes, no… that is not scale photo-trickery! Those are the real deal! The BLPP&C; Brant Lowe Power Pole Company had to be quickly custom built and shipped over to the Loon Lake Dam.

With power poles on site, Adam & Elio of Two Chainz Scalerz set the poles, then ran power all the way out to the Loon Lake Dam in order for the gas station to power to deliver service for customers. We need to go all 1999-style and seriously start looking at this solar energy stuff! But I got my Two Chainz Scalerz edition custom banana cream filled Twinkiez so I was happy! They excepted my cash while they were still wiring up the cash register.

This is Station #2 as in a new version of the original. Some of you may have pictures with the original version from AXIALFEST that was mysteriously claimed in a “HOGnato” incidence. Yes, H.O.G. + Tornado = HOGnato meaning the hands of real 1:1 humans aka (Hand Of God) swept (Tornado) the original gas station from its location on site at AXIALFEST. The original Last Chance Gas Station has yet to be found…
Swiper No Swiping.

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Quick “pic-stop” and off to the trail! Hey, that might have to become an thing… #PicStop

The Rubicon trail is a destination for lots of off road enthusiasts. For me personally, (Rivas Concepts) being back to drive a scale R/C on the rock was a great unique feeling as my trips across the Rubicon have been 1:1 trips!

I’ve built this Axial Scx10-2 Dingo for such adventures.

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Before we start this scale adventure, the Axial Scx10-2 Dingo was loaded up and looking for Adventure but first we have to have a couple of complementary flex shots!

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Two Chainz Scalerz Adam Dean and Elio Dianda were present, physically and spiritually!
Poor E.W. Lowe…

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Brandon wasted no time jumping into the water! We all looked on in disbelief that he would be willing to throw his 70-Series in harms way as he did! You know it’s not like these 70-Series are offered here in the USA, hence the FaceBook page: Toyota: Bring the 70 Series Land Cruiser and Diesels to the USA. But too, it is a Land Cruiser…
Seeing how Snowmod set the tone, I fell in right behind him and we all followed suit!

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It was truly an epic day of wheeling. Lots of water, cool temperatures, and good people.

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Alec Van Den Brink and his Jeep KJ Liberty, with roof top tent, and Ben Thomas in his Axial Scx10-2  custom Toyota 4-door bringing up the back. ScaleOnTheCon-08475 (Medium) ScaleOnTheCon-08469 (Medium)

Some parts were a little sketchy with water flowing as it was running pretty fast and we were playing pretty scale!

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As you can see, we had an eclectic collection of rigs as well with Brandon’s 70-Series Land Cruiser, my RC-ADV-Dingo, Alec Van Den Brink‘s KJ-Liberty and Ben Thomas wheeling the 1st Gen Toyota. Regardless of personal choice’s we are all enjoying the same thing, wheeling the Rubicon!

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The Rubicon trail provided plenty of picture opportunities, we took them and took our time. It’s easy when we are sitting our our heated cabs while Brad Perry (photo-extraordinaire) is wading out into the river with his hip looking Patagonia Waders with the addition of the rubber ducky embellished 24″ Classic Round Green Inflatable Swimming Pool Inner Tube Ring Float for safety. We simply zipped out winch line to him when the current swept him out a bit.

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You could easily get line-drunk here. Everywhere you looked was a new line. The CKRC Hobbies Scale-On-The-Con trail was a nice long loop, averaging about 3 and half hours to complete the trail. Our little day trip was roughly the same amount of time, but we didn’t cover near the terrain due to our numerous #PicStop’s.
ScaleOnTheCon-08555 (Medium)Lil’ “LibBroTee” getting its creek crossing flex on!
ScaleOnTheCon-08914 (Medium)This event had people driving well into the night!

Where is a place you want to go crawl?
Mark your calendars for next year to go run Scale on the Con!  With the Cantina for the Con being an annual event, I can only expect the Scale on the Con to continue with and carry on!

More cool scale stuff to be seen here:

The Cantina for the Con event should be around the first weekend of September 2018, Labor Day Weekend. Check for more details. Once details get posted there, I’m sure details for Scale on the Con will be posted on CKRC’s FB Event page:


1.9 Axial Wraith

1.9 Axial Wraith Custom Build
by: Rivas Concepts

We know a lot of you own an Axial Wraith or have come across them at some point. Like any other R/C, we are sure there are things you would like to change, and maybe you already have! I personally like to keep it scale and in proportion as best possible. The Axial Wraith is a beast and just eats up terrain! But how to make it more scale and add a little challenge to the driving experience? I am doing a 1.9 version. This will consist of swapping in some Axial SCX10 Axles, cut down Axial WB8 drive shafts,  SCX10 shocks, and some custom links.

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Your Axial Wraith may look like this, or did at some point and time. Axial AR60 Axles, 2.2 wheels, tires and big bore shocks.

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One cool thing about the Wraith is you can put all kinds of bodies on it and change the look. I am using the Axial Deadbolt (AX04039) as it fits perfectly, but I am cutting out the interior. With the 2.2 set up, the wheelbase is off a little too much for this build. Longer wheelbase helps with climbing and performance without a doubt. So I am sacrificing the 2.2 performance for the scale look with the 1.9 swap.

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Here is the standard 13 1/2″ wheel base on the Axial Wraith Kit version (AX90056), I am sure it’s the same on RTR (AX90018).

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This is a pretty simple and quick change over in my opinion. You should have 4-links and 2-shocks per axle. Don’t forget to undo your servo!

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Starting with the lower links seems to be easily accessible, so I am just starting with these.

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Next you can move on to the upper links, because I am switching to Scx10 shocks I just removed shocks from cage. Now the Axial AR60 axles are complete with shocks and now ready for your WRONCHO build or something else. You can re-use the bigger shocks, but because I am after a scale look, I am choosing not too.

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You should end up with something like this. If you are going to buy a cage, this is all you would really need. The donor parts will be Axial SCX10 axles and shocks.

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Here you can see difference between the AR60 axles and SCX10 axles (technically the SCX10 axles are AX10 axles as that is their origin). If you really wanted too, you could even use the Axial AR44 axles for even more scale looks. The only part of this project that is not quick is the custom links. You can use All-Thread from your local DIY store. Cut them to appropriate lengths and thread them right into the rod ends, I use a Dremel and cut off wheel for this.There is 1/4″ or 1/8″ option.  Plastic drain hose from the landscaping department will slide over the all thread giving it a finished look.There are many ways to make links, Delrin is a popular choices as well.

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There are a few ways to do this swap. If you don’t want really short links up front you can slide the skid plate towards the back one screw hole, this will lengthen the fronts and shorten the rears. Rough diagram pictured below, RED lines show sliding the skid plate back, YELLOW lines are showing you the front links will need to be longer and rears will need to be shorter.

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I know EVERYONE is wanting to know measurements. So the front lowers are 55.88 millimeters or 2.2 inches. Keep in mind this is not an eye to eye measurement, this is just for the link portion you will have to make. The eye to eye measurement is 3.36 inches or 85.5 millimeters.

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The rear lowers are 66.36 millimeters or 2.6 inches. Again this is just length of link you need to make, not an eye to eye measurement. The eye to eye measurement is 4.05 inches or 103.6 millimeters. Be sure to use a bent rod end so it moves freely.

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The upper rear link is 85.14 millimeters eye to eye or 3.35 inches. The type of rod end you choose to use will have some affect on this length.

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The front upper link is 82.31 millimeters eye to eye or 3.24 inches. Again the type of rod end you choose to use will affect this length.

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Once you have upper and lower links installed you can mount up your shocks, it should now be close to an operating 1.9 Wraith.

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Close, meaning it still needs drivelines, I am a fan of just cutting down the Axial WB8 driveshaft’s (AX30794) because the are very easy to work with and reliable. If your running big power there is no doubt your blowing through moving parts, these are plastic so take this into consideration in your build. The driveline centers are cut down to 39 millimeters or 1.5 inches. They need to telescope for suspension movement, but not fall out. Depending on shocks you will need to experiment with this. I use a Dremel and cut off wheel, shaving millimeters at a time.

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You will need to cut the female ends on both sides of drivelines as well. The front pictured above is extremely short but it fits and doesn’t fall out. The rear pictured below is longer. If you want more to work with on the front, you can cheat and slide the skid back one hole as I showed earlier.

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Front and rear drivelines installed and ready to test, don’t forget to plug your servo in. This build is with servo on axle, you can get creative and do a CMS (Chassis mounted servo) if you are up to it.

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Axial SCX10 axles now under a Wraith cage with SCX10 shocks.

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When this project started it was AR60 axles and a wheelbase of 13.5 inches.
Now with custom links and SCX10 axles, it is now sitting at 11.75 inches.

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At this point you can mount your body and start all the scale building.

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At the beginning I mentioned I cut the interior out of a an Axial Deadbolt body (AX04039), I am now going to use the rear section as part of the build.

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A little fuel tube and a body reamer is all I am using here. Make sure the fuel tube fits in snug, you can use shoe goo or some adhesive of your choosing as insurance to make sure it stays in place.

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Axial tree AX80085B Part #3 clamped on the cage and Axial Trans cover tree AX80078 Part #3 makes a cool fuel door.

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You can add a spare tire, light bar or anything you can dream up at this point.

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Hopefully this blog has shown you how to create something new to you, or perhaps inspiration for something you wanted to do by mixing and matching Axial parts, cars, and kits to achieve that one-off custom built look. SAVE ALL YOUR PARTS AND EVERYTHING THAT COMES IN THE BOX! You never know what you can do until you try, so keep building and coming up with new ways to use parts.


Axial SCX10 II Based Custom Bronco

Build by Elio Dianda, words by Anthony Rivas

Starting with an Axial SCX10 II Jeep Cherokee (AX90047) you can choose the body you want to run. Trim out the body to check fitment and wheelbase. Be sure to check where  body posts will mount and also for any clearance issues with suspension movement.20170319_095916 (Custom)

While the body is still clear/unpainted and no masks, I find it’s best to start mock-up. Drill any holes that may need drilled for scale accessories and fit bumpers that may require body trimming. Here Elio has custom made a functioning swing away tire carrier, using Square solid stock. 20170319_154757 (Custom)

If you’re a fabricator or simply have some imagination, you can fit details like exhaust.This exhaust is welded to the chassis, just under the shock tower. A benefit to this hobby is you get to build your truck the way you imagine it. 20170319_162545 (Custom) 20170319_175721 (Custom)

You may change your mind about your build as you see it come together. Elio decided to remove the top and even go a step further with doing an in cab cage.

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Some 3/16 030 wall tubing, some shop tools like a bender and a mig welder help this all come together. 20170409_144617 (Custom) 20170409_144603 (Custom) 20170409_152952 (Custom)20170321_183457 (Custom)

Still keeping everything clear until you have finished all your test fitting. For some of you this maybe stuff you know, for all of you new guys to the hobby feel free to ask questions if you get stuck on a project. We all started somewhere.20170409_170419 (Custom)20170322_172240 (Custom)

After some paint you get to stand back and admire your work. You may feel you need more details or you may be satisfied.  20170322_185600 (Custom) 20170409_170355 (Custom)

A scotch brite pad, drill bits and some primer, you can add some decay and rust.20170409_170936 (Custom)20170324_184145 (Custom)

Elio painted the tubework and added some scale details to his interior bringing this old school Bronco to life. The Axial Ammo Can is a nice touch. 20170409_171034 (Custom)20170324_184230 (Custom)

Watch for this Axial SCX10 II on the trails at AxialFest. Hopefully this has given you some ideas for your builds. The Axial SCX10 II is a very capable out of the box set up, so you can focus on being creative with your scaler.

Axial SCX10 II Jeep Cherokee RTR

Axial Ammo Can





Scale Detailing Your RTR Part 2



The last time you saw this Honcho RTR, it had some noticeable changes to the exterior. If you missed the first part of this blog, you can check it out here. If you added those details on your vehicle, hopefully yours now stands apart from the rest. Now its time to add an interior and a few other details to complete the look.


This was my Axial Dingo I ran for a while, I keep some of my old bodies for this exact reason. What reason you ask? Well, myself and I’m sure hundreds of others do this.


Some of our RC bodies go under the knife, well body scissors actually. One of the coolest things about Axial bodies is that they have an interior that can easily be put into another body.


This Axial Dingo is the donor for the Honcho RTR project. This is where you can really get creative. You have almost limitless options, I am just going to show you a basic way to get started. You can paint this to match or make it custom. I would suggest painting it with a matte or satin, doing this helps sell the overall look in my opinion. The silver works for this project so I am not going to paint it.

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Obviously you will need to make it fit. My starting point is always the dash, as most people will notice the dash before they notice the extra cab.

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I always trim the interior to be bigger at first, then I’ll start fine tuning it on the fitment.


These interiors always seem to fit so well, like I said, myself and others have been doing this for years. If you’re not a scratch building styrene expert yet, I wouldn’t worry too much. You can still be scale on the trail with this. Don’t go right to installing it just yet, this is where you get to be creative.


I am going to add a driver. There are a number of places you can get a driver. Expect to pay $10 to $30 dollars, possibly more if you want a seriously scale action figure. Things to know: some guys will skip this all together because they want a serious performance crawling RC. This is definitely a scale feature, but that’s what this project is about. Doing this will affect your COG (Center Of Gravity), and that’s why some do not do this. I however like the look and drive scale, so you are not likely to see me climbing a 3 foot vertical rock anytime soon. I drove competitively back in the 2.2 comp days and now I find more fun in this style. To each their own and do what you enjoy because this hobby should always be fun.


After you have spent your hard earned paycheck or allowance, break out the dremel and cut your new driver in half. You can also use a saw for this. There is not really a wrong way to do this, just keep test fitting him so he fits in the interior while inside the truck.


Here is my driver cut in half. Notice how much shorter he is in the picture below, so you may have to do some more trimming.

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Smear some trusty shoe goo on it (or whatever you like to use) and install your new driver.


I always like to add the steering wheel, so it has that scale appearance. It’s nice to have a few AXIAL AX80037 parts trees on hand; they have some cool extras on there like a choice of steering wheels, rifles, and mirrors. You can add anything you can think of, shifters, CB radio, GPS units etc.



I add some Shoe Goo on the dash and use the screws for middle of the Honcho cage pictured below to support the rear of interior.


Another cool Axial parts tree to check out is this one, AX31186. This parts tree has some Axial Ammo Cans. Who doesn’t want a scale Ammo Can? If you want to learn more about all the cool stuff you can find on Axial parts trees, check out this blog: Cool Bonus Accessories on Axial Parts Trees


Here are the 3 pieces to Axial Ammo Cans, and on the other end you can find these Long Horns.

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I am going to make 2 Ammo Cans to go on the bed of the Honcho RTR.

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I am going use this quick drying paint. It is Italian Olive with a satin finish. I couldn’t find it in a matte finish or I would have used it.


I am shooting it in pieces so I get a good coat of paint on the inside too. Once I get on a few good layers and it dries, I will partially assemble it.


I’ll do a few more layers while its partially assembled. Then I add the screws I am using and partially screw them in.



I partially screwed them in so I could hit them with some paint. Most Ammo Cans are all one color of military green. Don’t forget to paint the lid, top and bottom as well.


The picture below is my end product, well sort of.



Now I am going to use the PanPastel Weathering Kit. Used mostly on models and dioramas, it will also work perfectly for this project. You can also use paint, but this will be much easier.

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I am using the PanPastel art sponges to apply my weathering. This is a kit that has everything available. So let me show you how it works. Here is one pallet of colors pictured below and there are several different pallets of color available.

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I am going to start with the white, imagine how rusted items look, if they are worn they tend to go to the metal, so that’s where I will start.


Next I am going to go to a darker color. When doing rust like this, layers works best. Don’t be afraid or intimidated, you may surprise yourself.

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I’ll actually use lighter browns over the dark I have applied. You can see the results so far.


Next I will do the lid. Use the same technique with layers.

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Once you have what you think resembles rust, you are done. I am calling it good with this look. Results are pictured below.



I’ll do another one using paint. I am using the military paints in matte finish from a local Hobby store.

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Just this bit of flat yellow helps add to the look as well. I am doing a new looking can as well. Here are the ammo cans I did pictured below. A new look, a military look, a rusted can with PanPastel, and a rusted can with modeling paints. The paint colors are brown, light brown, rust and silver. I also diluted the browns with paint thinner so its transparent. Expect a lot of wait time on paints drying, a day is optimal, especially using thinner.

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Here are the ammo cans on the RTR Honcho project. Not done yet though, I’m am going to add another small detail while I have the paints out.


I am going to use the stock Axial wheel caps, these work with quite a few wheels.


Here I am using model paints in silver and red. You can make some scale hubs for under $10.



Paints are still out, so I’m also going to hit the rear with a few dots of silver on the bolts. Pretty good look if you ask me. Yes there are aluminum hubs out there available. I even have some, but I love to see people create and use their imagination.


Hopefully you found this inspiring and got some ideas of things you may want to do on your scale rig. One of the best parts of the hobby is making it your own, the other part to that, is for all of us to see it.


Maybe I will get to see your scale rig out on a trail. If not make sure you share your pics and builds on Axial’s Facebook. I am always a fan, so I’ll be surfing the page for your cool builds. Thanks for checking out the RTR Project and scale on!

Tire Modification



I’m sure most of you have a few old tires laying around. Maybe there are some that you ran a few times, but they didn’t perform how you wanted them too. Tires are one of those things that are really a preference for most. Some guys swear by their tires. I think it has a lot to do with foams, set up, compound, and your terrain.


Well if you have some tires that you are not using for whatever the reason or if you just want to do something different, this may give you some ideas. I am a fan of the Axial Maxxis Trepadors and I have a couple of sets, so I am going to experiment with them and show you this modification process.

Tools and parts you will need:

- Tires (any will work)

- Dremel with cut off wheel

- Wheels

- Wheel weights (optional)



A dremel and a cut off wheel is all I am using. For me a higher rpm seems to really clear out the groove quick and clean.


One pass and I opened the pattern up considerably. You can go smaller or bigger, that is one of the cool things about this. I will also run a factory set of Axial Maxxis Trepadors as well as my modified set. I will record this and give you my opinion of if it really helped or if it just looks cool.


Another pass and I am going to open the other side. You can do something simple like this and stop. Just run it and see what you think. You can immediately see the difference in the picture below.



I am going to open the center cuts in the middle of the tires. You can compare my cuts to the stock factory version and see how much I am opening the tread pattern.



I have gone this far, so I am going to open the horizontal grooves on the small lugs. Just a quick hit with the dremel on these and you’re done.


Well here is my cut beside the factory version. It looks more aggressive for sure, but I am not sure if that translates into better performance. If I had to offer a tip on this, it would be take your time. It’s not hard, but its not quick either. This is 15 to 30 minutes a tire, depending on your skill level. You can squeeze the tire to see your work better, while you are cutting.


To make this a fair comparison I am running 3 oz aluminum wheels, with tape weights on the fronts. Here in Las Vegas this is common because we have some close to vertical climbs. I am going to use the stock Axial foams that come in these tires.




If you have never done weights on your wheels, I can tell you these are just tape weights from a local tire store. Some local Hobby stores actually carry these. Simply peel the backing and wrap it around your wheel. This works on plastic wheels as well.



If you keep the weights in the center this will help you out. You don’t want it to interfere with the beadlocks or anything.



So here is the cut version all mounted up. They look like a new tire at first glance.



Here is the factory version all mounted up.


Now to take these out on some terrain and see how they work. I am going to take them to Logandale and see how they do on sandstone and a little sand. I chose this area to see how they grab onto loose terrain. We will see if modification helped or just changed the look.

So here is the first run out at Logandale. I am going to run each line 5 times, I am posting the best run on video for you to check out. It’s not about the set up; I want the tires to do all the work.

After the first run, I think it’s fair to say the modified tires grabbed the rock more quickly than the factory tires. Though I should tell you that with momentum, both tires made this climb relatively easy. I am crawling it to see how the tires work.

On this second run I will go up an uneven climb, and some loose sandstone, almost like shale.

After the second run I feel the modified tire was again able to grab the rock a little better in some situations. These are the best of 5 runs. I am running an Axial 55T motor, Axial AE-5, with a 2S lipo to ensure smooth steady power at low speeds. On the loose terrain, the very first run was the best pass for the factory tire. As the track wore down it slipped more. Although the modified tire slipped as well, it consistently drove the same in deteriorating conditions. Next I will run in some deep sand with a slight incline.

After running in the sand, I can say when I buried the tires to the point of no more forward progress, both tires were able to reverse and get themselves out. I feel the factory tire did better consistently. If you notice, the factory tire stayed on the sand better. The modified tire almost had the differentials on the sand every run. With lower power, the modified tires wanted to dig. With big power I am sure that maybe it’s fine, but this was with a 55T motor, so advantage factory tire. On this last little run I am going to the rocks of Lone Mountain Park here in Las Vegas.

So after this run I think the negative spacing and cross cuts on the lugs helped out. The factory tires wanted to spin a lot on the vertical flat climb and the modified tires went up easier. The last climb was a vertical climb just so I could see what the modified tires would do. I was impressed.


So what can you take away from this? Maybe you need to break out those old tires and see what you can create. I hope this inspired you to try something new, create your version, and just enjoy what you have. This technique would work great on Axial RTR tires as well. You might end up creating some great working custom tires.

Scale Detailing Your RTR



I am pretty sure you all have some old bodies sitting around. It seems like everyone who gets an Axial RTR tends to take the body off and change it out, just to be different. Hopefully this will help give you ideas to make your RTR body different. This is not really about being precise, its more about a complete look, so don’t be afraid to mess up.


I put on different stickers to make mine look different, then I cut the rear cage just to change it up a bit. Now I am going to go back to running this body as I have always been a fan of the Axial Honcho.


This is pretty stock other than a cut rear cage, a few stickers, and plenty of scratches.

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There are definitely a few ways do this. You can use a heat gun, a hair dryer, a wood burning tool, and so on. Here I am going to use a lighter. I like scale, so I am not looking to make huge dents. You will see that lexan gets glass smooth when its hot. I just used the back of a wooden paint brush to create the dent below. Try not to use round objects; there are not too many dents with perfect shapes, so keep that in mind.


You can see where I dented the pillar. It’s not a crushing blow, but a noticeable dent.


While looking at this I am going to do away with some of the scratches on the windshield. I cut along the black molding on the sticker and under windshield banner. You can also remove windshield banner if you like. You can use an exacto knife or razor blade.


Simply peel away the clear sticker on windshield and here is what you get.


Some of the scratches are deep and went through the sticker, but that’s fine. You can incorporate those scratches in this next step.


Take your exacto knife and start scratching some cracks in the lexan to give that broken glass appearance. For darker or bolder cracks just hit the same spot twice. I started a small and tight pattern before going into the bigger cracks.


Pictured above is small pattern I started with, picture below is how it looks finished.



Going back to the dents, I am going to scratch off paint from the inside. Again, there are several ways to do this and there really isn’t a wrong way to do this. Here I used a body reamer to start. try to leave some of your existing paint in the dented area.


I am using some silver model paint. It may not look like it shows up too well, but after the next step you should be able to see it better. Try not to paint all of the scratched surface silver, you will need to add some brown for rust.


It may not look noticeable yet, but it will. You can also scratch the surface again if you feel like you want to add more.


After the silver, I added a few new scratches with a dremel, then covered it all with brown paint.



Now maybe you can see it a little better.


I added another dent, I went over this one with a Dremel. Same as before, I will add some silver, then cover it in brown. If you do not like how it looks don’t be afraid to go back and hit it again.


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I am happy with the dents, but I don’t think the window would look fine after hits like those. Time to put the cutting wheel on the dremel. You can also cut the windows with a body reamer and body scissors.


If you want you can use a scrap piece and make a template of your window. You can use the template to set it how you want the glass to look. I start by cutting it to the height I want.


I always just rough cut it to start and will clean it all up at the end.


I want the window like its off the track, so this is an example of how you would use a template. Set the template next to the body like it’s your window so you can get that scale look and keep the right shape.


I clean it all up with a sanding wheel on a dremel and an exacto knife.

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Don’t forget to peel away the sticker on the side window.



Here is the body reamer method of removing windows.


Ream a hole and then use your body scissors to cut it out. Again I will clean it up with a dremel, exacto, or razor blade.

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After looking at this, I feel it needs some dents showing what that would break out this window.


I dent it with the lighter and the handle of wooden paint brush. Then I Dremel some paint off like before, add silver paint, and then the brown.

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Now I get some duct tape and cut a corner off of a trash bag.


Rough cut the bag to the size of back window frame.


I cut the duct tape to a scale size and tape it inside and out for the look I want. This works on any body, so be creative and create the look you want.

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Now for the cage. I cut my cage down; I have this spare Axial Dingo cage so I am going to use it make a rear section for this Honcho.


I start by cutting it down. I left the plastic gusset section for aesthetics.

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I drill some holes so I can attach this cage to my existing cage.

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Once I attach the front section, I simply drill on the underside to attach the rear. I missed my mark the first time, but I don’t think you will notice it when it’s done.

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Once I attach the rear section, I am looking at the parts I have left from the Dingo cage. I have an idea…


I like the look of this section so I am cutting it to use it.

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Looks good to me so I will just keep trimming it to fit. I am using a dremel with a cutting wheel.


I have drilled a hole through the tubing to attach the new piece I will use.


If you counter sink the screw, it will not stick out and it almost looks like it’s made this way.

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Here is a tip for you. It’s very hard to drill into a round tube, so start it with a body reamer and you will find it’s much easier.


So I have my new piece in, held in place by screws in the bottom. I am not digging the old spare tire placement though. Maybe its overland meets racing.

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I like this look a lot better. On your build feel free to try new and different things. That is one of the great things about this hobby.


Even though I changed the cage and the way the spare tire sits, I feel it still needs more to be different.



I break out the dremel once again. I am going to remove all the paint from one fender. I want to do it on the wrecked side.

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You can also do this with sand paper, or I know some people use chemicals like Nitro fuel or store bought products, but I want a rough look.


Once I have my paint removed, I will mask it off and paint it. Make sure you mask the windows too.

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So here I have my black fender. It looks like its a flat black, almost like a replacement fender before the primer. You can do this on any body in any color. Pick any body panel or panels you want.


Looking at it more, I want to fill the voids under the bed towards the cab, so I’ll put a couple of scale items there to fill it in.


A scale propane tank and an old plug will work.


To secure it the propane tank, I drill a hole in the tank and run a screw through the top of the bed. You can use a spacer between the tank and bed for height adjustment.


You can see the screw head on the top of the bed. Cut the plug off the plug and use Shoe Goo to hold together each end of the wire. I used the body reamer to put a hole in the bed for the propane wire to feed through.

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Next, I will put dual batteries in the other side to fill the void. This is a short light bar mount from an Axial parts tree.


I heated the plastic and bent it. I will attach this the same way as the propane tank.



I want an expedition style look. I went to a local fabric store and bought this Tan cloth for a couple of dollars. I also bought some black elastic square chords.



I pinch the fabric between the body and cab.


Simply remove the screw that attaches the body to the cage and you can pull the cage away enough to get fabric in. Just put the screw through the fabric and back into plastic.

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Pinch the fabric on all four points of the cab, just as the first one.

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For the rear, I pinched the fabric under the rear portion of the new cage I added and the bed. I like the flat side look of the canvas, but I want the driver side to be different.


I simply cut the side so it looks rolled up.


I am not going to sew this or anything. I’ll just Shoe Goo the fabric together around the rear roll bar.

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I trimmed off the access pieces from the rear to clean it up. Again, I used Shoe Goo to glue the fabric to itself.


I am just screwing the fabric down on the rear, I am adding the flat elastic cord and pinching it down with a screw.


I drilled two holes and attached the elastic cords to the top. This does nothing; it’s purely for looks.

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For the open side I am tying a knot to the roll bar on the bottom.


Next, I drill a hole (using a body reamer first) in the top roll bar for the elastic cords to attach to.

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I tie the cords to screws and trim off access.

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I’m satisfied with the overall look, but I need some contrast with the spare.

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I have this mount I got from JRC (Judd Rummage Concepts) and I bought some red ribbon. I used this set up on my Axial SCX10 Chevy Baja build.



I like it. The spare is pinched in by the cage and it’s pretty snug.

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I can add some scale items or do whatever I want with this side.


Here’s another tip - if you use a sharpie to make the body lines, you know it’s sometimes hard to stay exactly on the lines. Don’t worry though, you can easily fix this. You can see where I went off the lines. Pictured above and below.

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Now it’s gone. Use some rubbing alcohol and a Q tip or rag and you can wipe it off. You can wipe it completely clean and try again or just remove the line you want gone.

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The lines just add to the overall look. It’s your build so it’s completely up to you. When it’s all done you should end up with a transformed body.


On Part 2 of this blog I will do a simple interior, driver, and some lights to complete this truck. Hopefully it was helpful or at least gives you some ideas. Don’t be afraid to try new things. We all start somewhere. If you’re new to the hobby or customizing, then you should know this is all about being creative and using anything that helps create what you envision.

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck – Rivas Concepts Long Term Testing



This is one of the first RTR version’s of Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Trucks out to the public.   I have had this truck since October 24th 2015.


The very first run Dominic Longoria and I took it to a local race track and did a short video.


This truck has been run a lot, I stopped counting after 48 battery packs. It has been a blast.

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Its been jumped, crashed, kind of abused. Hundreds of people have drove this very truck! It has been to a few events as a demo truck for people to drive, before it was released to market.

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It was driven by some random people and a few 1:1 MINT400 drivers. So it has some miles on it for sure. I have had a servo horn screw back out and then in the month of May it took a 10-foot drop breaking the first part. So it has seen seven months of total abuse.  If you drive hard or abuse your trucks, parts will break and you may get away with it once or twice, but its flirting with the breaking point. I have heard people say these are designed to be abused so they shouldn’t break… Umm, I disagree and agree… While I do agree this rig is designed for abuse, I don’t agree that it shouldn’t break. That would mean that some parts are going to be way too soft. Breakage is something that is going to happen. It’s all a sliding scale as you don’t want it too hard or too soft. This truck has been driven pretty hard by lots of people and it stayed together beyond my initial expectation. Its taken a lot of abuse and It took a big drop to break it.



So here it sits at AXIALFEST 2016. This truck has never had any maintenance done. I do not recommend this at all, but I am going for a true longevity test. The wheels have never even been taken off. Zero upgrades and none of the parts have ever been changed out.

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While at AXIALFEST2016 Johnathan Schultz said it was dirty, I said its never been worked on. He took it as a challenge and stripped this bad boy down.

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Transmission dropped out along with a few debris and about to be opened for the very first time.

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Everything still looks good! I was expecting a completely dry transmission and some metal shavings. 48+ battery packs and tons of desert dust berms, I’m impressed!

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It did managed to get some dust in the receiver compartment, but Las Vegas has some seriously silty areas, so I expected this to be a lot dirtier.



I think you can tell how much run time and or abuse this truck has seen! The control arms and pan tell the stories of all the good times this rig has given.


Again I am shocked, the front diff still has grease.


There is no visible damage when the front end is opened.

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The internals of the rear diff still look really good. If you only knew how many hours of drive time this drivetrain has seen.


“It might be a racer thing,” Johnathan stated as he took apart every nut and bolt to clean it. But I was also reminded of a rumor I once heard about Johnathan’s father taking apart ScottG’s rig in the middle of a race to help him. Something about half in the garbage and the other half in a cardboard box and handed back to him and their heat was about to start… so I watched Johnathan like a hawk! I want this rig up and running to continue this long term test.

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It’s down to the floor pan. Now comes the cleaning.


Some simple green, brush, and lots of elbow grease. This little venture has worked well into the night. Since we are at AXIALFEST2016 as part of the early crew setting up, we have a downtime in the evenings and we are just R/C 247′ing up!

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Looks so much better than from when we started.


The rear axle is cleaned and put back together.


Transmission looks like knew, its hard to believe it looks this good after all its been through. It spins smooth, no squeaks, or noises.



Stock ESC, servo, and motor going back in.

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If you scroll back to the top of the page you can see what a difference this is. One thing I will recommend if doing this, get new bearings before you do it. We replaced a few plastic ball ends, simply because they were worn and had some slop. Put shocks back in same position as stock, and I have added some 30 weight oil to the shocks, not full, just enough to lube them.

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My thoughts on the Axial Yeti Trophy Truck.
I’ve really truly enjoyed driving this thing! It reacts and moves how I imagine a real SCORE Trophy Truck would. But hey, that’s the fun of R/C! The rear suspension drop is awesome to watch in action! It handles well out of the box, I couldn’t recommend this as a track truck, but I am not a track racer. The rear locker is fantastic off road, not sure if that’s beneficial on a track. I would recommend a higher pinion for a little more speed. If you purchase this for kids it’s plenty fast, 3S is the way to go. I have heard people are ripping the lexan bodies after a while, I had a wrap done on mine from SOR.Racing and you can see mine has not ripped or torn. Axial also has the Retro Bodies available. I have owned other trucks and you can only go fast so many times and jump so many things before you get bored. This is so scale I run it all over and don’t lose interest. It’s still fun because of how it runs and reacts as a whole.

It was definitely the “reset button” on 1/10 scale off road trucks in my opinion! When “short course” trucks came into the market there has been two groups of people who were attracted to the segment, but things change and transition as a natural progression. One group has almost transitioned back to what racing was prior to the short course trucks.

The other group are those who saw this as inspiration for the next step in scale progression with a live solid axle like the full size big desert racing machines called TROPHY TRUCKS! A Trophy Truck is NOT a short course truck! So thank you AXIAL for recognizing the difference and containing to appeal to the scale enthusiast!

While it took Axial a while to get here, it was a risky move as a business in the public face of R/C short course racing. It’s been funny to watch as most want to categorize the Yeti TT as a short course truck, that it is NOT! This rig offers everyone that same chance to hit the “RESTART BUTTON” on FUN! This is just like what short course trucks did when they came onto the market. For the scale community, this is our truck and the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck is a MUST OWN truck!

In Axial we trust, scale we must!
Just my opinion,
Rivas Concepts

Rally Inspired Wraith™ Spawn Build



I started with the Axial Wraith Spawn Rock Racer KIT version.


Once you start building the KIT, everything will remain the same as per the instructions. The exception will be on the front bumper. I will show you why.


Axles are stock and built as instructed. I am running a stock drivetrain under this build, I wont use brushless or a fast turn motor. I plan on an Axial 27t with 3s.

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Just like the axles, the transmission is built stock per the instructions. To be honest the only real upgrade I have ever needed is the Axial metal gears. that was with a brushless motor.


Onto the cage. Everything goes together as instructed except for the front bumper. I have a different plan so I built it up to that point.



You can see why I don’t want the normal front bumper. When trimming the body I left the fender flares on and even sections below to look like mud flaps. On the front section I left some lexan below the formed bumper like an air dam.


I bought some 1/4″ conduit from a local auto parts store. I will use this for a snorkel.


I ordered an Intercooler and an oil cooler for a drift car.


I also used the Axial universal 5 bucket light bar.


I want three lights, so I cut this bar down. I need the ends form both sides, so one light on one end piece, two lights on the other, giving me three. I put them back together with Axial M3x20mm set screws and a dab of shoe goo. I drilled a hole in both sides to be connected, threaded the set screws opposite sides, one top one bottom, then pushed them together with a dab of shoe goo in the center.



Simply line up all pieces where you want them to fit. Make sure to do this while body is clear, you can do it after painted, but it is much more difficult. On the snorkel you can use a body reamer, ream hole to the desired width and slide conduit in. You can hold it in place with Shoe Goo. The way I did it was use an Axial Gas tank accessory plate, put a spacer in conduit and fasten with a screw from the bottom.


Once everything is installed you can remove accessory pieces and mask it off for paint.

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After painting underside black, I took an exacto knife and trimmed off the protective film from the outside, on fenders and air dam. I then painted it on the outside with flat black.


I left the lights clear, this KIT comes with lexan light buckets, so I can come back later and add working lights. I am in a bit of a hurry so I just put the stickers on for now.


After all your paint work is done and you install your decals you can install your accessories once again.


For the top of the snorkel I used an Axial wheel cap, held in place with Shoe Goo.


To keep the upper portion of snorkel in place, I used one side of the Axial pillar post from the light bar. Then fastened it in place with screws and a small black zip tie around the conduit. The pillar post mount is on parts Tree AX80130



For the oil cooler lines I used fuel line for a Nitro RC and 2 small zip ties. I used one piece of fuel line and ran it through the body, fastening on both ends of oil cooler.


I mounted the light bar with brackets pictured below. Part #8 on parts on tree AX80085B


 Part tree AX80085B



I mounted light bar to hood with the short arms pictured below.


Part #2 on Axial part tree AX80085A


To mount the body I used the holes at front corners of the cage. Pictured below uou can see I found some pieces to thread in that accept body clips.


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Another small detail touch. The gas decal is from an Axial Honcho bed sticker sheet. I also used an axial transmission bearing cover to act as a Fuel cap. Ream a hole into window and insert in transmission bear cover. Part tree AX80051 part #7.


Add your wheels and when its done it should have a rally inspired look. The mud flaps are part of the lexan, when I trimmed the body I cut lexan to look like mud flaps.

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How To: Add A Reverse Light


If you like scale or just want to add a cool feature, you can add this simple reverse light to your rig. You will need some wire and a bulb. There are many places you can find this, Radio Shack usually carries this or you can look online. Make sure the bulb you purchase is white or the color you want it to be.


I am using a resistor; what this does is control how bright the light will be when you put power the light. You do not need a resistor though as this can be done with out it.


I secure the bulb to the bumper first. In the end, I would rather trim the wire at the motor side vs trying to tie the wire up if it’s too long.

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The Axial C-Channel chassis is perfect for tucking wires away, a simple zip tie works fine.


After trimming the wires to length I use a little heat shrink. This is mostly for resistor. Heat shrink is not necessary if your not using a resistor.


Here is how it works. Solder the negative wire from the bulb to the positive side of motor.


Solder the positive side from bulb to the negative side of motor. DO NOT WORRY if you do this backwards, the only thing that will happen is the light will come one when you go forward. You will just flip the bulb wires at the motor. In some cases you may have to do this if you’re running your set up in reverse.


Once its wired up go ahead and power up your system, you may see it flash when you first put power to system.


Go ahead and hit reverse and you should now have a reverse light. If not trying going forward, if you get light going forward simply flip your bulb wires at the motor.


Your light may increase in brightness as you give it more throttle.


That’s it, you now have a simple functioning scale feature that’s pretty cool to see on the trail.