If you’ve spent any time at all on Youtube perusing the endless uploads of radio control videos, you’ve most likely stumbled upon a video or two or more from the Hemistorm RC channel. The man behind Hemistorm, Chris De Graaf is truly passionate about the radio control hobby. His channel has skyrocketed in popularity thanks to his unique model builds, enthusiasm, awesome action clips and unfiltered commentary. Hemistorm is always on point with his RC reviews and took a bit of a different direction when the AX90060 SCX10 II™ 2017 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited CRC landed on his workbench. First he did the somewhat standard overview approach video, but what he did in his next video, not many saw coming. He started customizing the rig to suit his style before it even touched dirt! Photos and video were posted online and many Axial fans went wild over the customization. Best part was, the modifications cost less than $50. This shows that with a little creativity, you can bring your Axial model to the next level in style without breaking the bank. We caught up with Hemistorm and convinced him to send some detail photos of the build while it was in progress. Check out how easy it is to customize your machine and we hope it inspires you to start a custom project of your own.
So how did Hemistorm create his custom rig? Most of the custom work was done with just one tool; a hobby knife. Hemistorm, carefully planned out the customization, trying to take into account how a real roof looks on a JK and used a marker to trace out his cut lines.
After he was confident of the areas to cut, he simply scored the body with the hobby knife multiple times and “snapped” the Lexan pieces apart. A section of the roof and rear glass sections were completely removed.
Next it was time to test fit the rear cap in its new location. A few tweaks needed to be made for a better fit. A narrow triangle of lexan was removed from the rear cap for a better fit.
Once the cap was set into place, Hemistorm turned his attention to filling in the rear section with a spare tire and a deck. To fill in the space, he used the rear section of a Pro-Line Cherokee interior set.
After the deck was set, something was still missing. Hemistorm then did what many do, see what you have on hand to give your machine a custom look. He grabbed the cage from his Axial Dingo and cut a section off to act as a rear cage. A little bit of drilling, custom mounting and the end result is a cool custom look.
Finally when the custom fitting was complete, Hemi moved onto the finishing work, adding vents to the hood, painting the roof, painting graphics on the sides, painting the deck and adding some scale accessories. The end result is a unique AX90060 rig that will turn heads on the trails.
Get all the details on this build from Hemistorm as he goes through the process of creating his custom Jeep Wrangler Unlimited CRC Edition SCX10 II.
The Ultra4 Racing team of Desert Turtle Racing has a few Axial fans in their group. Myself, for one, just happens to be lucky enough to work for Axial. After attending AxialFest 2016 and competing in the Altra Ultra5k with a bone stock RR10 RTR, I was eager to build up my own RR10 in preparation for my next Altra Ultra5k. With a little downtime from working on the full-scale rig I was able to put together a DTR themed RR10 Bomber Chassis. The RR10 Kit has some awesome features and makes for a great starting platform. I opted to add some pretty cool option parts and electronics to give it a little extra kick.
In Ultra4 Racing, one of the must-have items is a 2-speed T-Case, giving this rig a little more realism. I added the Axial 2-Speed Transmission components to give the rig some great low-speed gearing and some “haul the mail” top end – all shiftable with the Tactic TTX300.
I added a few final touches to try and give it a bit more scale looks; ammo cans, painted fuel cell, fuel filler hose and some key interior stickers.
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.
I really like the hood scoop, dovetail, and I truly love this green! It’s a perfect platform to start with in my opinion.
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.
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.
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.
After removing the Poison Spyder front bumper, I am looking really hard at the front grill.
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.
I drilled the center posts of grill and I reamed the holes to the appropriate size. Also marking the headlights with a sharpie.
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.
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.
After simply holding the rear bumper where I want it to fit, I mark it with a sharpie and drill the mounting holes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A couple of Sharpies I purchased should do the trick. I am putting white down first.
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.
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.
As I mentioned before, I like using parts from other cars. Can you guess what part this is by the outline?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Well I installed the lens inserts and lens covers on the Axial light buckets on the bumper.
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!
The repositioned battery tray is a huge gain for climbs, and I love how the wheels and details pop when its outside.
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 http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax90044 !
Axial Parts Used:
AX80117 Axial Ridgecrest bumpers
At #AXIALFEST2016, the Altra Ultra Challenge was one of the most talked-about races at the event. Big time rock junkies came out to race 8 laps around the zig-zaggy campground course – the final mileage total was a whopping 5K! It built quite a bit of interest, so much so that Casey Currie decided to build up another rig for this year’s event!
Casey competed last year and placed 3rd overall, a pretty fantastic feat considering the competition! He did say that it was a bit more strenuous than he expected, but had a fantastic time and would be back.
Here’s a few pix of his horse and a parts list at the bottom. If you’re at AXIALFEST and have a chance, stop by the Axial booth and check out this wicked ride!
Custom Built Axial 6X6 by John Keifer Jr.
words & photos: Rodney Wills
I previously posted the above image with this statement on my Facebook page:
I’ve never ran a 20-gallon 2S tank in a event before. I’m actually not much of a TTC/event guy, I’m more of a 50-gallon 3S adventure type. Plus, this is a new rig too, so I’m not use to all the functional details and I’ve yet to install my old 4-bar Team FastEddy fuel-gauge. Anyhow, I went exploring the back forty of the Team KNK R/C Farm and ran out of electro-juice. Had to call a 6X6 wrecker service! Luckily John Keifer Jr. of Dad’s Trucking had his CB on during the event. He was at the same event, so the dispatch office called him and came to my rescue from Poison Oak forest. I was super impressed with his rig so look for a vehicle feature on the Axial blog soon’ish!
I couldn’t get this rig out of my head, so check out the following photos I took during that trip and a few details about John Keifer Jr. and his awesome looking – meticulously detailed – custom built Axial SCX10 6X6!
And check the little video we shot as well.
JOHN KEIFER Jr.
John got his first hobby grade R/C roughly around 1985. It was a Tamiya Falcon buggy. From there, Keifer Jr. has owned all makes, models and forms of cars and trucks. And John has spent his fair share of time racing off-road outdoors and indoor carpet racing. But like many, John took a little break from R/C when his family expanded with siblings added. As both kids got old enough to enjoy the hobby, John got got back into it along with getting his kids into the hobby as well!
The scale crawler scene is what really drew him back in and when the time came, the family purchased a couple Axial SCX10 Deadbolts and it all escalated from there! Then a Cassie Curry SCX10 was added and his son recently purchased an SCX10-2 KIT at the KNK TTC4. He assembled it himself and has it running.
John, like most grown adult men, love big trucks and work semi’s. But he wanted to build a flatbed hauler to haul their scale trail trucks around at events. For John, The SCX10 platform was an easy choice for a “budget” winter build to allow time for buying and trading of parts to acquire all the items needed.
I asked John about the Dad’s Trucking company decal on the door and asked him, what’s the story on that? John knows a graphic designer who makes all of his scale decals and license plates. He did his research on trucking company door decals for reference as he wanting something that looked like an old school trucking company. It was John’s idea for Dad’s Trucking as he stated, “I seem to be the one building and maintaining all of our family’s rigs!” The 419 in the number is his local area code to keep it realistic. Once he had it sorted what he wanted, his graphic artist worked out the details and went with it.
When asked, what was the most difficult part of building his 6X6, John stated the most difficult part was getting the links and suspension to function properly and somewhat scale. It is not competition crawler but it can hold its own on a trail course. And tow one home too!
• MOTOR: Dynamite 35 turn crawler motor. It’s what he had it laying around.
• ESC: Tekin FXR is handling the motor control.
It has a Castle CC BEC set at 7.2volts.
• SERVO: Hitech HS-646WP servo handles the steering.
• Holmes winch controller powers the Warn 9.5 TI winch on the flatbed.
• Front Axle: Stock Axial with Vanquish Products Aluminum C-Hubs and 8 degree steering arms.
• Middle Axle: Stock Axial (albeit using two axles to produce the through axle) is running Vanquish Products aluminum lockouts.
• Rear Axle: Stock Axial with HR aluminum lockouts.
• Front and rear LED running lights and head & taillights. Jonathan Baskins built  two-way light controllers to turn lights on/off from a hacked Flysky GT3B with Flysky 6-channel RX.
Juiced by a 1000mah 3S lipo.
• ESS ONE+ sound unit . Diesel engine sound and third Channel horn from the TX.