Words: Rodney Wills
Build Photos: Zoltan Cisk of Leo Workshop


I’ve always liked the DAKAR Rally and especially the big trucks and motorcycles competing in the event.


I’ve personally competed in rallies here in the USA on four wheels, so these other two ends of the extreme-spectrum excite me! If I was to compete in the DAKAR Rally, it would either be on the motorcycles or piloting one of the massive trucks!
We all have to dream, right!?


January is the annual start of the DAKAR Rally! The DAKAR Rally is the greatest offroad motorsport adventure race of all time! OK, maybe the Camel Trophy might rival DAKAR, that within itself can be a long debate. But, the DAKAR Rally, since 1979, is still a globally followed motorsport event happening still today! Put this into your thought processor, the DAKAR Rally is 13-days and over 5,000 miles! For physical size comparison, lets think about this for a moment as we in the USA/North America have the SCORE INTERNATIONAL BAJA1000 that is just that, a thousand miles from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Bring that state-side and that is roughly the distance from Seattle Washington to Los Angeles, California. The USA itself is 2,802 miles from Florida to Washington state! Now that you think about it like that, the DAKAR is like racing back and forth across the USA with some change left over. That’s two consecutive Gumball Rally’s!

But let’s add a twist!
Unimog-Nemesis-Red-Bull-KAMAZ-4911-Dakar-T4-Hero-31Being and R/C enthusiast and more poignantly, an 4X4 offroad enthusiast AND a especially an Axial SCX10 fan… trucks are a natural! The DAKAR Rally is very well known for the TRUCKS! Not these little Ford, Dodge, Chevy and Toyota things we call trucks here in the USA. We are talking names like MAN, IVECO, TARTA, DAF and KAMAZ! BIG TRUCKS in excess of seven thousand pounds worth of trucks! So the search began with Google “SCX10” and “Dakar” clicking on images will result quite a few very cool builds! That sat on the back burner for a while…

We have a friend from Austria, Daniel Siegl, as he is very involved in the R/C community over there… home to KTM! His family has been very connected to KTM motorcycles and KTM itself has been dominate in the motorcycle division of DAKAR. Thus, Daniel has loads of information on both KTM and the TRUCKS that support both my passion and intrigue! But that too is a whole other black hole… moving along.

Through our recent DAKAR discussions, he also showed me an Axial SCX10 based DAKAR truck built by Zoltan Cisk, who I met while attending the 2014 Austrian G6.
But lets first ask the question…

Why trucks in the DAKAR rally in the first place?
Because man is involved… No, not MAN the brand, but the species of human race. We will race anything and everything, so why not trucks?!

The DAKAR Rally does not allow “outside” help to the competitors within the race, only the competitors within the race can help one another. Therefore, if the race team has entered support trucks into the race itself, the trucks can haul all the allowed support items to help its other efforts in the other divisions; motorcycle, ATV, UTV, car, buggy, light duty SUV’s. But where there is man and competition, the big trucks will race to win! So, categories were developed. I’m sure at some point a team had a motorcycle in the race along with a support truck and the truck driver drove past his broken-down motorcycle colleague in effort to beat one of the other trucks as they were entangled in their own battle! This made for even more classifications to be added to the DAKAR Rally truck division!

The Truck class (T4), first run as a separate category in 1980, is made up of vehicles weighing more than 3,500 kg (7,716 lb). Trucks participating in the competition are subdivided into Series Production Trucks (Group: T4.1) and Modified Trucks (Group: T4.2), and Group T4.3 (formerly known as T5) trucks are rally support trucks – meaning they travel from bivouac* to bivouac* to support the competition vehicles.

Production Series Trucks – Group: T4.1
This is a full Race Truck with the primary mission to win the T4.1 Truck Category.

Modified Trucks – Group: T4.2
These are fast support trucks with the dual mission to race, but their job is to stop and help their motorcycle or car team mates.

Rapid Assistance Trucks Group T4.3, formally known as the T5 Class.
This class mission is for full support of the race team and travel at a “normal” pace from bivouac to bivouac.

OK, now that you have some background and classification on DAKAR Trucks, what does it take to get one… OK, dream on! So, lets get real… how about one-tenth the size?! The inspiration!  You too can race DAKAR! Bringing dreams to reality in scale form and scale cost too! But you do have to bring out more than JUST your checkbook or credit card. No, not JUST your PayPal either. Styrene & Xacto blades cost money and like any race vehicle, fabrication is involved, therefore its going to cost you time and elbow grease! But hey, you are building a race vehicle!

Our friend “LEO” Zoltan Cisk from Gödöllő, Hungary set out to build a DAKAR rally raid truck based on a Axial Racing SCX10 chassis. Leo started to build a “scratch built” body inspired by a REDBULL KAMAZ DAKAR Rally truck as seen in the “inspiration” above.

Take a look at the following pictures to get some insight on the process involved in building this unique masterpiece from the ground up or as we say, from scratch.2.planning2: With wheelbase measurements sorted, a flat image template is created on heavy card stock, based on the inspirational image above.

3: Styrene plates are made from the stencil. These are the rear panel side pieces.

4.3ddetailswork14: Three dimensional details such as wheel flares are made by cutting additional pieces of Styrene, sanding and glued into place.

5.backendwork25: Assembly of the panels starts to reveal the back portion of the truck.

6.shappingupCab6: It’s a labor of love and the practice of patience. But hey, you are building a RACE TRUCK!

7.GrillDetailwork47: The tedious intricate patience of grill work, much like dental work! A steady hand is a good thing!

8.FinalFitmentwork58: Finally, all the bits, pieces and panels are all assembled to resemble your dream truck!

9.fitmentPreview9: Test fitment on the Axial SCX10 chassis and anticipation builds!

10.PaintWork10: Auto paintwork please!

11.FullPaintDetails11: With the paintwork done, next comes striping and window details in place.
Next comes the flavor!

12.logoapplication OH! You are a factory team!13.FrontProfile Now that we are looking very factory! It’s time…14.DSCF8451 15.DSCF8457

17.DSCF878516: Now to sneak off and do some testing before you meet up with your friendly rivals!

18.Leo's-workshopThank you Leo’s Workshop for sharing these images and thank you for choosing Axial SCX10 for your chassis of choice!

                                    ••••MORE DAKAR••••
Extended reading in English about Gerard De Rooy’s IVECO Powerstar T4 and all the detailed undercarriage and interior photos!

More about the DAKAR Rally History:

A great video with great truck coverage • Dakar Syndrome from RaceFace S&M:

Leo Workshop’s Original thread:


bivouac* pronounced ˈbivo͞oˌak or in my Bama’engrish, “biv-o-wack”
The word bivouac is French and ultimately derives from an 18th-century Swiss German usage of beiwacht (bei by, wacht watch or patrol).

A bivouac shelter is any of a variety of improvised camp sites such as those used in scouting and mountain climbing. It may often refer to sleeping in the open with a bivouac sack, but it may also refer to a shelter constructed of natural materials like a structure of branches to form a frame, which is then covered with leaves, ferns, and similar material for waterproofing and duff (leaf litter) for insulation. It is sometimes called a bivvy for short.