2011 SEMA Show – Bender Edition

As most of you know, Axial attended the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada recently. We had been secretly working with some strategic technical partners to give a sneak peek at the show of our latest vehicle, the Exo. Since Axial is predominantly known for making R/C crawlers, the release of the Exo was a big surprise to the general public because it was so vastly different then our previous vehicles. So, a handful of us made the trip to SEMA to witness the reactions and get some first hand feedback. This was my first trip to SEMA, and it was amazing to say the least. There is so much to see, that it is tough to cover everything. We were only in town for a few days, and barely scratched the surface of what SEMA had to offer. Armed with my camera and a backpack, I ventured out into the sea of people and shiny metal components. Here are a few of the photos I snapped along the way.

Cool low-rider Dually……

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

…..with some serious chariot-like wheel spikes.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got to love green and black.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

They had a drift track set-up in an empty parking lot. Spectators could take a ride along with them if they wanted.

SEMA---Brad-017

If you are into Jeeps, like me, there was no shortage of eye candy at the show.

SEMA---Brad-024

A few more shots outside on the first day.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Sweet Overland Journal JK, with integrated roof rack tent.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another sweet 4 door Jeep JK.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More random goodness from inside.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got milk?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Our first stop was at the Griffin booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

What do we have here?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Raw metal and carbon fiber together just looks cool.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Wilwood booth

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Wilwood Wraith

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Cool Jeep pick-up.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Shannon Campbell’s rock racer, IFS front and solid axle rear. I have seen this rig in action a few times at King of the Hammers, and it’s just sick!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Tron Audi built by West Coast Customs

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Raceline wheels booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Raceline Wraith was on display too.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More randomness…..

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Walker Evans wheels.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Custom 4 door Jeep JK 6X6 pick-up………..say that 10 times in a row as fast as you can.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Next stop was the Icon Vehicle Dynamics booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another custom JK build. Not really my style, but I can appreciate the time that went into it.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Dana Spicer booth. If you are looking for tough off-road axles, most people start here.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got driveshafts?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There were tons of cool trucks to drool on at the show as well.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Or maybe old Broncos are your thing?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

How about an old school Bronco built to play in the desert? One of my favorite vehicles from the show.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More desert vehicles.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Cool Jeepspeed build.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There were a few sand-rails on display too.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More photos from around the show.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

After lunch we ran into a couple of Rodney’s old friends, Dennis and Ryan Anderson.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Chevy displayed several variations of their new Sonic. I have to admit for a small car, these things are pretty cool.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got ear plugs?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another one of Rodney’s old friends/co-workers Andy Williamson (right), he is one of the masterminds behind the Chevy Sonic display.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I even managed to spy a few nice full suspension mountain bikes, another one of my hobbies.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Giant’s Reign X1. I have a 2010 X2 at home.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More random shots……

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I don’t remember the ice cream truck in our neighborhood looking anything like this when I was a young lad. Kids these days have it made!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More Jeep based vehicles.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

My favorite Jeep from the show, AEV’s 4 door JK pick-up.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Next we went by the Hankook booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Does this tread pattern look familiar?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

A little F1 action, Kimi Raikkonen’s Mercedes.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More spy shots…… not very often you see a Ferrari that isn’t red.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There was an immense number of wheels on display.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I think they made these custom for either Liberace or Elton John.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

My last stop for the day was the Turn Key booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Even Charlene, the Turn Key model, couldn’t keep her hands of the Exo.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Woah, my feet and back were beat after a few days!! Those are my highlights from the 2011 SEMA show. If you have never been, it is well worth the trip for anyone that considers themselves a gearhead.

Here’s one last little sneak peek for you guys……………..enjoy!!

Brandon’s Formula Offroad Build: Part 1

The latest buzz around Axial has come about after Bender introduced us to Formula Offroad. I was aware of this sport and always enjoyed watching the 1:1 videos, but it never really hit me to build a RC replica of one before. I am a huge fan of Scale RC, so anything I can get my hands on and modify to closely resemble the real thing just adds to the fun factor. The looks of the 1:1 formula offroad vehicles are a bit odd compared to what we normally see offroad in the states, but you can tell that they are built purely with performance in mind.

Take a look at Benders Blog Post for more info on Formula Offroad and his scale version:
Benders Formula Offroad Blog post

After seeing Bender’s build progress, I immediately started kicking ideas around for my own. I really liked the look/performance aspect of using the SCX10 as the base and had an old RCP Crawlers Wreckluse chassis that had been collecting dust for a few years… so I thought to myself, PERFECT!

Here is a picture of a stock RCP Wreckluse chassis with AX10 running gear under it. You can see it has more of a “Rock Crawler” look to it with the large stinger on the front.

Now that I had my starting point, I went out and searched for a 1:1 Formula Offroad Jeep to scale down the proportions from.  For me, Pirate4x4 is the ultimate source for full-size images and builds.

I was able to quickly find a CJ3 build that I really liked and decided that the overall look would fit my build perfectly. Jeep CJ3 Formula Offroad – Pirate4x4.com.

I wont be following that build exactly since the Wreckluse chassis comes with a modern jeep hood and the cage shape is slightly different, but it can give me a great reference for the overall wheelbase, axle location, and stance.

So here is my Wreckluse chassis stripped down and ready for some “slight” alterations!

From there, I started to take a look at what needed to be changed. First was get rid of the huge stinger. None of the 1:1 Formula Offroad rigs have anything beyond the front axle or body work. Then, I started to sort out the link lengths to get the axles positioned correctly and set the wheelbase. Here is my first mock up to get an idea of what needed to be changed on the cage.

Current parts list for the pics below:
AX10 Axles
Aluminum C’s, Knuckles, and straight axle adapters
AX10 Universal Joints
72-103mm Comp Shocks
AX10 Transmission
Axial Rockster 2.2 Beadlocks
Axial AX30714 7x73mm Threaded aluminum pipes
Axial XR10 Linkage Set
Axial 4 link Truss: AX80043 TR Links Parts Tree
Axial Spur Gear Cover: AX80078
Futaba S9157 Servo
Pro-Line Sand Paw Tires
Pro-Line Beadlocks
HPI Sand Thrower Tires
RCP Crawlers Wreckluse

From there it was obvious that even with the stinger removed the remaining tube work in front of the grill/hood also needed to be removed. The old bracing from the bottom of the stinger needed to be modified as well, with the low stance the front links/axle were interfering with the Wreckluse chassis.

So here is the updated chassis, looks a little “stubby” and tall now. Isn’t that how its supposed to look though? I’m sure it will grow on me.

Thinking ahead I added this tube in the back of the cage for a rear sway bar.

Now I could have just painted the chassis and called it good, but I felt it was important to leave it raw and finish the build. This way, after driving it for the first time I could easily tear it down and make any modifications to the cage without having to strip any paint off.  So I moved forward and started assembling everything.

In the following pics I was able to complete the following:

  • Body Painted
  • Suspension/Link geometry sorted out
  • Battery mount complete
  • Rear Sway Bar (we will see if the front needs one after the initial drive)
  • Hood body mounts using SCX10 parts left over from a kit. The body posts were perfect!
  • Axial orange beadlock rings for the rockster beadlocks

I definitely was able to achieve the look I wanted using the Wreckluse chassis.  It took some work and unfortunately it wasn’t something I could just bolt together and be finished, but that makes it unique and adds to the overall appeal for me.

Still a lot of work to do!

  • Install Electronics
  • Rebuild the Transmission with HD internals
  • Install Driveshafts
  • Possibly relocate the front steering links to behind the axle to protect everything
  • Mount rear tires on 2.2 Rockster Beadlocks with matching Orange rings
  • Go have fun!!

Stay tuned for Part 2 when I share some of the action shots, hopefully some video, and the final pictures with the painted cage.  Of course I will be adding a ton of scale details!  Its just too hard to resist!!  Thanks for reading.

Now available! See Part 2 of the build HERE.
See Part 3 of the build HERE.