Todd Pearson’s 2017 Axialfest Best Of Show Doxy WWII Wrecker

ToddPearson2017_axfest_DoxyWWIIWreckerreads

There are so many things to look forward to at Axialfest, but if you are a modeler at heart, concours is the day during this event you look forward to the most. The pavilion of Cisco Grove campground transforms into a modelers truck show. Modelers line up before being told to at the gate, with rigs in hand and an eye over their shoulder to see who built what. Lanes are set up and modelers place their prized rigs into a lane that matches up with the class they’ve built their rig for.  It’s a bit of a chaotic time, vehicles and owners are flooding in, cell phones are drawn, snapping photos, panning with video and instantly uploading to social media.

As the lanes fill up, judges start making their rounds and the chatter starts to begin between the participants and enthusiastic onlookers. “Whoa, look at that! Did you see that truck over there? That rig is insane! How did he make that?” These are all statements heard in the crowd and then it gets to; “the one.” The one most of the crowd saw, the one that stands out from the rest. If my mind serves me correct, it was less than an hour of concours being opened that several people had asked me if I saw the military wrecker? That military wrecker belonged to Todd Pearson and after staring at the machine in amazement I had to know more about it. Fast-forward to the end of concours, Todd and his military wrecker had deservedly taken home the 2017 Best of Show award. Now we all needed to know more about it! We were able to catch up with Todd and get all the details about his amazing build along with some close up photography.

Concourse Winner12

ABOUT THE BUILDER

Concourse Winner07
Name: Todd Pearson
Age: 47
Hometown: Chico, CA
Profession: Self Employed
Outside RC Hobbies: Rockhounding and Making Jewelry

HOBBY BACKGROUND

Concourse Winner03
When did you start in RC? 1980
What was your first RC vehicle? A Tamiya Tank and then a Tamiya Fast Attack!
What are your main RC interests (building, racing…?) I love anything RC related, I flew my first plane at age 8 and still fly today. I started racing RC cars in the late 80’s and still enjoy it on a weekly basis. I can fly helicopters and quads and of course I love rock crawling.
How much time a week do you spend on RC? My wife who I love dearly says I spend way too much time on RC!

THE RIG

Concourse Winner01

The name for your build? DOXY
What vehicle is your rig modeled after? Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) truck, with Chevrolet C15A 4×4 Crane (field adaptation.)
How much research went into the build? A Ton!
What is the frame/ did you start with a kit? This project started with a set of SCX10 frame rails. No modifications were made to the chassis
What drivline did you use? SSD
What axles did you use? SSD with all Axial internals

 

THE BODY

Concourse Winner22

What did the body start off as? Tamiya Wrangler
What materials were used to modify it? The cab was cut down 6-inches then I added styrene fenders and side steps. The front and rear windows and the interior were all custom scratch-built from styrene.
How long did the body take to complete? I can’t really guage time. I gave myself a year to complete this truck and enter it at Axialfest concourse.
Additional body modifications: The bed is real wood and the crane cage is steel. The crane is manually extendable for more boom reach. The winch works from the radio and is custom built; complete with scale chain.

THE DETAILS

Concourse Winner18

Tell us more about the external accessories, lighting and other hidden features? For lighting, I custom built the head and tail lights. The work light operates by a hidden switch. In the cab I used an SBC Toolbox and Ammo Can. I also had a scale topo-map of Cisco Grove and a Scale CMP Manual. On the outside of the truck I added scale rope, made a scale tow log, added a full size spare tire, Jerry cans, welding tanks and hoses and the fuel tank. The fuel tank is actually active and is what holds the variable speed smoke system.

Concourse Winner19

Concourse Winner20

Concourse Winner21

ELECTRONICS

Concourse Winner04

Radio System: KO PROPO with two receivers. One for driving and one for the smoke system.
Motor: Axial 27T
ESC: Axial
Servo: Protek 100T
Battery: ECO Power

PARTS USED
The big list of stuff…
SCX10 frame rails
SCX10 II transmission
Ebay transfer case
SSD Driveline
SSD D60 axles with Axial internals
Protek RC 100T servo
Two speed controls (one for driving and one for the smoke system)
Metal stamped beadlock wheels
RC4WD Mud Plugger tires
Full-size spare tire
Custom hand-made winch (chain driven)
Custom wood bed
Custom metal crane cage with extendable boom
Custom Wood tow log
Custom metal bumpers front and rear
Custom working smoke system (in the gas tank)
Custom lighting
Tamiya Wrangler cab (cut down 6in.)
Custom interior
Scale By Chris accessories

Concourse Winner10

THE EXPERIENCE
Give us a brief overview of driving the truck. Are you nervous when driving? What trails did you run on at Axialfest? Doxy never really made it out for any serious trail runs. We just kinda goofed off around the pavilion. On friday I left Doxy at my sponsors booth AMainHobbies.com and let everyone get a good look at the truck.

AXIALFEST MEMORABLE MOMENTS
Todd: Axialfest 2017, WOW what an awesome event this year! So much fun with family and friends. Last year I decided that I was going to build a tow truck for this year’s event and enter the concourse.

The idea for this truck was just to build something different and badass! I was never expecting to be rewarded for all the hard work and effort. The competition at Axialfest in all concours classes is incredible with some really crazy talented builders.

After all the judging, Doxy was chosen to be best of her class for 2017. I’m speechless and extremely honored to be able to win this award on my first attempt. Then even more incredible to be voted Best Of Show by all of the other class winners. What? Really! I’m so truly honored to be recognized for the time and effort. Thank you fellow builders and judges!

WHERE IS IT NOW?
Is this a shelf queen? Will you continue to drive it? Doxy will be out on some trails but most of the time she will be next to her trophy!

Concourse Winner14

FUTURE PLANS?
Will the truck stay as is, or will it continue to evolve? I’m done with this build and moving on to my 2018 secret project. Huge thanks to my family for supporting me on this project. And everyone else that was a part of the project.

SPECIAL THANKS
AMainHobbies,com
Proteck RC
ECO Power
Corey Koehler
Brad Juanarena
Shaun Klobas
Scale By Chris

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR
We’d like to thank Todd for taking the time to give us all of the details about Doxy and congratulate him for taking home the Best In Class and Best Of Show award at Axialfest 2017. We hope this story on Todd’s quest to build an amazing tow truck inspires you to build the truck of your dreams too. We suggest starting right now and we’ll see you in the concours lanes at Axialfest 2018!

How do you Camp? – Living Arrangements At Axialfest

There is nothing like the true outdoors experience of Axialfest where not only do you become one with your RC machine while trekking across some amazing landscape, but you take advantage of an amazing camping experience at the beautiful campgrounds at Cisco Grove. During the week long event, you’ll pass by a variety of living arrangements and if you’ve never been to Axialfest, but have it on your list of to do’s we want you to be prepared.

THE LODGE Living Arrangements At Axialfest

Although the Lodge has a few rooms, they are typically reserved and you really need to think about what style of camping suits you. The Lodge however does have a small market with essential supplies like beverages, food and things you may need on your campsite. Firewood is available too, and necessary for those times spent talking with friends about the day’s trail adventures.

THE CLASSIC TENT Living Arrangements At Axialfest Living Arrangements At Axialfest

There is no shortage of tent sightings at Axialfest, this is the easiest, most compact way to get maximum gear into your 1:1 vehicle and still stow some living quarters in there as you make your journey to Axialfest. Beyond the tent, remember a tarp to place under the tent, sleeping bags, lights and some towel when using the campgrounds bathroom facilities to get your day going.

Axialfest camping

POP UP’S Living Arrangements At Axialfest

These are like an extension of camping homes across the park. Many attendees bring pop-up tents as well to cover things like their picnic tables or even their work tables where they wrench on their RC rigs. Which is more important to cover? Food or RC stuff? We leave that decision up to you.

THAT THERE IS AN RV Living Arrangements At Axialfest

Motor homes, RV’s, Trailer, whatever you want to call it, there plenty of these camping homes nestled into the campgrounds for the week. Many people bring their own, some rent and there are the borrowers too. There was even a report of Axial’s John Schultz tirelessly setting up a sleeping space for some rogue reporter who wound up sleeping elsewhere, what a dork. But back on topic, Cisco Grove is a campground, a large campground that has been around for years and has all the amenities necessary for camping hook-ups. They even offer dry firewood for your fire pit… Axialfest Camping

FULL TILT Living Arrangements At Axialfest

There are spots where you will see full tilt set-ups, small communities of sorts where friends camp together and multiple spots turn into one. RV’s, tents, pop-ups, tables, BBQ’s, coolers, temporary floors, satellite dishes and we even saw a pool! And why not? What we are showing here is maximum comfort and a vacation-like atmosphere for all who attend.

Living Arrangements At Axialfest Living Arrangements At Axialfest

PREPARE YOUR SPACE Living Arrangements At Axialfest

Remember at Axialfest, you need to be pretty self sufficient. There are some stores nearby, but who wants to travel off of the grounds when there are so many trails to tackle with your trail truck? It’s best to arrive with everything you’ll possible need on hand. Beyond your Axial RC gear, you’ll need food, fluids, sleeping bags, shower items, cloths, supplies for cooking and so on. Please remember to take out what you take in as we all need to do our part to keep the facilities clean for years of Axialfest events to com.

GET STARTED FOR NEXT YEAR

Believe it, or not, after Axialfest 2017 wrapped up or any of the previous Axialfest, the very next day, Axial Staff as well as attendees have already started on preparing for next years event. Making lists of things that need to get done, lists of things to bring and keeping an eye out for open registration and campsite bookings. If you want to camp near your friends, you need to get together with them ahead of time to find and book the right spot. Axialfest has grown quite large and even though Cisco Grove is massive, it is filling up and spaces are starting to become limited. Get ready and get in on the action!

Tips To Get Around Axialfest – Axialfest 2017

TipsTo_Get_Around_Axialfest01
Not only is Axialfest one of the biggest events in RC in terms of attendance, but it is most likely one of the biggest events in terms of the sheer size of the grounds it takes place on. Axialfest takes place in Cisco Grove Campground in Cisco Grove California and it is the biggest campground and RV park in Donner Summit. So you can imagine with an event so big on many levels, getting around the campground, RC trails and other events can be a bit of a task.
Over the years, frequent attendees have found a number of inventive ways to get around the park for both normal routine tasks and of course for participating in events with all of their RC gear. During Axialfest 2017, we grabbed some photos of how some experienced Axialfesters get around, so when you attend in 2018 and beyond, you can use these tips to be prepared for an even more enjoyable event. Let’s talk toting and travel.

HOOF IT
Get Around AxialfestGet Around Axialfest

Find yourself some comfortable trail shoes for walking, because at Axialfest, you’ll be doing a lot of walking! On average, some staffers logged over five miles of walking each day during the event. Like most participants, you’ll have your radio and Axial machine with you as you locate new trails to drive on or just walk over to a friends campgrounds for some RC talk time. To make life a little easier, many participants have a backpack to help them through the trek. To tote your car around too when it’s rubber is not on the off-road, some drivers use bungee cords, velcro straps and even carabiners to secure the rig to their backpacks. You’ll even see a driver or two towing their car on a dog leash. Hey, whatever you need to do to get your equipment around is what you have to do, nobody will judge, but you may have a friendly joke headed your way from a bystander.

RC FLAT BED IT
Get Around Axialfest Get Around Axialfest Get Around Axialfest Get Around Axialfest

Axialfest is of course an RC event, so it’s only natural that many enthusiasts use an RC truck and trailer to transport their show or go rig from point A to point B. This occurs mostly during registration, concourse, a vendors row drive-by or heading over to see a buddy at another camping section. Flatbeds can range from a single car hauler to a multi-car trailer. At Axialfest everyone loves creativity so bring your wildest hauling creations when you do attend.

TOTE IT
Get Around Axialfest Get Around AxialfestGet Around Axialfest

Don’t have a trailer, no problem, beach carts are another great choice. You can pile a lot of equipment in a beach cart and if you are attending the rock racing event and running multiple classes it’s almost a must. Trust us, if you’re not driving your rig or toting it in some sort of wheeled carrier, physically carrying your rig gets a bit tiresome if you are going from one end of the grounds to the other.

MOTOR IT
Get Around Axialfest Get Around Axialfest

There are always those next-level guys, you know the ones that have to have all the neat toys and there is no shortage of them at Axialfest. During the event, you’ll see plenty of pit bikes, ATV’s, golf carts and RZR-type vehicles carrying people and gear around the grounds. Although it is a bit quicker to transport your gear in one of these powered machines, it is highly stressed that these machines travel at safe speeds due to the number of people walking and/or driving their RC rigs on the same roads.

GO BIG
Get Around Axialfest Get Around Axialfest

Finally we have full-scale machines. At Axialfest, there is no shortage of toy eye candy and you’ll see a slew of built 1:1 off-road trail machines from Jeep JK’s, XJ’s, WJ’s, Toyota’s and so on. Sure, many of these trucks are here to trek the nearby Fordyce Trail, but they are also used to trek around the grounds, but during Axialfest, mostly for supply transport purposes. Some of the paths are choked up by participants so getting by in a full scale rig is not possible at all times. It’s also not encouraged either, so keep it in mind, although your full scale rig may be a lot of fun and an appropriate rig for the surroundings, it will most likely spend most of its time parked in front of your campground and admired by you and bypassers.

TRANSPORT TIPS

Get Around Axialfest

Whatever method you use to get around Axialfest, it’s always best to just be prepared from the start. Think of things you’ll need to have on hand whatever your final destination is on the campground. A backpack is a must and useful for many things, carrying a your radio when it’s not in use, a spare battery or two, a tool kit, a small kit of repair parts/spares*, flashlight, some snacks and most importantly fluids for hydration.

* Spares List
Screws, nuts, ball-ends, 2-sided tape, zip-ties, body clips, bearings, knuckles, servo horn, and servo.

PLAN AHEAD
Now that you have an idea of the size of Axialfest and a bunch of tips on how to get your gear around the grounds, it’s best that you plan ahead and gather everything you need before setting foot in Cisco Grove. Sure there is a general store on the campgrounds and a nearby gas station with some food stuff, but if you need any other travel gear, you’ll find yourself back on the highway to hunt down a larger box store to get any support items you may need. Start making your list now and you’ll enjoy Axialfest 2018 that much more when you do arrive.

Are You Ready To Rule RC Rock Racing – Axialfest 2017

Rock Racing - Axialfest 2017

There is something going on every single day at Axialfest and whatever it is, it’s going to be something exciting! One of those must attend events is the Rock Racing event. Rock Racing is certainly not new like the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, but it is still an event that many spend lots of time prepping for… or not. Like many driving opportunities during this week of off-road excitement, Axial has designed Rock Racing to be attended by anyone. So yes, you’ll see the experienced driver who probably spent the last few months hunkered down in his basement building a machine that could take on the terrain of a nuclear warzone or go head to head with a vehicle from a Mad Max movie and you’ll also find the driver that just showed up after removing a vehicle from a Ready to Run box. So is Axialfest Rock Racing really for you? We’re going to run you through the scene and expect to see you next year.

Axialfest 2017 Rock Racing

THE CLASSES
Although it’s safe to say, the first rule to an Axialfest Rock Race is to simply have fun, there are additional rules to help insure that rule number one happens. To do that, your rig gets a quick inspection and placed into a specific class to complete with similarly equipped vehicles. Kids classes are an option too and no, they do not go by mental age. By separating the various styles of rigs into specific classes, it levels the playing field a bit and now just build and driving skill is used to determine who will finish on the podeum. We’ve listed the nine classes available here and for a full break-down of the rules for each class can be found HERE.

Rock Race Classes
10-Under Kids Class – 1.9 & 2.2 Combined
11-15 Kids Class – 1.9 & 2.2 Combined
1.9 Factory SCX10 Class
1.9 Frame Rail Class
Factory Bomber Class
Wraith – OPEN Class
2.2 Tube Chassis Class
EXO/Bomber – OPEN Class
2.2 Tube Chassis Class

THE COURSE
Smack dab in the middle of Cisco Grove Campground is a field like area with an abandoned tennis court surrounded by some rough terrain that most people pass through heading back and forth from the trails to vendor row and the pavilion where registration, concourse and the awards ceremony take place. To some, this midway, is just more terrain of a campground, but to the trained eye of trail building master John Schultz and some eager volunteer crew members, this terrain will be staked out and turned into a rock infested, jump littered, obstacle ridden, chassis scraping moguls; you get the idea a wild rock racing course. The zone for the driver to trek over isn’t exactly a park path either so be prepared with proper attire and watch where you step.

Axialfest 2017 Rock Racing 02

DRIVING AND STRATEGY
Many participants are excited and some amped up on energy drinks for the three lap sprint around the course. Qualifying takes place first and is pretty intense. Drivers are separated into heat races and trucks are lined up on the grid. When the start is called, it’s full throttle for all on the tennis court surface and a hoard of wheel spinning rigs head for the first obstacle which typically resulted in a pile of intertwined machines with wildly spinning wheels. This is where the strategy starts. Do you pull the trigger with the rest of the pack at the starting tone, or do you wait and snake through the clumps of chaos. Or do you go for it and hope you make it through the first obstacle unscathed? Things to think about, but it doesn’t end there. There is a lot of work ahead of you. Running as fast as you can, yet pacing yourself as not to tire out or overdrive your rig or even stumble on your footing. This Rock Racing isn’t like many locations in the country that have conventional RC tracks with driver’s stands. Here you are on the ground running and attacking a much larger course. There are no marshals to flip your truck over on the course either. If you’re rig goes belly-up, there it lies unless you can right it over with some wicked throttle and steering work. How does the staff keep track of who is placed where? The seasoned pros that make up rock racing crew keep a careful eye on who placed where and track finishes in a notebook; simple but effective for this ultimately fun event. When each of the heat rounds finishes, drivers are placed into mains depending on their finishes and that is when strategy tends to go out the window and drivers go all out in their drive to take home a trophy.

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners

THE REWARD
At Axialfest 2017, the event had a “Prospector” theme and that carried over to the rock racing event as gold panning pans with decals inlaid in the center indicating the event and finish were given out to the top three finishers in each class. Each year, the theme changes and so does the awards to keep excitement levels high. Who finished where? Check out the top three finishers in each class along with their awards HERE

ARE YOU IN?
Rock Racing at Axialfest means dedication before and during the event if you want to roll home with the hardware. But if you’re in it for the pure fun of close competition and testing the limits of your rig, then once again this is the scene to be involved in at Axialfest. Congratulations to all of those who participated at this years event, the racing was intense for the spectators to watch as well. If you weren’t there this year, start your preparations for 2018 now!

 

AMain Hobbies Presents AxialFest 2017 Video

amain_hobbies_axialfest17
The crew from AMain Hobbies started coming to AXIALFEST in 2016.
This year they brought a video camera to capture what they saw!
Hit the preview screen below or hit the link here – two trails to get you to eight minutes worth of the good stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cixpvxgGZY&t=305s

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 11.41.05 AM

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 3

Skeenos_AXIALFEST2017_500px03
Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 3

Words: Matt Soileau aka The SKEENO’naterrater
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt Soileau

By now I hope you have read Part-1 and Part-2 of the Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Reports. This Part-3 report will cover Friday, July 14 of AXIALFEST 2017.

Friday events included the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro and the inaugural AXIALFEST parade. I also got out to check out lots of trail action.  Let’s go see check out day 3 of AXIALFEST 2017.

IMG_20170716_085955

Real or RC? Across the way from us, I spotted this 1:1 SCX10-2 XJ, or should I say the inspiration for it.  Note the license plate. Does it look like the Axial version? Peep the blog post: Building the full size SCX10XJ: Part 1 It’s very cool to come to AXIALFEST and see this kind of stuff in person!

IMG_20170716_090058

There was also this OG SCX10-1 JK replica on the other side of my campsite.  Axial fans even love to scale out their 1:1s!

IMG_20170716_082309

Friday morning, bright and early at 7 a.m. was check in for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  I got up and made sure I was fueled for the race.  This was my first time running a 5K, so I was a little nervous. My breakfast choice is more for calming my nerves!

IMG_20170715_084225

Our breakfast must have smelled pretty good, because this little bugger was drawn over by the smell all the way down in D camp.  Actually, this is Nate Hart, an old RC nerd from Reno, former A-Main Hobbies tech support guy, and fellow bike nerd.  I’ve know Nate since he was a little 12 year old grommet. Great to see him at AXIALFEST.

IMG_20170714_065721

Here I am all kitted out with orange Altra Lone Peaks, orange striped socks, and orange shirt.  I heard if your kit matched your rig you’d get a time bonus. #KitMatchesRig It might be a thing…

IMG_20170714_102353

Chris Cru Jones of Altra Running was all smiles, after all, this event was partially his creation along with Rodney Wills.  You can read about the origins of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro here: ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY

IMG_20170714_070812

Chris got busy getting our buddies from the 801 crew signed up. These guys are one of the most progressive clubs in the scene!

IMG_20170714_072620

Cassie Currie was already checked in and getting his batteries ready.  Matt Kearney and Jaime Seymour don’t look as enthused about being up at 7 in the morning. Late night trail runs maybe… ?

IMG_20170714_102426

RCDriver’s Greg Vogel, #rodneysaiditwasok Wills, and the Judkins were all smiles and ready to watch the action.

IMG_20170714_071105

Mike Thompson was getting some scale shots with the scale banners from scaleultra.com. Check them out for more Altra Ultra 5Ks.

IMG_20170714_072515

After I got my race bib, I lined up in the correct spot. Racers started in numerical order, so I started in 47th place. By the way, that sweet wrap on my Bomber was done by Jay at S.O.R.  He did lots of rigs for AXIALFEST participants!

Screenshot_20170714-115549I’d like to say that this is me finishing the Altra 5K, but sadly this is just me on lap 3 or 4.  I DNF’ed halfway through lap 5.  I needed 6 laps to complete the race.  #SadFace
A stripped servo was my personal gremlin. Now, I want that new Tekin servo even more!  Hey Ty@Tekin, hint, hint, wink, wink.

IMG_20170714_095817

Turns out, the DNF was a semi-good thing.  It allowed me to take some photos of the other competitors that I otherwise would not have had time for.

IMG_20170714_095829

Here, Ben Thomas hooks the corner at the Start/Finish line. Rodney, Cathy and Mike Morris were the official visual lap-counters relaying bib numbers and “line-crossed” to Scott G on the computer. This system is very much the same for MTB and cross country races. AXIALFEST has a lot of progression of R/C all around us with these types of events and we are very stoked to be apart of it all!

IMG_20170714_100618

Jason from Pedals bike shop mobs his SCX10-2. He was able to finish the race with this mostly stock rig, so don’t think you need to upgrade to race.

IMG_20170714_101745

Hey look, the Phaminator, Phamtastic, Mike Pham gets a brief second to stand static as we are always on the move during the the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  I guess Chris and Jawn did convince him to participate!

IMG_20170714_100425

This young lady was jamming.  We diced it up for a while until my servo gave up on me. Her stock RR10 Bomber finished. She was our one and only female competitor this year.
I expect to see more ladies joining her next year! I know Skeeno Jr is ready.

IMG_20170714_101334

Anthony Dianda set some impressive lap times with his stock SCX10-2.  Are you catching the theme here?  Stock is good for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. Stock is good… At least you should try it so you know where the base line is. It’s that old 4X4 rule of thumb, learn to drive it stock, know your rig and when you modify you will know the full effect (full value) of the performance addition or if it’s truly an addition… #Dollar2PerformanceValue

IMG_20170714_102103

CKRC’s Alec Van Den Brink makes his way thought the dry creek.

IMG_20170714_100337

On the other side of the road, the creek was still flowing, yet just two weeks prior this trail was completely under water due to the amount of rainfall, snow pack melt earlier in the year.

IMG_20170714_101434

The section behind the pavilion was both fun and frustrating.  These rocks were difficult to navigate, but it made the racing exciting with lots of drivers trying to drive around or over one another. It was also a moment of respite from our running flat out! The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is both technical driving and physically demanding! Just like a 1:1 KOH rig! Have your ever watched the live feed of King Of The Hammers as the drivers come across the finish line? They are WIPED OUT looking!

IMG_20170714_101850

Battery changes are almost a must when racing for over 3 miles flat out!  I personally swapped a battery every lap and half. I was running 2200mah batteries. I might need to rethink my mah rating to save some pit stops next year. #mahpermile

IMG_20170714_101059

All the coolest people race the Altra 5K. Here Ryan Gerrish from DSPro comes out of the Bottoms.

IMG_20170714_100920

Ben Thomas’s headband was working overtime here.

IMG_20170714_100907

Tony Mazza was in it to win it.  He passed me at least once.

IMG_20170714_100830

Not sure who #39 was, but he was kind enough to pose for me in the middle of the race.

IMG_20170714_100457

Team Voodoo coming through!

IMG_20170714_095902

Here’s Mr. Van Den Brink sprinting in to the finish.  If you want to see more of the AXIALFEST Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, check out this blog post: Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

DSCF1410

After the Altra 5K Enduro, I was a little hungry. Lucky for me, Starkey’s Food Truck was back with the bomb pizzas and sushi! Yes, I said sushi and so should you!!!

DSCF1409

Wood fired pizza oven! This is the real deal!!!

IMG_20170715_121522

Team MRB’s Franky Testa shows off the goodness…mmmmm.

DSCF1360 After lunch, I headed out on some trails to check out the trail action.  The river was finally flowing again this year.  With temps in the 90s, the water was looking really tempting.

DSCF1355 The rocks down at the river are slippery smooth.  The scattered sand makes them even more challenging.

DSCF1352

Some awesome rocks and lines over here.

DSCF1353

Hello there!

DSCF1362 Looks like this guy remembered his neck cooler, anything to try to keep cool.

DSCF1364 I caught the 801 Crew celebrating a birthday. I think it was the Utah gang, I see Mikey T and THE Jake Wright in there. Forgive me if it’s not.

DSCF1366

We all sang him happy birthday.  He was so pumped, he threw his rig in the air.

DSCF1368

One of the cool things I noticed this year was some new features cut into Hell’s Highway.

DSCF1369

It made the long walk down the hot road a little more interesting.

DSCF1373

I don’t know who cut all these features into Hell’s Highway, but BRAVO! Great idea and I appreciated your hard work.  It couldn’t have been easy moving all that dirt and rock.

DSCF1379Best part of Hell’s Highway for me was not having to walk it.  I brought my putt-putt again this year.  The old CT70 makes catching all the action A LOT easier.  I did catch old Putt-Putt ogling this DRZ400.  Think he’d trade me for a lightly modified CT70 turned 125?

DSCF1377

Dad and son about to conquer Hell’s Highway.  AXIALFEST is great family binding time.

DSCF1383 Can’t be an AXIALFEST without at least one trip up and down The Slab.

DSCF1385 I caught Butte County Scalers over behind The Slab.  This is a popular spot because of the water. DSCF1388 See how pretty it was back behind The Slab this year?  It was great to have some water running again.

DSCF1389 Down the way, I ran into Papa Don Hughes trying out this teeter-totter.

DSCF1390

It teerered, but it needed a little persuasion to totter. I think that rock was blocking  it.

DSCF1394

I Trail?  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I? That’s 9 Trails!?!? Actually, there were 11 trails.  10 scale trails plus the Altra Ultra 5K trail that opened after the 5K was finished. Not sure how many miles of trails there were, but I hope you pack some mega mah when you come to Axialfest. Who is tracking their miles hiked at AXIALFEST? STRAVA anyone?

DSCF1395

I caught up with this crew up front by the gate.

DSCF1398

Let me tell you a little secret, sometimes I miss some shots and ask guys to drive lines again, so I can get better pictures.  I felt like a huge jerk when I re-positioned that silver rig up there and accidentally pulled apart part his roll ball.  I apologized profusely. I hope I didn’t bum out his AXIALFEST participant.  Sorry again, good sir!

DSCF1399

Of course, up by the campground’s main entrance is the Welcome to Cisco Grove sign.  Looks like it needed some maintenance. I caught this little guy working on it…or maybe he was posting up a garage sale sign.

DSCF1404

Around the corner and through A camp, I ran into Werty Jr. He was piloting his dad’s RC wagon.  He told me his dad was just back across the bridge, so I turned around to say hello.

DSCF1408

Ol’ WERTY really wanted to show off his short wheel base leaf spring conversion he had just finished up.

DSCF1407Stock Axial frame rails?  Nicely done, Werty!  If you want those parts, I’m sure he’ll make you up a set as well. PS: Rodney said he wants to commandeer a set!

DSCF1438

Ok, here was one of the coolest features at AXIALFEST.  The 50/50 grinding rail on the CKRC Trail.  Speeds on this were insane. But one of the coolest videos was one where the dude slid down the rail and at the bottom, pinned it and jumped over his buddy! Can anyone find and send us a link to that video? Think it was on IG.

DSCF1439

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and 5K.  Yup, 11 trails.  Luckily, there were these signs all over to direct you in the right direction to find them all.

IMG_20170712_191211

Dang, these two Jeeps are still kissing?

DSCF1485

I had heard rumors of all kinds of scale buildings and whatnots all over the Scale Trails, so I went on a mission to find some.  I’m sure I missed plenty, but here are some that I did find.

DSCF1486

On the way in I saw these guys coming out.

DSCF1494

General rule is if it’s not yours, don’t touch it.  Volunteers work long, hard hours building these fun displays, so it’s best to leave them alone, so everyone can enjoy them.

DSCF1499

Mine Shaft!

DSCF1500

Cabin?  Old Mill?  What do you think it is?

DSCF1506

Hmm, gated.  What does that sign say?

DSCF1507

No way! An Area 51? Could there be aliens at AXIALFEST?

DSCF1502

Holy moly! A UFO crash site!  And I see at least three green guys.  If they are green, they must be Axial fans.

 

DSCF1512

An old log cabin.

DSCF1513

Another mine shaft.

DSCF1517

Not really scale, but there was this bridge I caught a couple Axialfesters driving over.

DSCF1520

A Mercantile. I wonder if they sell Axial parts.

DSCF1531

Scale Cisco Grove was back.

DSCF1534

I love this building, so awesome. It’s a replica of Cisco Grove’s main office!

DSCF1540

A little bit of everything over here, EZ-Up, picnic table, water wheel, cabins.

DSCF1543

The A-Main Jeeps was packed to the gills and ready to hit the trails.

DSCF1547

Must be a bad neighborhood if they have to post wanted signs. Recognize any faces?  I see #rodneysaiditwayok Wills up there.

DSCF1545

Wait, another mercantile? Looks like I got here just in time to foil a robbery. They had the owner all tied up. I guess it is was a bad neighborhood.

IMG_20170712_155012_1 Good thing I ran into R. Lee Ermey. I sent him over to handle those idiots in the mercantile.

IMG_20170714_141444

Since it was hot, and since there was water, I decided to take a little wade to cool off my tootsies over at the Golden Nerd Bridge.

IMG_20170714_141458

There was lots of action over here.

IMG_20170714_141620

Everyone wanted to conquer these scary, but fun obstacles.

IMG_20170714_141635

It’s a little nerve wracking when you can’t quite see what your rig is doing near water 50 feet away.

IMG_20170714_142614

Some Axialfesters, like Heather O’Connor, also decided to wade next to their rigs. See Mike in the background?

IMG_20170714_142536

He pulled out his boat and we got a little scale speed boating action going.

IMG_20170714_142702

When will Axial release a boat?  What kind of boat should Axial produce?

IMG_20170714_144519

See, that’s a long drive across.

IMG_20170714_144614

I didn’t see many speed demons blasting across these bridges.

IMG_20170714_142816

IMG_20170714_150609

There were lots of families enjoying the cool water.

IMG_20170714_150606

Some even offered to escort trucks across in case any accidentally decided they were amphibious.

IMG_20170714_173501

Dang this day seems long, must be that getting up at 7am thing.  Anyway, I headed back for dinner and couldn’t resist checking out the Knight Customs Toyota display again.  I thought this was a brilliant way to see all his parts in action.

IMG_20170714_183221

Finally, food.  Tacos was the treat.  Can’t eat too many tacos.

IMG_20170714_183436

Tonight was carne asada night. What’s your favorite camp food?

IMG_20170714_200712

After dinner it was the First Annual AXIALFEST Parade. I stopped by Mike Bier’s camp on the way to the parade. He was showing off his Go Hard jersey from the Grinduro mountain bike race. The Grinduro is sort of an AXIALFEST of the MTB world, part race, part party, and total celebration of MTB.

IMG_20170714_200753

This jersey is awarded to the rider who goes the hardest each night and finishes the best the following day.  Mike Bier has the skills to do both. You can check out the Grinduro here: https://grinduro.com/

 

IMG_20170714_193207That’s a long line.  Can we make it even longer next year?

IMG_20170714_193458

I knew Two Chainz Scalerz would be at the parade.

IMG_20170714_193715

Wait, what? Are those 8-ohm house speakers up there? Did he carry those relics on Fordyce?

 

IMG_20170714_193803

Go time! Best of Show Concourse winner, Todd Pearson, got the honor of leading the parade with his amazing military build.

IMG_20170714_193821 IMG_20170714_194107

Around the corner, Matt Wolfe set up this flaming Arch de’ AXIALFEST.

IMG_20170714_194831

See the flames shooting out the top?

IMG_20170714_194906

I see the Pro Line guys stopped to shoot some video.  They always have great video recaps of AXIALFEST.  Look for them on their YouTube page.

IMG_20170714_195252

This good looking crew was a set up and ready to watch the parade.

IMG_20170714_195627

After the parade, I was ready to hit the sack. This was my longest day at AXIALFEST and my feet and body were ready for some rest.  I needed to recharge, because tomorrow would be another long day of fun at AXIALFEST.

In Part 4 of the Skeeno AXIALFEST 2017 Report, I will be covering Rock Racing and the Awards Ceremony and Raffle on the final day of AXIALFEST 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 2

Skeenos_AXIALFEST2017_500px02
Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 2

Words: Matt “Skeeno” Soileau
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt “Skeeno” Soileau

I’m sure you’ve read Part-1 of the Skeeno Report.  In Part-1, Wednesday of AXIALFEST 2017 report, I saw registration and tech and visited lots of vendors.  This Part-2 post will cover my second day at AXIALFEST 2017, Thursday, July 13.

I saw more vendors, more people on trail, and lots of great builds as I helped judge the concourse. So, without further ado, let’s go!

IMG_20170714_115215

I told you I’d get back out after I ate that bacon.  Here’s me cooking up breakfast for Mike and myself.

IMG_20170714_122313

We called it the Conglomerate; fresh eggs from my chickens, bacon, hash browns, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheese. Mmmmm.

IMG_20170806_160512

So, yesterday was registration. Here’s what was in the swag bags this year.  Lots of goodness in there.

IMG_20170806_162434

My trail tracker didn’t get much use.  I was busy with my AXIALFEST duties, so I only ran the Altra 5K Enduro this year.  If Joe Ferguson makes it down from Canada or Marcos Rojas makes it up from Costa Rica next year, I will make it a point to get some trails in with them. If Chris Scheurer from Austria comes, Daniel Siegl and I will make him another nice warm cup of bacon grease.

IMG_20170806_162048

I updated my patch rack when I got home. Who has all of these?

IMG_20170806_160649

I’m starting to get a good collection of AXIALFEST memorabilia.
How’s your collection coming along? Sorry, I’ve been lucky enough to be in the inside…

IMG_20170806_161729

I might need to build a new closet or trophy room just to hold all my AXIALFEST swag. Sadly, my older AXIALFEST shirts got a case of the mildews and tatters, so Mrs. Skeeno tossed them when I wasn’t looking.

IMG_20170715_121811

Alright, enough reminiscing about past AXIALFEST’s. Right next to Camp Skeeno, Canyon Coolers snuck in overnight and set up shop.  They had lots of product to display and a comfy couch to relax on.

DSCF1282

A couple spots from Canyon Coolers, I saw this beast from Rebel OffRoad.
Much want in this thing!

IMG_20170713_180626

I’m very jealous of the Rebel Off Road crew.  I’d love to overland in that.

DSCF1283

Vanquish Products also must have snuck in after hours because here I spotted old Bobby T manning the booth.  Bob Tarvin has been an Axial fan since way back. He’s also a pretty amazing photographer.

IMG_20170715_145609

Down at the Pro Line Racing tent, Paul was giving swag away.  Not to be greedy, I scored this XXXL sweatshirt for our friend, Mr. Tree. What did you get from the Pro Line booth as I heard all kinds of cool items flowed from this claim?

DSCF1537

Speaking of “claims” Pro Line also had this scale mine out for photos.

IMG_20170806_162837

Remember S.O.R. Racing that was next to Pro Line?  Well, here’s the downtube wrap he made for my bike.  He can make custom vinyl for just about anything.  Hit up Jay Kendall if you need some custom work. Sorry my bike is a little dirty.

xm6

I had to go for a ride as soon as I got back.  Also, yes, I do still run a 2X crank, so what. I heard Rodney still has a triple in his collection.

IMG_20170715_144629

Over at Tekin, they had some old and some new on display.  I love Tekin.  I run the RX8 in my Altra Bomber. It wasn’t the ESCs and motors that caught my eye this year….it was the servos.

IMG_20170715_144648

Hold up! New servos from Tekin?  I can say that these are amazing just from what I heard!  Infinitely adjustable endpoints that are programmable. Just pop on your servo horn and go.  No more lining up the center.  Also, it’s almost like there are no gears, they are sooooo smooooooth.  Maybe they mount directly to the motor.  They tried to explain it all to me, but I’m not a electronics nerd,  so I’m not sure.  But, I am sure that I want, want, want one of these for my Altra Bomber.  Ty, if your reading this, feel free to send me one.
Ty, can you hear me back there!

IMG_20170712_192144

Here’s why Gigabit Games rules.  They like goats, I have goats.  A match made in heaven.

DSCF1312

Boom Racing was also back with a huge display.

DSCF1315

Jason Tsang wanted to make sure I got it all in, so I took two pictures.

DSCF1433

Knights Customs was back and with much coolness on display. No not James, the product! OK, James, your cool too..

IMG_20170714_173534

Knight Customs make so many amazing accessories. That Pull Pal is available fully folding with a custom mount.  It was… truly amazing.  He also had the new Bug Out Racks available.

DSCF1434

Knights Customs had these genius displays with clear bodies.

DSCF1430

Knights Customs also brought out their scale shop. Check out the scale Axial boxes.

DSCF1435

Pedals had their Kona Big Kahuna on display.  Some lucky Axialfester took this home on Sunday. If you live in SoCal and need a bike, go talk to Pedals.  They will hook you up!, just mention #AXIALFEST2017!!!

DSCF1548

I finally caught the great Ryan Gerrish at the DSPRO booth photo!  He’s another Axial OG from way back-time-machine, from the stone age comp crawling days.  He was a fellow judge of the concourse, as well.

DSCF1539 RC4WD was all set up today.  They had lots of their accessories on Axial rigs to check out first hand and in person!

DSCF1428

I made it back over to the Two Chainz Scalerz campsite to get some pictures.
The lighting was better today. Half-cast shadow over two half-cocked TCSZ’erz.

DSCF1411

Here’s some more shots of the waterfall in nice lighting for dramatic effect.

DSCF1412

This Hilux was enjoying the cool water in the July heat.

DSCF1418

Behind the water feature was the church and cemetery.

DSCF1419

These headstones were awesome.  V. Terra, died of a broken link. That dude tried to square up on backdoor and got gangked. He had it coming… So the towns people said…

DSCF1420

The ‘motel’ had lots of business all weekend.

DSCF1415

I just noticed that guy sitting on the blacksmith.  That’s some strong metal work to support him.

DSCF1425

While I was taking pictures, I noticed Two Chainz Scalerz passing out some limited edition trail swag to these junior Axialfesters.

DSCF1426

Did you get one of these necklaces?  Have you ever been lucky enough to be blessed by 2CS?

IMG_20170712_171849

Lunchtime! Tacos at the Axial camp.  Pastor was my flavor of choice.

DSCF1347

Spotted this vintage tent trailer after lunch.  Thought it was a Sherwood like mine for a second. Turns out it was a Heilite.

DSCF1346

I also spotted this little motorcycle tent trailer out in the campground. I love tent trailers.

IMG_20170712_152720

I almost thought Rodney got the Yakima RTT for his ADV80 along with a new paint job.  Turns out it wasn’t Rodney’s Land Cruiser, but #rodneysaiditwasok with him.

DSCF1234

It was getting close to concourse judging, so I had to get over to the pavilion.  Lots of rigs were already staged.

DSCF1236

Participation quadrupled this year!  There were TONS of amazing builds in here.
It really made judging a difficult task. My brain was starting to hurt from all the coolness…

or was it that taco? No, not the Tacoma, but the taco-taco, loco… This concours action has gone loco, thats for sho! And for show!

IMG_20170713_135022

Lighting made it difficult for me and my cheap point and shoot camera to get good pictures.  I got a few good ones and my buddy Mike took some as well.  So, here’s a few of my favorites.  I loved this cab-over build by Ben Thomas.

IMG_20170713_134538

This Bronco was another one of my favorites.  My first real 1:1 wheeling trips were in Broncos, so they are dear to my heart.  This one had unbelievable detail.

DSCF1241

Bad shot of this amazing 70-Series Land Cruiser truck built by Todd Norton.  I love this thing. Also, that 3 wheeled thing next to it was really unique.

DSCF1264

2CS’erz had lots of builds entered.  They are the kings of scale after all.

DSCF1254

Eliott, aka Coleman, was checking out all the builds and live streaming the judging.

IMG_20170713_135120

Chris Zemek drove all the way from Texas to display his work truck and trailer.

IMG_1743

That TV worked and played movies.  This set up was A….A…..A…..Awesome.
I bet you thought I was going to say amazing.

IMG_1887

Hawaiian style! Check the stretch on the wheels. Or is that new school JDM style?

IMG_1848

I’m always inspired by the FC builds.  One day I’ll get mine built.

IMG_1796

Here’s the A-Main / Judd Rummage entry.  Look at all the cool accessories.

IMG_1709

Here’s another A-Main creation. Word on the street is Matt Hauck built this.

IMG_1728

Scale By Chris had some amazing monster truck entries. While I didn’t get a great shot of this rig, it was a translucent red body and very very CLEAN!

IMG_1822

Scale By Chris also entered this crazy show truck Blazer.  It went straight out on the trails after the awards.

IMG_1729

I like the Dead Bolts because they remind me of Broncos.

IMG_1725

These custom fender wells caught my eye. I dig the stickers in there. SoCal pre-runner style meets inland empire bro’sive meets this new stretch tire look… no crime in being creatively different! Catching eyeballs is the name of the game!

DSCF1251

The judging was difficult and took a while for all the judges to get their input.  Luckily, #rodneysaiditwasok to grease the judges.  That’s why all my friends won. Here is Rodney (on crutches) talking to the participants for this class and delivering the verdict. Schultz was stoked he didn’t have to deliver this news as competition WAS SO STIFF!!!

DSCF1259

Ok, just kidding.  Not all my friends won, but all that won are my new friends, because making new friends is ALL PART OF AXIALFEST! If you want to take a closer better look at all the amazing rigs and winners of the concourse, check out this blog: Axialfest 2017 Concourse

DSCF1280

On the way out I talked to this guy.  He scratch built this Shasta trailer set up.  It was pretty amazing, but unfortunately, there wasn’t a class that quite fit it.  Look for more classes next year. It’s going to just keep growing!

DSCF1278Look how scale that interior is.

IMG_20170712_195324

All that judging made me hungry, so we headed back to camp for a little snack-snack.

IMG_20170712_195251

Right when we about to finish off our snacks, a little bird flew over and told us we were missing the Monster Jam.  Mike and I dropped our glasses and ran over to the park.

DSCF1292

Elio was on the mic directing the Monster Jam. We iz in troublez now!

DSCF1305

I’m not sure what the rules were or how they set up the brackets, but I saw some fun racing and jumping carnage.

DSCF1289

Some people played it safe…

DSCF1295

…and others let it all loose. All the racers seemed to have a great time.

DSCF1301

The action was fast and really testing my camera.  I really yearned for a better camera to capture the action.

DSCF1308

Even Tristan aka Tazz, aka “Photos By Tristan, the camera master, was being challenged with all the speed and jumping. But rumor is, he’s jumped to the dark side – CANON! And #rodneysaiditwasok Even with working with a new camera, I’m still sure his images turned out better than mine. Can’t wait to see a massive Photos By Tristan Photo Blog here on the Axial Blog! Hint Hint RODNEY!

DSCF1285

Looks like SBChris is getting serious here. Lining up his truck like a golfer.

DSCF1287

Even the kids got in on the action. Heck! All week, kids are the action at AXIALFEST!
DSCF1304

Don’t forget to bring your SMT10 next year.  I’m sure the Monster Truck races will be bigger and better next year.  The racing is just too fun to watch.

DSCF1316

After the races, I wandered the campground and spotted the infamous Charlie Sue, aka SwankySu,  aka Mr. Hobby Wing, aka Charlie Suangka.  It’s always good to see Chucky and his crew.

DSCF1318

Next to Mr. Suangka was RichDog51.  If you haven’t watched his AXIALFEST videos on YouTube get over there right after you finish reading this blog.

DSCF1319

Hold up, it’s Mike Bier, aka Mark Weir the legendary Mountain Bike racer. Let me tell you, he is a mega RC nerd.  He has two tracks at his house for racing.   It was great talking to him about bikes and RC.

DSCF1323

It was also fun watching his son shoot mosquitoes with the Bug-A-Salt rifle.

IMG_20170713_181245 It was getting late, so we headed over for some dinner. Mmmmmmmac and cheese. Also, the BBQ was delicious.  It’s good to eat with the Axial crew.

IMG_20170713_183648 Cute dogs seemed popular this year.  I’m not sure what breed this one was, but it don’t think it ever touched the ground.  Here, an unidentified AXIALFEST Staff member gets some cuddles.

IMG_20170713_215131 It had been a long day and I was tired, but the CKRC Dollar Dash was in effect again this year.

IMG_20170713_215323 So, we headed over for a bit to watch the action.  $1 per run.  Best time wins. Touch the ribbon and you DQ.

IMG_20170713_215408 Is that Coleman live streaming again?

IMG_20170713_215647

Team MRB member Russ gets his game face on here.

IMG_20170713_220534

Well, I was tired, so I retired early.  I didn’t get and pictures of Dan W of Team Old Guys. He won the Dollar Dash again this year with a time of 35.2 seconds and took home a cool $153 for his driving skills. Please bring your dollars next year and take this guy down.  His bragging is beginning to hurt my ears. Yes, I think he won last year too!? DW, true or false?

IMG_20170713_220608

So, that was my second day of Axialfest 2017.  I’ll leave you with this one last photo of Casey / ScalerFab and her cute puppy. See you in Part 3 for everything that went down in front of my lens on Friday of AXIALFEST 2107.

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 1

Skeenos_AXIALFEST2017_500px01
Skeeno’s Axialfest 2017 Report Part 1 – Hey! That’s me!

Text: Matt SKEENO Soileau
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt Soileau

You all know the deal.  July is AXIALFEST time; the annual gathering of all Axial fans to Cisco Grove, California for the world’s largest gathering of scale RC enthusiasts. This year AXIALFEST expanded to five days, starting on Wednesday and ending on Sunday.  Of course, I made my 10th consecutive trip to play, visit, and help out.  Here’s what I saw on my five day adventure at AXIALFEST 2017.

DSCF1005

Part 1 of the Skeeno Report covers Day 1, Wednesday, July 12 of AXIALFEST 2017.

IMG_20170712_054303 Mike and I met up early Wednesday morning and packed up all our stuff.  We packed pretty heavy.  He and I both brought our tent trailers this year.

IMG_20170709_094325Since we were staying for five days, we had to make sure we would be eating right.  Luckily, Axial is making these sweet mini fridges.  I got a prototype.  Look for them to be in production by AXIALFEST 3018. I will be doing some seriously long-term testing…

IMG_20170711_184458

A look inside shows they left room for hearty breakfast and dinner supplies. I didn’t need much lunch food, because I’m working on my bike diet and ate with the rest of the Axial staff.

IMG_20170712_063803

There was a fire next to I-80 near the Reno city limits, so we anticipated lots of traffic delays, but that didn’t happen.  We got to Cisco Grove around 7a.m.  The camp office was closed, so we proceeded to the Axial motorhome.

IMG_20170712_121732

I’ve been in the same location for last five or six AXIALFEST events, so it was easy to find. I was slated to share with Anthony of Rivas Concepts, but I don’t think he ever sleeps.

IMG_20170712_094854

There’s Camp Skeeno all set up and ready.  Mike’s trailer made a nice sun block in the afternoon.

IMG_20170712_095432

Inside you can see I settle for nothing but the finest orange shag and 50 year old canvas.  Ignore that heater.  July was extra hot this year, so there was no need for that.

DSCF1123

Once we got set up, I did head over to the camp office to check in and see how things were going. Next to the office is this cool scale area…

DSCF1115

DSCF1112

There were already some rigs out on the trails and it was only 9 a.m. on a Wednesday!

DSCF1147

I spotted several groups getting early morning trail runs in.

DSCF1169

This guy was topping off his tank before heading out.

DSCF1119

I caught the office ladies off guard and they vehemently protested their photo being taken.

DSCF1171

Once they found out I was the world famous Skeeno, they begged me to take their photo. Ok, that might be a lie, but they did tell me 430 campsites were sold for AXIALFEST 2017.  That’s 80 more than AXIALFEST 2016! They also said that at least 400-campers had checked into the campgrounds on MONDAY! This tells me that AXIALFEST is becoming a WEEK LONG EVENT VACATION for a lot of RC enthusiast!

DSCF1117

I spotted this RC sticker bombed cruiser as I was leaving.

DSCF1118

I’m sure Rodney would approve of the basket on the front that was used to haul his SCX102 around in. Remember that cute little dog for later.

DSCF1007

I headed up to registration, but it was still early and while all the banners and barriers were up and ready, nobody was to be found. Again, technically the event is not open yet, so understandable. But you can see signs that a lot of work has already been happening.
I jumped on the CT70 and cruised around to check out some campsites.

IMG_20170712_153439

Last year was #yearofthebridges and the bridges returned this year with the addition of the Golden Gate bridge, fitting for this years theme #ProspectorFever

DSCF1124

This hobbit seemed friendly, but I don’t think that screen door is keeping any flies out.

DSCF1127

First thing I spotted in A-Camp was Zotti’s Bagz.  If you need a scale sleeping bag, hit her up.  She’s got lots of colors and styles to choose from.

DSCF1125

A-Camp is the location of the very first AXIALFEST’s.  It’s mostly tent camping and there were already lots of people set up and ready.  I had heard that many were coming up even earlier next year for AXIALFEST 2018, but I didn’t expect to see the campground so full Wednesday morning this year!

DSCF1040

The paper lanterns in this campsite were a nice touch.  Customization is the key to a good campsite.

DSCF1042

Speaking of custom, this roof top tent on a tear drop is pretty custom.

DSCF1152

DSCF1172

I kept running into groups out trailing.  Will AXIALFEST start on Tuesday next year?

DSCF1128

These guys had a full tarp city. I’m not sure what was behind the curtain.  It might have been Oz.

DSCF1130

The Down with the Sickness crew had more canopies up than I could count.
These guys roll DEEP.

DSCF1134

I’m not sure how many rigs the DWTS crew brought up, but here Big Country poses with 22! And this doesn’t even count the ones that were already out on the trails.

DSCF1137

Speaking of Sickness, check out this sick haircut. I thinks it’s called the Axiallet; business in the front…

DSCF1136

…and party in the back.

DSCF1129

This young lady came up with the group from Monterrey Bay. She was extra proud of her pink wheels and cage.

DSCF1141

I’m not sure what was going down in this campsite, but I counted eight or so Power Wheels.

DSCF1142

This 16 window bus was my favorite.  I wanted to take it out for a spin, but the owners weren’t around to ask permission.

DSCF1149

The minimalist award goes to this guy.  One step up from sleeping in the car. I admired his style.

DSCF1150

I caught the Strider Bikes crew headed out to get on trail.

IMG_20170712_133432

I headed back to see what Mike was up to.  He had just finished setting his trailer up and handed me a pint to toast to our start of AXIALFEST 2017.

DSCF1008

After our toast, I headed back over to registration.  Things were starting to pick up.  Registration would be opening soon, so we had to get everything organized and ready.

DSCF1010

I spotted Chris Cru Jones of Altra and Juan Schultz discussing adjustments to the Altra 5K Enduro course.

DSCF1011

Miss Cathy and Mister Matt didn’t have time for pictures.  There were hundreds of swag bags to organize.

DSCF1030

Here’s Cathy getting the hats ready.

DSCF1032

Do you have an AXIALFEST 2017 hat?

DSCF1092

How about these special limited edition AXIALFEST hats?  They didn’t even have my name on one of these! OUTRAGE! hehehe I will protest!

DSCF1016

If your last name starts with an L, M, N, O, or P, your score card and lanyard was in those boxes. This is one station of the many for AXIALFEST 2017.

DSCF1093

Steve Miles, now you are famous.  That’s your score card.

DSCF1037

I’m glad Scott G doesn’t work in quality control with those peepers.

DSCF1034

OK, here’s where we knew things were getting serious.  Cathy started to hand out the STAFF shirts.  Head of Security, Shawn Barton gets the pick of the litter as Anthony of Rivas Concepts waits patiently.

DSCF1023

Scott Kerkes was the face of calm.  This wasn’t his first rodeo.  He was ready to get his tech on all week. I think that is Brad Perry telling ScottK, Rodney said it was OK, gimmie the keys to Jeff’s Jeep! I know this dope spot…

DSCF1091

Cathy and Cici were all smiles once registration was ready to be open.  Let the party begin!

IMG_20170712_131451

The line formed and went smoothly. The Axial crew has their system down!

DSCF1088

DSCF1099It’s amazing how quickly the hundreds of participants can move through tech and registration.

DSCF1095

I’m not sure why, but Chris from SBC seems to always be one of the first in line.

DSCF1096Remember the cute doggy earlier? I think that’s sticker bomb cruiser guy with his trail buddy.

DSCF1138

If you didn’t print it and sign it at home, there were extra liability waivers at registration.

DSCF1026

Someone got a little creative with the chalk. Is that a Deadbolt?

DSCF1082

Before the registration and swag tent was the tech area.  There guys  worked at a fevers pitch to get everyone checked out.

DSCF1106

They tried their best to keep the line moving at a good pace.

DSCF1085

DSCF1108

Matt Kett from Scale Builders Guild was all smiles. See Scott Kerkes teching like a champ?  He kept it up all weekend.

DSCF1167

Axial’s R&D VP, Matt Kearney even got his hands dirty in the Tech Booth. Applying stickers is tough!

DSCF1180

Carts and wagons were a popular option for many that brought multiple rigs to get tech’ed and checked.

DSCF1102

DSCF1087

American Flyers.  Those are some American classics.

DSCF1101

When you have lots of gear, it’s way easier to pull than carry.

DSCF1110

This young lady somehow levitated against this tree.

DSCF1103

The trusty EMT’s happily assisted anyone with medical needs, mostly dehydration and heat issues is what I heard.  Drink your water, people! With ELECTROLYTES!!! This message is “Rodney Approved” Electrolyte Replenishment – Why It’s SO IMPORTANT and HOW TO DO IT RIGHT!

DSCF1146

There were lots of cool 1:1s hanging around AXIALFEST 2017 as well!

Now, there were TONS of VENDORS at AXIALFEST 2017 too!  Many had swag to give away and deals on products. Here’s a few that I spoke with.

DSCF1153

Hitec was there. They not only had their servos on display, but also some sweet chargers. I might need to upgrade my old units for one of their all in one units. They were impressive.

DSCF1155

Super Shafty came all the way from upstate New York! They had a climb ramp for people to try for raffles.  I saw lots of flips and a few jumps.

DSCF1156

Super Shafty had lots of products on display as well as some fun decorations, but their product is way serious!

DSCF1157

Gigabit Off-Road had the coolest stickers, but maybe that’s because Mrs. Skeeno loves goats.  I caught them here before they were finished setting up.

DSCF1158

Phoenix Design LEDs was here again.

DSCF1205

Corey Shafer was my campmate, but we didn’t see him much. I think he and Rivas share the same sleep pattern.  Here, he briefly chills with Dan Huff in the Phoenix Designs booth.
Green shirt, back to work…

DSCF1159

Merica!

DSCF1163

A Main Hobbies had this amazing Axial SCX10 with Jeep FC body fully built and kitted as an overlander on display.  They gave it away on Saturday night during the AXIALFEST awards ceremony!

DSCF1164

Judd Rummage was commissioned by A Main Hobby to design and build this rig and trailer combo and it was unbelievable.

DSCF1165

There were so many details on this that I couldn’t even begin to tell you about them all.

DSCF1166

Blow up these pictures and just stare.  OK, I’ll point out my favorite part, the Honda Trail 50 hiding in the trailer.

DSCF1210

Cody Waggoner and Jesse Haines from Team Lasernut came out.  Cody’s been an Axial fan since the first Axial West Coast Championship in 2007. They are both top competitors in the 1:1 crawler scene.

DSCF1175

Hummer Portals seem to be all the rage in 1:1 crawling now.  Jesse Haines brought out his comp crawler for everyone to ogle over!

DSCF1176

He gets an amazing amount of steering out of those things.

DSCF1201

Cody also brought out his comp buggy.  Some lucky ducks got to take it for a spin.  I think Jay Kendall from SOR was one of the lucky ones. I got to drive it last year.  You can check it out here: AF16P1

DSCF1185

Ty from Tekin is an AXIALFEST veteran from way back.  He brought out the big tent this year.  I still remember when he drove his Subaru Impreza down. Times sure have changed.

DSCF1182

Ty built this 6X6 with custom 3D printed body built on a custom SCX10 chassis. It was pretty incredible.

DSCF1059

Speaking of incredible, the Two Chainz Scalerz crew brought out their amazing scale features again.

DSCF1188

This year it was a waterfall with a working water wheel…oh, and scale water tower.

DSCF1057

There was a scale town behind it, but I had bad lighting, so I decided to come back later.

DSCF1058

But, I couldn’t help myself from checking out the scale cemetery.  Each headstone had a members name and epitaph.  My favorite was Dan W, old guys can only rule so long.

DSCF1193

I caught Coleman from Extreme Scale Performance.  Have you participated in his weekly Axial Scale Wars? Did you catch his live stream of AXIALFEST?

DSCF1194

DSCF1072

Proline had their scale garage and junk yard out for people to take pictures with.

DSCF1073

Lots of amazing details in there.

DSCF1197

Elio and Tristan’s Jeeps are either kissing or fighting.  I’m not sure.

DSCF1200

Jawn Shuhls and Chris Cru Jones were trying to talk Pham Bam into running the Altra 5K.

DSCF1203

JavaGoGo bumped the techno and made some delicious beverages.  The Funky Monkey was worth it.

DSCF1206

There’s the Giga Crew all set up.

DSCF1212

Jason from Pedals Bike Shop of Riversidea, Ca delivered Rodney Wills to AXIALFEST after a little accident that left Rodney cruzing on crutch-mobile status. Jason is a KONA Bikes dealer and together they donated a Kona Big Kahuna 27.5+ bike to the raffle pile! I see Jason read my Bomber build blog and stole my orange wheels idea.

DSCF1213

Prairie City representing California State Parks came out to play and also talk about their awesome OHV facilities. Check them out at http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1221

DSCF1215

Toyzuki had their rigs on display.  I was fascinated by their chassis kit that allowed the easy swapping of regular and overdrive gearing with the use of a transfer case.  It’s genius.

DSCF1224

My other favorite thing at Toyzuki was this custom VW Thing.

DSCF1225

I love the Type 181.  I spotted this almost immediately.

DSCF1216

Hailing from the east coast, Brazen also had a small booth set up.
Note Rodney on crutches…

DSCF1219

Forester coming through!  Subiworks brought their cool Subaru Forester. Check out the ground clearance, custom front bumper with winch and Rigid lighting.

DSCF1221

It also had these really cool RotopaX mounts built into the window openings.

DSCF1222

This was my first spotting of #rodneysaiditwasok which became the phrase of AXIALFEST 2017.  Something happened online and it spread like wildfire! Did you get your limited edition RSIWO shirt from SBG?

DSCF1227

Of course CKRC was on site with their fully stocked hobby shop.

DSCF1208

CKRC also had some limited edition giveaways as well as a customer appreciation dinner and their infamous Dollar Dash on Thursday night after the Concours event.

DSCF1161

Next to CKRC was the start of their trail.  There were lots of scale buildings on this course.

DSCF1229

Hemistorm came all the way from the other side of the planet to visit AXIALFEST with Castle Creations! I had the pleasure of  judging with him during the Concourse event.

DSCF1230

Hmmm, sensored motors from Castle?  I’m listening…

DSCF1231

Vanquish’s Dan W photobombs the Proline guys.

DSCF1077

Not only did Proline bring their scale junkyard, but also this amazing scale shop.

DSCF1080

Next to Proline was S.O.R. Graphics, not sore, but eS Oh aRe Graphics.

DSCF1078

Jay Kendall was a little camera shy, but he is super friendly.  He did the amazing wrap on my Altra 5K Bomber and even hooked my bike up with a custom sticker/wrap.  Hit him up at www.stuckonracinggraphics.com

DSCF1043

Some top brass from Rigid Industries brought giveway swag, prizes for the awards ceremony raffle and they brought their SCX10s to get their scale trail action on!

DSCF1044

It’s all a blurr now, but at some point in the day Jaime Seymour made some of the most amazing hamburgers ever cooked at AXIALFEST!

DSCF1045

GFE – Grumpy Fast Eddy of Fast Eddy Bearings is another veteran AXIALFEST supporter and he still yelled at everyone to get off his lawn.  I’m waiting for the time lapse video to come out.  I’m in there somewhere around 2:24am.

DSCF1046

Random sighting of “Brokenib” aka Chris Goris.  He’s another long time AXIALFEST participant!

DSCF1048

RCP Crawlers are one of the OG RC Crawler shops and still make parts from some old school rigs that we used before Axial was around.

DSCF1052

Team KNK came all the way out from Ohio with loads of their hardware kits.  If you need screws, bolts, washers, etc.  They are your go to.

DSCF1066

RC4WD had all their good stuff on display.  I caught them before they were fully set up here, but this tracked SCX10 had me dreaming of this set up on an FC Jeep. I’ll be back later…

IMG_20170712_124323

I heard people screaming, “Bear!” I was a little afraid, but it turned out to be this adorable Pomeranian puppy at the Scaler Fab booth. Dang, he is CUTE.

DSCF1071

Scaler Fab had all their bumbers and other wares available.

DSCF1049

Last but not least was RPP Hobby.

DSCF1187

It wouldn’t be AXIALFEST withouth RPP Hobbies.  They brought out their super-shop-tent-set out again to AXIALFEST 2017.

DSCF1065

I’m not sure when they slept, because their tent aka mobile hobby shop was packed every time I walked by.

DSCF1054

RPP Hobby also had a their trail start right by their booth.

DSCF1062

They also had a photo booth for AXIALFEST’ers to take scale photos at.

So, that’s just a small taste of AXIALFEST 2017.  It was a blurry fast day and I missed lots of things.  Luckily, I had four more days to come back and catch more action.

IMG_20170712_135856

So, keep your eyes out for Part-2 of the Skeeno Report coming soon, right after I eat this bacon. And I promise to try not to use the word amazing in any more blogs.

 

 

 

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Results

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners

If you didn’t get a chance to attend AXIALFEST2017, you certainly missed out on a fantastic event! Along with all the other amazing activities, the Rock Racing portion of the show was by far one of the most popular!

The Rock Racers were sorted into 8 different classes, allowing drivers of different ages and vehicle types to compete against each other. The classes were:

RR1] Rock Race 10-Under Kids Class – 1.9 & 2.2 Combined
RR2] Rock Race 11-15 Kids Class – 1.9 & 2.2 Combined
RR3] Rock Race 1.9 Factory SCX10 Class
RR4] Rock Race 1.9 Frame Rail Class
RR5] Rock Race Factory Bomber Class
RR6] Rock Race Wraith – OPEN Class
RR7] Rock Race 2.2 Tube Chassis Class
RR8] Rock Race EXO/Bomber – OPEN Class
RR9] Rock Race 2.2 Tube Chassis Class

For a detailed description of all the classes, see our post here ROCK RACING RULES – AXIALFEST 2017.

After the dust had settled, 9 winners had been crowned champions of the AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing, well, race!

Rock Race 10-Under Kids Class – 1.9 & 2.2 Combined

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners
1st Place – Simon Kirsch
2nd Place – Joe Zuniga
3rd Place – Andrew Pena


Rock Race 11-15 Kids Class – 1.9 & 2.2 Combined

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners
1st Place – Kason Ernest
2nd Place – Hunt Parr
3rd Place – Ethan Mulhollen


Rock Race 1.9 Factory SCX10 Class

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners
1st Place – Michael Pham
2nd Place – Paul Russell
3rd Place – Bryan Kautz


Rock Race 1.9 Frame Rail Class

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners
1st Place – Michael Pham
2nd Place – Angelo Lanford
3rd Place – Brian Richards


Rock Race Factory Bomber Class

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners
1st Place – Dominique Judkins
2nd Place – Harley Judkins
3rd Place – Saphira Judkins


Rock Race Wraith – OPEN Class

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners
1st Place – Spencer Bell
2nd Place – Mason Dunievitz
3rd Place – Michael Pham


Rock Race 2.2 Tube Chassis Class

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners
1st Place – Michael Pham
2nd Place – Rich Bolts
3rd Place – Danny Ensor


Rock Race EXO/Bomber – OPEN Class

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners
1st Place – Jake Wright
2nd Place – Mike Thompson
3rd Place – Chris Duran


Rock Race YETI Class

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners
1st Place – Michael Pham
2nd Place – Devlin Shipley
3rd Place – Ben Thomas


Here are some other links to posts regarding AXIALFEST2017.

Thank You – AXIALFEST2017
This page has downloadable group photos as well as a list of every name that pre-registered for the event!

Off-Road Dave’s First Time Account of AXIALFEST 2017
A detailed look of David “Off-Road Dave” Miller’s first adventure to AXIALFEST2017.

Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro
An inside look at the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro written by RC Driver’s Greg Vogel.