The Full Size Connection

Axial is different than any company I have ever worked with before. These guys are the real deal enthusiasts; the parking lot at the Axial offices is regularly decorated with capable off-road trail rigs. This enthusiasm for full scale adventure translates directly into the scale products we have all come to enjoy.

While hanging around the office after hours, a conversation sparked up about full size trail rigs. The VP of Axial, Jeff Johns had recently parted company with his 99 Jeep TJ and was in the market for a new rig. The debate immediately kicked off as to what vehicle he should build next, and the opinions were all over the map. Eventually the discussion led where every good 4×4 discussion leads, right into the age old Jeep vs. Toyota battle. The strongest argument going was the idea of building a full size Honcho, which would be really cool! We could model the bed and cage exactly like our 1/10 Honcho and hit the trail with a full size SCX10.

With this debate in full swing regarding a new trail rig for Jeff, I started looking into the full size vehicles owned by the guys behind the Axial brand, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. One of the reasons this brand is so successful is because they are authentic. Authentic to the point that when they are not on a scale trail run with their Axial rigs, they are on the full size trail with their 1:1 rig enjoying the outdoor life with their families. To illustrate this, I thought I would share a few shots of the rigs owned and enjoyed by the Axial staff and Axial team members…. check it out!!

Axial Employee 1:1 rigs:

Here is the 99 Jeep TJ that Jeff Johns [Axial Vice President] had to let go due to room constraints. This rig was really well prepared, I am sure he is sorry to see it go!

 

Here are some shots of Matt Kearney’s [Axial's VP of Product Design] 1973 Ford Bronco Ranger out on the trail.

 

This is the 1992 80 Series Landcruiser that belongs to Rodney Wills [Axial Global Marketing Director].

Here is our resident Jeep JK expert Randall Davis’ 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited [Axial Logistics / IT]

 

Randall even has a “proper” custom hood ornament!!!

Brad “Bender” Dumont [Axial Marketing Department] recently let his Jeep go as well while preparing for a new addition to his family. We expect to see him back in the game soon, either way we couldn’t leave out his 99 Jeep Wrangler TJ

Andrew Obannon [Axial Sales Assistant] is one of the more hardcore wheelers of the group, he isnt scared to take his 85 Toyota 4Runner through its paces and then some!

 

And then there is your humble scribe, Scott G. [Marketing Special Projects] and my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee (or soccer mom station wagon as it get called on the trail)
First a shot of my 93, from back in the day…

and my 98 I am working on bringing back to proper spec.

 

Dont hate on the station wagon!!

The influence and direction of this company not only comes from internal, but also from a huge support network out on the trails. Our Axial team drivers are selected for their knowlege, not only in the scale 4×4 world, but also for their depth of knowlege in the 1:1 field. It is the goal of Axial to bring the most authentic experience to our customers and fans, and we feel our team drivers really assist and compliment this mission and contribute significantly to all of our success. Check out some of these guys in action!

Axial Team driver 1:1 rigs:

The one and only Brian Parker, he is usually out influencing the market with his passion for events and the outdoor lifestyle. So where does he get his motivation from? From spending time out in nature with good friends enjoying his off-road vehicles. His 83 toyota called “Lexus” is his favorite rig, it is said to be “powered by chevy, geared by Toyota and driven by a Jeeper” … Only Parker!

It’s all about getting away from civilization and exploring earth with friends…. Parker loves his Yamaha Grizzly 660.

Ryan Gerrish…. This man has owned so many vehicles that are on our wish list…… here are just a few!

Our man Zach Chatelain, he is always at the top of the leader board in the scale comp scene, and he knows how to get around in the back woods in his 2011 Toyota Tacoma!

Here is Dean Hsiao frequenting the trails that the world famous “King of the Hammers” are held on in Johnson Valley in his beloved 1983 Toyots SR5, ya, he’s not scared either!!

Then we have Patrick Norton, another scale crawling master showing us the ultimate location for him to show off his 2004 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, We wanna go!!

 

Check out Jake Wright and his Toyota Tuber going for it on the rocks!

Our Man Mark Reel is rocking a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Ok Jeff, you have quite the decision ahead of you. I guess the good news is that no matter what vehicle you choose to build, there will never be a shortage of friends to hit the trail with!!

The RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Las Vegas 2011

The RECON G6 CHALLENGE “Gamblers Paradise” Las Vegas
Date: April 2nd, 2011
Location: Some N.E. hillside outside Las Vegas, Nevada
Words: Rodney “GCRad1” Wills
Images: Brandon Coonce & Rodney Wills

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (116)

The year Twenty-Eleven has barely started and the RECON Crew has already and totally changed the game of having R/C fun in a friendly environment!

The G6 Challenges first started in January with “Erzberg” and “Folsom G6 Blues,” February saw “Love of Rock” and “Folsom G6 Blues part Duex,” then March brought on the “Maddness.” Finally, April was not fooling around with “Gamblers Paradise!” All in all, six events of G-six’ism this year!

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The casual bystander would view the landscape for a G6 Challenge as beautiful to view from a distance but would not consider the terrain and environment as “friendly,” but for the adventure G6’ers, the rougher and less traveled, the better! But what is this G6 Challenge that has Trail Honcho’s in a frenzy to adventure into the unknown?

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The Gamblers Paradise Edition of the G6 Challenge was actually a “no gamble – all win” event with spectacular al la natural landscape, awesome weather and course design on the Scalers’ list of paradise-type terrain! Yes, this event was EPIC for the adventure enthusiast!

While on a previous G6 Challenge in Reno, I did a little sample driving as I spent most of my time filming and shooting photos. I had such a blast with the little time I drove my rig at the “Maddness” event, that this time I wanted more seat-time! Jeff Johns [Axial President] and myself went out to participate in this event from start to finish. With two very stock SCX10’s in hand, we wanted to get the full flavor of fun and a full-day of seat-time… ok, steering-walking time. Either way, it was the adventure of the unknown we were chasing!

Here is Jeff just past #20-Trail Marker into the 100-TM course:
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The G6 Challenge events are comprised of three trails ranging from 50 to 200 course markers- pretty much however many Brian Parker feels like putting in that day, but with heavy emphasis on “challenge” as in the most challenging courses set in natural terrain. At G6 Challenge events, two guys work together as “trail buddies.” The mission is that one person drives his rig and the other guy goes along as “co-pilot” alerting the driver to course directions while scoring his driver. Once the driver finishes a trail, the participants switch duties for the same course and repeat for the other trails. Yes, this is the honor system with nine million ways to seek the gray area. But hey, this is the very reason we are seeing a flip as the other side coin has nine million rules to follow. At the end of the day, we currently only need/want general guidelines for some wild style adventure fun!!!


Jeff Johns, Axial President getting his G6 ON! Yes, our president is also an enthusiast!

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Jeff and I being first time G6’ers, we were also trail-buddies and driving showroom bone-stockers! Can we make it any harder!? From a participant standpoint, it is very easy to show up and run at one of these events! As the event was getting underway, I couldn’t hold back my urge to snap a couple of shots of the other adventure seekers as Jeff was making ready his SCX10 murdered-out Honcho. OK. So his rig is not that stock, he has custom flat black paint and a couple of scale accessories.
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It dawned on me that while I understood the rules, I was not familiar with the score keeping process and in just a few moments we would be out on a trail, clock ticking and no way of returning to G6 base-camp to ask about rules and scoring, so I made a quick inquiry about rules right as Jeff approached the start line. Talk about cutting it close!
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“Rules – EASY! Don’t hit trail markers and don’t hit boundaries. Have FUN!,” stated Stewart G. with assistance from Brad Bailey while starting other G6’ers out onto the three trails simultaneously. OK, so that is (I hope) rather simple, I thought and we started our adventure in the “deep-end of the pool” with the 100-trail marker course!

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StewartG [center] of RECON, the man behind the digital clocks and all things keeping up with Brian Parker [right].

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The coolest thing about participating in the “chase of adventure” at a G6 Challenge is that it is not about the podium finish. It’s about the massive amount of seat-time driving and possibly surviving the unknown unscathed and then, sharing stories at the end of the day- “How in the heck did you clean TM-24 on the 100-course?” “Did you see that Bender-6X walk-it!” “Did you get passed by the Swanson Swagger!?”

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented by Axial - Las Vegas, Nevada 2011

WELL. Let me tell you! I personally witnessed the “Swanson Swagger!” I got passed on the 100-course by the man himself, Mr. Tom “Swagger” Swanson, somewhere after TM-66 and before TM-75 on the radical terrain of the 100-course. I was in disbelief, but the “rumor” is in fact true! “The Swagger” as he will now be known, was walking, not running, in a brisk and smooth manner as he somehow piloted his SCX10 Dingo [the only one at the event] through the Vegas outback. As he navigated his rig past and was a few feet ahead, he shouted back for me to look on the left as he thought he may have seen a cleaner line for me to attempt. I looked in a fit of frustration and why yes, I saw the line! HOW THE HECK!? I’m laughing as I line my Sharpe Camo’ed SCX10 Honcho up to the rock and could only punch the skinny pedal and succeeded in launching my rig up the rock on the left side only to take out the course marker on the right. Luck will only take you so far and did at this point as some of my previous course marker clearings where finessed in complete amazement even to myself and stage partner. I’m sure everyone knows of what I speak, everyone needs video to capture the proof of pure amazement.

Here at TM-74 is where I would be passed by Tom “Swagger” Swanson:
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I pulled out of the way in order for Tom to have a clean-through line. Also, I was attempting to reverse through the trail marker diagonally without having to winch without the winch I do not have and without the use of the stage buddy winch. Tom of course needed no stinking winch as he boosted up the ledge on the third approach!

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Tom Swanson in action – standing for a brief moment.

Later at the G6 Base Camp, I asked Tom Swanson for some of his hysterical magical swagger to be sprinkled on my rig to make up the difference in driving talent that expired and without instant renewal, back there around TM-68. He graciously popped the Dingo’s bonnet [it was European] and showed me his personal outback setup! This is the comradery that the G6 Challenge members have! It’s us that have to survive both the outback wilderness defined by the trail markers of Brian Parker and the G6 Crew. It’s all part of the mystery and adventure that happens at the G6 Challenges.

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We came, we drove and we performed our wilderness clean-up duty!

FIRST PLACE:
Brian Parker and Brad Bailey of RECON Present Thom Kowatch [center] his First Place at RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (256)
Brian Parker and Brad Bailey of RECON Present Thom Kowatch [center] his First Place “Wagon Wheel” Award

SECOND PLACE:
Brandon Coonce of Axial at RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (255)
Brandon Coonce of Axial Inc., is presented the Second Place “ashes to ashes – dust to dust” Award

THIRD PLACE:

Brain Parker presents Tom Swanson with the Third Place “Vegas Desert Shark Landmark” Award

TOUGH LUCK AWARD:

Brent Brammer is presented the Tough Luck “G-Degree Good Apple” Award. Brent battled electric gremlins from the very start but fought them through the 100-TM course and the first 50-TM course before expiring his battle. This was inauguration to the G6 family.


Brad “Bender” Dumont’s 6XSCX10 set the fastest time on the 100-TM Course!!!

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G6 Participants where given the first public viewing of the Wraith Rock Racer!


You can bank on there being more… more G6 Challenge in store!