Wroncho Action Shots

I went out last night for a little shakedown run with my Honcho. For those that missed it, I recently swapped the stock axles out for Wraith axles. Wraith axles under a Honcho, equals the “Wroncho Build”. This gave me a wider footprint and the full width one ton axle look. I do need to make a few tweaks to the suspension, but so far it is pretty fun to drive. It is amazing how much more stable it is at high speeds, because of the extra width.

For those that haven’t seen this Honcho before, here is a link to my original build thread on RCCrawler. The full evolution of this truck can be seen there.
http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/axial-scx-10/221956-benders-honcho-now-sporting-wraith-axles.html

On to the pictures……
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After I make a few changes to the suspension, I will get out and shoot some video. I will post the video here on our blog when I am done.

Link to how this project got started:
http://wordpress.axialracing.com/?p=754600000

Link to the video:
http://wordpress.axialracing.com/?p=789800000

AWCC 2011 Media

RCCRAWLER.com:
RCcrawler.com has the official section for all things AWCC and there are some awesome photo threads in there!:
http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=199

RC DRIVER MAGAZINE
Tony Phalen and Greg Vogel of RC Driver Magazine where on hand and HAD A BLAST!
Here is Tony’s Driver Blog:
http://find.rcdriver.com/adventure-at-the-2011-axial-west-coast-championships

CAR ACTION MAGAZINE
Matt Higgens, Editor In Chief at RCCA was on hand doing live feed info to the RCCA website:
http://www.rccaraction.com/blog/category/topics/event-coverage/awcc-2011/

RC Car Action Photo Blog
http://www.rccaraction.com/blog/2011/07/05/awcc-photo-gallery/

Matt and Scott also met up with Axial’s own world famous Scott “Squirrel” Hughes for a brief interview:
http://www.rccaraction.com/blog/2011/07/07/axial-racings-scott-hughes/
Boy, he really is getting on with age and wit these days…

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Jeepspeed Cherokee Build

Some of you may recognize this build from the June 2011 issue of RC Driver magazine, page 28 to be exact. The guys over there did an article/interview with me about this build and how it came about. Now that the article is out and in circulation, we wanted to do a little update with more details here on our blog. If you want to read the article in RC Driver, this issue is now available at news stands.

If you haven’t seen the article, I built this SCX10 up to replicate a Jeepspeed Cherokee. I wanted to build a scale replica of the real thing using off the shelf parts that you could find at most hobby shops. Most people don’t associate the term “custom build” with the phrase “off the shelf parts.” But, with a little imagination you can build a one off custom truck with store bought goods. This build started life as an SCX10 Dingo, and the chassis/suspension is still relatively stock. Most of the customization went into the body on this particular build, since that is what most people see first. I started with a Pro-line Jeep Cherokee body, interior, scale accessories and their 1.9 Super Swamper SX tires. Since the 1:1 1700 class is limited to 33 inch tires, a smaller 1.9 tire looks the best for this style build.

For this particular article I am going to concentrate on a few of the scale details that went into this build. Aside from the Pro-line goodies, I also used an array of Axial parts on this build as well, like the narrowed Dingo roll cage, Dingo rear bumper, interior detail kit, exterior detail kit, Honcho bumper, Honcho spare tire mount, aluminum scale shocks, 4 link parts tree, light buckets, etc.

First thing we will cover is the scale interior, and what went into it. I decided to use black, orange and silver for my colors on this rig. So the interior was painted predominately black, with silver and orange highlights. Here you can see the narrowed Dingo roll cage sitting in place to sort out the mounting points. I measured the inside of the roof line on the Cherokee body to determine the width I needed first, then cut the center of the roll cage as needed.

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To mount the cage I used Axial’s rubber shock bump stops at the base of the cage. Then, used long M3 screws to tie everything together once the placement was dialed in.

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More interior detail.

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Custom fuel filler. I made this using black fuel line and a Great Planes nitro fuel line plug (Part #GPMQ4166) for a cap. Reamed a hole in the body smaller then the outer diameter of the fuel line, then pressed the assembly into place.

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Next, I started working on the body. First thing I wanted to add was Axial scale fender flares, as most of the Jeepspeed Cherokee’s run a wide fender kit front, and/or rear. I did trim the fender flares back a little to give them more of a high speed look. Body scissors work great for trimming the flares as needed.

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Here’s a little closer shot of the trimmed fender flares. Notice I cut the Cherokee fender wells back until the fender flares were even with the hood.

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Once I moved the fender flares up level with the hood, and trimmed the Cherokee Lexan bumpers off, the front of the fender flares end up fairly short. This left me with no holes to mount the very front of the flares to the body. So, I drilled a hole through one of the “dummy” fasteners molded into the flare, then trimmed the head of the fastener off with an X-acto. Now, I can screw the front of the flares down to the body as needed.

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I had to cut the backside of the fender flares into small pieces in order for it to not distort the body lines when everything was bolted up.

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After installing the fender flares, I installed the interior to see if there were any clearance issues. Notice I had to cut part of the interior away to clear the backside of the fender flares.

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Here you can see the internal roll cage pretty much sits against the roof line of the body, which should help keep the cab rigid during any high speed rollovers.

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Another Pro-line accessory that I added was their roof rack. I installed a few Axial light buckets to customize it a little too.

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Next I needed some bumpers. The stock Dingo rear bumper was a perfect fit for the Cherokee body. But, the front bumper isn’t really a desert style bumper. So, I decided to see if I could use a Honcho bumper instead. In order to give our Honcho bumper a little more of a pre-runner look, I cut the bottom of the wings off. Then, cut the aluminum inserts that fit the wings into small pieces to look like reinforcing gussets. Also added our big round lights and amber lenses while I was at it.

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Once again I mocked everything up to ensure a proper fit. It can be a pain to keep assembling everything, just to tear it down again. But, it’s the only way to get everything exactly where it needs to be. Patience is your friend during these steps.

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Once the roof rack was mounted and everything fit properly, it was time to start working on the paint job. I laid out the design I wanted as true to scale as I could. Then, weaseled my way into Brandon’s office to see if he could cut me some paint mask for the body. Thanks Brandon!

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I just used basic rattle can paint on this build. After masking the windows and paint job, I gave the body a very light coat of black paint. To ensure the paint wouldn’t bleed under my mask, I let this first coat completely dry before I applied anymore paint. A light first coat, that is allowed to dry, is the best insurance for a clean paint job. That first light coat basically seals the paint mask to the body, and doesn’t allow later coats to bleed under.

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Paint is done! I applied the black first, then the silver outline on the scallops, then the orange last. After that I went back and laid down another coat of black. This did 2 things, one it gives the orange paint a “burnt” look so it isn’t so bright. And two, it’s a pet peeve of mine to look inside a Lexan body to see the same color on the inside as the outside. So, I always back my paint jobs in black.

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With the fender flares installed.

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Shot of the scallops on the hood.

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Applied all the stickers and it was time for another mock up.

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The ride height looked a little tall to me, so I made some functional limiting straps out of shoe laces to lower the ride height a bit.

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Last thing I did was install the spare tire and add the other scale accessories from Pro-line.

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The final product……

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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 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-sixism 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 G6ers, the rougher and less traveled, the better! But what is this G6 Challenge that has Trail Honchos 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 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 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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RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (158)

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!!!

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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 G6ers, 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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RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (201)

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! Started Stewart G. with assistance from Brad Bailey while starting other G6ers 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!?

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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 Third Place at RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011

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

TOUGH LUCK AWARD:

Brent Brammer of Axial At RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011

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.

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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!

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