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WORLD’S FASTEST!

IFMAR CHAMP TY TESSMANN SPEAKS OUT ››


RADIO CONTROL CAR ACTION

THE MODEL MOTORSPORTS AUTHORITY


APRIL 2015
LOSI XXX-SCT WITH AVC | SLASH 4X4 DRAG TRUCK | WORLD CHAMP TY TESSMANN | HITEC LYNX 4S | GRAUPNER X-8N | HOW TO PAINT DRIVER FIGURES

RATED!
WE DRIVE LOSI’S
AVC-EQUIPPED
XXX-SCT
PLUS

PROJECT
SLASH
4X4 DRAG
TRUCK
IDE
I NS
NEW
HOTUCTS
+ D
15
STRE
ET SH
R
PRO DETC410
E D DE
E
R D U

C’S R
RANG
ED-H
O
O T LYNX 4
NGE
S

I N TH I T
E C X REVE
O GGY
GER P IG-BU
TRIG ET B
BUDG

Display until March 17, 2015


ALL-TERRAIN
VEE
APRIL 2015 $5.99 US $7.99 CAN

DUB!
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RCCARACTION.COM
#1170-00
TRENCHER 2.8” #1170-12 Mounted *
(Traxxas Style Bead)
®

#1170-13 Mounted **
#1170-14 Mounted †
#1170-15 Mounted ‡

#1192-00 POWERSTROKE SHOCKS (ALL-TERRAIN)


MASHER 2.8” #1192-12 Mounted * for 2WD or 4X4 Stampede ®
(Traxxas Style Bead)
®

#1192-13 Mounted ** #6063-00 Front #6063-02 Rebuild Kit


#6063-01 Rear #6063-05 Universal Shock
Mounting Kit

PRO-SPEC SHOCKS (RACE)


for 2WD or 4X4 Stampede ®
#6308-30 Front
#6308-31 Rear
Optional springs and replacement parts are available.

SAND PAW 2.8” #1186-00


(Traxxas Style Bead)
®

#1186-14 Mounted †
#1186-15 Mounted ‡

SCAN WITH YOUR

#1173-00 F-11 2.8” Black Wheels


BADLANDS 2.8” #1173-12 Mounted *
(Traxxas Style Bead)
®

(Traxxas Style Bead)


®
#2743-03 Nitro [R], Electric [F] & 4x4 [F/R]
#1173-13 Mounted **
SMART PHONE #2744-03 Electric [R]
* Mounted on Black Desperado 2.8” Wheels for Nitro [R], Electric [F] or 4x4 [F/R]
** Mounted on Black Desperado 2.8” Wheels for Electric [R]
† Mounted on Black F-11 2.8” Wheels for Nitro [R], Electric [F] or 4x4 [F/R]
‡ Mounted on Black F-11 2.8” Wheels for Electric [R]
1966 Ford® F-100
for 2WD or 4X4 Stampede
#3412-00
Ford® Motor Company Trademarks and Trade Dress
used under license to Pro-Line.

`66 Ford® F-100 body shown on 2WD Stampede® with:


Badlands 2.8” Front Tires (sanded smooth), Sand Paw 2.8” Rear Tires
Mounted on F-11 Wheels, PowerStroke Shocks, ProTrac™ Suspension,
Light Bar Kit (#6085-00) & Secure-Loc Extended Body Mounts

SECURE-LOC EXTENDED
BODY MOUNTS

NEW HD STEEL Diff Gear & EXTRA THICK


Composite 86T Spur Gear

HEAVY DUTY STEEL Internal Gears for


Maximum Durability

3mm thick aluminum motor mount


with cooling fins

PROTRAC SUSPENSION COMPONENTS


for 2WD Stampede ® for 4X4 Stampede ® Full BALL BEARINGS used throughout
#6062-01 2WD Front Arms #6082-01 4X4 Front or Rear Arms
#6062-02 2WD Rear Arms #6082-02 [F] 4X4 Camber Links
Racing style SLIPPER SYSTEM with
#6062-03 [F] Shock Tower #6062-06 [R] Camber Links
vented disks
#6062-04 [R] Shock Tower #6062-07 Steering Links
#6062-06 [F/R] Camber Links #6252-00 Secure-Loc Mounts Performance pre-oil filled, SEALED DIFFERENTIAL
#6062-07 Steering Links
#6070-00 Secure-Loc Mounts

PERFORMANCE HD TRANSMISSION
for 2WD Stampede ®
#6261-00

Please note: All tires and wheels are sold in pairs, unless otherwise noted. All bodies are sold in
crystal clear lexan and are painted for advertising purposes only.
Stampede® is a registered trademark of Traxxas® L.P.
CONTENTS
Volume 30
Number 4
April 2015

Features
56 | Project Slash 4x4 Drag Truck On the cover: (From top) Ty Tessmann, reigning IFMAR 1/8 Off-Road World
Champion; Losi’s XXX-SCT shredding with a little AVC; Kyosho Mad Bug
Building the ultimate street machine
›› By Kevin Hetmanski

72 | Pro–file: Ty Tessmann
Racing, family, and what’s next for RC’s newest
World Champion
›› By Carl Hyndman

Performance Tests test bench


48 | Losi/Horizon Hobby XXX-SCT with AVC 110 | HITEC Lynx 4S
Top-shelf tech comes to Losi’s track-tested 112 | LandWave Ramp System
short course machine
›› By Carl Hyndman 114 | Graupner X-8N HoTT
94 | Kyosho Mad Bug
Classic baja bug styling meets modern
brushless power and 4WD tech
›› By Carl Hyndman
RADIO CONTROL CAR ACTION (USPS 001-087; ISSN 0886-1609) is published monthly by Air Age, Inc.,
64 | ECX/Horizon Hobby Revenge Type E 88 Danbury Road, Wilton CT 06897 USA. Copyright 2015, all rights reserved. Periodicals postage permit
paid at Wilton, CT, and additional offices. Canadian Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40008153.
Big buggy fun with brushless power that won’t SUBSCRIPTIONS: U.S., call (800) 877-5169; Canada and elsewhere, call (386) 246-3323; or go to our website
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›› By Carl Hyndman EDITORIAL: Send correspondence to Editors, Radio Control Car Action, 88 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897
USA. Email: RCCA@airage.com. We welcome all editorial submissions, but assume no responsibility for loss/
damage of unsolicited material. To authors, photographers and people featured in this magazine: all materials

82 | Team Durango DETC410 published in Radio Control Car Action become the exclusive property of Air Age, Inc. unless prior arrangement
is made in writing with the Publisher. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: To make sure you don’t miss any issues, send
your new address to Radio Control Car Action, P.O. Box 420134, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235 USA, six weeks
Durango’s first-ever touring car is a pro-grade performer before you move. Please include address label from a recent issue, or print the information exactly as shown
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›› By Joel Navarro POSTMASTER: Send Form 3579 to Radio Control Car Action, P.O. Box 420134, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235 USA.
DRIVE MORE.
CHARGE LESS.
Charge ahead and maximize your time behind the wheel with the Losi® 1/24-Scale Rally-X and SCTE. Thanks to the innovative new Dynamite® HyperCharge™ system
these power-packed micros recharge in minutes, not hours. That means you’ll get more time to spend pushing the limitations of a ballistic 7915Kv brushless motor and
equally impressive 4WD while your competition waits to reach full charge. This is big time innovation on the small scale; this is Losi.
Micro Rally-X Micro SCTE
LOS00002 LOS00001

Charges batteries in 10 minutes!

VISIT CLICK CALL SERIOUS FUN.®


Your Local Retailer horizonhobby.com 1.800.338.4639

©2015 Horizon Hobby, LLC. Losi, HyperCharge, Dynamite and the Horizon Hobby logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Horizon Hobby, LLC. 45832
112
CONTENTS

How-to
89 | Assemble and
Paint a Driver Figure
From pile of parts to painted
person in 10 steps
›› By Kevin Hetmanski

103 | Mount Beadlock


Wheels
Six easy steps to go glueless
103 26
›› By Kevin Hetmanski

Departments
18 | Starting Line
20 | Feedback
26 | Readers’ Rides
28 | Pit Tips
37 | Tech Center
43
43 | New & Hot
122 | Tailpipe

resources
118 | AirAgeStore.com 114

RCCarAction.com
Your source for up-to-the-minute RC — the latest news, tips, contests, and so much more!

LIKE FOLLOW WIN!


Go to Facebook.com/ Don’t miss your daily Make sure you enter the latest
RCCarAction and do what dose of RC excitement contest at RCCarAction.com—
over 312,000 Facebook fans on Instagram — follow just visit the site or follow our
have already done — “like” RC Car Action! From social media for the latest
the number-one RC brand trick trucks and over- details on what we’re giving
on Facebook! Our Facebook the-top action to eye- away. Previous contests have
page is a rapidly growing popping projects and included a tricked-out Losi
community of RC enthusiasts, sneak peeks at what’s 5IVE-T and Pro-Line PRO2
industry professionals, and next in RCCA, there’s Buggy kit, so we’re talkin’
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EDITORIAL
Editorial Director
Peter Vieira ›› peterv@airage.com
Senior Editor
Kevin Hetmanski ›› kevinh@airage.com
Editor
Carl Hyndman ›› carlh@airage.com
Associate Editor
Matt Boyd ›› mattb@airage.com

Easy does it Deputy Managing Editor Katherine Pierpont


CONTRIBUTORS

I
Joel Navarro, Michael Wortel, Lito Reyes, Trevor
think it’s safe to say anyone participating in the radio control hobby, whether on land, sea, “Chilly” Duncan, Scott Murphy, Bill Zegers
or air, is interested in technology—specifically, better technology. Please do let me know ART
if any of you out there still prefer resistor speed controls and wide-band AM radios (you’ll Creative Director Betty K. Nero
contact me via snail-mail, I’m sure), but I suspect you’d all rather be running modern Art Director Kevin Monahan
stuff. Why? The answer is easy. Literally, “easy” is the answer. That’s why technology Photographer Peter Hall
continually evolves: to make things easier. Not just in RC, but everywhere. Does a TV remote Videographer Adam Lebenstein
change the channel any better than a knob? No. But one of them keeps your butt on the couch, DIGITAL MEDIA
where it belongs. We like our RC easy too. How great was it when radio crystals went away? “Who’s Web Producer Holly Hansen
on 68?” Nobody, that’s who. We’re all on 2.4GHz, and we just switch on and drive whenever we want. ADVERTISING
Advertising Director
Remember when Novak took us into the brushless era? Cars didn’t really get any faster, but going Mitch Brian ››203.529.4609
faster sure got easier. In the brushed-motor era, a 50mph motor would chew up brushes like they
Senior Account Executive
were made of Slim Jims, and it needed a rebuild after the battery dumped. Today, we have ready-to- Ben Halladay ››203.529.4628
run cars that will do 50mph all day long with “maintenance” about as complex as wiping the motor CONSUMER MARKETING
off with a rag. Name any RC innovation, any refinement, and you’ll find its benefit is related to “the The Media Source, a division of TEN, The
easy factor.” That goes for racing too, where going faster isn’t really about horsepower—you can Enthusiast Network

easily install more than you can use—but rather how easily you can use that power. “Easy to drive” MARKETING & EVENTS
Associate Creative Director Leslie Costa
is what you want in a race car, and play cars too. No one enjoys a car that’s hard to drive.
Marketing Assistant Erica Driver
Which leads me to the point of this piece: Spektrum Active Vehicle Control. I can’t get over how
many RC fans lose their shpadoinkle over this technology. Some of it is misunderstanding, so let’s Event Manager Emil DeFrancesco

clear up a few things right now: an AVC-equipped cannot drive itself, and it will only do what you PUBLISHING
Group Publishers Louis V. DeFrancesco Jr.,
command it to do. That includes crashing: if you drive into the mailbox without AVC, you’ll still drive Yvonne M. DeFrancesco
into the mailbox with AVC. The only thing AVC does—the ONLY thing—is make your car or truck
easier to drive. That’s it! If you’ve ever changed tires, or moved a camber link, or refilled your shocks,
or added toe-in to make your car easier to drive, then you should be OK with AVC. Does it matter if
it’s sensors and a microprocessor instead of a set of tires or shock-oil change that’s making the car
easier to drive? Not to me. It’s more likely that some of us have a chip on our shoulders about our Follow us on Twitter: @rccaraction
mad RC driving skillz and/or tuning know-how, and it offends us that anyone’s driving skill can be On Facebook: rccaraction
“turned up” with a knob. And that’s OK. I’m not saying you should get AVC if it’s not for you. But I’m Visit us online: RCCarAction.com
glad it’s there for those who want it, and rest assured, technology is only going to keep making our Comments may be sent to: RCCA@airage.com

RC lives easier. Resistance is futile. ASK FOR RADIO CONTROL


CAR ACTION AT YOUR LOCAL
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HOBBY SHOP DISTRIBUTION BY:
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Peter Vieira DISTRIBUTION BY:
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peterv@airage.com

PRO-FILE: TY TESSMANN POTENT


IN THIS ISSUE

Ty is an IFMAR Work Champion, PISTOLS


hard worker, dedicated to his family, We’ve got two hot HOW TO REACH US
and a good sportsman. He’s also an transmitters for you EDITORIAL
all-around nice guy, but that’s just to check out this MAIL 88 Danbury Road,
the default setting for Canadians. month, both with Wilton, CT 06897 USA
We found out Ty’s secret to success high-zoot features PHONE (203) 529-4647
(spoiler alert, it’s practice and to raise your game EMAIL RCCA@airage.com
preparation). without raising
TRAXXAS SLASH 4X4 DRAG your credit card bill too much. If you’re SUBSCRIPTION
TRUCK ready to supercharge your signals, our CUSTOMER SERVICE
Kevin wanted a tough truck built Hitec Lynx 4S (800) 877-5169 or RCCarAction.com/cs
for street racing domination (don’t and Graupner
we all?), so he came up a mega- X-8N reviews
modded take on Traxxas’ super- are a must-
popular short course machine. Hard read.
to believe there’s a Slash under
Magazine Publishers
of America
RCX.com
there!
PRINTED IN THE USA
Feedback
YOU’RE STILL THE DRIVER
When we teased this issue’s Losi XXX-SCT review, a lot of the comments
focused on the truck’s Active Vehicle Control system, which a lot of people
still don’t seem to “get” (at least on Facebook). AVC doesn’t drive the truck
for you, people, c’mon. And you can turn it off. Settle down!
It’s Losi, of course I
like it.
Nick Pfleeger

I can’t wait to get one!


John Caudle

First all the RTRs and


now AVC... sounds like
RC for dummies.
Chuck Brooks

I need that....
Luis Campos

That’s a good looking


truck.
Daniel Totel

IT FIGURES
For every awesome driver figure paint job we see, there’s at least ten that
What the FO-XX Says look like a guy with a helmet full of scrambled eggs. Or, no paint at all—just
a white plastic mannequin. We show you how to paint a dazzling dude in
Last month’s issue roosted off newsstands with this issue, and asked for your opinion on people-painting on Facebook.
dirty flying from the paddles of the Kyosho FO-XX,
which definitely made the long haul out to Glamis Painting the driver was my
worth the trip. And yes, Giovanni, it was a blast! favorite part of building my
VTA car!
I have a FO-XX and I still have my old Scottie Schoettle
I love it. The great Mad Force, which
thing about it is the the FO-XX is based Painting drivers is a pain in the
ability to adjust the throttle on, and it was an awesome [butt]!
on the remote...from crawler beast. I have been looking B Spencer Frakes
to rock racer instantly! at this kit as an electric
Jason Pearson I love building but don’t have the
replacement.
Peter Birdwisa patience for detailed painting.
Great cover and a Chris Siggins
cool car.
Alain Pauwels How much fun did Driver painting can be both fun
you guys have on and frustrating.
I want one so bad! that photo shoot? Luke Bacon
Jay Herron Giovanni Giorgio

BAJA BUGGED
Phoar! Everybody likes a good-looking Baja Bug, and who
Shane Drew
can blame them? They rock. This issue’s Kyosho Mad
Bug pairs the classic bubble-top look with 4WD and
brushless power for affordable off-road action.
Go check it out.

Does it come Cool change of pace from the


in candy usual truck body! I like the look
apple green of the push bar with headlight
and black with green mounts too. Now, if someone would just
accent? make a dummy engine insert for the rear...
Randy Lane Hines Matt Boyd

OVER 312,000 LIKES! RC Car Action is the #1 RC brand on Facebook! Thanks for all your Likes, comments, and support.
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20 RCCarAction.com
Readers' Rides
readersrides@airage.com

FG/JetCat Turbine Big Rig


Jerome Swift ›› York, England
This amazing Red Bull Racing MAN Jet
Truck is based off of an FG 1/5-scale
long-wheelbase kit and powered by a P120
JetCat turbine producing 30lbs of thrust at
125,000rpm! Builder Jerome Smith is the
proprietor of JS Models and Hobbies, and
he used all his professional expertise to
assemble a machine. As he tells us, “When
building a Jet powered model attention to
detail is crucial. A P120 JetCat in a model
plane can reach speeds in excess of
250mph!” The truck features disc brakes,
adjustable alloy shocks all around, upgraded
upper ball ends, alloy suspension braces
and carbon fiber side-impact bars. It uses a
King Cobra SS001 MG digital steering servo
and a Hitec HS-645MG Ultra Torque brake
servo—essential to whoa down the thrust
produced by the turbine. The MAN race
truck body shell features a multifunction
flashing strobe LED light kit and a custom
r s'
r e a de
r i de
alloy bull bar. The turbine mount is also
custom fabricated. It’s all controlled by a
Spektrum DX5e stick radio. One look tells
mon t h
of t h e us he wasn’t kidding when Jerome said he
spared no expense!

“Snowhopper” Tamiya Grasshopper


Jeffrey Transou ›› Long Beach, CA
Jeff started with an original vintage Grasshopper that he reinvigorated with a few re-release
parts, and then things started to get crazy. The reworked front suspension is part CRP nylon,
part custom-designed and water jet-cut aluminum with inboard cantilevered vintage You-G
shocks. You-G shocks are also used out back with a custom fifth shock mount. Jeff tells us that
this was an idea that he first had as a kid that that he’s finally been able to build as an adult, and
he kept it vintage-themed, using all old-school electronics, including the Grasshopper’s original
mechanical speed control and his favorite vintage Hitec radio equipment. Jeff fabricated the nerf
bars, front bumper, vintage-looking ski set, and added dual rear wheel adapters. He dressed
the body up like a snow rescue vehicle with a roof rack and accessories, and an auxiliary light
kit. It doesn’t snow much in Long Beach, so Jeff fabricated his own snow for the photo too.

Custom Southern Buggy “Kratos”


Jesse Dennis ›› Springfield, MO
Jesse tells us he named his custom-built crawler buggy
‘Kratos’ after the Greek God of strength and power (and
maybe the character from the God of War video game too).
The chassis is custom-bent stainless steel tubing TIG welded
by his buddy Warren Tjarks on RcCrawler.com, and Jesse
raves about his outstanding work. We agree! Jesse added
Vanquish axles and transmission housings, MIP drive shafts,
and Axial 2.2 White Dot BFGs. Power comes from a Castle
Mamba Max Pro ESC sending juice to a Tekin Pro4 3300kV
motor. Wheels are custom from LockedUp RC, who also
supplied various other scale hardware bits. Jesse’s buggy is
set up for 4-wheel steering using a pair of Hitec HS7955TG
servos.

Readers’ Rides is also on Facebook!


Visit facebook.com/rccaraction, post your ride, and we’ll
message you if we want to feature it here in the mag.

26 RCCarAction.com
Pit Tips

PREVENT BATTERY
BOUNCE-OUT
If you’re running a nitro car with AA
batteries for a receiver pack, be sure
to wrap the cell holder with tape so the
batteries can’t bounce out and cause a
runaway car.

DRILL SKILL
If you need to drill a blind hole in a part, use a
piece of fuel tubing as a depth gauge. Slide the
tubing onto the drill bit to match the depth of the
required hole. When the tubing reaches the
Upside Down Glow Plug Removal surface of the part, you’ve got the
When removing your glow plug for replacement, inspection or to apply after-run oil, it is right depth.
important that dirt and dust, which accumulate on top of the engine cooling head, do not
enter the combustion chamber when unscrewing the glow plug. To prevent debris from
entering the combustion chamber, turn the car upside down when removing the plug
(make sure the fuel tank is empty to prevent a mess). Any debris will fall away from the
engine instead of falling into the combustion chamber.

DIP N’ LOCK Camber In a Can


If you find yourself at the track without a camber gauge,
Applying thread lock directly from
just use a can of motor spray to set camber. Use the can
the bottle to small screws usually to set the tires vertical (zero degrees of camber), then
results in over-application. Instead, count the number of turns you give the camber link as you
put a drop of thread lock on a eyeball the right amount of negative camber. Make the
disposable surface and touch the same number of turns to the opposite link to set camber
screw to the thread lock to coat the equally on both sides of the car.
threads. You’ll get the right amount
on the screw and your bottle of
thread lock will last longer.

WIN
A DIGITAL EDITION
SEND US YOUR PIT TIPS! Email your tips to PitTips@airage.com. Be sure to
include your mailing address with your email. If we feature your tip as our “Top Tip,”
you’ll receive an RC Car Action hat and one-year Digital Edition subscription (or
SUBSCRIPTION AND RCCA HAT extension to your existing digital subscription).

28 RCCarAction.com
Top of the List.
Six Years Running.
Thank you to all the Radio Control Car Action readers who once again put Spektrum
technology at the top of the list. Winning races is great. Winning the vote of hardcore
RC fans who aren’t easily impressed? That’s even better.

DX4R Pro AVC™Technology AVC Technology


Readers’ Choice Readers’ Choice Editors’ Choice spektrumrc.com
Radio of the Year Innovation of the Year Innovation of the year

©2014 Horizon Hobby, LLC. The Horizon Hobby logo is a registered trademark of Horizon Hobby, LLC. The Spektrum trademark is used with permission of Bachmann Industries, Inc. 47225
Pit Tips
Puny Parts Painting
There’s no better holder for small parts than the sprue
that they are molded onto. After painting, you’ll only have
to touch up a tiny bit of unpainted plastic where the parts
were snipped free.

CONTACT CLEANER
Dirt and corrosion will add electrical resistance to
your battery and speed control plugs. To prevent
this, clean the contacts with a cotton swab dipped
in alcohol when you perform your routine car
cleaning and maintenance.

Bend-Free
Brush
If you need to soak a
paintbrush for cleaning,
use a pair of spring-type
clothespins to hold the
GET YOUR BALANCE brush off the bottom of the
jar. This will prevent the
Your car or truck will run smoother with balanced
bristles from bending as
wheels. Use the front axle as a balancer, and give
the brush soaks.
the wheel a gentle spin. It will stop with its “heavy”
side down. Apply poster putty to the opposite side
of the wheel and repeat, adding or removing putty
until the wheel is balanced.

PARTS TO DYE FOR


Nylon-based parts can
be colored using fabric
dye—just add the dye to
water and boil the parts
in a sauce pan for a few
minutes until they reach
the amount of color you
like. Use metal tongs to
remove the parts from
the water when checking
color. After dying, rinse
the parts in clear water
and dispose of the dyed
water in the
sink. Label the
pan ‘not for
cooking” and
store it out of
the kitchen.

RC CAR ACTION IS NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU MESS UP YOUR GEAR,


OR YOURSELF, BY USING THE TIPS GIVEN HERE. IF YOU AREN’T
COMFORTABLE FOLLOWING ANY TIP WE SHOW—DON’T!

30 RCCarAction.com
SPONSORED BY
tech center YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
BY MICHAEL WORTEL

Wondering About Roll Center?


Q Where is my car’s roll center, what does it do, and how do
I adjust it?

A
Roll center is often misunderstood, but it isn’t difficult to
understand. As a car leans (or rolls) on its suspension,
the positions of the suspension linkages determine the
point on the chassis around which the chassis will roll. The illustration
shows how the vectors formed by the suspension arms and camber

Roll center is dynamic and its position is determined by the angle and location of the
A nitro car’s roll center is typically suspension links.
set higher than an electric car’s,
because the tall engine gives it a
higher center of gravity.
links intersect. A line drawn through the center of the tire’s contact patch
to meet that intersection is the final component of the roll-center puzzle;
where that line crosses the chassis’ centerline is the car’s roll center.
Great. So how does this affect handling? That depends on the car’s
center of gravity (CG). The distance between the car’s CG and its roll center
determines how much leverage the chassis will exert on the suspension
due to cornering forces; the greater the distance, the greater the leverage.
Adjustments to roll center are made by changing camber link position. Rais-
ing the outside camber link position (or lowering the inside position) raises
roll center, and vice-versa: lowering the outside camber link position (or
raising the inside position) lowers roll center.

Quick Question
Slipping Away To check for tightness before

Q
reinstalling the diff, slip a pair of hex
I’ve rebuilt my ball differential driver shafts through the
Can I make my own fuel? outdrives to keep them
twice, and it still slips. What am
from turning as you
It is possible to get the ingredients in nitro fuel I doing wrong? try to rotate
(methanol, nitromethane, and oil) separately and the diff gear.

A
blend your own fuel, but there’s zero benefit to There are three things that can
doing so. Finding the ingredients is just part of cause a ball diff to slip: worn or
the puzzle. Accurately mixing the components missing parts, improper assem-
in the correct proportions and keeping con- bly, and insufficient tightness. First things
taminants out is the real challenge, and you still first: bust out the manual (or download a
won’t have juice as good as what’s in the hobby fresh copy) and make sure you’re assembling the right parts in the right sequence. As you go,
store, since you won’t have inspect the parts for wear. The diff rings may have a polished surface where the balls ride, but if
access to the proprietary there is a groove or wear you can feel, then replace the rings or flip them over to reveal a fresh
synthetic oil blends they surface. Do the same for the thrust bearing washers. Also, have a look at the nut that holds
use (not to mention the diff together with the diff screw and the nut holder. Then make sure the tabs that hold it
anti-foaming agents in the outdrive slots have not worn down or sheared off. The nut itself can also wear; if the diff
and the like). Factor in screw threads through the
the safety concerns nut without resistance,
Be sure you rebuild with
around working with fresh parts assembled its nylon-locking insert is
and storing the fuel per the manual. Use the worn out and it should be
ingredients, and you’ll right greases, too. replaced.
quickly see DIY fuel is Check for tightness
just a bad idea. before reinstalling the diff
by using the trick shown
No home-brew will match above. It’s normal for the
the performance and
diff to loosen once the parts
engine life you get from the
RC-specific fuels at your
seat themselves, but after
hobby store (like a bottle of readjustment it should stay
Byron, for example). slip-free.

APRIL 2015 37
TECH CENTER

All Pumped Up Duratrax 5X5 Pit Mat

Q
More of a parts tray than a pit mat, this handy hunk
of rubber will keep hardware from wandering all over
How important is it to get all the air out of shocks?

TOOLBOX
your pit space as you wrench. The low-profile, flexible
mat is made to stow in your pit box or bag or even stuff

A
If pumping the shock a few times smoothes out the shock’s feel and the air in your pocket. And at $6, it’s an easy add to your next
seems to “go away,” then don’t worry about it. Shocks without bladders hobby store run.
actually require some air in the shock oil to work properly. Without it, the DTXP2045; $6
shocks could not compress. This type of shock is called an “emulsion” shock because air
is mixed (emulsified) with the oil. Bladder shocks are more common, and the bladder is
used to separate the compressible air from the incompressible oil. Even if you get all the
air bubbles out of the shock during the build, it’s common for air to get into the shock with
use. Refill or rebuild as needed, but for fun running there’s no need to obsess over air-free
shocks.

Avoid getting air in the shocks as you


build, but don’t lose your mind over
making your shocks 100% air-free.

51340.indd 1 11/14/14 3:11 PM


38 RCCarAction.com
SPONSORED BY

Vexed by Vents Quick Question

Q After mangling the first slot on my vented truck body, I’m afraid to keep cutting.
What’s the secret?
Is CA the only glue that will hold tires
onto wheels?

A
It’s all about the tools. When cutting vents, a body ream and fresh no. 11 blade Pretty much, yeah. You can try using
are your best friends. If you try to cut tight corners with body scissors, the tips Shoe Goo or GOOP (or any other brand of
of the scissors gouge the surrounding area, and the cuts tend to be sawtooth RTV adhesive) to keep tires from slipping
nibbles rather than smooth curves. Instead of scissors, use the ream to make a hole at each on slower vehicles, but when it comes
corner, the bigger the better (bigger hole = larger curve). Use your hobby knife to score to models with any kind of high-speed
across the vent from hole to hole, then pop out the waste plastic to open the vent. Clean up performance, only cyanoacrylate (CA)
They make
any rough edges with a rotary tool on low speed. glues will do the trick. If you want to go
CA tire glue
glue-free on a scale / trail / crawling for a reason:
truck, use beadlock wheels. We show you it keeps the
Ream holes to shape the
corners, then connect the
how to mount them up in this issue. tires on.
corners with cuts.

Opening up all those


vents takes patience,
but the result is a
better-flying body.

1/2H.indd 1 4/16/14 12:19 PM


APRIL 2015 39
new&hot NEW GEAR YOU NEED NOW

THE TRUCK STOPS HERE


Team Associated RC10T5M
After much success with the RC10B5M, the
engineers at Team Associated got back
on their computers and built an all-
new mid-motor stadium truck. The
RC10T5M has been optimized for high
traction surfaces and was designed with
many features that made the mid-motor
buggy so successful. Its aluminum chassis can
fit 2S saddle packs and shorty packs as well as
square packs. Other features include a four gear
transmission, Factory Team V2 12mm Big Bore
shocks, aluminum rear ball stud mount, adjustable
front kick up and oversized rear hub bearings.
It comes with a Pro-Line body but the tire and
wheel choice is up to you.
teamassoiated.com

BUGGY BLASTER PRIME TIME TOUCHY FEELY


O.S. Engine Speed B2101 Engine Pro-Line Prime tire Dynamite Passport Ultra 100W
This new engine comes to you with a World A lot of tracks these days are carpet or pure clay Charger
Championship already under its belt with Ty to give the racers a surface that has maximum The new Passport Ultra charger is designed to
Tessmann at the trigger. According to O.S. this traction. With a surface like that a slick tire is the charge any type of battery in RC including LiPo and
engine will get your buggy or truggy off the way to go and racers have been making their own NiMH batteries, and this 100-watt unit can push
starting line and out of the corners faster than to get the edge at their local tracks. The new Pro- the voltage into the batteries from .1 amps all the
anything else O.S. has offered. Air and fuel enters Line Prime tire may look like street rubber but this way up to 10 amps. Other features include 1-6S
the engine through the proven 21J slide carb, and one is designed specifically for off-road use and LiPo balancing, cooling fan, discharger, overload
its heat sink head has been machined to sit low on eliminates the need to make your own slick tire. It protection and includes EC3, Deans and RX
the block to keep the center of gravity as low as comes in Pro-Line’s M4 (super soft) and MC (clay) connectors. All the functions are easily adjusted
possible. Holes in the heat sink head reduce overall compounds and its available in 2WD front, 4WD through the touch-screen display.
weight and increase its surface area for better front and rear buggy sizes. According to Pro-Line dynamiterc.com
cooling. The B2101 engine also features a sealed the grooves in the tire allow it to get grip on freshly
crankshaft bearing, DLC-coated crankshaft and watered tracks and a unique raised tread has a
turbo style glow plugs. rough surface that is similar to ground down tires
osengines.com to give it great traction right out of the package.
prolineracing.com

APRIL 2015 43
NEW&HOT

TLR 22T 2.0


The TLR 22 and 22SCT have received the 2.0 treatment, so it was only a
matter of time before we saw a 2.0 version of the 22T. This truck may look the
same as before, but it has a long list of updates to make it a real performer
on the track. A 2.5mm aluminum chassis enhances its stability and
the wider rear suspension arms gives the truck a wider stance
for more stability. Other new features
are an updated ball differential, Gen-II
shocks with X-Ring seals, hard battery
mount system, and adjustable speed
control and battery mounts. For
silky suspension action that lasts,
the hinge pins and kingpins are
Carbonitride coated.
tlracing.com

2.0MG

CUSTOM CARRIER
JConcepts Universal Storage Bag
JConcepts latest addition to their line of loot is custom-fit
specifically for your gear–because you’re the one doing the
custom-fitting! The durable, zippered outer shell
holds a block of pre-scored foam that is
easily “plucked” to create a custom
opening for your favorite radio,
charger, backup motors, engines,
or whatever you want to store and
transport in style and safety.
jconcepts.net

CAR ACTION FIGURE


RC4WD Driver Figures
You can stop scouring the toy aisle for a decent driver
figure, RC4WD has rescued you from wrestlers with
their new driver figures. There are four different styles
to choose from, each 5.8” tall and dressed in actual cloth
duds, ready to strap into your scaler. They’re poseable,
so you can easily match their hands to the steering
wheel or shifter, and there’s no painting or assembly
required—just open the box and stuff your plastic pal into
FLUX CAPACITOR the driver’s seat.
store.rc4wd.com
HPI Sprint 2 Flux
HPI’s Sprint 2 Flux is now available with a BMW M3 GTS body and this great looking sedan
is packed full of power to give you the speed you need. The waterproof Flux Vapor
Speed control and 5900KV motor get the X-Pattern tires moving in a hurry.
A waterproof servo and sealed receiver box complete the waterproof
package. Features of the Sprint 2 Flux include sealed planetary
gear differentials, oil filled shocks, adjustable suspension and
4mm thick plastic plate chassis. This M3
is ready to tear up tracks and
parking lots everywhere.
hpiracing.com
Untitled-1 44 1/5/15 1:25 PM
Untitled-1 45 1/5/15 1:26 PM
P E R F O R M A N C E T E S T

1/10-SCALE 2WD SHORT COURSE TRUCK | RTR

LOSI/HORIZON HOBBY
XXX-SCT
WITH AVC
Top-shelf tech comes to Losi’s track-tested short course machine
48 RCCarAction.com
WORDS BY RC CAR ACTION TEAM PHOTOS BY CARL HYNDMAN AND JOEL NAVARRO

If they haven’t already, the gang at Losi really should bake a cake for the XXX-series.
After debuting in 1999 as
the XXX (or “Triple-X”) buggy
and promptly winning the
ROAR Mod Nats in the hands
of Brian Kinwald, the in-
novations of XXX platform
became the foundation of
the Triple-XT race in kit and
RTR forms as diverse as
the Losi Desert Truck and
Speed-T. Its biggest splash
since first hitting tracks in
stadium truck form was the
debut of the XXX-SCT as a
brushed RTR, marking Losi’s
entry into the exploding
short-course scene. With a
deep well of parts support
and an established fan base
already in place for the XXX
series, Losi had no trouble
sliding into short-course with
a fun and capable design.
Losi’s latest update to the
SCT piles on the latest in
electric performance tech. A
Dynamite 4-pole brushless
system, Spektrum’s Active
Vehicle Control electronic
stability system, and a Dy-
namite 2-cell LiPo pack and
2amp balance charger are all
included, making the XXX-
SCT truly ready-to-run with
truly good stuff. No scramble
to replace low-buck gear
here, just open the box and
pull the trigger for high-per-
formance short course fun.

APRIL 2015 49
P E R F O R M A N C E T E S T
ALUMINUM-SHOCK SUSPENSION
No shake-ups in the suspension department, as Losi sticks with time-tested stuff. Which
7.5 in.
190mm is good news, because it means parts are easy to find, and everything works. The shocks
are Losi’s classic bottom-fill units, which skip bladders in favor of an emulsion design and
load the o-ring seals into a cartridge that makes rebuilds easy. As filled from the factory,
the aluminum dampers work as well as they always have on the XXX-series models, and
those have won plenty of races. Big-bore designs dominate now, but in the XXX-SCT’s
all-around fun driving mode, you’ll never
wish for better shocks. One thing you
might wish for is clip-on preload spacers
instead of the clamping collars that are on
the shocks. They work fine, but are a little
11.4 in. trickier to set equally between the left and
291mm
right shocks if you decide to change the
factory settings. As for camber and front
toe-in settings, steel turnbuckles make it
easy to twist in whatever setup you like.

Losi’s classic bottom-fill aluminum shocks


smooth the ride, and steel turnbuckles
set camber and steering toe.

12.6 in.
329mm
21.7 in.
550mm

VEHICLE SPECS
Item no.: LOS03002
Scale: 1/10
Price: $350 37.4
mph*
Weight, as tested: 4 lb., 11 oz. (2132g)

CHASSIS
THREE GEARS AND A BEVEL DIFF
The three-gear, differential-on-the-bottom gearbox has
Material: Plastic
been a staple of 2WD off-road racing for over 20 years, and
Type: Molded semi-tub
the XXX-SCT follows suit. But instead of a ball differential
as was once the norm, the XXX-SCT gets a bevel-gear diff.
SUSPENSION Most gear diffs work reliably with two spider gears, but the
Type: H-arm with steel turnbuckle camber link SCT gets four, and the differential is sealed to hold silicone
Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 3/3 fluid. Hardly a must for knocking around,
Outboard upper arm positions (F/R): 3/2 but a nice plus for track running if you want
Shock positions, towers (F/R): 4/4 to experiment with different fluid weights
Shock positions, arms (F/R): 3/3 in the differential. Outside the gearbox,
you’ll find Losi’s traditional dual-pad slipper
SHOCKS clutch. Losi was the first to adopt the spur-
Bodies: Aluminum with clamp-on preload spacer, 10mm bore gear-sandwiched-between-the-pads
Shafts: Plated steel, 1/8” design, and it’s as effective here as ever. A
pair of steel CV-style axles complete the
Volume compensation: Emulsion
drivetrain, and are capped by 12mm hexes
so standard short-course wheels can be
DRIVETRAIN mounted. Instead of fitting over crosspins in
Type: 2WD enclosed gearbox
the axles, the hexes are actually pierced by
Spur gear/pinion: 86T / 25T, 48 pitch the crosspins, so they won’t pull off when
Differential: Sealed bevel gear removing the wheels. Nice touch. While
Driveshafts: Steel CV-style the SCT can wear standard short-course
Bearings: Metal-shielded ball wheels in the rear, the front wheels are a
different story. Instead of
WHEELS & TIRES using bearing-sup-
Wheels: Standard SC type with styling ring, 12mm hex (rear), ported front stub Losi’s dual-pad slipper clutch
5x10 bearing (front) axles and hexes, protects the transmission
Tires: Losi Eclipse SCT the XXX-SCT gears.
Inserts: Open-cell foam mounts its front
wheel bearings
in the wheels
INCLUDED ELECTRONICS
Transmitter/receiver: Spektrum DX2E V3 / SRS4200 4-channel themselves. So,
DSMR with AVC you have to use
Servo: Spektrum S6170 digital, plastic gear, 80 oz.-in. Losi front wheels,
or convert the
Speed control: Dynamite Tazer 45A
front axles to a hex
Motor: Dynamite Tazer 4-pole sensorless, 3300KV An o-ring sealed gear differen-
setup.
Battery: Dynamite Speedpack 2-cell 3000mAh LiPo tial is standard, and a metal idler
Charger: Dynamite 20W / 2amp AC LiPo Balance Charger gear assures you’ll get plenty of
life out of the transmission.
TRACK-TESTED CHASSIS
As mentioned earlier, few RC chassis are as well proven as
the XXX-series, and the fact that it looks as fresh today as
it did when it first debuted is a testimonial to how well de-
signed it is, and how much it has influenced modern RC. The
SCT version is the longest of the XXX series chassis, and
it’s well braced to maintain rigidity. The upper nose plate
has “arms” that reach up the chassis’ sides to the front
bulkhead, and the side nerf bars slot into the chassis
and are secured by three screws, lending additional
support. There’s ample space for the supplied
2S LiPo, with five foam spacers filling the
unused space in the tray and allow-
ing for easy experimentation with
fore-and-aft weight distribution by
moving the pack forward or back
in the tray.

The nicely-detailed wheels


wear Losi Eclipse tires and
non-functional beadlock-style
rings. The rings are attached
with screws and are available in
other colors.
No need to upgrade to
LiPo, Losi straps in a
Dynamite 3000mAh
LiPo pack for you.
You don’t have a LiPo
charger, you say?
That’s in the box too.

BRUSHLESS POWER AND LIPO JUICE


Losi sets you up with a LiPo from the start, and it’s a nice
hard-cased 2-cell 3000mAh pack. To make sure you
charge it safely, a balance charger is also included. It’s not
super speedy with its 2-amp charge rate, but it does the
job well and makes sure both of the pack’s cells are equally
charged, which assures maximum performance, run time,
and battery life. As for what the battery feeds, that’s good
stuff too. Dynamite supplies the Tazer waterproof speed
control and 3300KV 4-pole motor, and if tuning is your
AVC EQUIPPED thing, you can tweak drag brake and maximum brake force
Losi cars get Spektrum radio as well as throttle punch. There’s also a reverse lockout for
gear, and in the case of the XXX-SCT, that means a racing, and different low-voltage cutoff settings. Accord-
DX2E transmitter and the latest Active Vehicle Control ing to the manual, the default is 2.6 volts per cell, which is
(AVC) technology. The transmitter features a dual-rate pretty steep; choose the 3.2v setting and you’ll go easier on
steering knob, but when paired with the included SRS4200 your LiPo packs.
receiver, it actually controls the AVC system. The system
uses gyros, accelerometers, and sophisticated software to
If you want to dig in and do
constantly compare the commands received to the truck’s
some performance tuning,
actual acceleration and direction. If the two don’t line up,
you’ll find the fan-cooled
AVC will step in and make steering and throttle corrections Tazer speed control is fully
to keep you on course. Turn radio’s AVC knob clockwise to adjustable.
increase the level of AVC intervention, turn it counter-
clockwise to turn AVC “down.” If even the lowest
AVC setting is more than you like, you can turn the
system off at the receiver.
The Spektrum DX2E and
SRS4200 combo bring Active
Vehicle Control to the XXX-SCT.

APRIL 2015 51
Behind the wheel
When it came time to tear up some terrain with the XXX-
+
LiPo pack and balance charger
SCT, getting from the box to the dirt took no time at all. included
Absolutely everything you need is included in the box, and I Active Vehicle Control really
was able to charge the included partially-charged battery in works
about 40 minutes with the supplied charger. First stop was Proven Triple-X performance
my usual bash spot at Jesmond Dean Park in Escondido,
CA. This spot has a ton of loose dirt, berms and jumps. Lazy
Sundays are usually a pretty popular day for this spot and
the SCT immediately turned heads when I threw it on the
-
Front and rear wheels are not
dirt. With first pull of the throttle, a huge roost immediately interchangeable
erupted behind the truck as the included 3300Kv unloaded
and easily lifted the front end in a huge wheelie. With so
much power on tap, it was easy to get the XXX-SCT airborne. As is common for short-course
trucks, the SCT did experience some body parachuting, which made the front end come
up quite a bit while jumping. This could easily be fixed by venting the body for air to escape.
The bumpy dirt made the ride a little bouncy due to the XXX-SCT being lightweight, but the
suspension soaked up bumps effectively overall. The included tires are perfect for this type
of terrain, and allowed quick and precise direction changes. Mounting the battery all the way
back in the battery compartment made the XXX-SCT tail heavy and wheelie happy. For bet-
ter steering performance, I recommend sliding the battery all the way forward. The included
lightweight 3000mAh LiPo battery had good run time, but for the second run, I dropped in
a heavier, higher-capacity battery. This made a significant difference and settled down the
XXX-SCT. The truck was less bouncy and more controllable everywhere I pointed it. By this
time, most of the other drivers on the lot had stopped and come to see what this fast truck I
was driving all about. It was easy to turn the AVC up or down to help control of the XXX-SCT
Also Available in SCB Flavor in loose conditions. With the AVC turned all the way up, yanking the steering wheel left and
right made the SCT swerve some, but it never lost composure—AVC really works. I passed the
If you prefer your short-course RC fun come wrapped in buggy styling,
Losi’s XXX-SCB packs the same specs and price as the XXX-SCT with transmitter around to let others try out the truck and let them dial the AVC to their liking, and
the single-seater look you’re after. The buggy rolls out on a narrower they came away impressed with the XXX-SCTs performance as well. –Joel Navarro
chassis than the SCT, allowing for the scale-like bodywork, and gets
front-specific tires to complete the look. Otherwise, it’s identical to the
SCT—brushless, AVC, LiPo, the works.

Final Word
Losi’s reputation for performance is well earned, and the XXX-SCT is another in a long line of XXX-series RTRs that deliv- SOURCES
ers the goods. The chassis and suspension are well matched to brushless power, and for new drivers in particular, the AVC Losi Losi.com
system can make it much easier to drive fast and enjoy the performance the SCT has to offer. It’s a good buy, too, with a Spektrum spektrumrc.com
LiPo pack, balance charger, brushless system, and AVC for right around $350—there are other trucks that offer less and Dynamite dynamiterc.com
cost more. And while the Team Losi Racing 22 SCT 2.0 eclipses the XXX-SCT in outright track performance (and costs a lot
more, naturally), the SCT is hardly a slouch on the racetrack if that’s your thing or becomes your thing in the future. But for
most buyers, the XXX-SCT’s main mission will be off-road fun with short-course flair, and Losi delivers that experience
with high quality, unique features, and good value.

52 RCCarAction.com
H 4X4
SLAS
a g
Dr uck
Tr
BUILDING TH E U LT I M AT E ST R E E T M AC H I N E

More power, more


grip, less ride height—
this build is all about
street speed.

56 RCCarAction.com
BY KEVIN HETMANSKI PHOTOS BY JOEL NAVARRO AND KEVIN HETMANSKI

Any time two or more RC people get together, the session


always turns into a top-speed showdown and the drag racing begins. With exactly
that in mind, I set out to build the ultimate street-racing machine—something
that would not only be fast in a straight line, but also durable and easy to drive,
and also a good handler for those times when the guys with slower cars decide
they’d like to throw in a few corners to even the odds in the battle for parking
lot supremacy. Right out of the box, the Traxxas Slash 4X4 ticks the speed,
durability, and handling boxes with over 60mph on tap when you go for 3S LiPo
power and a gearing change. But with my eye on a no-holds-barred build, I chose
a Slash 4X4 Platinum as my base. The Platinum ups the performance ante with
a low-CG chassis, larger-volume GTR shocks, front and rear sway bars, optional
center diff and a full set of aluminum hub carriers and steering knuckles.
The Platinum arrives minus transmitter and receiver, which is
also a good fit for my project plans.

APRIL 2015 57
4
SLASH 4X
Dragck
Tru

JConcepts low-profile front bumper


setup is required to mount the Scalpel
body properly. The kit includes the
BACK IN BLACK
bumper, upper and lower fiberglass
Like other Traxxas models, the Slash 4X4 Platinum’s chassis is
plates, hingepin retainer, low-profile
molded in “Traxxas grey.” I wanted my truck to have a sinister
body mounts, and hardware.
look to it to scare off my opponents, and went with all black.
Instead of using fabric dye to color the chassis, I decided
to try Krylon’s Fusion spray paint, which is designed
specifically to bond with plastic. I’d been looking for
a good project to test its durability, and the 4X4 was
a perfect chance to try it out. The paint covers well,
and looks good.

Acer’s ceramic bearing set trims a few grams, but their


main benefit is super-low friction.

FRICTION-FIGHTING DRIVETRAIN
The Slash 4X4 arrives with full bearings, but the grease-
filled, rubber-sealed units are designed for long wear and
contamination resistance rather than absolute minimum friction.
To give my project the least possible drivetrain drag, I replaced all the
stock bearings with Acer Racing ceramic bearings which are lightweight
and have less rolling resistance. To free them up even more, I cleaned out
the factory lube using an RPM Bearing Blaster and motor spray, then re-lubed
them with Acer’s Sin synthetic lubricant. The moisture-displacing compound leaves
a lubricant film on the parts and is super-slick. When putting the drivetrain back together
I cleaned off all grease from the ring and pinion gears and coated them with smooth running
Sullivan Dry Ice lubricant. Speaking of the differentials, I filled the front diff with 500K weight fluid to
ensure that both tires grab with the same amount of force and went to 10K fluid in the rear.

AVC EQUIPPED
Rough pavement or a dusty surface can cause a pretty
dramatic crash when running at high speeds. To keep my
truck grabbing pavement and going straight, I paired the
Slash 4X4 with my Spektrum DX4R Pro transmitter, high-
torque S6100 steel-gear servo, and an SRS4210 receiver
with Active Vehicle Control, better known as AVC. If AVC’s
gyros and accelerometers detect the car is performing
contrary to radio input, it will adjust throttle and steering
to compensate, just like the electronic stability system
My Project 4X4 in a full-size car. The amount of AVC intervention can be
is now one of dialed up or down, or turned off completely to suit your
the models in needs and preference. When used with the DX4R Pro or
my DX4R Pro DX4C transmitters, you can adjust the level of AVC for Spektrum’s SRS4210 receiver makes it easy to add
transmitter. throttle and steering independently. Active Vehicle Control to any vehicle.

58 RCCarAction.com
Instead of dye, I used
Krylon Fusion paint
to give the chassis
this blacked-out
look.

Parts List
ACER RACING
 Slash 4x4 VLX Ceramic
bearing kit - CTR027, $68
 SIN Lube Synthetic Bearing
Oil - SIN01, $9

JCONCEPTS
 1972 Chevy C10 Scalpel
speed run body— 0267, $37
 Slash 4X4 front bumper
conversion kit— 2173. $34
 G-LOCS pre mounted tires—
3056-3030, $26
STRAIGHT-LINE LUNSFORD RACING
SUSPENSION  Ti turnbuckle hinge pin kit—
When you build a drag 4727, $89
truck, you can’t have a
The aluminum C-hubs and steering knuckles are MAXAMPS.COM
suspension that is soft
standard on the Platinum 4X4. I added Lunsford tita-  6500 3-cell 11.1v dual core
and set up with a lot nium turnbuckles to trim a few grams over the stock
of down travel. It may battery pack—$165
steel parts and offset some of the weight added with
be able to go fast in a steel parts elsewhere. NOVAK
straight line with that  Crusher/Ballistic 550 4X4
setup but if you try to make any adjustments to keep the truck on its SCT brushless system— 3086,
path you will have your hands full. To tighten up the suspension I replaced $200
the stock 30wt shock oil with 60wt oil in the front and 70wt oil in the rear.  5mm 32 pitch steel pinion
I also ditched the stock springs and replaced them with a set of Traxxas’ gear 3 pack—5160 (12, 13, 14),
blue 1.004 rate springs, and mounted the shocks in the suspension arms’ 5161 (15, 16, 17), $23
outermost holes to lower the suspension without using limiters in the
ROBINSON RACING
shocks. RPM shock towers are the finishing touch. They are guaranteed
 GEN3 Slipper Unit and
against breakage and preserve the stock suspension geometry. hardened blackened steel
spur— 7854, $49
REAL STEEL
The Slash 4X4 drivetrain is well proven as high-power ready, but I was going RPM
for total bomb-proofness and made a few upgrades to ensure maximum  Front shock tower— 70392,
reliability. Since the Novak motor has a 5mm shaft, I could not use the $11
stock Traxxas pinion (which has a 1/8” shaft opening). A Novak 5mm  Rear shock tower— 70362,
32 pitch steel pinion did the trick, and the motor is coupled to a steel $11
spur gear from Robinson Racing. Sounds heavy, but Robinson
SULLIVAN
machines away a lot of material to reduce weight. It also has  Dry Ice— S699, $11
a trick black coating that prevents corrosion. The spur gear
is connected to Robinson Racing’s heavy duty slipper clutch TRAXXAS
which normally is used to protect the drivetrain from shock  Slash 4x4 Platinum—
but since this truck is going to be a street demon (where there 6804R, $430
are no jumps) and drag racing so I locked it down to give me  Spring, shock, white 1.004
the best possible acceleration. The stock plastic drive shafts rate blue—7449, $5 pair
can handle the power in that they don’t break, but the shafts  Steel Constant Velocity
can twist under load. I replaced them with Traxxas’ heavy duty Shafts, front— 6851R, $80
 Steel Constant Velocity
steel shafts which don’t flex at all and deliver instant power
Shafts, rear— 6852R, $80
Steel slipper, steel spur gear…this transfer.
Robinson stuff is bomb-proof.

APRIL 2015 59
Hard launches on loose surfaces are no prob-
4
SLASH 4X
lem with Active Vehicle Control on board.

Dragck
Tru

IT CORNERS LIKE A TOURING CAR AND I CAN


THROW IT INTO THE TURNS WITH NO PROBLEM.

GREEN LIGHT! Drag truck testing took place where I designed my truck to be
run: on the street right in front of my house. Since my first runs were on new and clean pavement, I
shut off AVC to see what the truck had to offer. Of course before pulling hard on the trigger I drove
the truck around slowly to make sure that the trims were set properly and that I had brakes. Throttle response
was quick and smooth. Steering was equally responsive, and the servo and grippy tires instantly pointed the
truck where I wanted it to go. I built the truck to be super fast in a straight line but I was surprised to see how BALLISTIC
well the truck turned and I found myself carving up the street. It corners like a touring car and I can throw it into POWER
the turns with no problem. I lined the truck up for what it was made for and pegged the trigger on a full-throttle Traxxas doesn’t skimp on horsepower
drag run. The front tires came off the ground and the rear tires spun slightly as the Novak system unloaded. with the Platinum’s stock Velineon
The 4X4 tracked straight and true, and quickly reached it’s top speed. Although its top speed is similar to the 3500KV sensorless setup, but I wanted
stock truck’s, it gets there much faster thanks to the low-end grunt of the Novak motor and smoothness of the to try out Novak’s Crusher speed control
sensored system. You aren’t always going to be able to play on a perfectly smooth surface so I brought my truck and 6.5T Ballistic motor “4x4 SCT”
over to a road that was a little rough and had a coating of dirt to see how AVC would help the truck out. I made a combo because of the tunablity of the
few passes with AVC off at first and the truck’s suspension did a good job of controlling the ride of the truck but speed control, high torque output of the
trying to keep it straight was a challenge. I clicked on AVC and it was like I was driving a completely different car. motor and fine control of a sensored
The truck went straight pretty much on its own and that kind of control on a surface like that is sure to get you system.The Crusher speed control is
the win light when racing against any other vehicle. packed full of adjustable features,
including drive frequency and minimum
SLICK SHELL, GRIPPY TIRES drive percentage, which are ideal for
A drag truck has to slice through the air so it can get to the finish line before tuning the system’s punch. Dynamic
the other guy and that why I’m using JConcept’s Scalpel body. Timing Advance increases top-end RPM
There are two versions available; one that looks more like and can be set for up to 35 degrees to
a futuristic car, and the one I chose, a slammed Chevy boost speed by over 20% compared to
C10. The body is super wide and covers the truck’s tires a “zero timing” setting (the catch is,
to keep air from hitting them and a chin spoiler helps more timing raises temps and reduces
keep the front tires planted. I gave it a coat of LRP efficiency). The 6.5 turn motor puts out
Fluorescent green paint with white racing stripes to a lot of RPM even without the Dynamic
give it a classic drag truck look. All that power on tap is Timing boost, but it’s nice to have the
nothing if you can’t apply it to the ground so for traction option as a “secret weapon” for sheer
I glued up a set of JConcepts G-Locs tires. They have an speed. Of course, none of that matters
aggressive street ready tread that are right at home on without juice. I went with MaxAmps and
rough and smooth surfaces and they come with firm JConcepts G-Loc tires on Rulux wheels give my 4X4 a installed a three-cell, 6,500 mAh LiPo
inserts. JConcepts Rulux wheels complete the package. high-grip footprint. pack for maximum voltage.

SOURCES
COOL DOWN What a fun truck! My project Speed Slash is very fast, accelerates well and is easy to
Acer Racing acerracing.com
JConcepts jconcepts.net
control. My truck isn’t geared to break speed records, but when you’re drag racing it’s not just how fast LRP lrpamerica
your vehicle can go; it’s also about how fast you can get it from start to finish. It will be hard to find anyone Lunsford lunsfordracing.com
who has a truck that can reach that speed and do it quicker in a scale quarter-mile pass. Whoever decides Maxamps.com maxamps.com
to challenge me will have to do some work to top what my truck has to offer. AVC may be cheating to some Novak teamnovak.com
while racing, but since when are there rules in parking lot grudge matches? My Project Slash 4X4 is a great Robinson Racing robinsonracing.com
Spektrum spektrumrc.com
straight-line machine that can do double duty as a road racer.
Sullivan Products sullivanproducts.com
Traxxas traxxas.com
RPM rpmrcproducts.com

60 RCCarAction.com
P E R F O R M A N C E T E S T

1/8-SCALE ELECTRIC4WD BUGGY | RTR

ECX/HORIZON HOBBY
REVENGE TYPE E
Big-buggy fun with brushless
power that won’t bust your
budget

64 RCCarAction.com
words & photos by carl hyndman

1/8-scale electric buggies have


handling characteristics that have been
developed on the track and can be a great option
for entry-level R/C drivers looking for a vehicle with
nimble handling and snappy acceleration. ECX has
a well-earned reputation for making affordable and
durable vehicles, and with the new Revenge, ECX
offers their first electric 4WD buggy. The Revenge
comes ready-to-run and has a host of features
including a Spektrum 2.4GHz radio system, sealed
gear differentials, and a sensorless brushless sys-
tem in an eye-catching package that makes it easy
to add a big buggy to your RC stable. At a street
price of around $360, the Revenge is a lot of buggy
at a jaw-dropping price. Let’s see if it can hold up its
end of this smoking bargain.

april 2015 65
P E R F O R M A N C E T E S T
STEEL-GEAR SHAFT
7.2 in. DRIVE
183mm As expected for a 1/8 buggy,
the Revenge is equipped
with front, center, and rear
differentials. The bevel-gear
diffs are filled with grease
from the factory, but gaskets
and o-ring seals allow tuning
by filling the diffs with silicone
fluid. The center differential is
12.1 in.
309mm housed between two mounts:
a beefy plastic one up front,
and a thick aluminum rear
bulkhead that performs double-duty and incorporates a The Revenge uses race-inspired
sliding motor mount. A pair of steel dogbone driveshafts triple-differentials at the front,
connect the three differentials, and dogbones are also used center and rear and these
front and rear to drive the wheels. Universal-joint or CV transfer the power through drive
shafts to all four wheels.
axles would be preferred, especially for the front shafts,
but the dogbones aren’t a surprise on a budget buggy. ECX
positions the stub axles’ drive cups directly between the
steering knuckles’ kingpins, which helps prevent dogbone
bind and chatter. Throughout the drivetrain, steel gears are
12.7 in. used, including the spur gear. Plastic spurs are common
323mm in low-cost designs, so the steel gear is a nice plus for
19.1 in.
485mm
durability.

VEHICLE SPECS
Item no.: ECX04000 ALUMINUM SHOCK SUSPENSION
Scale: 1/8
Price: $360 35.1
mph*
The Revenge’s suspension package is standard buggy
tech, but it does have a couple of surprises up its sleeve.
Weight: 6 lb., 11.2 oz. (3039g) with 3S LiPo The front upper camber link foregoes a ball cup and stud
system and instead uses a wishbone-style link to attach
to the front hub carrier. The hingepins are either cap-
CHASSIS
Material: 3mm 6061 Aluminum tured or screw-in pins, so there are no e-clip hassles. The
aluminum-body shocks use clip-on preload spacers rather
Type: Plate with plastic side guards
than threaded collars to help trim the car’s price, but are
well build with nutted pistons and 3mm polished shafts.
SUSPENSION The shaft seals are held in by
Type: H-arm with 5mm steel adjustable turnbuckle camber links
a snap-on cap rather than a
Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 2/4 threaded part, but the fit is
Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/4 tight and there were no prob-
Shock positions, towers (F/R): 6/6 lems with shock blowouts in
Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2 testing. In the “nice surprise”
department, the aluminum
SHOCKS shock towers are 4mm
Bodies: Aluminum, 12mm bore thick, instead less rigid 3mm
Shafts: Polished steel parts. The Revenge’s steer-
Volume compensation: Bladder ing system is a traditional
dual-bellcrank setup with
two positions for Ackermann
DRIVETRAIN
tuning and an adjustable
Type: 4WD Shaft
servo-saver. The installed
Spur/Pinion: 48/14-tooth
waterproof, metal-gear servo
Slipper Clutch: None makes good torque at 125 oz.-
Differential F/R: Sealed bevel gear in, but the plastic servo arm
Driveshafts: Steel dogbones looks like a light-duty part—I’ll
Bearings: Metal and rubber-shielded ball keep an eye on it.

WHEELS & TIRES Above: Aluminum shocks and


Wheels: Black dish with 17mm hex H-arm suspension, standard
Tires: Dynamite SpeedTreads premounts buggy stuff here. Note the wish-
bone camber link design, which
incorporates a short turnbuckle
INCLUDED ELECTRONICS for camber changes.
Transmitter: Spektrum DX2E 2.4GHz DSMR 2-channel
Receiver: Spektrum SR200 4-channel Left: The Spektrum SPMS605
Servo: Spektrum SPMS605 Waterproof, metal gear, 125 oz.-in. servo puts out 125 oz.-in. of
Speed control: Dynamite Fuze 130A Sensorless 1/8-scale torque, helping give the Revenge
Motor: Dynamite Fuze 550 4-Pole Sensorless Brushless Motor quick steering. An aluminum or
2500Kv thicker plastic servo arm would
be welcome, the stock part
could be beefier.
REQUIRES
(4) AA batteries
2S or 3S LiPo
Charger
TRADITIONAL 4WD BUGGY CONFIGURATION
The foundation of the Revenge is a 3mm, 6061 aluminum
chassis. As expected for a low-priced car, it has no special
milling or funky design ideas, but follows a proven layout.
Plastic braces lend extra support, and at the battery tray
is a simple plastic pan with a pair of Velcro straps, which
allows for a variety of pack sizes to fit the chassis. The
chassis plate is shared with the nitro-powered Revenge
“Type N” buggy, and in electric mode it retains the un-
used slots and holes for the nitro components. A single
chassis shared between nitro and electric models
helps keep overall costs down, and with it the price of
the car.

The chassis is 3mm 6061 aluminum and has


a nice black finish. No surprises in the layout,
just a well-proven buggy format.

2500KV BRUSHLESS POWER


The ECX Revenge comes in at a pretty low price point, so you’d normally expect
to see a really basic power system, but the included Fuze sensorless system is
very solid and has features usually only seen on higher end models. The fan-
cooled speed control allows you to adjust drag brake and max brake, minimum
brake, motor timing, and more, in addition to adjusting the speed control directly,
you can program it using the optional Dynamite Fuze Digital Program Box
(DYN3748). The motor is a 4-pole design and rated at 2500KV and delivers 35mph
on a 3S LiPo pack, which is the maximum the system is rated for. The Revenge
will also run on a 2S pack with speeds in the mid-20s, which is a good fit for first-
time drivers. With the exception of the receiver, the electronic gear is waterproof.
The receiver gets a splash-proof box, but it’s not o-ring sealed, so avoid full-on
U-boating with the revenge. Or any RC car, for that matter.

Right: The Dynamite Fuze 2500Kv motor


provides dependable sensorless opera-
tion that is virtually maintenance-free.
Its 4-pole design gives it plenty of torque
and top speed.

Left: The Dynamite Fuze speed control is


rated at 130A and can handle up to a 3S
LiPo battery pack.

april 2015 67
BEHIND THE WHEEL
For my initial runs, I installed a Dynamite 2S LiPo pack and
+
Simple, durable design
headed over to my local stomping grounds and kept a Lots of bang for your buck
charged 3S pack close by for when I got used to the buggy.

-
My local spot has a mixture of loamy dirt, grass and asphalt,
mixed in with elevation changes, natural berms and some
mounds that replicate some nice big jumps. In no time I
noticed the Revenge had predictable manners and had a Not rated for 4S LiPo power
slight push that kept it from getting too squirrelly when Beefier servo arm should be
on the throttle. This instilled a lot of confidence and even standard
though I was only running a 2S LiPo pack, the power level
was still exciting. It had enough grunt to throw roosts and
break the tires free, but wasn’t so much that it felt twitchy or uncontrollable. However, as I
pushed the buggy further it was apparent that the tires were a little hard for optimum traction
and it tended to slide more than grab in the varied terrain. On the plus side, the firm rubber im-
proves durability and tread life, and for all-terrain running it’s a good trade off. I also noticed the
buggy’s ability to go through rough sections easily with its relatively tall ride height, which is a
reflection of the Revenge’s intended mission. Although it did show its lineage to racing buggies,
its real application is fun running. The Revenge claws through terrain with the help of its 4WD
and is able to launch with solid dexterity. Compared to more expensive buggies it is a bit on the
heavy side, but once again this seems to be a positive trait. Racers know that a light buggy can
make it quick and nimble, but can also make it too aggressive and ill-mannered for going flat
out or when thrashing through the bigger stuff. The extra weight helped plant the buggy and
gave it a better grip on the loamy dirt and loose obstacles. I also found the suspension to be
adequately damped and sprung. It struck a good balance and never executed excessive roll or
slapped on landings- even when my piloting skills sent the Revenge into awkward flight. Test-
ing with a 3S pack took it up a notch, but it never got too crazy and the tires never went in to
“mohawk” mode and the gear differentials felt well tuned to this type of driving. If a tire broke
traction it didn’t transfer the power and create a diff’ing-out scenario. It just laid the power to
the ground and kept accelerating forward. Now these things are great when the buggy is going
at Mach 10, but when I ventured in to tighter, smaller spots of the field, the buggy lacked a bit
The Revenge’s Spektrum DX2E transmitter does duty with a number of
of agility and feel at low speeds. The slight push that made the buggy easy to drive at speed
Vaterra, ECX, and Losi models. In this issue, it’s also paired with the Losi
was a bit of hindrance when going slow and combined with the electronics’ sensorless nature,
XXX-SCT. Unlike the Active Vehicle Control (AVC) equipped Losi, the
DX2E’s dual-rate steering knob is left to control its intended function
contributed to less finesse at the bottom of the throttle band. Fortunately, the Revenge uses
rather than the AVC system. If you want to try AVC for yourself, just standard 1/8-scale buggy wheels and tires to help give drivers options and to help adjust the
replace the included receiver with a Spektrum SRS4210. buggy’s handling, and tuning parts are also available.

FINAL WORD
If you’re looking for a fun and simple entry to 1/8 scale e-buggies without maxing out the credit card, the ECX Revenge is SOURCES
a solid choice. It’s a lot of fun and is well suited to its intended role as a first-time-friendly big buggy. ECX did make a few ECX ecxrc.com
compromises to lower its price, but they are well thought out and don’t diminish the fun factor. The Revenge is easy to Dynamite dynamiterc.com
drive (especially on a 2S pack) and a capable car straight out of the box with the quick and nimble handling 1/8 buggies are Horizon Hobby
horizonhobby.com
known for.

68 RCCarAction.com
Pro File

Ty Tessmann
younger, but he’s mechanically
inclined and we just went through
the learning curve together.

Racing, Family, and What’s Next for RC’s RCCA: Well you guys are known
for having quick pit stops in nitro
Newest World Champion By Carl Hyndman racing. Rumor has it that you
actually have a pit spot at your
house and that you practice pitting
If you race off-road, you’ve probably heard of 21-year-old Canadian phenom Ty Tessmann. with your parents in your yard-
The young Hot Bodies driver has been turning the scene upside down, culminating with a filling fuel tanks, etc?
win at the 2014 IFMAR Nitro World Championships in Messina, Italy. He was taking wins or Ty: Yeah we have a track at home
and a pit lane so we practice pitting
standing somewhere on the podium at almost every international race he attended. Soft-
there. Before the 2014 IFMAR Nitro
spoken, polite and backed by a crew that includes his parents, Ty is slaying the veterans Worlds, we had the new Pro-Line
and establishing his own winning dynasty one race at a time. His system is refined, polished fuel gun, so we practiced a lot. We
and so efficient that many long-time pro driver standouts and factory teams have had to needed to get familiar with it, so we
take a long look at how they approach racing to respond to this new wave of speed. We sat were always practicing. It's about
giving 110%.
down with Ty and his parents just after team Tessmann won the overall at Gunsmoke Classic
at Inland Empire RC in San Bernardino, CA to find out what makes his winning formula so RCCA: When you are planning for a
special. big race and you know it’s months
out, what are your typical steps to
prepare?
Ty: I practice a lot, probably three
to four times a week regularly, and
for a big race will increase it more.
It depends on the race, but we
will usually go four to five times a
week. We’ll go and simulate what
we think the track will be like. We’ll
also water the track or do what we
need to do to mimic the track and
try and get a setup that will work.

RCCA: Is narrowing down your tire


selection part of that, or do you
have other things you typically do?
Ty: We try and look at the track,
whether it’s online or in person.
We will also ask people who have
been there before to try and get a
feel for it and what it’s going to be
like. We try to set up our car close
to that and then we usually ask the
locals what tires are working. We’ll
then go out with a tire we think is
Ty celebrates his going to work. It takes a long time
first Worlds win. to get to know your car and know
Odds are it won’t what it’s supposed to feel like, and
be his last.
from there we can make changes.
It comes about through testing, but
the first run we always go out on
RCCA: When you first saw an RC how fast everyone was. After that, served its purpose, but my parents tires we think are going to work for
car, were you instantly hooked or it just continued from there. really gave up a lot of stuff for me. the surface. While I’m learning the
was it something you grew to love? layout I’ll try and think about what
Ty: My grandmother bought me a RCCA: What was the first class you RCCA: Now it seems that they have the car needs and what we need to
car from Radio Shack and it was started out in? gotten even more involved- they change.
crappy. I drove it till it broke, then Ty: My first class was 1/10-scale pit for you, your dad helps with
my parents bought me a hobby Mod Stadium Truck around 2002 wrenching and tuning… How far RCCA: You’ve been on a roll over
grade car and I just kept driving or 2003. I wasn’t super serious, but does that go? the last year or so. Do you feel like
it and getting more cars and it that’s what I started out with. Ty: It helps a lot. It’s really nice to it’s been a sudden breakthrough,
snowballed from there. have my parents doing it with me. or does your success feel more like
RCCA: Your parents are very My dad and I know each other so gradual progress?
RCCA: So you started out just involved with your racing. How did well that we know what we are Ty: I think it’s been a slow, gradual
messing around on your street that develop? going to do and we communicate progress. You have to work at it
or in the dirt, but then you got Ty: They’ve always supported me better than if we had just hired a pit over a long period of time. The
interested in racing? and they’ve given up a lot of stuff to guy. My mom books all the hotels, IFMAR Worlds is a funny race
Ty: Well we had a club in our town support me in this. They opened a flights—it’s really nice to have all and anything can happen. The
and there were a couple of guys and hobby shop and that supported my that stuff. guys that are favored to win, don’t
we ran there, but then we started racing for a long time before I got always win. In the past it’s always
going to bigger races in Canada. sponsored. Once I got sponsored RCCA: Your dad is your mechanic. been people who you probably
We got pretty good, so we went to and started going to a lot of races Did he just learn it along the way or didn’t think of. There’s been polls
the states to see how we would do we ran out of time to work in the did he have a background with it? and it isn’t the top guy from the
against the racers here and see hobby shop so we shut it down. It Ty: He had a car when he was votes. It’s a crazy race and you

72 RCCarAction.com
FAST FACTS
Age: 21
Home: Alberta, Canada
Sponsors: HPI/Hot Bodies,
Pro-Line, O.S., Team Orion,
Savox, AMain.com, Avid,
Lunsford, MuchMore Racing,
Nitrotane, MIP, UpGrade, and
110% Racing.
Biggest Wins: IFMAR
1/8 Scale Off-Road World
Championship (2014), Hot
Rod Hobbies Shootout, 4WD
buggy (2014); ROAR Off-Road
Fuel Nats, 1/8 Buggy (2014);
The Dual Race, Overall Invite
Class (2014); Lone Star Nitro
Challenge, 1/8 E-Buggy, Truggy
(2014); Neo 14 Dash for Cash,
Buggy, 1/8 E-Buggy (2014); The
Dirt Nitro Challenge, 1/8 Buggy
& Truggy (2014)

Kendall and Kelly


Bennett are husband
IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO GET TO KNOW YOURand
CAR
wifeAND KNOW
and have
WHAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO FEEL LIKE, AND FROM THERE
teamed up toWE
makeCAN
MAKE CHANGES. WHILE I’M LEARNING THE LAYOUT
AMain.com OF A
a unique
option in the RC and
TRACK, I’LL TRY AND THINK ABOUT WHAT THE CAR NEEDS
sports industries.
AND WHAT WE NEED TO CHANGE.

FEBRUARY 2015 73
Pro File TY TESSMANN

never know what to expect when


you go over there, but winning an
IFMAR Worlds was definitely one of
my goals right from the start. But,
we aren’t going to stop or give up.
We’re going to try to win as many
races as we can.

RCCA: What are your next goals


and what is on your racing
schedule?
Ty: Well the next big race is the
Reedy Race and we are going to
do the best we can there and win
it. We’ll be testing for the IFMAR
1/10 Electric Worlds in Japan this
coming year. We’ll try and learn as
much as we can, especially since it
will be on Astroturf, so we’ll have to
figure out something for that. Then Left: What does winning feeling like? Cold
after that, the ROAR Nationals, and wet, sometimes. Above: Gord and Ty,
Nitro Challenge- every race we go hugging it out after a win.
to we try to win.

RCCA: So you’re planning to focus to the next track where faster guys
more on electric because of the are. If you are the fastest guy there,
upcoming Worlds? you should be traveling more and
Ty: We are still going to nitro races, finding faster guys to go up against.
but we are going to more electric have a bit of experience from nitro to Reedy Race to make it that much Keep practicing and working on
races. 1/8-scale. It’s 4WD and has similar better. your cars as much as you can.
characteristics, so we know what
RCCA: You’ve been doing really to change. But 2WD buggy has RCCA: If you could give advice to RCCA: What’s the biggest
well with the Hot Bodies D413 4WD been a little different. Stuff that new drivers getting into racing, difference between racing in
buggy, and I see you running a works in 4WD doesn’t always work what would it be? Canada and racing in the USA?
2WD prototype buggy. How is that in 2WD. We are learning every time Ty: I’d say just go to your local track Ty: The competition is much
going? we go out and it’s getting better and and practice as much as you can. stronger in the USA. I think it’s
Ty: The 4WD buggy is good. We better and we are looking forward Once you are the fastest there, go just the lack of people who do it in

Ty’s Hot Bodies D812 on the


way to the finish line at the
2014 IFMAR 1/8 Nitro Off-
Road World Championship in
Messina, Italy.

74 RCCarAction.com
SO MUCH RADIO.
SO LITTLE MONEY.

Whether you’re just starting


out or upgrading your RTR’s
radio, there’s a clear, affordable
choice: the TTX300 from Tactic.
A programmable 3rd channel
gives this system flexibility
that no other analog radio
can match, and a $50 street
price makes the TTX300 an
incredible value. Proven, 2.4GHz
technology puts you in the
driver’s seat with worry-free
control for cars, trucks, boats,
buggies and crawlers. It’s all of
the upsides Tactic has to offer in
a surface system — at a down-
to-earth price!

■ Steering and throttle reverse


and trims
■ End point adjustments for all
The TTX300 comes equipped with channels
a multi-functional programmable
third channel that can be used ■ Steering rate adjustment dial
as a 2-, 3- or 4-position switch or ■ Two-button control of third
proportional control channel
■ Light, compact 3-channel
receiver
■ Internal antenna
■ Power LED

Actual size


©2014 – 3134479 tacticrc.com/130k Tactic, a Hobbico company.


Pro File TY TESSMANN

Ty’s winning combo includes his


parents who act as his factory
mechanic, pit team, management
and overall support.

Canada because of the population RCCA: Is it something you thought and Travis and they made him feel all on his own. He does most of the
differences. about in advance, or did it just like a million bucks. They gave him wrenching, but I watch his car
happen? some autographed tires and he still and we communicate. If I was
The Tessmann Team Gord: It just kind of happened. My has them today. Adam came to gone instantly, his career wouldn’t
Part of Ty’s winning formula is family’s nature is that when we him and Ty was just in awe. Ty said be over by any means. He would
the support he receives from his get in to something, we don’t do that was what he wanted to do, be just need someone to fuel his car.
parents Gord and Leann. Ty is it halfway. If we are going to do a professional RC racer. That was He can do everything himself.
quick to point out that without something, we are going to do it around 2003. I just think we can do it better as
them, he would not have the right. a team.
success that he enjoys today. RCCA: Ty explained that you’ve Leann: And if we do the wrenching,
They truly work as a team and RCCA: At what age did you see the always wrenched for him and that he can focus more on his driving.
handle every aspect of Ty’s spark in Ty? The time when he was you’ve always been mechanically
career. Often that has meant an digging it? inclined. Was that something you RCCA: You guys had some of the
even broader reach and recently, Gord: I think he was about ten had to learn along the way? fastest pit stops at the IFMAR
Gord was hired as the Team and we saw a race advertised in a Gord: When we started, he ran Worlds. How did you prepare?
Manager for the Hot Bodies/ magazine. It was Monster Hobbies electric truck and I ran nitro Leann: We practiced our pit stops
HPI off-road team. It’s a unique Madness Invitational in Idaho. stadium truck. I was even local for a couple of weeks.
situation and we were lucky to TLR’s Adam Drake, Team Durango’s Nitro Champion one year at our Gord: We knew which direction
sit down with all of them to get Travis Amezcua (at time he was local club. Then, I decided I wanted the track was going, and we knew
their take on this interesting probably TLR), JBRL’s Jimmy to try 1/8-scale buggy, so I gave roughly how high the pit lane
dynamic. Babcock, Doug Scripture and Team him my nitro 1/10-scale truck. I was, so we took all of that into
Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri, were would run and he was smoking me consideration and basically left
RCCA: How did you all get involved there and Ty looked up to all of with everything. I’d run 1/8-scale nothing to chance. We tested tires
with RC? these guys. It was eight hours away 4WD buggy and he’d beat me from Pro-Line on cement. We know
Gord: My mom—Ty’s grandmother— and we might not ever get a chance with 1/10-scale nitro 2WD truck. that a very small group have won
gave Ty a car when he was little, to see all of these guys again in So, I decided that I would start the IFMAR Worlds and you don’t
and he drove it till it broke. He loved our lives, so we said, let’s take wrenching. I always taught Ty that win it by accident. I’ve heard so-
it. Then I got a car and we went to Ty down there and let him meet anyone could die at any time— and-so got lucky, that’s not true.
the local club and it just snowballed them. He ran electric truck and have a heart attack, get hit by a You don’t get lucky for a week
from there. nitro truck. He got to meet Adam bus—so he could actually do this straight.

76 RCCarAction.com
Pro File TY TESSMANN

little cocky—his D812 design just


won the Worlds—but he’s still so
down to earth. Both of our goals
are the same. We just want to
win. He admires how much work
we put into it, and we admire that
in him, so I think that is why we
work so well together. Torrance
understands that practice and
theories don’t always match and
he’s willing to accept what is
reality.

RCCA: Ty, how do you feel working


with Torrance?
Ty: It’s pretty natural now because
I’ve been working with him so
long and it’s really cool to have
that engineering support and
helping me out since I’m working
to become a mechanical engineer
myself.
The Tessman Team is known for Gord: I remember when we had
their meticulous preparation and a meeting about the 4WD D413
leave nothing to chance. Everyone and we thought the buggy would
pitches in. work well with a center diff and
Torrance was so open to the idea
instantly. After we left, Ty said he
RCCA: Did the IFMAR Worlds go Gord: I’ve always traveled with Ty and has been there 100%. Ty was hoped Torrance wasn’t going to be
according to plan? and I have background in business unknown and he took a chance. like everyone else. I asked what he
Gord: No, it actually didn’t. I was with my brother. I talked to [Hot meant, and Ty said that everyone is
pleasantly surprised to see how Bodies/HPI owner] Tatsuro RCCA: I noticed you’ve been always so nice to us at the start, but
fast he got on pace, because we Watanabe and we were looking working with Torrance DeGuzman, if we disagree with something they
had never driven on anything like for a new mechanic for Ty. Tatsuro the lead engineer for Hot Bodies/ say it always turns bad. But I told
that before. Ty is more of a finesse asked me what it would take to do HPI. How is that going? him to just be positive and work
driver. He does better on small, it and also become Team Manager. Gord: Torrance is an amazing hard and that’s all we can do. He
tight, technical tracks. I was also Tatsuro is an awesome guy. I can’t engineer. He’s super smart, super hasn’t changed at all. I remember
surprised how he did at the 2014 say enough good things about him. knowledgeable and probably the a while back someone wanted to
ROAR Nats in Texas when he won. It Leann: He’s been gracious since least arrogant person we’ve ever interview Torrance when we won
wasn’t a small, tight track. I’ve told day one. He first sponsored Ty met. He has every right to be a the Worlds and he said it wasn’t
people that when he was 17, that Ty about him. Torrance wants to win,
was the best driver in the world, but but he wants to support and stay in
not the best racer in the world, but the background.
I think now he’s the best at both. I
mean I’m his Dad so I’m bragging, RCCA: I’ve noticed there’s been a
but his craft, his patience and his lot of changes at Hot Bodies/HPI,
mindset are very strong. You can’t can you comment on this?
show up to a race like that and not Gord: A lot of drivers are coming to
expect to win. I get a kick out of the us. We aren’t seeking out drivers.
media when they ask us how we That hasn’t happened in many
expect to do. I don’t know how they years. Tatsuro is passionate about
expect anyone to say third. racing and wants a strong team. As
Leann: “I’m going for tenth!” a father I’m torn, because we just
(laughs) made winning harder for us, but
it’s better for the company and we
RCCA: Well you’d be surprised, are able to get better products. So I
because a lot of drivers just want have to look at it that way and how
to make the “show” (the final it is going to help our company. I
main). talked to Ty about it, and he’s okay
Gord: To me, that’s a waste and not with it. If as a team we finish one,
why we are there. two, three and Ty has to be third,
we know it’s what’s best for the
RCCA: You’re now the Team company and what we work for.
Manager for Hot Bodies/HPI. How We want to win all the races we go
did that happen? to—small, big- it doesn’t matter.

FINAL WORD The Tessmann team gives beyond the normal effort and their commitment to Ty’s career is impressive. Racing
involves a lot more than just driving and raw talent, and although they possess those traits, it is only part of the equation. The Tes-
smanns have already won an impressive list of major events including an IFMAR Worlds and ROAR National titles, but they aren’t
ready to stop any time soon and expect to win at any event they attend. That’s an easy claim to make, but they’ve backed it up with
wins and their approach is hard to discount. A lot of things are changing in their camp and the ways things are going, we can expect
to see many more. Best of luck to Ty and his family and we look forward to what the future holds.

78 RCCarAction.com
P E R F O R M A N C E T E S T

1/10-SCALE 4WD COMPETITION TOURING CAR | KIT

TEAM DURANGO
DETC410
Durango’s first-ever touring car
is a pro-grade performer

82 RCCarAction.com
words & photos by joel navarro

Team Durango has made a name for


itself in the RC world as a manufacturer that pro-
duces ultra high-quality performance vehicles that
are successful in the national and world champion-
ship arenas. Off-road vehicles has been the compa-
ny’s primary focus until now. Durango is hitting the
pavement hard with its first sedan offering and it’s
packed with features that put it up to par with its
off-road siblings and the other high end sedans on
the market. With a double deck carbon chassis, fully
adjustable suspension and two belt drivetrain de-
sign, the DETC410 aims to dominate tracks around
the globe.

april 2015 83
P E R F O R M A N C E T E S T
Here you can see how the
dual-belt setup sandwiches
4.13 in.
105mm the spur gear between the
belts. Note the indexed, ec-
centric bearing mount used
to set belt tension.

7.4 in.
188mm

DUAL-BELT DIFF AND SPOOL DRIVETRAIN


The DETC410 spins a pair of belts to deliver 4WD, and
mounts the spur gear between the layshaft pulleys to hold
the motor close to the chassis’ centerline. The bevel-gear
rear differential uses plastic gears to reduce the rotating
mass, and the diff case is sealed to hold silicone oil. Du-
rango leaves oil selection to you, and does not include any
10.2 in. with the kit. Up front, a solid spool takes the place of a front
259mm diff, so both front wheels receive equal power at all times.
14.5 in. CV-joint driveshafts are fitted front and rear, and pair their
368mm hardened steel joints with lightweight aluminum dogbone
shafts. The front shafts have unique, double universal
VEHICLE SPECS joints for better efficiency and improved steering
throw. Sleeves on the drive pins reduce friction
Item no.: DETC410 between the drive pins and drive cups to smooth
Scale: 1/10 out the drivetrain, and the completed belt-drive
Price: $400 system is indeed slick.
Weight, as tested 3 lb 13 oz (1420g)

CHASSIS
Material: 2.25mm carbon fiber plate
Type: Double-deck plate

SUSPENSION
Type: H-arm with aluminum turnbuckle upper link Aluminum shafts with steel CV joints spin the
Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 3/3 wheels. The “D-Joint” front shafts have double uni-
Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/3 versal joints, and the rear CVs have a unique cutaway
design instead of a full “bell” surrounding the joint.
Shock positions, towers (F/R): 6/6
Shock positions, arms (F/R): 3/3

SHOCKS ULTRA-TUNABLE SUSPENSION


Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 11mm bore The DETC410 has all the adjustability required of a competition car. The
Shafts: Plated steel, 3mm threaded-body aluminum dampers can be built as emulsion style shocks
Volume compensation: Bladder or emulsion or use bladder compensation to make up for oil displacement when the shock
shafts are compressed. When building the shocks you have the option to use one
or two silicone o-rings to seal the bottom end; one will make the shock ultra smooth
DRIVETRAIN
Type: 4WD belt
while two will do a better job of sealing the body. Aluminum hinge pin mounts secure
the suspension arms to the chassis and they incorporate plastic inserts that allow you to
Spur gear/pinion: 116T / Not Included (64 pitch)
change rear toe angle from
Differential F/R: Spool/Sealed bevel plastic gear -4 to +4 degrees in half-
Driveshafts F/R: Aluminum CV-style/Aluminum CV-style degree increments. Inserts
Bearings: Rubber shielded ball are also used in the hub
carriers to set front caster,
REQUIRES and turnbuckles set front
2-channel radio system, speed control, motor, steering servo, camber and toe. Durango
battery, body, wheels and tires also equips the car with
front and rear swaybars, so
you have plenty of options to
TEST GEAR (NOT INCLUDED) suit any track.
Radio: Futaba 4PKS
Servo: Savox SC-1251 MG
Speed Control: Trakpower MS-1 Clamping hex hubs, threaded
shocks, carbon fiber towers…
Motor: Trakpower 13.5T Sensored Brushless
all the comp-grade stuff you’d
Body: Protoform P37-R expect. Note the hole in the ball
Wheels/Tires: Solaris Premounted Medium Compound cup that allows you to remove
Battery: Trakpower 7200 mAh 7.4V 90C LiPo the ball stud without popping
Charger: Hitec X4 AC Plus off the cup.
The chassis plate is symmetrical from left to
right for consistent torsional flex.

The narrow graphite chassis


leaves no room to spare, and
holds all the electronic gear
close to (or over) its sides.

Low-Profile Carbon Fiber and Aluminum Chassis


The DETC410 looks every bit the pro-caliber machine it is, with a heaping-helping of
gold-anodized machined aluminum set off by the woven carbon-fiber chassis parts. The
main chassis is 2.25mm thick and is symmetrical from left to right so it has equal flexibility
whether cornering left or right. The slim top deck gives the car fore-and-aft stiffness to
transfer power efficiently, and can be tuned for torsional flex by varying the number of
screws used to secure to the center, front, and rear bulkheads. The aluminum bulkheads
further stiffen the chassis, and the parts are heavily machined to remove unnecessary
material and the weight that goes with it. The electronics are mounted as close to the car’s
centerline as possible for sharp transitional handling, and a pair of minimalist brackets
retain the battery. As a pure race car, the 410 skips Velcro straps or mechanical hold-
downs to restrain the pack in favor of strapping tape, which trims weight and holds the
pack tightly.

Instead of mounting the


servo directly to the main
chassis, which can cause
the chassis to flex under
steering loads, the servo is
suspended from above by a
“floating” mount.

april 2015 85
BEHIND THE WHEEL
The DETC410 was a dream to build thanks to its easy to un-
+
Highly tunable suspension
derstand and comprehensive instruction manual and excel- Top shelf materials used
lent parts package labeling that correctly corresponded to a throughout
step in the manual. With the build complete I decided to head Stock setup is competitive right
to CRaceway in Orange, CA to burn some rubber. I didn’t out of the box
want to show on race day with no practice, so I decided to go Excellent instruction manual
the Friday before for open practice. Some of the locals were
already practicing when I arrived and I immediately noticed
that the grip was way up on the newly resurfaced asphalt.
The track layout had a bit of everything as far as fast sweep-
-
Shock and diff oils not included
ing turns, 180’s and switchback chicanes; perfect conditions Wheels not included
to put the DETC410 through its paces. As the tires started to
scrub into the suspension settings on the first few laps, the
DETC410’s responsiveness started to increase. If a drivetrain
on a vehicle is quiet, it means it’s efficient and the DETC410 was very silent on the track.
All I heard was the scream of the motor and the tires scrubbing in the turns. The TrakPower
13.5-turn brushless motor powered the DETC410 out of turns like a rocket onto the long back
straightaway. The box-stock setup on the DETC410 made it perform well on the track, but I
could tell the setup was playing it safe. It allowed a moderate amount of push in medium and
small radius turns, which in turn made for an easy to drive car that turned in respectable lap
times. In search of faster lap times, I decided to bring the DETC410 back to the pits for some
TEST GEAR TrakPower suspension tweaks. The rear end had more than enough traction and I needed more steering
MS Series Brushless System so I decided to start small and move the rear shocks out one hole on the shock tower. Back on
the track, the small change was immediately noticeable with an increased amount of steering.
For power I turned to TrakPower and its MS series brushless system.
The sensored system is a speed control and motor combo and you Corner speed was exceptionally good around small and medium sized turns with excellent
can choose from a 6.5, 8.5, 10.5 13.5 17.5 or 21.5 turn motor when initial steering entering a corner. I like my sedan to have ultra aggressive responsive steering.
purchasing it. The 100A MS-1 speed control features easy to access With wrench in hand, I quickly loosened the rear droop screws a half turn which added approxi-
gold plated solder posts and a an aluminum case to reduce operating mately 1mm of rear up travel for a total of 5mm. On the next run, the steering feel remained
temps. Adjustment parameters allow you to change the drive mode, the same, but with the added rear up travel more weight was allowed to transfer to the front
motor direction, neutral width, start power and drag brake. I went with a tires making the DETC410 turn in quicker when entering a corner. After running half a dozen
13.5-turn motor to run my car and it features a ribbed can for increased packs, I thought the handling was perfectly suited to my driving style and was ready to tackle
cooling, mechanical timing and heavy duty solder tabs for the wires. my first race day with the DETC410.

FINAL WORD SOURCES


Over the years I’ve had a chance to drive most of Durango’s line of offroad vehicles and I have never been disappointed, so Durango team-durango.com
Hitec hitecrcd.com
I had high expectations for their sedan. Even though the DETC410 is Durango’s first ever on-road offering, they got it right.
Protoform racepf.com
The DETC410 is a great performer out of the box and is very easy to drive fast, though I would like to see diff and shock Trakpower trakpowerusa.com
oils included for those customers not already stocked with the right fluids. At $400, the DETC410 carries a price tag that is Savox savoxusa.com
on par with the rest of its counterparts in the competition touring scene, and includes lots of trick parts that make it feel Solaris solarisrp.com
several steps higher than an average sedan. Spektrum spektrumrc.com

86 RCCarAction.com
How to Assemble and
Paint a Driver Figure
From Pile of Parts to Painted Person in 10 Steps By Kevin Hetmanski

A
driver figure is an easy way to add
Imagine how much less exciting this
more realism to your scale build. beach buggy would be without a driver!
Action figures may fit, but they You can see more of this James Knight
build in our April 2014 issue.
usually aren’t
the sort of characters
you’d expect to see in YOU’LL NEED
-> Plastic cement
a real vehicle, unless -> Plastic modeling putty
they’re on their way to a -> Sanding stick or sandpaper (600 grit)
-> Paint
wrestling match or the
-> Dull coat
battlefield. Figures de-
signed for RC models are
the most detailed and look the part, but they
come molded in a single color and require as-
sembly and paint to bring them to life. Getting
that figure from bare plastic to fully detailed
looks like a lot of work, but it’s actually not
difficult. In the steps ahead, we’ll assemble
and modify Tamiya’s “RC 4X4” driver to fit
the Tamiya Mountain Rider interior, then paint
him to look right at home behind the wheel.

Step 2: Assemble the


figure parts
Remove the rest of the body parts from
the parts tree and glue the halves of the
arms and head together. I prefer Tamiya
Extra Thin Cement for this because it
allows you to hold the parts together
correctly while it seeps into the joint.
This gives you a clean joint that won’t
Tamiya’s no. 54416 RC 4X4 driver is a good match for 1/10 models
A little grinding of the legs was required to make my require much clean up later. After about
that don’t require the figure’s lower legs to be visible. For a head-to-
figure sit properly on my Tamiya Mountain Rider seat. an hour I like to apply more glue to the
toe figure, Wild Willy (no. 58242) is a popular choice.
I used the contour of the seat and a Parma Detailing joint to strengthen it.
pen to draw a line and show me where to cut.

Step 1: Make sure the figure fits


It’s best to address any fit issues before assembling
and painting the figure, so you can use paint to hide
modifications. I found that the steering wheel was
hitting the figure’s legs and keeping it from sitting
properly in the seat. I taped the figure in place and
used the contour of the seat and a Parma Detailing pen
to mark where to grind the plastic away and get my
figure to sit properly. Another issue with the figure is
that there’s a big gap between the back of the driver
and the seat. I solved this problem by extending the
There’s a big gap between the back of the figure When assembling the halves of the arms and head,
figure with styrene sheet that I traced to match the and the seat so I filled it in with some thin plastic all you have to do is hold the parts together and
body contour then cut and glued in place. Plastic putty sheet. It may look weird now but paint will hide apply Tamiya Extra Thin cement to the joint. It will
and paint will hide the joint. that later. seep in and glue the parts together.

APRIL 2015 89
HOW TO | ASSEMBLE AND PAINT A DRIVER FIGURE

Use putty to fill any gaps that will A sanding stick and a little time are all you need Bottled paints allow you
be visible on the assembled parts. to clean up your glue joint and mold lines. to use a paint brush or air
brush to apply it. Tamiya’s
Lacquer is great for
thinning down its Acrylic
paints for airbrushing.

STEP 3: FILL GAPS AND SAND AWAY SEAMS AND MOLD LINES
If there are any gaps between the parts, fill them with Tamiya Putty White. After the putty is
dry, clean up the seams and mold lines on the glued parts with sandpaper or a sanding stick
for a much better finished result when you paint later. If you don’t clean up the seams and
mold lines they will be clearly visible and take away from the scale look.
Brush or Airbrush?
When it comes to painting a figure it’s
STEP 4: POSITION AND best to use bottled paints and a paint
ATTACH THE ARMS Use masking tape to
hold the arms in place
brush and/or an airbrush to apply the
Gluing the arms in place takes while the glue dries.
color. I chose to use Tamiya Acrylic
some planning because once the paints for the job and I will use Tamiya
glue has set there’s no changing Lacquer thinner for the colors that I
their position. Place the figure will be airbrushing. This thinner allows
in your model and position the the paint to flow better than it would
arms on the steering wheel, if you used Acrylic thinner and the
shifter, or wherever you would paint dries quicker once it’s applied. On
like them to be, then apply glue my figure I’ll be using a Tamiya Spray
and hold in place for about a Work HG airbrush to coat the legs,
minute to let the glue set. Then, body and hat of the figure because of
use tape to hold the parts in the large area that needs paint. I can
position as they dry. You can also use a paintbrush for those areas but
attach the head, but you may it’s a little more time consuming and
prefer to leave it off so you can requires a few coats to get the finish
paint it separately. just right. The rest of the parts such as
the hands, face and hair will be done
with a fine tip paintbrush.

Gaps are filled and Once the blue paint


sanded and the on the pants was
primer is applied. dry I applied the
This guy is ready red paint to the
for some paint! shirt area of the An airbrush is not
figure. a must for figure
painting, but for
applying even
color with precise
control, there’s no
better tool.

STEP 6: MASK
AND PAINT THE
CLOTHING
I started with the legs of the
figure and made sure to get
STEP 5: PREP AND most of the Tamiya Royal
APPLY PRIMER Blue paint on that area with
Before any paint touches the figure, the airbrush. Once the legs
wash it with soap and water to were dry I masked them
remove any mold release, sanding off and applied Tamiya Red
dust, and anything else that might paint for the shirt. The paint
keep paint from sticking. Apply a was thinned it with Tamiya’s
thin coat of primer to prepare the Lacquer thinner in a 2 part
figure for color. Go easy, you don’t paint 1 part thinner mix.
want to fill in the detailing with too Tamiya White paint colors
much primer. I like Tamiya’s Fine the driver’s undershirt.
Surface Primer for this job.

90 RCCarAction.com
A quick touch from a
STEP 7: PAINT THE Parma Detailing pen is
all it took to make the
FACE AND HANDS buttons stand out on
Using a fine tip brush I painted Tamiya Flat Flesh the figure’s shirt.
color onto the hands and face of the figure and a
50/50 mix of Tamiya Brown and Flat Flesh paint
was used to color the hair. If you want to mix
your own “flesh color,” mix a bit of red into white
to make pink, then add a drop of yellow. Fine-
tune the mix to get a shade you like. Use a bit of
brown for a darker complexion—people come in
all sorts of colors.

STEP 8: ADD THE DETAILS


To paint the white of the eyes, I used a tip of a
toothpick dipped into white paint. If any paint goes
outside the eye area, you can come back after it dries
and apply a little more of the skin tone with a fine
brush to clean it up. I used a touch of the Ultra Fine tip
of my Parma Detailing pen to finish up the eyes, and
then used it to pick out the buttons on the shirt.

STEP 9: ENHANCE DETAILING


WITH A WASH
A wash is basically super-thinned out paint (about a
one part paint to 50 part thinner mix) that is brushed
over the model. The wash collects in low spots to
subtly darken them and create a shadow effect that
The hands, face, hair and shirt now have their color and the gives much greater depth and realism. I used a black The dull coat has been applied and the
figure is starting to come to life. A steady hand and fine-tip wash on the pants, shirt and hat. For the face, hands figure has been installed. It’s time to go
paint brush made it happen. and hair I used a brown wash. for a ride!

STEP 10: APPLY DULL COAT THAT’S IT!


This driver is looking pretty good, but the various Now you can mount the figure in your favorite
parts have different degrees of shine ranging scale vehicle and have that little extra realism that
from matte to semi-gloss. To pull everything everyone is looking for. Painting the figure isn’t
together with a uniform finish, apply a few very hard but it will take you some time to do properly.
light coats of Tamiya Flat Clear over the figure. Everyone has their own way of making this happen
Let the clear dry completely, and your new driver and these are the techniques that I used to paint
is ready to install. my figure for my Tamiya Mountain Rider.

SOURCES
Parma parmapse.com
RC4WD store.rc4wd.com
Tamiya tamiyausa.com

APRIL 2015 91
p e r f o r m a n c e t e s t

1/10-SCALEelectric 4WD truck | rtr

kyosho Mad Bug


Classic Baja Bug styling meets modern
brushless power and 4WD tech

94 RCCarAction.com
words & photos by carl hyndman

Kyosho’s Fazer series of cars wear a


wide variety of body styles, but the latest
look for the versatile 4WD platform will easily be the
most recognizable to the widest possible audience,
whether full-on car guys or just casual fans of four
wheels. There’s no mistaking a classic Volkswagen
bug for anything else on the road—or off, in the
case of the Baja-themed Mad Bug. Its fun styling
is a powerful hook, but there’s more to this ma-
chine than lovely lexan. Shaft-driven 4WD spinning
aggressively-styled tires and wheels starts off the
package, and the Team Orion sensorless brushless
system is a notch above the “house brand” fare
common in RTRs. The waterproof electronics are
powered up by an included Orion battery, and the
adjustable suspension squeezes an exceptionally
nice set of aluminum shocks—nice specs, especially
for a $300 RTR.

The Mad Bug’s officially


licensed Volkswagen body
is available in blue (as seen
here) as well as a white
version.

april 2015 95
P E R F O R M A N C E T E S T
A dual-pad slipper clutch and
metal bevel gears are standard.
All the Mad Bug’s rotating parts
5.98 in.
152mm spin on ball bearings.

11.30 in.
287mm

PLASTIC-SHAFT, METAL-GEAR 4WD


The drivetrain follows the standard shaft-down-the-
middle layout, and trims costs with a plastic center
shaft and plastic outdrives on the front and rear dif-
ferentials. The outdrive cups are pretty stout and by
using plastic there is less metal to metal friction and
10.71 in.
272mm
less need for grease or maintenance. An adjustable
15.55 in. dual-pad slipper clutch is incorporated into the system,
395mm but since it’s hidden under the chassis’ top brace, it’s some-
thing you’ll likely set and forget, if you need to change the
setting at all. The differentials have cast metal ring and pin-
VEHICLE SPECS ion gears for durability as well as metal internal gears, and
dogbone driveshafts are fitted at both ends of the car. The
Item no.: 30994T1B
dogbones have larger diameter “ball” ends and thick 3mm
Scale: 1/10
Price: $300 21.6
mph*
crosspins specifically designed to work with the plastic
outdrives. The Mad Bug’s motor engages the drivetrain
Weight: 3 lb., 14.2oz, (1764g) via a cast-alloy, cam-style mount that fully encloses the
pinion and spur gears to keep debris out.. To facilitate mesh
CHASSIS adjustments, a hatch can be opened by removing a screw,
Material: Plastic allowing you to see the gears.
Type: Tub

SUSPENSION
Type: Lower H-arm with adjustable camber links
Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/1
Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/1 BIG-BORE ALUMINUM SHOCK SUSPENSION
Shock positions, towers (F/R): 3/3 I was pleasantly surprised to see the Mad Bug includes 12mm “big-bore” shocks with
Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2 threaded aluminum bodies. These are similar to those used on racing vehicles, and take
advantage of higher fluid capacity and numerous damping options to help improve han-
SHOCKS dling and tuning. They work great and have a proven performance record on other Kyosho
Bodies: Oil-filled threaded aluminum 12mm Bore vehicles. The suspension uses a familiar lower H-arm with upper adjustable camber link
Shafts: 3.5mm Steel setup, but since the links are threaded rods instead of turnbuckles, you’ll need to remove
one end of the link to change settings. The steering tie rods are constructed the same way.
Volume compensation: Bladder
Camber and toe are set properly from the factory so there’s no hassle-factor unless you
really want to dig into suspension tuning—which most Mad Bug drivers aren’t likely to do.
DRIVETRAIN
Type: 4WD shaft-driven 3.07:1
Spur gear/Pinion: 75/25
Slipper Clutch: 2-pad, adjustable
Differential: Sealed metal bevel gear, silicone oil filled
Driveshafts: steel dogbones
Bearings: Metal shielded ball

WHEELS & TIRES


Wheels: Black multi-spoke plastic, 12mm Hex
Tires: 100mm NEO Block high-grip
Inserts: Open cell foam

INCLUDED ELECTRONICS
Transmitter: Syncro KT-200 2Ch 2.4GHz
Servo: KS204WP High-Response and Torque Waterproof
Speed control: Team Orion R10 ONE
Motor: Team Orion NEON ONE (KV-2400) Threaded aluminum big-bore shocks are a high-quality
Receiver: Team Orion NEON ONE (KV-2400) touch. The standard H-arm, C-hub and steering arm
setup is rugged, and 12mm hexes allow the Mad Bug to
Battery: Team Orion 1800mAh NiMH Stick Pack
wear a wide variety of wheels.

TEST GEAR (NOT INCLUDED)


Battery: 4 AA
PLASTIC TUB CHASSIS
The Mad Bug’s molded chassis features a reinforcing
“well” around the center driveshaft and the chassis
outer perimeter, while using a flexible material to re-
sist crash damage. A narrow top deck spans braces
at the front and rear that enclose the ends of the
chassis and form a solid base for the dual-bellcrank
steering and cast alloy motor mount to effectively
apply power. A lidded receiver box is integrated into
the right side of the chassis for splash protection
(the rest of the electronics are waterproof) and the
battery tray uses a hinged strap to hold the pack,
so the strap stays with the chassis during pack
changes and there’s only one clip required to remove
and install when swapping batteries.

The Mad Bug’s tub chassis is ruggedly


built with plastics that flex to resist
breakage. Deep treaded all-terrain tires
combine with large offset black spoke
wheels to give the Mad Bug good trac-
tion on a variety of surfaces.

TEAM ORION BRUSHLESS POWER


The Kyosho Mad Bug is a 4WD beast and that puts a lot of demand on the power system,
but the Team Orion R10 One waterproof speed control and 2400KV sensorless motor
combine to give the vehicle appropriate power. A 6-cell Team Orion NiMH is included
to provide 7.2 volts of juice, and the 25 amp system is LiPo ready with low-voltage
detection if you prefer to go LiPo. If you do decide on a LiPo pack, be sure to set
the low-voltage detection for 3.2v per cell (it’s in the manual) to prevent over-
discharging. In addition to the low-voltage setting, the speed control offers a few
tuning functions, including drag brake (default zero, max 40%), throttle punch
(four levels, default is “level 3”), and maximum brake force (default is 75%). It’s a
good power system, but I’m not crazy about the battery and speed control’s Molex
connectors. They have higher electrical resistance than other popular designs, and
LiPo packs are usually equipped with other plug types. NiMH packs with Molex con-
nectors are common, however.

Orion also supplies the Mad


Bug’s included 1800mAh NiMH The Orion R10 One speed control and Neon One 2400KV sensorless motor combo is reliable and virtually
battery. maintenance free.

APRIL 2015 97
BEHIND THE WHEEL
After topping off the included Team Orion 1800mAh NiMH
+
Big-Bore Aluminum Oil-Filled
6-cell battery and setting the trim and endpoints on the Shock Suspension
radio, I was ready for my local spot. The spot has a great Unique plastic chassis provides
mixture of asphalt, concrete, dirt, grass, roots, and jumps to balanced flex and durability
really test everything the Mad Bug has to offer. But, I had Rugged 4WD design
to see what the buggy could do and did a few passes with Officially licensed Volkswagen
my GPS unit to record its top speed. A posting of 21.6mph styling
wasn’t exactly white-knuckle territory, but when I was
done and began testing it by flying through rough stuff and
attacking the jumps, I found it to be quick and probably more
than enough to give inexperienced drivers a thrill. However,
-
Molex battery plug
although it did help with traction on the low end, it seemed
to be a bit over-geared to really get the Mad Bug to light up
the wheels or throw some serious roost. It seems a slight
compromise was made and the buggy is set from the fac-
tory for top end speed at the expense of low-end grunt. Upgrading to a 2S LiPo makes a big
difference. When we tested the Kyosho Rage VE, which shares its platform and Orion power
system with the Mad Bug, it topped 25mph on an Orion 4200mAh LiPo. To help give the Mad
Bug a harder kick off the line, I dialed up the speed control’s “punch” from its default “level 3”
to the maximum “level 4” setting.
On pavement, the high ground clearance that helps the Mad Bug through off-road obsta-
cles gave it a pension for rollover when pushed on surfaces with more grip. The tires grab a
bit more and the Mad Bug’s high center of gravity would pitch it onto two wheels when snap
turns were made, requiring a quick counter-steer to prevent a traction roll. Back out on varied
off-road terrain, I could tell the deep treaded tires were doing their job and worked with the
silky smooth, big-bore aluminum threaded shocks and proven suspension to provide sure
footed and responsive handling as it fended off some pretty big hits. The Mad Bug barreled
The Kyosho Mad Bug uses the Syncro KT-200 transmitter to pro-
through chunky stuff with authority. With all of this thrashing going on, I was often surprised
vide a 2.4GHz signal for interference-free operation. The 2-channel, to see what it could take and still keep coming back for more. The main plastic shaft-drive
pistol radio has adjustable dual-rate for steering and endpoints and never got fouled and the tub chassis did a good job of sealing out the bigger dirt and debris I
a firm foam cover for the wheel. You’ll have to supply AA batteries was driving through.
for operation, but once installed the radio still has good range and
lightweight, balanced feel.

FINAL WORD SOURCES


Kyosho has done a good job of balancing retro-cool Volkswagen Baja Bug looks with the modern features, electronics and Kyosho kyoshoamerica.com
Team Orion teamorion.com
suspension that we have come to expect. The 4WD design is solid and the Mad Bug proved durable. There are some really
nice touches, including the threaded aluminum oil-filled big-bore shocks that were a surprise in this RTR vehicle at such
a low sticker price, and that adds to its value. I would like to see a better charger (the kit comes with a wall charger that
excludes even a simple red light to show status) and low-resistance connectors as standard, but it’s cost-savers like those
that let put Kyosho put more quality elsewhere—such as the Orion brushless power system and battery, and those race-
quality aluminum shocks.

98 RCCarAction.com
How to Mount
Beadlock Wheels
Six easy steps to go glueless By Kevin Hetmanski

Bead lock wheels look great and do a


good job of holding onto the tire. However,
if you don’t mount them properly you may
have a flat tire.

B
eadlock wheels are very Step 1: Scuff the Mounting Surfaces
popular and they have Most beadlock wheels and lock rings have smooth surfaces. You can leave them as-is and
taken over in the world of probably have no issues with tire slip, but I like to rough up the bead on the wheel with 220 grit
rock crawling and scale sandpaper to give the mounting areas some “teeth.” Fold up the sandpaper and simply make a
trucks. They are used because few passes with it in the bead. For the rings I get more aggressive and scribe as many lines as I
can in the tire side using the back side of a hobby knife.
they look like the wheels used on
full-size truck, and since they don’t
use glue to attach the tire to the rim,
you can add or remove weight and
change tires for different conditions.
Mounting tires on beadlock wheels
requires a few more steps than
the usual glue routine, but if you
follow the steps outlined here you
will have a set of beadlock wheels
that will never let go of their tires.
We’re wrapping a set of Pro-Line
Super Swamper tires around Denali
1.9” Bead-Loc wheels, but the tips
here apply to many other beadlock Use the back side of a hobby knife to scribe lines into the Roughen the rim’s bead with sandpaper for a tighter hold
designs as well. tire-side of the lock ring to increase its grip on the tire on the tire.

APRIL 2015 103


How to | How to Mount Beadlock Wheels

Step 2:
Clean the wheels
Mold-release agents on the
wheel can reduce the beadlock
system’s grip on the tires. The
same goes for ant dust created
when you sanded the wheels.
So, the next step is to thoroughly
clean the tire mounting areas
of the rim and lock rings. Wipe
the tire side of the rings down
with alchohol or motor spray. If
you don’t have these, check the
kitchen for window cleaner with
ammonia. I like to use cotton
Clean mounting surfaces swabs to clean the bead in the
grip better. A cotton swab wheel because they do a great
is a great way to clean the
job of getting the cleaner into the
bead of your rim.
tight space.

Step 3:
Prep the Tires
Due to the molding process there
may be a little bump of rubber
on the tire bead. It may be small
but if you don’t remove it from
the bead it will keep the tire
from sitting properly in the rim.
You can cut this extra piece of
rubber away with scissors but
you run the risk of removing too
much material. I like to take care
of this with a rotary tool and a
sanding drum. Sand away at the
bump until the area is blended in
to the rest of the bead. Just like
the rims, the tires come with a
bead that is pretty smooth and
will benefit from a rough surface.
Sand both sides of the tire bead
with a rotary tool and sanding
drum. Make light passes, the
object is to roughen the surface, Rough up both sides of the bead on the tire
not remove material. with a rotary tool and sanding drum to assure
maximum grip.

Step 4: Mount the Tire


Stretch the tire over the wheel and press
the mounting beads into the face of the
wheel. It’s very important to make sure
that the tire bead is fully seated in the
wheel. If you have a spot that is raised
slightly it will keep the ring from applying
pressure to the entire bead. This reduces
the surface area between the parts and
therefore the overall grip. If needed, use
the tip of a hex wrench to push the tire
bead into the rim to fully seat it. Don’t
worry about getting the tire to fully seat in
If the tire doesn’t seat
both sides of the wheel at the same time;
fully in the rim bead,
push it in place with seat one side, install the lock ring (that’s
a tool. A small hex the next step), then go back and do the
wrench will do. other side.

104 RCCarAction.com
Step 5: Install the First Lock Ring
You can start with the front ring or back ring, it doesn’t Once you have two screws in
matter. Place the lock ring on the rim and align the holes place and tight you can install
the rest of the screws.
before installing the screws that keep them in place. Install
two screws 180 degrees from each other and fully tighten
them to lock the tire in place. If you have a tire that is much
wider than the wheel, install the two screws in the same
position but only screw them down about half way to avoid
too much pressure on the screws and a possible stripped
hole. As the other screws are installed it will relieve pressure
on the two screws that have been already installed. Now
install the rest of the screws, following a criss-cross pattern
as shown below. I like to tighten all the screws about half way
then start the pattern again and bottom them out. This will
help apply even pressure all around and ensure that the tire
is properly seated. There are sixteen screws in all, and you
may be tempted to use a power screwdriver to tighten them.
No matter how careful you are with a power screwdriver you
still run the risk of stripping out the holes in the wheels, so
tightening the screws by hand is the
preferred method. If you do choose to
use a power screwdriver, stop before
the screws are fully seated and use a
A Little Glue for
hand driver for final tightening. The
More Grip
To help enhance the grip
screws only need to be tightened
of the wheel on the tire in
until the lock ring fully seats against
extreme conditions, place a
the rim. Tightening any further only Tighten the screws in
drop of tire glue at the 12, 3, a criss-cross pattern
increases the risk of stripping the
6 and 9 o’clock positions on to ensure even tension
screw holes.
the wheel. Now the beadlock across the face of
ring will have increased grip the rim.

and you can still remove the


tire later if need be.

Step 6: Install the Remaining Lock Ring


Repeat step six to install the opposite lock ring, then check to make
sure all the screws are snug. Your wheel and tire are ready for action.

Locked In
Beadlock rims will cost you more than glue-rims and tire mounting
takes longer, but the benefits are worth it: there’s no chance of
ruining a tire or wheel with a sloppy glue job, you can mix and
match tires and wheels whenever you like (as long as you’re up for
spinning all those screws), and you’ll never need to toss the rims just
because your tires are worn out.

Source
Pro-Line prolineracing.com
Done. That’s a good looking combo, and when you’re ready for new tires, you can re-use
the rim since there’s no glue to hassle with.

105 RCCarAction.com APRIL 2015 105


Test Bench tried • tested • tortured

Hitec Lynx 4S SETUP


The Lynx 4S is available with a 2-channel or 4-chan-
Hitec’s best radio ever offers premium nel Axion receiver, or 4-channel Proton receiver, which
features and quality at a “sport” price enables telemetry. Binding is similar to other 2.4GHz
systems. and the Bind screen also allows you to select the

H
transmitter’s response speed. The fastest setting is Hitec
itec is no stranger to the radio game, but it’s been quite a High Response HHR at 4 microseconds (4ms), which is
while since we’ve seen a new pro-grade system from the for use only with Axion receivers and digital servos. The
brand. Good news: the Lynx 4S is here, and worth the wait. All “High” setting (7ms) is also reserved for digital servos, and
you have to do is take it out of the box to realize it’s some- the “Normal” setting of 14ms is for analog servos. I select-
thing special. The 4S has the feel and heft expected of a competition ed the HHR mode since I was using a Hitec digital servo in
my test truck. As for the radio’s physical features, there
transmitter, and all the features too. Switch it on, and you’ll find yourself are tension adjusters for the wheel and trigger, as well as
easily navigating menus and settings before you even crack open the an adjustable stop for the brake trigger. Left-hand con-
manual. First impressions all register strongly in the green and so does version is simple, with no additional parts required, and the
the price. At $275 with a 2-channel receiver, the Lynx 4S is closer to included drop-down wheel adapter can be used in both
sport-radio pricing than pro systems. Depending on which radios you’re left- and right-hand configurations. Dialing in settings via
the backlit screen is a simple matter of using the jog-roll-
shopping against, the Lynx 4S saves you $50 - $200, or even more. er to navigate, then clicking the roller to make selections
Here’s what you get for the money. and roll values up and down. The “ESC” key functions as a
“back” button to go to the previous screen. The screens
for exponential, subtrim, steering and brake rates,
and endpoints include graphic representations of
servo travel as well as numerical values to help
you choose your settings.

Features and Adjustments


Naturally, the 4S has all the usual adjustments
you’d expect of a top-shelf transmitter, which you
can see in the spec chart. The more exotic features
include the ability to load voice alerts and music files
(WAV format is supported) using a Micro SD card.
Hitec even includes a music player screen as part
of the software, allowing you to set the volume and
repeat-play options for your music. The transmit-
ter has an internal speaker, as well as a headphone
jack. The SD card can also be used to import and
export transmitter settings, and the 4S’ firmware can be
Despite the chunky look, updated via a PC link using Hitec’s HPP-22 adapter (not
the Lynx 4S is as light (or
included).
lighter) than other pro
pistols. The LED accent Software features include a Boost mode that allows
color can be set to red, you to set the throttle to jump to a pre-set position when
blue, green, yellow, a trigger point is reached, and then hold for it for a certain
magenta, or cyan—pretty amount of time. When Boost activates, for how long, and
trick. how much throttle it applies are set by you, and the func-
tion switches off after the first activation. Steering servo
speed can be set independently for “turn” and “return”
speed, and the throttle servo speed function can be set to
A drop-down wheel adapter is apply throughout the travel range or in two or three steps
included, and can be rotated to with different speeds relative to trigger position. I’ve never
any position you like. been big on boost modes and multi-speed throttle output
systems, regardless of transmitter brand, but if you like
‘em, the Lynx 4S has ‘em.
On the brake side, the Lynx 4S offers a fully adjustable
antilock system that allows you to set where in the brake
travel range ABS kicks in, and how deeply and quickly
the brake is applied when ABS is activated. You can also
mix the ABS with steering input so ABS is only applied if
the steering servo is within a certain portion of the travel
range—for example, you may want ABS in the corners, but
not on the straights. So, you might set ABS to function
only if the steering wheel is 10% or more past neutral.

110 RCCarAction.com
Driving with the Lynx 4S Specifications
Item no.: 16200 (with 2-channel Axion receiver)
I installed the Lynx 4S in a Durango DEST210 equipped with an LRP Works Flow
Price: $275 (varies with dealer)
speed control, 8.5T motor and Hitec 7940TH servo—premium gear to go with a pre-
Channels: 4
mium radio. I initially set up the system without looking at the manual. The settings
Modulation: AFHSS
for sub-trim and end points are easy to find, and I was ready to run after about a min-
Resolution: 4096
ute’s worth of rolling and clicking. Set for “Hitec High Response” and coupled with the
Response time: 4ms (with Axion receiver)
speedy steering servo (0.07 second transit time on six volts), the Lynx 4S delivers
Operation Voltage : 4.8V-8.4V (2-Cell LiPo / 2-Cell LiFe /
seemingly telepathic steering response. Throttle feel in an electric car is determined 4-Cell NiMH / 4-Cell NiMH)
more by the power system than the transmitter, but the Lynx certainly wasn’t hurting Receiver & dimensions: Axion 2-channel – 32 x 11 x
the silky-smooth response of the sensored LRP motor. For the sake of a thorough 22.3mm; 140mm antenna
test, I clicked around and made setting changes. The screen and jog-roller layout Model Memory: 30
encourage you to hold the transmitter like a Nintendo DS or a smartphone, which Display: Backlit LCD
I liked, and the large screen is easy to read. I experimented with exponential and a Telemetry data: Battery voltage, temperature, speed (RPM
slower steering servo speed to tone down steering response, and tried some expo on and GPS)
the throttle too –all worked as expected. A nice bit of programming is the return-to- Left-hand convertible: Yes
default mode; if you hold the jog roller down while a value is selected, it will return to Drop-down wheel kit: Included
the default for that value. Nice. Weight w/ 4-cell NiMH: 1 lb., 4.2 oz. (513g)
Range testing proved the Lynx 4S has more range than anyone will ever need, as Steering wheel diameter: 2 in. (51mm)
is typical for all but the cheapest 2.4GHz systems I’ve encountered. Likewise, there
were no glitches or hang-ups in testing, as expected with today’s tech. Features & adjustments
-> Steering wheel tension
-> Throttle trigger tension
-> Servo speed (steering, throttle)
-> Throttle Boost
-> Throttle mode (50/50, 70/30)
-> Steering rate
-> Brake rate
-> Steering, throttle, and brake exponential
-> Subtrim (all channels)
-> Timer (up, down, lap with lap listing)
-> Mixing (all channels)
-> ABS Brake
An assignable three-position -> Throttle idle up
switch under the wheel is
-> Display contrast
located under the wheel.
-> Alert mode: tone, vibrate, voice
The case design makes it easy to hold the transmitter “game style” -> Alert thresholds
when changing settings. -> Fail Safe
-> 12-character model name
Telemetry Ready -> WAV file compatible for voice alert and music files
with GPS Speed (via micro SD card)
-> SD card import/export data
The Lynx 4S is telemetry-
-> Headphone jack
ready, all you need to add
-> PC Link firmware update
is the Proton 4 receiver
(which you can also get
with the Lynx 4S, but it PLUS
bumps the price from + Excellent fit, finish, and feel
$275 to $330). In addition + Pro features and quality, sport price
As long as you “speak radio,” you’ll have no problem navigating the
to its four channel ports, + Telemetry ready
menus. the receiver includes + Easy to navigate and program
plug-ins for Temperature
and RPM sensors. There’s Minus
The Lynx 4S is no need to use RPM to cal- - None, unless you don’t like the styling
available with culate speed, however; the
a 2-channel or
receiver includes built-in
4-channel Axion
receiver. Or, you
GPS, so you can measure The Verdict
can get it with your car’s speed with the Best Hitec transmitter ever, for sure. The previous Lynx
the Proton 4 superior accuracy of the 3D had its fans, but the 4S is in a whole different galaxy
receiver and acti- same tech that’s in your when it comes to ease of use, quality feel, and fit and
vate telemetry. smartphone or full-size finish. In that regard, it’s as good as any radio at any
car’s nav price, and better than some‑yes, there are radios with
system. higher-res and full color screens, but that’s a feature, not
Want more? Nitro fans will appreciate the idle-up function a reflection of quality. There are plenty of adjustments to
that holds a higher throttle trim setting to aid with warm- experiment with, but best thing about the Lynx 4S is its
up and help prevent stalling, and the 4S’ lap timer not only feel. In terms of weight, balance, and wheel/trigger action,
stores individual laps but also calculates average lap times. the Lynx 4S is world-class. I’d pay more, but I’m glad I
If you need channel mixing, Hitec has you covered with don’t have to. –Peter Vieira
pre-set mixes for crawlers, 4WS applications, 1/5 scale,
boats, and more. The Proton 4 receiver features Sources
built-in GPS. Hitec hitecrcd.com

april 2015 111


Test
Bench

Landwave Ramp System Getting Air


Catch air anytime, anywhere I did my testing with the Landwave starter pack, which
consists of two ramps and a deck. I had no trouble

J
umping is a blast—if you have a good jump. A plastic skateboard connecting the pieces to make a double-wide ramp,
a table top and a double-tall ramp. Disconnecting the
ramp is the most popular way to add hangtime to the neighbor-
parts required a little shaking to break them loose,
hood RC scene, but what if you want to go bigger? Ramp maker but it was nothing that would keep me from buying
Landwave offers stackable, molded ramps that make it easy to them. A single ramp by itself is wide enough to hit with
customize your launch pad. The system makes it easy to build jumps as no problem, but it’s definitely easier to line up on a
wide and tall as you like, without tools. Here’s what you get and how it double-wide jump. With the Landwave system, there’s
no gap between the jumps when you fit them together
works.
side by side—the same can’t be said for other molded
ramps I’ve tried. I also found the Landwave jump’s
textured surface allowed good traction all the way up
the ramp. Landwave’s heavier, sturdier construction
also helps the ramps stay in place instead of moving
when you hit them. The only thing to watch out for
is your approach speed. In order to allow the stack-
ing function to work, the ramp face is flat instead of
curved. At speeds over 20mph or so, the transition
The “Starter Pack: includes two ramps and a deck. from flat ground to the angled ramp is abrupt and can
unsettle the car. If you’re setting up off road, you can
put dirt on the front edge of the ramp to smooth the
transition (which is what I did), and your launches
will be smoother. Overall, I had plenty of fun with the
Landwave jumps. They locked together well and didn’t
move during my jumping sessions, and I really like that
you can build a ramp as wide or as tall as you want by
adding more ramps and decks. The Landwave system
offers superior made-in-USA construction and much
greater versatility than department store ramps,
yet surprisingly costs less. A two-pack of similar-
sized ramps at WalMart.com sells for $134. For $125,
Landwave’s Starter System includes two ramps plus a
deck, puts a better ramp system in your driveway, and
Tabs and grooves on the ramps leaves an extra $11 in your wallet.
connect them and lock them in —Kevin Hetmanski
The ramps can be used individually, set up as a tabletop, place. The ramp’s surface is heavily
or stacked for maximum air. textured so you can put power
down all the way to lift off.
PLUS Minus
What You Get + Versatile, stackable - Uncurved design can
There are two parts to the system: the ramp (which looks like the molded ramps you’re design cause harsh launches
familiar with), and the deck, which is essentially a flat box and makes the stacking feature + Easy to connect, stays
possible. Tabs and grooves align to connect the ramp and deck so they don’t slip, and put
the ramps and decks can be assembled side-by-side as well as stacked to make jumps + Textured surface
wider, taller, or both. The jump and deck each measure 28 x 38.5 x 12”, so they are large gives good traction
enough to have fun but not so big that they take up too much space when storing them.
Or, just leave them outside since they’re weatherproof plastic (note: make sure the
neighborhood kids can’t get to them without supervision).
Sources
Landwave landwaveproducts.com

112 RCCarAction.com
Test
Bench

GRAUPNER X-8N HOTT


4-CHANNEL TRANSMITTER
AND RECEIVER
Graupner’s mid-level transmitter
packs in pro features

G
raupner’s new X-8N transmitter is priced around the mid-
level range, but the features included are those usually
reserved for much more expensive pistol grip offerings.
All the standard features you would expect of a competi-
tion radio are there, but Graupner also takes things a bit further with
a nice blue, backlit screen with adjustable contrast, micro SD card
slot and adapter, rotatable drop-down steering wheel, telemetry,
left-handed support, headphone jack and an included LiPo pack.
Considering trying something beyond the usual radio brands?
Check it out.

Telemetry Ready
The X-8N is a telemetry-ready
transmitter, and with optional
sensors can record voltage,
temperature and RPM data. In
addition to using the transmit-
ter’s built-in display, you can
view telemetry data on an
Android-based device when
you use Graupner’s optional
The X-8N’s GR-8 receiver has BT-V2-EXT Bluetooth module
4-channels along with a fifth (S8351, $80) and the HoTT
slot for the temperature/volt- Meter Viewer app, which you can Above: The plug-in Blue-
age telemetry sensor. tooth module installs and
download for free from Google sets up easily.
Play. The X-8N can also com- Below: The app screen
municate with select servos and looks very trick, but for
speed controls (such as the GM now it’s only compatible
items below) to gather data. with Android devices.

No extra parts are required to move the steering wheel


to the left side of the radio, and Graupner includes a left-hand
configured switch panels to complete the southpaw conversion.

SETUP
Getting the Graupner X-8N set up for use is fairly straight-forward. A LiPo pack and
charger are included, or you can opt for the usual 4 AA alkalines. The 52mm wheel can be
easily configured for right or left-handed use, and its drop-down mount can be rotated
toward or away from the driver using seven indexed positions. Three assignable switches
Want more data? GM Racing’s
are positioned around the wheel and two more are placed above the grip for added flex- Genius Pro 120R speed control
ibility. Programming functions are accessed and adjusted using buttons on top of the and HGM SLP brushless servo
transmitter, and the backlit 128 x 64 pixel screen can be adjusted for brightness are both telemetry-enabled. The
and contrast. Navigation is fairly easy, and I only needed a glance at the manual servo transmits its operational
from time to time to access all of the features. Binding the X-8N to the included status and the speed control
relays voltage, current, tem-
micro-sized GR-8 receiver is simple, and its transmission speed can be set to
perature, and motor RPM info to
Fast (3ms) or Ultrafast (1.5ms) to suit the electronics you pair up with the receiver. the X-8N.

114 RCCarAction.com
A 4000mAh LiPo pack
is included, and a wall
charger is provided.
Tuning Features With a LiPo on board, the
The X-8N is one model below Graupner’s top-of-the-line X-8E transmitter and is loaded X-8N weighs in at just
with features. All the basic stuff is there like endpoints, trim, dual-rate and exponential, but over a pound.
the X-8N goes even further by including B.R.A. (brake range), TH RESP (Throttle Response),
Stick Calibration, Timer (lap timer, up and down timer, best lap, average lap, etc.), S/SPEED
(servo speed), Fail Safe, Range Test, A.B.S., Idle Up, Pumping, Start, P/MIX (five mixers can
be set), S/MODE (preprogrammed mixers for various models like crawler, track vehicle,
boat), Voice (selectable and only operational through headphones) and even Telemetry Specifications
(with additional sensors plugged in to the receiver and Bluetooth module sold separately). Item no.: S1018
The X-8N is also compatible with their SUMD-V2 system devices, meaning you can plug in Price: $250
a servo and change things like dead-band, read the servo’s settings, change its parameters, Channels: 4
or just reset it. If you want to go even further, use the micro memory card slot (micro SD Modulation: FHSS
card with SD card adapter is included- wow) to transfer the info along with firmware up- Model memory: 24
dates. There’s also a Data Port, mini USB port, charge jack and headphone input, plus more Display: Blue backlit with adjustable contrast
features too numerous to list. Telemetry data: RPM, Temperature, Voltage
Left-hand convertible: Yes
Weight w/ rechargeable Graupner 1S 2P LiPo battery
(included): 1 lb., 2.3 oz. (531g)
Receiver dimensions: 30 x 21 x 14.3mm (Weight: 6.9g)

Adjustable Features
-> Throttle trigger tension adjustments.
-> Different languages can be displayed (German, English,
French) via later software update.
-> E.P.A. (End-point adjustment) for steering.
-> Special mixers and modes for crawlers, track vehicles
and boats with two motors.
-> Adjustable folding antenna.
Navigating the X-8N for es- The front of the radio has a panel that covers some pretty inter- -> Drop-down steering wheel position with rotation option.
sential settings is easy, and esting stuff. There is an earphone plug that also goes through
-> Steering & Throttle Speed
the display is backlit for easy the panel, and next to it are a micro SD and data ports, charge
viewing. jack, and mini USB port. -> Left-handed support
-> Adjustable Fail Safe

Driving with the X-8N Seven positions are pro-


vided for the drop-down
-> “Pumping” function (automatic throttle activation in
pulses for use with Nitro vehicles)
As soon as you power up, the X-8N will ask you to select wheel. To move the -> Steering & Throttle Sub Trim
wheel, just pop off the -> Steering & Throttle Exponential.
RF on/off, and lets you know if there is no receiver bound
cover above the wheel -> Idle-Up (Idle up at engine start).
(this feature can be turned off). From there the user is and loosen two
directed to the Start display which displays information -> Start Function (Throttle preset at start function).
screws.
including user name, model name, Dual Rate, Exponential, -> Synthesized voice through headphones (additional voice
files can be uploaded)
ATL, transmitter voltage, Trim for throttle and steering,
-> Internal telemetry
Signal transmission, an indicator for headphones and SD
-> Anti-skid braking system (A.B.S.)
card, and indicator for button lock. A quick “Down” on the
lower toggle button will take you to a secondary screen
additional Features
that shows a timer, stop watch, lap counter and lap time.
-> Blue backlit 128x 64 pixel display with adjustable
Right away I felt at home with the X-8N, and noticed contrast
its good balance and lightweight feel. It lacks some of the -> Earphone jack
finishing touches of other transmitters at its price point, such -> Battery charging jack
as rubber grip inserts and adjustable trigger position, but it’s -> Built-in speaker
as well built as other radios in its price range. The stock wheel -> Micro SD memory card slot and adapter
and trigger tension settings were close to my preference, -> Firmware update board with USB adapter
and with a few turns of the tension screws, the controls felt just right. I was also able to rotate -> Racing Timer
and position the wheel by just loosening the two screws below the cover on the side. It liter- -> Model Copy
ally only took about a half a minute and I was ready to go again. Wheel tilt and drop distance -> Low Battery Alarm
are fixed, but felt comfortable and not dissimilar to other drop-wheel designs. The trigger is -> High Temperature Warning
untextured, which may be a plus or minus depending on your preference. It’s also a bit on the -> Servo reverse
small side, so users with thick or big fingers may find it tight, but it fit fine for me.
PLUS
+ Wheel can be configured for left-handed use along
The Verdict with drop-down and rotation positioning
Graupner’s X-8N radio system is loaded and comes in at a competitive price. It has all + Telemetry-ready
the adjustability any racer could ask for, as well as mixing functions that make it a good + Headphone jack output
choice for crawlers and trail trucks, as well as boats and anything else you would want
+ Includes LiPo battery, wall charger, micro SD card
to control with a wheel and trigger. The Bluetooth module is an interesting option for slot and adapter and cords
Android users, and hopefully we’ll see Apple compatibility soon. Overall, the X-8N packs
in a lot of features and value for its $250 price, and is definitely worth a look for anyone
shopping mid-level radio systems. —Carl Hyndman
Minus
- Telemetry App only works with Android-based
phones or tablets
Sources Graupner graupner.de

april 2015 115


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Tailpipe Oil Baron
You’re the guy
DRIVERS READY who always has
Despite a full 20 heats worth of spare everything, so
racers signed up, there wasn’t a when your friends at
single driver on the stand at Billy’s the track need a part
RC and Bait Shop all day. Why? or supply, they come
to you. This time, you’re
the only guy with 35wt.
Is this enough?
shock oil. The first driver
asks for an ounce from your two-ounce bottle,
the second driver asks for 1/2 ounce, the third
asks for 1/4 ounce, the fourth asks for 1/8
ounce, and so on. How many drivers can

brain
.
you help out before you run out of shock
RC and Bait Shop fluid?
al photo of Billy’s
Not an actu

strain HAND ME
THAT HAMILTON
Math. Use it.
THOUGHT-PROVOKING Tell your buddy, “I’ll bet you ten
dollars I can write the precise
The Case of the Race
PUZZLES AND PRANKS weight of your car on a piece of
paper.” When he accepts, write “the
At the start of the A-Main, there
precise weight of your car” on a piece
are ten cars in the race. The track
of paper and hand it to him. Collect ten
is brutal, and all but two of them
dollars.
break before the finish. How many
cars are left?

Fill ‘Er Up
FREAKY How many 1/5 scale cars can
Stare at the dot for 30 seconds. Count it off, the illusion won’t work if you put on an empty track?
you don’t stare long enough. After 30 seconds, look at a white wall or
blank sheet of paper. Crazy, right?

e’s still room.


Look, ther

GOTCHA
Next time you finish a bottle of CA, don’t
throw it out; refill it with water and give it to
a “friend.” See how long he “glues” his tires
before his head explodes.

Stare at it!

Oil Baron: Way more guys than we can count. Each driver asks for half of what’s left, so you can keep helping out drivers until you get down to the last molecule of shock oil. That will take a while.
The Case of the Race: Duh, two cars are left, it says so right in the riddle. ■ Drivers Ready: All the drivers are married. ■ Fill ‘Er Up: One car is all it takes. After that, it’s not empty.
ANSWERS