(New Series) Getting Into RC Trail, Crawling, or Scale Trucks: A Beginner’s Guide

I’m not really a beginner when it comes to the RC (Radio Control) hobby, at least not when it comes to ground vehicles. I’m not talking about playing with toy-grade RC vehicles when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s, but rather hobby grade RC as a hobby as an adult.

I first dabbled in the hobby back around the upper mid-90’s (’97-’98), when I bought my first hobby-grade RC kit, a Traxxas Rustler ST (Stadium Truck) kit. This was before the days Traxxas was spitting out wicked fast electric RC’s running lipo batteries and brushless motors, before the first ever infamous Slash RTR was ever dreamed of, when the offroad racing segment of the hobby was filled with stadium trucks and buggies, both electric powered and with mini internal combustion engines (commonly referred to as “nitro engines” due to nitro-methane being part of the fuel mixture).

I didn’t have the mechanical know-how or the desire to build the kit myself, though I wish I had tackled the job, I paid a hobby shop to put it together for me, as well as my next ST, a Team Associated (or “AE” ) RC10T4, a much more race ready truck. Seems like I remember also owning and racing a Team Losi XXXB electric buggy, and an AE RC10GT (nitro RC10T truck) and even an RC Legends kit that I actually built myself (Google Legends racing, it’s the RC version of that).

Nitro powered Monster Trucks were all the rage in those days, and I was into that pretty heavy for a time as well, owning rigs such as the original Traxxas TMaxx (the old TRX Pro .15 powered truck that started it all), a pair of HPI Savage trucks (the original .21cc powered truck, as well as the updated, more powerful “Savage 25” powered by a “big block” .25cc engine), and AE MGT among others.

By 2002 I had pretty much lost interest and sold all of my RC gear, though I remember having bought a Duratrax Evader ST (budget spec stadium truck) around 2004, but sold it pretty soon after.

Sometime after we suffered a total property loss house fire in 2011, though, I discovered a semi-new genre’ in the hobby, trail and scale trucks and rock crawlers. Oddly enough, my discovery wasn’t in a hobby shop, but on Youtube, seeing others posting up videos of their rigs driving on trails and such, and I was hooked stronger than ever for a few years. Our first rig in this new-to-us segment of the hobby was an Axial AX10 Ridgecrest RTR. Here’s a pic…

The scale likeness of that rig was more like a full scale monster truck than a 4×4 truck/SUV that you’d see on the street covered in mud after a weekend adventure, though, so it didn’t really fit what I was looking for. The Boy loved it though, so when it became his rig when I bought my first scale truck, my first of many Axial SCX10’s, their “2013 (or was it 2014?) Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited RTR”, the silver Jeep seen in the previous post, here’s a pic of it before any modifications…

I loved that rig, and though I kept the stock body on it, it would go on to be fairly heavily modified with both Axial optional and aftermarket parts. I still took my rigs to a hobbby shop for most of the wrenching, however, not being the most mechanically inclined person. I did do some of the mods myself, though.

Anyways, as I’m getting back into the hobby, I thought it would be fun to do (and maybe help someone along the way) a series of posts as if I were a brand new beginner in the hobby, from buying a new rig, to the basic gear needed, what to expect, a few how-to’s, and just generally what to expect. As I have a fairly new Youtube channel as well ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOnQQsa1aPPu1Q5mG4l-3jw?view_as=subscriber ) that won’t be used for it’s intended purpose for a while*, I thought that I would also do a series of videos to go along with this series.

This isn’t “episode 1” of that, FWIW, kind of a prologue to what’s coming though because I’m excited about it. For now, I have the used SCX10 Deadbolt that I will be playing around with, but as I had some budget after selling the XR250L, I also have some things ordered from my old friends at RPP Hobby (.com), the basic gear needed to get going, as well as a trail truck or two, so look for a first post in the series and maybe an unboxing video on the Tuber channel soon.

*Without getting too personal, aside from having already sold my ’91 XR250L, in the near future I will also be selling my beloved Ruby (2016 CRF250L), as due to circumstances we had no dog in creating and little control over now, we will be needing to replace my car in the near future, we don’t want to go get a new payment on a car, and the most likely/best way to find something decent is to sell Ruby to finance whatever we buy back. I’m torn between finding another old Jeep XJ (Cherokee, not a Grand) or similar to setup for mini-overlanding trips and looking for a sub-compact hatchback car (eg: Honda Fit, Chevy Aveo, Toyota Yaris, etc–a segment of the auto world that I enjoy BTW) with the plan to personalize it a bit while enjoying it’s practicality and economy (30+ MPG’s). Time will tell…

Posted in Axial SCX10, Beginner's Guide Series, General RC Stuff | Leave a comment

New RC: Trail Truck; Axial SCX10 Deadbolt RTR

So I was surfing on the Book of Face earlier this week and came across a sale ad for a slightly used Axial SCX10 Deadbolt RTR (Ready to Run, meaning it’s assembled). The ad claimed that the rig had not been run outdoors on trail yet, havign only been ran inside the guy’s house a couple of times before he’d lost interest in the truck, and that it had some upgrades. The price was right*, so I send the seller a message that I was interested. I had some budget to play with, afterall, having just sold the XR250L, and we’re familiar with the SCX10, especially the Deadbolt RTR.

The guy replied back and we chatted a bit, and set up a time and place to have a look-see at the rig. When I saw it in person, it’s condition was exactly what he’d said and supported his claim that it had only ever been ran indoors a time or two, so we did a hostage exchange…I released the cash, he released the Deadbolt, as well as that baggy of extra goodies that comes with every new rig. The only things that he didn’t have were the original body and wheels/tires, and the box it all came in.

The first aftermarket part/upgrade you notice is that sweet Proline Cherokee (XJ) body and aftermarket wheels/tires. For the life of me, I can never remember who made those swanky aluminum beadlock wheels, but I do remember them being expensive for a set (which is why I’d never bought a set, LOL!). The tires are also from Proline, 1.9 scale Super Swampers.

There’s also an Integy 45T (45 turn) crawler motor mounted in there (the stock Axial 27T was included), and a set of aluminum steering links from eBay (no brand name), with matching suspension links also being in the parts baggy. He said that the suspension links weren’t as good for this rig as the steering links had been, being off-kilt on lengths of each and not quite Axial’s common 12.3″ wheelbase, so they won’t be used.

The truck turned out to be very clean, having never been driven on trail, but it won’t stay that way for long. We trail our trucks 🙂

It’s great to be back in the hobby, and it appears to be a great time to be getting back into it, both because there’s some budget there to play with (from the XR sale), and several new rigs on the market that interest me***. Can’t wait to get the needed gear in so we can get this rig out on the trail and have some…ahem…Small Adventures with it :p






*The price of a brand new Axial Deadbolt RTR is $299.99 at nearly every online and in-person hobby shop. When I say “the price was right”, let me be clear…it was a very good price (not “He musta stolen it” price, but a very good price).

**We’ve owned 5 or 6 SCX10’s over the years, 3 of those having been Deadbolt RTR’s.Here’s a couple pics of some of the SCX10’s we’ve owned in the past…

***I will admit that I have made some orders from both RPP Hobby (who has always treated me well in the past) and Amazon, so look for more “New RC” posts coming, be it new rigs or new gear.

Posted in Axial SCX10, General Life Stuff, New RC Trail Truck | 4 Comments

A famous fellow bought my XR250L!

My 1991 Honda XR250L sold this afternoon.

A former (retired last Fall) race driver in the Nascar Camping World Truck series bought it. Here’s a couple pics he was gracious enough to pose for. A truly nice guy, who’s devout faith in Christ I greatly respect and admire 🙂 He and The Boy,and he and I.

I hope he is served well by the ole bike, and receives many smiles per gallon.

Posted in Dual Sport, FOR SALE, General Life, General Life Stuff, Honda, XR250L | Leave a comment

Changes are coming

You might notice that both the name and the “description” or “About” of this page has been changed in the last few days.

I won’t go into any details other than to say this…due 100% to circumstances beyond our doing or control, about 2 months back my employment was lost, cutting our income roughly in half, and I have been/am currently (until the matter is resolved one way or another) prevented from seeking other means of employment/income. That said, the savings plus The Wife’s income could only last for so long, and as this debacle that we’ve been dragged into by someone else will continue for at least another month*, some things have to go. I wish to note, this isn’t the post where I say “my bikes are being repo’d”. They’re not. They’re both paid in full and have clear titles, thankfully.

They will most likiely be sold, however, and that will leave me without a dual sport…or any other genre’ of motorcycle for that matter…to have any “Small Bore Adventures”/”Small Bore Bliss” (the 2 previous names of the page) with.

That doesn’t mean that I’m hanging up my helmet or riding boots, though. It simply means that it may be a little while before I can post motorcycle stuff (other than idle ramblings on the subject at any rate). I will, of course, buy another motorcycle(s) down the road a bit when circumstances are back to normal (or clsoe to it). It means that the format of the page, it’s sole subject matter (motorcycles, primarily smaller sized dual sports/ADV bikes) is changing. Riding isn’t the only “adventure” that I/we enjoy having, so the name and format has been modified/changed so that other types of adventures can be included here without contradicting anything.

A few things, just for examples, are that we enjoy using our FJ Cruiser for more than just basic transportation*, and things like mtn biking (trail riding bicycles 😉 ), radio control (RC) crawlers/trail trucks**, to fishing with The Boy, to…whatever adventurous thing we find ourselves doing. Heck…though I haven’t trained/practiced in years, I do/still hold the rank of 3rd Dan in Taekwondo (as well as 1st Dan or above in 2 other Arts, and am licensed to teach TKD), I may even get a wild hair and decide to begin training in the Arts again and earn higher rankings or begin a brand new to me Art, LOL, and at 44 1/2 years old with permanent spinal injuries, that would be an adventure, hahaha!***

ANYWAYS…changes are coming, and not because of any good reasonings. That said, there’s no reasoning that I can see**** to stop getting out and having some kind of adventures, however small they may be (“small”…with a wink and a nod to the RC hobby :p ), and I enjoy talking about it–even if I am the only one who normally logs in to read about it here 😮





*From day trips for driving trails in OHV parks in the region, to mini-overlanding, or what we call “FJ Camping trips”

**Google “Axial SCX10” for eg

***Disclaimer…I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for me to jump back into the Martial Arts in any kind of major way if I were you…I’m older, fatter, and lazier than I was when last I worked out in Martial Arts :p I may dabble back into TKD purely for it’s fitness and health benefits, but I have little desire to push my mangled spine to the level that would be needed to reach for a 4th stripe on a belt.

****Other than worst-case-scenario of the debacle we got dragged into, that could potentially put a damper on things, but I digress…as Toby Mac’s song says, I “speak life”, I don’t speak or allow me ot worry about the bad or “what if’s” 🙂

Posted in General Life, General Life Stuff | 9 Comments

December 8, 2017: Ride; Made a Fuel Run

With it snowing for the first time here in eastern Tennessee this morning, and the temps having been dropping all week and levelling in the low 30’s (and with my not owning a garage, and not currently having a shed to park the bikes indoors for now), I didn’t want to leave either bike sitting with low fuel levels, so I layered up and rode each around town a bit, picked up a new bottle of fuel treatment at CAPS (Star Tron Enzyme Fuel treatment…good stuff), and enjoyed the looks that I was getting from people sitting nice and cozy in the cars with their heat going wide open, LOL! I took the XR first. As it still drips oil, I didn’t ride it as far, abotu 12 miles in total. Screen shot from the local news site’s weather page first to show the temps today…

Riding the XR, even when layered properly….I was COLD when riding above 30-35MPH, LOL! I enjoyed it though.

After fueling the XR, I came home (and to weird looks from neighbors) I took Ruby out for fuel as well, taking the long way both to Sheetz and back home, including a short jaunt down the interstate and a 4 lane highway (speeds of 55-74MPH). I was more comfortable at 74MPH on Ruby than I was at 45 on the XR, LOL, the windshield and hand guards definitely make a difference in the cold :p

I think the time to ride Ruby to the dealership for the warranty repair (transmission, see earlier posts) is going to be in a week or so. I do ride all year rain or shine, but I don’t ride as much when the tempurature is below 40-45 degrees, afterall. Tonight is our dirt bike club’s Christmas party, I may ride to that if The Boy doesn’t want to go this year (The Wife will be at work, and last year The Boy didn’t want to go with his dear old dad :p ), IDK yet. We’ll see.

So anyways, if you haven’t checked out my Youtube yet, give it a look. Wishing everyone a very blessed, very happy, and very safe Christmas and holiday season! Ride safe 🙂

Posted in CRF250L, Dual Sport, General Life Stuff, General Motorcycle Stuff, Honda, Ride Pics, XR250L