Friday, 9 November 2012

James Helliwell - RHR Owner and racing star

 I lose count of the times that I actually pinch myself when I am presented with the truly humbling opportunities that this sport offers me. The wonderful energy that racers show me when I speak to them. The smiles and laughter when I share my own brand of RC comedy and passion with the world is better than any drug money can buy. I was recently blessed with a really unique opportunity. I had been planning to make a pilgrimage over to the wonderful off-road racing venue Robin Hood Raceway last summer. Unfortunately, my trip over to the land of Sherwood never happened. So, imagine my delight when I finally got the chance to speak with the man who has been responsible for not only creating the now world famous RHR venue...but also the same man who has performed the very pinnacle of off-road alchemy....James Helliwell, designer and creator of the UK's biggest off-road dirt racing track!. Fresh from this summers success of the oOple Invernational, James was eager to discuss how he has poured his heart and soul into the construction of RHR Dirt. This man has already contributed to how we all enjoy our sport in spade loads....and he just contributed even more...this time by the truck load! ;) Mr James Helliwell....share your wisdom please Sir.....

RHR Dirt...the first delivery arrives!
ORRC - When did you first fall in love with off-road RC? Tell us the story?

James -  My interest in R/C all started when I was 11 (in 1988!), we heard on our local radio station of some R/C car racing in the car park of a pub in Worksop (The Three Legged Stool) so dad took me along to watch. A couple of weeks later I'd got my first car - a Tamiya Thundershot. These were the early days when there were very few permanent tracks - mostly grass fields where the pipes would be laid the day of the meeting. There were two Worksop clubs; Bassetlaw Buggy Club and Worksop Radio Car Club, I raced at both of these regularly. Eventually the Bassetlaw club closed down so we became more involved in WRCC and offered them a permanent venue on a field on our farm - which is where Robin Hood Raceway and RHR Dirt are still located over 20 years on! I had a 7 year gap off racing when I was at university, when I came back to it though we re-formed Worksop Radio Car Club and re-started the Schumacher Worksop Masters series along with Mark Musgrove and Leon Morrell as well as the renovations for Robin Hood Raceways Astroturf track.

The sparks fly at RHR Dirt long before the racers even get there!!
ORRC -  Did you always have the vision that you wanted to build a Nationally recognised race track? Or was it a more 'organic' process?

James -  RHR or originally Worksop's outdoor venue held its first national over 20 years ago so its been on the national radar for a long time. We always wanted to make the place the best it could be but manpower and funding were the big limiting factors, the track was also unused and fell into disrepair from late 2003 until we did a little 8th nitro racing there in 2005 - so up to this point you could say the club and tracks growth had been organic. In 2006 however we decided to approach the whole thing in a more business like manor and invest some private capital and team up with York Off Road Car Club who also invested cash to complete a total renovation of the AstroTurf track and facilities into hopefully one of the premier venues in the country. I've always wanted to make the place the best it could be, problem is it all costs money!

RC history in action...early stages of RHR Dirt
ORRC -  Name your favourite off-road racer of all time and tell us why?

James -  I don't really want to pick just one but in terms of 'famous' racers I admire Masami for his long term dedication, success, professionalism, off track manners and politeness and relentless promotion of the sport. I like racing against anyone though and I have some great mates in R/C so its hard to pick a favourite from someone I 'know'. 

ORRC -  Do you think the essence of an outdoor track is lost if it is partially covered to protect from the elements such as some of the race tracks in the United States. They often resemble a cattle shed.

James -Yes I do, I think dirt tracks are definitely better outdoors if the weathers good; the light levels, increased chance it will blue groove, bigger layouts and general feel are better. The only reason I have looked at covering RHR Dirt is due to our wet climate.

ORRC -  Can you explain the process that was undertaken when selecting the surface clay for the new RHR Dirt track?
James - I took samples of clay from every dirt track from home and abroad that I visited, I also asked well travelled racers to bring back samples whenever they were away. Each of these samples I formed into miniature 'slabs' and dried them on my cooker to see how they would crack, how crumbly or elastic they were and generally how they would react as they were wet and dried. We decided that Vaasa's surface was the most universally liked and if it was good enough for a world champs it was good enough for us so we went for something very similar. It took a while to find it in the huge quantities we required but I'm sure we got the perfect stuff.

The rostrum takes shape as the rain hammers down
ORRC -  If you could choose one class to race forever, what would be your preference? 2wd? 4wd? Would it be 10th scale? Explain why?

James -  4wd 10th off-road. I do really like the finesse of 2wd and generally do better with it but I like to go as fast as possible and love the 4wd drift, especially on clay.

ORRC -  Now that your facility has two National level tracks, have you considered large scale meetings that utilise both surfaces within one meeting? Astro one day and dirt the next?

-  Personally I hadn't considered anything more than the oople race on dirt and a sideline class like the vintage race on the astro, but I've had several people suggest to me that we could hold the ultimate Reedy Invitational race - half on dirt half on astro, should mix it up a bit for the dirt only American drivers vs Europeans who are a bit more at home on astro! We have some big events in the pipeline for the dirt track in 2013, watch this space ;).

Far from a basic doodle...the start of the Dirt planning

ORRC -  What or who do you consider to be your biggest inspiration in the world of RC and why?

James -  My fellow racers - doesn't matter who they are. I do especially like and think its important to keep racing against the best drivers though otherwise how do you ever improve. I find the constant product innovation across the industry as a whole inspirational too. In my early years Mike Reedy gave me a few motors and that encouragement from such a well known R/C icon really gave me motivation. I find seeing people take the challenge of forming a new R/C business inspirational too.

ORRC -  If you had to pick one track feature as your favourite, what would it be and why?

James -  I like the big double-double under the rostrum at RHRD and I'm generally a fan of step-ups wherever they may be! I think the sports surface at Worksop is brilliant, and quite like the concrete section at EPR too..

All hail the king of Dirt!!
ORRC -  RHR Dirt has a control tyre, this being the Proline Holeshot. Do you feel that other manufacturers who create dirt spec tyres will be disappointed that their tyres can not be tested on the UK's first large scale dirt track?

James -  The track is open for private test sessions to anyone, so other tyres as long as they are of a compound designed for dirt can be tested, but all race meetings held must be on Proline Holeshots, this is a long term arrangement we have with Proline and won't be changing anytime soon.
ORRC -  When you stand on the rostrum and look across your multi-track venue can you describe the feeling you get?

James -  Jeez building that was hard work, how on earth did we do it! Immense satisfaction. Very appreciative of everyone that has helped build and maintain the place, it wouldn't happen without the small dedicated team.

ORRC -  Is there a specific time you can describe during the journey you have taken with RHR as a whole venue, that you almost gave up? Explain what made you stick with all the hard work?

James -  No, never. Its very hard, both in terms of grafting and physical work and tremendous amounts of organising and paper chasing but its the same with everything, if you want something to succeed you need to keep at it.

When James has his hands full creating Dirt heaven...he drinks his tea like this!
ORRC -  If you could describe RHR as a sound what would it be and why? ;)

James -  'Bang!!' - the site used to be a clay pigeon shooting ground before it was a race track! Or maybe 'Howl', as it always seems to be windy up there!
ORRC -  What are your thoughts about the possibility of RHR Dirt running a Euro meeting in the future?

James -  We'd love to do that! We can do it, I think we've proved that, we have a great team behind RHR. We have hotels nearby, an airport 5 miles away, local amenities etc it would be great. Sunshine = dirt track , wet = astro track - the last two euros I've been to have been massively affected by weather so that can't be an excuse for the UK not to hold the Euros again.
ORRC -  Can you name your favourite off-road buggy of all time and explain why?

James -  Yokomo Works 93. I raced one for ages and knew it inside out and it looked great, fond memories.
You will sit still pesky dirt!
ORRC - What are the most consistent qualities that you see in the very top off-road racing stars? The guys who grace your podiums season after season?

James -  Consistency in the following - motivation, practice, knowledge, plus a bit of natural talent never goes amiss.
ORRC -  Name 3 up and coming racers who you feel will be in the spot light in the near future?

 James - Greg Williams, Jack Neal, Ashley Caunt

ORRC -  Can you explain a little more about the type of machinery that is used when constructing a large scale outdoor race track?

James -  We're very lucky in that we have a farm and lots of machinery we can use for the dirt track, to hire it would have added thousands to the construction costs. Regularly we use a Caterpillar telescopic loader, John Deere tractors and trailers, a ride-on Benford vibrating roller plus whacker plates and an excellent machine called Richard Coates ;) and a lot of graft by hand with pickaxes, rakes and shovels. I also had to hire a 360 excavator when were loading the clay, plus 35 lorry loads to bring it on site.

Getting air when testing the new jumps was not exactly straight forward ;)
ORRC -  Do you think that past attempts at dirt tracks in the UK have lost favour due to the prevalence of racers adopting mid-motor cars? Are British racers now conditioned to race high-grip artificial surfaces or do you feel that dirt could be the future? If so, how does the British climate figure in this future? Clay doesn't like rain I hear?

James -  I think past dirt track have lost favour due to high levels of maintenance and construction and ongoing cost - astro is so easy to maintain and cheap to keep in comparison. The cars are developed to suit the tracks, not vice versa. Astro will always rule in the UK due to the climate, we have simply provided a clay track so the option is there if people want to run on it. I was slightly scared of wet weather on the clay track until we held the 'Dirty Weekend' in September for which the track was damp - honestly I thought it was better than when it was bone dry at the oOple race. The covers are still an essential though, a downpour would wreck the track and marshall safety would become an issue. I like both surfaces personally :)
ORRC -  Name 3 people you admire within the sport and please explain why?

 James - 1.Anyone who runs an R/C club.. They do not get enough praise, 2.The merry band of national racers who travel up and down the country each year - their knowledge and advice passes down through club, they're a great bunch and the depth of driving talent and dedication in the UK is excellent, 3. Jimmy and Vicky oOple (I'll count that as one), oOple is the best resource for 10th R/C, simples.

ORRC -  Do you favour a track that has big air opportunities and fast sweeping sections or a track that is more flat and technical?

James -  Big air and fast sweepers everytime!

ORRC -  I believe Graham North was a big driving force in the design of the RHR astro track, who played a role in designing the RHR DIrt track?

James -  Yes, Graham essentially designed RHR astro, and a great job he did too!  I designed the dirt track.

Ben Jemison gets stuck in as part of a really dedicated team who helped James create off-road Nirvana
ORRC -  Have you any future plans for RHR facilities that you can share with us?
James - We have 4 big meetings scheduled for next year for the dirt track, the oOple race will be back even bigger and better. We'd like to put a roof on the RHRD rostrum and get a better cover for the clay. We want to replace some astroturf on the other track and slightly tweak part of the layout. Other big projects which are in the early stages are a medium sized undercover pitting area and we may upgrade and incorporate the cafe facilities into this.

ORRC -  Name the most exciting race you have either taken part in or watched at your venue and explain why?

James -  I guess when I finished 2nd in the last leg of the 2wd A this year at the BRCA national must be up there. The first race on the dirt too at the oOple Invernational was very special and exciting after all the hard work too :)
Testing time as the clay settles in

It goes without saying that James Helliwell and the amazing team behind everything that now resides over at RHR are a real solid example of how our sport continues to grow. Imagine the passion and dedication, let alone the financial trust it must require to embark on such a massive project. James and his team will go down in British RC history for their collective achievements...and in my opinion not just for creating an amzing race venue, but also for showing the world that team work and community spirit are planted firmly at the core of how RC has developed. We all don't just 'do' RC......we ARE RC! Every last one of us.

My thanks go to James and the rest of the guys who made RHR happen. I will be there soon folks...put the kettle on as I feel we still have so much still to talk about. I salute you all.

Thanks to Jimmy and Vicky over at for not just allowing me to use some of their images, but also the tireless work and passion that they share with us all. Much love guys :)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Neil Cragg - Stateside Connection - PART 1

Our culture is influenced by everything we see. Everything we read, watch, listen to, and experience. It is fair to say that our distant cousins over in the United States have contributed greatly to the myriad of cultural influences that shape and form our society today. Off-road RC is no stranger to drawing inspiration from different cultures, with many racers often heard to say that the early days of Tamiya and Kyosho's Japanese RC and cultural influences being formative during their introduction to our beloved sport. I was talking recently with some of my racing friends and we all commented on how brands such as Team Associated have always shaped the very landscape of our hobby for as long as we could all remember. With their roots built from solid American racing culture and their deep and well acclaimed success at every scale of competitive model car racing, it is no surprise that Associated continue to bring the influence of the 'star spangled banner' across the water to the shores of the UK with every product they release.

As I began to think more deeply about how we all look fondly at the United States west coast warm climate with their beautifully created dirt racing tracks, I decided to pick up the phone and get in touch with one man who would definitely have something to say about the subject of both Team Associated, and racing 'across the pond'. A few days after this phone call I am sat here sharing with you the inspirational words of the off-road racing legend Neil Cragg.

Neil is not only a long serving Team Associated racing star, but also holds the benefit of racing at the very highest level both here in the UK and over in the USA. His wealth of experience across multiple racing classes and track surfaces make him a wonderful source for a professional view on how the American racing culture has built many aspects of our domestic racing here in 'Blighty'. Neil was more than enthusiastic when I began priming him with some really detailed questions regarding this interesting subject, and as always, he gave us a world class performance. Join us as we begin our journey through the 'Stateside Connection' of Neil Cragg and Team Associated. Both at the very top of our sport here and in the USA....

ORRC - Can you tell me the facts about your valued involvement with the development of Team Associated products? In other words when your not on the track, how do you contribute with the products?

Neil - There is always contact between drivers and the team. Ideas are sent back and forth, things that need changing or some things that can be improved. Then there's the feedback from what's been tested and where, why such a thing is better than such a thing. Racing does become more than just a weekend thing!

ORRC - The release of the hotly anticipated B44.2 is big news at present. What are your experiences during testing of the new kit?

Neil - I'm really excited with the B44.2, the car is going to be dialled. The B44.1 was a great car that I love driving and with the .2 the little changes here and there should help a lot, especially on our tracks. Sometimes when a company comes out with a new car people think they need a complete overall change, but from the .1 to the .2 they have improved just the little things that needed looking at.

ORRC - Our friends across the Atlantic have such a growing and vibrant scene. What is the most inspiring thing about racing for an American based manufacturer?

Neil - I absolutely love racing for Team Associated, I've been with them for 15 years and I can't see that changing anytime soon. The thing with it being based in America is that they never stop, those guys live and breath racing and are always looking for the next big thing, be it 10th or 8th scale.

True British 'Dirt Master'...Neil does the double at the oOple Invernational...on dirt!
ORRC - With the recent opening of RHR Dirt, do you feel that UK racers will be looking to the American drivers for advice and guidance when tackling clay surfaces?

Neil - Definitely, those guys are the absolute kings of racing on and building clay tracks. They know how a car needs to be setup, tyres etc just from the look of the track. They know when a track needs water or sweeping. It's really awesome that we finally have a proper dirt track in the UK and speaking from experience it's such a great track, the RHR guys really nailed the 'American style track'.
ORRC - How do the cultural differences between the UK and America influence racers approach to our sport?

Neil - The major differences between the two is that the Americans seem a little more professional than us, it's treated like a job over there. In the UK the top guys all take it serious and everyone wants to win, but we all still remember why we got into have fun!

Hemet Racway - California
ORRC - The B4 and in turn the 4.1 are probably the most used donor vehicles when it comes to the popular mid motor European conversions. What do you think has caused this trend with the Associated 2wd platform being used so often?

Neil - I think the reason for this is that the B4 was and still is an amazing car, when it was designed and then released it was so much better than anything out there. It's pretty clear the geometry of the car was very good straight from the off. Also pretty much everyone I know had a B4 at some point in their racing life so I suppose its a comfort thing as well.

ORRC - Space is something that is not in short supply in the States. How do the tracks for 10th off-road compare to other parts of the world besides the prevalence of clay?

Neil - The tracks are awesome in America, not just because of the clay but because of the way the tracks are designed. Some of the ideas that they come up with are really smart. Although you do find a lot these days that tracks are a little small and very compact, and they try and fit as much in as possible, maybe a little to much, it's like jump, jump, jump, corner, jump, jump, jump, corner.

Santa Ana off-road track - California
ORRC - Is there an American racer who inspires your approach to the sport? If so, explain how this happens?

Neil - To be honest I've always been a big fan of the old school American racers, these are the guys I grew up reading about in magazines! Mark Pavidis is a legend of the sport and a former team-mate, and also a true gentleman. When you talk to him your talking to a 2 x world champ but you would never guess! Another one is Matt Francis, again a 2 x world champ but would drop everything to help the little guy! Then there's the current crop of superstars from across the pond, the Maifields, the Cavalieri's, the Tebo's. Those guys are the best in the business because they put everything into it, it's tough to keep up with these guys and their what we aspire to compete with!

ORRC - Your success at Worlds level is well documented. When you attend a World Championship event, do you feel that the high number of full time professional racers from the States is seen as a big advantage to Associated? Most other countries only have a few full time racers.

Neil - It is a big advantage to have a big team at a world championship, the more drivers to get advice and input out of the better. Personally I think Associated have the biggest pool of talent at the worlds, you have mayfield, cavalieri. Then there's Kinwald, Hartson, Bradders, and the team boss Brent Thelke. With all those stars your never gonna be to far away from a decent set-up!

ORRC - If you had to pick a Team Associated product that you considered the best example of American engineering at its best, what would that be and why?

Neil - That's easy, the B4 or B4.1. It's easily my favourite car and it's got such longevity, people forget it came out 10 years ago and it's won every worlds since!! It's was just designed perfectly, a real work of art!

ORRC - Can you describe how it feels to be in the company of racers such as Maifield and Cavalieri? Do they eat breath and sleep RC?

Neil - These guys are two of the top three drivers in the world in my opinion, it's as simple as that. The hours that they put in are phenomenal but they get out what they put in. They have very contrasting styles, Maifield is the fastest driver I've ever seen over a lap, just crazy to watch. Where as Cavalieri is the just a machine at churning lap after lap, and is also cool as ice under pressure, trust me I know!

Maifield is a real professional racer who just lives for the sport
ORRC - What is the most unusual phrase or word you have heard from the RC scene in the USA?

Neil - When I race in America you pick loads of funny sayings that you end up using for a few weeks when you get home, then you forget about them, then the next trip to America their all there again! There's the commentator saying "getting her done!" when your on a good run. "donkey flip" for a big crash. "waffle stomp" which is when you've landed on someone over a jump! "popping a stand" is a wheelie!

ORRC - Do you find that your driving style has changed due to having access to products that are created in the States for a world wide audience? Do you find yourself better prepared for bigger meetings with such diverse products at your disposal?

- I'm not sure if my driving style has ever really changed, always try and stay clean and smooth. It always helps having input in new parts because when the finished article comes out you know what to expect from the testing.

ORRC - What's your favourite American food?

Neil - Those who know me know I love a Denny's breakfast when racing in America! There's also a fast food joint called Chickfi'la that is amazing.

What a way to start a day racing - Denny's breakfast for Neil!
ORRC - Team Associated must relish the input you can give due to your vast experience at domestic UK competition. What do they really like about how we all race in the UK and Europe?

Neil - They really love that we always keep the hobby side of the sport, serious but still there to enjoy ourselves. They like how well organised our big races are. They're really impressed how we get through a whole national event in just a weekend, because those guys like to practice for a few days first!

ORRC - Why do you feel that wheel transmitters are the popular choice in the USA when sticks are more popular here in the UK?

Neil - From what I understand and what I've read, back in the day you where considered a bit poor if you had sticks instead of a wheel?! Whereas in England people just seemed to lean towards sticks. Although in the last year or two we've seen a massive increase in racers in the UK using wheel radio's, mainly because of a lack of stick radio options out there. If you look in some of the earlier heats most new drivers all have wheel radios now.

ORRC - Have you ever visited AE's head office?

Neil - Yes I've been to the old place and the new place. I went to the old factory in 2003 with Bradders, it was cool to see how it all works and also cool to hang out with Mike Reedy in his office! We went to the new factory for the first time in 2011, again with Bradders, and Ben Jemison! ( he doesn't know how lucky he is!) It's much bigger than the old place. Unfortunately I've never been in 'area 51'. This is the room where the engineers do most of their work and come up with the ideas that keep them ahead of the game. There's only a handful of people I know are allowed in there...... Maybe one day!

ORRC - What is your favourite race venue in the States?

Neil - In 10th scale the cactus classic was always a great track and race to compete in, a true American track. But favourite track? It has to be Competition Hobbies in Arizona. It's basically what you would build if you had a spare million or two! A huge indoor venue, indoor pitting with electric for every spot. A huge model shop in the building, a touring car track and a dirt oval. They even have a stair master on the drivers stand stairs, seriously!

Every day of the week in the USA!
ORRC - You stated during our previous interview that clay or dirt are you favourite track surfaces. Explain why?

Neil - For me it's the best because it's what our cars were designed for. It's so much more fun hitting a triple or a double that's been sculpted to the perfect shape rather than an obstacle that's been placed on the track. Plus I bet if you ask any top driver, there's few better feelings than nailing a perfect lap with a 2wd on a clay track, trust me!!
ORRC - Can you tell our readers what you consider the biggest factor in your massive success across such diverse venues and levels of competition?

Neil - I think I have two or three big factors that have contributed to my success. One is a great team, I always wanted to race for Associated and when Craig Drescher asked I jump at the opportunity and haven't looked back. Another one is my Dad, he's always supported me in everything I've done, and he's an amazing mechanic, a genius when it comes to setup. The last one I can think of is the age old saying, practice, practice, practice. When I first started racing I used to race Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday's, every week. I fitted a lot of racing into those first few years and I know this helped me out massively.

NorCal Hobbies epic outdoor track
Neil Cragg never ceases to inspire me when we get a chance to bounce these concepts between each other. I have no doubt that his truly formidable racing record over the last decade or so on British soil has not only inspired Team Associated product research, but also raised the level of transatlantic respect between the UK and the USA. Neil is always keen to promote the fact that hard work and dedication will result in improvements for us all. His passion for building stronger relationships that span continents should inspire us all when we look outside our domestic racing scene for fast and exciting racing action.

Stay tuned for the next chance to learn more about how the sport of off-road RC racing bridges many divides in our world...not just water. I will be catching up with Neil again very soon as we continue to expand our discussions relating to his 'Stateside Connection'.

My thanks go to Neil for this wonderful insight into his exciting views and opinions.

To learn more about Team Associated products visit:

Monday, 5 November 2012

Tony Evdoka launches his new blog - Rude boy goes live

Owner of Rudebits, multiple national A finalist, Kyosho UK team manager and life-long off-road guru. Its true to say that larger than life character Tony Evdoka's RC CV is bursting with amazing achievements. Tony can now proudly add to his already impressive resume 'author of his very own blog' as he races into the world of online media with the launch of

His brand new website gives us all an opportunity to share his tireless and inspirational passion for a sport that is built from the foundations that characters like Tony laid decades ago. Expect to read live race reports as Tony travels the off-road scene as a Kyosho and Orion backed F1 racer. Add to this a valuable source of set-up sheets straight from Tony's pit table, fun and exciting product reviews, and no doubt a large helping of Tony's warm and welcoming wisdom that makes this man a true legend in our sport. You can subscribe to his blog with a few easy clicks and get first hand accounts of who, what, why and where as his action packed racing life unfolds. Tony Evdoka is already a well respected racer, designer, trader, and team manager. It was only a matter of time before he added his unique and passionate flair to the world of online RC media., where the science becomes reality.

Always full of smiles..Tony Evdoka has time for a wave at his pit table

Visit Tony's blog here: and stay tuned for some really fun and inspirational collaborations as I welcome Tony to the world of on-line journalism with a bang!!

Rudebits DB1 - El Diablo

It is with great pleasure that I bring you the second instalment of my really exciting Rudebits DB1 project....El Diablo. The red transformation of the Rudebits DB1 has been a very fun process so far. I was greeted from my rather heavy slumber earlier in the week by a wind swept and fairly dishevelled postman who thrust a small package into my hands and said...."Priority mail from the fires of hell Mr Styles". I signed on his digital screen and slammed the door, really eager to see what Satan had sent me.....the contents of that fiery package are below!

Blood red hardware anybody?
I was gobsmacked by the amazing finish that had been created on all the previously gunmetal aluminium hardware for my buggy. I asked the devils of Babylon to try and get blood red......the transfusion was complete ;)

The local blood bank would pay good money for this little lot!!
To say that the guys in charge of colouring my metal parts had done a good job is a slight understatement. The matt blood red finish was exactly what I wanted and I set about re-building my DB1 buggy with the newly refurbished items. The anodising was so well done that every single screw hole and thread was perfect. It makes me realise how precision this process is with the colour wizards obviously dealing with mere microns of coating to achieve this beautiful finish.

Note the small contact line at the bottom of the motor plate....electrical charges have been here!!

The Kyosho Big Bore shocks look wonderful in the new red coating

Red up the rear as well if you excuse the expression ;)

Now I had all my metal parts coated in their new blood red finish I was really looking forward to my new DB1 Shadow body shell arriving from our friend and fellow racer Matt Coleman. Matt has been working really hard on creating a really special shell for this car and his interpretation of a few very excited emails from me was not a disappointment. It arrived well packaged and I feel Matt has made a really good effort in capturing the essence of both the colour scheme, and the devilish theme.

I asked Matt to base his paint job on a Japanese blade style design

Matt's choice of shapes really made the body look fast...this will help with the fact that I am in fact very slow!

Matt has also managed to get a rather lovely deep blood red in the design to 'pop' against the new metal parts

This should scare a few marshall folk as they turn over Satan's ride!
I am super happy with the first 2 stages of this transformation. For a buggy that needs no improvements with regards the actual driving experience, and let me be honest here, neither does the buggy actually need any aesthetic upgrades, I think the added blood red parts have really made it look special.

I have had lots of messages and oOple forum suggestions regarding just how far I can push this red devil theme folks. I recently decided to go that little bit further by ordering a red Speed Passion motor and ESC. Tresrey, the masters of everything red in RC, currently supply a special edition combo that includes the GTII Pro esc. I chose a 6.5T motor as my buggy races around on large indoor and outdoor track environments. Check out the Tresrey monsters below!!

Bloody Mary!! Tresrey have done it again....
Well, so far things are developing nicely and I feel that although some may say that my upgrades are never going to make the buggy any definitely looks cool. Did somebody just shout RED CARBON CHASSIS!!?? Stay tuned for more El Diablo fun as I continue in my quest to make my Rudebits DB1 a real fire breathing one-off.

To get your sweaty palms on a Rudebits DB1 conversion kit visit:
To learn more about Matt Colemans lovely bodyshell painting visit: Matt Coleman custom paint
To grab some wonderful 3 Racing upgrades and all your Kyosho spares visit:
To learn more about El Diablo in the real sense....giggle a bit and visit: El Diablo
Stay in touch with everything Ruidebits DB1 related over at our favourite RC forum:

Friday, 2 November 2012

Inside Line competition - The screw kit release party!

I am really excited to announce that Inside Line Racing have just launched a really cool selection of screw kits for your off-road buggy in some really nice parts boxes. The guys at Inside Line Racing would like to celebrate the launch of these really high quality screw combo's by offering all my readers the opportunity to win one of these really useful items.

The screw sets are currently available in either high tensile black or the more traditional stainless steel variety. You can also purchase the really cool Inside Line Racing branded 18 compartment parts box separately as well! A must for any dedicated 1:10th race fan. Each box contains the most popular sizes used in 1:10th cars and has snap fit closure clips to keep the contents safe during transportation.

We have a few of these screw kits to give away, and getting in on the action is super simple. Take a look at the image below that shows a rather nifty Inside Line Racing logo that has been built out of a mixture of screws, washers, and nuts.

To be entered into a draw to win one of 3 special Inside Line Racing prizes firstly visit the Inside Line Racing Facebook page here: Facebook  and share some current news from Inside Line Racing page with a friend. Then just answer the following question by posting your competition guess over on the thread here: thread

What is the total weight in grams of all the screws, washers and nuts used to create this image?

If you do not have access to Facebook just add your email address to our database by sending it to

We will be drawing 3 prizes on Friday the 9th of November as follows:

1st Prize: A full 18 compartment high tensile screw kit with all the popular sizes for 10th cars
2nd Prize: A full 18 compartment stainless steel screw kit with all the popular sizes for 10th cars
3rd Prize: A cool Inside Line Racing branded 18 compartment parts box

Get guessing guys and to learn more about these really cool products and more visit:

Friday, 26 October 2012

Rudebits DB1 - El diablo está aquí....

I recently began to wonder how I could take my Rudebits DB1 to the 'next level'. I have worked on many custom buggy projects over the years but I have never really felt I managed to capture the real essence of the manufacturer product I was working with. Not content with a few coloured washers and a pretty paint job, I really wanted to push the aesthetics of what already is a beautiful looking buggy. So, I am really excited to announce the very soon to be released Operation Diablo project.

The Rudebits DB1 needs absolutely NO improvements or alterations as far as it's 'drivability' is concerned. As many of you will already know, the car is wonderful to drive. The Rudebits designed Shadow body shell is a really lovely shape, with a nice streamlined twist on the recent craze of 'cab-forward' lids for 2wd off-road cars. So how do you improve the aesthetics of a car that already benefits from stealthy low profile looks and the really great craftsmanship of it's Kyosho donor parts?....that is simple in my eyes. I decided to take the concept of 'Rudeness' and the main Kyosho brand colour to its physical limits with the following changes.

EVERYTHING TURNS RED!! and by that I mean everything that can possibly be treated to be a red finish has been stripped from the buggy and sent away to a colour wizard who is currently giving my DB1 the full 'El Diablo' red devil treatment. The donor Lazer ZX-5 and Kyosho RB5 aluminium parts are being stripped of all their current coating colours and anodised in blood red finish. That means, motor mount, rear hangers, front hinge pin brace, battery and chassis posts, rear hubs, camber link pick-up plates, thumbscrews, shock collars, shock caps, and anything else that connects these parts and made from a metal substrate. I have also commissioned a custom chassis protector in red woven carbon vinyl, and also a lipo tray lining in the same material and colour. Although it may seem excessive to the more 'conservative' amongst us....when a buggy is this good...why not give it a real special look is my philosophy?....I really wanted my Rudebits DB1 to be a real one-off!!

After I had dealt with the 'hardware', I thought it silly not to attempt to get the body shell painted to both represent the cars dual Japanese and British heritage, but also to carry on the theme of the red Kyosho/Rudebits colour scheme. A quick peek at Matt Coleman's paint job made my tongue drop out....

Check the spy shot here....

So folks, my Rudebits DB1 will soon be unveiled in it's full 'red devil' incarnation and I really can't wait to share with you the amazing finished product. How do you make the Rudebits DB1 even ruder?........more news to come very soon.

To learn more about the Rudebits DB1 visit:
To investigate all the Kyosho products that go into building your very own DB1 visit: