SEEING photographer Brunelli’s fleet of cool, off-road, radio-controlled cars had me wanting to blow some dough on one myself.
It had been more than 30 years since my last RC car – and with King of the Hammers rock-racing event flooding my Facebook feed at the time, Axial’s RR10 Bomber looked like a great way to get back in to the hobby.
Not just any RC car, the RR10 is a replica of the rock-racer built by Bomber Fabrications and raced by Randy Slawson at events like King of the Hammers. Aside from Bomber Fab, other well-known off-road brands represented on this RC include Walker Evans Racing, BFGoodrich Tires, PSC, King Shocks and Advance Adaptors.
I went with the Builders Kit because that was how we did them back in the day, and building the buggy would give me a better understanding of how it comes together and works. If that’s not for you, you can get the RTR (Ready-to-Run) version. However, the Builders Kit has better hardware such as metal suspension links and a rear sway bar.
With a bit of research I learned the Bomber was a great rock-crawler but a bit slow at race pace, and I wanted some speed. With this in mind, I went to The Hobby Man in Melbourne for my electronics set-up.
Pistol-type transmitters and ESCs (Electronic Speed Controllers) were still new when I was last in to RC cars, and a lot has changed since then. With my budget and need for speed in mind, Matt at The Hobby Man sorted me out with a FlySky GT2B transmitter/receiver; a Hobby Works 3700kV brushless motor; programmable, waterproof ESCs; a high-torque steering servo; a 3S LiPo battery; a charger; and everything else needed to complete the build.
Just as the hardware has changed over three decades, so has building the car. The Axial has a lot more components than I remember old Tamiyas ever having, and it took a thorough read-through of the handbook and familiarisation of the parts before I screwed the first pieces together. Taking the steps slowly and checking everything twice before screwing it together certainly made the process time consuming, but it ensured the right screws were used for the right parts – there are hundreds of similar-but-different hex-head screws in the kit. Online help was handy, too, and methods for things like bleeding the shocks were easy to find.
I spent a couple of weeks putting it all together, and added some paint here and there to make it look different to what was on the box. It wasn’t difficult to build, but you have to pay attention to using the right nuts and screws.
With the battery charged, plugged in and with everything switched on, I tried the buggy in my hallway and it was instantly obvious that this was not for indoor use, especially when the throttle trim was out and it shot out of control. Outdoor testing (and tweaking) showed me I had the extra speed I wanted – in fact, it was wild! I tamed the throttle response to its lowest setting using the ESC program card, but the Bomber still does power wheelies on gravel on full throttle. On tarmac it does backflips! I might have to gear it down for more controlled rock-crawling, but flat-out blasting and jumping is a lot of fun.
It’s taken some time and practice to get the feeling back, but now I’m driving more controlled, attacking corners faster and landing jumps. The Bomber easily handles it all and has coped with some high-speed rollovers without any serious damage, just a scratch here and there.
The hobby is addictive, and there are more accessories and extras available for these than you will find for a Jeep Wrangler. In fact, Axial also has a wicked JK Wrangler RC in its catalogue. There’s plenty of money to be spent and fun to be had – the hardest part is keeping the kids away from it.