"It's All RC"
By Jerry Parks | firstname.lastname@example.org | Photos by Jerry Parks
As seen in the Summer 2023 issue of Park Pilot
Some great examples of 1/24-scale crawler trucks and a buggy!
Sometimes in the RC hobby, you just have to try something because the fun factor is undeniable. What if I told you that you could try a 1/24-scale crawler truck or buggy (Photo 01) for little to no investment?
The RC world of 1/24-scale crawler vehicles is exploding right now. Chances are, your local hobby shop has demonstration models that you could try and, if it sparks an interest, you can own a ready-to-run vehicle for as little as $120. I appreciate that in today’s economy this is nothing to sneeze at. That being said, as RC enthusiasts, we have all spent that much on electronics for an airplane build without a second thought.
If you made it into the article this far, you guessed it—it’s that guy who writes articles for Park Pilot that are not about airplanes. So, let’s do this ...
There is something about the scale size of a 1/24 truck that attracts interest. These capable little machines grab the attention and imagination of RC regulars, bystanders, friends, and family members alike. I have witnessed this firsthand at my local hobby shop, as well as at home.
What is RC crawling? As with most RC disciplines, it can be for pure fun or serious competition. Your road to better understanding starts when you squeeze the throttle on the remote and climb up your first obstacle.
With a little ingenuity and a fresh battery in your rig, your surroundings become a crawler course (Photo 02). Indoors or outdoors, after a barbecue with friends, during halftime in the living room, or getting serious at a crawler course—there really is no right or wrong when it comes to having fun with these RC models.
With some creativity and dedication, any surrounding can become a crawler course
o keep and grow the awesome hobby of RC, we need to be open-minded about trying new disciplines. Personally, I am an RC aviation modeler and pilot, but I have also become an avid RC sailboat racer. There are plenty of crossover attractions between RC land vehicles, airplanes, boats, etc. Some enthusiasts prefer ready-to-go models right out of the box, while others want to add their own electronics. If you are like me, building from kits or from scratch is as much a part of the hobby as stick or wheel time on the weekends. The point being, 1/24-scale trucks and buggies offer many of the aspects of the RC hobby that attract us to our current discipline, while allowing an entry price point that minimizes any chance of remorse.
I stumbled across this craze from manufacturer ads and YouTube. So, at this point, if you are remotely (no pun intended) interested in getting more information about these little crawlers before you go hands-on, I can recommend a few YouTube channels that are family-friendly and provide quality information: Cape Crawlers (youtube.com/@CapeCrawlers), Texoma RC (youtube.com/@texomarc), 2FMRC(youtube.com/@2fmrc), and CCXRC (youtube.com/@CCxRC).
Intrigued with what I saw in ads and videos, I researched some products. Before I knew it, I had built two crawlers from the chassis up (Photo 03 and Photo 4).
Jerry Parks’ first build was created using a Furitek carbon-fiber chassis and electronics, as well as an FMS Atlas body.
As project research, I decided that I had better go to my local hobby shop, see what they had to offer, and maybe pick up a stock, ready-to-run truck for testing and comparison purposes.
In talking with Bryan W., who is co-owner/operator of Friendly Hobbies (friendlyhobbies.com) in Las Vegas, Nevada, I was pleasantly surprised to see the display and availability of 1/24-scale vehicles, replacement parts, and hop ups (Photos 05-07). The genre has become so popular that Friendly Hobbies is in the process of designing an indoor crawler course that will be next to their drift track in an adjacent warehouse. Bryan was interested in my upcoming article, so he donated an Axial Jeep Gladiator to the cause (Photo 08). A huge thank-you to Bryan and Friendly Hobbies!
Friendly Hobbies has a great selection of Axial & Traxxas micro crawlers.
Replacement parts and hop up modifications are widely available at Friendly Hobbies.
The stock Axial 1/24-scale Jeep Gladiator donated by Bryan W. of Friendly Hobbies.
On the subject of hobby shops, a quick sidebar: Please support your local hobby shops. Most hobby shops are now brand affiliates with the large RC manufacturers that we all know and utilize online. So, of course, they are going to have the latest and hottest items in store for you to see and try. Whenever I take the time to go in the tore, I am reminded about why they are there. Most shop owners and employees have a true passion for all things RC and are good stewards of the hobbies we love. As one of the techs at Friendly Hobbies said to me, “It’s all RC.”
y interest in RC trucks and cars is undoubtably spurred on by my 8-year- old daughter. We have built a couple of 1//1010-scale vehicles together, and she hasscale-scale vehicles together, and she hasvehicles-scale vehicles together, and she hastogether,-scale vehicles together, and she hasand-scale vehicles together, and she hasshe-scale vehicles together, and she hashas-scale vehicles together, and she has really taken to the 1/24-scale rigs that I’ve built. When I brought home the stock Jeep Gladiator, I put in a fresh battery, handed her the remote, and off she went.
The truck performed well, but she reported that the buggy I had built climbed better. I was so pleased that she had taken it upon herself to make comparisons based on performance. I told her we could make some free modifications to the stock Gladiator and let her try again.
I referred to a video that I had previously watched regarding the first five free modifications you must do to a stock Axial 1/24-scale rig. The free modifications ere easy to complete in what amounted to changing the ESC, battery position, and making a couple of shock adjustments. Thirty minutes later, we had a stock rig with a much better forward-weight bias. I charged the battery and off she went to try the same challenge lines that she could do with the buggy (Photos 09-13).
Jerry’s daughter attempting the challenge line after free modifications.
Concentration and throttle control were crucial to the challenge line’s completion.
Learning about vehicles being high-sided was a key takeaway from this challenge.
Almost there …
Jerry wrote that his daughter’s smile after completing the course was “priceless.”
She was super excited to hear about the indoor course being built at our local hobby shop and wants to try it for fun. I would not be surprised if we both end up competing in events they might sponsor in the future.
If you are as intrigued by these little rigs as I am, I recommend checking out the previously mentioned YouTube channels and then making a trip to your local hobby shop. When you get a 1/24-scale crawler in your hands and look at the engineering and design work in the axles, drive systems, wheels, tires, etc., you will understand the undeniable attraction.
It is pure fun that you can take anywhere, and you can use almost any surrounding to create self-challenges or competition with some buddies. I guarantee that if there are any bystanders, they will want to try it out too. Let’s continue to grow the RC hobby.
Fly or "drive" informed and have fun!