AXIAL UMG10 REVIEW! SPEKTRUM – TEKIN – PRO-LINE
Sometimes we take the time to really enjoy the build process and sometimes we need to just get stuff done! This project had a tight deadline to debut over the summer at Horizon Fest 2019, and just for clarity with our followers Horizon was the primary sponsor of this build! While the truck did make its debut (paint may have still been a little wet) at the event we really hadn’t had the opportunity to enjoy the truck, let alone really give it a proper test! Read on to see what we liked and didn’t like about the UMG10 and the Products we used to make this build a reality!
What’s in the BOX? – This version of the SCX10 II comes as a kit, so you guessed it SOME ASSEMBLY IS DEFINITELY REQUIRED! Time has treated the instructions of this kit very well and as you flip through the pages there are no surprises and everything is laid out in bags that follow the build process pretty well. You do get the occasional parts tree that will have you wondering “Did I miss something” but trust the process and all will be revealed. One thing we like to do during the build is first give yourself PLENTY OF ROOM to lay out all the parts on a nice clean flat surface. Yep this may mean borrowing the dinner table for the afternoon or week or two (sorry hunny!). The easy way to keep things in place is to use some towels laid down on your table. We recommend going to the dollar store or Walmart and buy some white towels…. Yep we said white! Sure they will get trashed and look like crap, but what it will do is hang onto all the tiny screws, bits and pieces that you keep losing track of. The really organized folks will use bins to sort through all the screws ahead of time and they will usually have a magnetic mat to keep things planted. Apologizes we went off track there for a sec… The Kit contents are all properly sorted, bagged and of top notch quality!
Build – Just have to toss it out once more this was definitely a rush build but without the luxury/time of being able to deal with any hassles or pain points… Guess what? There really wasn’t anything at all the stood out as an obstruction or not clearly documented. Bags were all very well marked and the parts trees were all in order. The biggest thing to always remember when building any kit is making sure you have enough room to spread out! … If you don’t have a dedicated work bench, borrow the dinner table if you have to…. Just be sure to ask nicely (Thanks Honey)!
Tool Tech Tip – We can’t stress this enough but please do yourself a favor and invest in some decent hand tools. Yes you can use normal hex wrenches in the shape of an “L” but trust me your hands will regret it. If you have an unlimited budget we highly recommend MIP Hex bits and a QUALITY hex driver that has both power settings (via trigger is fine) and a CLUTCH!
Paint – This body comes in multiple pieces which is a very nice touch. We opted to use only the CAB portion of the Lexan, since we wanted to do some custom work to the bed. Come on now you know there is no such thing as stock here at RC HUB! Another Sponsor of this build was Pro-Line Racing! We were very excited to have them on board with us on this build but it was especially thrilling to get their new paint to try first hand. The paint comes ready to spray airbrush style and the color options just keep on coming! We opted to go simple and used a single color of Orange. To make it pop a bit we opted to add some textured black to the outside, some simple rattle can bed liner in black worked perfectly! The Pro-Line Paint flowed very well and had a very consistent spray pattern. It was very easy to work with and cleaned up quickly. We highly recommend giving it a try on your next painting project!
Electronics – The theme for this build for us was new and different from start to finish. Starting off the communications between man and beast is the intended for abuse Spektrum DX5 RUGGED! Initial install was just as planned but there were some bumps in the road that we will get back to in a few. Now electronic running gear on this bad boy is ALL TEKIN! They did assist with getting us this gear but we strive to remain unbiased in all of our reviews. Starting with the Element Proof RX4 speed controller, the install is on par with anything else out there; however Tekin does include some High Strand wire! This is a do it yourself process that requires soldering of the motor to the ESC as well as soldering on the battery connections but to be honest we prefer having the motor directly soldered to the ESC, this way you eliminate any additional connections that can cause a problem later on. Paired up to the RX4 is the more than capable ROC 412HD 2300kv! To take full advantage of this amazing combo on the fly we installed the Hotwire 3.0 Bluetooth module. So much control on the fly is like being an RC Wizard! Yep we had to close the electronic loop on this by dropping in one of the new Digital Servos a T-440 talk about leaps and bounds ahead of the competition!
Getting a grip – Again Pro-line came to the rescue on this one as well sending out their plastic bead locks. Thank you to team PL for recognizing that not every build requires 200 plus dollars worth of rims and tires… Yet every single build can benefit from a well priced Beadlock wheels! The rubber is Krawler T/A variety; we like the look and feel now let’s see how they do.
Custom Touches – Yep for its show debut we went overboard! This kit comes with great Lexan pieces to finish off not just the bed but also the interior. We opted to use none of the bed plastics and hit up RC4WD for some real metal Diamond Plate and actual bolts to give it more of a unique flatbed look. Once that was done it was relatively easy to just keep adding scale accessories to finish off an incredible off-road look. The interior is molded exceptionally well and if you wanted you could just add a tiny bit of paint and shadowing and have a very scale look. But that’s just no how we do things. We cut out the molded seat sections and added two “U” shaped supports to hold some Wraith style race buckets in place. Once we add cool seats a cool driver figures is not far behind. The truck instantly went from OK scale to over the top! We custom mounted a Steel Bumper and Warn Winch combo as well as a slick Pro-Line contoured light bar we tucked very low to the roof. Adding a connector to the wiring for all the LEDS is just what it needed to get the lid on and off for service.
Hitting the trails – We were very proud of what we built in an extremely short amount of time but how well would it do on the trails? The truth is that we added a bit too much too high making this beast very top heavy and wanting to roll over pretty easily. Lowering the body as much as possible helped but the truck was still not in its element. So we stripped it down to essentially a stock truck and man what a fun rig! The Tekin system is just incredible…So smooth and so much power on tap, if the tires find the grip it WILL GO OVER IT! Just the fact that you can easily switch something on the fly with the Hotwire Bluetooth module is pretty much a game changer. The Servo seems like it’s future tech you can have today! The T-440 is something you can rely on and know that when you point the tires in that direction that’s exactly where it’s going – No questions asked! Tekin opted to go with encoders instead of pots. Just in case you know nothing about the technology it’s like going from an 80’s brick phone to a modern smartphone and well worth the investment. The rig itself (once in stockish form) is just a very capable rig that just WORKS. The articulation is there the shocks are just right the balance is a little front heavy but in our opinion that’s exactly what most crawler’s need. We split our time on this bad boy between 2s and 3s packs… 3s is great for brisk walking speeds and it has enough torque to remove stumps.
Things to look out for – The biggest sticking point we had wasn’t actually during the build but during setup. We had a lot of trouble initially setting up the DX5 Rugged; our issue was with the scroll wheel. Ours would not take any UP motions no matter what we did. It was really bad just trying to get the steering centered. Luckily we had the Tekin T-440 and its programming is next level. Using the Hotwire we downloaded the Servo Software and got it perfectly adjusted in not time. Once the truck got settled and everything as dialed as it could be we needed to address this remote issue. We went ahead and started fresh, all new batteries repaired the receiver, re-calibrated the steering and throttle positions on the controller and rebooted a couple more times just because it is a computer after all. Would you believe that after all that back and forth the damn thing started working flawlessly? Well it has been more than a few weeks now and it has been rock solid, fingers crossed it stays this way.
Final Words – Using that famous tagline from Nike…. “JUST DO IT!” this is a great kit worth putting it under the tree for a loved one or even yourself. Build process was very clear and concise everything was properly labeled and easy to assemble. This kit no matter what electronics you use will pay you dividends in smiles per mile! If your budget allows spend the money for the Tekin Gear, the Motor and ESC speak a language that is smooth as silk with tons of torque and absolutely zero cogging. If you want to sample the future of Servo Technology, Tekin Servos using Encoders instead of old fashioned Potentiometers is light years ahead in the servo world! Pro-Line continues to impress us with not just bodies, rims, tires but with them now deep diving into accessories as well as paint why wouldn’t you make that a part of your next build!
That’s it for this build stay tuned as we do deeper dives into our Tekin Gear, Spektrum Controllers and who knows what the next build might be?