Axial Goes Large-Scale With the SCX6
It’s the SCX10 you know and love, but bigger. Much bigger!
Axial SCX6 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 1/6 Scale Electric 4WD RTR
It was a sign of things to come: Axial used social media influencers to take the spotlight when their biggest, baddest crawler yet was released this week, the SCX6. This kind of release hasn’t really been seen to this extent before. Axial sent one of these large-scale RC rock crawlers to a handful of the big names in the RC rock crawling niche on YouTube and gave them a release time and date for their video reviews – and wow, has it worked! All the RC crawling corners of the internet are buzzing with reactions and opinions about this new, large-scale beauty – and rightly so. There’s something special about even the ‘same old’ when it’s just so much bigger!
And It’s Huge!
The SCX6 Jeep JLU Wrangler is a 1/6 scale, four-wheel-drive ready-to-run RC rock crawler. It’s very similar at first glance to the JLU-bodied SCX10 III and even the little SCX24. Line them all up and with the right camera perspective (smallest closest to the lens), you’d be hard-pressed to tell the larger two models apart.
However, Axial has broken from their entire history of releases by amping up the included electronics and running gear. A huge, sensored brushless system is combined with a beefy steering servo and even a strong high/low transmission servo to bring you a model that *could* be updated out of the box, but really doesn’t need to be.
It’s a Jeep!
It’s tough, well designed and ready for whatever adventures may await you. I (Craig, RC-TNT) have one on pre-order already, with an early 2022 delivery date being rumoured, but nothing is known for sure yet. With the supply chain disruptions and manufacturing shortages globally as a result of covid, it’s anyone’s guess when these vehicles may ship to the waiting RC hobbyists everywhere. It’s hard to be patient with this one – there really hasn’t been anything like it before in the hobby. Let’s take a closer look!
It’s widely known within the industry that Jeep and Axial have an arrangement that suits both companies very well. This has led to Axial releasing many Jeep models in particular. Whilst this can be a drawback for folks who aren’t Jeep fans in particular (including this dyed-in-the-wool Landcruiser and Hilux man), the strategy may well be paying off. Even I looked at my 1/10 SCX10 III Gladiator today during filming and thought, “it wouldn’t be entirely awful to own one of these things”. And then I had to sit down and take a minute to recover as I became aware of my inner dialogue! In short, it looks to be a profitable strategy for both companies: Axial gets use of pretty licensed bodies and Jeep gets its name out there in one of the biggest names in RC rock crawling. That’s a win-win!
Same, But Different
The SCX6 looks, at first glance, like an enlarged SCX10 III. The body, interior, running gear – all looks quite familiar. However, there’s nothing that’s been reused from the smaller models. No doubt many of the CAD files were simply increased in size for the new, larger moulds for the body, but underneath the big cover is some familiar stuff, but also quite a lot that’s new!
Axial has been making RC crawlers for years, but this may be the first model that is released with the power system already “powerful enough” that upgrades aren’t needed, or even desirable. The steering servo is decent, though that could be made stronger (it’s 500oz unit stock, and the gear shift servo is a 50-something oz unit, both are adequate for the job), but the sensored, brushless motor system is a bit of serious kit!
Just How Big?
The 1:6 scale crawler weighs in at 25lb (or 11.3kg) and is 33.5” (776mm) long and nearly 15” (or 378mm) wide and tall. Numbers are one thing, but the heft and overall physical presence of this thing will be another. RC-TNT doesn’t have one of these units yet, being as we’re too new to the scene to have qualified to be one of those lucky few in the industry to get a pre-production model for review! Our pre-order is in, though, so as soon as it’s here we’ll get onto a proper review!
Anyway, it’s a big, heavy rig. Accordingly, a 1200kv brushless system is appropriate to move this model. The system is best on 3S, though if you run on 2S you’ll enjoy approximately 50% longer runtime than on 3S (a general guide for anytime you’re working with Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries – more cells means less runtime, but more volts. So, if a 2S 5A battery gives you 60 minutes runtime, a 3S 5A battery would give you 40 minutes. Again, this is a general guideline, your mileage will vary, but 3S is reportedly the sweet-spot for this machine. There is room for 2x 5000mAh (or 5A) batteries on the chassis, so you could make or buy an adapter and run them in parallel for 10A of power that would deliver somewhere between 30 and 90 minutes of runtime, depending on how you drive.
Power and Driveline
There are plenty of big, brushless motors in RC, but as far as rock crawlers are concerned, the waterproof Spektrum unit is a bit of a, well, unit. The model is SPMXSM3100 and this 1200kv motor is 84mm long and has a 56mm diameter. It’s powered by a Spektrum 120A ESC, which also has a 6v-7.4v BEC (6v is default), though you’ll need the optional programming card if you want to change the settings (SPMXCA200 – Spektrum Smart ESC Programming Update Box).
There’s a two-speed metal-gear transmission with a wider ratio between 1st and 2nd than in the 1/10 SCX10 III, so you have nice low-speed crawling and more than ample speed for jumps and rumbling! Shifting is achieved care of the Spektrum S614, which is a waterproof, metal-geared standard servo.
All electronics are controlled via the Spektrum SR515 receiver, linked to the Spektrum DX3 2.4GHz DSMR transmitter. Of course, you can swap this out for your DX5, DX5c or DX5 Rugged (that last one is my favourite and I use it with all my current-gen Axial rigs). The DX3 is a very nice radio in its own right, and if you have no other vehicles with Spektrum gear, stick with the DX3, it’s quite adequate.
Like the smaller SCX models, the SCX6 comes shod with BFGoodrich tires. In this case, they’re KM3 (that’s Krawler Mud Terrain) and are fitted to licensed Black Rhino ‘Primm’ beadlock wheels. They’re injection-moulded plastic, so while they’re lightweight they’ll be sturdy and durable.
Still, swapping these out for heavier wheels may be the only mod one might want to attempt with this thing – it could help with crawling, lowering the centre of gravity a bit, but for such a large machine, be aware that it would negatively affect handling at speed, if that was a concern. Less weight is better for going fast with such a large beastie, but if you’re mainly going slow, a little extra down-low weight may well be a winning strategy.
Also similar to the SCX10, but all-new in 1/6 scale for the big Axial, is the suspension system. There’s a 3-link panhard arrangement up front and a simple and reliable 4-link setup in the rear. Standard fare for this type of model. The links themselves are huge, with a 5mm diameter on the shafts and stainless steel ball ends.
The oil-filled shocks feature a single, coil-over spring and are threaded, alu bodies. As with the smaller rigs, these feature limited tuning with the thumb-screw pre-damping that lets you compress the springs to your liking. The shock bodies themselves are large-capacity and should not require upgrades or modifications to stand up to the job of keeping this big crawler stable and predictable on the bumpy stuff.
Lastly, you can adjust the upper mount points for the shocks, which can increase or decrease the response rate of your suspension system. This is not a huge point for tuning, but if you have exacting standards or preferences, the option is nice to have. I suspect most drivers will be served best keeping things set as Axial made them from the factory.
1/6 Shafts & Axles
Speaking of shafts, the Wildboar driveshafts are a larger version of the HD8 shafts found on the SCX10 III and feature large diameter cross pin and fasten with M6 screws for added strength (remember, we use M1.5 or M2 in the smaller stuff – M6 is really getting chunky here! Good!!) The driveshafts are a 3-piece affair with 17mm shaft and 3.5mm diameter cross-pins.
They’re unlikely to break, in short. On the SCX10 we had to get used to the one-piece AR60 axles since the SCX10 II. Thankfully, with the AR90 axles Axial developed for this big machine, they’ve gone with a three-piece mould instead. This will mean easier repairs, easier maintenance, and hopefully a more durable (and moddable!) component overall. It looks really good.
The front axles are also beefed up. They’re large, universal joins that allow up to 45 degrees of steering. They look the same as the SCX10 III axles, only they’re bigger. They’re hardened steel so it’s unlikely you’ll be repairing or upgrading these, they’ll be tough.
Jeep JLU Wrangler Body
As with the SCX10 III Wrangler bodies that came before it, the 1/6 scale body on the SCX6 is faithful to the full-size version on which it’s modelled. It features mirrors, injection-moulded trim pieces and details throughout both the interior and exterior, all adding to your suspension of disbelief (or your imagination/playtime inspiration for pretend, whatever you want to call it) for maximum happy driving time.
Triple LED headlights and single red tail lights round out the body, which looks to be tough and durable. The driver even looks like he’s been made from the same file for the SCX10 III – just, increased in scale before manufacturer. At least the face details will be easier to paint on, if you’re so inclined!
(We’ve added rock lights to our unit)
Value AND Quality?
All the hardware is oversized for strength and ruggedness – it seems Axial really have pulled out all the stops with this model – and I’m so glad they did. Much better to pay the extra few hundred dollars for a well-appointed model than to buy something for less and then have to upgrade it to a reliable state. No, the $1099 looks like a worthy price for this machine. Kudos, Axial, thank you for thinking this one through!
We Got Ours!
Oct 2021: My pre-order is in. I’m in Australia and I suspect with the delays and supply line issues being faced globally thanks to covid, it might be a bit of a wait! Still, there’s plenty of other good stuff to play with in RC in the meantime. And then, when the SCX6 eventually arrives, I’ll be back to give you the low-down on performance, durability, running feel and fun – I can’t wait! But I will. Woohoo!
Nov 2021: it’s here! Videos were made – and we’ll keep coming back to it as upgrades and available tech for this platform evolves. Check back in a bit for more!
See Axial Racing’s website for more information: http://www.axialracing.com/products/axi05000t1
Aug 2022: we’ve upgraded our SCX6 with some CNC goodies from Venka Racing. Check them out!
Also make sure you check out our reviews of other vehicles we own and drive! And lastly, make sure you don’t miss our YouTube channel, RC-TNT, for crawlers, trucking, trailers, tests, scale goodness and more!
Below: here’s our 6-part mini-series we released over the 2021 Christmas holidays. It totals 10 minutes of SCX6 river rock crawling over 6 2-ish minute videos. Enjoy!
Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it’s all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! …You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂