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December 2010




VOL. 2 MARCH 2011

Product Review PARKZONE T-28 Trojan

Exclusive H obby Outlo ok Product Re view

First Drive: Traxxas 1/16 Summit VXL

t bou t a i re Mo Summ re. e the lick h ,c VXL

Traxxas’ popular line of 1/16 scale vehicles has received a new addition, and it just might be the most capable all-terrain machine in the “mini” class. The new 1/16 Summit VXL is based on (you guessed it) Traxxas’ 1/10 scale Summit, the innovative “Extreme Terrain Monster Truck” built for trail-running and rockcrawling. The “little” Summit perfectly captures the look of the big truck, but it does not have quite the same mission. Instead of an emphasis on trail running and slow-speed “crawling,” the 1/16-scale Summit is built for higher top speeds and full-throttle fun—instead of crawling over that pile of rocks, you just pin the throttle and jump over ‘em! Brushless Power for High-Speed Fun Traxxas’ Velineon brushless power system is well proven in the other 1/16 VXL models, and is just as capable in the Summit VXL. With the included Power Cell battery, the Summit can top 25mph; with a second Power Cell battery connected in series, over 40mph is possible! That type of speed usually requires LiPos, but the Summit VXL achieves the speed with NiMH cells. If you do want to use LiPo power, the VXL-3m speed control is ready for

2S and 3S packs. Just be sure to activate the speed control’s Low Voltage Detection mode if you go LiPo. It only takes a few seconds (the manual explains how) and will protect against over-discharging your pack. 2.4GHz Convenience The Summit VXL is the latest Traxxas model to get the TQ2.4GHz radio system, which adds to the convenience of “switch on and drive” operation by including a full range of tuning adjustments and the exclusive “Traxxas Link” feature. Traxxas Link allows the transmitter to automatically store and recall the settings for up to 20 models (as long as they are equipped with a Traxxas Link receiver), without having to name or select models. Just turn on the radio and the vehicle you want to drive, and the radio sets itself accordingly. Let’s Drive! The Summit VXL includes a wall charger, but for faster charging, we tried Traxxas’ new EZ-Peak 2amp charger. This cut battery charging time down to a little over a half hour, and got us out of the box and into action quickly. Speaking of quick, the Summit VXL can move out in a hurry! On a high-traction surface, the Summit VXL will wheelie on command. A gentler pull on the trigger (or a looser slipper clutch setting) will let you bury the throttle and blast off with all four tires digging in, and the Summit will quickly reach its 25+mph top speed—which looks and feels even faster because of the 1/16 Summit’s smaller size. Steering response is immediate, and the truck is much more nimble than you would expect a high-riding monster truck to be. The long-travel suspension is very animated in rough terrain as the arms pump up and down to keep the Canyon AT tires hooked up. The Summit surprised us with its ability to soak up jolts that we thought were certain to put it on its ExoCage-protected roof. Jumping the truck was a blast, and the gyro action of the tires coupled with 4WD made it easy to control the truck’s attitude in the air. Out of

This overhead view reveals the Summit’s well layed-out chassis and its distinctive laydown shocks. Note the large receiver box next to the motor; the o-ring sealed box and waterproof electronics give the Summit VXL all-weather capability.

habit, we steered clear of puddles, but then we recalled another of the Summit’s features: waterproof electronics! Instead of avoiding the puddles, we aimed straight for them, sending waves of water from the tires but never slowing the Summit down. Too much fun! After experiencing the Summit VXL’s single-battery performance, we charged a second Series 1 battery (#2925) and Traxxas “speed connector” (#3063, both sold separately) to experience the truck’s full speed potential. The speed connector combines the voltage of the two 7.2 volt batteries to deliver 14.4 volts to the motor, easily boosting speed past 40mph. It is quite a ride! There is enough instant power on tap to let the Summit do a standing backflip, and the truck is stable all the way to top speed. The Summit’s high velocity allows it to cover a lot of ground in a short time, but the TQ 2.4GHz radio system had no trouble maintaining glitch-free control even at long distances.

e has c r pu To the XL, it V . m re Sum ck he cli

The Summit VXL’s transmission features heavy-duty gears and a metal input gear for brushless-ready strength. Steel ring and pinion gears are also standard, and the differentials are silicone-filled!

SPECS Length: 12.6” (320mm) Width: 10.63” (270mm) Weight: 44oz (1.24kg) Height (overall): 7.48” (190mm) Wheelbase: 8.425” (214mm) When shown by itself, it’s easy to mistake the 1/16 Wheel Diameter: 2.2” (56mm) Summit for the 1/10 scale model; this side-by-side shot Motor: Velineon® 380 Brushless shows their relative sizes. Speed Control: Velineon VXL-3m Low Voltage Detection: Yes Radio System: TQ™ 2.4GHz High Output with Traxxas Link™ Top Speed: 25+mph (40+mph with dual batteries)* Included Batteries: 6-cell NiMh with Charger Required Batteries: 4 “AA” (transmitter) Small Truck, Big Performance The 1/16 Summit is a fun truck! Although considered part of the “mini” class, it is still a substantial size at over a foot long, so it can handle rough terrain that most other “minis” cannot. And it is a good value too; for under $350, you get a brushless-powered 4WD truck with full ball bearings, a fully-adjustable 2.4GHz radio system, waterproof electronics, and a NiMH battery with charger. When Traxxas says the Summit VXL is “Ready-To-Race,” they mean it!

Extra-strong driveshafts with dual CV-style joints are new for Summit VXL and make sure brushless horsepower is transferred to the wheels efficiently.

Meet the Team



Associate Vice President of Marketing, social media fanatic and lifelong advocate of Apple branded products…and yes, even the AppleTV.

Advertising and Social Media Manager, part-time journalist for Hobby Outlook® and Ticket to Ride Europe Champion. In no particular order.



Resident graphic designer extraordinaire, jokester and connoisseur of life. Likes working hard and having fun. And not in that order.

Marketing Coordinator with a passion for clever copy, good design and collecting cubicle toys. Current activities include learning the ropes and avoiding the term “n00b”.

Letter from the Editor Dear Readers, It is hard to believe another holiday season is upon us, yet here we are on the brink of 2011. HobbyTown Nation has been rapidly gearing up for a fast-paced holiday, and wrapping up to stay warm in the blustery weather of Lincoln, Nebraska! We have a jam-packed issue for you this quarter with articles showcasing great outside resources. Franchisees have pitched in with reviews on product; we have how-to articles from Big Squid RC, club members, Traxxas, and a highlight of last year’s Hobbyist of the Year winner. Not only do we have articles with these key industry players, we also have staff selections of some low-cost holiday stocking stuffer ideas. As you are browsing through this issue, don’t forget to check the links on articles for more information on products and to see more information on specific manufacturers. This is an interactive e-zine so look for the links along the way! Be sure to check out our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide and enter our 2010 Hobbyist of the Year contest too. We wish you a very happy holiday season and are eager to see your warm faces in our stores. From hobbyist to hobbyist, cheers! Mollie Cox

TABLE OF CONTENTS Regulars 8 9 11 12-13 14-15

Meet the Team Letter from the Editor Hobbies on the Screen Reader Write-in Store Locator


4-7 Summit VXL Brushless Review 16-17 HTUniversity: Rocket Science 18 Bachmann Empire Builder HO Starter Set Review by Collin Perkins

22-23 24-25 30-31 40-41

The Gaming Corner: Munchkin The Gaming Corner: Quelf HTUniversity: Mind Blowing Science Editor’s Pick: T-28 Trojan

Review by HobbyTown USA® store owner, Craig Trachten


20-21 Lincoln Area Model Railroad Club & Museum Interview with Collin Perkins 28-29 College Station Opens its Doors Interview with Store Owner Tim Foster 32-33 Hobbyist of the Year Interview with Hooded Danger October Sky

Exclusives 26


Tips & Tricks Learn how to paint a P-51 Mustang


Bashing on the Go Big Squid RC shares ramp building secrets

35 42-43

2010 National Model Contest Winners Painting Tips How to apply a good basecoat



Stocking Stuffers HobbyTown USA® gifts for under $10.00


Build Your Own Ramp with Big Squid RC

A film staring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. Plot Summary:

Set in a West Virginia coal town in the 1950’s, Homer Hickam is inspired by the Sputnik launch to learn how to build rockets. This, however, is much against the will of his father and the town. This movie is as much about relationships with friends and family, as it is about learning the craft (and science) of rocketry. It is also based off a true story and an adaptation of the book, “Rocket Boys,” by Homer H. Hickam Jr. With great acting and tons of awesome rocket scenes we give this film: View trailer here

Reader Write-in We asked members of Hobzob (a social networking site for hobby enthusiasts) to share the stories about how they got started in their hobby, why they love it and how they share their love with other people. Here are some of the stories that we were fortunate to get to read. To learn more about Hobzob go to: In the future, these pages will be dedicated to stories our readers would like to share with us and comments we receive from our readers. We’d love to hear what you think about hobbies or Hobby Outlook, so send your comments to: I love RC because of the thrill of operating scale models at the fraction of the cost to the full size vehicle or airplanes. It is definitely challenging and a lot of fun. I started out in hobby building and flying control line airplanes and have progressed to using a radio system instead of control line. I enjoy taking my kids and grandkids along with me to operate my RC boats and planes and I have fun operating while they have fun watching. I know that one day they will all be into RC too! – Rishot

I began playing electric football during my childhood. I remember with fondness the first time I ever laid eyes on one of those magical Tudor toy sets. I was ten years old and it was early afternoon on Christmas Eve. My family was gathered at my uncle’s house and my cousin

Jason asked if I wanted to, “see his Bronco’s team and his football field.” As he opened a box full of figures and started to pull out the twenty-two painted NFL players. I grew more and more excited. I couldn’t put it into words then, but I know now how to formulate what my tiny brain was trying to say, “Where have you been all my life?!!”. I remember setting up the two teams and playing what basically amounted to, ‘touchtackle bully-ball.’ We had no idea how to play or even what the point was, we were just too young to be able to focus without an older and wiser participant. We just liked to set them up and turn on the board until something ‘interesting’ happened. I bought my own Tudor Super Bowl set several years later after

saving up money from doing yard work in the neighborhood. I remember sending away for the small plastic painted teams using money orders purchased from the local convenience store. Enduring the obligatory 6-8 weeks until that small cardboard box would arrive with my precious cargo was excruciating. I would eagerly rip open the package to reveal the small painted plastic figures that would soon transfix and delight my senses. Like many other coaches, I soon replaced my time commitment to the hobby with girls, cars, grades and team sports. The teenage years took their toll on the level of my miniature football interest. It wasn’t until several years ago that I became re-interested in the hobby when I returned home for a Thanksgiving holiday. I still receive mail at my parent’s house on occasion, the odd credit card offer or a mailer asking me to contribute money; it’s never anything important - just junk mail. But this time, at the bottom of the stack I noticed a newsletter addressed to me from Miggle Toys. I couldn’t believe it, after all these years, they were able to find that old Tudor mailing list with my name on it. How incredible that the same excited ten year old buried deep inside of me was able to be resurrected by a simple newsletter! It brought back memories that I didn’t even know I had. Miniature Football is a wonderful pastime that I want to share. We all

need to summon those excited ten year old spirits that reside in all of us. Miniature Football is a special game that I would like others to see and experience. It is an incredible game that deserves to be remembered, played and promoted to help my beloved game reach new heights. – Roller It all seems to have begun last year. I purchased a 1/8 scale rock crawler off the internet; then begun to crawl everything inside the house, then the yard, the neighborhood, eventually every place in town that had some decent terrain. I soon began looking into different bodies and accessories, but where I live there are no competitions. I did introduce crawling to my cousin’s two sons-one has an “ax10 scorpion”, the other has a 1/10 scale “exceed.” After changing my body to a Dodge 4-door pickup, I added headlights, fog lights, and tail lights. My cousin’s kids placed lights in theirs also. I also mounted an mp3 player and a small re-chargeable speaker to mine. It’s so cool. I ran across a few neighbors who also have crawlers and once in awhile we all crawl together. Just wish there were more contests in West Virginia. Rock -n- Roll Crawler. – wvtubby


*as of August 2010


h A

Rocketry 210:

Rocket Science; The Fundamentals From Build to Launch. By: Katlynn Dutkiewicz

Most things in life are not rocket science. Model rocketry, however, is literally rocket science. On a bright, sunny, 75 degree day here in Lincoln, NE, we decided to build the Quick-Q Quick Kit Rocket from Quest Aerospace. Building the rocket gave us the opportunity to learn the science behind model rockets. While the science of model rockets can be very in-depth, the basics can be equally educational. Do not let the term “rocket science” intimidate you. The Quest Quick Kits are designed specifically for someone with no previous rocket building experience. While most rocket kits usually have a Skill Level associated with them, a Quick Kit can be assembled by virtually anyone. The Quick Kits are a Skill Level “0” and can be assembled in less than one hour of your time. We used Quest Aerospace’s website to learn what makes a rocket launch and return safely to the ground. For more resources check out their website: Putting together the rocket was easy because of the kit’s specific instructions.

The set even included self-adhesive stickers to add to the pre-painted body of the rocket – no painting is required with the Quest Quick Kit. This makes rocket construction a lot faster and cleaner. After assembling the rocket, we took it outside to an open field to ready it for launch. First, we inserted a motor into the rocket which contained a propellant. An igniter was placed in the bottom of the motor and we used an electrical charge to ignite the propellant. Thrust was created by escaping gases through the nozzle of the rocket as a result of the burning propellant. This sent the rocket soaring into the sky. Once the solid propellant had been burned, the delay grain in the motor began to burn, creating a trail of smoke that allowed us to track the rocket. When a rocket creates the trail of smoke, the rocket is coasting. After the delay grain was burnt, the ejection charge ignited and hot gases built in the tube of the rocket. Due to the buildup of hot gases, the pressure inside the rocket became too high and the nose of the rocket was pushed off,

releasing the parachute. Once the parachute was out, the rocket was able to safely float down to the field. In order to increase the height of the rocket, start by buying a different type of motor. All motors have a letter-number code. For example, if you buy a motor with the code A6-4, the A stands for the lowest thrust power, the 6 or next number stands for how fast the rocket will go (a higher number means a faster rocket), the 4 or second number tells you how long the delay phase of the rocket will last. The Quick-Q Quick Kit from Quest Aerospace is a great kit for beginning rocketry and demonstrates how rocket science really works. It is a good kit for any level of experience in model rocketry. Model rockets also make a great science fair project or a fun weekend outing. Next time you build your own, you’ll truly be a rocket scientist. Be sure to check out all five of Quest’s Quick Kits at your HobbyTown USA® retailer. More on Quest rockets go to:

above: assembling the rocket required a few extra materials. below: blast off.

All About the Bachmann Colin Perkins, member of the Lincoln Area Model Railroad Club & Museum, reviews the Bachmann Empire Builder HO starter set. By: Colin Perkins

If you are thinking about getting started with model trains, the Bachmann Empire Builder Starter set is for you. The set can be ready to run in under five minutes, and will provide you with many years of fun. Included in the box are a transformer and controller, a loop of EZ track, two GN passenger cars, and two locomotives: a powered F7-A & F7-B. The first thing to catch your eye with this set is the paint scheme. Bachmann did a beautiful job painting the engine— all of the words/logos are very clear and readable. You could not ask for a better paint job. The cars and engines are equipped with E-Z mate couplers, which when used with this set alone, should not be a problem. When more cars are hooked up however, this may pose a problem because some of the cars might become disconnected—you may

wish to replace the couplers with more reliable ones sometime down the road. Both locomotives are very reliable. They easily pull the two train cars and could easily pull a full passenger train if you choose to add on to your set. They run smooth at full speed and at a crawl—which can be hard to find with some engines. The headlight of the lead engine is also plenty bright, which makes running it in the dark a blast. The track that comes with the set is very easy to put together and can be fully assembled in just a few minutes. You simply connect it to your track, plug it in and you are good to go. All needed wires are included with this set. There are also output terminals to power any accessories later on if you choose to buy some. This kit is a great holiday gift for anyone looking for a starter set. For a more detailed video reveiw of the set, please visit: For more information about the Empire Builder, visit:

Click here to visit the club’s website!

Interview with the Lincoln Area Model Railroad Club & Museum How did you get involved with the Lincoln Area Model Railroad Club & Museum at such a young age? Colin Perkins: I always went to the Nebraska State Fair – at one time the club’s model railroad museum & layouts where located in the Industrial Arts Building up on the balcony. I would spend hours around the trains and at some point, two of the Nscalers invited me inside the layout.  I was probably around 8 at the time.  I was around 10 or 11 when I officially joined the club.  I was younger than

the minimum age requirement (according to the by-laws) but they made an exception. What is the purpose of the Lincoln Area Model Railroad Club & Museum? The primary purpose of the club is to educate the general public about railroading & model railroading.  We are here to get kids involved, but also anyone who is interested in trains.  We are also getting more into restoring historical railroad equipment, such as our newly acquired  BN caboose & Roca Depot. 

Does the club participate in model train shows and exhibitions? Every February, we sponsor a model train show (open to the public) at the Lancaster Event Center.  We have model train layouts on display, dealers selling trains, door prizes, a silent auction, and a few clinics and workshops that focus on model railroad teaching techniques (wiring, scenic tips, etc.). This year, we may allow people in our caboose and depot during the show.  The 2011 show is being held on February 19th & 20th. The show runs from 9am-5pm on Saturday & 10am-4pm on Sunday.  The club also attends a variety of shows statewide.  Last September, we attended Railfest in North Platte, NE., and this year will be taking two of our layouts up to the Omaha Qwest Center for the World’s  Greatest Hobby on Tour Jan. 15th-16th.  Once we get going in our  main building (Lancaster Event Center), we will  have about four or five main train layouts and lots of museum items on display. At some point, we will be open to the public.   What do you enjoy the most about being in the club? What I like most about being in the club is attending the different shows and the road trips.  Attending the shows mean being able to talk with people who share the same interests as you, learning new tips and listening to other’s experiences. It is a great  thing.   To

me, one of the biggest enjoyments of the hobby is getting to show-off your trains - I like the look on the kid’s faces. When you’re operating a train and you see a kid running alongside it with that special “train look” and then you blow the whistle, it is priceless. That’s one of the biggest joys of the hobby for me.  And, of course, I love operating them for myself. How does the club benefit the community? Right now, we provide industry knowledge and  help  support local hobby shops. In the future, the club will have a full museum complete with layouts and historic railroad items open to the public. When does the club meet? The Club meets the first Tuesday of the month at the Lancaster Event Center (Pavillion 3, Room 3) at 7:30 pm.   To search for a model railroad club in your area, click here: Model Railroad Clubs

This issue:

MUNCHKIN By: Katlynn Dutkiewicz,

“Oh give me a home where the Jackalopes roam and the Dudes and the Buckaroos play, I’ll slay and I’ll loot, give the monsters the boot, and the dice are not loaded, no way.” We picked another game from our stack of un-played games in our office and this time we chose to play “The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin” by Steve Jackson Games. “Go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run.

?Munchkin is the mega-hit card game about dungeon adventure . . . with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items.” For those of you who don’t know what Munchkins are, in the roleplaying world they are treasure hoarders who are not necessarily interested in roleplaying. Munchkins is a fun twist on roleplaying games where the whole point it to cheat, backstab and steal to win the game. Once you get the hang of it, you will be addicted.

VERDICT /////////// Clarity of Instructions

Game Play



The instructions were very involved, but became more clear once the game began. The cards in the deck also helped clarify the more general instructions.

Munchkins is easy to set up. Open the cards, shuffle, place on table and play. Remember to bring your own gadgets to represent your level or be prepared to write it down.

It is difficult for beginners who are not familiar with role playing games, but it is easy to catch on to. Game play will be slow to start for beginners as well, but picks up as player understanding increases.

If you are a roleplaying fan, the strategy might be easier than you’re used to, but it does not leave you bored by any means. If you are new to roleplaying games, you will find there are plenty of opportunities to create strategy.

Lauren’s Strategy

As an inexperienced gamer, my Munchkin strategy was based mostly on luck. I tried to use my hand while thinking about the advantages– “what can I get with these cards” and “who does it benefit”. I read my cards over and over again making sure I had enough points to withstand a monster and focused mainly on leveling up. I also kept everyone else’s levels and cards in mind – if someone had a higher class than me, I was more hesitant to help them without making a generous trade-off first. I made sure to accumulate lots of treasure and never once had to ask for help. In the end, however, I was duped and made a trade that cost me the game.

Jim’s Strategy

This was the first time I played the wild west themed “The Good, The Bad & The Munchkin”, but it had all the familiarity of other Munchkin titles I have played, so I did my best teaching the others rules and strategies - namely grab as much treasure as you can while stabbing your buddies in the back. It is always fun to see people playing a new game and begin to pick up on the concepts quickly, which these games make it easy to do. When they started to dog pile me during the game, it really made me proud! Of course, that just meant I really had do my best to win the game. (Insert maniacal Munchkin laughter here.)

Find the game here Check out the Munchkin site here

RESULTS Katlynn: Level 7 Andrew: Level 6 Lauren: Level 9 Jim: Level 10 Game Time: 1 hour


The game is fun to play, especially as players become more sneaky and conscious of what their cards can do. There are plenty of opportunities for bartering, stealing and escalating the adventure.

By: Katlynn Dutkiewicz,

“What the Quelf?” This is the question the official Quelf website begs and it could not be more accurate. Quelf is the ridiculously crazy board game that will have everyone laughing in stitches on the floor. The game is simple: pick a character, roll the dice, draw a card that corresponds to the color square you landed on then “obey the card.” Five types of cards make up the game: Scattegories, Roolz, Stuntz, Quizzle and Showbiz. It is anyone’s guess as to how the game will progress from there. You have to obey the card or pay

the penalty. If you do not have a good sense of humor or prefer to maintain a wall-flower status at parties, this game is not for you. Quelf is not only fun, it is educational—those quizzle questions are tricky brainteasers, but no less hilarious. Did you know that chickens do not have lips, but if they did they would most certainly smack them? Neither did I. We also have a list of things you would not make a vegetarian for dinner—in case you are ever in need. We recommend for Quelf for all holiday parties.

VERDICT /////////// Clarity of Instructions The instructions are short, simple and sweet.

Game Play This game will be a lot of fun if you have an outgoing group, but if you play with people who are not keen on being laughed at, the point of the game might be lost.

Set-Up Unfold the board, pick a character, sort the cards, start playing. Game on.

Strategy No strategy is required.

Mollie’s Analysis:

ROOLZ! When any player draws a roolz card the game takes a turn from fun to crazy-fun. In our four-person game we had so many new rules happening simultaneously the room was filled with hysterical laughter! People were doing sign language, humming songs, wearing make-shift scuba gear, toasting cheers, abracadabraing, and on and on. Quelf is hands-down awesome due to this one element alone.

Lauren’s Analysis:

Making my Quelf debut as the freakishly large forearmed “Biscuit Farmer”, I drew cards that made me perform a Shakespearean love sonnet on one knee for my boss, refer to myself in the third person and avoid bending any/all joints. Overall, the game left me humiliated and inspired.

Katlynn’s Analysis:

I have never had more fun making a complete fool out of myself! Quelf provided quality bonding time for me and my coworkers and it taught me that I have an entire skill set that I leave largely untapped on a day-to-day basis. Not only did I actually have the opportunity to briefly work-out during the game, my abs got the best workout from all the laughing I did.

Andrew’s Analysis:

I really enjoyed playing as “Queen Spatula”. I also really enjoyed making my own scuba gear out of kitchen appliances, sniffing Katlynn’s shoe and yelling Abracadabra everytime someone drew a card. The game was fun, sort of embarrassing and something I’d recommend for any party or holiday get together. Overall Quelf is by far the most awesome game we have played in a long time. Most of us ended up holding our sides and crying we were laughing so hard (except for Lauren, who could not bend her limbs).

RESULTS Mollie wins!

Find the game here Play Quelf online here

Learning to paint a P-51 Mustang

Keep in mind By: Katlynn Dutkiewicz,

In the last issue, I gave you some tips to think about as you began to build your kit. This time, I have created a list of things to think about while you are painting and finishing your model. The painting process was much different than I had anticipated. First off, it was not a breezy project that I could complete in an hour or two. It took me a good part of my afternoon. The good news: paint dries quickly. The bad news: I was unprepared for the painting and decal process. In the end, I was able to create a list to help you prepare as you begin to paint your own model. The painting process was fun overall. However, my improvised decal technique left me frustrated. Frustrations aside, I’m proud of the finished product. If you are a beginning modeler, take some of my suggestions and the process will be much more fun. Now go out and build.

1. Thoroughly examine your model to determine the sizes of paint brushes you will need and all the colors of the paint. Buy all the paintbrushes you need in order to get the small and large spots covered. 2. If you don’t know what type of paint to buy, ask. Some paints are thin and require many coats, others are thick. You want the best kind for your skill level. 3. Familiarize yourself with the paint key and decal key. This will save you the trouble of accidentally painting something the wrong color or cutting through a decal. 4. When you get to the decals, make sure you have a cup of warm water to loosen the decals, a pair of tweezers to help place the decal and a damp paper towel to soak up extra water after the decal has been placed. 5. Watch a YouTube video or two about how to apply decals (I made up the technique and I ended up tearing/ ruining a few of mine) - it will save you some trouble.

Take me to the site

Click here to visit us online!

College Station Opens its Doors This store profile focuses on our College Station, Texas location. Store owners Tim and Judy Foster recently joined the HobbyTown USA ® family and are enjoying their time as store owners. HTU: How did you first get into hobbies? Tim Foster: Like most people, I had several hobbies as a kid. I was always partial to trains, but we never had much room to do a nice layout. Lionel O gauge trains are my main hobby now and as a family, Judy and I like to play games with the kids. We love all kinds of board and strategy games. Judy and I also like playing games

with our friends. You can’t have gone to college in College Station without becoming a dominos fan. Forty Two rules the campus here. Many other games are taking off on campus now too. What made you choose HTU? The people in the HobbyTown USA® family. We researched franchises for two years before we took the plunge.

What is it like opening up your own hobby store? The feelings are all over the place. It is exciting, scary and frustrating all at the same time. It was very exciting looking for a space and getting all the product samples to learn more about what was going in our store. . It was frustrating waiting for everything to get done. Right now, we have Facebook and Twitter. We post lots of things about product and store updates. So far we have about 100 followers. Slowly and surely we are getting the word out there What do you feel is the most rewarding part of being in our industry? Being able to bring a little joy into folk’s life. They come into the store not because they need to, but usually because they want to. Helping individuals find the right item for their current hobby or introducing them to

a new hobby is fun. We like fun! Do you have any types of activities planned for the store and if so, what would they be? We hope to have some family game nights, make and take model builds, model contests and lots of other activities as we grow and find out what the community wants. Anything else you would like to add? We might be small now, but we plan on growing. We may not have everything everyone is looking for right at first, but if you let us know what you want, we will get it for you. If there is a particular item you wish us to carry, please suggest it. If there are activities you are interested- let us know. We can’t promise we can do everything requested of us at once, but we will listen and as we are able, we will add the items the folks in the community want.

Chemistry 115:

Mind Blowing Science; Bases and Acids. By: Lauren Larsen

The Mind Blowing Science set focuses on a few rudimentary scientific fundamentals: acids vs. bases and DIY volcanoes. With limited scientific knowledge (aka journalism degrees), the HobbyTown USAÂŽ marketing team hunkered down for an afternoon of experimenting, making messes and acid-base indicators. An acid is anything that has a pH level lower than 7.0. Acids generally taste sour, react strongly with metals and have the ability to burn or harm your skin. In comparison, a base is anything that has a pH level of 7.0 or higher. Typically, bases taste bitter, feel slippery and, like acids, can be harmful to your skin. Check the pH level diagram on the next page to see where other household substances fall on the scale. Due to their hazardous nature, taste testing is not always an option when determining whether a substance is an acid or a base. Luckily, there is an alternative way to differentiate

between the two. Acid-base indicators are used to measure the degree of acidity or basicity of a solution. The Mind Blowing Science kit provides red cabbage juice as its acid base indicator. The acidbase indicator is added to the acid and to the base. Depending on the pH level, the color change will indicate whether the liquid is an acid or a base. If the color changes to blue or green, the liquid is a base. If it turns pink or red, the liquid is an acid. If the color remains the same, the liquid is neutral – meaning it is neither an acid nor a base. When an acid and a base are combined, they create a chemical reaction - any reaction caused by mixing two chemicals together that result in a new chemical. If the two are mixed together in water, they neutralize each other and form a gas called carbon dioxide - the same gas we breathe out when we exhale. The bubbling and fizzing are caused by the

carbon dioxide gas escaping from the liquid. The creation of a DIY volcanic eruption is based on the simple science of an acid vs. a base – the two are mixing together, reacting and resulting in a “volcanic” eruption. The Mind Blowing Science kit is a great introductory level science set for young children. The experiments themselves (12 total) are colorful and very hands on. The instructions are easy to understand and provide lots of scientific backing – “mind blowing secrets” that provide definitions for “beginner level” science terms. It is a great kit for anyone who has kids that like to ask “why” and are interested in learning more about science. The team gives it two thumbs up and highly recommends the “magic ooze” activity. Check out Mind Blowing Science here. Check out more of our educational science kits here.

1 Lemon Juice

Acids 3

Tomato Juice 5 Neutral

7 9




Toothpaste Ammonia

13 pH level chart

By: Katlynn Dutkiewicz,

Hobbyist of the Year (HOTY) is an annual contest sponsored by HobbyTown USA®. Prizes include a $250 gift card to HobbyTown USA® and, of course, bragging rights for a year. Last year’s winner was Mike Swanagan aka “Hooded Danger.” We had the chance to catch up with Hooded Danger and get the dirt on what it is like to win Hobbyist of the Year. We wanted to know a little bit more about the mystery man and what he did to be crowned king. With a name like “Hooded Danger” I was not sure what to expect from the interview. I was blown away by how nice and humble our winner was. How did you find out about the HOTY contest? On Hobzob. Why did you decide to enter? All the stuff I had going on at the time: I was running my own club, websites and team. I thought I had a good chance of winning, but I didn’t think I actually would, so I was shocked when I found out I won. I wasn’t in it for the gift card; I just wanted the recognition for my stuff.

How did you feel when you found out you won HOTY? I was excited. I thought it was pretty cool that they had chosen my story because I had filled out the form so late, so I felt like I rambled and hadn’t really read through it very much to make sure it sounded good enough. What did you do with the gift certificate? I bought a rock-crawler that I ended up giving to one of my friends’ little boy.

What was the best part about winning the contest? The recognition of being the HOTY. It was something to show off for all the effort I had put into my hobby almost 24/7 for 7 or 8 months. What hobby won you HOTY? R/C (off-road). I spend most of my time playing with the 1/5 scale stuff like the Baja’s. You had a lot of people actually write in to “vote” for you as HOTY. What’s it like to be like a “celebrity” in the RC community? I get a lot of recognition at the track because I put a lot of effort into it. When people join my club, I try to spend one-on-one time with them so they feel like they’re included in a family. I just got another Baja SS Buggy, so now that I have some free time, I’ll get back into it a lot more.

Anything else you want to add? I want to thank everyone who helped give me the initiative to do the things I was doing that helped me win—the things I was doing, were for everybody else. Thanks to everyone who was a part of making me HOTY. You can be the next Hobbyist of the Year winner by following the link below. Go to the contest site and enter your story for a chance to win. Also, be sure to check out Hooded Danger’s Team Insane site!

To enter the 2010 Hobbyist of the Year contest, click here. To check out Hooded Danger ’s site, click here.

Congrats to our 2010 Winners!

Best in Show: Jeff Corder Model: The boat is a 1/16 scale, fully scratch built Drag Boat

Best Junior: Brandon Kitazuno Model: Tamiya 1/12 Honda CBR 1100XX Super Black Bird Motorcycle

Best Paint Matt Quiroz Model: Polar Lights HO “Bates Psycho Hotel”

Best Osprey: Nathan Weter Model: Diorama 1:35 Dragon Kit


online at:

While we all love to do a little bashing in our own backyards or the street, sometimes you just want to bash somewhere else. This article will cover how to make bashing possible anywhere, anytime, with instructions on how to build a portable and adjustable ramp courtesy of everyone at Big Squid RC. We had a few goals in mind for our ramp - something portable, adjustable and cheap. When you are building your ramp, feel free to change any of the measurements as needed. We built ours to fit in a small truck between the wheel wells and lay down flat so we can pile RC trucks and tool boxes on top. If you are looking to keep it in a trunk or smaller place, make sure to measure the widths and lengths so you know what you are working with. Laying flat, folded down, our ramp was about 7 inches tall. It is 4 foot long and 3 foot 6 inches wide. When it is set up at its lowest height, it is 21 inches tall. At full height, the ramp is 26 inches tall.

The final product

Shopping List 2”x4”x8’ Wall Stud (4 count)

3” Square Corner Door Hinges (4 count)

½” 2’x4’ Plywood

¼” 4’x4’ Hardboard (Flexible Board)

5-3/4” Garage Pull Utility Handle (optional)

*note: you are going to be using some power tools, so get your parents to help you out if needed. We used an electric saw to make all of our cuts - be careful.

2” and 3” Wood Screws (about 30 total)

Total ~ ~ $30 (with handle)

STEP 1 Cut the 4x4 sheet to the width you want the full ramp to be. In our case that is 42”. We left the length at the full 48”. Then, cut your plywood sheet to the same width. We cut 10 inches off the length so we had a 42”x14” piece. This will be attached to the back of the lower part of the hardboard to give it some support where the trucks hit hardest. (figure 1)


For the 2x4 base, we cut two 45” pieces. We miter cut two of the ends at 45 degrees to help the base ramp lay correctly. Then we cut five more 2x4 pieces to 42” each for the frame. We also cut two 21” pieces for our legs, two 9” pieces for our first position stops and one 35” piece for the ramp support.


We attached one 42” piece 9 inches from the front (the miter cuts point to the front) and one of them at the very back for support. You can see this in figure 2. We placed one of the 42” pieces on top in the front because we needed to hinge these two pieces together. Take your hinges, place them about 5 inches in from each side and attach them to the 42” piece with the other end facing forward. Then attach those two hinges to the second 42” piece so they close nicely with the hinge pin facing the front. (figure 3)

(figure 1)

¼” 4’x4’ Hardboard (Flexible Board)

½” 2’x4’ Plywood

(figure 2)


45” base board (figure 3)


9” plywood (figure 4)


(figure 5)

Attach the 9” pieces to the base at the front, just behind the 42” cross brace. STEP (fig 5 3). Now, the base is complete Attach the plywood piece to the hinged board. You will want it about 5 inches from the front (fig 4).STEP 6


21” (figure 6)

Attach a hinge to each end of the remaining 42” piece and then to the other end to each 21” leg. Attach the 35” piece between the two legs. You can use longer screws, or drill them in at an angle to reach (fig 5).


Lay the top of the ramp onto the base. The top back 42” cross braces should be about two inches down from the bottom brace. Then screw down the ramp to the 42” hinged piece in the center and the plywood (fig 7). Flip it over and attach the optional handle to the bottom cross brace for easier carrying. You are done! Go bash! It may look like it takes a lot of steps, but it is a fast way to make a portable ramp. The ramp will work well with all kinds of vehicles. We we recommend using 1/4” hardboard to keep it weighted down. If you want to make your ramp thicker to handle more abuse, just keep in mind that it will weigh a lot more.

(figure 7)

(Flexible Board)

To learn more about Big Squid RC, check out their webstie:

editor’s pick

By: Craig Trachten, Owner - HobbyTown Brookfield, CT

There was an old TV commercial that stated “We don’t make it, we make it better.” Horizon Hobby makes it and makes it better - then they make it smaller. With the introduction of their latest Ultra Micro, the T-28 Trojan, Parkzone added another winner to their air force. It is a pint sized version of their very popular full size T-28 park flyer.

The Trojan is available as RTF (ready to fly) - everything necessary to get it into the air is included. The transmitter is typical of all of Parkzone’s micros. A BNF (bind and fly) version is available for those who already have a Specktrum or JR transmitter. Everything except a transmitter is included in the BNF version. Of course, they are on 2.4. Horizon thought of everything-right down to explaining replacement procedure and repair. The T-28 (as well as all the Ultra Micros) comes packed conveniently in a transport case. Everything is neatly placed and the aircraft sits in a very protective cradle. It is designed for travel so it can safely sit in the back seat of your car - in case you pass an empty field and have a few minutes to kill. An indoor flying area is most desirable - especially in locations where there is a limited flying season.

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However, this 4-channel Micro can hold its own flying outside. It is 13.5 inches long with a wingspan of 16.8 inches and a flying weight of 1.3 ounces. When flying the Micro on a grass field, hand-launching is the only way to get it airborne. I advanced to half throttle and just gave a little forward toss. You can almost just let go and she will fly. If flying off a paved surface, the T-28 will have no problem with roll-out, rotation and lift off. In either case, make sure you flair on landings as the prop is rather large and might hit the ground/grass. Flying the T-28 park flyer is macro fun from a Micro aircraft. Flying scale trainer maneuvers - loops and rolls are not a problem. After that, fly her any way you want. She will do anything her big sister can do. The supplied 120 mAh single cell Lipo will give you approximately 7 to 7-1/2 minutes flying time. The 150 mAh

E-flite battery will give you a bit more air time. With each new release, we always say, “Wow” and “How will Horizon Hobby beat this?” Well, for as many times as we have said that, they always seem to do it. Moral of the story; say nothing and just wait for the next one. Have fun, fly safe. More on the BNF T-28 More on the RTF T-28

Painting Tips: 1/10 200mm sedan Nemesis (part two) By: Katlynn Dutkiewicz,

Most hard core racers can spend hours wrenching on their car prepping for a big race. But the package would not be complete if you did not show up with a sweet body to match your sweet chassis. We asked Michael Dutkiewicz, a local racer (and my dad) to paint a body and document the process for all you racers out there. In the last issue, we taught you how to do a simple fade. This time, we have included the steps to create stripes. We bought a 1/10 200mm sedan Nemesis body and used Createx Auto air paint. Here are the steps we used: 1. Locate your post holes, use an X-Acto hobby knife or reamer to make a mark for the post on the outside of your body. Make sure you leave the plastic protector on the body for now. Clean the inside of your body with rubbing alcohol. 2. To make stripes on the side of the car, use 1/16’’ tape to set the angle and endpoints of stripes on the outside of the body. 3. On the inside of the body, use 1/4’’ and 1/16’’ tape to alternate the size of the stripes. Use the outside tape as your guide. 4. Put your window mask on all of your windows. Using your X-acto hobby knife and light pressure, trim excess tape away by tracing the

5. Remove the plastic protector from the rear wing only; this is what will get painted. Mask off the inside of your rear wing. 6. Begin to apply your first color in light coats, making sure to heat set each coat before applying the next. I applied eight coats of Candy Magenta. The more coats you add, the darker the color becomes. Spray the magenta lightly toward the center of the car to create fading effect. 7. Apply the sparkle white the same way you applied the magenta coat. After both colors are applied, you will need to back each color. Spray the sparkly white section with white matte paint. Spray the magenta section with silver, then coat the entire inside with white. 8. Begin to remove the 1/4’’ tape. Note: if your 1/4’’ and 1/16’’ tape get stuck together, use your exacto knife and lightly score the two tapes apart. Spray the area where the 1/4’’ tape was first with black metallic paint, then silver, then white to finish it.

9.. Remove the 1/16’’ tape and spray with black. When finished with all coats, spray with a coat of clear acrylic (rattle can) on the inside of the body and let dry. Trim your body, round holes and remove window tape.

By: Katlynn Dutkiewicz,

Stocking stuffers are one of the best parts of the holiday season. The perfect formula for a well stuffed stocking is as follows: 1 strange item your dad thinks is cool + 1 trinket your mom believes is a necessity + 1 relatively inexpensive toy that is impossible to wrap. Andrew, Lauren and I went in search of our favorite stocking stuffers under $10. They are made for mischief, fantastic for fun and creatively crafty-not to mention inexpensive.

Lauren’s Picks

HexBug Nano For under $10, you can own your own robot. The HexBug Nano is a tiny (slightly larger than a quarter) battery operated bug that is able to explore, navigate and flip over on its own. The Nano behaves just like a real bug and is the tiniest member of the HexBug family.

Silly Bandz According to a BBC article, Silly Bandz are “small, rubber and hoping to conquer the world”. Actually, Silly Bandz are just colorful shaped rubber bands that kids wear, trade and collect. Any 8-year-old will be able to tell you all about them.

Science Tubes These cost effective “science in a tube” kits are the perfect educational stocking stuffer. The educational aspect focuses on the “cooler” and more trendy aspects of science: Spy Master, Forensic Science, etc. They also fit very nicely in stockings due to their narrow shape.

Katlynn’s Picks

Puzzle Balls by Ravensburger They are puzzles that are constructed to form a sphere. How cool is that?! They are small, but the end result is something fun that you can hang or display.

HI-Bounce Water Balls Giant bouncy balls that look like the fortune telling balls in cartoons. The more you bounce the more they glitter, swirl and light up.

Shrinky Dinks Perfect for the little girls who like to color and make jewelry. You color the Shrinky Dinks (they even come in themed boxes), bake them and then attach the hardened and colorful version to your choice of accessory.

Andrew’s Picks

Hot Wheels I remember being a little kid, getting hot wheels in my stockings and spending the rest of the holiday racing around counters and other surfaces.

Travel Games If all the food and excitement from a long holiday day with family is not enough to keep the kids in the back seat quiet on the drive home, travel games will keep them focused out the window and not on each other.

Whoopee Cushion Another holiday classic and a favorite for little trouble-making kids like I was. One Whoopee Cushion in a cramped household of relatives is a recipe for hilarity. I am 23 and still think fart noises are funny...

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Hobby Outlook  

A HobbyTown USA® publication

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A HobbyTown USA® publication

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