Author Archives: Tim Gluth

Review: Team Associated RC28T

Review: Team Associated RC28T

As retro-styled, small-scale R/C vehicles go, there aren’t many to choose from. In fact, I’d say Team Associated has the market cornered with their two 1/28-scale models, the RC28T stadium truck and RC28 buggy. It’s this blend of old-school style and small-scale stature that forced me to add yet another R/C vehicle to my fleet.

While the RC28T stadium truck looks great, I’ve found the performance to not quite live up the hype that I’d built up around it. That said, it’s a fun radio-controlled truck, expertly designed for busting boredom and bringing R/C fun indoors.

Team Associated RC28T - Side

What’s Included:

  • 1 Team Associated RC28T Stadium Truck
  • 1 Trigger-style transmitter/controller
  • 1 Instruction manual
  • 1 Decal sheet

Unboxing the Team Associated RC28T Micro Stadium Truck:

The Body

The number one element that sold me on this truck was the body. After seeing the first product photos of this 1/28-scale truck, I was hooked. While I’ve never owned a 1/10-scale RC10T, the idea of having a miniature version of this iconic radio-controlled racer was too great to ignore.

When you strip away the decals and visual flair, there really isn’t much to the body that sits atop Team Associated’s established 1/28 chassis. That said the recreation of the 1990’s RC10T are what make this vehicle so appealing, not only when driving it, but when it’s charging on your shelf.

Team Associated RC28T - Rear Side

The Chassis, Wheels, and Tires

Typically, I’d cover these three items separately, however, this tiny truck ties those elements together in a way that’s hard to separate them. The chassis, while not much to look at, does a solid job when it comes to handling. Whether cornering or blasting over jumps, this little truck takes whatever you can throw at it…within reason.

The front wheels lack any active suspension, so you don’t want to drive the RC28T off a table too many times. That said, the impact resistance is very impressive, especially for a vehicle of this size. Active suspension can be found at the rear of the RC28T, thanks to dual, spring-equipped shocks. Although the setup may be minimal, it does a solid job of absorbing impacts.

The tires on the RC28T feature a knobby tread pattern, which makes them grip carpet incredibly well. Sharp turning often results in the vehicle flipping over rather than sliding, so if you have dreams of drifting in your living room, save those for another model.

Team Associated RC28T - Side Top

On smooth surfaces, this truck can slide and at times, struggles for traction. The rubber compound of the tires is around a “medium” level. The tires don’t feel tacky when you touch them, but they are able to be squeezed when pressure is applied. Honestly, I feel that they’re their just right for a vehicle of this size and weight.

The Motor

If I had one complaint about this truck, it would be the takeoff performance. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by other small-scale models, but I find the torque and initial power of the RC28T to be lacking. As I write this, I have to take a step back and state that the motor is a brushed, micro-sized power plant, so I am not expecting the same level of performance that you’d find with a Carisma GT24 series vehicle. That said, I feel that there could be increased “up-front performance” from this machine.

Team Associated RC28T Controller - Side

The Controller

Small-scale R/C car and truck controllers can be hit or miss, depending on what brand you purchase. There are some which provide you with a full-size controller that would be found on a 1/10-scale or larger model. Still, there are others that carry the small-scale theme through every aspect of the vehicle, including the controller.

Team Associated has bundled a controller with their RC28T that’s not too small, but not quite “full-size”. Although this controller is smaller than most, it feels nice when holding it, and driving it. There are instances where the fit and finish feel a bit low, however, the controller does a solid job of holding while mashing the throttle and working the steering wheel.

Team Associated RC28T - Front

Hitting the Road (or Carpet) with the RC28T

My first real test of the Team Associated RC28T came during a weekend getaway with my family. A two-day stay in a hotel seemed like a great time to test out this little truck, not only to see how it performed but also how it traveled.

My “R/C bag” was overkill when it came to transporting the tiny truck from our house to the hotel, further showcasing the small size of this machine. Shortly after we were checked-in, the RC28T was out of the bag and blasting across the floor of our room. The layout of the room featured tile and carpeting, so I was able to test out performance and handling on two very different surfaces.

Tile, as you might expect, was perfect for drifting, sliding, and simply “messing around”. When the tires did gain traction, it was best to keep the truck in a straight line, otherwise, things would get out of shape quickly.

The carpet of the hotel room floor was, as you might expect, well worn. There were a few visual imperfections (loose threads, gaps in fabric) which provided for some interesting obstacles to avoid, and the RC28T took them all on like a pro.

I, along with my test drivers, set up a small ramp and enjoyed jumping this truck over and over again, trying to get it to land on its wheels more than its lid. While not too technical in the approach, it did take some finesse behind the wheel to ensure things played out “just right”. A little bit of luck helped too.

Team Associated RC28T - Front Top

Charging Time

We ran the RC28T until the battery was empty, giving us an opportunity to re-charge and prepare for another round of fun. The charging time isn’t the best, however, you are charging this vehicle from the batteries in the controller. While I didn’t time the process, I’d estimate that it took 45 – 50 minutes for a complete charge.

Is the Team Associated RC28T the right small-scale R/C truck for you?

While the RC28T is a fun machine, I wouldn’t qualify it as a primary vehicle for your radio-controlled lineup. However, if you’re looking for a compact, fun, retro-styled machine to help you abolish boredom, this truck is well worth the price (under $50 at most online and local hobby shops).

Where to purchase the Team Associated RC28T Stadium Truck:


RC4WD Gelande II “Black Rock” 1/18 Scale Trail Rig

RC4WD Gelande II “Black Rock” 1/18 Scale Trail Rig

Small-scale trail fanatics now have more vehicle options to choose from than ever, thanks to the folks at RC4WD. Adding to their Gelande II line, three new models have been added, including a Jeep Wrangler clone, the Black Rock. This 1/18-scale trail machine utilizes the same under-the-body components as the original Gelande II but features a fresh, new body and bumper setup.

Working our way from the inside out, the RC4WD Gelande II “Black Rock” features a ladder-frame chassis design and four-link suspension setup, just like you’d find on larger (1/10 and up) R/C rock crawlers. A micro electric motor and 7.4V, 850mah 2S LiPo battery provide the power for this trail truck, while RC4WD Rock Crusher tires give it the grip needed to move over obstacles and tame the trail.

RC4WD Gelande II Black Rock - Chassis

On the visual side, this vehicle has a look that’s similar to that of the Jeep Wrangler, however, the body isn’t a licensed replica. Even without the official nameplates, Jeep fans should enjoy the attention to detail that has gone into the Black Rock body, including items such as windshield wipers, door handles, and side mirrors.

Clear headliight and fog light lenses add to the ultra-realistic vibe that this truck gives off. In all, it appears like a solid, ready-to-run package for fans of off-road trail driving.

RC4WD Gelande II “Black Rock” Specs:

  • Wheelbase: 130.71mm (5.15″)
  • Width: 108.19mm (4.26″)
  • Height: 110.57mm (4.35″)
  • Ground Clearance: 26.08mm (1.03″)
  • Final Drive Ratio: 112 : 1
  • Weight: 1.87lbs / 0.85kg
  • Transmission Total Gear Ratio: 5.5 : 1
  • Transmission Pinion Gear: 55P 10T
  • Transmission Gear Material: Hardened Brass and Steel
  • Transmission Case Material: Plastic Injection Molded
  • Axle Gear Ratio: 2.55 : 1
  • Axle Width at Hex : 92mm
  • Axle Case Material: Zinc Alloy

RC4WD Gelande II Black Rock - Rear

Priced at $229.99, the RC4WD Gelande II “Black Rock” is available for purchase online. Learn more about this model at

Image credit: RC4WD

Kyosho Mini-Z Buggy Chassis V2

Kyosho Mini-Z Buggy Chassis V2

If you want to experience the fun of building an R/C model, but enjoy small-scale vehicles, Kyosho has something for you. Their second-generation Mini-Z Buggy Chassis kit has been re-tuned and refined with new electronics and chassis components, increasing both the performance and the fun of this small-scale machine.

The highlights of this new kit include a Team Orion 8500kv brushless motor, a new ESC (which features improved throttle performance) and chassis enhancements such as a now-standard chassis under guard (MBW033). Personally, I’m thrilled to see another small-scale, brushless-powered vehicle hit the market.

Kyosho Mini-Z Buggy Chassis Set

If you haven’t-yet experienced brushless power in a small-scale, radio-controlled vehicle, you’re in for a treat.

Kyosho Mini-Z Buggy Kit V2 Specs:

  • Length: 163mm
  • Width: 105mm
  • Height: 46mm
  • Wheelbase: 115mm
  • Tread(F/R): 89mm/89mm
  • Tires(F/R): Sold Separately
  • Weight: 200g approx.
  • Motor: Team ORION 8500Kv XSPEED VE

The Kyosho Mini-Z V2 Buggy Kit is priced at $219.99 and is available online. Visit for complete details on this new model.

Image credit: Kyosho

RC4WD Gelande II “BlackJack” 1/18 R/C Crawler

RC4WD Gelande II “BlackJack” 1/18 R/C Crawler

RC4WD has added to their Gelande II line with the introduction of three new models. The first machine in the rollout is their Gelande II RTR “BlackJack”.  Featuring a body that’s reminiscent of an old-school Ford Bronco, this trail rig packs in plenty of scale detail, while staying true to its roots.

Based on an aluminum ladder-frame chassis, the Gelande II BlackJack features a four-link suspension design, internal-spring shocks, and Yota II cast front and rear axles. All of these internal components are the buildup to the showcase of this model, the body.

RC4WD Gelande II BlackJack - Rocks

Keeping in-line with the original Gelande II, the BlackJack brings massive amounts of scale details, despite the vehicle’s small size. Clear windows and a completely-detailed interior set this rig apart from other small-scale R/C crawlers and give fans of ultra-realistic trail trucks something to admire.

Chrome accent pieces set off the forest green color of the body while adding to the scale realism of this truck. While it’s not an officially licensed Ford body, it does carry strong Bronco DNA.

RC4WD Gelande II BlackJack

Bringing the overall look of this truck full-circle are the wheels. Stamped steel 1″ beadlock wheels (chrome finish) provide another glistening visual on this already impressive machine.

RC4WD Gelande II Specs:

  • Wheelbase: 130.71mm (5.15″)
  • Width: 108.19mm (4.26″)
  • Height: 112.36mm (4.42″)
  • Ground Clearance: 26.43mm (1.04″)=
  • Final Drive Ratio: 112 : 1
  • Weight: 1.87lbs / 0.85kg
  • Total Gear Ratio: 5.5 : 1
  • Pinion Gear: 55P 10T
  • Gear Material: Hardened Brass and Steel
  • Transmission Case Material: Plastic Injection Molded
  • Axle Gear Ratio: 2.55 : 1
  • Axle Width at Hex : 92mm
  • Axle Case Material: Zinc Alloy
  • Shocks: 40mm, Internal-spring (not to be oil-filled)

RC4WD Gelande II BlackJack - Chassis

Priced at $229.99, the RC4WD Gelande II “BlackJack” is available for purchase online. Learn more about this model at

Image credit: RC4WD

Watch Four Axial Yeti Jr’s Battle to Win the “Hobbico 500” [Video]

Watch Four Axial Yeti Jr’s Battle to Win the “Hobbico 500” [Video]

February not only marks the start of the NASCAR season but it’s also a great opportunity to charge up your R/C machines and flex your competitive muscles. The folks at Hobbico and Keep It RC did just that with the running of their inaugural “Hobbico 500”.

This race placed four drivers in a head-to-head battle with Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racers on custom, indoor track. Not only does the Yeti Jr. make an appearance, but there are also other radio-controlled vehicles used in this competition, including an ARRMA Granite Monster Truck (pace truck) and an Axial SCX10 II Trail Honcho (wrecker/tow truck).

While this video serves as an advertisement for a number of Hobbico’s vehicles, it features some unique products and configurations (such as the towing crane on the SCX10 II). In all, it’s a fun way to enjoy the R/C hobby and gives me some ideas for an indoor track of my own.

Image credit: Hobbico

First Impressions: WPL B-24 “GAZ-66” 1/16-scale R/C Military Truck

First Impressions: WPL B-24 “GAZ-66” 1/16-scale R/C Military Truck

As a fan of scale realism in the R/C hobby, I love to see new models appear that are rich in details and visual flair. What makes these elements more appealing are when they’re packaged in a small-scale setup (simply because you don’t see many of those models on the market). Along with the WPL C14 “Hercules” model that I’m in the process of reviewing, also sent a few military-themed 1/16-scale radio-controlled models to take a closer look at.

One of these models is the WPL B-24, a 1/16-scale military truck which is based on the 1:1 GAZ-66. Although I’m not a huge military vehicle aficionado, I spent much of my youth playing with GI Joe toys and part of me wishes I had this truck back then.

After experiencing the C14, I wasn’t expecting much from the mechanics of the B-24, however, having a unique (and undeniably-cool) 1/16 truck to tool around with more than makes up for any electronic downsides that this machine may have.

WPL B24 - Side

What’s included:

  • 1 WPL B-24  “GAZ-66” 1/16-scale military truck
  • 1 2.4GHz trigger-style controller
  • 1 USB charging adapter
  • 1 6V, 700mah Ni-Cd battery
  • Select scale accessories/parts

Unboxing the WPL B-24 1/16-scale R/C Military Truck

Initial thoughts on the WPL B-24 R/C Military Truck

Getting this point out of the way early, this isn’t a hobby-grade radio-controlled truck. While it looks great, the internal components, specifically the steering motor (not a servo) are what I’d consider some of the weaker points of this machine. That said, I’ve kept this rig in a stock configuration and have been having quite a good time with it.

While it lacks proportional steering, the controller grip feels pleasant and the motor is peppy, allowing me to forgive the click and turn steering setup. Now onto the fun stuff…

WPL B24 - Front Close

Like the WPL C14 “Hercules”, this radio-controlled military truck features some impressive visual details. At its base is a chassis which blends aluminum/metal frame rails and multiple plastic cross members. These pieces combine to create a sturdy base for this truck, which I’d place somewhere between a crawler and a trail machine.

Metal leaf springs serve as the dampers for this model and they provide a decent amount of suspension travel and articulation. You won’t see “OG crawler-style” articulation, but you also won’t need to worry about rolling this truck onto its side when you drive across uneven terrain.

Whether it’s in motion or sitting still, this truck looks great. Even if you’re not a fan of military machines, this truck could serve as a throwback parts hauler, shop truck, or whatever else your imagination wants it to be. A can (or two) of spray paint and you can easily overhaul this truck into whatever you’d like.

WPL B24 - Side Top

The tires, while firm, appear to offer plenty of grip for indoor use. When this truck travels outside is when the real test will take place. In reading about and researching this model, it appears that there may be some issues with the plastic driveshafts (brittle, snapping when bound-up), so I’ll be keeping a close eye on that area of the truck.

The stock battery, a 6V NiCd pack, provides plenty of power and offers impressive run-time. Whether or not that system stays in place or is swapped out down the road remains to be seen.

While my first instinct is to replace the stock steering and electronic components with hobby-grade gear, I’m having a fun time with this truck in it’s out of the box configuration. All-in-all, it’s a fun truck to drive around and have a good time with. It’s easy to let your imagination roam free with this truck, and at a price of $32.99, you’re not spending much for a little creative release.

WPL B24 - Front Wide

Where to purchase the WPL B-24 1/16-scale R/C Military Truck:

Kyosho Mini-Z McLaren F1 GTR MR-03 RS

Kyosho Mini-Z McLaren F1 GTR MR-03 RS

If your small-scale R/C appeal centers around on-road vehicles, chances are, you’ve taken a look at Kyosho’s Mini-Z lineup. Between their fun performance and an array of ultra-realistic 1:1 bodies, this 1/27-scale radio-controlled car line is tough to beat.

A recent update has given these small-scale machines a new controller pairing, packaging this ready-to-run (RTR)/”Readyset” car with a Kyosho Syncro KT-531P transmitter. It’s noted that this upgrading transmitter won’t pair with previous models which used ASF/MHS/FHS 2.4GHz radio systems.

Kyosho MINI-Z RWD McLaren F1 GTR - Kit

Kyosho Mini-Z McLaren F1 GTR Specs:

  • Length: 184.0mm
  • Width: 79.0mm
  • Height: 44.0mm
  • Wheelbase: 98mm (LL)
  • Chassis: RWD (MR-03)
  • Front Wheel Offset: Narrow +2.5mm (for RWD)
  • Rear Wheel Offset: Wide +3.0mm (for RWD)
  • R/C System: Syncro KT-531P

Kyosho MINI-Z RWD McLaren F1 GTR - Rear

Priced at $129.99, the Kyosho Mini-Z McLaren F1 GTR will be available online. While it’s not the lowest cost small-scale machine on the market, you can’t deny it’s beautiful design and sharp looks.

Learn more about this model at

Image credit: Kyosho

RC4WD’s Super-scale Dakar Rally RTR Race Truck

RC4WD’s Super-scale Dakar Rally RTR Race Truck

The folks at RC4WD have released a unique off-road R/C machine that’s sure to be the talk of the trail (or dunes). Their latest release is a well-detailed, 1/14-scale Dakar Rally Race Truck. Whether your a fan of the 1:1 Dakar Rally or just a fan of well-built, intricately-designed radio-controlled machines, this vehicle has something for just about everyone.

Made from heavy-duty materials such as aluminum, copper, ABS plastic, and polycarbonate, this beast weighs in at over 20 pounds (10.5KG). All of that heft should suit this truck well, no matter where it’s driven.

RC4WDD Dakar Rally Scale RTR Racer - Side

What strikes me about this model is the complete attention to detail that RC4WD has built into it. Every angle of this truck has some new scale goodies to admire.

A combination of leaf-spring and traditional shock suspension cushion the chassis from impacts and the detailed treads on the tires should carry the Dakar Rally racer over a variety of terrain.

RC4WDD Dakar Rally Scale RTR Racer - Chassis Details

This truck, while small(er) in scale is big on price. Ringing in at $799.99, this truck is for the serious scale R/C enthusiast. Learn more about the 1/14 Dakar Rally Scale RTR Race Truck at

Image credit: RC4WD

RPP Hobby’s Week-long Axial Yeti Jr. Sale (1/19 – 1/26)

RPP Hobby’s Week-long Axial Yeti Jr. Sale (1/19 – 1/26)

While I enjoy running my small-scale R/C machines indoors, I can’t wait for warmer weather to hit the Midwest so I can get my fleet outside (and really have fun). If you’ve had your eye on expanding your own personal collection (or want to get into the hobby for the first time), RPP Hobby is running a week-long sale on the Axial Yeti Jr., a fully-capable (and fun) 1/18-scale off-road rig.

Originally priced at $159.99, you can pick up one of two Yeti Jr. models (either the Rock Racer or the SCORE Trophy Truck) for $139.99. Visit for complete details on this sale. If you want to learn more about the Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer, check out my review and see what hop-ups and upgrades are available for this small-scale R/C buggy.

Image credit: RPP Hobby

First Impressions: WPL C14 “Hercules” 1/16-scale RTR Trail Truck

First Impressions: WPL C14 “Hercules” 1/16-scale RTR Trail Truck

Over the years, my love for small-scale R/C vehicles has blended with my love for R/C scale and trail vehicles. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many 1/18-scale and smaller “trail rig-style” trucks on the market. When I find one, I tend to gravitate towards it, where it eventually finds a way into my collection.

WPL, an overseas brand that I have only recently become aware of, has been producing some smaller-scale, 1/16 off-road trucks which have gathered quite a bit of interest from fellow R/C fanatics. sent me a few WPL radio-controlled models to review, the first of which being the C14 Offroad “Hercules”.

At under $50, this truck looks great, but does the performance match its looks?


The Truck:

What’s Included:

  • 1 WPL C14 “Hercules” 1/16-scale trail truck
  • 1 2.4GHz trigger-style controller
  • 1 USB charging adapter
  • 1 6V, 700mah Ni-Cd battery
  • Various scale accessories/parts

Unboxing the WPL C14 “Hercules”

Initial Thoughts on the WPL C14 “Hercules”

At first-glance, the C14 (and it’s sibling the C24) looks like a scaled-down Toyota Hilux. With a hardbody front cab that’s surprisingly detailed, this truck will get your gears turning from the moment you pull it out of the box.

Two model types are available, a kit and a ready-to-run (RTR). My review models is of the RTR variety, so there wasn’t much work needed before getting it up and running. An included 6V, 700mah NiCd battery pack provides the power for this truck and is rechargeable via an included USB charging adapter/cable.

Before I dive into the details of the truck, I should state that this isn’t a hobby-grade machine as it arrives in the box. That fact is quite obvious after you handle the controller and turn the steering wheel. Rather than a smooth forward and backward travel motion, you’re met with a “click” to the front and a “click” to the back. This is the tell-tale sign of a non-proportional steering setup. Is this the end of the world? No. Does it provide the opportunity for future enhancements? You’d better believe it.

WPL C14 - Rear Side

The C14 truck itself has a blend of hobby and toy-grade traits blended together, which make for an interesting combination. At its core, the WPL C14 features a ladder-frame chassis and metal frame rails. Attached to it are a mid-mounted motor and transmission from which the driveline extends out. With the exception of the frame rails, there aren’t many non-plastic parts on this truck. Depending on how you plan to drive it, these could be seen as potential points of failure.

On the suspension side, there is a decent amount of travel from the spring-equipped shocks, leaving one to imagine that this truck might perform well out on the trail. The tire compound is somewhere around “medium” grip and compression, meaning that the rubber won’t wrap around rocks and trail obstacles (for improved grip), but you’re also not driving on hockey pucks either.

WPL C14 - Rear

Once powered up, the headlight-mounted LEDs give off an impressive amount of light and serve as another nice “scale” accessory. Throttle response is decent and the motor has a fair amount of “pep” to it, allowing this truck to cruise along at a decent pace. Steering, however, is “iffy”.

The RTR version of the WPL C14 uses a motor as its steering mechanism, rather than a traditional steering servo. Not only is the control not as precise (remember the lack of proportional steering on the controller?), but it’s also quite noisy. For as nice as this truck looks, the steering performance is a bit of a bummer. That said, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome.

If you purchase the kit version of the C14, you’re provided with a standard, proportional steering servo. Should you find yourself with the RTR version and you desire more steering performance, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a mini/micro steering servo to replace the stock steering motor.

WPL C14 - Flex


Time to hit the trail.

While it may seem that I’m a bit down on this truck (at least the steering), I’m excited to see how it performs out on the trail. For that matter, I’m excited to see how it performs indoors, with the size being perfect for either inside or outside exploration.

The looks alone are worth the $33.99 price and whether you run this truck stock or take the body and attach it to another rig, you’re not spending much to get a solid starting point for a small-scale trail rig. Who knows if my thoughts will change once I get this rig rolling, but for now, it’s looking like a fun little project truck with a mound of potential.