Author Archives: Tim Gluth

A Small-Scale Skatepark Assault Featuring Carisma’s GT24M & GT24TR [Video]

A Small-Scale Skatepark Assault Featuring Carisma’s GT24M & GT24TR [Video]

One of the lingering questions you get after buying a new R/C vehicle is wondering how hard you can push the vehicle…before it breaks. While no vehicle is bulletproof, there are some brands which have made a name for themselves from a durability standpoint. While Traxxas, LaTrax, ECX, and even Redcat Racing have showcased the strength of their models, they aren’t the only ones who know how to build a tough, yet fun radio-controlled machine.

Carisma recently released a video featuring two of their GT24 series vehicles, the GT24T monster truck and the GT24TR truggy, tearing around a skatepark with reckless abandon.

With help from FPV quadcopter pilot and racer, Jon Smoky Rogers (Smoky FPV), the Carisma GT24M monster truck and GT24TR truggy were put through their paces in a high-flying series of skatepark runs.

From big-air jumps to near picture-perfect landings, these two 1/24-scale trucks put on a show that’s worth watching a time or two.

Learn more about the Carisma GT24 series:

Image credit: Carisma

Change Your POV with New FPV Vehicles from Dromida

On-road or off, these new 1/18-scale machines will give you a new perspective on your hobby.

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to see the track or path that your radio-controlled car or truck is traveling on, from the ground level? While on-board cameras such as the Go-Pro and others make it easy to experience that sensation after the fact, purpose-built, surface R/C vehicles with realtime FPV (first person view) equipment included haven’t quite made their mark yet.

This summer, Dromida is hoping to change that with the introduction of two new, ready-to-run (RTR) 1/18-scale vehicles, featuring FPV cameras and goggles. Whether your interests take on on or off-road, a monster truck and rally car will be the first vehicle types in Dromida’s lineup to introduce this new camera gear.

Both the rally car and the monster truck are powered by 370-size, brushed motors and feature four-wheel drive. Waterproof electronics and a 2.4GHz radio system can also be found in each model.

What sets these new machines apart from the pack is an array of included Tactic FPV gear. A 600TVL FPV camera, 5.8GHz video transmitter, and 5.8GHz monitor, along with FPV goggles, are part of each vehicle set. The camera is pre-installed and shouldn’t require much calibration before the first run. Simply install your batteries, put on your goggles, and go.

These vehicles are both priced at $229.99 And can be expected to hit hobby store shelves in the summer of 2017. Learn more about these two new FPV-equipped vehicles and sign up for email updates on both of them at

Image credit: Dromida

Losi’s Pint-sized Mini 8ight DB

Losi’s Pint-sized Mini 8ight DB

A 1/14-scale off-roader, packing plenty of power.

The small-scale R/C landscape has been relatively quiet in 2017. In fact, it’s been too quiet for my taste. Thankfully Losi has shaken things up with their latest release, a 1/14-scale, ready-to-run (RTR) desert buggy that’s loaded with features.

The Losi Mini 8ight DB is a brushless-powered desert buggy featuring four-wheel drive, waterproof electronics, and many other features and component specs that you’d find in 1/10 or larger models. This new, smaller-scale machine looks to be fun both indoors and out, and is a nice bit of competition for other off-roaders such as the Axial Yeti Jr. lineup (even if the sizes don’t line up completely).

In the box, you’ll find everything you’ll need to get rolling, from a complete Mini 8ight DB buggy, to a Spektrum STX2 2.4GHz transmitter and 2-channel Spektrum SRX200 receiver. Rounding out the electronics list is a Dynamite Mini Brushless ESC (electronic speed control) and Dynamite Fuze Mini Brushless motor (3800kv). As mentioned earlier, all of the electronics are waterproof/water resistant, so you won’t have to slow your roll when the elements decide to get nasty.

On the handling front, the Mini 8ight DB includes oil-filled, aluminum-bodied shocks and independent four-wheel suspension. The visual details on the body and the rollcage give this smaller ride an impressive stature.

Losi Mini 8ight DB Specifications

  • Type: 4WD Desert Buggy
  • Scale:1/14
  • Length:13.2 in (335mm)
  • Width: 8.2 in (208mm)
  • Height: 4.6 in (118mm)
  • Ground Clearance: 1.1 in (28mm)
  • Wheelbase: 8.8 in (223mm)
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs (1.1kg)
  • Chassis: 2.5mm aluminum plate
  • Suspension: Independent
  • Drivetrain: 4WD
  • Tire Type: All terrain
  • Motor or Engine: 380 long can (3800Kv)
  • Speed Control: Brushless Waterproof 25A
  • Radio: STX2 2 Ch Radio
  • Servos: Mini
  • Batteries: 7.2v 1200 mAh NiMh Batt, Flat w/EC3
  • Charger: AC Wall 200mAh
  • Gear Pitch: 48P
  • Wheel Size: Diameter: 1.6/2.0 in (40.6/50.8mm), Width: 1.1 in. (27.9mm)
  • Kit/RTR: RTR
  • Shock Type: Aluminum, coil over, oil filled

Priced at $249.99, the Losi Mini 8ight DB is priced higher than some of its small-scale neighbors. That price, however, should be looked at along with the impressive feature list, as not many small-scale machines are packing brushless power straight out of the box.

Learn more about the Losi Mini 8ight DB at

Image credit: Losi

Upgrades and Hop-Ups for the Axial Yeti Jr. (Rock Racer & SCORE Trophy Truck)

Upgrades and Hop-Ups for the Axial Yeti Jr. (Rock Racer & SCORE Trophy Truck)

Boost the performance of these versatile 1/18-scale vehicles with motor, servo, and chassis hop-ups.

The two vehicles in Axial’s 1/18 off-road lineup have gained an impressive following since being released in late 2016. The Yeti Jr. Rock Racer and Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck are quite capable out of the box, however there are always upgrades and adjustments you can make to wring out even more performance.

Here are a selection of upgrade parts to help you customize and enhance the looks, handling and power of these small-scale machines.

Motor and ESC (Electronic Speed Control)

Out of the box, the Yeti Jr’s 40-T brushed motor Is a capable and sporty option. That said, there is always room for improvement…and more speed. With a number of options available, swapping out the stock motor and ESC is an easy quick way to bump up the speed and power of this small-scale machine.

Steering Servo

The stock servo that is shipped with the Axial Yeti Jr. is one area that you may want to look at replacing before anything else. Improve the steering response and power with the following, compatible options.

Suspension, Chassis and Drivetrain

If you’re looking to improve the appearance and handling of your 1/18 Yeti Jr, there are a number of chassis and suspension components that you can upgrade.

Wheels and Tires

One final way to boost the appearance of your Axial Yeti Jr. is to give it a new set of wheels. Not only will the looks of your off-road rig get a boost, but you may be able to add a bit of weight to this featherlight vehicle.

No matter what upgrade path you choose, there are a number of great ways to customize the appearance, performance, and handling of your Axial Yeti Jr. Even swapping out internal component can turn this small-scale vehicle into an entirely-new machine.

TheToyz Rolls Out New Aluminum Upgrade Parts for the Axial Yeti Jr.

TheToyz Rolls Out New Aluminum Upgrade Parts for the Axial Yeti Jr.

Although Axial’s Yeti Jr. has been available for less than six months, there have been a number of upgrades and hop-ups available for it. If you own one of these 1/18-scale off-road vehicles, TheToyz has a few new aluminum upgrades to take a look at.

Aluminum 6-Spoke Wheels

Giving your Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer or Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck a fresh look at a low cost just got easier with a set of aluminum, 6-spoke wheels. Available in blue or black (and in pairs or sets of four).

Aluminum Rear Lower Chassis Link Parts

Adding to the aluminum upgrade list are a pair of rear lower chassis links for the Axial Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck. Available in a variety of colors, these will help add durability and handling performance while giving your small-scale truck some visual flair.

Image credit: TheToyz

LC Racing’s EMB-1H 1/14-Scale Brushless R/C Buggy

LC Racing’s EMB-1H 1/14-Scale Brushless R/C Buggy

With a large number of small-scale radio-controlled vehicles on the market, there are some that I’m more familiar with than others. LC Racing is one brand that I’ve been researching lately and have been impressed with the specs on their brushless-powered 1/14-scale vehicles.

One of the vehicles in their lineup is the EMB-1H, a ready-to-run (RTR) electric buggy. With aluminum components throughout, including shock bodies, shock towers, and chassis plate, the EMB-1H is a durable buggy that should pack quite the powerful punch.

LC Racing 1-14 Brushless Buggy Front

That power comes from a 4500kV, 4-pole brushless motor that is juiced by an included 7.2V NiMh battery (1100mAh). A four-wheel metal drivetrain also helps ensure durability for bashing and on-track action.

The installed electronics of the LC Racing EMB-1H feature a Batan D115 digital mini servo, a Batan 2.4GHz radio system (transmitter and receiver) and a programmable ESC that’s LiPo (2S/3S) compatible.

LC Racing EMB-1H 1/14 Brushless Buggy Specifications

  • Scale: 1/14 EP Buggy
  • Length: 300mm (11.8in)
  • Width: 205mm (8in)
  • Height: 110mm (4.3in)
  • Wheelbase: 185mm (7.3in)
  • Weight: 0.90kg (1.9lbs with battery)
  • Wheel hexes: 12mm
  • Motor: Micro 380, 6.5T/4500kV, 4 Pole 2838 3.175mm Shaft Brushless Motor Modified

LC Racing 1-14 Brushless Buggy Rear

The LC Racing EMB-1H is priced at $199.99 and can be found through a variety of online hobby retailers. Learn more about this 1/14-scale buggy at

Image credit: LC Racing

Dromida’s 1/18-scale, Brushless-powered Monster Truck

Dromida’s 1/18-scale, Brushless-powered Monster Truck

The lineup of on-and-off-road vehicles in Dromida’s lineup has been steadily growing, making fans of small-scale vehicles (such as myself), very happy. Their latest offering brings another machine to their brushless-powered fleet. Introducing the Dromida Brushless Monster Truck.

This 1/18-scale, 4-wheel drive truck is built for high-speed bashing and shares many of the same components found in its brushed-brother, the Dromida 4WD Monster Truck.

Dromida 1_18-Scale Brushless Monster Truck - Taking on the elements

With oil-filled shocks, adjustable suspension elements (camber rods & shock mounting positions), ball bearings, and an “industry standard” 2.4GHz radio system, the Dromida Brushless Monster Truck is a compact vehicle that can take on just about anything.

The ESC and servo are both waterproof/water resistant, meaning you won’t have to shy away from blasting through puddles or mud with this small-scale monster truck. And when things get sticky, the 5300kv brushless motor should provide ample power to get you out of messy situations. Providing power to the motor is an included 6-cell, 1300mAH NiMH battery pack.

Dromida Brushless Monster Truck - Chassis

Dromida Brushless Monster Truck Specifications

  • Length: 10.6 in (270 mm)
  • Width: 7.8 in (198 mm)
  • Height: 4.6 in (117 mm)
  • Weight w/battery: 1.4 lb (632 g)

The Dromida Brushless Monster Truck carries a pricetag of $149.99 and is available for pre-order on Dromida’s website. Learn more about this, and other Dromida small-scale models, at

Image credit: Dromida


How-To: Upgrade the Steering Servo on the Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer

How-To: Upgrade the Steering Servo on the Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer

I gauge the interest that I have in a radio-controlled vehicle on how often I reach for it before heading out for a drive. Lately, my go-to machine has been the Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer, a vehicle that I didn’t expect to be the level of fun with as I currently am.

As I’ve reached the half-way point in my review of Axial’s latest R/C machine, a few small items could stand to be improved.

The largest item has been the strength of the steering servo. After noting some of the issues with stock Tactic servo, I did some research and decided to swap it out for a Savox SH-0263-MG.  Performing this upgrade is fairly simple, and you should be in-and-out within 30 minutes.

Additional details on the Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer

Traxxas 1/16 E-Revo Sale

Traxxas 1/16 E-Revo Sale

Save money on a small(er)-scale bashing machine.

When I stepped into the world of R/C five years ago, I was met with a wave of vehicles and options to sort through. One brand, Traxxas, stood out among the rest and I set out to learn more about them and what vehicles they offered. If you’ve been following this site for a while, you probably know the end of the story, with my first purchase being a 1/10-scale  Traxxas Slash 4×4.

That said, another Traxxas model caught my eye; the Traxxas E-Revo, specifically the new (at the time) 1/16 version. The 1/10-scale variant had been a succesful and popular machine for hobbyists to thrash around with, and the scaled-down model promised to pack an equally large punch .

If the 1/16 E-Revo has been on your R/C wish list, you can now add one to your own collection (while saving money in the process). Traxxas has their two smaller-scale E-Revo models on sale, now through April 30,2017.

The Traxxas 2017 1/16 E-Revo

With decent discounts on both the brushed and brushless E-Revo models, now is a great time to check out this radio-controlled monster truck. Learn more about this sale at

Image credit: Traxxas

First Impressions: Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer

First Impressions: Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer

2016 introduced many new and interesting models into the R/C world. While monster trucks were one of the hot vehicle types on the 1/10 scene, there was also a boom in the number of small-scale vehicles hitting hobby shop shelves.

One of the most talked about releases of the year came during the close of 2016. Axial released two 1/18-scale models of their popular Yeti Rock Racer and Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck to much anticipation and buzz from radio-controlled enthusiasts. Not one to resist the call of a new small-scale vehicle, one of these scaled-down machines found its way into my R/C garage.

Deciding on which model to purchase may have been the hardest decision to make. While I love the looks of both the Yeti Jr. Rock Racer and the Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck, the rock racer won me over with its appearance (and for the fact that I’ve always wanted one of its larger-scale siblings).

What’s Included:

  • 1 Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer
  • 1 Tactic TTX200 transmitter/controller
  • 1 7.2V, 1300mAH NiMh Onyx battery
  • 1 Onyx USB-powered battery charger
  • 4 AA batteries (for the transmitter)
  • 1 parts bag
  • 1 instruction manual

Unboxing the Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer

Initial Thoughts on the Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer

Having owned Axial vehicles in the past, I’ve come to expect certain levels of build quality and detail in their models. The Axial SCX10 and RR10 Bomber are two of my favorite vehicles in my personal collection. From the moment I lifted the Yeti Jr. Rock Racer out of its packaging, I could tell that the same attention to detail and durability existed on this smaller-scale model.

The Body

The visual appearance of the Yeti Jr. is the same that you’ll find on its larger-scale siblings. While it isn’t modeled to be a replica of a specific 1:1 vehicle, it does have a unique, aggressive look to it. I’ve been a fan of the body style that the 1/10 and ⅛ Yeti models share and that same body was one of my main reasons for picking up the junior version.

A visually-stunning graphics package has been applied to the Yeti Jr. Rock racer, which aid in its appeal. The black/gray base with orange, silver and white accents make this machine easy to spot without losing its tough persona.

The Chassis

Many of the chassis characteristics of the 1/10 and ⅛ Yeti Rock Racer exist on the Yeti Jr. The suspension setup is the same, using independent front suspension and solid-axle suspension in the rear. Another aspect of the larger-scale models that has been carried over to the 1/18 version is the hinged,  flip-up body provides a quick and easy way to get into the internals of this machine without much hassle. This is a feature that I have long admired and was happy to try out in person.

Getting deep into the electronic components on other models, regardless of their size, can be a bit of a pain. The Yeti Jr. Rock Racer’s hinged body design is a simple, effective approach that allows you to get into the guts of this machine easily. The minimal use of body pins is also a bonus, (from my standpoint).

The internal layout for the Yeti Jr. Is both compact and minimal. The motor, radio, receiver, and steering servo and nestled neatly into the body tray, only allowing for room to function (and little else). This model uses a combined electronic speed control (ESC)/receiver to minimize the amount of space needed. Also in the “minimized space” category is the positioning of the steering servo.

Rather than using a front-mounted position, the servo is positioned underneath the ESC/receiver and uses three linked arms to control the direction of this rock racer. This is my first experience with this type of a setup and my initial exposure to it has been interesting.

The battery rests in a rear-mounted tray with a hinged top brace that keeps it intact during your driving adventures. This is both easy to open and access and, again, keeps initial setup and activation time to a minimum.

Drawing power from that battery is a 40T brushed motor that joins the other electronics within the body tray. The higher the number of turns a motor is rated for, the more torque it is capable of putting out. As an example, the Axial Bomber RR10 (ready-to-run) uses a 35T motor, making it great for crawling and blasting out of sticky situations. I have swapped this motor out on my Bomber, opting for a 20T motor that provides more top-end speed (without giving up much on the bottom end).

Getting back to the Yeti Jr., the 40T rated motor gave me a moment of pause as I was expecting this machine to be a slow, lurking mini-beast. Thankfully, the transmission gearing is set up to allow for impressive top-end speed, while not sacrificing torque when taking off. As of this writing, I’ve only driven this machine indoors. To that point, I’ve been thrilled with the stock performance that I’ve seen out of this little rock racer so-far.

The Radio

As Tactic’s lineup of controllers is concerned, I’m familiar with their TTX300 model (included with Axial’s RR10 Bomber), however, the TX200 has a design that I hadn’t quite seen before. While the TTX200 is smaller than the controller you’ll find in a 1/10-scale RTR package, it isn’t a “micro” controller. That said, there are some design characteristics that I’m still learning to get used to.

The grip circumference is slightly larger than what I’m used to with my other controllers, and has been the biggest (no pun intended) area that I’ve had concerns with during my few short drives. These concerns aren’t major, and are mainly centered around finding a comfort level when holding the controller. Outside of the ergonomics, the built-in functionality that the TTX200 possesses is what I’ve come to expect from a 2-channel remote.

An Indoor Yeti Sighting

As mentioned earlier, the only tricky terrain and adventure driving that my Yeti Jr. has seen has been confined to foam blocks and berber carpet.  Current weather has kept my initial tests of this vehicle trapped indoors, but that’s not to say I haven’t managed to have fun during those housebound voyages.

Using a few well-placed foam ramps and barriers, I have sent the Axial Yeti Jr. flying and tumbling across the floor of my “testing lab”. From the initial takeoff burst to the final top-end speed, the quickness of this machine continues to impress. Handling is nimble and crisp, however I’ve noticed that, on some occasions, the Yeti Jr. steering doesn’t return to neutral after making a sharp turn. Whether or not this is due to the servo strength or the servo arm configuration remains to be seen.

Aside from that one noticeable detail, this vehicle has Axial DNA through and through. It’s fun to drive and can take its share of abuse. My next adventure with this mini rock racer will be a test of its outdoor prowess. If my brief indoor runs are any indication, this should be one amazing performer.