Author Archives: Tim Gluth

Built to Rock: A Custom, Small-Scale R/C Crawler Course! [Pics]

Built to Rock: A Custom, Small-Scale R/C Crawler Course! [Pics]

One of the many reasons I’m drawn to small-scale R/C vehicles is their take anywhere, do “just about anything” versatility. If the weather isn’t cooperating, you can always set up an indoor race course or obstacles to crawl over. Even better, is when you can set up an outdoor challenge, testing both your own driving ability, as well as your creativity.

Fellow small-scale fan, Seth, has shared some photos of his custom-built outdoor crawling course for his 1/18-scale Losi crawler and 1/24-scale Redcat Racing Sumo. Combining natural and handmade elements, he’s created a challenging outdoor escape for his R/C enjoyment. Seth calls it “a work in progress” and has been in development for over 5 months, with the size spanning 30 feet wide and 60 feet long.

Rolling across the bridge...

The Course Setup

Manmade elements:

  • Cement chunks
  • Suspension bridges with cut saplings and tiny rope
  • Wood, climbing ladders made of furring strips
  • Quikrete

Natural elements:

  • Tree stumps
  • Dirt
  • Logs
  • Natural, bumpy terrain

Losi 1/18 Rock Crawler

In addition to the makeup of his course, Seth has also shared details about his customized small-scale crawling rigs.

Losi 1/18-scale Mini Crawler Setup

1/18-scale Losi Crawler

  • Stock Losi crawler motor and beadlock wheels
  • Traxxas 1/16 Summit body and bumpers
  • Aluminum steering knuckles, c-hubs, steering and drag link
  • Bent chassis links
  • Steel CVD’s
  • Losi Rock Basher 1.9 crawler tires with semi cut foams
  • Hitec mighty mini metal gear servo
  • Added rubber shock limiters to give it more scale performance
  • Zippy 1400 mah 2s lipo with Deans plugs (providing 30+ minutes of running time)

Redcat 1/24 Sumo Crawler

IMG_1088

The majority of the rig remains stock, except for the following add-ons and modifications:

  • RC4WD micro super swamper tires
  • RC4WD steel beadlocks
  • Zippy 350mah 2s LiPo
  • Lead sticker weights on the rear servo
  • Trimmed up the body

Taking on the rocks.

From the course layout to the modified crawling rigs, I’d say Seth has done an amazing job making his hobby his own. If you have a custom small-scale vehicle or driving space, be sure to share it with me on Twitter and Facebook.

Image credit: Seth S.

Snap Up this “Hobby Monday” Deal on the Dromida BL Monster Truck

Snap Up this “Hobby Monday” Deal on the Dromida BL Monster Truck

One of my favorite vehicles to review, drive, and bash in 2017 has been Dromida’s BL Monster Truck. It’s proven to be an incredibly durable, insanely fast, and overall fun radio-controlled truck, and a price that’s hard to beat.

While the stock $149.99 price is good, the deal that you can get at Tower Hobbies during their “Hobby Monday” sale is even better. Between now and December 6, 2017, you can save $30 on this brushless-powered monster truck, bringing the price down to $119.99.

Making things even better, you can apply coupon code 011V2 at checkout and save an additional $10.00. Throw in free shipping, and you’re out the door with a crazy-fast R/C truck for a total of $109.99.

Visit towerhobbies.com to learn about this, and other Hobby Monday deals and be sure to check out my review of the Dromida BL Monster Truck.

Image credit: Dromida

Team Associated’s Newest Micro Machine: The RC28T Stadium Truck

Team Associated’s Newest Micro Machine: The RC28T Stadium Truck

Just in time for the holidays, the folks at Team Associated have introduced another 1/28-scale micro R/C truck, with a bit of an old-school twist.

The RC28T is a smaller-scale replica of the classic RC10T and is based on the established chassis of the Team Associated SC28 short course truck. In fact, the only difference between these models (and the newly-released MT28 monster truck) are the wheels, tires, and body.

Team Associated RC28T - Side

Along with the retro RC10T paint job, the RC28T features white wheels with knobby, rubber tires which should perform well on carpet and pavement.

Keeping this small-scale truck charged up is quite simple. The RC28T uses power from the radio transmitter to keep it charged, and a USB charging cable can be purchased if you want to save your controller batteries.

Team Associated RC28T - Charging Port

Team Associated RC28T Specs:

  • Power Source: Electric
  • Terrain: Off-Road
  • Body Style: Truck
  • Scale Size: 1:28
  • Assembly Level: Ready-To-Run
  • Length: 147mm (5.79in)
  • Width: 93mm (3.66in)
  • Wheelbase: 99.1mm (3.9in)
  • Weight: 90g (0.2lbs)Drive: 2WD

Team Associated RC28T - Rear

Priced at $49.99, the RC28T stadium truck is available online at teamassociated.com. Learn more about this model by visiting Team Associated’s website.

Image credit: Team Associated

First Impressions: Dromida 1/18 FPV Rally Car

First Impressions: Dromida 1/18 FPV Rally Car

Earlier this year, I discovered a new way to experience my radio-controlled vehicles through the lens of FPV. Popular on the quadcopter and drone racing front, FPV has made its way to the surface side of the R/C hobby…and with good reason. It’s incredibly fun.

I’ve been singing the praises of this form of driving over at rcnewb.com, after outfitting an Axial Yeti Jr. Rock Racer with FPV gear. If you’re interested in putting a new spin on your small-scale radio-controlled machines, Dromida has introduced two new vehicles that put you in the center of the action.

Hobbico graciously sent me one of these new models to get a closer look at, further stoking my passion for FPV driving. With that, let’s take a closer look at the Dromida 1/18-scale FPV Rally Car ($229.99).

DSC_0609

What’s Included:

  • 1 Dromida 1/18 FPV-equipped Rally Car
  • 1 2.4GHz trigger-style radio transmitter
  • 1 Tactic FPV RM2 FPV monitor
  • 1 Tactic FPV-G1 FPV headset
  • 1 Tactic FPV monitor sunshade
  • 2 charging adapters/cables (1 for the car and 1 for the FPV monitor)
  • 1 Instruction manual

Unboxing the Dromida 1/18 FPV Rally Car:

Initial Thoughts on the Dromida FPV Rally Car:

As soon as I removed this model from its packaging, I had flashbacks to my first 1/18-scale rally car purchase, the LaTrax Rally. It was a rush of enjoyable memories and a slight twinge of regret, as I sold that car earlier this year. While a comparison between the two would have been fun, I felt fortunate to once-again have a smaller-scale rally car in my lineup.

The rally car body and chassis design have always been appealing to me and there aren’t many things that can top a compact, nimble automobile.

dsc_0594

The Car

Dromida’s FPV Rally Car is, in essence, the same model you’ll find in their brushed lineup (Dromida 1/18 Rally Car – $99.99). The main components are the same, save for the addition of an onboard FPV camera, which requires a slightly modified body.

The chassis design is well thought out, and Dromida has implemented a smart mounting solution for the camera system. Sitting atop a tweezer-style mount, the camera isn’t simply stuck to the chassis, requiring the vehicle suspension to dampen any jitters or jolts. This camera suspension system allows for an extra level of “give”, should the car encounter rougher terrain.

Powered by a brushed motor, this car has some instant zip. While it’s not as fast as one of their brushless models, the speed you get from this model is impressive and suits FPV driving perfectly. Overall vehicle performance has impressed me as well, as this vehicle is quite nimble while still allowing for some sliding and drifting action to take place.

dsc_0593

The Radio Transmitter

While it’s not dripping with features, the transmitter that’s included with the Dromida FPV Rally Car is the same model that you’ll find with other Dromida surface vehicles. It’s straightforward, allows for throttle and steering trim adjustments, and provides a handful of smaller adjustment points to help you dial in your car’s performance. On top of it all, it feels great in your hand.

DSC_0608

The FPV Gear

Now for what really sets this vehicle apart, the FPV component(s). You might expect a  ready-to-run machine with the included FPV components to cost quite a bit, however, I feel that the $229.99 price tag is worth the investment for the FPV gear alone. Now granted, you can spend much more and get additional features, but you’d be spending that amount purely on one area of the FPV setup. With this model, the headset enclosure, video monitor, and FPV camera are all included (and installed), making a well-rounded package for indoor and outdoor fun.

In my limited testing, the video reception is solid, with a few situations of interference popping up from time-to-time. The camera and monitor feature eight bands and 40 total channels to choose from, so making adjustments to clarity isn’t an issue.

At this point, I feel that I’m the most impressed with the Tactic FPV RM2 video monitor. Between its clarity and the fact that it includes a DVR feature to record your FPV action, it’s a crucial piece of equipment for first-person video and appears to be a very solid component in this package.

What’s Next?

At this point, I’m a solid fan of this car, both from the driving standpoint and from the FPV perspective. FPV has opened my eyes (no pun intended) to an entirely new world of experiences with R/C. For those looking to get into FPV, this 1/18-scale vehicle isn’t a bad choice, as you can easily drive it indoors and out and take it just about anywhere you’d please. It’s an impressive model at a solid price, so what’s not to love?

Rev Up Your Hobby with the Seismic SCT from Revolution RC

Rev Up Your Hobby with the Seismic SCT from Revolution RC

Low on price, high on fun. Those are two attributes I look for in any new R/C vehicle. Small-scale cars and trucks seem to fit these criteria quite well, and now there’s one more model to add to the growing list of low-cost, full-featured machines.

Horizon Hobby’s budget-friendly brand, Revolution RC, has launched a new 1/18-scale short course truck, the Seismic SCT. This is a four-wheel drive truck featuring a brushed motor, NiMh battery, waterproof/water resistant electronics, and 2.4GHz radio system.

Revolution RC Seismic Short Course Truck - Side

In the looks department, the Seismic SCT fits the mold when it comes to radio-controlled short course trucks. The body design looks fun and graphics are bold and eye-catching. Two body colors are available to choose from (red/black or yellow/black).

Power for this vehicle comes from a 380-size brushed motor, and an included 900mah NiMh battery. This should provide plenty of “get up and go” for this smaller-scale model, making it a great beginner truck.

Revolution RC Seismic Short Course Truck - Front

Revolution RC 1/18 Seismic SCT Specs:

  • Ball Bearings: Included
  • Batteries: 7.2V 900mah NiMh, Stick Pack
  • Body: Screened
  • Charger: 100mAh, 9V, US plug, EC3 connector
  • Chassis: Composite
  • Completion Level: Ready-To-Run
  • Differential: Gear
  • Drivetrain: 4WD
  • Final Drive Ratio: 8.77Gear Pitch: 0.5 Module
  • Ground Clearance: 1 in (25mm)
  • Height: 4 in (101.6mm)
  • Internal Gear Ratio: 2.533
  • Length: 10.25 in (260.35mm)
  • Motor Size: 370
  • Motor Type: Brushed
  • Pinion: 13T
  • Radio: ECX 2.4Ghz, 2-Channel
  • Servos: Included
  • Shock Type: CompositeSize/Scale: 1/18
  • Speed Control: Included
  • Spur Gear: 45T
  • Suspension: Independent
  • Tire Compound: Medium
  • Tire Diameter: 2.4 in (61mm)
  • Tire Tread: All-Terrain
  • Track: 5.5 in (140mm)
  • Vehicle Type: Short Course Truck
  • Water-Resistant: Yes
  • Weight: 23 oz (575g)
  • Wheel Diameter: 1.5 in (38.1mm)
  • Wheel Type: White, Star
  • Wheel Width: 0.75 in (22.2mm)
  • Wheelbase: 6.5 in (165mm)Width: 6.5 in (165.1 mm)

The Revolution Seismic SCT 1/18-scale short course truck is priced at $99.99, making it a budget buy and a great “take anywhere” radio-controlled truck. Learn more about this new model at horizonhobby.com.

Image credit: Horizon Hobby

Small-Scale Savings During Tower Hobbies Pre-Thanksgiving Sale

Small-Scale Savings During Tower Hobbies Pre-Thanksgiving Sale

Tower Hobbies is offering up some early holiday discounts on select small-scale R/C models. During their pre-Thanksgiving sale, you’ll find savings on the following small-scale models:

The sale runs through 11/21/17 with some brands eligible for bonus savings through Tower Hobbies coupons. Visit towerhobbies.com for complete sale details.

Image credit: Tower Hobbies

50 Days of Celebration and Savings from Carisma R/C

50 Days of Celebration and Savings from Carisma R/C

Carisma R/C is kicking off the 50th anniversary of their parent company, MA Toys and they’re doing it in a big way. For 50 days, they’re temporarily slashing the prices on one of their popular, small-scale GT24 models.

During this sale, you can pick up the Carisma GT24R 1/24-scale rally car for $50.00 (original price: $99.99). With that discount, you’re getting an absolute steal on a brushless-powered, fun-to-drive, radio-controlled car.

As anniversary sales go, this is a nice offering, but wait, there’s more…

Carisma is adding a fun twist to this sale. Taking a page out of Willy Wonka’s playbook, six of these sale-priced vehicles have “golden dragons” hidden within their packaging. If you’re one of the lucky few to receive one with your purchase, then you’ll also receive one of five Carisma Scale Adventure SCA-1E Coyote RTRs to be given away. The sixth dragon has something special added to it and will allow the recipient to win a “very big prize”, to be announced at a later date.

This 50-day celebration starts up today (11/12/17) and runs through January 1, 2018. Visit carisma-shop.com to learn more about this 50-year anniversary sale.

Image credit: Carisma

This FOX Can Run: Team Associated’s Latest SC28 Short Course Truck

This FOX Can Run: Team Associated’s Latest SC28 Short Course Truck

Roughly a year ago, Team Associated released their ultra-compact SC28 short course truck. Though small, it managed to pack quite a punch and prove itself to be a fun small-scale truck for indoor and outdoor driving.

Now the folks at Team Associated have rolled out another body option for their 1/28-scale SCT featuring Fox Factory graphics. This black-bodied truck looks aggressive and fast and features the same lightweight chassis as the original, Lucas Oil-liveried machine.

Team Associated SC28 FOX - Rear

Team Associated SC28 Fox Edition Specs:

  • Scale Size: 1:28
  • Assembly Level: Ready-To-Run*
  • Length: 175mm (6.89in)
  • Width: 89mm (3.5in)
  • Wheelbase: 99.1mm (3.9in)
  • Weight: 100.6g (0.22lbs)
  • Drive: 2WD

Team Associated SC28 FOX - Outdoor

As with the original, the new Fox Factory SC28 is priced at $49.99. Learn more about this small-scale truck at teamassociated.com.

Image credit: Team Associated

Team Associated’s MT28 Micro R/C Monster Truck

Team Associated’s MT28 Micro R/C Monster Truck

Team Associated has followed up on their fun, 1/28-scale SC28 short course truck with the release of the MT28. From the name, you might be able to tell that this new model is a monster truck, bringing a bit of big-wheeled fun to a compact size.

The Team Associated MT28 rides on the same chassis as the SC28, but features taller wheels and tires, giving it a monster truck look. The tires appear to be narrower than what you’d expect, however, I’d image there’s plenty of pep and torque to get this truck up and over basic indoor obstacles.

Team Associated MT28 Monster Truck - Rear

Team Associated MT28 Specs:

  • Power Source: Electric
  • Terrain: Off-Road
  • Body Style: Monster Truck
  • Scale Size: 1:28 Scale
  • Length: 147mm (5.79in)
  • Width: 93mm (3.66in)
  • Wheelbase: 99.1mm (3.9in)
  • Weight: 105.8g (0.23lbs)
  • Drive: 2WD

The Team Associated MT28 monster truck is priced at $49.99 and will be available online and through Team Associated dealers. You can learn more about this model at teamassociated.com.

Image credit: Team Associated

Go “Super-Small-Scale” with these 1/32 Rock Crawlers from RC Fun

Go “Super-Small-Scale” with these 1/32 Rock Crawlers from RC Fun

If you’re looking to slow down a bit and enjoy the technical aspects of R/C rock crawlers, you have plenty of options to choose from. However, if your search is for a smaller-scale machine, then you may have to look a bit harder to find the same amount of variety.

For fans of tiny trucks and tiny crawling machines, RC Fun has rolled out a 1/32-scale Micro Rock Crawler that appears to be a perfect “grab and go” machine or indoor home and office rig.

RC Fun Micro Rock Crawler - Green

 

Three color options (red, green, and black) are available to choose from, with each color carrying over to the roll cage, shock housing, and tires. Each color option also includes four LEDs mounted on the front of the rig for night-time driving.

Featuring dual brushed motors (motor-on-axel), a four-link suspension, and 2.4GHz radio system, this little machine looks like a fun drive, no matter where you choose to run it.

 

Powered by a NiMh battery and changed via USB cable, the RC Fun 1/32 Micro Rock Crawler appears to be an ultra-compact ready-to-run (RTR) vehicle, perfect for weekend trips or just blowing away boredom.

RC Fun Micro Rock Crawler - Green Rear

 

Along with their small size, these R/C rock crawlers also feature a small price. At $29.99 each, their great for family fun, either indoors or out. The RC Fun 1/32 Micro Rock Crawler is available from online hobby shops including Tower HobbiesAMain Hobbies, and more.

Image credit: RC Fun