Author Archives: Tim Gluth

Kyosho Pocket Armour 1/60 R/C Tank: The Review

Kyosho Pocket Armour 1/60 R/C Tank: The Review

If I’ve learned anything from this hobby, it’s that you can create a radio-controlled model out of any type of vehicle. While cars, trucks, and plans  are the most common, it doesn’t take long to discover that anything with tires or treads, can be miniaturized and mobilized.

Last Christmas, Santa Claus left a unique R/C gift for one of my children. With an interest in military equipment and vehicles, this specific gift was a Kyosho Pocket Armour 1/60-scale tank. Controlled by either an Android or iOS device over Bluetooth (using the Pocket Armour iDriver app), this is a highly-detailed model that almost looks too delicate to drive. The tank models that Kyosho’s lineup replicates the following tank models; the Abrams M1A2, the Paid Type10 and the Type 90.

The model that my son received was an Abrams M1A2 and I gifted myself a Type 90 tank this year. These models are surprisingly capable, given their small size and light weight and make for fun boredom busters when you need a break from everyday life.

What’s Included

  • 1 Kyosho Pocket Armour 1/60-scale Bluetooth-controlled tank
  • Various accessories for (complete detailing)
  • 2 Spare tank tracks
  • 1 Instruction manual

Unboxing the Kyosho Pocket Armour 1/60 R/C Tank

The Tank

Visually, this tank is rich with fine details and accents that make this worthy of prime shelf-space when it’s not in use. In all honesty, the level of detail rivals that of a plastic model kit, in my eyes. While there are some ultra-fine details that may have been left out, this is a beautiful piece of military machinery to look at, no matter what interest you may have in wartime weaponry.

Aside from its looks, the Kyosho Pocket Armour tankS function as you’d expect tanks to perform. They motor along with their Two tank treads, powered by dual motors, and manage to get over many small obstacles and barriers. That may be the most surprising aspect of these tiny tanks; their Overcome tricky terrain.

I threw some odds and ends in front of this tank, from wooden shims to smaller toy accessories, and the Pocket Armour motored over and/or around just about everything. There were some heights that it couldn’t manage to tackle, however, it surpassed every expectation that I had.

One area of brief disappointment was discovering that the turret movement was not controlled through the app, but relies on manual positioning. While I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case, I can see how a $49.99 tank can’t be expected to feature complete automation. The abilities that the Kyosho Pocket Armour Tank has, along with the scale visual appeal, greatly make up for the lack of a motorized turret.

The Controls

Since this model is controlled over a Bluetooth connection from an Android or iOS device (smartphone or tablet), a physical controller isn’t included (or necessary). The Pocket Armour app is both easy to find in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Once loaded, the instructions are relatively easy to understand, with pairing your tank to your phone being the first order of business.

 

Once setup is complete, you have a minimalistic control panel for controlling the movement and “weapons” of the tank. While firing the cannon will visually and audibly replicate recoil, the machine gun effect is purely audible.

Maneuvering the tank couldn’t be any easier, with four buttons (left/right) controlling the tracks forward and backward movement. The tank can then be turned by pressing a single forward or backward button on either side. Faster turns can be achieved through pressing one forward and one backward button on opposite sides of the control pad.

Rolling Thunder

As mentioned earlier, the Kyosho Pocket Armour tanks are quite capable machines for their size. They easily roll over small-to-medium obstacles, and do so in a realistic manner. Their top-end speed is impressive, but it doesn’t come across as being unrealistic.

Adding to the visual fun that this tank model brings are sound effects that are supplied by the smartphone/device app. You can toggle the sounds of tank treads rumbling, machine guns rattling and the cannon blasting, off or on, depending on your mood or environment. When we’ve had two tanks going a the same time, it greatly adds to the atmosphere of the small-scale skirmishes that take place.

Is the Kyosho Pocket Armour Tank the right R/C Tank for You?

A radio-controlled tank probably isn’t the first type of vehicle that you’d consider purchasing to start up an R/C collection. However, if you’re looking for a smaller, unique model that features amazing details and features, this model is worth taking a look at. Fans of military history and machinery will appreciate the visual elements that are built into these tanks and you can have some fun, friendly battles with two or more of these mini-monsters motoring around your living room floor.

For someone looking to build their collection of R/C vehicles, or just for a unique, fun vehicle to drive around, the Kyosho Pocket Armour tank is a nice addition.

Where to buy the Kyosho Pocket Armour 1/60 Tank

Axial Yeti Jr. SCORE 1/18 Trophy Truck

Axial Yeti Jr. SCORE 1/18 Trophy Truck

Backyard off-road racing has a fresh, new look.

Axial didn’t just dip their toe into the small-scale R/C world with the release of their Yeti Jr. 1/18 rock racer. They jumped in with two 1/18-scale models, based on the popular 1/10 and ⅛ Yeti off-road machines. The second vehicle release is the Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck, a 1/18-scale, 4-wheel drive radio-controlled truck that’s ready to take on tough terrain and obstacles.

Chassis Design

Not all small-scale radio-controlled vehicles are created equal. Some models are scaled down both in size and quality. From what I’ve see from the Axial Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck, it has been designed from the ground up to be true to the original.

The chassis design itself remains unchanged from the 1/10-scale Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck, featuring independent front suspension and a solid axle rear suspension setup.

axial-yeti-jr-score-trophy-truck-chassis

Oil-filled, adjustable shocks, 1.2/1.55 stepped wheels (with breather hole and 12mm hex mount), and 1.2/1.55 BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR 2 tires are some of the handling component highlights of this race truck.   

Electronics

It goes without saying that almost any modern, hobby-grade R/C vehicle that is produced will feature a 2.4GHz radio system. The Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck includes a Tactic TTX200 two-channel transmitter with an adjustment interface for steering trim, throttle trim, and servo endpoint tuning.

The TTX200 communicates with a Tactic RE20 electronic speed control (ESC)/receiver combo unit that is waterproof. Along with this piece of electronics, the Tactic TSX106 servo and 40T brushed motor are also waterproof/water resistant.  

Motor, Gearing, and Power

The Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck also shares the same powerplant as it’s rock racing brother. The previously-mentioned 40T, 380 sized brushed motor is designed for torque, but the standard gearing (15T pinion) should allow for an even blend of takeoff and top-end speed (proportional to the vehicle’s size.

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Providing the juice for this motor is an included 7.2V, 1300mAh NiMH battery. While the ESC is capable of handing LiPo power (up to 2S), this is a decent starting point to get this trophy truck. moving. An included USB charger gives you the ability to keep the battery pack topped off at home or at work. Perfect for when the mood strikes you to enjoy some radio-controlled entertainment.

Appearance

Fans of off-road truck racing will find the visual design of this truck quite appealing. The SCORE Trophy Truck style body sits atop the chassis and is mounted with four body posts. Unlike the Yeti Jr. Rock Racer, the trophy truck uses four body pins attach the body to the mounts.

axial-yeti-jr-score-trophy-truck-outdoors

The stock graphics package is eye-catching and you’ll have no problem keeping track of this truck while you’re ripping around the track or in your backyard.

Axial Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck Specifications

  • Length: 11.6” (330mm)
  • Width: 6.9″ (175mm)
  • Height: 5.0″ (128mm)
  • Wheelbase: 8.1″ (206mm)
  • Ground Clearance: 1.1″ (27mm)
  • Weight: 1.75lbs (0.80kg) RTR with included battery
  • Motor: Axial 380 40T Electric Motor
  • Radio: Tactic TTX200 2-channel SLT radio, 2.4gHz
  • Servos: Tactic TSX106 Servo
  • ESC: Tactic RE20 forward/reverse, 2S LiPo max with cut-off enabled

Pricing and Availability

The small-scale R/C landscape features a variety of vehicles at a range of prices. Axial has positioned the Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck in a comfortable starting spot, featuring a price of $179.99. In an interesting twist, limited quantities mean this is an exclusive purchase from Axial’s website. While it would be great to head down to your local hobby shop to see one of these new models up close, the first batch of these machines is available for purchase sight unseen.

Read more about the Axial Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck

While I’ve only read about this new model, a number of folks have had their hands on it. For more in-depth details, check out these posts and videos to learn more about this new small-scale rock racer.

Image credit: Axial

Axial’s Yeti Jr: A 1/18-scale R/C Rock Racer

Axial’s Yeti Jr: A 1/18-scale R/C Rock Racer

A lean, mean, small-scale radio-controlled machine.

In nearly five years of being a R/C hobbyist and enthusiast, I can’t remember a seeing larger boom in the world of small-scale radio-controlled cars and trucks, as what we’ve seen this year. Not only have “traditional” vehicle types been announced and released (buggies, short course trucks, touring cars, and monster trucks) but we’ve seen the introduction of smaller-scale “scaler” rigs and trail machines.

Axial, one of the bigger names in the world of scale R/C vehicles, has built an amazing following over the years. Their 1/10-scale and ⅛-scale vehicles are favorites of many hobbyists, and their annual Axialfest gathering is attended by thousands of radio-control fanatics.

Adding to what is already a diverse lineup of machines, they are entering the world of “mini R/C” with the first of two new smaller-scale models. The Axial Yeti Jr is a 1/18-scale, ready-to-run (RTR), 4-wheel drive rock racer that replicates many of the features found in its larger-scale relatives, but in a compact size.

Chassis Design

Don’t let the small size of this machine fool you, it’s not an indoor-only radio-controlled rig. The Yeti Jr features a beefy front and rear suspension setup, which is designed to float over rocks and obstacles without interrupting the machine’s forward motion.

Adjustable, oil-filled shocks (61mm in length, fully extended) should allow for decent suspension travel no matter what the terrain. Optional shock mounting positions will let you dial in the performance of the rig to fit your driving style and conditions.

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The chassis design is a scaled down version of the ⅛ and 1/10 Yeti models and is made from the same durable materials. From the looks of it, no corners were cut in the design of this off-road R/C vehicle.

1.55” BFGoodrich Krawler tires are the standard “shoes” for this mini rock racer. With deep-groove treads, finding grip on the trail or track shouldn’t be difficult. The wheels are officially licensed from Method Race Wheels and feature a 12mm mounting hex.

Electronics

It goes without saying that almost any modern, hobby-grade R/C vehicle that is produced will feature a 2.4GHz radio system. The Yeti Jr includes a Tactic TTX200 two-channel transmitter with an adjustment interface for steering trim, throttle trim, and servo endpoint tuning.

The TTX200 communicates with a Tactic RE20 electronic speed control (ESC)/receiver combo unit that is waterproof. Along with this piece of electronics, the Tactic TSX106 servo and 40T brushed motor are also waterproof/water-resistant.  

Motor, Gearing, and Power

The previously mentioned 40T, 380 sized brushed motor is designed for torque, but the standard gearing (10T pinion) should allow for an even blend of takeoff and top-end speed (proportional to the vehicle’s size.

axial-yeti-jr-action

Providing the juice for this motor is an included 7.2V, 1300mAh NiMH battery. While the ESC is capable of handing LiPo power (up to 2S), this is a decent starting point to get the Yeti Jr. moving. An included USB charger gives you the ability to keep the battery pack topped off at home or at work. Perfect for when the mood strikes you to enjoy some radio-controlled entertainment.

Appearance

I’ve been a fan of the original Axial Yeti visual design since it was first announced. Having this same aggressive look in a smaller package is not only appealing to rock racers, but it also gives a small-scale platform on which to modify and build your own custom creation.

axial-yeti-jr-studio

One key functional feature of the larger-scale Yeti that is carried over to this 1/18 model is the hinged body mounting system. This only requires the use of two front-mounted body clips, minimising the amount of hardware juggling you’ll need to do when getting to the internals of this machine.

Axial Yeti Jr. Specifications

  • Length: 11.6” (330mm)
  • Width: 6.9″ (175mm)
  • Height: 5.0″ (128mm)
  • Wheelbase: 8.1″ (206mm)
  • Ground Clearance: 1.1″ (27mm)
  • Weight: 1.75lbs (0.80kg) RTR with included battery
  • Motor: Axial 380 40T Electric Motor
  • Radio: Tactic TTX200 2-channel SLT radio, 2.4gHz
  • Servos: Tactic TSX106 Servo
  • ESC: Tactic RE20 forward/reverse, 2S LiPo max with cut-off enabled

Pricing and Availability

The small-scale R/C landscape features a variety of vehicles at a range of prices. Axial has positioned the Yeti Jr in a comfortable starting spot, featuring a price of $179.99. In an interesting twist, limited quantities mean this is an exclusive purchase from Axial’s website. While it would be great to head down to your local hobby shop to see one of these new models up close, the first batch of these machines is available for purchase sight unseen.

Read more about the Axial Yeti Jr.

While I’ve only read about this new model, a number of folks have had their hands on it. For more in-depth details, check out these posts and videos to learn more about this new small-scale rock racer.

Image credit: Axial

Taking the ECX Torment 1/18 SCT to the Track

Taking the ECX Torment 1/18 SCT to the Track

How does this entry-level small-scale racer hold up after a day at the track?

The following is a guest review of the ECX Torment 1/18-scale short course truck by Jacob Dohrmann of Rove RC.

ECX Torment 1/18 Specifications

  • Type: 4WD Short Course Truck
  • Scale: 1/18
  • Length: 12.04 in (306mm)
  • Width: 7.17 in (182mm)
  • Height: 4.21 in (107mm)
  • Ground Clearance: 1.22 in (31mm)
  • Wheelbase: 7.01 in (178mm)
  • Weight: 1.75 lbs (793g)
  • Drivetrain: 4WD
  • Motor or Engine: 380 Brushed
  • Radio: 2Ch, 2.4GHZ
  • Batteries: 7.2V 900mAh Stick pack
  • Charger: Included
  • Gear Pitch: 0.5 Module
  • Wheel Size: 1.38 in (35mm Diameter) 0.91 in (23mm Width)
  • Kit/RTR: RTR
  • Shock Type: Coil over oil filled
  • Ball Bearings: Transmission only

We have been racing minis in Reese, MI for nearly two years now.  Many different cars have come forward as being the go-to car for certain classes.  One class that always is a guessing game is 1/18.  1/18-scale cars are readily available from multiple suppliers, and can often be found at a competitive price point.  Many of these 1/18 vehicles are designed with the basher in mind.  Going fast and slinging dirt are what they do best.  We race indoor off-road carpet, so the expectations of the vehicles go beyond bashing requirements.  

The number one difficulty with the 1/18 class is the size.  When you make the car smaller, everything gets smaller.  The shocks are smaller in diameter, the driveshafts aren’t as beefy, and many other suspension and drivetrain components follow suit.  If you look back at the podium pictures from our races you find Dromida and Team Associated dominating the podium spots, but each has its own drawback.  These drawbacks led me to the 1/18 ECX Torment.

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The 1/18 ECX Torment is a brushed direct gear drive unit like the Dromida.  The full coverage of the short course body seemed promising to protect the important drivetrain and suspension components.  Upon further inspection I found other important components in place to survive a carpet off road race.  The first component I noticed was the shielded lower mount for the shocks.  1/18 shocks are often bent or broken because the lower ball cup mount is exposed.  The other component I noticed was the steering blocks and knuckles near the front wheels.  They are very rugged and seem to be ready for some punishment.  

I swapped some foams for the stock rubber tires (The 12mm hex was handy) and went racing.  The brushed system in the truck seems to have ample power for the track.  I was running no spacers or shims on the shock springs.  The truck still seemed to be sitting up a little high, but I ran it.  The first round was a little rough.  The Torment wanted to lean really bad in the corners.  This was causing the tires to get caught on the body in the front and pretty much stop the vehicle.  The next qualifying round I put some preload on the front springs to see if that would help the chassis leaning.  It did help the leaning some, but it still would get stuck every so often.  After that round I ended up trimming the body back over the front tires to see if that would help for the mains.

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There was a lot of racers for the 1/18 scale.  We had enough for two heats.  After chasing my issues I was seeded in the B main.  The change with the body fixed my problem with getting stuck in the turns.  I left the spacers on my front shocks, so it would cause me to traction roll from having the high center of gravity.  I ended up running faster laps than I had all day.  I look forward to making some changes the next time I race.  I plan on turning the tires down to get the car to sit lower.  I also plan to put some limiting shims in the shocks to get the front arms level and the rear driveshafts level as a starting point.  

Overall the durability was a big plus for the ECX Torment.  For right now I’m going to leave it brushed and tune the suspension.  I think it will be race ready once I get it closer to the ground.  Another update coming in January or February.

Where to Buy the ECX Torment ⅛ Short Course Truck

Review: Carisma’s GT24B R/C Buggy

Review: Carisma’s GT24B R/C Buggy

Having completed my review of the Carisma GT24T, I turned my attention to another one of Carisma’s small-scale machines, the equally sporty GT24B buggy. Although these two cars share many of the same components, their similarities stop when you mash the throttle. And believe me, there was plenty of throttle-mashing during this review.

Carisma GT24B Specifications

  • Scale: 1/24
  • Height: 64mm
  • Length: 180mm
  • Width: 107mm
  • Wheel Base: 119mm
  • 2 or 4-wheel Drive: 4-wheel drive
  • Brushless Motor (8000KV)
  • Friction shocks
  • Rubber tires
  • Kit/RTR: Ready-to-Run (RTR)
  • Price: $99.99 (no-battery) $109.99 (with battery)

Carisma GT24B 1/24 Buggy

What’s Included:

  • 1 Carisma GT24B 1/24-scale buggy
  • 1 Carisma CTX8000 2-channel transmitter/controller
  • 1 USB charging adapter and cable
  • 2 AA batteries (for the transmitter/controller)
  • 1 Instruction manual
  • 1 Decal sheet

Unboxing the Carisma GT24B Buggy

The Chassis

The GT24B buggy shares the same base chassis and suspension components as the other vehicles in Carisma’s GT24 lineup. If you’re after a true performance-tuned machine, swapping the stock shocks for the optional oil-filled shocks, or changing the stock springs to the harder optional set might be worth the investment. When taking on bigger jumps, the “bounciness” of the stock shocks shows through.

As for stock handling and performance, the GT24B was a pure joy to drive. For indoor, carpeted conditions, the smoother tires allow the buggy to break traction and slide around corners. This made for some exciting laps around the basement as I maneuvered around furniture and a debris field of toys. When the GT24B does get out of shape, it can easily be pointed in the right direction thanks to its four-wheel drive system.

When taken outdoors, this buggy still maintains a crisp level of handling, although you’re able to achieve more slides and spins on concrete and asphalt surfaces.

The Motor

At the heart of the GT24B is a brushless, 800KV motor. While I’ve driven several brushed and brushless vehicles, the stock speed and power that this model has is simply impressive. No matter what I was looking to do with the GT24B, straightline speed runs, zipping through a makeshift race course, or jumping ramps, there was no shortage or either torque or top-end speed.

The model that I was sent to review didn’t include a LiPo battery, so I needed to supply my own. After some research, I found a 3.7V 1S LiPo option from Dromida that fit the snug battery compartment of this monster truck. It’s worth noting that the Carisma GT24B (along with the other models in the GT24 lineup) can handle a 2S LiPo, however, the included USB charger won’t be able to charge it as you’ll need a charger with a balance cable.

If speed is truly what you’re after, Carisma offers a 12000KV Mini 130 brushless motor that will really make any GT24 series vehicle scream.

The Body

If you’re a fan of clean body lines, you’ll appreciate the fact that the GT24B doesn’t use any body pins to keep its small buggy body attached to the chassis. There is one plastic split/anchor-style post that sticks through the body toward the rear of the vehicle, however, the front is attached by an extended tab that’s molded into the body.

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Both of these attachment methods are very secure and neither one caused any failures during indoor or outdoor driving. The sleek, aggressive design of the body is what I’d call “standard” for many modern R/C buggies. While I wouldn’t call myself a fan of this body style on 1/10-scale machines, there’s something about this vehicle that I’m drawn to.

The Controller

The CTX8000 controller may be the most surprising piece of this RTR package. I’ve come across many a number of small-scale radio-controlled vehicles during my time in the hobby, and you never know what to expect from the controller. The physical size of the included CTX8000, a 2.4GHz, 2-channel transmitter, is the same as what you’d find in a 1/10 (or larger) model. It feels great in your hand and has amazing response and feedback when you’re whipping this small buggy around a driving course.

Carisma CX8000

Outside of the comfort and feel, there are several settings and adjustments that can be made on the transmitter. Throttle and steering direction, trim, steering servo travel, and an included function button are all easily available from the right-side panel. Having handled a number of RTR-packaged controllers throughout my time in the hobby, this model might be my favorite.

Time to Roll

Having experienced the GT24T in both indoor and outdoor conditions, I had a baseline expectation for how this buggy would handle and perform. Most of those expectations were spot-on, while others were a bit off-base.

The handling performance of this small-scale buggy is very close to that of the GT24T. It’s a great indoor performer with the ability to corner and slide through tight turns and dart around obstacles. That said, the handling performance is slightly better than its monster truck cousin, in that the low-grip tires allow you to slide around more and break traction with greater ease.

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Don’t let the phrase “break traction” scare you into thinking this is a sloppy handling machine. This performance trait, coupled with a four-wheel drive system, give the Carisma GT24B the ability to self-correct and maintain general control through the most wicked corners you can think of. There are cases where I did over-correct and nosed the buggy into a wall or table leg, but more times than not, I experienced a level of control that was highly enjoyable.

The cornering and turning performance that the GT24B possesses allows for tighter turns and maneuverability in smaller spaces. This was a welcome improvement over the wider turning of the GT24T monster truck.

Speed performance was stellar with the 8000KV putting out ample power with a 1S LiPo battery. No matter the environment, there was no shortage in pep from the motor. I crossed my basement “office” in record time and an outdoor voyage let the GT24B stretch its legs. Straightaway speed is great and there is plenty of torque to to boost over jumps and any obstacles I’d encounter.

Carisma GT24B 1/24 Buggy

Not only did I have a great time driving this machine, but my kids did as well. At one point, I thought I’d have to pry the controller out of my oldest son’s hands to have a turn at wheeling this buggy.

Is the Carisma GT24B the Right Small-Scale R/C Buggy for You?

Picking a R/C vehicle to start or add to your collection typically comes down to personal preference and driving location. The beauty of small-scale vehicles lies within their size and performance. This is a model that you can drive just about anywhere and not feel that you’re having to compromise.

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Carisma offers two versions of GT24B, one with an included 1S LiPo battery ($109.99) and one without ($99.99). While these two options don’t present a noticeable price difference, you’ll ultimately save on shipping cost as this model runs on a LiPo battery and is being shipped overseas. Paring this model with a third-party/aftermarket battery is one way to save on shipping costs, but the choice is up to you.

Like the GT24T, the GT24B is an amazing vehicle for the price and offers fun driving experiences, no matter what age you may be.

Where to Buy the Carisma GT24B 1/24-scale R/C Buggy

Team Associated’s Latest Tiny Truck: The SC28 Short Course Truck

Team Associated’s Latest Tiny Truck: The SC28 Short Course Truck

A 1/28-scale replica of Carl Renezeder’s Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Machine

Small-scale is the new big thing in the world of R/C. Team Associated has embraced small-scale with their release of three 1/18-scale vehicles earlier this year and they’re adding one more micro machine to their lineup.

The SC29 is a 1/28-scale, ready-to-run (RTR) short course truck that features a replica body styled after Carl Renezeder’s Lucas Oil Off Road Racing series truck. Carl and Team Associated have enjoyed a long and rich history, producing ⅛ and 1/10-scale vehicles featuring his race truck’s paint scheme.

This tiny truck is the first 1/28-scale vehicle from Team Associated and features a chassis design that’s similar to what’s found on HPI’s Q32 series of micro R/C vehicles. With no front suspension and a dual rear shock package, this vehicle looks like it’s geared for indoor use. At a length just shy of seven inches and a width that’s just less than four inches, this is another radio-controlled machine that would be perfect for basement driving during the long winter months.

Team Associated SC28 Specifications

  • Power Source: Electric
  • Terrain: Off-Road
  • Body Style: Truck
  • Scale Size: 1:28 Scale
  • Assembly Level: Ready-To-Run*
  • Length: 175mm (6.89in)
  • Width: 96.5mm (3.8in)
  • Wheelbase: 99.1mm (3.9in)=
  • Weight: 100.6g (0.22lbs)
  • Drive: 2WD

team-associated-sc28-chassis

What surprised me more about this vehicle announcement was the price. At just $49.95, this is a budget-friendly vehicle that can easily serve as an add-on vehicle to your current radio-controlled car collection. If you’re really looking for a winter boredom buster, buy a few and set up indoor races among family members and friends.

Learn more about the Team Associated SC28 1/28 scale Short Course Truck at teamassociated.com.

Image credit: Team Associated

Review: Carisma GT24T R/C Monster Truck

Review: Carisma GT24T R/C Monster Truck

Small and speedy sum up this brushless-powered, 1/24-scale, 4-wheel drive monster truck.

Smaller-scale (1/18 and under) radio-controlled vehicles can get a bad rap for not being on-par with their larger-scale counterparts. I’ve written, on more than one occasion, how my view of these small machines has changed over the years. Smaller doesn’t always mean less.

The GT24T is labeled as a monster truck. That name evokes images of massive, thunderous machines, something that the 1/24 size doesn’t allow for. What this model lacks in physical size, it more than makes up for in speed and handling. When you marry a brushless motor (8000KV) to a lightweight chassis, you get a combination that can provide fun no matter where you’re driving.

My personal “fun meter” was pegged the first time I popped a fresh battery into the GT24T that Carisma supplied me with. With each run after that, that meter was pushed to its limits.

Carisma GT24T Specifications

  • Scale: 1/24
  • Height: 64mm
  • Length: 180mm
  • Width: 107mm
  • Wheel Base: 119mm
  • 2 or 4-wheel Drive: 4-wheel drive
  • Brushless Motor (8000KV)
  • Friction shocks
  • Rubber tires
  • Kit/RTR: Ready-to-Run (RTR)
  • Price: $99.99 (no-battery) $109.99 (with battery)

Carisma GT24T 1/24 Monster Truck

What’s Included:

  • 1 Carisma GT24B 1/24-scale buggy
  • 1 Carisma CTX8000 2-channel transmitter/controller
  • 1 USB charging adapter and cable
  • 2 AA batteries (for the transmitter/controller)
  • 1 Instruction manual
  • 1 Decal sheet

Unboxing the Carisma GT24T Monster Truck

Note:

  • I incorrectly referred to the GT24T as a “stadium truck” in the video. I suppose you could go either monster truck or stadium truck with the official category, it’s up to you.
  • The ATV dial on the transmitter controls the Adjustable Travel Volume of the steering servo. I was unfamiliar with the “ATV” term, but thanks to Futaba’s Glossary of Terms (http://www.futabarc.com/techsupport/glossary.html), I was brought up the speed quickly.

The Chassis

The GT24T shares the same base chassis and suspension components as the other vehicles in Carisma’s GT24 lineup. What makes this model a “monster truck” are the “beefier” steering components, larger wheels and meaty tires. While the monster truck name may indicate a top-heavy, lumbering machine, the GT24T couldn’t be farther from that idea.

The handling of this machine is impressive, both on carpet and concrete. The tires provide ample grip for launching off of ramps and obstacles, but still allow for plenty of slide and drifting ability on a variety of surfaces. On a full charge, a 1S LiPo battery launches the GT24T like a rocket, and you can see some front-wheel lift under the right conditions.

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The friction shocks perform well and have an impressive amount of travel. In pushing down on the truck, it takes a substantial amount of force to bottom-out the chassis. In my tests, I rarely experienced contact between the chassis and ground. If you’re after a true performance-tuned machine, swapping the stock shocks for the optional oil-filled shocks, or changing the stock springs to the harder optional set might be worth the investment. When taking on bigger jumps, the “bounciness” of the stock shocks shows through.

I’ve often pointed to Traxxas (and their entry-level LaTrax brand) as being the gold standard of chassis and component durability. It seems you can put their vehicles through just about any type of thrill-seeking torture and they come out looking, and functioning, perfectly. Although my experience with Carisma vehicles has been limited, I may have to put the GT24 series build quality at or near Traxxas level.

Whether I was driving around my basement and having close encounters with furniture and abandoned toys or outside playing bumper tag with one of my children (who were driving another Carisma GT24 machine), nothing we did to them pushed them past the breaking point. Knowing you have a vehicle that can stand up to a little rough and tumble action is nice peace of mind to have.

The Motor

Along with the chassis, the heart of the GT24T is a brushless, 800KV motor. While I’ve driven several brushed and brushless vehicles, the stock speed and power that this model has is simply impressive. No matter what I was looking to do with the GT24T, straightline speed runs, zipping through a makeshift race course, or jumping ramps, there was no shortage or either torque or top-end speed.

Carisma GT24T 1/24 Monster Truck

The model that I was sent to review didn’t include a LiPo battery, so I needed to supply my own. After some research, I found a 3.7V 1S LiPo option from Dromida that fit the snug battery compartment of this monster truck. It’s worth noting that the Carisma GT24T can handle a 2S LiPo, however, the included USB charger won’t be able to charge it as you’ll need a charger with a balance cable.

If speed is truly what you’re after, Carisma offers a 12000KV Mini 130 brushless motor that will really make any GT24 series vehicle scream.

The Body

When you glance at the GT24T, you might not notice a missing component that many other R/C cars and trucks have. The body on this monster truck is free of any exposed body posts or body post holes. Attached to the chassis with Velcro, the body remains intact through many rough and tumble episodes. I experienced some body shift after a few awkward landings, but it wasn’t anything that caused long term issues.

The body design is what you’d expect from a monster truck, however the visual graphics are especially appealing, not to mention easy to spot when driving.

The Controller

The GT24T controller may be the most surprising piece of this RTR package. I’ve come across many a number of small-scale radio-controlled vehicles during my time in the hobby, and you never know what to expect from the controller. The physical size of the included CTX8000, a 2.4GHz, 2-channel transmitter, is the same as what you’d find in a 1/10 (or larger) model. It feels great when holding it and the amount of steering wheel tension may be the highest that I’ve ever come across.

Carisma CX8000

Outside of the comfort and feel, there are several settings and adjustments that can be made on the CTX8000. Throttle and steering direction, trim, steering servo travel, and an included function button are all easily available from the right-side panel. As far as RTR-packaged controllers are concerned, this model might be my favorite.

Where the Rubber Hits the Road (or Carpet)

Small-scale radio-controlled vehicles have appealed to me for a variety of reasons, the primary being their compact size and ability to drive just about anywhere. Living in Wisconsin, our winters tend to be a bit drawn out and dreadful, so many of my wintertime R/C adventures take place indoors. Having vehicles that I can quickly take off the shelf and drive is a great way to pass time or practice skills if the weather outside is…frightful.

Carisma GT24T 1/24 Monster Truck

The Carisma GT24 monster truck is pure fun to drive, no matter if you’re indoors our outside. While most of my testing came in the form of indoor, carpet driving, I did take this model outside and witnessed it on pavement. No matter the driving surface, this truck is easy to slide, spin, jump, and race around.

The turning radius isn’t as tight as I’d like it to be (when driving in restrictive spaces), however, this doesn’t diminish the overall fun that I’ve had with it. For taking on ramps and other obstacles, I’ve been having a blast launching the GT24 into the air and working on my landing technique.

Is the Carisma GT24T the Right Small-Scale R/C Vehicle for You?

The decision to buy a radio-controlled car or truck ultimately comes down to personal preference and driving location. Again, the beauty of compact vehicles such as the GT24T lies in their size and nimble performance. This is a model that you can drive just about anywhere and not miss a beat in terms of fun.

Carisma offers two versions of GT24T, one with an included 1S LiPo battery ($109.99) and one without ($99.99). While these two options don’t present a noticeable price difference, you’ll ultimately save on shipping cost as this model runs on a LiPo battery and is being shipped overseas. Paring this model with a third-party/aftermarket battery is one way to save on shipping costs, but the choice is up to you.

Carisma GT24T 1/24 Monster Truck & Carisma GT24B 1/24Buggy

As small-scale vehicles are concerned, I haven’t driven many that have left such a lasting, feel-good impression on me as this model from Carisma has done. For the price, you’ll get hours upon hours of fun out of it, and may even sharpen your R/C driving skills along the way.

Where to Buy the Carisma GT24B 1/24-scale R/C Buggy

Replacement Parts Now Available for the Pro-Line Ambush 4×4

Replacement Parts Now Available for the Pro-Line Ambush 4×4

Pro-Line’s Ambush 4×4 is a well-built micro rig that can take its licks and roll on. For owners of this 1/25-scale trail machine, there’s now an array of replacement parts for fixing up your rig or simply stocking up on spare components.

With 12 parts options available, from batteries to frame sets, and everything in-between, you won’t be stuck in the cold if your personal rig needs repairs.

Pro-Line Ambush 4×4 Replacement Parts

Learn more about these new releases at prolineracing.com. And don’t forget, you can save 10% off of your next online order at prolineracing.com with coupon code “RCNEWB10”.

Image credit: Pro-Line

Helion Animus 18DT

Helion Animus 18DT

One brand that’s well-known for their 1/10 radio-controlled cars and trucks, Helion has added a new 1/18-scale vehicle to their small-scale lineup, and it looks tough. The Animus 18DT is a desert truck that features a body style similar to what you’ll find on many off-road, endurance racing trucks.

This 4-wheel drive, ready-to-run (RTR) R/C truck is powered by a brushed motor (370 size) and an included 1100mAh 7.2V NiMH battery. From the looks of the specs and the introductory running video, this machine has plenty of get-up-and-go right out of the box, making performance-minded enthusiasts happy.

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A 3-in-1 “ERS” (ESC/receiver/servo) keep the internal components of the Animus 18DT clean and clutter-free. Simply plug in the battery and power the truck on and you’ll be ready for your next adventure.

Sticking on the performance and handling path, this truck features “big bore” oil-filled shocks and allows ride height tuning for optimal handling based on your running environment. The Animus 18DT rolls on tires that feature an aggressive tread pattern that should allow it to handle varying conditions and obstacles with ease.

The electronics are water resistant and this model features a 2.4GHz radio system. An included Ikonnik SR2 2-channel transmitter will give comfort and control while driving, and excellent long-range performance.

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From the exterior, this is a truck that looks like it’s ready to take on the world, no matter the conditions. LED headlights and taillights help illuminate the path if your adventure extends into nighttime. When the sun is shining, you can easily spot this R/C truck thanks to the two solid-color body shells it is offered in (red or blue). 

Helion also points out the fact that this new truck is still part of the Animus 1/18-scale family and can be outfitted with various aluminum hop-up parts. Ranging from shock towers and drive shafts to battery straps and chassis components, you can amp up the “under the hood” looks of this ride with relative ease.

Specifications

  • Motor: 370 size brushed
  • Battery: 1100mAh 7.2V NiMH with HCT-plug
  • Gear Pitch: M0.6
  • Wheels: 44mm (1.73in) x 25mm (1.0in)
  • Length: 236mm (9.29in)
  • Height: 105mm (4.13in)
  • Width:195mm (7.68in)
  • Wheelbase: 159mm (6.26in)
  • Weight w/ battery: 596g (1.5lb) approx.
  • Internal Gear Ratio: 8.8:1

See the Helion Animus 18DT in Action

As smaller-scale radio-controlled cars and trucks go, you may see prices vary from double to triple digits, depending on the scale and internal components. The 18DT is sitting pretty with a reasonable price of $99.99, making this an attractive addition to any R/C garage.

This 1/18-scale desert truck can be purchased online or through your local HobbyTown store. Learn more about the Helion 18DT at helion-rc.com.

Image credit: Helion

 

HPI Announces the Q32 Trophy Truggy

HPI Announces the Q32 Trophy Truggy

HPI has endured an up and down year, but all signs point to them ending 2016 with a bang. They have added another 1/32-scale vehicle to their expanding Q32 lineup with the addition of the Q32 Trophy Truggy. As we’ve seen from the other Q32 models, these vehicles aren’t short on fun, even with their small size.

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Using the same base chassis as the Q32 Baja Buggy, Q32 D8T Tessmann Edition and Formula Q32 machines, but with a different body shell, rear wing design, and wheels.

No other details are available for the Q32 Trophy Truggy at this time, however, I’m guessing the base specs will match those of the Q32 Baja Buggy. Using their “True Steer” proportional steering to give this small-scaler 1/10-like handling, it will most-likely include a 2.4GHz radio system, and use a transmitter that doubles as a charging station.

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If the visual style of a buggy isn’t what you’re looking for, this sleek, aggressive truggy might be a great small-scale option for you.

A price hasn’t been posted for this ready-to-run (RTR) vehicle just yet, however it should retail around $60 (the price of the other Q32 models) when it becomes available.

Learn more about the HPI Q32 Trophy Truggy at hpiracing.com.

Image credit: HPI