Author Archives: Tim Gluth

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 dromida.com.

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 traxxas.com.

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.

 

Team Associated SC28: The Review

Team Associated SC28: The Review

The following is a guest review of the Team Associated SC28 1/28-scale short course truck by Zach, The Inconsistent TechDad.

My first R/C vehicle that I ever got to tinkering with and upgrading was a XMods Nissan Skyline that I bought from a Radio Shack near my home.  That was the vehicle that really set off the R/C hobbyist in me.  I blew every cent of lawn mowing money that I could earn on upgrades from that same Radio Shack.  Then on money for PVC pipe to build a big indoor track in my parent’s basement.  I went nuts with it.  From then on I had been interested in R/C.  As with most of us who have been in the hobby for a decent length of time; that interest came in waves, some stronger than others.  In all the time since, I have never owned another small-scale R/C vehicle.  I went through my fair share of Traxxas, Losi, Shumacher, Tamiya, the list goes on.  In all of that love and enjoyment of the hobby, I just never purchased anything smaller than a 1/10 scale vehicle.  Why?

Because bigger is better.  It’s in the Bible, somewhere near the part about the Ark, if I remember correctly…

Team Associated SC28 Lucas Oil 1:28 Short Course Truck Specs

  • Length: 6.9 in (175mm)
  • Width: 3.8 in (67mm)
  • Wheelbase: 3.9 in (99mm)
  • Weight: .22 lbs (101 g)
  • Price: $49.99

What’s In the Box

  • 1 – Carl Renezeder short course replica body
  • 1 – 1:28 SC28 vehicle
  • 1 – 2.4ghz 2-channel transmitter
  • 1 – Integrated ESC/receiver unit
  • 1 – Battery and charger (charges from the radio only)

Enter the Team Associated SC28.  A 1/28 scale short course truck with a great looking body (though that is subjective, but hey this subject thinks it’s cool!) priced at $49.99, plus shipping.  If you are purchasing it from Tower Hobbies this price comes down to the $40 (or so) mark when utilizing their coupons.  This price point, and cool body, had me at hooked.  What I ended up getting for my money was just icing on the cake.

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I don’t normally make knee jerk decisions on R/C vehicle purchases, but this was a right place right time thing that caught me on a wild hair type of day.  I ordered it the same day that it was released for sale on Tower’s site (the closest hobby shop for me is over an hour away and rarely stocks anything but Traxxas).

Upon first opening the package I have to point out that, like many others have mentioned online, the body was leaning heavily to one side.  If you are experiencing minor to severe body lean, please seek help from your doctor or other medical professional immediately, (I had to, I just had to…).  Jokes aside, back to the SC28.

Check your front body post!  Even though the lean appears to come from the rear of the vehicle, it’s origin lies in that front single body post.  Remove the body, give that sucker a good solid twist to counter the lean, and with some playing you’ll have it lined up in no time.

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Comparing the Team Associated SC28 controller with a Traxxas Link controller.

After getting past that small issue it was on to shredding some living room floor for this little truck!  My first endeavor was to zing up and down our long hallway.  The floor there is laminate, and I have to say this was like driving on ice.  That was somewhat to be expected; but with the surprisingly grippy feeling tires on this particular truck, I was hoping it would handle the slicker surfaces better than it did.  The fact is, something this small is so light that grippy tires or not there just isn’t much traction to be had on these glassy smooth surfaces.  That’s not to say that it can’t be driven on smooth floors without some bit of practice, but any precision you may want is going to be pretty hit and miss.

Onward my friends.  To the basement!

Ok this was the place where I really felt that I was going to get my $50 out of this truck, and boy did I.  My basement floor is, like many of your basement floors probably are, poured concrete.  Nothing special, nothing super glassy, just poured concrete to act as a foundation for the home.  This was where this truck seems to practically be built to run.  I have tried it in places like tennis courts, gym floors, hardwood floors, sidewalks, and my gravel driveway (you know, just to see how many times I could flip over in 10 feet).  Out of all of those places, my basement has garnered me the most sheer enjoyment driving this little truck.  

The previously mentioned “grippy” feeling tires just bite, and they bite hard on concrete with even a tiny amount of texture to it such as tennis courts, sidewalks, and my basement.  This very low slung truck can easily traction roll if you go full speed and full steering lock into a turn.  Back it off just a tad and you’ve got a locked in feeling smooth turning very racey feeling truck… All small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.  

The front of the truck doesn’t actually have “shocks” in the typical sense.  It has little plastic flexible camber links and a-arms that bend just enough to act as a very maintenance free shock absorption mechanism.  No springs seems like no shocks you say?  Yes, but at this scale you really don’t need them.  The return rate on a shock this size and scale would technically be so quick that to our eyes it would appear almost immediate, just like the setup this truck has in the front tends to behave.  

Team Associated SC28

The rear end is essentially a solid axle that houses the mini quadcopter coreless brushed motor, which is allowed some play and flex through two almost laid down style plastic shocks.  With the added weight back there of the motor and bulk of the electronics, the two springs offer a very smooth feeling truck at such a small scale.  It’s a little bouncy when landing jumps, but in general I feel that it’s about as good as you could possibly hope for at this scale.. and especially at this price.

Finally, I have to mention this little guy’s durability.  One of the biggest things I was looking for in a small scale R/C (pun perhaps intended), was durability.  Not just for someone who knows how to drive an R/C, but for a 3 year old who has basically never driven one before.  My daughter essentially did a durability test on this truck that rivals some of Jang’s most brutal durability montages.  And you know what?  It took all of it and just laughed.  You see, my daughter doesn’t really understand how to “steer” an R/C yet.  I meen who needs steering anyway right?  She essentially pins the throttle across our basement until it smashes into something (down there it’s impacting solid concrete most of the time) and bounces around aiming itself another direction.  Rinse and repeat… I’m not saying this didn’t make me cringe the first few times, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that the short course body and very little mass to this truck equals small scale Traxxas Slash-style durability.  

Is the Team Associated SC28 the Right Small-Scale Short Course Truck for You?

As I mentioned in the beginning of this review, I have been involved in this wonderful hobby since before I could (legally…) drive actual vehicles.  I now have kids, own a home, and all of the time absorbing responsibilities that comes along with those blessings.  I still own a small stable of R/C’s.

As the winter began to set in I found myself browsing websites searching for something basement and living room friendly.  I had kept an eye on these smaller scale vehicles over the years, but never could get myself to pull to digital wallet trigger on something so small.  Why spend as much as half the cost of a 1/10 scale vehicle on something less than one quarter the size?  Rigs like the Losi Micro SCT, HPI Baja Q32, ECX 1/24 Torment, and ECX Beatbox/Kickflip all drew my interest; but these quickly lost me on things like price, durability, features, or looks.

0107171239b_HDR
The only terrain that threw the SC28 for a loop was dense vegetation and grass.

The SC28, for me anyway, is the perfect blend of all of those more popular small scale R/C’s all rolled into one neat little package.  You have the great short course truck body shell durability and a-arm protection of the Losi Micro SCT and ECX 1/24 torment.  You get the price point of the Baja Q32 and in fact beat that price by a few fast food meals.  If you are looking for something with an upgrade path you will have to spend the extra cash on the Torment or a Losi micro, and there’s nothing wrong with that!  However, for those just wanting one of the best all around small scale R/Cs currently available; I think the SC28 just may be what you’re looking for.  Small, durable, good looking, and very affordable compared to other R/C’s in this general size class: the SC28 is definitely worth checking out.

Where to Buy the Team Associated SC28 Short Course Truck

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3D Printed Scale Accessories for the Pro-Line Ambush 4×4

3D Printed Scale Accessories for the Pro-Line Ambush 4×4

The Pro-Line Ambush 4×4 is an outstanding small-scale trail rig in its own right. The details that have been built into it allow it to stand out from the pack and it’s a perfect “grab and go” vehicle for indoor and outdoor driving. The more I’ve been driving it, the more I’ve wanted to add some visual flair to it, and turn it into a super-small-scaler.

DSC_0936

Coupling my interest in 3D printing and how it’s being applied to the R/C hobby, I designed two accessories specifically for the Ambush 4×4. The first is a roof-mounted carrier rack, easily attached using the existing roof panel mounting hardware. The second item is a clip-on spare tire mount. Attaching to the rear roll bars of the Ambush 4×4, this flat mount includes a hole to mount a spare wheel/tire or 3D-printed spare tire prop (coming soon) onto.

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Shown printed using PLA filament. Actual product will vary.

Available for sale through Shapeways.com, these products are sure to give your Pro-Line Ambush added visual appeal.

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Shown printed using PLA filament. Actual product will vary.

Additional information:

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.

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

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.

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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 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.

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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