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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Axial’s Yeti Jr product page
- RCCar.Zone’s Axial Yeti Jr. Photo Gallery
- Scale Builder’s Guild Unboxing and Review [Video]
- HemiStorm’s unboxing and review of the new Axial Yeti Jr (and Yeti SCORE Jr) [Video]
Image credit: Axial