First-Impressions: Axial SCX24 Deadbolt

First-Impressions: Axial SCX24 Deadbolt

A small-scale rock crawler that’s packed with surprises.

I’ve learned to temper my expectations when it comes to new R/C models. Too often, it seems my internal hype machine goes into overdrive and I become let down by various aspects of a new radio-controlled vehicle. As I mulled Axial’s latest small-scale release, the SX24 Deadbolt, I made an effort to take any expectations I might have out of the equation and simply drive it and enjoy it for what it is.

As it turns out, the SCX24 is a capable little crawler. Powerful and precise, Axial has done their homework when it comes to designing a scaled-down trail truck. Despite its size, it carries quite a few tricks up its sleeve.

Axial SCX24 Deadbolt

Axial SCX24 Deadbolt Specs:

  • Height: 4.73″ (120.2mm)
  • Length: 7.8″ (199.5mm)
  • Width: 3.9″ (99.5mm)
  • Ground Clearance: 1.06″ (27mm)
  • Motor: 180-size, brushed
  • Servos: AS-1 steering servo
  • Radio: AX-4 2.4GHz 2-channel
  • Battery: 7.4V 350mah LiPo
  • Battery charger: USB
  • Price: $109.99

Axial SCX24 Deadbolt - Side

The Body

Style-wise, the SCX24 Deadbolt looks like a “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” version of the 1/10-scale SCX10 Deadbolt. Mimicking the style of a Ford Bronco or International Scout off-road machine, the Deadbolt body looks the part of an outdoor explorer.

This 1/24-scale model wears the look well, and features a plastic roll cage and molded lightbar, just like its larger-scale cousin. While the SCX24 Deadbolt lightbar is purely for decoration, there are two very bright LEDs installed in the front bumper, so nighttime driving is possible right out of the box.

One feature that I appreciate from this rig is the hinged body design. Only two body clips are used to keep the front of the Deadbolt body in place, while a rear hinge allows you to swing the body up to expose the chassis and electronics. While I prefer the clean look of a “hook and loop” body mount, this hinged setup is quite convenient. The front body clips also include pull-tabs, which is something I also appreciate.

Axial SCX24 Deadbolt - Chassis Side

The Chassis

If you’ve seen one R/C rock crawler chassis, you’ve pretty much seen them all and that applies to small-scale models as well. The SCX24 Deadbolt features a ladder-frame chassis with steel rails, four-link suspension, and multiple cross-braces. A center-mounted skid plate serves as the foundation for the motor and transmission, while the two-in-one ESC/receiver sit toward the front.

The LiPo battery pack is mounted toward the rear and overall weight distribution appears to be quite balanced out of the box. Suspension travel and articulation on this model are impressive, as is the ground clearance. Axial has applied a slimmed-down axle design to this model, allowing it to miss many hang-up opportunities when crawling over indoor or outdoor obstacles.

Axial SCX24 Deadbolt - Log 5

Wheels and Tires

When it comes to the overall performance of any radio-controlled trail truck or rock crawler, the tires play a large part in your success. To-date, I haven’t come across a small-scale R/C crawler that didn’t have decent tires, both in terms of grip and support. Thankfully, the Axial SCX24 Deadbolt doesn’t end that streak.

The tires on this rig are a bit taller than others in my fleet. While they may look a bit odd at times, that extra height helps this rig clear obstacles and works in tandem with the slimmed-down axles and differentials. There haven’t been many items that I haven’t been able to crawl over in my short excursions with this rig.

Axial SCX24 Deadbolt - Logs 2

Going for a Drive

I’ve found that small-scale rock crawlers struggle to find a balance between looks and performance. There are some models that are excellent performers, but they lack when it comes to appearance. Others look amazing, but they don’t hold up well when the rubber meets the road. The SCX24 manages to strike an even balance between looks and performance while “looking the part” of a larger-scale crawling machine through articulation and movements.

Rocks, mulch, grass, or wood. No matter what I put the SCX24 up against, it comes through with flying colors. The battery is capable of extremely long runtimes and…it’s just a fun little rig to drive.

Axial SCX24 Deadbolt - Remote

Where to Buy an Axial SCX24 Deadbolt: