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.
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.
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.
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.
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.