RC Car Action Membership Site http://www.rccaraction.com/members RC Car Action Membership Site Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 TEAM C TC10 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/team-c-tc10/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=team-c-tc10 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/team-c-tc10/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/team-c-tc10/ 1/10-SCALE ELECTRIC 4WD TOURING CAR | KIT


This newcomer to competition touring hits the pavement running with a high-tech, two-belt design

Team C has only been around for a few years, but they've quickly earned a reputation by producing competitive cars in the off-road segment of RC. They've enjoyed plenty of great success on the dirt, with the latest generation of Team C vehicles capturing national titles across the globe and competing in the world arena. With hopes of doing the same on asphalt, Team C engineers have conjured up the TC10 touring sedan. At first glance, you can tell that Team C did their homework and held nothing back when they designed their first on-roader. The TC10's feature list includes a double-deck carbon-fiber chassis, aluminum front and rear bulkheads, and an efficient dual-belt drive system. It's always exciting to receive a manufacturer's first attempt into a new segment of the hobby, and it looks like the TC10 has all the ingredients to make it a winner. Let's hit the track.


  • Item no.: TC10

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $420

  • Weight, as tested: 3.04 lb. (1382g)


  • Material: Carbon fiber

  • Type: Double-deck plate


  • Type: Front and rear H-Arm with turnbuckle camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 3/3

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/2

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 5/5

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 1/1


  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 12mm

  • Shafts: 3mm shafts, plated

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type/Ratio: Twin-belt 4WD/1.9:1

  • Differential (F/R): Spool/oil-filled bevel gear differential

  • Driveshafts: Aluminum universals

  • Bearings: Metal shielded ball bearings


  • Transmitter: Airtronics M12

  • Receiver: Airtronics RX-472 2.4 GHz FH4T 4-channel

  • Speed control: Airtronics Super Vortex ZERO

  • Motor: Savöx 17.5-turn

  • Battery: Prime 6500mAh 2S 100C LiPo

  • Servo: Savöx SC-1251MG

  • Tires: Team Powers 36R premounts

  • Body: PROTOform Lexus LF-A, painted by Fatty Graphix


The TC10 uses a gear differential in the rear that is virtually maintenance free.

Removing two screws is all it takes to remove the spur gear, which allows for quick gearing changes.

The TC10's drivetrain is a traditional two-belt design, with a pair of aluminum pul leys sandwiching a nylon spur gear. A machined-aluminum mount holds the motor, and the nylon-reinforced belts can be adjusted via rotat ing cams that hold the rear diff and front spool. You can tighten the tension on the belts for greater reliability when racing modified, or looser for minimal resistance when running in the stock class with a 17.5-turn motor. The rear gear differential is virtually maintenance free, and can be adjusted using oils of different viscosities. Light weight aluminum outdrives connect to the rear universals via plastic “blades” that cut down on wear and reduce backlash for smoother power delivery, and the outdrives for the front one-piece spool are made of plastic, which gives similar benefits with less rotating weight. A pair of 20-tooth pulleys are mounted to the center shaft alongside the spur gear. Spur gear changes are quick and easy, requiring only the removal of two screws, and together with a very usable 1.9:1 internal gear ratio, the TC10 can be geared to suit any track or motor.


The short-profile shocks on all four corners help to lower the CG considerably. The TC10's suspension is fully adjustable to suit any track condition.

One of the most important tools when tuning your sedan to the track on race day is its suspension, and the TC10's race-bred suspension has an incredible amount of adjustment that gives any driver the tools needed to be at the front of the pack. Stiff suspension arms limit twist and stay straight and true, yielding consistent handling. The arms mount to the chassis via an aluminum anchor that pivots and mates to a fixed toe-in block. Robust 3mm-thick shock towers offer five pos sible shock mounting positions on the front and rear, though the arms only offer one shock mounting position. Team C includes 1.2mm and 1.3mm swaybars to tune the TC10's chassis roll, and the rear arms incorporate three mounting positions to further tune the effectiveness of the anti-roll bars. Camber settings are adjusted via upper links that include lightweight aluminum turnbuckles. The low-profile shocks feature attractive threaded aluminum bodies, measuring in at 12mm in bore, with matching aluminum collars for precise ride height adjustments, while the overall short length of the shocks helps keep the center of gravity as low as possible.


An aluminum overhead servo mount bolts to the centerline of the TC10 to avoid binding chassis flex.

The bottom side of the chassis shows the TC10's perfect symmetry, which gives it excellent balance.

The TC10's double-deck carbon-fiber chassis not only offers a solid platform, but it also has some adjustability to offer. The chassis is completely symmetrical from left to right to give the TC10 perfect torsional and lateral flex. To further aid with equal flex, major components like aluminum bulkheads and suspension arm mounts are centrally bolted to the chassis with the motor mount and servo over hang mount affixed directly down the center of the chassis. A narrow 2mm thick carbon-fiber upper deck mounts to the front and rear bulkheads via four screws and two screws each attach to the motor plate and steering rack support. By removing screws from the top deck, the chassis' tor sional flex can be altered — fewer screws, more flex.


Three steering linkage positions on the steering knuckle allow various Ackerman and linkage length settings.

The TC10's steering system is adjustable for toe-in via turnbuckles as expected, but it also offers additional adjustability to finely tune the feel of steering. Each of the steering knuckles includes three mounting holes for the ball stud, allowing you to move the stud farther outboard or closer to the kingpin to alter the amount of steering Ackerman. For finer Ackerman adjustments, the dual-bellcrank steering system holds the tie rods via forward-facing ball studs threaded into the aluminum drag link. By installing spacers beneath the ball studs, minute adjustments can be made. One item you won't find in the steering system is a servo-saver; if you choose to run one, you'll have to go with a servo-mounted unit, as there is no provision for one in the bellcrank system. As the TC10's design intends, I installed a sufficiently durable servo (a Savöx SC-1251MG metal-gear unit) so I could forego a servo-saver and the steering imprecision that can come with it.


I tested the TC10 at Heritage RC Park in Chula Vista, CA, where they've just laid down new asphalt and begun ramping up their on-road program. With a couple hours of practice time before racing started, I got down to work. With the car built to the settings suggested in the manual, I ran the first couple of battery packs through the TC10 while I learned the track layout. The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to drive fast around the track. As the tires broke in and traction came up, the TC10 really started to come alive and my lap times began to shed tenths. With racing about to start, I checked the car's settings. I set camber to negative 1 degree on all four corners and dialed in 0 degrees of front toe-in. The TC10 clung to the track like Velcro, though initial turn-in when entering the first 180 was a little on the safe side as the TC10 had a slight, but controllable push. The switchback chicane section was no challenge as the TC10 snicked through with its rear tires neatly tucked in line. After the first qualifier, I decided to stiffen up the front and rear suspension. The box stock setup, though well sorted, allowed a bit too much chassis roll for the track conditions and created more mechanical grip than I needed. The chassis roll makes the car easy to drive in loose conditions, but on high-grip asphalt, too much traction will slow down your corner speed. I wanted to keep the same balance, so I moved the shocks out one hole on the towers. For the second qualifier, the TC10 was considerably better and quite competitive in the infield of the track. By keeping the overall balance of the first run but initiating turns more quickly (thanks to the stiffer suspension setting), the TC10 gave me the confidence to push harder. Throughout the rest of the race day, the small changes I made to the TC10 gave me faster lap times, and I have no doubt that more trigger and tuning time will shave more precious tenths off my laps.


  • Excellent handling right out of the box

  • Superb fit and finish

  • Top-shelf materials

  • Easy to work on and tune

  • Wheels not included

Airtronics M12

The Team C TC10 is a high-caliber sedan, which in turn demands the use of a radio of the same caliber. The M12 is Airtronics' flagship radio and the superstar that is considered the standard in the highest levels of racing. In hand, the M12 felt like a comfortable steering wheel in an exotic sports car. Its optional larger grip and steering wheel drop-down allowed me to further tailor it to my liking. Its extensive tuning menu helped me to precisely adjust the TC10's steering and throttle feel for ultimate control on the track. The M12 unlocked the full potential of the Airtronics Super Vortex Zero ESC and RX-472 receiver used in this performance test by allowing speed control adjustments to be made directly from the radio — a very useful feature when making adjustments on the fly right before a heat or main.


The TC10 works hard on the track, rewarding the driver with easy drivability, solid durability, and plenty of tuning options for any track. It's a solid performer at the local level looking to add to Team C's growing resume of race results. This comes to no surprise considering that the TC10 is a very well-designed and built sedan. After a full day of racing with the TC10, I was overall impressed with its high level of competence on the asphalt and ability to quickly adapt to track conditions. The TC10's price point puts it in the same class as most sedans on the market, but in my opinion, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. There is one thing that money can't buy, and that's confidence, which you're sure to have when driving the TC10.


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TEAM DURANGO DEX410V4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/team-durango-dex410v4/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=team-durango-dex410v4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/team-durango-dex410v4/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Erich Reichert http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/team-durango-dex410v4/ 1/10-SCALE ELECTRIC 4WD BUGGY | KIT


Durango sharpens their 4WD and attacks the competition

The original Team Durango DEX410 is among the new-age, off-road rockets responsible for the transformation of the 4WD buggy class over the last decade. In the early 2000s, when the class was still at a loss for viable options from major manufacturers, the Team Durango 4WD buggy project quickly became one of the most exotic and sought-after buggies in the world. It all started with Durango founder Gerd Strenge lending a handful of hand-built prototypes driven by the fastest racers in the world, like Mark Pavidis, Billy Easton, Travis Amezcua, and more, for just one race weekend at a time. After Team Durango was officially founded in 2009, the newly named DEX410 was released to the public to rave reviews — and an IFMAR World Championship in the hands of Martin Achter. The platform has been updated nearly every year since, leading up to the v4 edition shown here, which boasts improvements to the suspension, drivetrain, and all over to make this the most efficient, durable, and best-balanced DEX410 to date.


  • Item no.: TD102030

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $400

  • Weight, as tested: 4 lb. (1,817g)


  • Material: 2mm aluminum

  • Type: Machined plate with plastic side guards


  • Type: Lower A-arm with adjustable upper link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 6/12

  • Outboard camber-link positions (F/R): 2/3

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 4/4

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/3


  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 12.4mm bore

  • Shafts: Black titanium nitride-coated steel, 3mm

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type/ratio: Shaft-driven 4WD, 2.47:1

  • Spur gear/pinion: 87T/21T

  • Differential F/R: Sealed bevel gear, silicone filled

  • Driveshafts: Steel CV-style

  • Bearings: Rubber sealed


  • Wheels: Yellow dish wheels, 14mm hex


  • Tires: Duratrax Persuader C3 Super-soft compound

  • Transmitter: Futaba 4PKS Super R

  • Receiver: Futaba R614FF-E

  • Speed Control: TrakPower MS-1

  • Motor: TrakPower 6.5T

  • Steering servo: Futaba S9155

  • Battery: TrakPower 6000mAh 80C 7.4V LiPo


The DEX410 was one of the first cars to run gear differentials and they've been lightened for the v4 to lower rotating mass and improve acceleration. The diff cases are also now easier to remove for maintenance as well. Simply remove four screws from the end of the buggy and it pulls out without disassembling the rest of the drivetrain.

Durango was the first to include gear differentials in their 4WD kits and they've made a name for themselves as some of the best in the hobby. Because they're filled with oil and gears, a gear diff is more consistent and has more forward bite when exiting corners compared to a ball differential. For the DEX410v4, the fluid-filled diff gets upgraded with a set of lightweight cross-pins and internal gears. The weight reduction lowers the rotating mass of the assembly for better acceleration and consistency. Finally, the diffs are housed in newly designed gear cases that are easier to remove. Simply remove four screws and a plastic cover that holds them in place and you can rebuild the diffs without taking the rest of the car apart to get to them.


The 410v4 features an all-new Two-Way Slipper Clutch that slips independently for the front and rear wheels which keeps power moving to the wheels on the ground at all times.

For the v4, the slipper has been upgraded to Durango's new Two-Way Slipper Clutch that allows the front and rear wheels to have their own separate clutch. Because the wheels on either end of the buggy can slip on their own, the buggy can put the power down smoothly when two of the wheels are off the ground. The power from the clutch is transferred to the diffs through a set of high-strength universal driveshafts. The rear of the shaft enters the diff case at a steep angle to clear the batteries, which makes the smooth-operating universal joints essential to reduce heat and friction and get the power to the wheels efficiently.


The center drivetrain is raised up on the DEX410v4 in order to place the buggy's heaviest components like the motor and battery close to or right on the center of the chassis. Moving the majority of the vehicle's weight to the centerline lowers the center of gravity and improves handling.

The key to the DEX410's handling is its ultra-low center of gravity and centralized weight distribution. Rather than using a straight pack mounted to one side of the 2mm thick aluminum chassis and offsetting it with the motor on the other, or running a saddle pack with one half of the pack seated on each side of the center drive, the v4 tucks a saddle-style pack behind the slipper unit and directly underneath the driveshaft. In front of the slipper, the motor is mounted as close to the centerline as possible and the steering servo is directly below the front universal. Mounting the majority of the buggy's running weight on or as close to the chassis' centerline lowers its center of gravity and gives the buggy nimble handling. The trade off is that in order to remove the batteries you will have to remove the slipper and lift the rear driveshaft out of the way.


12.4mm big bore shocks come standard on the v4 and are finished off with threaded aluminum bodies and black TiN shock shafts. The buggy also includes a full set of pistons including blanks that you can drill to your own specifications.

Durango equips the v4 with a full set of 12.4mm big bore shocks that features hard coated threaded aluminum bodies and all new low stiction O-ring seals. The seals are made of a special low-friction material that's very durable to maintain smooth shock movement under the toughest conditions. Inside the shocks, Durango gives you a full set of TiN coated shafts that are coated black rather than the traditional gold color and a choice of four different pistons as well as a full set of blank pistons that can be drilled to create optimal damping rates. Talk about tuning potential!


Both front and rear suspension assemblies have wheelbase adjustment built in to give you the ultimate in setup options and are finished off with DIMEC X ball cups for increased articulation.

With today's off-road races held on an increasing number of different tracks and surfaces, suspension adjustability is a must for any competitive buggy. Durango has outfitted their new buggy with front and rear arms that allow for nearly a half an inch of wheelbase adjustment. Up front, there are also new 19-degree aluminum caster blocks that provide tons of turn-in. Durango also includes their new DIMEC X ball cups that are specially shaped to provide an increased amount of articulation from top to bottom in the suspension travel. Being able to adjust the wheelbase gives the v4 more options for a wider variety of track conditions from loose to high-bite surfaces and from tight to sweeping turn designs.


  • Extremely adjustable chassis and suspension

  • Two-way slipper clutch really works!

  • Easy access diff design

  • Battery removal requires removing center drivetrain

  • So little chassis space, so much wire to tuck away


For power, I installed TrakPower's MS-1 brushless speed control and 6.5T motor along with a their 6000mAh LiPo saddle pack battery. 4WD buggies are notorious not having a lot of room to run receiver and motor wires but the DEX410v4 takes this to a new level. All of the electronics are positioned next to each other on the chassis which means, and if your skill set allows, you'll want to shorten up the leads on your speed control and servo and swap the stock sensor cable for a shorter one. Durango's new cab forward body was sent to Larry at Kustom RC Graphics for a slick blue and yellow on carbon-fiber scheme that came out awesome and with a full set of super-soft compound Duratrax Persuader racing tires mounted up, the DEX410v4 was ready to hit the track. First at Wolcott Hobby's indoor facility where grip is high and agile handling and quick response are a must to put down laps at speed. The manual's box settings put the v4 in a “middle of the road” type of setup so I shortened the wheelbase on the front arms to get the car turning tighter and take advantage of its centrally mounted weight and put it closer to the front wheels. On the high-grip track, the buggy likes to be driven aggressively. Turn-in is instant and the balance of power and traction coming out of the turns leaves you pulling the trigger harder and sooner. Jumping is extremely controlled; steeper lift-offs result in a level flight in need of little to no throttle input to keep the car shiny side up. Over easier-graded jumps the v4 insists on a little extra gas to keep its nose in the air, but this type of attitude gets the car back on the ground and accelerating quickly. Wolcott's outdoor track is an equally hard packed, but more sandy type of surface, for which the Persuader tires were better designed. With less traction and wider sweeping turns, I pushed the front wheelbase all the way forward, and actually tucked the rear end forward a bit to put a little more weight on the back wheels. I also backed out the rear arm's droops screws to increase the amount of travel in the rear. On the looser surface, the rear bias wheelbase 410v4 handled takeoffs with ease, even considering the astounding amount of power the TrakPower 6.5 churned out. The slipper worked double time keeping the buggy tracking forward off the start line but quickly engages and launches the v4 to warp speed. Traction in a straight line is handled with ease by the full-time 4WD system and pitching the car into turns after a burst of speed, the buggy slid slightly but kept on line. Braking at the end of high-speed shoots settled the car in a more controlled manner that made the buggy easier to steer. The aggressiveness that the v4 insisted on indoors needs to be held back a bit when running outside but smooth tight lines and careful acceleration out of the corner resulted in a land missile of a buggy down the next shoot. Wolcott's outdoor track is designed with 1/8-scale vehicles in mind, and as such the jumps are big. Undeterred by extended flight times, the 410v4 gives you time to adjust its attitude in the air, pitch the car down and get it back on the ground whenever you want. Even over the jumps I completely overshot, the buggy landed with poise and pressed on with no loss of control as the chassis slapped on the ground; whichever wheels hit first were powered forward by the two-way slipper and the buggy kept on its course.

The Durango Buggy Story

Durango's original hand-built prototypes, with a polished aluminum chassis and gearboxes, were the most sought-after race cars of the early 2000s. (Photo by Sebastian Suerstedt)

When it was first designed at the turn of the millennium, the car referred to simply as “the Durango buggy” was something of RC folklore here in the U.S. Original designer Gerd Strenge had produced a handful of these prototype cars for himself and a few select pro drivers and they were nearly impossible to get your hands on. What set this buggy apart from the rest of the pack was its wild chassis layout: the steering servo was tucked up inside the nose of the car, with the speed control, receiver, and motor all in front of the middle of the car. Placing all of this up front left room for the battery pack to be positioned behind the center where it was put on the centerline with the driveshaft over it. This layout placed the majority of the car's weight down the middle of the car, and kept its center of gravity was massively low. Without all that weight to pitch side to side, the Durango buggies were fast, nimble and had consistent traction no matter where it was raced. Gerd worked with Serpent to put the car, to be named the S500, into mass production but the project was put on hold early in 2008 in response to a decline in the global economy. By the end of 2008, Gerd and designer Michael Vollmer formed “Team Durango” as its own brand and launched the car as we know it today, the DEX410. In 2009, the 410 took top honors in the IFMAR World Championship backed it up with a runner-up finish in 2011 at the hands of team driver Jörn Neumann. The DEX410 has lived on to see its all new fourth generation but has really changed very little over the years. Considering that the buggy pictured is a nearly 10-year-old prototype, the v4's lineage is apparent and the Durango way of doing things has been established as one of refinement and small changes to a revolutionary design that was clearly ahead of its time.


Team Durango doesn't make wholesale changes to their cars. When compared to the v3, you'd be hard pressed to identify a lot of what makes the v4 that much better of a buggy even though they're in there. As is often the case in life, the finer things are in the details; things like adjustable wheelbase front and rear, droop screw-limited rear arms, fine materials and well-thought-out, unique designs make this buggy even better than it already was. The DEX410's life story, at times, seemed impossible but its innovative layout and design won the hearts of racers instantly, and kept life behind the buggy until it finally came to be. When invention meets revolution, the combination results in success and with the finely tuned changes made to the v4 paired with all -new components like a two-way slipper and high- strength universal joints, the DEX410v4 is a champion in the making. The only question left is if you can handle it.


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KYOSHO SCORPION B-XXL VE http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/kyosho-scorpion-b-xxl-ve/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kyosho-scorpion-b-xxl-ve http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/kyosho-scorpion-b-xxl-ve/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Aaron Waldron http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/kyosho-scorpion-b-xxl-ve/ PHOTOS BY JOEL NAVARRO


Kyosho dresses up its just-right-sized buggy for the desert

There are plenty of different classes of RC vehicles that are relatively standardized across multiple manufacturers, like the 1/18-scale mini and the 2WD short course truck, and then there are vehicles like the Kyosho Scorpion XXL platform (reviewed in the February 2013 issue) that rebel against these social norms and dare to be different. The Scorpion's dimensions make it the only 1/7-scale vehicle on the market, slotted between the traditional 1/8-scale buggy and even larger-scale vehicles. The newest version, the B-XXL, adds a heap of scale appeal and radically transforms the driving experience, making it the perfect match for that open lot at the end of the cul-de-sac that's too rough for smaller vehicles but doesn't quite have enough room for a 1/5-scale vehicle to maneuver about. After reading up on this interesting vehicle by Kyosho, and then lifting its swing-away body, I couldn't help but be curious about how well it worked.


  • Item no.: 30974

  • Scale: 1/7

  • Price*: $690

  • Weight, as tested: 12.3 lb. (5600g)


  • Type: Stamped 3mm aluminum plate


  • Type (F/R): Lower H-arm with upper camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/2

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/1

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 1/1

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2


  • Bodies: Plastic 18mm bodies with ride height clips

  • Shafts: 4mm, plated finish

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type/ratio: 2WD with three-gear transmission/3.49:1

  • Spur gear/pinion: 63/14

  • Slipper clutch: Dual-disc adjustable

  • Differential: Sealed oil-filled bevel gear

  • Driveshafts: Steel dogbones

  • Bearings: Metal-shielded


  • Wheels: Kyosho black 8-hole wheels with red bead-lock

  • Tires: Kyosho all-terrain block pattern, open-cell foam

  • Body: Kyosho matte black Scorpion B-XXL, One11 Ink graphics


  • Transmitter: Kyosho Syncro KT-201 2.4GHz FHSS

  • Receiver: Kyosho Syncro KR-200 2.4GHz 4-channel

  • Speed control: Team Orion Vortex R8 brushless LiPo speed control w/ reverse

  • Motor: Team Orion Vortex 7 2250Kv brushless motor

  • Steering servo: Kyosho KS-203 waterproof metal-gear, 128 oz.-in.


  • Battery: Peak Racing 4200mAh 2S 7.4V 45C LiPo battery x2

*Price varies by dealer


The engineering work on display here isn't an accident. The shock dropdown on the front arms and the low-axle design of the caster blocks play a huge part in the buggy's cornering performance.

Examples of Kyosho's decades of experience designing suspension geometry for 2WD buggies (with two IFMAR World Championships in 1987 and 2013 to their credit) can be found at both ends of the car. The unique front arm design maintains maximum ground clearance while lowering the shock mount like a gull-wing, and a wide shock tower stands up the coilover dampers for a more linear shock response. Those 13mm bladder-equipped beauties are, surprisingly, plastic — but you'd never know it with their plush action and quality feel. The front spindles lower the axle height significantly, contributing to the buggy's steering response and overall demeanor, and while there aren't many options for adjustment, the buggy does have a vertical ball stud and adjustable camber links at both ends.


Technically, slipper clutches are not supposed to be used for traction control — they're simply supposed to absorb drivetrain shock through ruts and jumps. With this much power in a 2WD vehicle, though, you'd be forgiven for using that adjustment nut.

The term “mid-motor” is common among 2WD buggy circles these days, but while the Scorpion XXL platform places the transmission and motor in front of the rear axle like many of today's top racing buggies, it still uses a 3-gear transmission like a rear-motor car. — is means that in relation to the chassis, the motor spins in the opposite direction of today's 4-gear tranny-equipped vehicles. After that, the power is guided past a dual-disc adjustable slipper clutch before entering the gearbox, equipped with an oil-filled bevel gear dif ferential that's essential to helping tame a 2WD buggy. Steel dogbones key into the rear axles, which are fitted with 17mm hexes to match the front axles with inboard front bearings.


Take off the scale front and rear bumpers, and the body mounts on the side, and the Scorpion XXL looks like a race-built 1/10-scale car on Miracle-Gro.

The main backbone of the Scorpion B-XXL is comprised of a stamped 3mm slab of black-anodized aluminum that's fortified with plastic side rails to increase rigidity and provide the mounting structure for the beefy, supportive roll cage. The body mount hinges at the back of the cage and is held down in front by body clips. The cage itself is mounted to the chassis using body clips as well. Up front you'll find a dual-bellcrank steering system with a 2mm aluminum steering rack, while the center of the car has an adjustable battery compartment with sliding side rails and a body-clipped retaining strap to hold a variety of different sized packs. The motor sits immediately afterward, driving a transmission located in front of the rear axle.


Team Orion's Vortex R8 is waterproof, as is the KS-203 steering servo. Make sure your LiPos are water-ready!

Kyosho's Syncro KT-201 provides all of an RTR radio's basic functions with an easy-touse digital screen, and it's light and comfortable with just four AAs.

Though not fitted with cockpit details like the original Scorpion XXL, the Lexan shell of the B-side is designed to mimic a Class 1 desert racing buggy and painted matte black, with inner front fenders that do a fantastic job of preventing body rattle and protecting the inside of the car from debris. Black and white graphics with red trim, printed by SoCal-based firm One11 Ink, perfectly complement the red bead-locks on the 8-hole black wheels. Those wheels are wrapped with block-treaded tires that are the same size on all four corners — when compared to the tires on the single-seater XXL, the fronts are 10mm larger in diameter and 12mm wider, and the same diameter but 16mm narrower in the rear. Power is provided by a waterproof Team Orion Vortex R8 speed control and the Vortex 7 2250Kv motor is designed for the original XXL, all controlled by the also-shared Syncro KT-201 2.4GHz radio system.


  • Tons of power

  • Athletic and thrilling off-road performance

  • Solid included running gear

  • Looks awesome!

  • Difficult to drive in slippery or sandy conditions


Though nearly 40mph may not seem terribly fast, a 12-pound vehicle that's over two feet long provides plenty of reason to be alarmed when launching rocks and blitzing through increasingly rough terrain. Remember that whole reverse-rotation thing with the three-gear transmission? The gyroscopic effect of the motor has a slight tendency to make the buggy feel like it's fighting your encouragement for it to go straight, which is only made worse by the amount of horsepower on tap. On asphalt or a high-grip surface it's not very noticeable, but lower traction environments require a gentle trigger finger to harness the Scorpion's full potential. The transmission doesn't seem to affect the car's braking abilities, however, as the car comes to a stop under a reasonable amount of control for a 2WD vehicle that only locks up the rear tires.

It's difficult to believe, with identical suspension dimensions and rear tires that much narrower than that of its predecessor, but the overall handling balance of the B-XXL far outshines its single-cockpit sibling; credit the B-XXL's sure-footed composure on its much softer rubber. With appropriate restraint of my throttle finger (or not), Kyosho's big buggy absolutely shredded both of our favorite SoCal test sites with nimble handling and impressive bump absorption, making quick work of the makeshift track used for our video and soaking up every massive jump off of which I launched it — and there were plenty. Though its size makes it rather numb to mid-air inputs, the B-XXL touched down drama-free unless I was particularly bone-headed or overzealous, and even then it landed rubber-side down more often than not.

Not having the front wheels to pull the buggy along not only makes it more difficult to get the buggy moving quickly, but it doesn't help the buggy's relatively low ride height (for its size) when it comes to bashing through brush and small shrubbery, which trip up the B-XXL more than they would a monster truck. That's not really the point of this desert racer, though — the most brilliant, and rewarding, part of the whole Scorpion B-XXL is how much performance you can coax out of it with a bit of careful driving, versus the grip-it-and-rip-it approach of the common monster truck.


The Scorpion B-XXL stands out from an assortment of cookie-cutter car and truck classes in almost every way possible — its size, design, styling, and driving performance are unlike anything else on the market. Kyosho dared to be different (in a pretty awesome way) and the end result is a vehicle that's well-equipped, innovative, and interesting in every way. It's a bit of an odd size, and its 2WD powertrain requires a lighter touch than a 4X4, but for the appreciative hobbyist looking for something different, the Scorpion B-XXL is an entertaining mix of size, speed, and style.


Kyosho America kyoshoamerica.com

Peak Racing peakracing.com

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TAMIYA LAFERRARI http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/tamiya-laferrari/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tamiya-laferrari http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/tamiya-laferrari/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/07/17/tamiya-laferrari/ 1/10-SCALE ELECTRIC 4WD TOURING CAR | KIT


The only shot you'll have at driving Ferrari's hybrid monster

Tamiya's TT-02 chassis harkens back to the days of a ordable pavement pounders that placed an emphasis on low-buck fun. As the parking lot scene gave way to full-on competition designs, kits rapidly escalated in quality and performance — but also became more complex and expensive. While Tamiya has found plenty of success in that realm, winning five of 10 IFMAR World Championships in the class, the LaFerrari TT-02 is proof that Tamiya hasn't forgotten the leisure side of the hobby. Available as an unassembled kit that hovers around the $150 mark, this Italian-bred stallion offers an easy build with detailed instructions, simple construction, and a low parts count. Tamiya kits are legendary for their high-quality parts fitment and logical assembly process. The kit even includes a brushed motor and speed control, but we upped the ante and installed an LRP brushless power system for good measure — because anything “Ferrari” deserves top-shelf horsepower.


  • Item no.: 58582

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $155

  • Weight, as tested: 2 lb. 9 oz. (1276g)


  • Type: Molded semi-tub

  • Material: Plastic


  • Type: Independent double-wishbone

  • Inboard upper arm positions (F/R): 1/1

  • Outboard upper arm positions (F/R): 1/1

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 2/2

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2


  • Bodies: Plastic friction shocks, 11mm bore with aluminum caps

  • Shafts: 10mm plastic


  • Type/ratio: Shaft-driven 4WD, 2.60:1

  • Spur gear/pinion: 70/22

  • Slipper clutch: None

  • Differentials (F/R): Gear-type

  • Driveshafts: Plastic front and rear dogbones, plastic center driveshaft

  • Bearings: Plastic and metal bushings


  • Wheels: Tamiya 5-spoke, 12mm Hex

  • Tires: Tamiya 2.5 in. Street Treads

  • Body: Tamiya LaFerrari


  • Speed control: Tamiya TEU-105BK

  • Motor: 540 brushed 27T stock, closed endbell


  • Transmitter & receiver: Tamiya Finespec 2.4GHz 2-channel

  • Speed control: LRP Spin Super brushless

  • Motor: LRP Vector K7 13.5T

  • Steering servo: Tamiya TSU-03

  • Battery: LRP 2S 7.4V 5700mAh LiPo

Rather than a plain rod shape, the plastic center shaft has a girder-like design to resist flex.


With the motor cover removed, the plastic motor mount is revealed.

The TT-02 chassis saves a bunch of bucks by spec'ing an all-plastic drivetrain, and Tamiya does a good job of engineering the parts around the material. The outdrives and dogbones are extra beefy, and use steel cross-pins and stub axles for strength in these high-stress areas. The main shaft is heavily webbed and ribbed to resist twisting, and keys deeply into the drive-pinion cups. Likewise, the bevel pinion and differential ring gears are ruggedly molded with broad tooth faces, and the diffs each contain four spider gears. Plastic bushings support the main shaft and stub axles to keep the kit's cost low, but the diffs spin on 12×8mm ball bearings. Once greased and assembled, you can expect long, long wear out of the drivetrain, which is under-taxed by the kit motor (and why we had no hesita tion in dropping in more horse power).


As Ferrari's new top-shelf model, its body design is among the most radical of the Italian marquee's lineup, and Tamiya absolutely nailed the car's proportions in stunning detail.

The awesomely scale RC body is a replica of the full-scale LaFerrari first unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show. Tamiya's version has flawless body proportions and smooth, well-defined lines. Detachable rear brake cooling cowls and scale side mirrors are a great touch, and the body is ready to accept front and rear LED light systems with the included mounts and brackets. The body comes clear, ready to accept the color of your choice — but really, does any color on Earth look better on a Ferrari than red?


The TT-02 chassis does a great job of packaging the electronics, and it's an easy build.

Battery access is easy, just yank a couple of body clips. Here, an LRP 5700mAh LiPo provides the power.

The TT-02 chassis is cleverly designed to minimize the number of individual parts, and this is evidenced by the semi-tub chassis, which features integrated front and rear lower gearboxes, drive-shaft bearing supports, and arm mounts. The chassis configuration is typical for shaft drive, with the battery on the left side of the car and all the electronic gear on the right. As always with Tamiya kits, the fit and finish of the parts is impeccable. The thickly molded ABS construction can take a hit and return perfectly to its form tweak-free, thanks to the one-piece design and plastic with just the right amount of give. Although the material is flexible, excessive flex is minimized with torsional support beams that line the bottom of the chassis, which results in good steer ing response and traction on clean surfaces.

LRP Spin Super Speed Control and Vector K7 13.5T Motor

The Spin Super arrives pre-wired with a genuine Deans plug. The K7 motor is fully rebuildable and features easy-to-solder wire tabs.

The LRP Spin Super speed control is an excellent entry-level, sensored unit that features a small footprint and forward and reverse operation. The 13.5T motor is more than enough to accelerate this dream machine to 33+ mph during testing — more than enough speed to satisfy even the most critical RC enthusiasts. And to provide an impeccable power source, LRP's 5600mAh “Competition Car” LiPo gives the Ferrari plenty of instant-access battery burst, with runtimes averaging around 15 minutes long — plenty of run time considering the rpm generated by the 13.5T motor. Although many users may not run such hot gear, it is great to know that the LaFerrari's drivetrain has the potential to handle high-performance power.

  • LRP Spin Super speed control: Item no. 80230, $75

  • LRP Vector K7 13.5 motor: 50461, $65

  • LRP Comp. Car Hardcase 5700mAh LiPo: 430206, $100


Fixed-length arms lock in the suspension settings, and friction shocks absorb jolts. Gotta love the faux brake calipers — extra style points!

The TT-02's suspension features fixed-length upper and lower suspension arms, which typically means that suspension settings are fixed. In the case of the TT-02, however, Tamiya ingeniously designed the suspension parts to be configured in a variety of positions to alter the chassis' dimensions. Ride height can be set high or low by flipping the hub carriers, width can be increased by installing wider-off set hex hubs, and wheelbase can be set to “short” by flipping the suspension arms. The width and wheelbase adjustments will come in handy if you decide to outfit the chassis with a different body, and the “high” ground clearance setting can help with rough parking lots. Expect a bouncy ride at any setting though, as Tamiya specs friction shocks with the TT-02. Each shock has just four parts that cleverly interlock together without hardware or tools, making for speedy assembly. You can upgrade to Tamiya's oil-filled CVA shocks later for a smoother ride.


  • Easy and fun to build

  • Lots of upgrade potential

  • Highly detailed body

  • Chassis can be configured for different body styles

  • Oil-filled shocks are not standard

  • Tires don't include inserts

Here's the real deal — Tamiya nailed it!

Ferrari's Hot-Rod Hybrid

Stuck somewhere between exotic and erotic lays the LaFerrari — an extremely exclusive hybrid built to overload the senses. It is the first Ferrari in decades designed outside the Pininfarina studio. The resin-infused, carbon-fiber body is a design that challenges the outrageousness of Zender, McLaren, Lamborghini, and even the Vector. How fast is this very limited production (just 499) Italian? Try this on for size: 0-60 in 2.7 seconds, reaching 125mph in 6.8 seconds and tops out at 218mph. It has a 789 horsepower, 6.3L, V-12 engine. But, if that's not enough, LaFerrari also draws acceleration from an additional 161hp HY-KERS electric motor for a grand total of 950hp. Yes, this is a true hybrid unlike a Prius owner's wildest dreams. With 517 lb.-ft. of torque and the ability to rev past 9,000rpm, this is the world's ultimate (for now) sports car. And the price? Well, as they say, “if you have to ask …” The only ones not asking are part of the Jay Leno Car Club. As for the rest of us, try $1.5 million.
—Alan Paradise


Unlike a slammed competition touring car that can only run on a smooth track, the LaFerrari has generous ground clearance for all-around street and sidewalk running. It almost feels like a rally car, easily handling dusty, uneven surfaces and minor debris. Cracked asphalt, drainage dips, and other pavement imperfections were easily handled. For really rough stuff, flipping the reversible C-hubs will give extra ground clearance. High-speed testing was completed in an empty tennis court, which had recently been resurfaced. Thanks to the LRP 13.5T brushless motor, the car had plenty of grunt off the line. The efficient 4WD shaft system put the rpm to the ground with authority, and although the stock tires that come with the car are decent, they lack tire inserts. As a result, traction suffers a bit, but the silver lining is that the LaFerrari almost feels like a hybrid drift car, because it is easy to transition right into an aggressive drift after building a little speed. If you are looking to improve high-speed handling, upgrade the tires, but even if you don't, you will still have a blast.

Aggressive cornering is a bit of a challenge for the LaFerrari, as the included friction-type shocks (compared to the oil-filled shocks included with most other kits) are a bit bouncy and don't provide much damping. That said, the shocks are definitely adequate, especially for beginners who don't have any experience with oil-filled shocks. And as drivers gain experience, they can easily upgrade to oil-filled shocks — giving themselves something to grow into. The LaFerrari's fixed steering assembly has a surprising amount of potential, but the included fixed linkages are more user friendly and incredibly easy to install. The LaFerrari turns sharp at low speeds, and at higher velocity will oversteer entertainingly through turns as you adjust your line with the throttle.


With the LaFerrari, Tamiya successfully hits multiple marks. To start, it is rare to find fully licensed Ferrari items in RC. And Tamiya doesn't disappoint with the LaFerrari; its scale appearance and body details are amazing, which is sure to make it popular with existing hobbyists and even draw newcomers to the scene. More than anything, though, Tamiya succeeded in releasing an unassembled touring car kit that someone with little or no experience can enjoy. And with a slew of attractive upgrades from Tamiya, drivers can add parts whenever they see fit, transforming this stock kit into something competitive on the track. When it's built up with aftermarket goodies, or simply driven as-is, the LaFerrari is something that any RC enthusiast can enjoy.


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PROTEK R/C PRODIGY 612 DUO AC/DC CHARGER http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/protek-rc-prodigy-612-duo-acdc-charger/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=protek-rc-prodigy-612-duo-acdc-charger http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/protek-rc-prodigy-612-duo-acdc-charger/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:00:00 +0000 The RC Car Action Team http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/protek-rc-prodigy-612-duo-acdc-charger/ TRIED · TESTED · TORTURED

The Prodigy goes full-option

The ProTek R/C Prodigy 612 Duo AC/DC, like many other dual chargers on the market, shares multi-chemistry, dual-channel charging and discharging among other things on its list of pluses. But its additional features such as the Precharge function, that claims to be able to revive over-discharged LiPos, and the Digital Power Program, which can power other DC devices from 3 to 24 volts, make it stand out from the crowd. An all-metal case, bright back-lit screen, and high output charge and discharge finish it off in top-shelf fashion. Let's check it out.


  • Input voltage: AC 110 or 220 volts, DC 11-18 volts

  • Battery type: Ni-Cd/NiMh/ Li-ion/LiPo/LiFe/Pb

  • Cell count: NiCd/NiMh: 1-16 cells; Lithium: 1-6 cells

  • Charge current: 0.1-12.0A

  • Discharge current: 0.1-5.0A

  • Digital power output: 3-24 volts

  • Size: 8.2 × 6.7 × 2.5 in. (208 × 170 × 63mm)

  • Weight: 2lb. 4 oz. (1250g)

  • Price: $170


  • ⊕ Cutting-edge features

  • ⊕ Easy-to-use, familiar menu system


  • ⊝ Does not include a charge lead for Traxxas plugs


The 612 Duo comes with everything you'll need to get charging; an AC power cord, DC power supply lead, charge leads, alligator clips, and balance boards for each channel are all included.

The Duo features a Precharge mode that allows you to revive LiPo packs that have been discharged too far. Simply plug your pack into the balancer and start this mode, and it will bring your packs back from the dead.

The 612 Duo is a dual-channel charger, so it can charge two packs at one time. Like many other chargers on the market, it can handle multiple battery chemistries and charges up to 12 amps per channel and discharges up to 5 amps. The body of the Duo is aluminum, so it acts like a huge heat sink to keep the internals running cool. The charger also features a bright backlit LED that displays all pertinent information. Each side of the unit has outputs for the battery leads for its associated channel, a balance board plug, and an input for an optional temperature sensor. The left side also has the AC power input while the right gets the DC input. The menu system is your standard issue, but has some additions that make the 612 Duo unique:

  • Charge: Charging is pretty straightforward. You can choose from LiPo, LiFe, Li-Ion, Pb, NiMH, or Ni-Cd batteries. Pressing “Start/Enter” allows you to scroll through the settings to adjust current rate, capacity, and cell counts, and holding the same button initiates the process. Once charging, the screen displays current rate, pack voltage, charge time, and capacity charged. While the process is running, you can use the right arrow key to view individual cell voltage (when using the included balance board) and the left arrow key to view and even modify all presets such as end voltage, capacity cutoff, safety timer, battery temperature cutoff, charger temperatures, and input voltage.

  • Precharge: This mode is meant to revive LiPo packs that have been discharged below 3 volts per cell. When the Precharge mode is used, the charger ignores the low voltage setting that is typically in place for Lithium batteries and applies a steady current to the pack until it is back up to voltage. This feature must be turned off when not in use but is a great way to revive packs that would otherwise be lost forever.

  • Balance Charge: The Duo's Balance Charge feature handles all the same info and process as the Charge feature, but monitors each cell in the pack and charges them individually to ensure they have the exact same voltage per cell. This keeps the pack healthy and improves run time and performance in the long run.

  • storage: Storage mode evaluates the battery and automatically determines whether it needs to be charged or discharged to reach its preset 40% voltage. This is ideal for long-term storage of your packs and keeps lithium chemistry packs from going bad when not used for extended periods of time.

  • Discharge: The 612 is capable of discharging all packs at up to 5 amps and can bring them down to a user-set voltage of between 3.0 and 4.0 volts per cell when using the balance board. Although discharging isn't recommended for LiPo batteries, it is a nice feature to have if you end up with a charged pack you didn't run.

  • User Settings: Within the User Settings menu you'll find all preset data and can make adjustments to the parameters as you choose. Things like precharge and wait timers are set here, as well as NiMH and Ni-Cd voltage sensitivity, temperature, time and capacity cutoffs, and even a cutff for input power. There's also a menu to turn all beeps and buzzers on or off.

  • Digital Power: This feature turns either of your 612 Duo's outputs into a power supply. If your actual power supply only has one set of outputs or if you don't own a power supply and are running the Duo on AC power, you can use it to power other chargers and DC devices with 3 to 24 volts of power.


Without question, one of the most unique features of the Prodigy 612 Duo is the Pre-charge feature. I'm as guilty as any of leaving a battery plugged in after I'm done running, forgetting about it for weeks on end, and running the pack down to zero volts. With Precharge turned on and set up, I connected one of my “someday I'll throw this pack out” LiPo packs and began the charging process. Zero volts turned to one, one turned to two and a half, and in a few minutes, the battery's voltage was back from the dead and ready to be charged! Precharge will charge the pack to its proper peak detection, however, ProTek recommends that you monitor the charge carefully. After all, you are dealing with a pack that was otherwise irreparably damaged. With the pack charged, I decided that the best thing for this once-deceased battery would be to balance it to get things back on the right foot. I turned off Precharge from the User Setting menu, returned to the main set of menus, and selected Balance. As the pack balanced out, I pressed the right arrow key to view each cell's voltage. It topped off the pack when both cells settled on 4.2 volts/cell and signaled me with an audible buzzer. Next, I set up the Digital Power feature and set it to 10 amps and 14 volts. I plugged another charger into Channel 2, pressed “Start/Enter,” and the screen showed the power coming up. Then the charger turned on! Obviously the limit of this feature is whatever your source for power is to begin with. If you're using AC power, you will rely on the internal power supply, which can handle 12 amps to feed your other device, and if you're using another power supply, you're good up to its output rating. With Channel 1 charging a battery and a solid 5 amps, Channel 2 had another dual-charger fired up and charging two more packs at another 5 amps each. If it weren't for the Precharge feature, I would argue that this is the coolest feature of the 612 Duo.


The ProTek R/C Prodigy 612 Duo is a versatile charger that can adapt to any situation you have. With features like Precharge which can recover over discharged packs, it's worth its weight in gold. The Digital Power output is rock solid and is only limited by your imagination. Use it to power more chargers and expand your capability beyond just two packs. It can be used as a power supply if you don't own one for a number of other devices like motor testers, pit lamps and anything else that needs DC power on your workbench. It has all the same basic charge and discharge features that have become the norm, things like a Balance charge and an intuitive Storage feature but it's these other features that put the Prodigy 612 Duo a step ahead of the competition. —Erich Reichert


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INTECH ER-12 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/intech-er-12/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=intech-er-12 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/intech-er-12/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Erich Reichert http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/intech-er-12/ 1/10-SCALE ELECTRIC 2WD BUGGY | KIT


Intech breaks out with a full-option buggy

In the fast-paced world of off-road racing, its very difficult for a new brand to get into the mix and make a name for themselves. After all, that means going up against the most established names in the hobby that were pretty much all founded on 2WD platforms. Intech has recently launched their new ER-12 buggy as the first in a line of off-roaders poised to give their rivals a run for their money. The 12 comes decked out with competition-geared options like big-bore aluminum shocks, a tunable aluminum chassis, carbon-fiber shock towers, and much more, all at a price that lands it as one of the least expensive buggies on the market. Design-wise, Intech cribs freely from the current 2WD competition buggy playbook with its aluminum chassis, flipped front shock tower with flying-buttress supports, and rear-ormid-motor convertible chassis — all very Durango-like. With its loaded spec sheet and relatively low price, the ER-12 is capable of going head-to-head with the big boys. Let's see if it has the firepower to keep up.


  • Item no.: ITRER-12

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $300

  • Weight, as tested: 3 lb., 8 oz. (1590g)


  • Type: Single plate

  • Material: 3mm aluminum plate with molded side pods


  • Type: Lower A-arm with adjustable camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 2/1

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 2/3

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 3/3

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/3

  • Camber links/tie rods: 2.5mm steel turnbuckle


  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 12mm bore

  • Shafts: 3mm steel, hard anodized

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type/ratio: Gear-driven 2WD 2.6:1

  • Spur gear/pinion: 87T/22T/48 pitch

  • Slipper clutch: Dual-pad, adjustable

  • Differentials: Fluid-filled gear diflerential

  • Driveshafts (F/R): CV-type steel

  • Bearings: Metal-shielded ball


  • Wheels: White dish wheels, 12mm hex

  • Tires: VP Pro Friction (front), VP Pro Turbo Trax (rear)

  • Inserts: Closed-cell foam


  • Transmitter: Airtronics MT4

  • Receiver: Airtronics RX-461

  • Speed control: Novak Pulse

  • Motor: Novak Ballistic 10.5

  • Steering servo: Airtronics 94775, 151 oz.-in., 0.13s/60 degrees

⋆Price varies by dealer


By turning the axle insert over in the steering block, the ER-12 can run either trailing or inline axle setups to tailor the feel of the steering.

The ER-12's steering blocks feature an insert that can be turned over the other way to change the axle's relationship to the kingpin. With the hole toward the rear, the buggy has a trailing-type axle, which makes the car more stable and increases low-speed steering. With it forward, it has a standard inline axle, which is more responsive and feels more direct.


No worries about flexing here. The shock towers on the ER-12 are a burly 4mm thick!

The 12mm shocks on the ER-12 are top-notch and finished neatly with fine adjustment threads and a sharp-looking, red-anodized spring collar.

Now that's some thick graphite! The suspension is attached to the buggy via a pair of 4mm-thick carbon-fiber shock towers. Because they're so thick, the towers have zero flex and provide a rock-solid foundation for the shocks. They offer three upper-shock mounting positions to give you plenty of tuning options to dial in the ER-12.


Intech has trimmed the ER-12 out with the best of the best, and that includes the shocks. A full set of aluminum body big bore shocks handle damping. The finishes on the shocks are excellent, with crisp, fine threads on the bodies and bores that are polished to a mirror shine. The threaded bodies offer fine-tuning for ride height adjustments and house a set of bottom-loaded shock seals for easy rebuilds. Volume compensation is handled by bladders, and shock action is very smooth. Also nice: the robust aluminum standoffs between the shocks and towers.


Airtronics MT4

As a competition kit, the ER-12 leaves all the electronics choices to you. Along with a Novak power system, I chose Airtronics gear to complete the buggy. The MT4 radio saves quite a few bucks over the flagship M12 transmitter, but is still a loaded, pro-grade pistol. Along with the expected adjustable features, the MT4 offers telemetry data for temperature, rpm/speed, and voltage. That's a lot of radio for right around $200.


It's hard to spot, but you can see the Novak Pulse speed control and Novak Ballistic motor tucked neatly behind the battery pack. Using a shorty pack means there's plenty of room for electronics to be mounted down the middle of the chassis.

The open layout of the ER-12 lends itself well to tuning with extra ballast weight. In mid- or rear-motor configurations, there is plenty of room to add weight, and the battery tray gives you two options for both shorty and full-length packs. With the tranny configured for a mid-motor setup, there's still plenty of room to fit our Novak Pulse speed control down the middle of the chassis. This provides optimal weight placement in the car and neatens up the wiring. The chassis has also been cut out underneath the steering servo to add optional weight to increase steering.


The kit includes 12mm aluminum hexes, something that is otherwise an option part on most buggies.

The chassis is cut out beneath the steering servo to allow for an optional ballast weight that Intech offers to increase steering.

12mm aluminum hexes are standard gear on the ER-12 and feature a captured drive pin that's kept in place by the wheel hex. With the wheel removed, the pin slides out easily for maintenance, and because it's supported in the middle of the hex, it won't be stripping out or breaking any time soon.


Building the ER-12 is a fairly simple task. Although the instruction manual has no written instructions, the hardware call-outs are 1:1, so you can match up screws and bearings to the photo to ensure you have the right ones. The majority of the parts fit together perfectly, but some steps require a slightly higher level of building skill in order to get them right the first time. Here are a few handy tips to get your ER-12 built like a champ.


The ER-12 has a gear differential that goes together easily, but when assembled, it has a tendency to warp slightly, which causes its gear mesh to vary a little. You can pre-thread the holes on the receiving end of the diff to help with some of the flex, but Intech recommends running the tranny to break it in. Or, skip the gear diff and install Intech's optional ball differential.


The shocks are another area where extra attention is needed. The bottom-loading seals fit the shock shaft very closely, especially when inserted into the shock body. Using a high-quality shock grease to lubricate the seals is a must, and it isn't a bad idea to ream the plastic fittings out to 3mm either to ensure that they don't pinch the shaft once assembled.


The rest of the car is a piece of cake to get built, and I opted for the mid-motor setup. Because the ER-12 has a three-gear tranny, the motor faces the same way as it would in a rear-motor setup. Intech includes an optional gear cover for either direction should you choose to swap it over later on.


I installed a Novak Pulse and Ballistic 10.5 motor combo behind the forward-mounted ProTek R/C shorty pack to keep the weight down the middle of the car. This keeps everything as close to the center of gravity as possible and lowers chassis roll during corners. A side bonus is that the bulk of your wiring is kept short and to the point (or in this case, motor).


The ER-12 comes with one body for both configurations but has no extra cut lines to accommodate the transmission sticking out of the right side when you opt for a mid-motor setup. The best way to avoid cutting too much off is to make small cuts and test-fit the body. Also, because the body posts are so tight to the body, bend the body clips to help get them off a little easier.


Zegers Graffixx finished off the ER-12 with a killer neon paint scheme, and with a set of VP Pro tires mounted up, I headed to Wolcott Hobby in Waterbury, CT, for testing. On the hard-packed indoor track, the ER-12 has balance and poise. It's very light on its feet and steering input is instant thanks to the mid-motor setup. Down the straightaway, the Ballistic 10.5 quickly overpowered the Turbo Trax tires, which were better suited for a small amount of dust, making getting on the gas a little touchier. The biggest plus of driving the ER-12 is definitely its jumping capability. Over small jumps, and even the largest double on the course, the ER-12 is majorly predicable and level-headed. Over more rounded jumps, it requires some extra throttle in the air to keep the nose up, but it is one of the easiest cars to control in the air I've driven to date. Thanks to the buggy's thick shock towers and carbon-fiber steering system, steering is crisp. The car cuts in briskly and insists on a little extra throttle input to keep its rear tires behind it, but the result is a higher cornering speed than you'd normally expect and a car that rewards you with better lap times. In stock trim, and with admittedly the wrong rear tires (nothing wrong with 'em, but I didn't choose the ideal tread pattern), my lap times were only a few tenths of a second off of the pace of cars that have run the same track week in and week out. Since Wolcott also has an outdoor facility, I tried the ER-12 there and put its Turbo Trax rear tires to the test on a surface they're far more suited for. Acceleration certainly improved thanks to the dustier surface outside, and the car tracked better in a straight line. For outdoor racing conditions, a rear-motor setup is best because it moves the weight of the motor closer to the rear wheels for extra traction. Swapping it over is a bit intensive as the top shaft has to come out and a number of parts have to be flipped, turned, or flat-out replaced to get the motor parked out back, but once done, most racers will keep this car setup for their home track. With the weight in the rear, the car doesn't carry as much corner speed, but it's much easier to drive. While it's nice to have the mid-motor option, I would recommend a rear setup for nearly all circumstances.


Plenty of top-shelf option parts included

Jumps like a champ

Well priced for a full-option buggy

Transmission requires break in time before running

Body does not have cut lines for rear and mid motor setups


For the price, the ER-12 has a lot of options. Not only does the car include aluminum and carbon-fiber goodies, but there are also a lot of tuning options. Being able to tune the chassis with weight placement and having two motor configuration options and as many suspension settings as an on-road sedan are all plusses when you want to dial-in your car. One downside: the ER-12 requires extra attention to detail when it's assembled. If you insist on running the gear diff rather than opting for Intech's optional ball unit, you'll need to spend some extra time with the gearbox before hitting the track. A rewarding buggy that's easy to drive, mild mannered, and above all else, fast.


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THUNDER TIGER ST4 G3 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/thunder-tiger-st4-g3/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=thunder-tiger-st4-g3 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/thunder-tiger-st4-g3/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Aaron Waldron http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/thunder-tiger-st4-g3/ 1/8-SCALE ELECTRIC 4WD MONSTER TRUCK | RTR


TTR's tough truggy gets treated to a heaping helping of horsepower

Today's 1/8-scale truck class got its start in the mid-2000s with conversion kits that crossed monster trucks with 1/8-scale buggies, and it didn't take long for manufacturers to catch on — Thunder Tiger was an early adopter of the new spec, and created the original ST-1 kit in time for the first ROAR Nationals in 2005. With big tires, long travel suspension, and the largest footprint of any mainstream racing class, these overgrown stadium-style trucks still produce the fastest lap times on rough tracks to this day, and while nitro still rules the roost in competitive circles, that versatility and stability makes them the perfect platform for brutal brushless power. Thunder Tiger's ST4 G3 is a prime example of when information learned on the track trickles down to the everyday hobbyist. With 14.8 volts of electrons now flowing through its veins rather than 30% nitro fuel, this version of the TT ST is a whole different animal.


  • Item no.: TT6404

  • Scale: 1/8

  • Price⋆: $480

  • Weight, as tested: 8.6 lb. (3920g)


  • Type: Double-deck plate

  • Material: Stamped 3mm aluminum


  • Type (F/R): Dual pivot ball / lower H-arm with upper camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/5

  • Outboard camber-link positions (F/R): NA/4

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 4/6

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2


  • Bodies: Plastic 16mm bodies with ride height clips

  • Shafts: 3.5mm, plated finish

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type/ratio: 4WD with front, center, and rear differentials/4.3:1

  • Spur gear/pinion: 48/13

  • Slipper clutch: None

  • Differential: Sealed oil-filled

  • Driveshafts: Steel CV-style front and rear, steel center dogbones

  • Bearings: Rubber-sealed


  • Wheels: Thunder Tiger black dish wheels, half-inch offset

  • Tires: Thunder Tiger square-lug, soft compound, open-cell foam

  • Body: Thunder Tiger ST4 G3 body, pre-screened


  • Transmitter: ACE RC Cougar GP3 2.4GHz 3 channel

  • Receiver: ACE RC TRS403ss 2.4GHz 4 channel

  • Speed control: ACE RC BLC-80C brushless LiPo speed control w/reverse

  • Motor: ACE RC Ripper IBL40 2000 KV brushless motor

  • Steering servo: ACE RC DS2008MG Digital Metal Gear, 130 oz.-in.


  • Battery: TrakPower 6800mAh 2S 7.4V 70C LiPo battery × 2


The center differential sitting below that red diff mount brace gets much of the credit for the ST4's off-road prowess.

Three oil-filled gear differentials are in charge of metering the power to the tires, though it's the unit in the center of the truck that's most responsible for the truck's off-road poise — the center differential was one of the biggest differences between old-school monster trucks and new-age 1/8-scale stadium trucks, which allows the front and rear diffs to temporarily spin at different speeds when traversing rough terrain in order to avoid upset ting the chassis. Steel CV-style universals are a welcome addition at the front and rear, though dogbones to key the front and rear gearboxes to the center differential are more than adequate as you won't likely lose one in the event you actually manage to break something.


The ST4's long arms are thickly molded to handle fun-running abuse, and the pivot-ball hubs allow precise camber adjustment.

The shocks fall well into “big bore” territory with their 16mm inside diameter, and are stiffy sprung for big-hit action.

Though they're not threaded, and instead rely on clips for ride height adjustments, the plastic shocks on the ST4 are up-to-date with a large 16mm bore, and plastic caps at both ends to contain the bladder and O-rings. They can be mounted in a variety of locations on both stamped aluminum shock towers, which are abundantly burly at 3mm thick. Though the rear suspension gets a typical lower H-arm with a threaded upper link, the front upper arms and lower wishbones end in pillow balls that offer near-infinite camber and track width adjustments. Check out the shape of the upper front arms — if that's not enough of an indication of the abuse this truck was meant to endure, just look at the amount of material used for the rest of the truck!


The upper deck is an interesting addition to a well-sorted chassis, providing extra stiffness and protection. Four easy-to-operate hinged locks make battery changes a snap.

The most interesting update to the ST4 G3 is its chassis design, which uses a stamped aluminum plate for a lower backbone on which to mount everything, and a removable plastic upper deck that's locked into place with four hinge locks. The main purpose of the upper deck is to retain the batteries, either two 2S LiPo batteries or a single 4S pack, but it also provides additional stiffness and rigidity for the chassis as well as extra protection for the running gear. Like the upper deck's locking tabs, the center diff mount brace and lower spur gear skidplate, which protrudes below the aluminum plate, are molded in red plastic.

Do those large adjustment dials and comfortable grip look familiar? The ACE RC Cougar GP3 transmitter is the same unit used in Team Associated's Rival monster truck — it worked well then, and it does so now.


The tires included with the ST4 G3 are older 1/8-scale truck-style, with tall sidewalls that emphasize the truck's rut-bouncing behavior as they tear the dirt beneath them when you clamp the trigger. The first time I jumped on the throttle, the urgency with which the G3 raced to its top speed caught me off guard — I was not expecting this truck to have that much power! I have no doubt that taller gearing would extend the truck's 35mph top speed, but that's plenty fast to be a bit scary when the nearly 9-pound G3 is skipping across ruts and blasting berms. If it wasn't for the center differential, the truck would likely front-flip when the trigger is flicked forward, but that same power-transferring marvel of modern engineering makes the truck surprisingly stable over rough terrain — almost too stable, as the truck rewards bone-headed, ham-fisted driving with more speed, more roost, and more fun. The servo isn't remarkably fast, but I never noticed — it did a great job manhandling the big front tires in whichever direction I chose and no matter how hard I tried to pitch it sideways the truck simply followed suit …which, of course, meant that I kept trying harder. I never managed to get the truck stuck anywhere, but reverse sure came in handy during the photo shoot!

Being able to transfer all that power to the ground, regardless of how rough the ground is beneath it, makes it easy to gain plenty of speed leading up to the face of a jump and launch the surprisingly agile monster skyward. The instant reaction of the speed control to throttle and brake inputs mid-air made it easy to adjust the truck's in-flight attitude, and the combination of cushy tires and well-sorted shocks soaked up even the most extreme jump landings — even after soaring well overhead. In fact, the ST4 was the first truck I've tested that could repeatedly double-double its way through our SoCal test track's tricky rhythm section, yet didn't mind blitzing the bumps full throttle as well. When the truck unexpectedly rolled to a stop I thought I had finally won the battle — but it turns out that the motor had simply moved away from the spur gear, which required a ball-end 2.5mm wrench and some creative maneuvering to tighten back in place. Then it was back to an afternoon of trying to beat the truck into submission, but I wore out before the ST4 G3 did.


What the motor and speed control lack in flashy graphics, they make up for with power and pack a serious punch.

The body for the ST4 G3 loosely resembles a truck and is screened in red and black, with fluorescent yellow accents added later as stickers rather than painted into the scheme. Beneath it, you'll find the 4-channel receiver fastened straight to the chassis — no receiver box here — opposite a digital metal gear servo rated at 108.3 oz.-in. of torque and .21 sec./60 deg. Since the receiver is left open to the elements, it's a bit of a waste that the 80A speed control has a waterproof and dustproof case with integrated fan, but the high-power unit is charged with controlling the power sent to the 1/8-scale sized, 40mm long IBL 40/20 motor rated at 2000KV. That motor spins soft-compound tires with an aggressive square-lug pattern, which are mounted to black dish wheels that match the large rear wing.


Deceptively fast

Soaks up radical terrain

Withstands a serious beating!

Not a fan of the extreme cab-forward styling

Electronics are exposed to water and dirt


With the Thunder Tiger ST4 G3 clearly designed for high-output fun rather than competition aspirations, I find the best judge of its performance to be the grin pinned across my face and accompanying giggle that didn't stop until the truck did — thank goodness for the LiPo cutoff! The ST4's incredible off-road prowess calls for prodigious power, and the included electronics are totally up to snuff, though they're not protected from the elements. Since the truck isn't pre-destined for the racetrack I'd much prefer the truck look more like, well, a conventional truck, but the ST4 G3 is a terrific example of both what happens when good race trucks transition to the sport-driving scene, and that beauty is more than Lexan deep.


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CARISMA GT10DT http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/carisma-gt10dt/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=carisma-gt10dt http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/carisma-gt10dt/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:00:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/carisma-gt10dt/ 1/10-SCALE ELECTRIC 4WD TRUCK | RTR


Desert-ready realism in a compact, 4WD package

Carisma calls its new GT10DT desert buggy a “mini 1/10-scale” model, and while indeed small (1/12 scale seems about right), the car is big on features. “Features” usually means “tech stuff,” and the GT10DT shines there too, but the car's most attractive feature, and the one that will no doubt earn it the most attention, is its realism. The proportions are just right (with the exception of the super-sized light bar), and the tubular cage-style chassis detail beneath the body panels give it the look of a display model — something normally reserved these days for the scale trail-rig scene. Beyond looks, Carisma specs the car for realistic driving action, with water-resistant electronics and brushless power for an exciting ride befitting the full-size machines after which the GT10DT is modeled. Carisma offers an interesting package: the car is small enough to fit in a backpack, can be driven through almost any wet or dry terrain you can throw at it, and looks like the real thing, down to the functional spare tire mounted in the bed area. Let's drive it.


  • Item no.: 70868

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price⋆: $250


  • Type: Aluminum

  • Material: 2.5mm aluminum plate with plastic bracing


  • Type: Lower A-arm with fixed camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/1

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/2

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 1/1

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2

  • Camber links/tie rods: Plastic, fixed length


  • Bodies: Plastic, 10mm bore

  • Shafts: 3mm steel, chrome plated

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type/ratio: Shaft-driven 4WD 2.47:1

  • Spur gear/pinion: 70T/14T 48 pitch

  • Slipper clutch: Dual-pad, adjustable

  • Differentials (F/R): Steel bevel gear

  • Driveshafts (F/R): Steel dogbone

  • Bearings: Shielded ball


  • Wheels: One-piece Centerline replica,12mm hex

  • Tires: Carisma Desert Grip

  • Inserts: Open-cell foam


  • Transmitter: Carisma CTX-2710 2.4GHz FHSS 2-channel

  • Receiver: Carisma MRC2800 2.4GHz 3-channel micro

  • Speed control: Carisma MSC-18WP

  • Motor: Carisma 4500KV brushless

  • Steering servo: Carisma MS903WP metal-gear


The GT10DT's plastic-body shocks are well sealed and operate smoothly.

The GT10DT sticks with proven RC suspension tech, using lower H-arms with one-piece upper links to set the camber positions. Hingepins are used on all four corners, but they aren't captured, so you're going to have e-clips back in your life. Plastic-body, oil-filled shocks with bottom-loaded dual O-rings handle damping. The shocks look “big bore” on the compact chassis, but are actually “standard” size with 10mm bores. The steering system is a bearing-supported bellcrank setup, with an integrated adjustable servo saver. Fixed-length links are used here as well, so the car's toe-in settings are fixed (at least until you upgrade to adjustable links).

Carisma's CTX-2710 pistol trims cost with a solid-plastic steering wheel and a simple decal for decoration, but spends where it counts with a 2.4GHz signal and adjustable steering rate (that's the knob on top). A pair of LEDs indicate power-on and battery status, and the transmitter offers more range than you're likely to need for the GT10DT's size and speed.


With the exception of the diff cases, all the drivetrain parts are steel. Dogbones connect the diffs to the spur gear, and spin the wheels via 12mm hexes.

Extra care appears to have gone into the drivetrain area, as seen by the extensive use of steel throughout. From the differentials' bevel gears to the input pinions, to the dogbones and the drive cups, to all the bevel gears inside the diff — it's all steel. The diff cases are the only parts of the drivetrain that are plastic. Unlike most 1/10 scale shaft-driven cars, the GT10DT does not use a continuous center shaft to link the front and rear diffs. Instead, the center spur gear is held by a bearing-supported mount, 1/9 scale buggy style, and separate front and rear dogbones reach out to the diffs. This eliminates the need for the spur gear and drive pinions to line up on a communal shaft, and allows more freedom in packaging the chassis components. The spur gear features a dual-pad slipper clutch, which is adjustable to match the running surface. All the rotating parts are supported by shielded ball bearings for low friction.


Even with its body panels removed, the GT10DT still looks like a desert buggy thanks to its plastic tube-look cage.

The GT10DT uses a conventional shaft-driven 4WD layout built on an aluminum chassis.

The included light bar looks good (though a bit oversized). An LED lighting kit is optional.

That's a working spare tire mounted on the back; it can actually be rotated in at any corner, if you should need it.

Something we rarely see in models this size is an aluminum chassis. The GT10DT's stamped chassis plate with radiused sides for strength, and is black anodized to match the car's plastic parts. On the top side, molded bracing runs from the bulkhead on each end to the center spur mount. This provides enough rigidity for the suspension to do its job and still provide some traction-generating torsional flex. Layout-wise, the chassis is typical for shaft-driven 4WD, with the servo and motor on one side of the chassis (the left, in this case) balanced by the battery on the other side of the shaft. Because of the GT10D's small-ish size (Carisma says the car is 1/10 scale, but it appears closer to 1/12), the receiver and speed control are held above the main chassis, on the top deck. A molded body cage protects the running gear and even has light buckets on the roof (and LED lighting kit is optional). Polycarbonate roof, door, fender, and hood panels add more realism to the body.


What stands out most about the GT10DT is its looks. The bright orange body panels are fastened to a robust molded cage that is very strong. I expected it to be fastened to the chassis by a couple of body clips, but nope, six screws are used to mount it, and it actually strengthens the chassis quite a bit. Even the light buckets and roll bar up top aren't the decorative pieces you would expect; they are seriously tough. This toughness was proven during the abuse I subjected the GT10DT to — running into stumps, casing jumps, and tumbles and rolls too numerous to count. And these weren't low-speed impacts; the GT10DT's 4500KV brushless motor propels it to a top speed of 30mph. After all that, there were many scratches but no mechanical glitches to be found. The tread pattern on the five tires (yeah, the spare strapped to the back is functional, so it counts) is a scale-like design rather than a dedicated RC-style off -road tread, so I didn't have high hopes for them. But the 4WD drivetrain and the powerful brushless motor let those tires claw their way through loose dirt and grip more authoritatively on hard-pack than I expected. Combine the traction-generating layout with a weight distribution skewed toward the rear of the buggy, and you have a driving experience that is largely “point and shoot.” With all four wheels getting power, you almost have to work to get it to swap ends. That's not to say that it pushes excessively; it has just enough push to let you drive it hard with more confidence. The 2.4GHz radio has an easily accessible dual-rate adjustment, so you can make quick changes to dial in or dial out the amount of steering throw needed for your running surface. I don't really expect scale desert runners to be able to handle jumps like a 1/10-scale racing buggy or stadium truck, but the GT10DT is a competent flyer and very controllable in the air with a tap of the brakes or a stab of throttle. Shock damping is light, however, and chassis slap on landings was common. Thicker shock oil would go a long way to keep GT10DT from bottoming out, and sharpen up steering response on high-traction surfaces.


The speed control and receiver are both water resistant (note the sealant on the receiver box), and the speed control works with brushed motors as well as the supplied 4500KV brushless 380-sized powerplant.

The GT10D's 380-size 4500KV brushless motor is well suited to the car and pushes it to 30mph.

A significant feature of GT10DT is the use of water-resistant electronics. The MSC18WP speed control can be used with sensorless brushless motors or brushed powerplants, and has a maximum input of 6-cell 7.2V NiMH battery packs or 2-cell 7.4V LiPo packs. It offers two running modes: forward with brake, and forward with reverse and Smart Brake, which slows the truck down before going into revers mode. Additionally, it has low voltage cutoff, two-stage overheating and stalled motor protection. The receiver, which can be programmed for fast digital servers or slower analog servos, is protected from the elements in a water-resistant, O-ring sealed box. Power is provided by a strong 380-size 4500KV brushless motor. The included battery is a 6-cell NiMH pack with EC2-style connectors.


Waterproof running gear

Robust drivetrain

Tough desert runner looks

Fixed-length camber and toe links

Scale-like tires look great, but could use a more aggressive tread pattern for off-roading


The Carisma GT10DT's strengths lie in its durability, its looks, and its value. It's smaller than other 1/10-scale offerings of this style, which makes it more portable, and the running gear less expensive. It doesn't sacrifice durability or even performance for size. A more aggressive tread pattern for the tires would be nice for pure off-road running, and firmer damping would benefit the car in all situations, but for general running on a variety of surfaces, Carisma largely gets it right. And as an all-inclusive, everything in the box setup, it's hard not to recommend the GT10DT.


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TAMIYA CC-01 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/tamiya-cc-01-toyota-fj-cruiser/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tamiya-cc-01-toyota-fj-cruiser http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/tamiya-cc-01-toyota-fj-cruiser/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:00:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/06/27/tamiya-cc-01-toyota-fj-cruiser/ 1/10-SCALE 4WD ROCK CRAWLER | KIT


Easy to build and fun to drive, Tamiya's take on the Toyota FJ is a great trail mix

Tamiya's new FJ Cruiser is certain to hit the same soft spot in the hearts of many hobbyists as it did for me. In 1987, I was an eager 11 year old who had just received his first serious RC car, a Tamiya kit. The Grasshopper was the highest-performing radio control car I had ever owned and the attention to scale detail in its features and body was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Fast forward to now and Tamiya has not lowered its standards for excellence. Tamiya's latest offering, the FJ Cruiser, is a testament to their extensive experience in combining functionality with highly detailed scale looks. The FJ Cruiser is based on Tamiya's tried-and true CC-01 chassis that has been extensively used in Tamiya's line of off-road trail vehicles. The rugged chassis provides a solid platform for the FJ to do its business while at the same time being extremely easy to work on. Taking care of dirty work is an independent front suspension that is coupled with a 4-link crawler inspired rear suspension and dampened by a full set of coil over fluid filled shocks. Quite possibly the best thing about the Tamiya FJ Cruiser when you first lay eyes on it, is its realistic-looking body that begs you to take this rig out on the trail. Will it work as good as it looks?


  • Item no.: 58588

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $305

  • Weight: 3 lb., 14.4 oz. (1758g)


  • Type: Molded tub

  • Material: ABS plastic


  • Type (F/R): Lower H-arm with camber link/4-link solid axle

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/0

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/0

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 1/1

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 1/1


  • Bodies: 13mm threaded plastic

  • Shafts: 3mm shafts

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type/Ratio: 4WD with front and rear differentials and center transfer case, 14.65:1

  • Pinion/Spur: 16/80

  • Slipper Clutch: none

  • Differential: Gear

  • Driveshafts (F/R): Steel dogbones/steel telescoping universal

  • Bearings: Plastic and Oilite bushings


  • Wheels: One-piece, six-spoke, 12mm hex

  • Tires: Tamiya scale all-terrain treaded


  • Speed control: Tamiya TBLE-02S Brushless compatible

  • Motor: Tamiya 540 brushed


  • Radio: Spektrum DX4R Pro

  • Servo: Hitec HS-985MG

  • Battery: Reedy WolfPack 3300mAh LiPo


The CC-01's transmission gears drop directly into the chassis tub, as you can see here with the cover removed. The wide gear faces can handle a lot of torque.

The full-sized FJ Cruiser is hardly held back by any obstacle that gets in its way, and Tamiya's version follows suit using its versatile drivetrain. The FJ Cruiser's robust transfer case powers gear differentials that feature time-tested metal internals, with three spider gears per diff. Though the diffs aren't sealed to hold oil, you are at liberty to use thick grease to alter how fast or slow they rotate. The metal spider gears inside guarantee you will still keep moving forward when the going gets rough. The front dogbones and rear shafts are keyed to the diffs via their finely splined shafts, making any slipping impossible. The rear diff internals are housed inside a beefy metal case and Tamiya includes a rear diff lockout feature, which omits the spider gears inside the rear diff in favor of plastic lockers that prevent the large bevel gears from rotating for increased climbing power at the expense of turning radius. To keep cost down, the Tamiya FJ Cruiser uses plastic and bronze bushings throughout. Ball bearings would be nicer (though pricier), but at the low speeds the CC-01 platform is designed for, you aren't giving up much with the bushings. As they wear out, replace 'em with bearings.


The CC-01's scale-like solid rear axle is centered by a 4-link setup that offers surprisingly ample articulation.

RC vehicles generally utilize independent suspension or solid axles — one or the other. The Tamiya FJ features both! Two-piece H-arms with fixed-length camber links suspend the front wheels, while the solid rear axle is centered on the chassis by a 4-link setup (the full-size FJ actually uses a panhard bar, but we're not subtracting any points). The suspension links pivot on a full set of steel and bronze pivot balls, yielding smooth action and a surprising amount of articulation given the car's scale-like stance and proportions. Tamiya's classic bladder-equipped, plastic-body shocks are oil filled and work as capably here as they have (and do) on countless Tamiya models.


The CC-01 chassis' integrated wheel wells divert debris from the chassis and enhance realism when the body is mounted.

The Tamiya FJ Land Cruiser's sturdy backbone comes in form of a plastic tub chassis. Not an unusual way to build an RC car, but the CC-01 isn't like other tub cars. The extra tall chassis side walls help keep the electronic components free of debris and moisture. There is a side battery access area that takes “round” case LiPo batteries or NiMH stick packs. There are a lot of features integrated into the chassis and house a lot of the major components of the CC-01 platform. The center spur gear, counter gears and front differential fall right into the chassis as the chassis itself doubles as the lower half of the tranny case. The easily accessible tranny top cover fastens to the chassis via four screws. On the bottom side, the wheel wells double as shock towers offering one mounting position.

The chassis was originally designed for sub-C stick packs, so boxy LiPos won't fit. Reedy's Wolf Pack LiPo features rounded sides like an old-school NiMH and slides right in.

The CC-01 chassis is plenty flexible, which allows the FJ to twist in order to comply with tough rock obstacles.

A flip-side view of the CC-01 reveals its hybrid suspension: H-arms up front, solid-axle and 4-link setup in the rear — which is just like the full-size Toyota FJ's setup.


When you look at the Tamiya FJ Cruiser, its bold stance and readiness to tackle any obstacle begs you to find increasingly tougher terrain to throw at it. Living in the coastal San Diego area, I have an overabundance amount of choices when it comes to terrain. Recognizing that the FJ would be most at home on the trail, I decided to take it to a local creek-type setting where I could put it through its paces in loose dirt, sand and gravel. The full-time 4WD really shines in the loose stuff, allowing the FJ Cruiser to make its way through deep silt; however, when climbing steep inclines in loose dirt, there was a little bit of wheel slippage up front (wheel spin can be reduced using thicker grease in the front differential) as the differential bled power to whichever tire had less traction. When it came time to descend to lower ground, the FJ dealt with the steeps with excellent composure and level attitude while applying the brakes. The Tamiya TBLE-02 S electronic speed control is programmed without any drag brake from the factory and dialing some in was quick and easy allowing more consistent braking and precise control while descending. When the dirt was a little firmer, the FJ did a great job of searching for the traction as it clawed its way to the summit of the hill it was conquering. As the FJ approached a section of fallen branches and exposed tree roots, I thought for sure these obstacles would stump the FJ. Though the FJ did struggle a bit, its sure-footedness and ability to find the traction while working in conjunction with excellent ground clearance made no obstacle too big for the mighty Tamiya. Moving on down the hill to the creek, the FJ made its way over slippery wet rocks with no problem while the tub chassis kept the electronics safe and dry. My recent obsession with rock crawling had me itching to get the FJ Cruiser to a rock quarry to tackle a chassis-twisting crawler course. The riverbed I ventured into had a man-made embankment comprised of concrete-embedded rocks that yielded plenty of traction. I immediately put the FJ into a steep climb that almost made it fall back onto itself. The 14.65:1 internal gear reduction gave the FJ more than enough pulling power to make it out of any jam. The suspension aptly twisted to form itself to any rock formation to keep the FJ Cruiser as level as possible, especially after I removed a couple of the preload clips on the shocks. Though the kit tires did do a solid good job on the rocks, a softer set of crawler-specific rubber would really improve the climbing prowess of the FJ Cruiser in the quarry.


The FJ Cruiser is among the first Tamiya kits to include the TBLE-02S speed control, a brushless-ready unit that will accompany more Tamiya new releases. The compact unit is paired with a brushed motor in the FJ, but can also spin sensored brushless motors with a maximum continuous current of 60 amps and 10.5-turn motor limit. Reverse can be disabled for track use, and additional adjustments include fine-tuning the drag brake and push brake force. Don't fret too much when you find yourself in rain or puddles; the circuit board is coated with a resin that makes the TBLE-02s water resistant, but not totally waterproof. Three protection systems guard from overheating, overloading and low-battery voltage.


Excellent scale detail

Bulletproof drivetrain

Brushless-ready speed control

Bearings don't come as standard


The Land Cruiser 40 Black Special requires no painting. Just bolt it together, and it looks like this!

In addition to Toyota's modern take on the FJ Cruiser, Tamiya offers the CC-01 with the classic lines of the of the original Land Cruiser. In addition to the vintage-styled shell and the related chrome bits to finish it off, the #58564 Land Cruiser 40 Black Special includes an LED lighting kit, speed control (brushed power only), and painted body — to get the look shown here, all you have to do is assemble the truck, there's no painting required.


After extensive testing and hours on the trail, the Tamiya FJ Cruiser surpassed all my expectations. The FJ worked flawlessly and overcame any terrain, obstacle and challenge I could throw at it. Under the body, the CC-01 chassis is a serious workhorse with its resilient suspension and bulletproof drivetrain, and its extensive hop-up potential will keep even the most restless builders busy. The market is full of high-quality scale crawlers and the Tamiya FJ Cruiser easily ranks among the best of them.


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RPM MEGA BEARING BLASTER http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/05/24/rpm-mega-bearing-blaster/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rpm-mega-bearing-blaster http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/05/24/rpm-mega-bearing-blaster/#comments Sat, 24 May 2014 15:00:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/05/24/rpm-mega-bearing-blaster/ TRIED · TESTED · TORTURED

A better way to clean big bearings

RPM's new Mega Bearing Blaster shares the same flow-through design as the original but scales it up to accommodate the larger bearings commonly used in 1/5-scale vehicles. With the growth we've seen in large-scale models in the past few years, RPM's Mega Bearing Blaster should find its way into many toolboxes. Let's take a look.


The Bearing Blaster's conical shape forces cleaner through the bearing — once you remove the seals from the bearing, that is.

Like the original Bearing Blaster, the Mega version captures the bearing to be cleaned between the Blaster's two halves, allowing spray cleaner to be forced through the bearing via the hole in the unit's top, which accepts the spray tube of your favorite bearing cleaner. The inside of the Bearing Blaster is shaped so the cleaner must pass through the bearing, taking dirt and debris with it. Bearings from 5mm all the way up to 32mm in diameter will fit, so it can accommodate just about every bearing used in RC.


My Losi 5IVE-T Roller was in serious need of a cleaning, so I put the Blaster to work on the bearings from the tranny and axles. The first step is to prepare the bearings by removing their seals so the cleaner flows through easily. With the bearing held firmly in the tool, I sprayed the cleaner for about five seconds and watched as the excess spray and debris from the bearing poured out of the bottom. With that complete, the bearing was removed and looking new, inside and out, and felt silky smooth when turned. The Blaster's cone-shaped interior not only does a great job holding the bearing in place, but allows everything to rinse off of the bearing to get it perfectly clean every time. After letting the cleaner evaporate, I re-lubed the bearing and reinstalled the shields, and the bearing was like new. —Erich Reichert


  • ⊕ Accepts bearings as large as 1.25 in./32mm

  • ⊕ Inexpensive

  • ⊕ Works well


  • ⊝ None

  • Item no.: 70420

  • Price: $9


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