Toyota Hilux 4×4

Here’s a little scale build I’ve been working on for almost a week:

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It’s not modeled directly after a Toyota Hilux, but nonetheless I think it looks like one with the simple pickup style body and roll cage assembly. It uses a very efficient drivetrain with two L motors directly linked to the axles, geared 12/20 with no differential. It utilizes a Servo for steering and takes power from a rechargeable battery box and is connected by a V2 receiver.

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I tried to make it similar to many custom or modified off road pickups of today, with the rear roll cage, light bar, large tires, and lots of torque. I had tried smaller tires before and it had great capabilities, but it would get beached from relatively small obstacles due to the inadequate ground clearance, so I put on some big tires and wheels….problem solved. Unfortunately with the bigger tires the L motors have to work a bit harder especially when on thick surfaces such as grass.

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Here you can see the light bar and front headlights. The half-body enabled a light construction and the hood can be opened and the body can be taken off by disconnecting the roll cage, body, and exhaust pipes under the hood.

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More of the interior, with seats and a steering wheel which is attached to the hood so it moves when the hood is opened. Up close you can see the detailed light bar which uses both stud full and stud less parts.

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Dismounted body- enables easy access to the chassis.

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The large tires really stick out here, the body is actually a good size for the chassis, but the tires make it look a bit disproportional.

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This was the biggest problem with this truck, fitting the battery box within a scale design. Thus I created a roll cage suited for such a task, but it took much longer to come up with the established overall design. I must have tried almost several different body ideas, such as a Unimog or Jeep.

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The full chassis can be viewed here comprised of just three motors which help support the whole truck. Both the front and rear axles are relatively simple and have some flex to them which in turn helps with navigating rough terrain since the axles are not connected with ball joints and linkages.

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And here it is in a suitable environment, some grass, rocks, and dirt.

I must of spent at least an 1 or 2 testing this truck during the few days it took to build it, and I believe it was worth it. It can handle terrain well, has an efficient drivetrain, weighs only 1 and 3/4 pounds, and looks pretty realistic for the scale and simplicity of the truck itself.

 

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Vaterra Glamis Uno

So here’s something different, I’ve decided to make this a Lego Technic and RC website. My first review-ish article will be on my Vaterra Glamis Uno:

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This is a brushless, off-road dune buggy inspired by the ones that drive around the Glamis dunes and it sure looks awesome. The details Vaterra have put into this as well as their other vehicles are very cool and give it a nice touch. I must point out, though, how the wing mounts and the wing itself are not very durable…..but what can you expect from a wing that sticks out and gets beat up every time you roll over. Anyway on the subject of durability, the important parts that you need to actually drive the thing are extremely durable, but like I said above the things that make it look realistic are not so I just took most of that stuff off.

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A very important feature of this buggy is the Spektrum DX2L transmitter, which is absolutely perfect for this buggy. The amount of power the 3300kv Fuze brushless motor has can be hard to handle in spaces such as your backyard for some afternoon fun, but the DX2L has you covered. With Throttle Trim, Throttle Limit, and more adjustments the power can be handled relatively quickly, after a good amount of driving practice.

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Here I ran in to a little problem with a stop sign. I jumped off a curb/sidewalk on the corner of my street and by accident hit the stop sign. This directly hit the front right A-arm and shock. Amazingly though, the shock snapped and the A-arm was unharmed. As of this review I have been using my Traxxas Slash front shocks as replacements, which fit decently, but makes the buggy sit lower to the ground- better handling.

Besides that mishap the shocks seem to be working pretty well and for what I have done before the breakage, they are plenty durable.

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You can see here the length of this thing and it is not small like traditional 1/10 scale buggies. Weighing in at a little under 7 pounds, I think, and being almost 19 inches long it is a good size and can handle real life terrain pretty well.

Also this buggy is called 1/8 scale, but it really isn’t. For example, the HobbyKing 1/10 Brushless 2WD Desert buggy is similar in design and is only a few tenths of an inch shorter, its really more like 1/10 scale.

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Since this is a full RTR package it comes with a 2S 3000mah Speedpack Lipo battery and balancing charger, which you insert lengthwise in the compartment you see above. The charger is pretty good if you are still new to RC as I am, only a few months or so into it. It charges the stock pack in roughly 2 and 1/2 hours and that’s pretty good compared to the stock charger I have for my brushed Traxxas Slash 2WD that takes about 6 hours.

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Finally this is where I mostly run it- my backyard track. It can be hard to handle on the highest throttle limit with the stock tires, which are best for casual racing on the low or medium throttle limit, but it is a blast to bash around with and get huge air on jumps.

Overall I am pretty happy with what I got for the $225 I spent on A-Main. It has plenty of speed, good handling, well built, and very durable for the average basher or racer. I feel my money was well spent and I look forward to new Vaterra products, but you would be better off waiting until the product you want is discontinued and you’ll have some great stuff for the money then, which is what I did.

Mini Baja Truck

Here’s a little truck I came up with in about a day or so. It’s chassis is a smaller version of my Trophy Truck chassis, but with a few modifications to fit the motors and stuff in such a small vehicle. Speaking of size this truck is 10 inches long and weighs 1 and 1/4 pounds. It is equipped with independent suspension in the front and a solid live axle on the rear.

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This truck uses 1 L motor on the rear axle and you can switch between five gear ratios; 24/8, 20/12, 16/16, 12/20, 8/24. It uses a Servo motor for steering and a Rechargeable battery box and V2 receiver to power the thing.

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The body design is fairly  simple, but it worked well for the small size. The only problem I had was with the front suspension setup. At first I was only using three Lego rubber bands, but it was way to soft for the final weight of the vehicle. So I tried a non-Lego spring to fit length wise, but it would push the hood up quite a bit. Then I decided to try out a Lego 6.5L spring length wise and it worked out even better.

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Some more pictures:

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In the front I tried to go for those Baja looks, especially the top headlights on the roof. Also the front bumper actually isn’t attached to a single position. It’s just on a hinge in the front of the suspension setup and you can fold it down if needed.

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And there’s the bottom view of the chassis. Here you can see the three blue rubber bands used for the front suspension and the L motor on the rear axle as well as the Servo motor. The wheels might look a little too wide, but it provides great stability and handling.

Overall it is a fun little truck and you can take it off-roading with a low gear ratio and drive it around the house with a high gear ratio. The suspension is robust and has great travel, especially in the rear, it gets about an inch of travel there. The only problem is how the front wheels have negative toe and seems to stress the front wishbones.